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ICC Help: privacy

Introduction

The Internet Chess Club (ICC) handles a variety of different forms of information from its members and guests. Some of this information is entered manually by the users of the ICC while they are logged in, or during the registration process. Some of this information is collected automatically by our software without the explicit knowledge of the user. This document describes what information we do and do not collect, who has access to the information that is collected, how to change or delete this information, and a number of related issues.

We try to ensure that the flow of information is strictly limited in accordance with the policies below. But remember that there are unusual circumstances under which they might be violated, and information might be revealed to people in violation of these policies. Some examples include: a subpoena, a break-in to the ICC's computers (either physical or electronic), or an employee or Administrator who breaks the rules.

In the rest of this document the term "Admin" refers to the set of ICC administrators, the list of which can be seen by typing help admins.

Registration Information

The following information (which you may have specified when you registered) can be seen only by Admins: Your name, your email address, your password, your postal address, your phone number, your previous ICC username, your USCF ID, expiration, and PIN number. Of course you are free to publicize your personal information.

Your registration in ICC will also give you a subscription to our periodic email newsletter. Each newsletter will contain a link at the bottom to allow you to unsubscribe at any time.

The ICC may use your email address to sporadically send you important announcements. (In the past such announcements have been sent fewer than once per year. For example, such a bulk mailing was once used to tell all of our members an alternative way to connect to our server when the server machine was under attack.) If you do not wish to ever get such announcements, send email to news@chessclub.com stating this fact.

The ICC may use your postal address (if you checked the box to allow its use) to mail you information about products and services available from 3rd parties. The ICC will not give your address to these 3rd parties.

Naturally your username, your rating, and title (after verification) are all publically visible. Your country is also public information.

If you want to know the identity, email address, or other information on an ICC member, please do not ask an Admin. Ask the member directly. It is his or her decision to tell you.

Children's Policy Guidelines

In compliance with COPPA (the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act), we have adopted the following policies to keep kids safe:

- We do not knowingly collect online contact information directly from children ages 13 and younger.
- We do not distribute any personally identifiable information about children to third parties.
- We do not allow students to publicly post or distribute personally identifiable contact information without prior parental consent
- We do not use the prospect of a special game, prize or other activity, to entice children to divulge more information than is needed to participate in the activity.
- We will NOT knowingly keep any personal information that is inadvertently included in a child's email submission, help inquiry, or other one-time request, if we know that the child is under the age of 13.

Any such information will be purged promptly after the issue has been resolved. If you are under the age of 13, please do not provide your contact information or any other personally identifiable information to the ICC. If you are the parent or legal guardian of someone under the age of 13 who may have provided us with information without your knowledge or consent, please contact us to have this information removed.

Authorized Mailings

On occasion, the ICC may offer you a free prize, product or other mailing that is to be provided by a 3rd party. If you accept this offer explicitly (by responding to the offer) or implicitly (e.g., by playing in a tournament offering the prize), then the ICC may release your personal information to such 3rd party, with the restriction that it is only to be used for such mailing.

Credit Card Information

Credit card numbers are only stored on the ICC servers in encrypted form. They are not visible to anybody except ICC employees (a small subset of the Admins) involved in the processing of payments. Credit cards are processed by Cybercash. Cybercash sends credit card numbers over the Internet in encrypted form. (For more information see http://www.cybercash.com .) The name, address, and phone number that is entered when a credit card is used is visible to the Admins. The card number is not.

Private Communication

The ICC does not explicitly log tell-type (that is, "tell" and "say") communication between a pair of users. Any such conversation you have with another member is normally completely private. Nobody, including Admins, can listen in on any such conversation that takes place on an ICC server. Administrators are only privy to conversations between a pair of ICC members when one member complains about the other party using the "complain user" command (help complain), or if a member relays the conversation. However, there is a debugging log that on rare instances contains such a tell message, and it is possible that an Admin could inadvertently see such a message. Such occurrences are rare, and are not under the control of the Admins.

Public Communication

Many modes of communication on an ICC server give the user an opportunity to reveal personal information to many other people. This includes shouts, channels, and kibitzes. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.

Implicitly Collected Information

For each session on an ICC server, an entry is made in a permanent connection log. The following information is recorded in that log:

- The time of the connection and disconnection
- The name of the interface that was used
- The IP number of the connection
- The username
- The machine ID of the computer from which the connection was made

The Machine ID is a string which uniquely identifies the computer on which this connection was made. This allows us to very reliably determine if two different sessions used the same computer.

In addition, while you're playing on an ICC server, several other pieces of information are made available to the server. The ICC client program notes when you switch from the client program to some other program and vice versa. The ICC client and server are also able to determine whether or not you currently have a chess program running on your computer. This information is used for the sole purpose of identifying people who are cheating by using a chess engine. The Admins and a few other people who help catch computer cheaters are the only ones who have access to this information. (Read help computers for more information on the ICC's computer policies.)

The ICC's software does not monitor any activity nor access any data beyond what is listed above, or what is obviously needed for the functioning of the software. For example, it does access the profiles and PGN files it needs, but it does not access your email file.

Security

While you're connected to an ICC server using a "timestamped" client (such as Blitzin), all communication between you and the server is encrypted. All ICC servers are located in secure co-location facilities. Backups of user records are made on a regular basis.

Viewing Removing or Changing Your Personal Information

You can see your personal information by issuing the "personal-info" command while on an ICC server. You can modify this information by using the "set" command. (Read help set for more details.) For example, "set telephone 412-436-5558", will set your telephone number.

You can also contact the ICC business office to request that this information be changed or removed. Here is the contact information:

      Email: icc@chessclub.com   
      Phone: 412-436-5558
      Fax: 412-521-5575
      Postal:  Internet Chess Club
               PO Box 5485
               Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA 

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this site, you can contact the ICC at the above phone numbers or postal address.

See also: finger, personal-info, set, agreement, safe-kids

 


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