Blackboard Collaborate Instant Messaging Service Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes how we handle personal information which you may provide to us when using our Blackboard Collaborate Instant Messaging products, software, services and website (collectively, the “Service”), and is designed to explain how we collect and use such personal information, to assist you in making informed decisions when using the Service.

What Information Do We Collect? When you use the Service, we collect three types of information: personal information you elect to disclose that is collected on an individual basis, enrollment and role information we collect from your institution, and use information which we collect as you use the Service.

1. Personal Information You Choose to Provide. Blackboard Collaborate provides the Service by which a user, typically a student or instructor, can communicate (including sending and receiving text messages, and voice chat) over the internet with fellow Service users. A Service user will be able to communicate with other students and/or instructors who are involved in the user's courses. When you register to become a member of the Service ("Member"), you will provide us information about yourself as well as your institutional affiliation; for example, your university, high school or college ("Institution"). Personal information that we may collect includes, but is not limited to, a username, your first name, your last name, and your Institution(s). If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses. We may also retain a copy of the content of any materials sent via the Service.

2. Information We Collect From Your Institution(s). When you link your Service account with accounts at your Institution(s), we collect certain information from each Institution. This information includes, but is not limited to, your email address at the Institution, your name as registered at the Institution, a list of courses that your are enrolled in, course numbers or other identification, course names and descriptions, whether you are a student or instructor in each of such courses, and any student or faculty groups or clubs to which you belong. This information is collected by the Institution based on information you provided to it.

3. Service Usage Information. Similar to other commercial services and websites, the Service utilizes a standard technology called "cookies" (see explanation below, "What Are Cookies?") and server logs to collect information about how you use the Service. Information gathered through cookies and server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, the time you spend at the Service website ("Service Website") and the websites you visited just before and just after visiting the Service Website.

4. Information Sent by Service Client Software. Similar to other instant messaging services, when you use the Service, the Service may record information about your usage, such as when and where you use Service, the size of your contact list and the contacts you communicate with, settings, and the usage of features provided by the Service interface. This information, if used, is used to monitor the usage and performance of the Service and planning for future Service updates. Though the Service server processes and routes all communications through our servers, we do not store chat messages, audio or video conversations, or application sharing sessions. The Service Client allows members to optionally record text communications they have with other members. If enabled, these chat logs are stored and accessible on the user’s computer and are not recorded by or stored on our servers.

How Do We Use the Information That You Provide to Us? Broadly speaking, we use your personal information to provide you services, including the Service, to administer, monitor and expand our business activities, to provide customer service, to make other products and services available to our customers and prospective customers, and to maintain the Service. Occasionally, we may also use the information we collect to notify you about important changes to the Service. You may notify us at any time if you do not wish to receive these notices by emailing us at bbcollaborateprivacy@blackboard.com.

 

What Are Cookies? A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit a website, that site's computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies. Each website 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.

 

How Do We Use Information We Collect from Cookies? As you use the Service, the Service Website uses cookies to differentiate you from other users. In some cases, we may also use cookies to prevent you from seeing unnecessary advertisements or requiring you to log in more than is necessary for security. Cookies, in conjunction with our web server's log files, allow us to calculate the aggregate number of people using the Service and which parts of the Service are most popular. This helps us gather feedback in order to constantly improve the Service and better serve our customers.

 

Sharing Information with Third Parties. We are not knowingly sharing your information with any third parties. However, in the event we are involved in an acquisition, merger, dissolution, or sale of our business assets, we may transfer some of your information, including but not limited to your registration information.

 

How Can You Access, Correct, and Protect Your Information? You may access, review, update or change your account information on the Service Website. To protect your security, we may require your username and password when you log-in to access your account. It is your responsibility to keep your username and password secure and to share only such information with those persons authorized to act on your behalf. In addition, you may request access to all of your personally identifiable information that we collect online and maintain in our database by emailing bbcollaborateprivacy@blackboard.com. Any personal information that you provide in your communications with others through the Service, including on discussion boards or forums, in text or voice messages, in chat areas, within your public profile page, etc., becomes publicly available and can be collected and used by others, who may forward these communications to other websites or people, making it available to the general public.

 

Certain Disclosures. We may disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or subpoena or if we believe that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the law or comply with legal process served on us or affiliated parties; (b) protect and defend our rights and property, the Service, and/or the users and Member(s) of the Service; or (c) act under circumstances to protect the safety of anyone.

 

What About Other Websites Linked to Our Website? We are not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from the Service Website, nor the information or content contained in other websites. Often links to other websites are provided solely as pointers to information on topics that may be useful to the users of our Website. Please remember that when you use a link to go from the Service Website to another website, our Privacy Policy is no longer in effect. Your browsing and interaction on any other website, including websites that have a link on the Service Website, is subject to that website's own rules and policies. Please read over those rules and policies before proceeding.

 

Security. We consider your personal information to be an important asset and take appropriate measures to protect it from unauthorized access and disclosure. The Service client encrypts all text information for secure communications. The transmission of text messages, sign-in information, and invitations to participate in chats or media are encrypted. Additional media features provided by the service, such as Audio, Video, and AppShare (application sharing) are not encrypted. However, no amount of protective measures will ensure absolute security, and you acknowledge that third parties may unlawfully intercept or access your personal information and private communications, and you agree that you do not expect that your personally identifiable information or private communications will always remain private.

 

Our Commitment To Children's Privacy. Protecting the privacy of young children is especially important. For that reason, we do not knowingly collect or maintain information from persons under 13 years of age, and no part of the Service is directed to persons under 13. If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use or access the Services at any time or in any manner.

 

Your Consent. By using the Service you consent to our collection and use of your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy. If we change our privacy policies and procedures, we will post those changes here to keep you aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we may disclose it. In addition, we may send an email to your email address (if it has not been removed from your account and profile) or post a notice on the Service Website notifying you of any changes. You acknowledge and agree that we may update and change our Privacy Policy at any time and that such changes will be effective once posted here or on the Service Website. You agree to check regularly for any updates or changes to this Privacy Policy.

If you have questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, please email us at bbcollaborateprivacy@blackboard.com.