HOW WE COLLECT INFORMATION ON YOU
In the course of providing you access to the Network, as well as Products and Services, Stack Overflow collects and receives personal information in a few ways. Often, you can choose what information to provide, but sometimes we require personal information from you to carry out certain activities such as account verification. This section details the ways in which we collect information from you and how that information is received.
Although the Network provides for anonymous and pseudonymous participation, in some instances in order to use certain Products or Services, we require account registration. This requires a name associated with your account, an email address at which we can contact you, and in some cases, additional information including, a contact address, a billing address, and a password to help secure your personal information.
When completing a public “profile” be it for use of the Network or our Products and Services, we may require you to share certain personally identifying information or sensitive information in required and optional profile fields. The name associated with your account, which you may review and change in your account settings, as well as reputation points are publicly displayed and connected to your activity on the Stack Overflow Network and via certain Products and Services such as our Talent and Teams platforms.
Information Collected Automatically
Stack Overflow receives and records information from your browser or mobile device when you visit the Network or use the Apps, such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address or unique device identifier. Cookies and data about which pages you visit on our Network allow us to operate and optimize the Products and Services we provide to you. This information is stored in secure logs and is collected automatically. We may combine this browser information with other information we collect about you. This information is used to keep the Products and Services secure, analyze and understand how our Products and Services are used, optimize such usage, provide advertising across the Network as well as certain Products and Services to personalize your experience, and to help connect you with potential job opportunities in the case of our recruiting Products and Services.
When you use the Stack Overflow Network, and certain of our Products and Services, we collect location information about you including your IP address, your location, browser information, and how you came to the Stack Overflow Network. This is the case for individuals who have registered for an account, and non-members who engage with the Stack Overflow Network by visiting our website(s) but who have not completed an account registration. This information is collected for various purposes, including advertising, analytics and to serve content as it relates to certain Products or Services (e.g., Talent), as well as to provide you with localized content, recommendations, and marketing. You may revoke our permission to collect some of this data, including your location and browser information through your Account Settings, but this may limit functionality in some cases. Certain location information we collect is required for security and site functionality. We share this information with certain third-parties (e.g., talent recruiters, payment processors, and advertising providers) in order to provide you with our Products and Services.
Information Shared with Third Parties
Advertising and Marketing Partners
When you register for an account, and when you interact with Stack Overflow, we and authorized third parties place cookies on you and your account activity as described in more detail within our Cookies Policy. We use this information to serve you certain advertising content. Similarly, we market our Products and Services to you and communicate important information and product opportunities to you. If you do not wish to receive direct marketing communications from us, you can tell us and remove yourself from our marketing communications via the unsubscribe and opt out options in our email communications and your Account Settings. If you do not wish to receive advertising promotions, you may restrict such activities in your Account Settings, but you should know that by doing so, you may reduce some functionality and you may not have access to certain features within our Products and Services (e.g., job recommendations on our Talent platform). For more information on how to control your account settings or to opt out of direct marketing campaigns, please visit your Email Settings.
Stack Overflow uses data analytics to ensure site functionality and to optimize our Product and Service offerings to you. We use web browser and mobile analytics to allow us to understand Network and Apps functionality. In doing so, we record information including, for example how often you visit the Network, how often you contribute content, Network and Apps performance data, errors and debugging information, and the type of activity you engage in while on the Network or in your use of our Products and Services. We may on occasion share this information with third parties for research or product and services optimization.
For Products and Services requiring payment, we collect a billing name, phone number, and email address. We also collect a billing and shipping address for invoicing purposes. If you elect to pay by credit card, Stack Overflow may engage a third party to securely process your payment. All payment processing is done through a PCI DSS compliant third party. If customers are paying by a credit card, their card details are vaulted through a third party payment gateway. Stack Overflow will store an encrypted token along with the last four digits of the credit card and the expiration month and year of the card and will not store or retain any other billing information about you.
WHAT INFORMATION WE COLLECT ON YOU
This section describes in further detail the information we collect on you and how we use that information broken down by our Products and Services offerings.
Public Network (Questions and Answers Content)
The Public Question and Answer Network (“public Network”) allows individual users to engage in a community to share their knowledge and expertise, and to acquire knowledge and expertise. It is community-moderated, and the content in the public Network is . . . public. To provide an optimal community experience, and to ensure Network security, we collect certain personal information.
We collect information such as your username, password, email address, IP address (collected at each site visit). This information is also used to identify individual users to the public Network and to award activities and attribute them to you. Your username and additional content you provide including your profile picture, question and answer content, and your reputation are visible publicly. Other limited information is visible to moderators, who have elevated access privileges, and may access content including your posts. For more information about moderators and their role in the Stack Overflow Network, please visit: /help/site-moderators. In addition, when you choose to use certain features such as our chat or support features, we collect a record of your communications with us and other third parties that are accessible to chat participants and certain authorized third parties. Other account information and usage information including your IP address and browser data may be used for diagnosis, security and Product and Service optimization.
Please be aware that when using the Public Question and Answer Network, you cannot revoke permission for Stack Overflow to publish and to allow others to have derivative rights to such public content once it is made public. The content you contribute on the public network is public, in perpetuity, and Stack Overflow loses direct control over such content when it is published on the open internet. This also means that if you post personal information about yourself, you do so at your own risk, including the risk of abandoning any privacy rights you had in such information.
Additionally, from time to time, Stack Overflow makes such public content available via compilation via the Creative Commons Data Dump and by providing public content to the Stack Overflow Network, you should be aware that such content, once public, cannot often be removed from public view even if it is removed from the Stack Overflow network and our servers.
Talent and Jobs
The Stack Overflow Talent platform allows for companies looking to hire and those seeking job opportunities to connect with each other and to engage in new employment opportunities. To optimize the recruitment experience, and to connect job seekers with jobs, we collect certain personal information on you the account holder (or account unregistered job seeker), and on the company and its authorized recruiters.
Whether you are a recruiter seeking to hire on our Talent platform, or a registered account holder using our Jobs platform while seeking employment opportunities, we collect certain account registration information on you. For job seekers on the Jobs platform, we collect your name, location, email and resume (where applicable) along with certain optional information including your phone number and a cover letter (where applicable). For company authorized users using our Talent Platform to recruit developers, we collect certain account registration information on you including your name, email, and affiliated company. For job seekers who chose to participate in our Jobs platform your public profile can be observed and collected by those looking to hire you. For company authorized users your profiles are visible to authorized users of the company account and your contact details are visible to job seekers via direct messaging on the Talent platform. The information we collect on you as a job seeker is also used by Stack Overflow to customize job recommendations. You may additionally opt-in to specific features that rely on personal information. For example, you may elect to provide personal information in your Developer Story which collects certain CV-like information and achievements including employment history which may be used for recruiting purposes.
Stack Overflow partners with third parties to display advertisements on our public Network and within our Talent Platform. These partnerships provide third parties access to the developer community to promote themselves or services and to provide you with visibility into companies and third parties seeking to recruit you for employment opportunities, and for other purposes. In providing this opportunity, Stack Overflow and its third party partners may collect and use your personal information to tailor your advertising experience to suit your interests, skills, as well as to monitor your account activity in order to optimize our Products and Services.
We seek to limit what information advertisers and similar third parties have access to, as well as to ensure that your user experience on the public and private Stack Overflow network is not overwhelmed by advertising initiatives. However, our advertising products and services require us to collect certain personal and non-personal information on you, which includes:
- Data from advertising technologies like cookies, web beacons, pixels, ad tags, and browser/device identifiers
- Information you have provided to us directly including profile information, your Developer Story, and in limited instances your job history
- Usage analytics including your visits to the Network, browsing and search history
- Information from our advertising partners (e.g., device type and location)
Stack Overflow for Teams
Stack Overflow for Teams allows you to share private content via authorized closed communities. When creating or joining a Team, we collect account registration information on you the Entity and you the individual. On behalf of the Entity, we collect Company or Entity name, Team Representative name, the names of authorized users, and you may elect to provide a Company or Team logo, trademark, or photo for account association purposes. As a participant in Stack Overflow for Teams, we require you to create an individual account on our public Network and we associate this account registration with your Team for account security purposes and to verify your identity. Account registration information as well as company or team affiliation information is displayed to authorized users of your Team.
In addition to account registration and company or team affiliation information, Stack Overflow collects certain application metadata for the purposes of maintaining and enhancing the Stack Overflow for Team product and related services we provide. This metadata is only made available to Stack Overflow authorized personnel and in some cases authorized third parties under a duty of confidentiality.
Any content you provide in the course of your use of the Stack Overflow for Teams product is shared privately with authorized users of your Team, and may include private questions and answers, votes, source code, and other sensitive data. Our collection of such content is solely to provide the Products and Services, and is provided pursuant to our private Network Terms. Stack Overflow personnel may not access such content except to the extent as may be required in response to a support request with your explicit permission, or when required for security or maintenance of the product or services. In such cases, Stack Overflow personnel will only access the minimum content necessary to resolve the issue and in accordance with the private Network Terms.
Our Enterprise level platform is a privately hosted Question and Answer forum for large corporate clientele. The collection of personal data is limited to account registration information and usage analytics for product optimization. For additional information regarding the collection and processing of your Enterprise offering, please contact your account representative.
As the world’s largest developer community, Stack Overflow annually publishes a Developer Survey to provide key insights into the developer community, including demographic and certain personal information. Your participation in the Developer Survey as well as any other Stack Overflow survey is entirely voluntary. In order to provide meaningful insights into the developer community, Stack Overflow may collect sensitive data about you, including, but not limited to your gender, race, sexual orientation, immigration status, and your location. We consider this data to be among our most sensitive, and have taken elevated measures to protect such data as well as to de-identify your name and other personal information from such data. We restrict such data within Stack Overflow on a privileged basis to only those that need to see it and while we may share your personal information with certain third parties such as researchers, we do so only after imposing contractual obligations of confidentiality on such third parties and only where absolutely necessary for limited research purposes.
When we publish the Developer Survey, it is published as a compilation of anonymized data, which means that we take every effort to ensure that your information is understood in a statistical narrative decoupled from your personal identity.
If you have any questions concerning the Developer Survey and our security measures to protect your sensitive personal data, please contact us at: privacy (at) stackoverflow (dot) com.
YOUR CHOICE AND CONTROL OF THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT ON YOU
Privacy is a guiding principle of all Stack Overflow Products and Services and we value your privacy. To this end, we provide you with the ability to control how your information is stored, and what information is collected. You may change or correct your account settings, and choose not to share certain information by creating a pseudonymous account. Additionally, much of the data we collect is voluntary and your choice entirely to provide us or not. You may also remove certain optional information that you no longer wish to be publicly displayed, such as your photo, or job history. In the event Stack Overflow decides to provide additional opt-out or opt-in mechanisms under the Privacy Shield Framework, the mechanisms will be clear, conspicuous, and readily available for you to exercise your choice. And of course, should you wish, you may also request the permanent deletion of your account, in which case all personal information collected on you will be removed from our servers and encrypted (except, in some cases your IP address required for security purposes, site maintenance, and spam protection).
We also provide you additional data control options, created by the GDPR, but provided to the Stack Overflow community regardless of geographic location with respect to your information, including data access and portability (including the right to obtain and download a copy of the personal data you provided to Stack Overflow), data correction (the ability to update the personal data we collect and display on you, in many cases via your account settings), data deletion (where Stack Overflow will delete personal information stored on you, which we are not required by necessity to maintain), and the ability to have us stop processing your personal data (with certain exceptions as may be necessary). For more information on these choices you have over how we collect and store your personal data please visit our GDPR page. Please also be aware that in order to provide some of these data choices to you, we may need to first verify your identity. We will make reasonable efforts to verify your identity, however if we are unable to do so, we reserve the right to refuse such a request in keeping with data privacy and information security principles.
You may additionally control the receipt of certain marketing and advertising communications from Stack Overflow. Some messages that we send are required, and related to our legal obligations, or service related and mandatory. Other messages, like marketing and advertising communications are provided by us to let you know how you can continue to share, learn, and build your knowledge within the Stack Overflow community, and are voluntary. We provide you with the opportunity to control which voluntary messages you would like to receive in your Email Settings.
DATA PROCESSING DISCLOSURES
When you access the Stack Overflow Network and use the Products and Services we offer, we collect, display, store, share, transmit, and process your information in the manner described in this policy. In order to carry out these activities, Stack Overflow may rely on a number of legal bases in order to process your personal data, including where:
- necessary to perform the contractual obligations in our Terms of Service and in order to provide the Products and Services to you
- necessary for a third party’s, or our, legitimate interests
- necessary to comply with a legal obligation or to defend legal claims
- necessary to protect the public interest or vital interest of others
- you have expressly made information public
- you have consented to the processing, which may be revoked at any time
Where we process your information on the basis of legitimate interests, we do so in order to:
Secure your Personal Data and Information
All records containing personal or financial information are considered to be proprietary and are afforded confidential treatment at all times. Stack Overflow is committed to the safety and security of your personal data and the information that you share with us and with the public. We treat your personal safety and safety from harassment as top organizational priorities. At Stack Overflow we consider it necessary to pursue these legitimate interests in order to keep our community, you and your information safe from spam, harassment, intellectual property infringement, identity theft, and the scraping and unlawful collection of your information.
Provide and Optimize Products and Services
We use your information to provide and improve our Products and Services, for identification verification, to provide support, for online and offline marketing including through third party tools such as Google Analytics, and for general research and analytics reporting. In doing so, we may learn which of our Products and Services you are using most, what you’re interested in, and to better enable you to use and access our Products and Services. As a core part of our business, Stack Overflow has a legitimate interest in enabling and customizing your experience of our Product and Services offerings.
Engage in Commercial Transactions
As part of providing our core Products and Services, Stack Overflow may charge you for the use of some Products and Services, or certain features within these Products and Services. In order to process your payment, and to secure your financial information, we may facilitate the sharing of your information with third parties. We share your information only with third parties who have met strict security standards and consider the secure processing of your financial information to be a strict and legitimate business necessity.
Comply with Regulatory and Legal Obligations
Stack Overflow has a legitimate interest in complying with certain legal obligations and interests which, from time to time, may require the disclosure of your personal information. Stack Overflow will not disclose your personal information to legal authorities except where such disclosure is by lawful request, including to meet legitimate national security or law enforcement demands (including a subpoena, court order, or other lawful legal demand by a legal authority with lawful jurisdiction). In some cases, we may also release your personal information to defend our legitimate legal interests. We consider our obligation to protect the Stack Overflow community from imminent physical harm to be both a legitimate business interest as well as to be within the public interest and may disclose your personal information if we believe you or another individual may be in imminent danger of harm to yourself or to another.
Marketing and Product Communications
From time to time, Stack Overflow may communicate with you about commercial and other Product and Services offerings. In doing so, we provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of such messages at any time you choose via your account settings. Stack Overflow will not sell your personal information to enhance our marketing opportunities or profitability (except as may relate to a corporate event such as a sale or merger), and as we are committed to preventing spam, our direct marketing efforts are limited in scope and frequency. We engage in such activities as a legitimate business interest in order to promote key Products and Service offerings and provide you with every opportunity to unsubscribe from such communications or to further limit their scope and frequency. In short, while we want to communicate some key commercial communications with you and have determined it to be a legitimate interest for us to be able to do so, you have the final say in whether or not you would like to receive such commercial communications from us. You can review or change your permissions in your Email Settings.
Core Business Operations
Stack Overflow may engage with third parties in business transactions including the buying and selling of assets, the auditing of our business practices and financials, and to engage in business development opportunities. These core activities may involve the processing and/or disclosure of some limited personal information which may be necessary and within our legitimate interests to develop the Stack Overflow brand and business. If we transfer any personal information in pursuing such a business transaction, we will always ensure that strict confidentiality measures are in place to protect your privacy interests.
Stack Overflow is a global community and as such, you may access the Stack Overflow Network from most anywhere in the world, and are subject to the local laws of your jurisdiction. By accessing the Stack Overflow Network and engaging with our Products and Services, you acknowledge that your personal data may be collected and transferred from your local jurisdiction (including member states to the European Union) to the United States.
Where Stack Overflow transfers your personal data from your local jurisdiction (including member states to the European Union) we rely on certain lawful transfer mechanisms to do so, including the following lawful bases for such transfers:
Standard Contractual Clauses
The European Commission has adopted standard contractual clauses (also referred to as model clauses), which provide safeguards to protect the transfer of personal information outside of the European Union. We may use these standard contractual clauses when transferring personal information outside of the European Union. You may review and request a copy of such standard contractual clauses as used by Stack Overflow by contacting us at legal (at) stackoverflow (dot) com.
OUR ONGOING COMMITMENT TO DATA SECURITY
Security is important to us and we know it is important to you. Stack Overflow follows generally accepted standards to protect your personal information when processing, transferring, and storing your personal information including Transport Layer Security (“TLS”), by restricting your personal data when we do not need to access it and by keeping your personal data only as necessary to perform our legitimate business interests.
As the data subject, you too have an important role to play in helping us protect your personal information. We encourage you to protect yourself against unauthorized access to your personal information by choosing a password carefully and in accordance with industry best standards. Do not share your password with anyone you do not trust, and make sure your computer accesses Stack Overflow via a secure network and that you do not leave your personal information vulnerable to hackers and other bad actors by leaving your computer unattended or by failing to logout of your account when you have ended your session activity.
DIRECT MARKETING OPT-OUT
You may opt-out of receiving Stack Overflow email marketing materials by using the unsubscribe link in these communications or by changing your Email Settings.
General Contact Information
- Privacy Officer, 110 William Street, Floor 28, New York, NY 10038, privacy (at) stackoverflow (dot) com, phone: 212-232-8280
- Privacy Trust, Communications House, 26 York Street, London, W1U 6PZ
- Privacy Officer, Bentima House, 168-172 Old Street, London EC1V 9BP, privacy (at) stackoverflow (dot) com, phone: +44 (0) 20 3349 1000