Privacy Policy

At Vertical Slice Games, our mission is to synthesize information about video games and aggregate critic reviews in order to help you find games to love. We believe you should do so without worrying about your personal privacy, and we are committed to respecting and protecting that privacy. To that end, we want you to understand how we handle your data, and we also want you to know your rights and choices.

Last Updated: October 2020

Overview

Vertical Slice Games (“VSG”, “we” or “us”) has prepared this privacy notice (“Privacy Notice”, “Notice”, “Privacy Policy” or “Policy”) to explain to you how we collect, use, and share information and Personal Data (as defined under applicable law) we obtain through your use of the Internet sites, applications and online services (“Services”) that are operated by, controlled by or affiliated with Vertical Slice Games and any of its subsidiaries, affiliates, brands and entities that it controls, like:

  • Our websites, like verticalslicegames.com
  • Our email newsletters, like Early Access
  • Our pages or ads on social media networks, like our Facebook and Instagram pages
  • Anywhere we gather information from you and refer to you in this Privacy Policy

By using or accessing the Services, or providing personal information to us on or through the Services, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the policies and procedures described in this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy, please contact us using the contact page or at [email protected].

1. What kind of information do we collect?

VSG endeavors to gather minimal information about you and, when we do, we seek to anonymize that data wherever possible (e.g., all of our users’ IP addresses are anonymized in Google Analytics). The precise amount and nature of the information gathered depends on the context. Generally, this information can personally identify you – either on its own or when combined with other information.

The legal bases for VSG’s processing of personal data are primarily that the processing is necessary for providing the Service in accordance with VSG’s Terms of Service and that the processing is carried out in VSG’s legitimate interests, which are further explained in the section “How do we use the information we collect?” Depending on which Service you use, we collect different kinds of information from you and about you.

1.1 Information that you voluntarily provide

When you use the Service, as a User or as a Visitor, you may provide, and we may collect Personal Data. Examples of Personal Data include name, email address, mailing address, mobile phone number, and credit or other billing information. Personal Data also includes other information, such as geographic area or preferences, when any such information is linked to information that identifies a specific individual. You may provide us with Personal Data in various ways on the Service – for example:

  • For Registration. When you sign up for a Service (e.g., an Account), we collect Personal Data such as your contact information and account credentials. If you register for an event, meetup, or conference, we might ask for additional information (e.g., your company name, your job title, etc.).
  • For Newsletters. When you sign up for a VSG newsletter, you give us your name, email and any other required information. We collect this information through our email service provider, Mailchimp, which we use to manage email marketing subscriber lists and to send emails to users who subscribe to receive them. You can review the Mailchimp privacy policy for information on how they manage user data.
  • For Contests, Sweepstakes and Special Offers. When you sign up for these, you give us your name, email and any other required information. Contest, sweepstakes, and special offers may have additional terms related to Personal Data, which we strongly advise you review.
  • For Surveys, Research, Panels and Experience Programs. We gather Personal Data through the use of questionnaires, surveys and feedback programs. We ask for your consent to use this information when you participate in these programs and events.
  • During Contact with Us by Email. We collect Personal Data when you communicate with us or request information from us by email or other means.

1.2 Information that is automatically collected

When a User or Visitor uses the Service, we use automatic data collection technologies – including cookies, “clear gifs”, and “web beacons” – to collect and store certain information about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns when you interact with this Site through your computer or mobile device. This information is gathered from all Users and Visitors.

The items we log include:

  • Your anonymized IP address
  • Your geographic location
  • Your operating system
  • Your browser
  • Your browser language
  • The URLs of any pages you visit
  • Device identifiers
  • Other usage information

We combine this data with other information we collect about you. For more information about tracking methods on the Services, and how to manage them, read our Cookie Policy.

If your browser doesn’t accept our cookies, some of the Services may not function (e.g., your account on verticalslicegames.com). Because the “Do Not Track” browser-based standard signal has yet to gain widespread acceptance, we don’t currently respond to those signals.

1.3 Information from other sources

We may obtain information, including Personal Data, from third parties and sources other than the Service, such as our partners and Integrated Services. If we combine or associate information from other sources with Personal Data that we collect through the Service, we will treat the combined information as Personal Data in accordance with this Policy.

We may collect data from:

  • Social Media Platforms. We receive information from you when you interact with our pages, groups, accounts or posts on social media platforms. This includes aggregated data on our followers (e.g., age, gender and location), engagement data (e.g., “likes,” comments, shares, reposts and clicks), awareness data (e.g., number of impressions and reach) and individual users’ public profiles. Social media platforms include, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
  • Integrated Services. You may be given the option to access or register for the Service through the use of your user name and passwords for certain services provided by third parties (each, an “Integrated Service”), such as through the use of your Google account, or otherwise have the option to authorize an Integrated Service to provide Personal Data or other information to us. By authorizing us to connect with an Integrated Service, you authorize us to collect, store and use any information they may give us (e.g., your email address). You should check your privacy settings on each Integrated service to understand what information that Integrated Service makes available to us, and make changes as appropriate. Please review each Integrated Service’s terms of use and privacy policies carefully before using their services and connecting to our Service.
  • Other Services. We may obtain information, including Personal Data, from third parties and sources other than the Service, such as our partners and Integrated Services. If we combine or associate information from other sources with Personal Data that we collect through the Service, we will treat the combined information as Personal Data in accordance with this Policy.

A note about future updates: We are always improving our products and services, and we create new features regularly. These updated sometimes require us to collect new information, or use what we already have differently. If there is a significant or material change in the way we handle your personal information, we will notify you as detailed below.

2. How do we use the information we collect?

We are passionate about creating engaging and customized experiences for people. We use all of the information we have to help us provide and support our Services and operate our business. Here’s how:

2.1 Operations. We use the information to operate, maintain, enhance and provide all features of the Service, to provide the services and information that you request, to respond to comments and questions and to provide support to Users of the Service.

2.2 Improvements. We use the information to understand and analyze the usage trends and preferences of our Visitors and Users, to improve the Service, to conduct surveys and market research, to conduct audits and troubleshooting activities, and to develop new products, services, features, and functionality.

2.3 Communications. We may use a Visitor’s or User’s email address or other information to contact that Visitor or User (i) for administrative purposes such as customer service, to address intellectual property infringement, right of privacy violations or defamation issues related to Personal Data posted on the Service, (ii) with updates on promotions and events, relating to products and services offered by us, or (iii) to provide you with a VSG newsletter (see Section 2.5 below). You have the ability to opt-out of receiving any promotional, marketing, or newsletter communications as described below under “Your Choices.”

2.4 Cookies and Tracking Technologies. We use automatically collected information and other information collected on the Service through cookies and similar technologies to: (i) personalize our Service, such as remembering a User’s or Visitor’s information so that the User or Visitor will not have to re-enter it during a visit or on subsequent visits; (ii) provide customized content and information; (iii) monitor and analyze the effectiveness of Service and third-party marketing activities; (iv) monitor aggregate site usage metrics such as total number of visitors and pages viewed; and (v) track your entries, submissions, and status in any promotions or other activities on the Service. You can obtain more information about our Cookies Policy at https://verticalslicegames.com/policies/cookies-policy/. You can obtain more information about cookies generally by visiting http://www.allaboutcookies.org/.

2.5 Email Newsletters. When you sign up for a Vertical Slice Games newsletter – for example, Early Access – we use the information to send and customize that newsletter.

2.6 Analytics. We use Google Analytics to measure and evaluate access to and traffic on the Site, and create user navigation reports for our Site administrators. We take measures to protect the technical information collected by our use of Google Analytics. We use Google’s IP Anonymization feature, which anonymizes IP addresses before storage and processing begins. In addition, the data collected will only be used on a need to know basis to resolve technical issues, administer the Site and identify visitor preferences; but in this case, the data will be in a non-identifiable form. We do not use any of this information to identify Visitors or Users. Google operates independently from us and has its own privacy policy, which we strongly suggest your review. Google may use the information collected through Google Analytics to evaluate Users’ and Visitors activity on our Site. For more information, see Google Analytics Privacy and Data Sharing.

2.7 Safety and Security. We work hard to protect your use of this Site. We use the information to help verify accounts and activity, and to promote safety and security on and off our Services, such as by investigating suspicious activity or violations of our terms or policies.

3. How is this information shared?

Except as described in this Privacy Policy, we will not intentionally disclose the Personal Data that we collect or store on the Service to third parties without the consent of the applicable Visitor or User. We may disclose information to third parties if you consent to us doing so, as well as in the following circumstances:

3.1 Unrestricted Information. Any information that you voluntarily disclose in a Public Area of the Service – such as when you review or comment on a game or post – will be available to any Visitor or User who has access to that content. Other Visitor’s or User’s may use our Services to share content about you. If you have concerns with someone’s post or comment about you, contact us so we can investigate the issue.

3.2 Service Providers. We work with third party service providers who provide website, application development, hosting, maintenance, and other services for us. These third parties may have access to, or process Personal Data as part of providing those services for us. We limit the information provided to these service providers to that which is reasonably necessary for them to perform their functions.

3.3 Non Personally Identifiable Information. We may make certain automatically-collected, aggregated, or otherwise non-personally identifiable information available to third parties for various purposes, including (i) compliance with various reporting obligations; (ii) for business or marketing purposes; or (iii) to assist such parties in understanding our Clients’, Users’ and Visitors’ interests, habits, and usage patterns for certain programs, content, services, and/or functionality available through the Service.

3.4 Law Enforcement, Legal Process and Compliance. We may disclose Personal Data or other information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with applicable laws, in response to a facially valid court order, judicial or other government subpoena or warrant, or to otherwise cooperate with law enforcement or other governmental agencies. We also reserve the right to disclose Personal Data or other information that we believe, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to (i) take precautions against liability, (ii) protect ourselves or others from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful users or activity, (iii) investigate and defend ourselves against any third-party claims or allegations, (iv) protect the security or integrity of the Service and any facilities or equipment used to make the Service available, or (v) protect our property or other legal rights, enforce our contracts, or protect the rights, property, or safety of others.

3.5 Change of Ownership. Information about Users and Visitors, including Personal Data, may be disclosed and otherwise transferred to an acquirer, successor or assignee as part of any merger, acquisition, debt financing, sale of assets, or similar transaction, as well as in the event of an insolvency, bankruptcy, or receivership in which information is transferred to one or more third parties as one of our business assets and only if the recipient of the User or Visitor Data commits to a Privacy Policy that has terms substantially consistent with this Privacy Policy.

4. Your Choices

4.1 Access, Correction, Deletion. We respect your privacy rights and provide you with reasonable access to the Personal Data that you may have provided through your use of the Services. If you wish to access or amend any Personal Data we hold about you, or to request that we delete or transfer any information about you that we have obtained from and Integrated Service, you may contact us as set forth in the “How to Contact Us” section. At your request, we will have any reference to you deleted or blocked in our database. You may decline to share Personal Data with us, in which case we may not be able to provide to you some of the features and functionality of the Service. At any time, you may object to the processing of your Personal Data, on legitimate grounds, except if otherwise permitted by applicable law. If you believe your right to privacy granted by applicable data protection laws has been infringed upon, you may contact us as set forth in the “How to Contact Us” section. You also have a right to lodge a complaint with data protection authorities.

4.2 Navigation Information. You may opt out from the collection of navigation information about your visit to the Site by Google Analytics by using the Google Analytics Opt-out feature.

4.3 Opting out from Commercial Communications. If you receive commercial emails from us, you may unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions contained within the email or by sending an email to the address provided in the “How to Contact Us” section. Please be aware that if you opt0out of receiving commercial email from us or otherwise modify the nature or frequency of promotional communications you receive from us, it may take up to ten (10) business days for us to process your request. Additionally, even after you opt-out from receiving commercial messages from us, you will continue to receive administrative messages from us regarding the Service.

5. Third-Party Services

The Service may contain features or links to web sites and services provided by third parties. Any information you provide or third-party sites or services is provided directly to the operators of such services and is subject to those operators’ policies, if any, governing privacy and security, even if accessed through the Service. We are not responsible for the content or privacy and security practices and policies of third-party sites or services to which links or access are provided through the Service. We encourage you to learn about third parties’ privacy and security policies before providing them with information.

6. Privacy Shield

VSG complies with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information transferred from the European Union to the United States. If there is any conflict between the terms in this privacy policy and the Privacy Shield Principles, the Privacy Shield Principles shall govern. To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/.

In compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles, VSG commits to resolve complaints about our collection or use of your personal information. EU individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding our Privacy Shield policy should first contact us.

In any matters relating to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, VSG is subject to the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Under certain conditions, more fully described on the Privacy Shield website, you may invoke binding arbitration when other dispute resolution procedures have been exhausted.

VSG shall comply with the Privacy Shield Principles for all onward transfers of personal data from the EU, including the onward transfer liability provisions.

7. Your California Privacy Rights

This California Privacy Notice is for California residents and supplements this Privacy Policy. It also explains how to exercise your rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”).

We will not share any Personal Data with third-parties for their direct marketing purposes to the extent prohibited by California law. If our practices change, we will do so in accordance with applicable laws and will notify you in advance. Under the CCPA, you have the following rights:

  • Right to Know. You have the right to request that we disclose to you the Personal Information we collect, use, or disclose, and information about our data practices;
  • Right to Request Deletion. You have the right to request that we delete your Personal Information that we have collected from you;
  • Right to Non-Discrimination. We will not discriminate against you for exercising any of these rights.

To exercise your “right to know” or “right to request deletion”, please contact us as indicated in the “How to Contact Us” section.

8. Interest Based Advertising

Interest based advertising is the collection of data from different sources and across different platforms in order to predict an individual’s preferences or interest and to deliver to that individual, or his/her computer, smart phone or tablet, advertising based on his/her assumed preference or interest inferred from the collection of data pertaining to that individual or others who may have a similar profile or similar interests.

We work with advertising networks, which collect information about a person’s interest when that person views or interacts with one of their advertisements. In collaboration with these networks, we collect information about our customers, prospects and other individuals over time and across different platforms when they use these platforms or interact with them. Individuals may submit information directly by interacting with us, our advertisements, or emails they receive from us or from third parties. We may use special tools that are commonly used for this purpose, such as cookies, beacons, pixels, tags, mobile advertising IDs, flash cookies, and similar technologies.

The information we or third party collect enables us to learn what purchases the person made, what ads or content the person sees, on which ads or links the person clicks, and other actions that the person takes on our Sites, or in response to our emails, or when visiting or using third parties’ platforms.

We, or the third parties with which we work, use the information collected as described above to understand the various activities and behaviors of our customers, Site visitors and others. We, or these third parties, do this for many reasons, including: to recognize new or past visitors to our Sites; to present more personalized content; to provide more useful and relevant ads – for example, if we know what ads you are shown we can try not to show you the same ones repeatedly; to identify visitors across devices, sales channels, third party websites and Sites, or to display or send personalized or targeted ads and other custom content that is more focused on a person’s perceived interest in products or services similar to those that we offer.

Visitors may opt out of receiving interest based advertising by advertising networks that may be delivered to them on our platform and other websites by visiting the following websites: About Ads; and Network Advertising. These features will opt a Visitor out of many – but not all – of the interest-based advertising activities in which we or third parties engage.

9. Do Not Track Policy

California law requires that operators of websites and online services disclose how they respond to a Do Not Track signal. Some browsers have incorporated “Do Not Track” features. Most of these features, when turned on, send a signal or preference to the website or online service that a user visits, indicating that the user does not wish to be tracked. Because there is not yet a common understanding of how to interpret Do Not Track signals, we do not currently respond to Do Not Track signal. We continue to work with the online industry to define a common understanding of how to treat Do Not Track signals.

In the meantime, you may opt out of receiving interest based advertising from advertising networks that may be delivered on our platform and other websites by visiting the following websites. If you want to opt out of this online behavioral advertising, visit the following sites: About Ads; and Network Advertising.

This will opt you out of many – but not all – of the interest-based advertising activities in which we or third parties engage. Choices you make may be browser and device specific. If you delete your cookies or use a different browser or a different computer or device, you may need to update your opt-out choices. Other third-party Sites provide visitors with the ability to opt-out of receiving interest-based ads on their Sites that you need to control through your settings on that Site. For example, to opt out of Google’s use of your online behavior for advertising purposes, visit Google’s Ad Settings page.

10. Third-Party Cookies

California law requires that operators of websites and online services disclose whether other third parties may collect personally identifiable information about an individual’s online activities from their site or service. We allow third parties with which we have a separate agreement to use cookies and other technologies to collect information about your use of the Site. These third parties include (1) business partners, which collect information when you view or interact with one of their advertisements on the Site; and (2) advertising networks, which collect information about your interests when you view or interact with one of their advertisements.

The information gathered by these third parties is used to make predictions about your interests or preferences so that they can display advertisements or promotional material on this Site and on other sites across the Internet tailored to your apparent interests.

The business partners and advertising networks that serve interest-based advertisements on the Services have limited access to a small amount of information about your profile and your device, which is necessary to serve you advertisements that are tailored to your apparent interests. It is possible that they may reuse this small amount of information on other sites or services.

We do not share with these third parties any information that would readily identify you (e.g., email address); however, these third parties may have access to information about your device (e.g., IP address). We do not have access to, or control over, the technologies that these third parties may use to collect information about your interests, and the information practices of these third parties are not covered by this Privacy Policy. Other than as discussed in this document, we have no control over these third parties.

10.1 The Following Types of Cookies Are Used in the Site

Strictly Necessary/Essential Cookies – These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies services you have asked for cannot be provided. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor.

Performance Cookies – These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works.

Functionality Cookies – These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customize. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymized and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.

Behaviorally Targeted Advertising Cookies – These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organizations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organization.

10.2 The Following Cookies Are Used in the Site

Cookie Identification

[Insert Cookie Information here]

11. Minors and Children’s Privacy Statement

Protecting the privacy of young children is especially important. Our Service is not directed to children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect Personal Data from children under the age of 13 without obtaining parental consent. If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use or access the Service at any time or in any manner. If we learn that Personal Data has been collected on the Service from persons under 13 years of age and without verifiable parental consent, then we will take the appropriate steps to delete this information. If you are a parent or guardian and discover that your child under 13 years of age has obtained an Account on the Service, then you may alert us via our contact page and request that we delete that child’s Personal Data from our systems.

The Service is not intended to be used by minors. To the extent that a minor has posted such content on the Service, the minor has the right to have this content deleted or removed using the deletion or removal options detailed in this Privacy Policy. If you have any question regarding this topic, please contact us as indicated in the “How to Contact Us” section. Please be aware that, although we offer this deletion capability, the removal of content may not ensure complete or comprehensive removal of that content or information.

12. Data Security

VSG follows generally accepted industry standards to protect the information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. We maintain appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect Personal Data against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss, unauthorized alteration, unauthorized disclosure or access, misuse, or any other unlawful form of processing of the Personal Data in our possession. This includes, for example, firewalls, password protection and other access and authentication controls. We also use SSL technology to encrypt data during transmission through public Internet.

However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. We cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or store on the Service, and you do so at your own risk. We also cannot guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards. If you believe you Personal Data has been compromised, please contact us as set forth in the “How to Contact Us” section.

If we learn of a security systems breach, we will inform you and the authorities of the occurrence of hte breach in accordance with applicable law.

13. Data Retention

We retain Personal Data collected from Users for as long as the User’s account is active, or in order to fulfill the purposes for which we initially collected it, unless otherwise required by law. We will retain and use information as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements as follows: the contents of closed accounts are deleted within 3 months of date of account closure; backups of data are retained for 3 months; billing information is retained for a period of 7 years.

14. Data Transfer

We may transfer, process and store Personal Data we collect through the Services in centralized databases and with service providers located in the United States. The U.S. may not have the same data protection framework as the country from which you may be using the Services. When we transfer Personal Data to the U.S., we will protect it as described in this Privacy Policy.

U.S. law governing data collection may differ from other countries. If you choose to use the Service from outside the U.S., please note that you may be transferring your Personal Data outside of those regions to the U.S. for storage and processing by our service providers. VSG will comply with GDPR requirements providing adequate protection for the transfer of personal information from Europe to the U.S. Also, we may transfer your data to the U.S., the EEA, or other countries or regions deemed by the European Commission to provide adequate protection of personal data in connection with storage and processing of data, fulfilling your requests, and operating the Service.

15. Data Controller and Data Processor

EU data protection law makes a distinction between organizations that process Personal Data for their own purposes (known as “Data Controllers”) and organizations that process Personal Data on behalf of other organizations (known as “Data Processors”). VSG acts as a Data Controller with respect to your Personal Data consistent with the terms of this Privacy Policy. VSG does not act as a Data Processor with respect to your Personal Data.

16. Changes and Updates to this Policy

Please revisit this page periodically to stay aware of any changes to this Privacy Policy, which we may update from time to time. If we modify this Privacy Policy, we will make it available through the Service, and indicate the date of the latest revision, and we will comply with relevant and applicable law.

Your continued use of the Service after the revised Privacy Policy has become effective indicates that you have read, understood and agreed to the current version of the Privacy Policy.

17. How to Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, your Personal Data, our use and disclosure practices, or your consent choices by email at [email protected].

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