Updated 31st July 2017
Digital privacy is a sensitive and complex subject, so we want to be as clear and open as we can about everything we do and don’t do when you are searching with us. We’ve broken it down below to help you to better understand our system and the values it was built on.
Why we protect your privacy
Personal data has become a key commodity for online businesses in recent years. For many leading social media platforms, search engines and websites, tracking and selling user data is the main way they make profit. They justify this by promising more tailored content and targeted advertising, but this is not a business model that we believe in at WebGiv.
The pitfalls of handing over personal data are becoming more and more well publicized, and it is no surprise that concerns are growing about how intrusive this practice can be. Our mission is to hand the power back to you by not storing your search data, tracking your location or selling any of your information on to any third party EVER.
WebGiv was founded on a principle of privacy, and we put your security at the heart of everything we do. When searching with us, we guarantee that your privacy will always be respected.
How we protect your privacy
When you visit WebGiv, we respect your privacy in a number of ways:
Firstly, we don’t track your IP address when you visit our site. An IP address is a number assigned to each device which is often used to track your activity across the web (and your location!). Because we don’t track this information, you are anonymous to us when you search with WebGiv.
In addition to this, we mask your search queries from the sites that you visit - most search engines pass this data on. This means that when you click on our results, we don’t share your search query with anyone. Whilst the website you visit may know that you came from webgiv.com, they won’t be able to identify you and they wont know what you searched for.
Many companies link your IP address and your search query data together and build up a detailed profile of your interests and spending habits in order to target you with advertising. Some companies have even been accused of offering different prices to consumers based on the profile they have built up on them over time - with WebGiv this becomes a thing of the past.
How we track the money you have raised for charity and retain privacy
WebGiv has partnered with more than 25,000 online retailers, and they pay us commission when we lead people to their products. This can be anything from 1-15% of your purchase when shopping online through our extension service. The money we receive from these purchases is shared with our charity partners. We always guarantee that the majority of all the funds collected are given to the charities!
When you are logged in to WebGiv you can choose to track how much you have personally raised for charity. To do this we add codes to some of the sites we work with (e.g. Staples & eBay) so that we can make the correct donation to our charity partners. However, this information is not tied to you as a user.
When you are not registered (or if you choose not to track how much you have personally raised for charity) the only information that is collected from you is product information and the commission amount that we receive from the retailer. These details are taken so that we can award the correct donation to our charity partners and none of the details can be linked to you personally.
How we protect user privacy when you have an account
If you create an account with WebGiv, we will continue to respect your privacy. We allow you to create an account without giving an email address (if going this route, be sure to read more about this in the registration section) meaning you can select a charity to support, customise your account, create collections and still remain completely anonymous. Remember that if you do this there will be no way for us to help if you forget you password!
If you add your email address when creating your account then the account is linked to you personally. But we never pass email addresses on to third parties under any circumstances, so you are still protected.
By default, we do not activate the “personal raise” total as this requires us to link purchases made through online retailers together in order to provide you with the amount you have contributed towards the cause you support. You can activate this feature in the “support” section of your account and while this will link purchases to your account, we do this through a separate system so your online spending habits are not connected, nor is you personal information stored by WebGiv. We just show the amount raised in order to display your fundraising progress to you.
If you create private collections on your account, then your profile will remain private and these collections will only be visible to other users if you choose to generate a link to the collection and share it with them directly.
If you create public collections, then your user profile will be accessible to those people who discover them. If you wish to create public collections to help others discover great content online but are concerned about privacy - we recommend that you avoid including personal information in your bio and don’t upload a profile picture that is personal to you.
However, if you would like credit for the fantastic content you curate, you can tell the world about who you are and why you share great content, and then upload a selfie! Other users will only be able to find your profile if they stumble across your collection. And the only information they can see is what you choose to share.
In short, we strive to keep your personal data safe. The only way to really ensure your online security is not to store that information in the first place. This is why we do not track any personal data by default. We endeavor to keep your search experience brilliant while respecting your privacy. We will continue to innovate and develop features to provide you with new and exciting online adventures while keeping your data secure. We are at the beginning of a new privacy focused journey and we are excited you are joining us! Any thoughts or feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org