This site is designed to help users (primarily children ages 8-15) with social, developmental, and emotional issues that concern them.
In the format of a fun and humorous “talking dog,” its mission is to help kids and their parents steer through the rocky shoals of these difficult years (as well as any adults who care to visit the site). It covers issues as light as movies and video games, and as heavy as bullying, drugs, early sexuality, and divorce. All in the persona of a friendly dog, “the only family member who truly sees and hears everything going on.” Ideally, children’s material would be read in conjunction with you, the parent, to elicit open conversation and growth through what can be a very difficult time.
The site is overseen by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, Douglas Green, MA, MFT. However, it is a website for education and entertainment, and should not be considered psychotherapy in any sense.
While it is our wish to print as much user content as possible, all letters and comments will be read before posting, in order to vet out any obscenities or inappropriate subject matter. We appreciate any feedback in cases where you feel we have been remiss in this.
We intend to collect the following specific personal information from anyone who applies to join the “Pack”: their email address, account name (Pack Member Name), and password. While a person could go into the internal workings of the website and find a place to give more personal information (first and last name, Website, AIM, Yahoo IM, Jabber/Google Talk ID, and biographical information), we will delete this information whenever we find it. We also refuse to accept Pack Memberships using their real names; we delete their membership and notify them of this, requesting that they rejoin with a “Pack Name” to hide their identities.
Some of the information we do accept may be disclosed to other Pack Members or made available to the general public who visits our Website, but it won’t be sold to third-parties or sponsors. Generally speaking, we seek to use your child’s Pack Member Name in place of their real name or email address in order to help to preserve their anonymity and allow them to discuss sensitive issues freely.
Often issues will come up within a family that a parent wishes to discuss with some privacy. If you have such an issue, please feel free to write us, and we will respond directly to you, and not for public view. Please do understand, however, that responses may take a few days or more.
PS: Oh and here’s some legal stuff if you want to read it:
AskShirelle (AskShirelle.com) is exclusively owned and operated by Ask Shirelle, LLC, whose manager is Douglas Green, MA, MFT, 12304 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 327, Los Angeles CA 90025. Telephone: (818) 624-6367. Email: [email protected]. Copyright 2010.
1. THE TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT
Additionally, when visitors come to our site, we may passively collect certain non-personally identifiable computer information, such as the type of computer operating system (e.g., Windows XP or Mac OS), the user’s IP Address, the Web browser (e.g., Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Safari) being used, and information regarding the Internet service provider. We may link this information to PII that we have collected. If we do so, we will treat such linked information as PII.
2. HOW WE USE, DISCLOSE, AND STORE THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT
A visitor who registers and provides us with PII becomes a “Pack Member.” AskShirelle.com uses PII in order to send periodic newsletter, and updates to Pack Members, to respond to Pack Members’ requests for general information, and to be able to communicate with Pack Members either via the Website or by private email when requested to address a particular topic. AskShirelle.com also reserves the right, from time-to-time, to market products or services to Pack Members, to request the submission of artwork, stories and creative compositions, to hold contests, and to make some or all of the information that is submitted to us available to the public via AskShirelle.com, or via a separate chat-room, or via one or more print publications, e.g., in book form, which may be sold or disseminated to the general public.
In addition to the purposes described above, we may actively collect and use PII to track usage and to ensure Pack Members are following our Website’s Terms of Service as may be promulgated from time to time. In addition, we may use PII to ban a user temporarily or permanently from the AskShirelle.com if that user engages in conduct that is deemed by AskShirelle.com to be inappropriate or offensive.
We also may use information in the aggregate to analyze site usage, as well as to offer products, programs, or services. We may disclose information where we are required to do so by law, for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena, or where we disclose information to service providers or other group companies who provide support for the operations of our website and who do not use or disclose the information for any other purpose.
To the extent permitted by applicable law, we also may disclose PII in response to a law enforcement agency or other public agency’s (including schools or children services) request or if we feel that such disclosure may prevent the instigation of a crime, facilitate an investigation related to public safety or protect the safety of a child using our website, protect the security or integrity of our website, or enable us to take precautions against liability. If we sell all or part of our business or make a sale or transfer of our assets or are otherwise involved in a merger or business transfer, we may transfer PII to a third party as part of that transaction, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Finally, we may transfer PII and store it outside of the jurisdiction in which a member of AskShirelle.com is located.
3. COLLECTION OF INFORMATION FOR THIRD-PARTY SITES AND SPONSORS
Other than for PII that is made available by Pack Members, which is understood by AskShirelle.com to be intended to dissemination to other Pack Members or to display to the general public via the Website, AskShirelle.com does not intentionally disclose, provide or sell PII or date from our Pack Members to third-party sites, or sponsors, with the potential exception of those so-called “safe harbors” with whom AskShirelle.com has contracted to render age verification, and other appropriate assistance necessary or desirable to bring AskShirelle.com into compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) as amended.
4. DESCRIPTION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
AskShirelle.com has put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online. AskShirelle.com does not require a child to disclose more information than is reasonably necessary to allow them to participate in our activities. Parents and legal guardians are entitled to review their child’s PII, to direct us to delete it, and to refuse to allow any further collection or use of the child’s information. Thus, we acknowledge our obligation to provide the email addresses and user names provided by our Pack Members to their parents to enable them to review their child’s PII. While we do not presently disclose, provide or or sell PII or data from our Pack Members to third-party sites or sponsors, a parent has the right to specify that their child’s PII shall not be disclosed to such third parties in the future unless it is part of our overall service.
In the future, we may use software technologies such as unique identifiers or “cookies.” Cookies are small text files that we place in visitors’ computer browsers to store their preferences. Cookies themselves do not contain any PII. Where we link these unique identifiers with your other PII, we will treat the unique identifiers as PII as long as they are linked. We do use unique identifiers to learn about usage of our site, such as geographic location, how many visitors we have and how often they visit various sections of our site.
6. EFFECTIVE DATE