Our Policies

Privacy Policy

Your privacy on the Internet is of the utmost importance to us. Because we gather certain types of information about the users of HMNS.org, we feel you should fully understand the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information. This privacy statement discloses what information we gather, how we use it, and how to correct or change it.
Information HMNS.org gathers and tracks
HMNS.org gathers two types of information about users: data that users provide through mandatory, voluntary registration (for purchasing tickets, goods and services from HMNS.org); and aggregated tracking information derived mainly by tallying page views throughout our site. Such information enables us to better tailor our content to users’ needs and to help our managers better understand the demographics of our audience. HMNS.org does not share information about individual users with any third party. HMNS.org gathers user information in the following processes:
  • Mandatory, voluntary registration
    • HMNS.org offers free, voluntary registration to users. By registering, users gain access to the HMNS e-commerce applications and may then buy the goods and services offered at HMNS.org. During registration the user is required to supply a name, billing address, billing phone number, and a valid e-mail address. During registration for educational programs offered by HMNS the user is required to supply a name, age, emergency contact name, and an emergency contact phone number for each participant they register. Additionally, the user has the option of responding to survey questions. During registration the user has the option of supplying secondary address information and information about their work and social habits. In addition, the user can opt to subscribe to HMNS electronic newsletters.
  • Polling
    • HMNS.org offers interactive polls to users so they can easily share their opinions with other users and see what theHMNS.org audience thinks about important issues. HMNS.org uses a system to “tag” users after they have voted, so they can vote only once on a particular question. This tag is not correlated with information about individual users.
  • Surveys
    • Occasionally HMNS.org conducts user surveys to better target our application demonstrations and content to our audience. We may share the aggregated usability information in these surveys with our partners. We never share any information about specific individuals with any third party.
  • Usage tracking
    • HMNS.org tracks user traffic patterns. However, we do not correlate this information with data about individual users. HMNS.org does break down overall usage statistics according to a user’s domain name, browser type, and MIME type by reading this information from the browser string (information contained in every user’s browser). (This does not apply to HMNS Staff. Validated staff access is tracked by specific user.)
  • Cookies
    • A cookie is a small data file that certain websites write to your hard drive when you visit them. A cookie file can contain information such as a user ID that the site uses to track the pages you’ve visited. But the only personal information a cookie can contain is information you supply yourself. A cookie can’t read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. HMNS.org uses cookies to track user traffic patterns (as described above), when you register as a HMNS.org member, and when you click an ad).
  • Registration
    • When you register, HMNS.org uses a cookie to store a unique, random user ID. We do not store passwords or any personal information about you. We use this ID to identify you anonymously in our database and to track the pages you visit on our site. Cookies also enable you to visit member-restricted areas of the site. We encrypt the user ID for added security. If you’ve set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies, you will receive the warning message with each cookie. You can refuse cookies by turning them off in your browser. You do not need to have cookies turned on to use HMNS.org. However, you MUST have cookies enabled to use any of the e-commerce facilities (Online ticketing, membership registration, etc.) of HMNS.org.
Use of the information
HMNS.org uses any information voluntarily given by our users to enhance their experience, whether to provide interactive or personalized elements on the sites or to better prepare future content based on the interests of our users. As stated above, HMNS.org uses information that users voluntarily provide in order to send out electronic newsletters and to enable users to participate in polls. We send out newsletters to subscribers on a regular schedule (monthly or quarterly, depending on the newsletter), and occasionally send out special editions when we think subscribers might be particularly interested in something we are doing. HMNS.org never shares newsletter mailing lists with any third parties, including advertisers or partners.When we use tracking information to determine which areas of our sites users like and don’t like based on traffic to those areas. HMNS.org does not track what individual users read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build a better service for you.
We track search terms entered in our various search utilities as one of many measures of what interests our users. But we don’t track which terms a particular user enters. HMNS.org creates aggregate reports on user demographics and traffic patterns for partners and HMNS management. HMNS.org never shares individual personal information with anyone, so a partner or HMNS manager will never know what a specific user clicked.
Sharing of the information
HMNS.org uses the above-described information to tailor our content to suit your needs and help our partners better understand our audience’s demographics. This is essential to keeping our site running. We do not share information about individual users with any third party. However, HMNS.org does not control the practices of our partners.HMNS.org also may disclose or exchange with others information you have provided to us if we believe in good faith that the law requires us to do so or if it is necessary to protect the rights or property of HMNS or our users.The Houston Museum of Natural Science does share individual-specific information from our membership roles with third party, non-profit, and not-for-profit organizations. At this time there is no opt-out provision for HMNS.org users registering for HMNS Membership online.
Opt-out policy
HMNS.org gives users options wherever necessary and practical. Such choices include: Opting not to receive our electronic newsletters when registering. Opting not to provide certain personal information when registering (see above)
Correct/update policy
HMNS.org offers users the ability to correct or change the information collected during registration (see above). The instructions for doing this can be found in the Registration area. Users may change this information at any time and as often as necessary. Users who are experiencing problems or who have any questions about how our services work can contact us at webmaster@HMNS.org.
Delete/deactivate policy
Users may unsubscribe to any of our electronic newsletters at any time by following the instructions contained at the end of every newsletter. Currently, HMNS.org does not offer users a means by which to completely delete personal information established at the time of registration.
Security policy
HMNS.org uses industry standard efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of your personal identifiable information, such as Firewalls and Secure Socket Layers.