Third party sites that SoWal.com links to are governed by their own privacy policies. We are not responsible for the content or the privacy policies of those websites or other websites to which they link.
What information do we gather about you?
The information we gather falls into two categories: 1) personal information you voluntarily supply when you subscribe, order, complete a survey, register for an online discussion, enter a contest or provide your e-mail address and 2) tracking information collected as you navigate through our sites.
Personally Identifiable Information
Registration for our Web site
Anyone can view the Site, but a free registration process is required to access the full range of information and services we offer.
SoWal.com requires that you supply a unique e-mail address and demographic information (zip code, age, sex, household income to register. By using SoWal.com, you are agreeing to the terms of our Member Agreement).
Contests, Sweepstakes and Special Offers
On occasion, SoWal.com collects personal information from readers in connection with optional sweepstakes, contests or special offers. If this information is to be shared with a third party other than SoWal.com, we will notify you at the time of collection. If you do not want any personal information shared, you may always decline to participate in the sweepstakes, contest or special offer.
Reader Surveys, Reader Panels and Market Research
SoWal.com may collect personal information from readers in connection with voluntary surveys. Data may be collected on our Web sites, on the phone or through the mail. The information you provide in answer to optional survey questions may be shared, but only in the aggregate, with advertisers and partners unless we notify you otherwise at the time of collection.
Mobile Messaging Service
We may elect to offer certain text messaging services (the “SMS Service”). We use the information collected from your interaction with the SMS Service solely for the purposes of improving the SMS Service. The information will not be provided, sold, licensed, rented, assigned or disclosed, except as required by law. We will not use your phone number to initiate a call or SMS text message to you without your express prior consent. Your wireless carrier and other service providers also collect data about your SMS Service usage: their practices are governed by their own privacy policies.
Aggregate Information Collected Through Technology
Cookies and Other Technologies
As is standard practice on many Web sites, SoWal.com uses “cookies” and other technologies to recognize you and provide personalization, as well as to help us understand which parts of our Web sites are the most popular, where our visitors are going and how much time they spend there. Users who do not accept cookies from the domain "SoWal.com" cannot access most areas of our sites.
We reserve the right to place a SoWal.com Company cookie on your computer with a unique anonymous number to ensure that your browser does not see the same ad over and over again, to sequence ads in a series and to measure the number of unique visitors that have viewed a particular ad or visited a particular Web page.
Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)
Advertisers on SoWal.com may elect to use third party advertising companies to serve ads on our Web site, and in these instances may use a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs/action tags/pixel tags) to better manage advertising on our site. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies. Clear gifs may ping or alert the advertiser's server about the online movements of Web users. For instance, advertisers may place a clear gif allowing them to recognize an existing cookie on your browser if from the same service. The main difference between cookies and clear gifs is that clear gifs are invisible on the page and are much smaller, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Please keep in mind, we do not have access to any information collected by these clear gifs nor additional information they may be tied to by the advertiser.
SoWal.com logs IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, or the location of your computer on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. We use the IP address log in an aggregate fashion to track access to our site.
Log data is only used in aggregate to analyze usage of our Web.
What do we do with the information we gather about you?
SoWal.com may perform statistical, demographic and marketing analyses of subscribers, and their subscribing and purchasing patterns, for product development purposes and to generally inform advertisers about the nature of our subscriber base. We also use such information to allow advertising to be targeted, in aggregate, to the users for whom such advertising is most pertinent.
Products and Service Message from SoWal.com
From time to time, we may provide subscribers with information and offers about other products and services offered by SoWal.com, including subscriptions and other premium products and services. This information will only be shared internally. If you do not wish to receive such information and offers, you may opt-out. To opt-out of offers by mail please go here.
We may use behavioral, demographic and preference information to allow advertising on our Web site to be targeted, in aggregate, to the users for whom they are most pertinent. This means users see advertising that is most likely to interest them, and advertisers send their messages to people who are most likely to be receptive, improving both the viewer's experience and the effectiveness of the ads. We will disclose information to third parties only in aggregate form.
User Generated Content (Message Boards, Forums, Reader Reviews and Chats)
We offer message boards for readers in a number of areas throughout our Web sites. The message boards are currently hosted and managed by Grouppee, a third party vendor. Any information you disclose when posting to a message board, along with your message board screen name or ID, becomes public and may be used by SoWal.com for online and offline promotional or commercial uses in any and all media. Chats are also currently hosted by Grouppee, and any posting to a chat becomes public as soon as they are published online. For more information, see the Terms of Service.
If you choose to receive them, SoWal.com will periodically send you e-mail newsletters or promotional e-mail about services offered by SoWal.com and its advertisers.
What is our e-mail policy?
SoWal.com complies fully with the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. We will not share, sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address without your permission. If you feel you have received an e-mail from us in error, please contact
Account and Service-Related E-mail:
We offer e-mail newsletters. If you no longer wish to receive a specific newsletter, follow the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each newsletter.
If you chose to receive them during the registration process, we may periodically e-mail you messages about products and services that we think may be of interest to you. You can choose not to receive messages in the future by either (1) following the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each e-mail, or (2) you can opt-out.
From time to time, SoWal.com may obtain e-mail addresses from third party sources to be used for promotional e-mails. You can choose not to receive messages in the future by either (1) following the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each e-mail, or (2) you can opt-out.
If you have not opted out, we may send you an e-mail inviting you to participate in user surveys, asking for feedback on SoWal.com and existing or prospective products and services, as well as information to better understand our users. User surveys greatly help us to improve our Web site, and any information we obtain in such surveys will not be shared with third parties, except in aggregate form.
E-mails From You:
If you send us e-mails, you should be aware that information disclosed in e-mails may not be secure or encrypted and thus may be available to others. We suggest that you exercise caution when deciding to disclose any personal or confidential information in e-mails. We will use your e-mail address to respond directly to your questions or comments.
E-mail This Article Feature:
SoWal.com readers may use this feature to send links to articles to others through e-mail. The e-mail address(es) that you supply to this service will only be used to send the requested article.
With whom do we share the information that we gather?
SoWal.com will not sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address or any information that personally identifies you without your permission. We do, however, share information about our audience in aggregate form.
We contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf, including credit-card and billing processing, shipping, e-mail distribution, list processing and analytics or promotions management. We provide these companies only with the information they need to perform their services. These service providers are restricted from using this data in any way other than to provide services for SoWal.com, and they may not share or resell this data.
We reserve the right to disclose your opt-out information to third parties so they can suppress your name from future solicitations, in accordance with applicable laws. We may occasionally release personal information as required by law, for example, to comply with a court order or subpoena. (For more information, see the “Compliance with legal process” section of this policy.)
How do I change or update my personal information?
Manage your SoWal.com account at Member Center: You may review and update your SoWal.com membership or account information and access your transaction history in the Member Center.
There are a number of things you can do in the Member Center to ensure your personal information is accurate and up to date. For one, you can update the information you provided during the free registration process, sign up for our e-mail newsletters and manage your home and email newsletter delivery options. To gain access to the areas of the Member Center containing personal information, you will be asked to enter your password. If you do not remember your password, you can reset your password. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Service at or
How do I opt-out from receiving promtional offers?
Follow the unsubscribe options at the bottom of the e-mail.
Is my information protected?
To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the appropriate use of information, we have put in place physical, electronic and managerial procedures to protect the information we collect online.
Other Information: Compliance with Legal Process
We may disclose personal information if we are required to do so by law or we in good faith believe that such action is necessary to (1) comply with the law or with legal process; (2) protect and defend our rights and property; (3) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our Web sites; or (4) protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public (among other things, this means that if you provide false information or attempt to pose as someone else, information about you may be disclosed as part of any investigation into your actions).
Other Information: Children's Guidelines
In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), SoWal.com does not knowingly collect or store any personal information, even in aggregate, about children under the age of 13.
Other Information: Changes to This Policy