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Stack Exchange, Inc. Privacy Policy

Updated 24 September 2021

ABOUT STACK OVERFLOW

The Stack Overflow Network (also referred to herein as “Stack Overflow” or “Network”) is a set of related Internet sites and other applications for asynchronous collaboration and sharing knowledge, owned and operated by Stack Exchange, Inc. (“Stack Overflow”, “we” or “us”), a Delaware corporation.

Stack Overflow welcomes you to the Network, the largest community of developers and technologists in the world, and invites you to participate in the community by sharing knowledge with your peers and colleagues.

WE DO NOT AND WILL NOT SELL YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION.

  1. INTRODUCTION TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY
  2. GENERAL PRIVACY NOTICE FOR STACK EXCHANGE, INC.
  3. WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?
  4. HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
  5. WHO DO WE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL DATA WITH?
  6. HOW LONG DO WE RETAIN YOUR PERSONAL DATA?
  7. YOUR RIGHTS
  8. INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS
  9. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR CALIFORNIA CONSUMERS
  10. CONTACT US

INTRODUCTION TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Stack Overflow’s products, services and websites can be accessed by users across various locations including in jurisdictions which have specific privacy requirements.

This privacy policy and our related Privacy Notices (see below) describe how we collect, use, protect, share and transfer information about you that we collect when you use any of our products and services, our websites, or apps or otherwise interact with us or with our Network (Services). It also includes information about how we handle information on California residents under the CCPA.

“Personal data” in this policy, includes “personal information,” as it is defined under the CCPA.

Personal data is any information about you by which you can be identified or be identifiable (either on its own or when combined with other information). This can include information such as: your name, email address and username; information about your device (e.g., IP address); and information relating to how you use and interact with our sites, apps and services.

We have set out below an overview of how our privacy notices work. Depending on how you interact with us, we will collect and process your personal information as shown below.

GENERAL PRIVACY NOTICE FOR STACK EXCHANGE, INC.

This Privacy Notice is applicable to you, including when you participate in our Public Community Platform for Questions and Answers by interacting with us through Stack Overflow’s Public Network (“Public Network”), or when you otherwise interact with us, e.g., when you purchase or use our Advertising or Teams or Collectives or other products (“Products”) or when you contact our Customer Service, Sales or other teams for assistance or inquiries (“Services”).

The 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 and therefore visible for anyone to see and is subject to our Public Network Terms of Use.

Below you will find details about the personal information we collect about you when you use the Public Network or our Products and Services and interact with us; how and why we collect it, how we use it, and how we keep it secure.

This Privacy Notice also tells you about your rights, how you can exercise those rights, and how the law protects you.

Stack Exchange, Inc. is the Controller responsible for your personal data collected on the Public Network or directly by us for Stack’s operational purposes. In connection with certain Products and Services, Stack is the Processor for the organizations who provide your data to us or use our Products and Services.

If you interact with Stack Overflow through your organization, please refer to the specific privacy notices applicable to those Products.

If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or the way in which we use your personal data, please contact us at privacy@stackoverflow.com

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?

This section sets out the categories and details of personal information that we collect across our Products and Services.

We collect and process your personal information in order to offer the Network, and to offer you our Products and Services.

If you decline to provide us with personal information when we ask you, you may not be able to access all or some of our services, and you may not be able to use the Network or certain Products and Services. For example, if you do not provide us with your email address or other information required for account registration, we will not be able to register you for certain account services.

We collect:

Identity Data

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. We or our community moderators may delete a question, an answer, a comment, or all of them and after deletion such information is only available to certain community members or Stack employees.

Contact Data: including delivery address, email address, and telephone numbers for operational purposes, including providing Services and Products.

Technical Data: including internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, traffic data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system, and platform and other communication data which gives us information about how you accessed our website. Other account information and usage information including your IP address and browser data may be used for diagnosis, security, and Product and Service optimization.

Account registration information

When you register for a Stack Overflow account, we collect your name and email address, your username and any additional information you provide. We will generate a unique identification number that we will use to recognize you when you are signed in. We need to collect your personal information for account registration purposes. 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.

Billing information

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.

Profile information

When completing a public “profile”, whether it is for use with the Network or our Products and Services, we may require you to share certain personally identifying 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. Moderators, who have elevated access privileges, may access non-public user profile data, as well as content in posts and other public data. For more information about moderators and their role in the Stack Exchange Network, please visit our help center.

Other profile information may also be publicly displayed if you choose to complete certain elective components of the Account Registration options, including e.g., your Developer Story, display picture, affiliated role and company, your location, and your preferred technologies (javascript, swift, sql-server, etc.), and some information is publicly displayed and required, such as how long you have been a member.

Similarly, you may elect to share additional information that is not required, but this will be displayed publicly if you so choose to share it.

If you are using the private Network (e.g., Stack Overflow for Teams), your account settings, including name, affiliated role and company, and other information may be shared with your private Network Team members designated as authorized users of your private Network account. While some of the public and private Network profile information is required, much of it is within your control as we describe herein and can be modified, updated, and restricted by you in your settings.

Information we use to identify and authenticate you

We need this information to be able to recognize you, for example, when you access your accounts. It also helps us to protect your details and keep them secure. We may also use this information for fraud detection and prevention.

Analytics information

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 with whom we have contracts for products and services to assist Stack.

Information from Developer surveys, questionnaires, research and feedback programs

We collect information through questionnaires, surveys and feedback programs to help improve our products and give us insights. We may also conduct similar research for advertisers and our marketing partners. We ask you for your consent to use this information when you participate in these programs and events.

Marketing and sales information

We collect details of the services you receive and your preferences; information about your device or the software you use, e.g., its IP address, technical specification and uniquely identifying data; cookies and similar technologies we use to recognize you, remember your preferences and tailor the content we provide to you – our cookie policy contains more details about how we use cookies.

Device and browser information received automatically

When you visit the Network or use our Apps, Stack Overflow automatically receives and records information from your browser or mobile device, 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, to 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.

Location information

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.

You should not include any financial information or other information that you do not wish to make public when using our Public Network, which is a public website. We do not collect such information. It is your responsibility to keep such information safe and secure.

Can I revoke permissions once I have put information on the Public Network?

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. However, we can work with users to remove any personal data that has been posted in error or which a user wishes to remove.

Additionally, from time to time, Stack Overflow makes such public content available via our Stack Overflow Network API, 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.

How we collect information from you

Information that you give to us

Account information If you create a Stack Overflow account, we require an email address, username and password. Only your username is public. You also have the option to provide other information about yourself, such as your name, bio or any profile picture you have uploaded. We also store your user account preferences and settings.
Content you submit We collect the content you submit to the Services. This includes your posts and comments and any communications with moderators and with us.
Actions you take We collect information about the actions you take when using the Services. This includes your interactions with content, like voting, saving, hiding, and reporting. It also includes your interactions with other users, such as following. We collect your interactions with communities, like your subscriptions or moderator status.
Transactional information If you purchase any products or services from us, we will collect certain information from you, including your name, address, email address, and information about the product or service you are purchasing.
Other information You may choose to provide other information directly to us. For example, we may collect information when you fill out a form, register for a product, newsletter or service, participate in surveys or Stack-sponsored activities or promotions, apply for a job, request customer support, or otherwise communicate with us.

Information we generate or collect automatically through your use of our services or via our IT systems

Log and usage data We will log information when you access and use the Services. This may include information about the systems and device(s) you use to access our Services, including IP address, browser type and version, time zone setting, operating system and platform, device type, and device identifiers;
Information about your visits to our sites, including the full URL clickstream to, through and from the sites (including date and time);
Information about your use of our mobile apps, including the information you view in our mobile apps and the date and time you view it;
Information to facilitate your use of our Services (including to provide access to third-party websites and services), such as URL requests, destination IP addresses, or device configuration details; and
Pages you view or search for, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), your engagement with certain variable/dynamic elements of a page, and methods used to browse away from the page.
Information collected from our IT systems From door entry systems and reception logs, (e.g., when you visit our offices), automated monitoring of our websites and technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, CCTV and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems.
Information collected from cookies and similar technologies We use cookies, which are small text files that collect and track certain technical information, and similar technologies to help us operate and provide our Services to you. We use this information for various reasons including to improve the quality of our services, improve your experience, understand user activity, and personalize content and advertisements. More information on how Stack uses cookies and how you can disable them can be found in our cookie policy.
Location information We may receive and process information about your location. For example, with your consent, we may collect information about the specific location of your mobile device (for example, by using GPS or Bluetooth).

Information we collect about you from third parties

Third party services We collect information through third party services, such as Google Ads and Google Analytics, for the purposes of serving targeted advertisements, personalized content and analytics.
Links and social media Our Products and Services may also, from time to time, contain links to and from social media platforms. If you choose to connect with us through a social media platform, we may, through the social media platform connection, collect additional information from you, such as your usernames, profile picture, contact information, contact list, and the profile pictures of your contacts. Similarly, the social media platforms may collect information about your interaction with our Products and Services. We do not have any control of the collection, use and sharing of your information when using any social media platforms. You should read any associated privacy policies before using them.
Information we collect from other sources Information from third parties to help us to combat fraud, provide Services or that relates to your interactions, including your communications between individuals, organizations, prospects and other stakeholders acquired from companies that collect combined information and share it with us.

Information collected from Advertisers and Potential Advertisers

Contact forms When you contact us to inquire about advertisements, we collect your name, email, telephone number and other details through our web form. If you purchase advertising services, you will need to provide transactional information, and we may also require additional documentation to verify your identity.

We may combine the information we collect about you from the various sources described above.

HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

This section explains how we use your information and what we need it for (purposes). We use your personal data only when we have a valid reason and the legal grounds to do so. We determine the legal grounds based on the purposes for which we have collected your personal data. More information is provided below:

Purposes for collecting and using personal information

We use the above categories of personal information for the following purposes:

  • To verify your identity and enable you to access your products and services when you contact us or access our services.
  • To protect you from fraud and for fraud prevention and detection.
  • To provide commercial quotes to you, e.g., when you inquire about a product or service.
  • For statistical analysis (e.g., on the use of our websites).
  • To operate and improve our websites and services.
  • To notify you of any changes to our websites or our services and products that may affect you.
  • To provide you with technical and customer support.
  • To ask your opinion or feedback on our services or surveys.
  • To communicate with you about other Stack Overflow products or services, events, offers, promotions and other information or news that we think may be of interest to you. Whenever we communicate with you in this way, we will give you an opportunity to opt out of receiving future messages.
  • To enforce our legal rights or comply with legal requirements.
  • To provide improved website and product experience and communications informed by your product subscriptions and/or data collected.

Our legal grounds for using your personal data

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. We will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you. For example, where you have purchased a product or service or requested a service from us.
  • Where we have your consent. For example, where you have provided your consent to receive marketing emails from us or where you have given your consent to be contacted by a third party sponsor for an event you have participated in. You can withdraw your consent at any time. In the case of marketing emails, you can withdraw your consent by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link in the email you received.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
  • Where it is in our legitimate interests, including our commercial interests or a third party’s legitimate interest in using the personal information. Examples include when we analyze what content has been viewed on our Network and apps, so that we can understand how they are used and improve our content; carrying out marketing analyses to better understand your interests and preferences so that we can make our marketing more relevant to your interests and preferences. This includes when we promote our own products and services.

Whenever we rely on legitimate interests for processing, we ensure that we consider and balance our interests against the individual’s interests before processing. We do not use your personal data on the basis of legitimate interest for activities where individuals’ interests override our interests.

The table below gives further details of the personal data we collect and our reasons (legal basis) for using the information.

What we use your personal data for Our reasons (Legal basis)
Providing the Network, products and services to you To perform our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract
Preventing and detecting fraud against you or us For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to minimize fraud that could be damaging for you and/or us
Keeping your personal data secure Our legitimate interests. 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 data and safety from harassment as top organizational priorities. 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.
Providing, improving and optimizing our 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. We gain insights into 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. For example, we provide an API with information that has already been made publicly available by users to enable users to more easily access and use our services. We have a legitimate interest in enabling and customizing your experience of our Product and Services offerings.
Engaging in commercial transactions We and our third-party processors will use your information, including financial information, to process payments when you purchase certain products and services in order to perform a contract or provide you with services you have requested.
Complying with regulatory and legal obligations We have a legitimate interest in complying with certain regulatory obligations, including sanctions, anti-money laundering, and other checks which require the disclosure of your personal information. 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.
Core business operations We 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. This 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.
Conducting checks to identify our customers and verify their identity To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Other activities necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, e.g., under health and safety law or rules issued by our professional regulator. To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, inquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Ensuring business policies are adhered to, e.g., policies covering security and internet use For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to make sure we are following our own internal procedures so we can deliver the best service to you
Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service to you at the best price
Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to protect trade secrets and other commercially valuable information

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Statistical analysis to help us manage our business, e.g., in relation to our financial performance, customer base, product range or other efficiency measures For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to be as efficient as we can so we can deliver the best service to you at the best price
Preventing unauthorized access and modifications to systems

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, ie to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for you and/or us

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

Updating and enhancing customer records

To perform our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g., making sure that we can keep in touch with our customers about existing orders and new products

Statutory returns To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g., to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently so we can deliver the best service to you

Marketing our services and those of selected third parties to:

  • existing and former customers;
  • third parties who have previously expressed an interest in our services;
  • third parties with whom we have had no previous dealings.
For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to promote our business to existing and former customers
External audits and quality checks, e.g., for ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts

For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e., to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations

More details about how we use your personal data

Cookies and Similar Technologies

When you visit our Network and sites or when you use our apps, we may collect personal data from you automatically using cookies or similar technologies. A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your device that allows us to recognize and remember you. We may place cookies on your device (with your consent, where applicable), as well as partner with third parties, including advertising partners, who may use cookies or other similar technologies to provide you with advertising based on your browsing activities and interests. Please see our cookie policy for additional information on how we use cookies and what third party cookies we permit.

Tracking

Stack Overflow emails use Javascript for email tracking of opens, clicks, and unsubscribes or may contain a small, invisible, one pixel image which can be used to let us know when the email is opened or forwarded. If the email recipient has images enabled on their device, when the email is opened, a message (an automatic request) is sent to Stack Overflow’s server requesting the image. That request is logged by Stack Overflow and tells us that the email has been opened. A similar process may be used in relation to links or attachments in the email, with a request being sent to Stack Overflow for the content that is accessible via the links or attachments, thus telling Stack Overflow that the link or attachment has been accessed.

Developer Survey

As the world’s largest developer community, Stack Overflow publishes an annual Developer Survey to provide key insights into the developer community, as well as other surveys from time to time, some of which include demographic (e.g., gender, race, age, etc.) 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 our third party providers for our research, we do so only after imposing contractual obligations of confidentiality on such third parties and only where necessary for limited research purposes.

When we publish our surveys, they are published as a compilation of anonymized data. We may ask for your consent to contact you following completion of the surveys.

If you have any questions concerning the Developer Survey or other survey and our security measures to protect your sensitive personal data, please contact us at: privacy@stackoverflow.com.

Advertising on our Network

We work with third party advertisers to deliver ads on our Network. This involves tracking, targeting and measuring, using your personal data. We will get consent through our online consent management portal, or via other consent mechanisms before we can use your personal data in this way.

Targeting:

  • Advertisers can target their campaigns using topic tags.
  • Advertisers can target by geography, which is identified through Google Ad Manager, based on a visitor’s IP address (which is truncated by Google).
  • Advertisers can target by industry or company size, which is identified using IP address and matching that to Dunn & Bradstreet data.

Measuring:

  • We allow advertisers to use MOAT, Doubleverify, and IAS tags on their campaigns to monitor for fraud.
  • We also offer conversion pixels so advertisers can track conversions that happen within 30 days of an ad being served.

Other Third Party Online and Digital Advertising

When you access our websites, complete online contact forms, or interact with us, we may use your information to provide you with advertising content.

Google Ads

We use Google Ads to display personalized ads to users. You can find out more or opt out by visiting Google's help center.

We will only process your data for any online or digital advertising on the basis of your informed consent, which can be withdrawn at any time, or if we have a legitimate interest. Your data can only be used by Stack Overflow and will not be shared with other parties.

Microsoft Advertising

We use Microsoft services (e.g., Bing) for personalized advertising purposes, including Match lists, user event tracking (UET) and retargeting. When we do this, Microsoft collects or receives Personal Data from us to provide Microsoft advertising. Your data can only be used by Stack Overflow and will not be shared with other parties. Where applicable, (for example, if you reside in the EEA or where EEA law applies), we will get your consent before we can share your personal data with Microsoft. You can find out more by visiting Microsoft Privacy Statements.

You can also control the use of your data for interest-based advertising from Microsoft by visiting their opt-out page.

Employer Branding

Stack Overflow provides services that enable organizations to provide branded content on our website. We maintain a dedicated page on the public Stack Overflow page that enables our customers to set up a page and create branded content.

The Customer has an admin key to the page, controls the content and can invite others to be admins. Most content is static and just resides on the page.

Dynamic content (posting updates, giving advice, etc.) lives externally to the page and can be accessed by users through links provided by our customer. Public users can “follow” the page through getting a weekly email digest and they can unfollow or opt out of receiving emails from the Customer.

The Customer has no direct interaction with the public website users on the page.

Users must ensure that they read any privacy notices provided by customers on the page as well as this privacy notice.

WHO DO WE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL DATA WITH?

We share personal data with:

  • Companies within the Stack Exchange network.
  • Third parties who provide professional services, including but not limited to accountants; banking, insurance and insurance broking services for us.
  • Third parties we use to help deliver our products and services to you, e.g., payment service providers, payment processors, warehouses and delivery companies; cloud service providers, e.g., Microsoft Azure, service providers that help us carry out certain tasks, including order fulfilment, customer service providers, maintaining technology and related infrastructure, serving and targeting ads, measuring performance, managing and analysing research, email distribution, managing marketing e.g., Marketo and promotions and surveys.
  • Additionally, to improve user experience, we offer single sign-on solutions for account login and these third parties (including Facebook and Google) may receive information from these services when you elect to use them.
  • When Stack Overflow shares your personal information and other collected information with third party service providers, we require that they use your information only for the purpose of providing services to us and consistent with this privacy policy.
  • Third parties that we partner with to deliver products and services, including certain marketing and features to you, such as Employer Branding; and Collectives on Stack Overflow (please read the Collectives Privacy Notice).
  • Advertising partners – When you visit or interact with our websites, e.g., when you use the Public Network, we and authorized third parties will, with your permission, place certain cookies on your device and your account activity as described in more detail within our cookie policy. We use this information to serve you certain advertising content. We also partner with other third parties, such as Google Ads and Microsoft Bing, to serve advertising content and manage advertising campaigns. When we use Google Ads or Microsoft Bing Customer Match for advertising campaigns, your personal data will be protected using hashed codes.
    Google users can control the ads that they see on Google services, including Customer Match ads, in their Google Ads Settings.
    More information on how to control your account settings or to opt out of direct marketing campaigns can be found under Your Choices section. You can also opt out in your Profile Settings.
  • Event sponsors and partners – we may share your personal data with sponsors of Stack Overflow events and partners whom we hold events with for marketing purposes when you have given your permission for us to do so.
  • Other third parties approved by you, e.g., third parties that run our Developer Survey, social media sites you choose to link your account to or third party payment providers.
  • We may make available APIs to enable users to download publicly available information from our websites.
  • Authorities who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances, for example, for anti-money laundering, sanctions and other regulatory obligations. We 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) or in the public interest in compliance with applicable laws. In some cases, we may also release your personal information to defend our legal interests.
  • If we choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets, your personal data would be shared with such third parties as part of such a transaction. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with contractual obligations which ensure adequate protection for your personal data.

HOW LONG DO WE RETAIN YOUR PERSONAL DATA?

We will keep your personal data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this privacy notice and to fulfil our legal obligations. We will not keep more data than we need. While you remain a user of the Public Network or a customer, we will retain your data in order to keep providing services to you.

We are required to keep some basic information about our customers for a longer period in accordance with applicable tax and other laws. In some circumstances, you can ask us to delete your data.

Your choices - how to access and control your personal data

You can make choices about the collection and use of your data by Stack Overflow in the various ways set out below.

You may change or correct your account settings and choose not to share certain information by creating a pseudonymous account. You may also remove certain optional information that you no longer wish to be publicly displayed, such as your photo, or job history.

You can also control your personal data that Stack Overflow has collected and exercise your data protection rights as set out in the section below, or by using the tools described below. Please be aware that in some cases, your ability to access or control your personal data will be limited under applicable law.

Promotional emails, SMS messages, telephone calls and postal mail from Stack Overflow

When we send promotional emails and texts, we will give you an ‘unsubscribe’ option to opt out of receiving such messages. You can opt out of receiving telephone calls. Occasionally, we may send promotional mail, you can let us know if you do not wish to receive mail by contacting us. You can also opt out in your Profile Settings.

Interest based advertising

We may carry out interest-based advertising through third party services such as Microsoft or Google, as described under Advertising, above. You can opt out of such advertising in the following ways:

  • You can control the use of your data for interest-based advertising from Microsoft by visiting their opt-out page.
  • You can opt out of advertising from Google or find out more by visiting Google's help center.

More information and resources on how you can control your ad choices and how to opt out of interest based advertising can be found on NAI Consumer Opt Out and YourAdChoices.com.

If you want to access or control personal data processed by Stack Overflow that is not available via the tools, please refer to Your Rights or contact us at privacy@stackoverflow.com.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have a number of rights in relation to your personal data, and you can contact us if you want to exercise any of these.

Your rights include:

Access The right to be provided with a copy of your personal data also known as a "data subject access request"
Rectification The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data
Erasure The right to require us to delete your personal data—in certain situations
Restriction of processing The right to require us to restrict processing of your personal data in certain circumstances, e.g., if you contest the accuracy of the data
Data portability The right to receive the personal data you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations
To object The right to object:
  • at any time to your personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling);
  • in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data, e.g., processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please email privacy@stackoverflow.com.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity before we can deal with your request. We will respond to your request within one month. If your request is complicated, it may take us longer. We will let you know if we need longer than one month to respond.

You also have the right to take your concerns at any time to the UK or EU Supervisory Authority, depending on your location.

Where we process your information (locations)

Stack Overflow will process your information through, or on behalf of its entities located in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA). We may transfer your information to companies working on our behalf and to other third parties and agents located outside the European Economic Area.

Please be aware that the privacy laws and standards in certain countries outside the UK and the EEA, including the rights of authorities to access your personal information, may differ from those that apply in the country in which you reside. We will transfer personal information only to countries to which we are permitted by law to transfer personal information and we will continue to ensure that your personal information is appropriately safeguarded. More information on this is provided within the policy.

INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS

To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to transfer or share your personal data outside the UK/EEA:

  • with our offices or other companies within our group located outside the UK/EEA;
  • with your and our service providers, e.g., cloud service providers, located outside the UK/EEA;
  • if you are based outside the UK/EEA;
  • where there is a European and/or international dimension to the services we are providing to you.

If applicable, we will only transfer or share your personal data outside the UK/EEA:

  • to a country, territory or organization that has been assessed as providing an adequate level of protection for personal data ‘adequacy decision’ by the UK or the EU Commission;
  • By using legally-approved UK or EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCS) or Model Clauses, in addition to implementing appropriate supplementary measures to ensure the protection of the personal data.

If you are located in the UK or the EU, you may contact us at legal@stackoverflow.com to request a copy of the Standard Contractual Clauses.

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 those in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK) to the United States or other jurisdictions.

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”).

We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it and only as necessary to perform our legitimate business interests. We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

We also 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.

How we may contact you

Service communications

From time to time, we may send you service emails, for example, how to use certain features of products you have bought or renewal reminders (if applicable).

Marketing and product communications and newsletters

From time to time, Stack Overflow may communicate with you about commercial and other Product and Services offerings and to let you know how you can continue to share, learn, and build your knowledge within the Stack Overflow community. You can opt-out of such messages at any time by changing your permissions in your Profile Settings. In some cases, e.g., third party offers, we will only send these if you have given us permission.

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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR CALIFORNIA CONSUMERS

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), we are required to notify California consumers about our collection, use, and disclosure of their personal information (whether collected through this website or offline).

Stack Overflow does not sell (as the term is defined in the CCPA) the personal information we collect (and will not sell it without providing a right to opt out). Please note that we do use third-party cookies for our advertising purposes, as described in our cookie policy.

In the last 12 months, we collected the following categories of personal information from California consumers:

  • Identifiers, like your Stack username, email address, IP address, and cookie information.
  • Commercial information, including information about transactions you undertake with us.
  • Internet or other electronic network activity information, such as information about your activity on our Services and limited information about your activity on the services of advertisers who use our advertising technology.
  • Geolocation information based on your IP address, or more specific location information if you authorize your device to provide it to us.
  • Audio and visual information submitted to Stack.
  • Professional or employment-related information or demographic information, but only if you explicitly provide it to us, such as by applying for a job or filling out a survey.
  • Inferences we make based on other collected data, for purposes such as recommending content, advertising, and analytics.

You can find more information about (a) what we collect and sources of that information, (b) the business and commercial purposes for collecting that information, and (c) the categories of third parties with whom we share that information in the sections of our privacy statement above.

California consumers have additional rights under the CCPA (subject to certain limitations), including the right to request access to or deletion of your personal information, and information about our data practices, as well as the right not to be discriminated against for exercising your privacy rights.

These rights can be exercised by contacting us at privacy@stackoverflow.com.

We will verify your request using the information associated with your account, including email address. Government identification may be required. Consumers can also designate an authorized agent to exercise these rights on their behalf.

Children

The Stack Overflow platform is not intended for children. We do not knowingly offer this or any other Product or Service to anyone under the age of 16.

Privacy policy amendments

We may amend or update this policy from time to time and will notify you of any material changes to this policy. Previous versions of this privacy policy are available upon request.

CONTACT US

Privacy Officer

UK Representative

  • Privacy Officer, Bentima House, 168-172 Old Street, London EC1V 9BP, privacy@stackoverflow.com, phone: +44 (0) 20 3349 1000

EU Representative