Forem Privacy Policy

Last Updated: April 25, 2021

DEV Community Inc. ("DEV," "we," or "us") provides the open source tool called "Forem," available at www.forem.com, that allows our customers to create and operate their own online forums, and also offers hosting services for those forums. This Privacy Policy is designed to help you understand how we as a company collect, use, and share your personal information, and to help you understand and exercise your privacy rights.

What's with the defined terms?

You'll notice that some words appear in quotes in this Privacy Policy. They're called "defined terms," and we use them so that we don't have to repeat the same language again and again. They mean the same thing in every instance, to help us make sure that this Privacy Policy is consistent. We've included the defined terms throughout because we want it to be easy for you to read them in context.

1. What does this privacy policy apply to?

This Privacy Policy applies to personal information processed by us, including on our websites, mobile applications, and other online or offline offerings — basically anything we do. To make this Privacy Policy easier to read, our websites, mobile applications ("app"), and other offerings are all collectively called the "Services."

There are two types of people we collect personal information from: our customers, who use our Services to run and host their own forums (we'll call them "Forem Operators"), and the people who interact with those forums or otherwise use our Services, such as by using our app. (we'll call them "Users").

An Important Note for Users: While we collect some of your information on our own behalf, technically we also process some of your information on behalf of our Forem Operators when you interact with their forums. That processing is governed by the contracts that we have in place with each Forem Operator, not this Privacy Policy.

Put another way: when you share your information on a DEV-hosted forum, we at DEV are basically just the "pipes" — we process the data on behalf of the Forem Operator, but don't do anything with it ourselves beyond what we're required to do under our contract (and by law). Similarly, if you use our mobile application, you may also interact with forums that are hosted by third parties who are not Forem Operators, but rather use Forem's open-source tool to operate their forums — these third parties do all their hosting themselves.

Regardless of whether DEV or a third party is doing the hosting, the important thing to remember is this: if you share or make available your information on a forum created with Forem, the Forem Operator's or third-party host's privacy policy applies to that information. Any questions or requests relating to the information you post on that forum should be directed to the relevant Forem Operator and/or third-party forum host, not us.

(You can still ask us about the information we collect ourselves, though.)

2. Personal information we collect

The categories of personal information we collect depend on whether you're a User or Forem Operator, how you interact with us, our Services, and the requirements of applicable law. Breaking it down, we collect three types of information: (1) information that you provide to us directly, (2) information we obtain automatically when you use our Services, and (3) information we get about you from other sources (such as third-party services and organizations). More details are below.

A. Information You Provide to Us Directly

We may collect the following personal information that you provide to us.

  •    Account Creation (for Forem Operators):We'll require your name and email address to get started, as well as some details about the Forem you want to run, such as: whether you're running the Forem on your own behalf or as part of an organization, and details about the community you want to support (how big is it, what topics does it cover, where do members currently communicate, how/if the community earns money, whether the community is open, invite-only or paid, any existing social media accounts, etc.) You'll need to tell us a bit about your personal coding background, and you'll have the option to provide your DEV username as well, if you are a member of the DEV.to community.
  •    Account Creation (for Users): Forem Operators determine what information is required for User account creation with respect to their individual forums.
  •    Interactive Features (for Users). Like any other social network, both we and other Users of our Services may collect personal information that you submit or make available through our interactive features (e.g., messaging and chat features, commenting functionalities, forums, blogs, posts, and other social media pages). While we do have private messages that are only between you and the person you're messaging (as well as us and the Forem Operator), any information you provide using the public sharing features of the Services, such as the information you post to your public profile or the topics you follow is public, including to recruiters and prospective employers, and is not subject to any of the privacy protections we mention in this Privacy Policy except where legally required. Please exercise caution before revealing any information that may identify you in the real world to others.
  •    Purchases. If you buy stuff on our shop site https://shop.dev.to/ (as either a User or Forem Operator), or otherwise if you pay us in connection with your use of the Forem service, we may collect personal information and details associated with your purchases, including payment information. Any payments made via our Services are processed by third-party payment processors, such as Stripe, Shopify, and PayPal. We do not directly collect or store any payment card information entered through our Services, but may receive information associated with your payment card information (e.g., your billing details).
  •    Your Communications with Us (Users and Forem Operators). We may collect personal information, such as email address, phone number, or mailing address when you request information about our Services, register for our newsletter or loyalty program, request customer or technical support, apply for a job, or otherwise communicate with us.
  •    Surveys. We may contact you to participate in surveys. If you decide to participate, you may be asked to provide certain information, which may include personal information (for example, your home address).
  •    Sweepstakes or Contests. We may collect personal information you provide for any sweepstakes or contests that we offer. In some jurisdictions, we are required to publicly share information of sweepstakes and contest winners.
  •    Conferences, Trade Shows, and Other Events. We may collect personal information from individuals when we attend conferences, trade shows, and other events.
  •    Business Development and Strategic Partnerships. We may collect personal information from individuals and third parties to assess and pursue potential business opportunities.
  •    Job Applications. We may post job openings and opportunities on our Services. If you reply to one of these postings by submitting your application, CV and/or cover letter to us, we will collect and use your information to assess your qualifications.

B. Information Collected Automatically

We may collect personal information automatically when you use our Services:

  •    Automatic Data Collection. We may collect certain information automatically when you use our Services, such as your Internet protocol (IP) address, user settings, MAC address, cookie identifiers, mobile carrier, mobile advertising and other unique identifiers, browser or device information, location information (including approximate location derived from IP address), and Internet service provider. We may also automatically collect information regarding your use of our Services, such as pages that you visit before, during and after using our Services, information about the links you click, the types of content you interact with, the frequency and duration of your activities, and other information about how you use our Services. In addition, we may collect information that other people provide about you when they use our Services, including information about you when they tag you in their posts.
  •    Cookies, Pixel Tags/Web Beacons, and Other Technologies. We, as well as third parties that provide content, advertising, or other functionality on our Services, may use cookies, pixel tags, local storage, and other technologies ("Technologies") to automatically collect information through your use of our Services.
  •    Cookies. Cookies are small text files placed in device browsers that store preferences and facilitate and enhance your experience.
  •    Pixel Tags/Web Beacons. A pixel tag (also known as a web beacon) is a piece of code embedded in our Services that collects information about engagement on our Services. The use of a pixel tag allows us to record, for example, that a user has visited a particular web page or clicked on a particular advertisement. We may also include web beacons in e-mails to understand whether messages have been opened, acted on, or forwarded.

Our uses of these Technologies fall into the following general categories:

  •    Operationally Necessary. This includes Technologies that allow you access to our Services, applications, and tools that are required to identify irregular website behavior, prevent fraudulent activity and improve security or that allow you to make use of our functionality;
  •    Performance-Related. We may use Technologies to assess the performance of our Services, including as part of our analytic practices to help us understand how individuals use our Services (see Analytics below);
  •    Functionality-Related. We may use Technologies that allow us to offer you enhanced functionality when accessing or using our Services. This may include identifying you when you sign into our Services or keeping track of your specified preferences, interests, or past items viewed;

See "Your Privacy Choices and Rights" below to understand your choices regarding these Technologies.

  •    Analytics. We may use Technologies and other third-party tools to process analytics information on our Services. Some of our analytics partners include Google Analytics. For more information, please visit Google Analytics' Privacy Policy. To learn more about how to opt-out of Google Analytics' use of your information, please click here.
  •    Social Media Platforms. Our Services may contain social media buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, Instagram, and Twitch (that might include widgets such as the "share this" button or other interactive mini programs). These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our Services, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Your interactions with these platforms are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing it.

C. Information Collected from Other Sources

We may obtain information about you from other sources, including through third-party services and organizations. For example, if you access our Services through a third-party application, such as an app store, a third-party login service (e.g., through Twitter, Apple, or GitHub), or a social networking site, we may collect whatever information about you from that third-party application that you have made available via your privacy settings.

3. How we use your information

We use your information for a variety of business purposes, including to provide our Services, for administrative purposes, and to market our products and Services, as described below.

A. Provide Our Services

We use your information to fulfill our contract with you and provide you with our Services, such as:

  •    Managing your information and accounts;
  •    Providing access to certain areas, functionalities, and features of our Services;
    •    Answering requests for customer or technical support;
    •    Communicating with you about your account, activities on our Services, and policy changes;
    •    Processing your financial information and other payment methods for products or Services purchased;
    •    Processing applications if you apply for a job we post on our Services; and
    •    Allowing you to register for events.

B. Administrative Purposes

We use your information for various administrative purposes, such as:

  •    Pursuing our legitimate interests such as direct marketing, research and development (including marketing research), network and information security, and fraud prevention;
  •    Detecting security incidents, protecting against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent or illegal activity, and prosecuting those responsible for that activity;
  •    Measuring interest and engagement in our Services, including for usage-based billing purposes;
  •    Short-term, transient use, such as contextual customization of ads;
  •    Improving, optimizing, upgrading, or enhancing our Services;
  •    Developing new products and Services;
  •    Ensuring internal quality control and safety;
  •    Authenticating and verifying individual identities, including requests to exercise your rights under this policy;
  •    Debugging to identify and repair errors with our Services;
  •    Auditing relating to interactions, transactions and other compliance activities;
  •    Enforcing our agreements and policies; and
  •    Complying with our legal obligations.

C. Marketing and Advertising our Products and Services

We may use your personal information to tailor and provide you with content and advertisements for our Services, such as via email. If you have any questions about our marketing practices, you may contact us at any time as set forth in “Contact Us” below.

D. Other Purposes

We also use your information for other purposes as requested by you or as permitted by applicable law.

  •    Consent. We may use personal information for other purposes that are clearly disclosed to you at the time you provide personal information or with your consent.
  •    Automated Decision Making. We may engage in automated decision making, including profiling, such as to suggest topics or other Users for you to follow. DEV’s processing of your personal information will not result in a decision based solely on automated processing that significantly affects you unless such a decision is necessary as part of a contract we have with you, we have your consent, or we are permitted by law to engage in such automated decision making. If you have questions about our automated decision making, you may contact us as set forth in “Contact Us” below.
  •    De-identified and Aggregated Information. We may use personal information and other information about you to create de-identified and/or aggregated information, such as de-identified demographic information, information about the device from which you access our Services, or other analyses we create. For example, we may collect system-wide information to ensure availability of the platform, or measure aggregate data trends to analyze and optimize our Services.
  •    Share Content with Friends or Colleagues. Our Services may offer various tools and functionalities. For example, we may allow you to provide information about your friends through our referral services. Our referral services may allow you to forward or share certain content with a friend or colleague, such as an email inviting your friend to use our Services. Please only share with us contact information of people with whom you have a relationship (e.g., relative, friend neighbor, or co-worker).

4. How we disclose your information

We disclose your information to third parties for a variety of business purposes, including to provide our Services, to protect us or others, or in the event of a major business transaction such as a merger, sale, or asset transfer, as described below.

A. Disclosures to Provide our Services

The categories of third parties with whom we may share your information are described below.

  •   Service Providers. We may share your personal information with our third-party service providers who use that information to help us provide our Services. This includes service providers that provide us with IT support, hosting, payment processing, customer service, and related services. For example, our Shop site is run by Shopify, who handle your shipping details on our behalf.
  •   Business Partners. We may share your personal information with business partners to provide you with a product or service you have requested. We may also share your personal information to business partners with whom we jointly offer products or services.
  •   Other Users. As described above in “Personal Information We Collect,” our Service allows Users to share their profiles, and any posts, chats, etc. with other Users and with the general public, including to those who do not use our Services.
  •   APIs/SDKs. We may use third-party Application Program Interfaces (“APIs”) and Software Development Kits (“SDKs”) as part of the functionality of our Services. For more information about our use of APIs and SDKs, please contact us as set forth in “Contact Us” below.

B. Disclosures to Protect Us or Others

We may access, preserve, and disclose any information we store associated with you to external parties if we, in good faith, believe doing so is required or appropriate to: comply with law enforcement or national security requests and legal process, such as a court order or subpoena; protect your, our, or others’ rights, property, or safety; enforce our policies or contracts; collect amounts owed to us; or assist with an investigation or prosecution of suspected or actual illegal activity.

C. Disclosure in the Event of Merger, Sale, or Other Asset Transfers

If we are involved in a merger, acquisition, financing due diligence, reorganization, bankruptcy, receivership, purchase or sale of assets, or transition of service to another provider, your information may be sold or transferred as part of such a transaction, as permitted by law and/or contract.

5. Your privacy choices and rights

Your Privacy Choices. The privacy choices you may have about your personal information are determined by applicable law and are described below.

  •    Email Communications. If you receive an unwanted email from us, you can use the unsubscribe link found at the bottom of the email to opt out of receiving future emails. Note that you will continue to receive transaction-related emails regarding products or Services you have requested. We may also send you certain non-promotional communications regarding us and our Services, and you will not be able to opt out of those communications (e.g., communications regarding our Services or updates to our Terms or this Privacy Policy).
  •    Mobile Devices. We may send you push notifications through our mobile application. You may opt out from receiving these push notifications by changing the settings on your mobile device.
  •    "Do Not Track." . Do Not Track (“DNT”) is a privacy preference that users can set in certain web browsers. Please note that we do not respond to or honor DNT signals or similar mechanisms transmitted by web browsers.
  •    Cookies and Interest-Based Advertising. You may stop or restrict the placement of Technologies on your device or remove them by adjusting your preferences as your browser or device permits. However, if you adjust your preferences, our Services may not work properly. Please note that cookie-based opt-outs are not effective on mobile applications. Please note you must separately opt out in each browser and on each device.

Your Privacy Rights. In accordance with applicable law, you may have the right to:

  •    Access Personal Information about you, including: (i) confirming whether we are processing your personal information; (ii) obtaining access to or a copy of your personal information;
  •    Request Correction of your personal information where it is inaccurate, incomplete or outdated. In some cases, we may provide self-service tools that enable you to update your personal information;
  •    Request Deletion, Anonymization or Blocking of your personal information when processing is based on your consent or when processing is unnecessary, excessive or noncompliant;
  •    Request Restriction of or Object to our processing of your personal information when processing is noncompliant;
  •    Withdraw your Consent to our processing of your personal information. If you refrain from providing personal information or withdraw your consent to processing, some features of our Service may not be available;
  •    Request data portability and receive an electronic copy of personal information that you have provided to us;
  •    Be informed about third parties with which your personal information has been shared; and
  •    Request the review of decisions taken exclusively based on automated processing if such decisions could affect your data subject rights.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us as set forth in “Contact Us” below. We will process such requests in accordance with applicable laws.

6. Your privacy choices and rights

We take steps to ensure that your information is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy. Unfortunately, no system is 100% secure, and we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you provide to us. We have taken appropriate safeguards to protect your data, and require our third-party service providers and partners to have appropriate safeguards as well. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, we do not accept liability for unauthorized disclosure.

By using our Services or providing personal information to us, you agree that we may communicate with you electronically regarding security, privacy, and administrative issues relating to your use of our Services. If we learn of a security system’s breach, we may attempt to notify you electronically by posting a notice on our Services, by mail, or by sending an email to you.

7. Your privacy choices and rights

All information processed by us may be transferred, processed, and stored anywhere in the world, including, but not limited to, the United States or other countries, which may have data protection laws that are different from the laws where you live. We always strive to safeguard your information consistent with the requirements of applicable laws.

8. Retention of personal information

We store the personal information we collect as described in this Privacy Policy for as long as you use our Services or as necessary: to fulfill the purpose or purposes for which it was collected, to provide our Services, to resolve disputes, to establish legal defenses, to conduct audits, to pursue legitimate business purposes, to enforce our agreements, and to comply with applicable laws.

9. Supplemental notice for California residents

This Supplemental California Privacy Notice only applies to our processing of personal information that is subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ("CCPA"). The CCPA provides California residents with the right to know what categories of personal information DEV has collected about them and whether DEV disclosed that personal information for a business purpose (e.g., to a service provider) in the preceding 12 months. California residents can find this information below:

Category of Personal Information Collected by DEV

Category of Third Parties Information is Disclosed to for a Business Purpose

Identifiers.

A real name, alias, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, Internet Protocol address, email address, account name, or other similar identifiers.

  • Data analytics providers
  • Service providers
  • Other Users/Public (information shared via your profile and messages)

Personal information categories listed in the California Customer Records statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80(e))

A name, address, education, employment, employment history, and financial information.

  • Data analytics providers
  • Service providers
  • Other Users/Public (information shared via your profile and messages)

Commercial information

Records of products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies.

  • Data analytics providers
  • Service providers

Internet or other electronic network activity

Browsing history, search history, information on a consumer's interaction with an internet website, application, or advertisement.

  • Data analytics providers
  • Service providers

Professional or employment-related information

Current or past job history.

  • Data analytics providers
  • Service providers
  • Other Users/Public (information shared via your profile and messages)

Inferences drawn from other personal information to create a profile about a consumer

Profile reflecting a consumer's preferences, abilities, and aptitudes.

  • Data analytics providers
  • Service providers
  • Other Users/Public (information shared via your profile and messages)

The categories of sources from which we collect personal information and our business and commercial purposes for using personal information are set forth in “Personal Information We Collect” and “How We Use Your Personal Information” above, respectively.

“Sales” of Personal Information under the CCPA

For purposes of the CCPA, DEV does not “sell” personal information, nor do we have actual knowledge of any “sale” of personal information of minors under 16 years of age.

Additional Privacy Rights for California Residents

For purposes of the CCPA, DEV does not “sell” personal information, nor do we have actual knowledge of any “sale” of personal information of minors under 16 years of age.

  •    Non-Discrimination. California residents have the right not to receive discriminatory treatment by us for the exercise of their rights conferred by the CCPA.
  •    Authorized Agent. Only you, or someone legally authorized to act on your behalf, may make a verifiable consumer request related to your personal information. You may also make a verifiable consumer request on behalf of your minor child. To designate an authorized agent, please contact us as set forth in “Contact Us” below and provide written authorization signed by you and your designated agent.

Verification. To protect your privacy, we will take the following steps to verify your identity before fulfilling your request. When you make a request, we will ask you to provide sufficient information that allows us to reasonably verify you are the person about whom we collected personal information or an authorized representative, which may include asking you to answer questions regarding your account and use of our Services.

If you are a California resident and would like to exercise any of your rights under the CCPA, please contact us as set forth in “Contact Us” below. We will process such requests in accordance with applicable laws.

Refer-a-Friend and Similar Incentive Programs. As described above in How We Use Your Personal Information (“Share Content with Friends or Colleagues”), we may offer referral programs or other incentivized data collection programs. For example, we may offer incentives to you such as discounts or promotional items or credit in connection with these programs, wherein you provide your personal information in exchange for a reward, or provide personal information regarding your friends or colleagues (such as their email address) and receive rewards when they sign up to use our Services. (The referred party may also receive rewards for signing up via your referral.) These programs are entirely voluntary and allow us to grow our business and provide additional benefits to you. The value of your data to us depends on how you ultimately use our Services, whereas the value of the referred party’s data to us depends on whether the referred party ultimately becomes a User or Forem Operator and uses our Services. Said value will be reflected in the incentive offered in connection with each program.

Accessibility. This Privacy Policy uses industry-standard technologies and was developed in line with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.1. If you wish to print this policy, please do so from your web browser or by saving the page as a PDF.

California Shine the Light. The California “Shine the Light” law permits users who are California residents to request and obtain from us once a year, free of charge, a list of the third parties to whom we have disclosed their personal information (if any) for their direct marketing purposes in the prior calendar year, as well as the type of personal information disclosed to those parties.

Right for minors to remove posted content. Where required by law, California residents under the age of 18 may request to have their posted content or information removed from the publicly-viewable portions of the Services by contacting us directly as set forth in Contact Us below or by logging into their account and removing the content or information using our self-service tools.

10. Supplemental notice for Nevada residents

If you are a resident of Nevada, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of certain Personal Information to third parties who intend to license or sell that Personal Information. You can exercise this right by contacting us at support@forem.com with the subject line “Nevada Do Not Sell Request” and providing us with your name and the email address associated with your account. Please note that we do not currently sell your Personal Information as sales are defined in Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 603A. If you have any questions, please contact us as set forth below.

11. Children's information

The Services are not directed to children under 13 (or other age as required by local law), and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children. If you are a parent or guardian and believe your child has uploaded personal information to our site without your consent, you may contact us as described in “Contact Us” below. If we become aware that a child has provided us with personal information in violation of applicable law, we will delete any personal information we have collected, unless we have a legal obligation to keep it, and terminate the child’s account if applicable.

12. Other provisions

Third-Party Websites/Applications. The Services may contain links to other websites/applications, and other websites/applications may reference or link to our Services. These third-party services are not controlled by us. We encourage our users to read the privacy policies of each website and application with which they interact. We do not endorse, screen or approve, and are not responsible for, the privacy practices or content of such other websites or applications. Providing personal information to third-party websites or applications is at your own risk.

Supervisory Authority.

If you are located in the European Economic Area, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or Brazil, you have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority if you believe our processing of your personal information violates applicable law.

Changes to our Privacy Policy. We may revise this Privacy Policy from time to time in our sole discretion. If there are any material changes to this Privacy Policy, we will notify you as required by applicable law. You understand and agree that you will be deemed to have accepted the updated Privacy Policy if you continue to use our Services after the new Privacy Policy takes effect.

13. Contact us

If you have any questions about our privacy practices or this Privacy Policy, or to exercise your rights as detailed in this Privacy Policy, please contact us at:

Dev Community Inc.
Attn: DPO
228 Park Ave S
PMB 72192
New York, New York
10003-1502 US