Pinterest Policy Primer - Jodie Orford


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An easy to understand summary of Pinterest's Terms and Condition of use.

Published in: Technology
  • I feel your policy primer started well as the content was engaging and easy to read and understand, the presentation is well suited to the content of your policy primer as it allows the users to go at their own pace. As it progressed further in though I found it harder to follow as there was a lot more to read, I felt because of the amount I was reading it was almost like I was reading their terms and conditions however you adopted the original method of presenting the content and neatly summarized the main points.

    The twelfth slide looks at the Acceptable Use Policy of Pinterest and upon reading the conditions a line from (Lessig, 1998)The Laws of Cyberspace reads “For the hype notwithstanding, there is law just now in cyberspace — copyright law, or defamation law, or sexual harassment law, all of which constrain behaviour in cyberspace in the same way that they constrain behaviour in real space”, it draws a parallel in that the conditions you have to adhere to when using the service are in effect constraining behaviours.

    Also on the twelfth slide one of the conditions explains that attempting to access or search the services via the use of an engine, software, tool, agent, device, or mechanism (including automated scripts, spiders, robots, crawlers, data mining tools or the like) (Pinterest, 2013) was very similar to one of the conditions of the Terms of Service I looked at on Gumtree which can be viewed by following this link, it reads that by using Gumtree you will not “use any robot spider, scraper or other automated means to access Gumtree and collect content for any purpose without our express written permission; (Gumtree, 2013)”. It’s interesting to read and compare policies between different services and to see that they bare very similar conditions
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  • Your primer suggests that users will only be notified of significant changes that occur to their terms and conditions sections. The word significant seems a bit ambiguous and might need further clarification to give users the confidence that their privacy won’t be affected without their knowledge.

    Copyright is an interesting issue on this platform as it is designed to save and display the work of others’ that users find interesting. An example is outlined by lawyers Minter Ellison where users can’t just pin anything and in particular, pinning a photograph without permission amounts to copyright infringement under Australian law (Cox & Kearney, 2012). This might not be common knowledge amongst its users. It seems curious that Pinterest should then be allowed the rights to a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferrable sub-licensable, worldwide license that allows them to reproduce, modify, display this content (which wasn’t the users to give in the first place) just because it’s written in their official policy.

    I have noticed many platforms including Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are entitled to keep content posted by a user for a “commercially reasonable period of time”. The words ‘commercially reasonable’ seem somewhat dubious as it essentially means as long as it remains lucrative which could mean forever. It is disconcerting that you can never fully delete these shared posts given that sharing is often a primary purpose for these platforms. Furthermore, it may be difficult to find out exactly what content remains after the account has been deleted.

    Pinterest is the only platform I have seen in my review of the policy primers who have formally stated they cannot guarantee that unauthorised third parties will not be able to defeat their security measures. This is a bold statement and I wonder why other platforms refrain from making such statements. It could mean they are secure or maybe they just don’t want to draw our attention to it. I suppose no one can guarantee complete security.
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Pinterest Policy Primer - Jodie Orford

  1. 1. “Pinterest Logo” (Edudemic, 2013) Terms & Conditions are there for a reason, please take the time to try to understand them or ask the company questions if you have trouble.
  2. 2. Pinterest is a visual online pin board where users can post their pictures, ideas, hobbies or links and share with other users.  Can be accessed through mobile devices for ease of use and has a worldwide community.  Must be 13 years of age or over to have an account.  Two types of accounts, personal and business.  Must agree to Pinterest‟s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to finish creating an account.  Pinterest “adopts and implements the Pinterest Copyright Policy in accordance with Digital Millennium Copyright Act” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”,  2013, para.13).
  3. 3.  Pinterest has 4 Terms & Condition sections available on the website that is regularly updated.     Terms of Service Privacy Policy Acceptable Use Policy Responsible Disclosure Statement If any significant changes occur to these, users will be updated electronically either through their account or email address.
  4. 4.  Pinterest‟s License to Users – “grant you a limited, nonexclusive, non-transferable and revocable license to use our Products.” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.3)  “You” = you and that entity (when creating a business account) “User Content” = anything a user posts or makes available on Pinterest.   Once content is available on Pinterest, you are granting Pinterest and others, “a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, create derivative works, perform, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest solely for the purposes of operating, developing, providing, and using the Pinterest Products.” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.8)
  5. 5.  Users “retain all rights in & are solely responsible for the user content you post to Pinterest” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.6).  Pinterest can remove or modify User Content for any reason and does not have to notify the user.  Pinterest reserves the right, but is not obligated, to remove any User Content that Pinterest believes violates this Acceptable Use Policy or its Terms of Service (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.8).  How long does Pinterest keep the user content?    For as long as it circulates on Pinterest between users by re-pinning it. For as long as the user‟s account is active. For a commercially reasonable period of time for backup, archival or audit purposes.
  6. 6.  Pinterest can “terminate or suspend a user account at any time, with or without cause or notice to the user” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.19).  After terminating an account, content shared through the service may be retained by Pinterest and its users may continue to use it.
  7. 7.  Like most online services, they are working their hardest to protect you and your data but Pinterest cannot guarantee that unauthorised third parties will not be able to defeat their current security measures.  Users are encouraged to report any compromising or unauthorised activity of your account or from others.  Pinterest mainly shares links to third party websites and if they choose to visit them, they do so at their own risk and Pinterest is not liable.
  8. 8.  How do they collect information? As with every website, Pinterest can track and view a users browsing history.  Before collecting personal information, Pinterest seeks the users permission to obtain it. Eg. users signing up for an account need to provide their personal information such as name, birthday, email address, profile picture & more.   How is technical information collected? Log data – includes Internet Protocol address, web pages visited that incorporate Pinterest features and when the page was accessed.  Cookie data – records log data and sends a small text file by your computer each time you visit the Pinterest website and it‟s unique to your computer.  Device Information – what type of device it is, its operating system and settings, unique device identifiers and crash data. 
  9. 9.  How does Pinterest use your data that‟s collected?      To continually improve their products and services and develop new ones. Offer users customized content, eg. Pin and board suggestions. To send updates, newsletters and marketing material. Two types of data that can be collected; personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable which can specifically identify you as a unique person or not. Pinterest use both types or a combination of both.
  10. 10.  What Choices do you have about your information?  If you have an account, many of the choices you have on Pinterest are built directly in to the product or account settings, such as;      If user profile is available in web searches – this is made possible from sharing your email address. Link or unlink Pinterest account on another service, such as Facebook. Create or be added to a secret board where only certain users can view the content. Pinterest supports the „Do Not Track‟ browser setting. Close your account at any time (will remove your pins & boards). May retain archived copies of your information as required by law/legitimate business purposes.
  11. 11.  How   do we share the information we collect? When users create public boards – everyone can see the data. Other limited instances where Pinterest may share your personal information;      When they have user consent (inc. Sharing with other services). When employing third party companies or individuals to process personal information on our behalf based on our instructions and in compliance with the privacy policy. If we believe that disclosure is reasonable necessary to comply with a law, regulation or legal request and more. May encounter a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, etc that involves the transfer of the information. To gather statistics about the usage of the service and most viewed content on Pinterest.
  12. 12.   For an online service to be successful regulation of usage and content must be maintained. When joining Pinterest you agree not to post User Content that;           is sexually explicit or pornographic; creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal; may create a risk of any other loss or damage to any person or property; seeks to harm or exploit children by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personally identifiable details or otherwise; violates, or encourages any conduct that violates laws or regulations; contains any information or content we deem to be hateful, violent, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, defamatory, infringing, invasive of personal privacy or publicity rights contains any information or content that is illegal (including, without limitation, the disclosure of insider information under securities law or of another party's trade secrets); infringes any third party's Intellectual Property Rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other personal or proprietary rights; contains any information or content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships; or is fraudulent, false, misleading, or deceptive. (“Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy”, 2013, para.2)
  13. 13.  When joining Pinterest, you agree not to engage in any of the following prohibited activities; Use, display, mirror or frame the Service, any individual element within the Service, the Pinterest name, trademark, logo or other proprietary information, or the layout and design of any page, without our express written consent;  Access, tamper with, or use non-public areas of the Service, our computer systems, or the technical delivery systems of our providers;  Attempt to probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of any Pinterest system or network or breach any security or authentication measures;  Avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, impair, descramble or otherwise circumvent any technological measure implemented by Pinterest or any of our providers or any other third party (including another user) to protect the Services or Pinterest Content;  Attempt to access or search the Services, User Content or Pinterest Content or scrape or download User Content or Pinterest Content from the Services, or otherwise use, upload content to, or create new links, reposts, or referrals in the Service through the use of any engine, software, tool, agent, device or mechanism (including automated scripts, spiders, robots, crawlers, data mining tools or the like) other than the software and/or search agents provided by Pinterest or other generally available third party web browsers;  Send any unsolicited or unauthorized spam and spam comments on posts, advertising messages, promotional materials, email, junk mail, chain letters or other form of solicitation;  Except for use of a "No Pin" instruction, use any meta tags or other hidden text or metadata utilizing a Pinterest or Pinterest trademark, logo, URL, or product name without Pinterest's express written consent.  (“Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy”, 2013, para.3)
  14. 14.  Limitation of Liability   “Simply put – We are building the best service we can for you but we can‟t promise it will be perfect. We‟re not liable for various things. If you think we are, let‟s try to work it out like adults” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.27). Arbitation Any dispute you have with Pinterest, you agree to first contact them and attempt to resolve the dispute with us informally.  If not, each party “agree to resolve any claim, dispute, or controversy arising out of or in connection with or relating to these Terms by binding arbitration by the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") under the Commercial Arbitration Rules and Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes then in effect for the AAA” (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.29). 
  15. 15.  Governing Law and Jurisdiction The terms of Pinterest are governed by the laws of the State of California – products are controlled and operated from the United States and make no representation that they are appropriate or available for use in other locations.  If a user were to sue, they would have to sue within California.   Indemnity  Simply put – If Pinterest are sued because of something your business does on Pinterest, you have to pay their costs. Also, users should have created a business account and agreed to the commercial terms in the first place (“Pinterest Terms of Service”, 2013, para.21).
  16. 16. Edudemic. (2013). Pinterest Logo [Image]. Retrieved from 1214&sid=1335391 Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy. (2013) Retrieved from Pinterest Privacy Policy. (2013) Retrieved from Pinterest Terms of Service. (2013). Retrieved from