Privacy Policy

Last Revised May 25, 2018

The following Privacy Policy summarizes the various ways that Religion News Service LLC (“RNS,” “we” or “our”) treats the information you provide while using religionnews.com, as well as all related online services and web pages that post, specifically reference, and incorporate this Privacy Policy (collectively, the “Website”) whether accessed via computer, mobile device or other device (collectively, “Device”).  It is our goal to bring you information that is tailored to your individual needs and, at the same time, protect your privacy.

If you cannot agree with the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy, please do not use the Website.

This Privacy Policy does not address, and we are not responsible for, the privacy, information, or other practices of any third parties, including any third party operating any site or web property (including, without limitation, any application) that is available through this Website or to which this Website contains a link.  The availability of, or inclusion of a link to, any such site or property on this Website does not imply endorsement of it by us or by our affiliates.

In addition to reviewing this Privacy Policy, please read our User Agreement. Your use of the Website constitutes agreement to its terms and conditions as well.

This Privacy Policy may be modified from time to time; the date of the most recent revisions will appear on this page, so check back often. Continued access of the Website by you will constitute your acceptance of any changes or revisions to the Privacy Policy.

Consent to Data Collection and Processing

You hereby agree with and consent to the collection and processing of your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy.

Consent to International Data Transfers

Your personal information may be collected, processed and stored by RNS or its services providers in the United States and other countries where such servers reside.  Please be aware that the privacy protections and legal requirements, including the rights of authorities to access your personal information, in some of these countries may not be equivalent to those in your country. You hereby agree with and consent to the transfer of your personal data to the United States and other countries where RNS operates.

Withdrawal of Consent

You have the right, at any time, to withdraw your consent to RNS’s collection and processing of your information, or to the transfer of your personal data to the United States and other countries where RNS operates. You may withdraw your consent by emailing RNS at [email protected]

  1. THE TYPE OF INFORMATION THE WEBSITE COLLECTS

The Website generally collects personally identifying information with your specific knowledge and consent. For instance, when you enter a sweepstakes or contest, complete a survey, make a purchase, subscribe to our publication(s), or register for any portion of our services, you are asked to provide information such as your e-mail address, name or phone number. Optional information such as your age or gender may also be requested.

The types of information that RNS collects about you may include, but are not limited to:

  • Contact information (such as name, address, city, state and ZIP code, age or date of birth, occupation, social security number, email address and telephone number);
  • Payment information (such as your bank account information, credit card number, debit card number, bank or donor account, CVV code, expiration date, and payment history);
  • Information about your connected Devices and how you interact with our Site (such as IP address, browser type, unique device identifier, cookie data, and associated identifying and usage information);
  • Demographic information (such as gender, date of birth, marital status, and household composition);
  • Marketing profile information (such as when you plan to purchase a RNS product);
  • Photographs and videos such as those that you may submit for contests, sweepstakes and social sharing;
  • Social Security Number (in limited circumstances RNS may collect SSN, for example if you win a sweepstakes or receive compensation that must be reported for government tax purposes);
  • Donor information (name, address, phone number, and email address); and
  • The kind of RNS product or service you purchased.

As you navigate around this Site, certain information can be passively collected (that is, gathered without you actively providing the information), using various technologies.  We passively collect and use information in a variety of ways, including:

  • Through your browser: Certain information is collected by most browsers, such as your Media Access Control (MAC) address, computer type (Windows or Macintosh), screen resolution, operating system version, and Internet browser type and version.  We may collect similar information, such as your device type and identifier, if you access this Site through a mobile Device.
  • Cookies: See Section III below.
  • Pixel tags, web beacons, clear GIFs, or other similar technologies: These may be used in connection with some Site pages to, among other things, track the actions of Site users and compile statistics about Site usage and response rates.
  • IP Address: Your IP Address is a number that is automatically assigned to the computer that you are using by your Internet Service Provider.  An IP Address is identified and logged automatically in our server log files whenever a user visits this Site, along with the time of the visit and the page(s) that were visited.  Collecting IP Addresses is standard practice on the Internet and is done automatically by many web sites.  We use IP Addresses for purposes such as calculating Site usage levels, helping diagnose server problems, and administering this Site.
  • Device Information: We may collect information about your Device, such as a unique device identifier.
  • Do Not Track Requests: Your selection of the “Do Not Track” option provided by your browser may not have any effect on our collection of cookie information for analytic and internal purposes.  The only way to completely opt out of the collection of any information through cookies or other tracking technology is to actively management the settings on your browser or Device to delete and disable cookies and other tracking/recording tools.  Please note, depending on your type of Device or browser, it may not be possible to delete or disable all tracking mechanisms on your Device.

We permit third-party advertising partners to use the foregoing tracking technologies to collect information about your browsing activities over time and across different websites when you use the Site.  For example, we use advertising services providing by third-party ad partners, such as Google, to market our service to you on other websites and online services.  Through a process called “retargeting,” each service places a cookie on your browser when you visit the Site so that they can identify you and serve you ads on other sites around the web based on your browsing activity.  To avoid use of this information for advertising by these third-party ad partners, you can change your browser settings to reject cookies or to notify you when cookies are set and you could select the Do Not Track option on your browser, though we have no control over and cannot confirm whether these third-party ad partners honor the Do Not Track browser signal.  Additionally, many advertising companies are members of the NAI or DAA and/or provide opt-outs on those industry pages at networkadvertising.org/choices or aboutads.info/choices.

We utilize Google Analytics on the Site. Google Analytics is a website analysis service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google utilizes the data collected to track and examine the use of this Site, to prepare reports on its activities and share them with other Google services. Google may use the data collected to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network. For more information on Google’s Privacy Policy go to policies.google.com/privacy. Users can opt-out of Google Analytics tracking at developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/user-opt-out.

We, along with third-party vendors such as Google use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies to compile data regarding user interactions with ad impressions and other ad service functions as they relate to our website. Users can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Settings page. Alternatively, you can opt out by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page or by using the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser add on.

Integrated Accounts and Social Media Information

We may implement applications or “widgets” from third party providers (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) that allow interaction, integration or content sharing with third party services.  These widgets or applications may be visible on a page you visit on our Site or may require log-in through the third party provider’s service.  The third party providing the widget or integration may offer controls for you to manage your interactions.  Any interaction with a third party widget or application typically allows the third party to collect some information about you (whether through cookies, registration information or otherwise).  These third parties may even track you when you do not interact with the widget.  If you have engaged any of these third party service providers, their respective privacy policies will govern their tracking and collection of information.  You should review these third party policies to understand these practices.

  1. HOW THE WEBSITE USES INFORMATION PROVIDED BY YOU

RNS uses personally identifying information you supply through the Website to provide you with the service you have requested. For example, if you subscribe to any of our publications, we may use your e-mail address to send you a confirmation notice and your mailing address to send you the publication. Similarly, if you enter an online sweepstakes, we will use this information to notify you if you are a winner. We may also use the information to communicate with you about new features, products or services, and/or to improve the services that we offer by tailoring them to your needs.

Unless otherwise specified on the Website or in this Privacy Policy, RNS may sell or share personally identifying information with our affiliates and with carefully selected companies who we think can offer you services and products of interest to you. If you do not wish to have your personally identifying information shared, write to us at the street address set forth at the end of this document. If you do not wish to receive future commercial communications from us by e-mail, simply follow the unsubscribe instructions contained within the e-mail. If you’ve registered on any part of the Website, please use the mechanism on the Website that allows you to change or update your member preferences or information, if available, to keep all such date accurate and up-to-date.  Otherwise, contact our Privacy Policy Coordinator as described below with your changes.

We also allow access to our database by third parties that provide us with services, such as technical maintenance or forums and job search software, but only for the purpose of and to the extent necessary to provide those services. And if you choose to purchase items through features on the Website, we may forward your information to third parties for services such as credit card processing and order fulfillment. There are also times when you provide information about yourself to us in areas of the site that may be managed or participated in by third parties, such as auction services or shopping areas. In such cases, the information may be used by us and by such third party(ies), each pursuant to its own policies. We may also provide your information to our advertisers, so that they can serve ads to you that meet your needs or match your interests. While RNS will seek to require such third parties to follow appropriate privacy policies and will not authorize them to use this information except for the express purpose for which it is provided, RNS does not bear any responsibility for any actions or policies of third parties. We may also provide access to our database in order to cooperate with official investigations or legal proceedings, including, for example, in response to subpoenas, search warrants, court orders, or other legal process.

In addition, we reserve the right to use the information we collect about your computer, which may at times be able to identify you, for any lawful business purpose, including without limitation to help diagnose problems with our servers, to gather broad demographic information, and to otherwise administer our Website.

While your personally identifying information is protected as outlined above, we reserve the right to use, transfer, sell, and share aggregated, anonymous data about our users as a group for any business purpose, such as analyzing usage trends and seeking compatible advertisers and partners.

In addition, as our business changes, we may buy or sell various assets.  In the event all or a portion of the assets owned or controlled by RNS, its parent or any subsidiary or affiliated entity are sold, assigned, transferred or acquired by another company, the information from and/or about our Website users may be among the transferred assets. 

III. COOKIES

You may have read about “cookies,” nuggets of information that are placed by a Website in a storage place on your own computer. We may use cookies to control the display of ads, to track usage patterns on the site, to deliver editorial content, and to record registration and personalization information. For example, if you register on any part of the Website and are given the option to save your user name and password on your computer, we can provide this convenience to you by placing a cookie on your computer.  Our cookies may contain personally identifiable information and such cookies may be shared with our affiliates and other companies.

Some of our advertisers occasionally serve you cookies as well. We do not have control over cookies placed by advertisers.

We may also use advertising service vendors to help present advertisements on the Website.  These vendors may use cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, these vendors may collect non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, Web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these advertising service vendors is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and RNS disclaims all liability in connection therewith.  If you do not want the benefits of these advertising cookies, you may be able to opt-out by visiting networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp.

If you don’t want any cookies, your Web browser likely includes an option that allows you to not accept them. However, if you set your browser to refuse cookies, some portions of the Website may not function properly. 

  1. INFORMATION SECURITY AND NOTIFICATION

RNS has implemented security measures designed to protect personal information provided by you against unauthorized access and use. Because no data transmission over the Internet is completely secure, and no system of physical or electronic security is impenetrable, RNS cannot guarantee the security of the information you send to us or the security of our servers or databases.  In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you in accordance with applicable law. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, please immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us. 

  1. KIDS AND PARENTS

This Website is not intended for use by children, especially those under age 13. No one under age 13 is allowed to provide any personal information or use our public discussion areas, forums and chats. Minors between the ages of 13 and 17 must get the permission of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before making purchases, including subscriptions, on this site.

If your children disclose information about themselves in publicly accessible areas of the Website, they may get unsolicited messages from other parties. Accordingly, you should tell them not to do so.

If you’re worried about your children’s activities or their privacy on our site, we encourage you to contact our Privacy Policy Coordinator as described below.

  1. CHOICES AND ACCESS

We give you choices regarding our use and disclosure of your personal information.  If you do not want to receive any information by email, regular mail or telephone calls, you may opt-out of further communications provided by RNS at any time by: (i) sending RNS an email at [email protected]; or (ii) writing to RNS at

Religion News Service LLC, 30 Neff Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.

Please note that RNS can only comply with requests relating to email, regular mail or telephone communications provided by RNS. If you no longer wish to receive further information by email, regular mail or telephone from any third party, you will need to contact such third party directly to opt-out of further communications being provided to you.  We will seek to comply with your request(s) as soon as reasonably practicable.

If applicable, and you would like to review, correct, update, or delete the personal information that you have provided via this Website, please contact us.  We will try to comply with your request as soon as reasonably practicable.

VII. RETENTION PERIOD

We retain your personal information for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy, unless a longer retention period is required or allowed by law or to otherwise fulfill a legal obligation.

VII. YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

Under California’s “Shine the Light Law”, California residents who provide personal information in obtaining products or services for personal, family, or household use are entitled to request and obtain from us once a calendar year information about the customer information we shared, if any, with other businesses for their own direct marketing uses.  If applicable, this information would include the categories of customer information and the names and addresses of those businesses with which we shared customer information for the immediately prior calendar year.

To obtain this information on behalf of RNS, please send an email message to [email protected] with “Request for California Privacy Information” on the subject line and in the body of your message.  We will provide the requested information to you at your email address in the response.  Please be aware that not all information is covered by the “Shine the Light “ requirements and only information on covered sharing will be included in our response. 

VIII. INTERNATIONAL USERS

This Privacy Policy is meant to guide RNS with respect to personal information collected from or about you at this Website.  While this Privacy Policy applies to personal information generally, the local laws, rules and regulations of jurisdictions that are applicable to RNS (“Local Laws”) may require standards which are stricter than this Privacy Policy and, in such event, RNS will comply with applicable Local Laws.  Specific privacy policies may be adopted to address the specific privacy requirements of particular jurisdictions. All the information you provide may be transferred or accessed by entities around the world as described in this Privacy Policy. Your personal information may be stored and processed in any country where we have facilities or service providers, and by using our Website or by providing consent to us (where required by law), you specifically acknowledge and agree to the transfer of information to countries outside of your country of residence, including to the United States, which may provide for different data protection rules, and a lower standard of required protection, than in your country. Irrespective of which country your personal data is transferred, we would only share your personal data under a ‘need to know’ basis.  In these circumstances we will, as required by applicable law, ensure that your privacy rights are adequately protected by organizational, technical, contractual and/or other lawful means.

EU Data Subjects

In the European Economic Area and Switzerland (“EU”), “Personal Data” is defined very broadly and includes any information about a natural person, who can be identified, directly or indirectly, from data that we hold about them or from data that is combined with other information. EU data protection law requires us to have a legal basis before processing any Personal Data about you.  The legal basis’ for us processing your Personal Data for the above purposes may be because: (i) you have provided your consent; (ii) it is necessary to for the performance of a contract with you; (iii) the processing is necessary for our compliance with a legal obligation; or (iv) the processing is in our legitimate interests. Personal Data regarding individuals who reside in a member state of the EU is controlled by a wholly owned subsidiary of RNS and processed on its behalf by RNS.  To the extent provided by applicable law, you may withdraw any consent you previously provided to us, or object at any time on legitimate grounds, to the processing of your Personal Data. In some circumstances, withdrawing your consent to RNS’s use or disclosure of your Personal Data will mean that you cannot take advantage of certain RNS products or services.

We may transfer your personal information outside the EU to the United States or any country that we or our service providers may have operations. Such countries do not have the same data protection laws as the EU. While the European Commission has not given a formal decision that such countries provide an adequate level of data protection similar to those which apply in the EU, any transfer of your personal information will be subject to a European Commission approved contract (as permitted under the General Data Protection Regulation) that are designed to help safeguard your privacy rights and give you remedies in the unlikely event of a misuse of your personal information.

To obtain a copy of the such safeguards please contact us.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation you have a number of important rights free of charge. In summary, those include rights to:

  • Fair processing of information and transparency over how we use your use personal information
  • Access to your personal information and to certain other supplementary information that this Policy is already designed to address
  • Require us to correct any mistakes in your information which we hold
  • Require the erasure of personal information concerning you in certain situations
  • Receive the personal information concerning you which you have provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit those data to a third party in certain situations
  • Object at any time to processing of personal information concerning you for direct marketing
  • Object to decisions being taken by automated means which produce legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affect you
  • Object in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal information
  • Otherwise restrict our processing of your personal information in certain circumstances

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:

  • Email, call, or write to us
  • Let us have enough information to identify you
  • Let us have proof of your identity and address
  • Let us know the information to which your request relates

If you would like to unsubscribe from any email newsletter you can also click on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email newsletter. It may take a few days for this to take place.

How to Complain

We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you raise about our use of your information. However, the General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live, or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred.

  1. COMPLIANCE

RNS will use a self-assessment approach to verify compliance with this Privacy Policy and periodically verify that the Privacy Policy is accurate, comprehensive for the information intended to be covered, prominently displayed, implemented and accessible.

If you believe that your personal information has been processed or disclosed in violation of this Privacy Policy, RNS encourages you to raise any concerns using the contact information provided in this Privacy Policy.  RNS will investigate and attempt to resolve any complaints and disputes regarding use and disclosure of personal information.

  1. CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have any concerns or questions about any aspect of this Privacy Policy, please feel free to contact our Privacy Policy Coordinator as follows:

Natalie Feibish
Religion News Service LLC
30 Neff Hall
Columbia, MO 65211 USA
[email protected]

ADVERTISEMENTs