Merriam-Webster Developer Center

Privacy Policy

Updated May 2018

We've made some changes to our Privacy Policy. These changes reflect the new rules set by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Please know, our data collection practices have not changed, just the way we describe them to you. In this updated Privacy Policy, we have tried to make it easier for you to update your communication preferences, and reorganized it so it's simpler to read and understand.

Your use of our Services is governed by our Terms of Use. OUR TERMS OF USE CONTAIN DISCLAIMERS OF WARRANTIES AND LIABILITY, A BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER. THESE PROVISIONS AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS ABOUT HOW TO RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE WITH MERRIAM-WEBSTER, INCLUDING UNDER THIS PRIVACY POLICY. PLEASE REVIEW. YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES IS ACCEPTANCE OF THIS PRIVACY POLICY AND OUR TERMS OF USE

Table of Contents

Introduction

Your privacy is important to us. We understand that you are aware of and care about your own personal privacy interests, and we take that seriously. This Privacy Policy describes Merriam-Webster’s policies and practices regarding its collection and use of your personal data through our subscription-based websites, paid-for mobile application services and any software provided on or in connection with Merriam-Webster services (the Services), and sets forth your privacy rights.

For our EU users and visitors, we actively have been working towards compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and plan to further update our cookie notices and implement consent management tools for users located in the EU as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have concerns, please contact our data protection officer at dpo@m-w.com.

We recognize that information privacy is an ongoing responsibility, and so we will from time to time update this Privacy Policy as we undertake new personal data practices or adopt new privacy policies.

EU Representative and Data Protection Officer

Merriam-Webster is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts USA. Merriam-Webster has appointed an EU representative and data protection officer for you to contact if you have any questions or concerns about Merriam-Websterr’s personal data policies or practices.

Our EU representative’s name and contact information are:

Perry Pearcey
Merriam-Webster EU Representative
Unity Wharf, 13 Mill Street
London SE1 2BH UNITED KINGDOM
GDPR-EURep@m-w.com

Our data protection officer’s name and contact information are:

M.G. Kim
Merriam-Webster Data Protection Officer
325 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 200
Chicago, IL USA 60654
dpo@m-w.com

Information that You Provide to Us

Merriam-Webster protects the identity of visitors to the Services by limiting the collection of personally identifiable information. Personal information provided by you to us will not be posted or published by us, and will be shared with third parties only as provided herein. You can enjoy many of our Services and their special features without giving us your personal information.

Subscriptions

When you subscribe to a Service, we collect information about you that may include (but not be limited to) your name, e-mail address, city, state and age. We may also collect a personal mailing address and a mobile phone number. Subscribers may edit their information at any time to change, add or remove certain personal information. We process your personal information to administer and manage your subscription, deliver subscriber benefits to you, inform you of prizes and other benefits or opportunities associated with your subscription and respond to your information requests. We may also use this information for legitimate business purposes that help us analyze the demographic of our subscribers and understand our users’ needs and interests to better tailor our products and services to meet user needs and deliver additional services to our users.

Promotions, Word of the Day and other special features

For certain promotions and to access certain features, such as to receive a Word of the Day subscription or save your words, we collect information voluntarily submitted by you to us to deliver the requested feature that may include (but not be limited to) your name, e-mail address, city, state and age. You may edit this information at any time to change, add or remove it from our Services. We process your personal information to deliver the requested feature to you and to inform you of other benefits or opportunities associated with our Services. We may also use this information for legitimate business purposes that help us understand our users’ needs and interests to better tailor our products and services to meet your needs. To provide you with the Word of the Day subscription, we use a third party provider, DRH Internet, Inc. (DRH). For additional information about DRH and to view the DRH privacy policy, please see ‘E-newsletters’ below.

E-newsletters

You may wish to register for or subscribe to a Merriam-Webster e-newsletter without becoming a Merriam-Webster subscriber. To receive these newsletters by email, you must provide us with your email address. We use a third party provider, DRH Internet, Inc. (DRH), to deliver our e-newsletters (and Word of the Day). We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our e-newsletters (and Word of the Day). For more information, please see DRH's privacy notice. Except for DRH, we do not share your voluntarily provided email address with any third party.

You may manage your Merriam-Webster e-newsletter subscriptions by subscribing or unsubscribing at any time. Please note that if you have set your browser to block cookies, this may have an impact on your ability to unsubscribe. If you have any difficulties managing your email or other communication preferences with Merriam-Webster, please contact us at privacy@m-w.com.

Communications from us and our approved, third-party partners

If you choose to provide us with personal information, you also may receive the following types of e-mails from us:

  • E-mails related to subscription-maintenance activities;
  • E-mails highlighting new features, content, and usage tips for the Services; and
  • Special offers
    • From us for additional Merriam-Webster and Encyclopædia Britannica (Merriam-Webster's parent company) products and services, and
    • From our approved, third-party partners, if you "opt-in" or give us your permission to send them. 

When you provide us with your personal information, you can let us know that you do not wish to receive special offers from Merriam-Webster or its third-party partners. Also, each special offer will have information available to allow you to "opt out" if you no longer wish to receive special offers.

Surveys

We may occasionally conduct on-line surveys. All surveys are voluntary and you may decline to participate.

Purposes for processing personal data provided directly by you

As explained above, Merriam-Webster processes your data to provide you with the products and services you have requested or purchased from us, including special features, subscriptions, e-newsletters and other content. Sometimes we use third-party providers to facilitate the delivery of the services described above, and these third-party providers may be supplied with or have access to your personal information for the sole purpose of providing services to you on our behalf, such as Word of the Day.

We also use your data for legitimate business purposes that enable us to refine our products and services to better tailor them to your needs and communicate with you about other products and services offered by Merriam-Webster. In addition, we may disclose your personal information in special legal circumstances. For instance, such information may be used where it is necessary to protect our copyright or intellectual property rights, or if the law requires us to do so.

You can update your personal information and change your marketing preferences at any time by sending an email to privacy@m-w.com.

Payment card information

You may choose to purchase goods or services from Merriam-Webster using a payment card. Typically, payment card information is provided directly by users, via the Service, into the PCI/DSS-compliant payment processing service to which the Merriam-Webster subscribes, and Merriam-Webster does not, itself, process or store your card information.

Information Collected Automatically-Cookie Notice & Opt-Out

Like other commercial websites, Merriam-Webster and our authorized partners use cookies (small files transferred from a website to its visitors’ hard drives or browsers for record-keeping purposes), including essential, functional and analytical cookies, and other similar information gathering technologies throughout our Services to collect certain information automatically and store it in log files for a variety of legitimate business interests and purposes. This information may include (but is not limited to) internet protocol (IP) addresses, mobile device identifiers, the region or general location where your computer or device is accessing the internet, browser type, operating system and other usage information about your use of our Services, including a history of the pages you view.

Web beacons, tags and scripts may be used on our Services or in email or other electronic communications we send to you. These assist us in delivering cookies, counting visits to our Websites, understanding usage and campaign effectiveness and determining whether an email has been opened and acted upon. We may receive reports based on the use of these technologies by our third-party service providers on an individual and aggregated basis.

Merriam-Webster and its authorized partners use cookies, beacons and other similar technologies on our Services for legitimate business interests that enable us to allow you to navigate our websites, use our Services and access secure areas of our Services. We also use these technologies for statistical purposes and to analyze and improve the use of our Services and prepare aggregated usage reports.

We may also use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our website, analyze trends, track visitor movements, and gather broad demographic information that assists us in identifying visitor preferences.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Services. For more information about cookies, please visit http://www.allaboutcookies.org/.

Analytics & usage data

For our legitimate business interests, we may process your personal information for analytic purposes on all of our Services as described in this section.

Together with Google Analytics, we use cookies and software logs to monitor the use of the Services and to gather non-personal informational about visitors to the site. These monitoring systems allow us to track general information about our visitors, such as the type of browsers (for example, Firefox or Internet Explorer), the operating systems (for instance, Windows or Macintosh), or the Internet providers (for instance, Comcast) they use. This information is used for statistical and market research purposes to tailor content to usage patterns and to provide services requested by our customers.

We also have implemented Google Analytics Demographics and Interest reporting, which is a Google Analytics Advertiser feature. This tool uses cookies to collect and store standard Internet log and visitor information on our behalf, including information about what pages you visit, how long you are on our sites, how you got here, and what you click on during your visit. This Google Analytics data is not tied to personal information, so this information cannot be used to identify who you are. We use the data provided by Google Analytics Demographics and Interest reports to develop our services and content around our User demographics, interests, and behavior on our Services. You can opt out of this Google Analytics Advertiser feature using the Ads Settings located at https://www.google.com/settings/ads. In addition, you can use the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-on to disable tracking by Google Analytics. To delete these cookies, please see your browser's privacy settings or follow the above instructions.

We also use Heap, Inc. to collect and analyze data about how you interact with our Services. Heap does this by collecting data on what our users are doing, including (but not limited to) what webpage you visit, what you click on, where you are located and what browser you are using. Please see Heap’s privacy policy for more information.

We may also receive other data about your use of our Services from other sources. This information may include (but is not limited to) information about your activities across unrelated websites and mobile applications, information about the possible relationships between different browsers and devices and information that we receive from our third party service providers. We may add this information to the information to the information we have already collect through our Services.

Anonymous data

Anonymous aggregated data may be provided to other companies we do business with for statistical purposes. For example, we may report to advertisers that a certain percentage of our site's visitors are adults between the ages of 25 and 35.

Device identifiers

For our legitimate business interests, we process your device identifiers as described in this section.

When you use a mobile device like a tablet or cell phone to access our Services, we may access and monitor one or more "device identifiers." Device identifiers are small data files associated with your mobile device that uniquely identify your mobile device. A device identifier may deliver information to us or a third party partner about how you browse and use the Services. Some features of the services may not function properly if use or availability of device identifiers is impaired or disabled.

Children’s Privacy

Merriam-Webster does not knowingly collect or solicit personally identifiable information from or about children under 13, except as permitted by law. If we discover we have received any information from a child under 13 in violation of this policy, we will delete that information immediately. If you believe Merriam-Webster has any information from or about anyone under 13, please e-mail us at privacy@m-w.com

Security of Your Information

Any personally identifiable information collected through this site is stored on limited-access servers. We will maintain safeguards to protect these servers and the information they store. In addition, to help protect the privacy of data and personally identifiable information you transmit through use of our Services, we maintain physical, technical and administrative safeguards. We update and test our security technology on an ongoing basis. We strive to restrict access to your personal data to those employees who need to know that information to provide benefits or services to you. In addition, we strive to all our employees about the importance of confidentiality and maintaining the privacy and security of your information.

Data Storage and Retention

Your personal data is stored by us on our servers located in the United States. We retain your information for the duration of your business relationship with us and as long as necessary to permit us to use it for the legitimate business purposes that we have communicated to you and comply with applicable law or regulations. For more information on where and how long your personal data is stored, and for more information on your rights of erasure and portability, please contact the Merriam-Webster’s data protection officer at dpo@m-w.com.

Links to Third-Party Websites

The Services may contain links to other websites. Merriam-Webster is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of these third-party websites. We urge all users of our Services to follow safe Internet practices: Do not supply personal information to these websites unless you have verified their security and privacy policies.

Consent to Processing and Transfer of Information about You

Merriam-Webster’s headquarters are in the United States. Information we collect from you will be processed in the United States and may be stored, transferred to, and processed in any country where we have facilities or in which we engage service providers. These countries may be outside your country of residence, including the United States, and may have different data protection laws than your country.

If you are located in the European Economic Area (EEA), Merriam-Webster collects and transfers personal data out of the EEA only: with your consent; to perform a contract with you; or to fulfill a compelling legitimate interest of Merriam-Webster in a manner that does not outweigh your rights and freedoms. Merriam-Webster endeavors to apply suitable safeguards to protect the privacy and security of your personal data and to use it only consistent with your relationship with us and the practices described in this Privacy Policy.

Your California Privacy Rights

If you are a California resident, you are entitled to prevent sharing of your personal information with third parties for their own marketing purposes through a cost-free means. If you send a request to the address above, Merriam-Webster will provide you with a California Customer Choice Notice that you may use to opt-out of such information sharing. To receive this notice, submit a written request to privacy@m-w.com, specifying that you seek your "California Customer Choice Notice." Please allow at least thirty (30) days for a response.

EU Data Subject Rights

The EU GDPR and other countries’ privacy laws provide certain rights for data subjects. A good explanation of them (in English) is available on the website of the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you wish to confirm that Merriam-Webster is processing your personal data, or to have access to the personal data Merriam-Webster may have about you, please contact us at dpo@m-w.com.

Copyright

All of the content on the Services is copyrighted by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 47 Federal Street, P.O. Box 281, Springfield, MA 01102, or its licensors, and it cannot be redistributed or used for commercial purposes. More detailed information about Merriam-Webster's copyrights and trademarks is available on our Copyright Notice page.

Business Transfers

As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy subsidiaries, or business units. In such transactions, customer information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Policy (unless, of course, the customer consents otherwise). Also, in the unlikely event that Merriam-Webster, or substantially all of its assets are acquired, customer information will be one of the transferred assets, and will remain subject to our Privacy Policy.

Acceptance of Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions

By using this site, you signify your agreement to the terms and conditions of this Merriam-Webster Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to these terms, please do not use this site. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of this policy at any time. All amended terms automatically take effect 30 days after they are initially posted on the site. Please check this page periodically for any modifications. Your continued use of any of the Services following the posting of any changes to these terms shall mean that you have accepted those changes.

Questions, Comments or Complaints

If you have questions about Merriam-Webster or its products, visit our Contact Us page to find e-mail addresses and other contact information for the appropriate department. To correct, update, or remove personally identifiable information, please email us at dpo@m-w.com. If you have any questions or concerns, please send an e-mail to privacy@m-w.com or at dpo@m-w.com.