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Privacy Policy

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I. Introduction

Your privacy on the Internet is of the utmost importance to us. Because we gather certain types of information about the users of the World Bank's sites and services, we want to ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information. This privacy statement discloses what information we gather and how we use it. This privacy policy applies to all World Bank sites - that is all sites within the "worldbank.org" domain name.

II. What Information Does the World Bank Collect?

Personal information
If you register for an email newsletter, buy a book, post to a blog or join a discussion group, you may be asked for information that helps to identify you, such as your name, email address, and organization. The information you are asked to provide is used for technical and customer administration of the site only and is not shared with third parties.

If you have ordered a publication or made other purchases online, the Bank uses a contractual fulfillment vendor to process and ship orders, and a credit card processing service to bill users. These companies do not retain, share, store or use identification information for any secondary purposes. These parties are not allowed to use such information except for the purpose of providing these services.

Non-personally identifiable information
The World Bank has contracted with a third-party vendor to track and analyze information about the usage of World Bank sites. None of this information can be used to identify individual site visitors. All data collected by the vendor, Omniture, is owned and used by the World Bank. Omniture has a Products and Services Privacy Statement page where they declare “All such information is and will remain customer property, and will be treated by Omniture as proprietary and confidential information of each customer, respectively. As such, and subject to the remainder of this paragraph, Omniture will not disclose such information to any third party, unless specifically and rightfully instructed or directed to do so by the customer, or unless it is transferred among our Subsidiaries solely for the purposes of processing such instructions or directions. Omniture will not review, share, disclose, distribute, print, or reference any such information except as requested or directed by the customer or as may be required by law.”

Only summaries of visitors’ behavior are produced. Examples of this type of information include statistics on most popular and least popular pages. The information collected cannot be traced back to a particular individual.

The purpose of this data collection is so that the World Bank can better understand the preferences of its visitors and improve its site and services. This information is never connected with any personal information you supply to us if you register on our website.

Use of cookies and web beacons 
When you register for one of our services, the World Bank sets a cookie, a small bit of code stored on your computer's hard drive that enables you to manage your subscriptions and online profile. By setting this cookie, the World Bank will remember you the next time you visit and won't have to bother you by asking questions you have already answered (like address information). Additionally, Omniture, the vendor we use for the analysis of the non-personally identifiable usage, uses cookies and web beacons (also known as clear GIFs) to track behavior and sets cookies on behalf of the World Bank.

You are always free to decline our cookies, and Omniture’s cookies, if your browser permits, although in that case you may not be able to use certain features on the site and may be required to re-enter information more frequently to use certain services on the website.

IP Addresses
In addition, the World Bank also records your IP address, which is the Internet address of your computer, and information such as your browser type and operating system. This information helps us learn about the geographical distribution of our website visitors and the technology they use to access our site.

Children's privacy
The World Bank operates Youthink!, a website that provides information on global issues that matter to today's youth.

To participate in the discussion forums, users are required to disclose their name and email address. This information is not used for commercial purposes, is not shared with third parties and is only used for site administration. Parents have the right to request removal of any personal information provided by their children. To remove information about their children from Bank systems, parents can send an email to the feedback@worldbank.org with the full name and age of the child, where the child is registered, and a statement that the sender is the child's parent or legal guardian.

III. What If I Don't Want to Share My Information?

Registering on our site is optional. If you choose not to register or provide personal information, you can still use the World Bank's web site. However, you will not be able to purchase items or receive email newsletters.

If you register for a newsletter, post to a blog, or contribute to a forum, consultation, or conference the Bank will not share, sell, distribute or rent your information to anyone. On an occasional basis, and with your specific authorization, the Bank may share your mailing address information if you enter into a transaction on our Publications. Your information will only be shared if you indicate that you would like to receive information from UN agencies, multilateral banks or international organizations. Your e-mail address will never be shared with any outside party for marketing purposes and will be kept strictly confidential.

IV. Security

The World Bank Group employs a range of technologies to protect the information maintained on our systems from loss, misuse, unauthorized access or disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

V. How to Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns about the World Bank Privacy Policy, please contact us.

VI. Notification of Changes

If there are any changes to this privacy policy, we will post them on our home page at: www.worldbank.org and in our Publications check-out so that you are completely aware of how the changes will affect you.

Glossary

Cookie: A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a website's computers and stored on your computer's hard drive. Each web site can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser's preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. Once the user has closed the browser the cookie will no longer be accessed during that session.

Demographic Information: This may include your gender, age, postal code, interests, and other information you provide to us voluntarily. We use this information to provide you with personalized services and to analyze trends to ensure the information provided by the sites meets your needs. For example, we could offer personalized News or reminders about upcoming events if you tell us which programs and topics you're interested in.

IP Address: When your web browser or email application requests a web page or email from another computer on the Internet, it automatically gives that computer the address where it should send the information. This is called your computer's "IP address." (IP stands for "Internet protocol.") For many users accessing the Internet from a dial-up Internet service provider (ISP), the IP address will be different every time you log on. The World Bank does this to learn about the geographical make-up of its web site traffic.

Web Beacons: Also known as "clear gifs," "web bugs" or "pixel tags," these are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to allow us to count users who have visited certain pages and to help determine the effectiveness of promotional or advertising campaigns. When used in HTML-formatted email messages, web beacons can tell the sender whether and when the email has been opened. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user's computer hard drive, web beacons are embedded invisibly on Web pages.

Updated: August 2009




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