Privacy Policy

Last Updated: May 29, 2018

Ballast Research (“Ballast”), a division of National Journal Group LLC (“National Journal”), wants you to enjoy our websites, apps, and other online services secure in the knowledge that we have implemented fair and transparent information practices designed to protect, and provide you with control of, your privacy.

Ballast operates the website https://www.ballastresearch.com; delivers content via email; and makes the same or similar content available to mobile users (collectively, the “Services”).  Our Privacy Policy applies when you use any of these Services.  It describes the kinds of information we may gather when you use the Services, how we use your information, when we might disclose your information, and how you can manage your information.

Our Privacy Policy does not govern or apply to information collected or used by Ballast through other means. It also does not apply to websites maintained by other companies or organizations to which we may link or who may link to us. We are not responsible for the actions and privacy policies of third party websites.

By using our Services, you are accepting the practices described in our Privacy Policy, including our use of cookies and similar online tools.  If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use our Services.  We reserve the right to modify or amend the terms of our privacy policy from time to time without notice. Your continued use of our Services following the posting of changes to these terms will mean you accept those changes.  If we intend to apply the modifications or amendments to this Privacy Policy retroactively or to personal information already in our possession, we will provide you with notice of the modifications or amendments and seek your consent for such use.

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) or Switzerland, please see the “Users in the EEA and Switzerland” section of this Privacy Policy.  Our Privacy Shield Policy governs use of personal information that has been transferred to us from organizations in the EEA and Switzerland.

Please note that our Services are under constant development. This Privacy Policy may therefore be modified and updated on an ongoing basis. Please check back to this page regularly.

WHAT INFORMATION IS COLLECTED

When you use the Services, we may collect several types of information about you and/or your use of the Services.  For example, we may collect information that you provide to us, information that we collect through your use of the Services, and information that we collect from publicly available sources or third parties.

Information You Provide to Us.  There are a number of circumstances in which you may be required or invited to supply us with personal information, such as when you: register for a membership; subscribe to our publications, newsletters, and other content; register for an event; place an order; complete a survey or participate in market research; send us an email, pitch, or request for information; or when you seek employment at Ballast.  In these circumstances, we may ask you to provide information such as your name, e-mail address, year of birth, gender, street address, employment information, or other demographic information.

Information About Your Use of the Services. We may collect information about your use of the Services such as:

  • Device information: We may collect your computer or mobile device model, IP address, other unique device identifiers, operating system version, browser type, language, and settings, and device type and settings.
  • Usage information: We may collect information about the Services you use, the time, date, and duration of your use of the Services, your interaction with content offered through the Services, search terms used, our referring website, and software crash reports. We also collect information stored using cookies, mobile ad identifiers, and similar technologies set on your device.  Our servers may automatically keep an activity log of your use of the Services.  We may collect such usage information at the individual or aggregate level.
  • Location information: We collect and store your device’s source IP address, which may disclose the general location of your device at the time you access the Services. Specific content may be directed to you based on this data.

Information From Third Parties.  We may receive information about you from third parties and combine it with information we receive from or about you. For example:

  • Information from publicly or commercially available sources: Certain third parties make available information, collected both online and offline, such as demographic information, additional contact information, group affiliations, occupational information, and educational background.

Other Information We Collect. We also may collect other information about you, your device, or your use of the Services in ways that we describe to you at the point of collection or otherwise with your consent. You may choose not to provide us with certain types of information, but doing so may affect your experience in using the Services.

HOW WE USE YOUR INFORMATION

We use your information to help us personalize and continually improve your experience using the Services in the ways described below, as well as in other ways to which you consent or at your direction.

Providing the Services You Request. We use your information to keep our website functioning, send you electronic communications, and enable your participation in features of the Services. We may also provide personalized content and suggestions to you, including by email, based on your interest and preferences. To enable us to provide these Services, we may use the information we collect to identify you across sessions, browsers, and/or devices.

Contacting You. We may send you (by email, text, or other medium): information about your membership, account, or any transactions; editorial newsletters and content; offers or announcements about our products or features; offers or announcements about our third party partners’ products or services; invitations to participate in online surveys or market research; invitations to events; and legal notices, policy updates, and other important information about the Services.  All editorial and commercial email messages include instructions for unsubscribing from such future communications.

Learning about Our Users and Services. We may conduct research on our users’ demographics, interests and behavior, including performing statistical analysis of our users, their use of the Services, and their purchasing patterns. We do this to optimize and improve the Services, our products, and our operations.

Protecting Our Rights and Others’ Rights.  We may use your personal information as we believe is necessary to detect, investigate, and prevent activities that may violate our policies or may be illegal; to protect, enforce, or defend the legal rights, privacy, safety, or property of Ballast and/or National Journal, its employees, agents, or users; or as required by law.

We may use the information from one aspect of the Services for other aspects of Services, and we may combine information gathered from multiple aspects of the Services into a single user record.  We also may use or combine information that we collect offline or we collect or receive from third-party sources for many reasons, including to enhance, expand, and check the accuracy of our records. Additionally, data collected from a particular computer, browser or device may be used with another computer, browser or device that is linked to the computer, browser or device on which such data was collected.

HOW WE SHARE YOUR INFORMATION

As described below, our information-sharing practices vary based on the type of information and the type of recipient.

Affiliates. We may share information within our family of affiliated companies, including with other divisions of National Journal.

Third-Party Service Providers. Third party agents and vendors perform functions on our behalf, including, but not limited to, hosting, content syndication, content management tools, social media integration, marketing, analytics, billing and customer service.  These entities may have access to personal information if needed to perform their functions.  If such access is required, the third parties will be obligated to maintain the confidentiality and security of that personal information.  They are restricted from using, selling, distributing or altering this data in any way other than to provide the requested services to Ballast. 

Aggregate or Anonymous Information. We also may share other information with third parties in a manner that does not identify particular users.  For instance, we may share such information to help us determine how parts of Services are used, so that we may improve our services.

Assignment. In the event of a corporate change in control (for instance, a sale or merger), Ballast and/or National Journal may transfer your personal information to the new party in control or the party acquiring assets.  In such circumstances, we would seek to ensure the acquiring party follows the practices described in this Privacy Policy.  We cannot promise, however, that an acquiring company or the merged company will have the same privacy practices or treat your information the same as described in this privacy policy.

Law Enforcement, Legal Process, and Emergency Situations. In some cases, we may use or disclose your personal information to a third party if we are required to do so by law or if we in good faith believe that such action is necessary to comply with the law or legal process; to protect and defend our rights or to prevent misuse of our Services; or to protect the personal safety of our employees, agents, partners, the users of the Services, or the public.

With Your Consent or At Your Direction. In addition to the sharing described in this Privacy Policy, we may share your information with third parties whenever you consent to or direct such sharing.

The Services may link to third-party websites and services that are outside our control. We are not responsible for the security or privacy of any information collected by these third parties, which operate pursuant to their respective privacy policies.

ONLINE TRACKING

When you use our Services, we and our third party partners (which provide content, functionality, measurements, or analytics for our Services) may use cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies to track your use of the Services.

What Are Cookies?  Cookies are small text files that are stored in your device’s browser when you visit a website. Cookies make it possible to recognize you as the same user across one or more browsing sessions, and across one or more websites.  We and third parties may use cookies for a variety of purposes, including remembering your sign-in credentials and preferences so that you do not have to input them each time you use the Services; allowing us and third parties to customize your experience using the Services, including by determining the most relevant content to show you on our websites and elsewhere online; and allowing us and third parties to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our Services and your experience.

What are Beacons?  Web beacons (also called “web tags” or “pixels”) are tiny graphics or scripts that communicate information from your device to a server.  Beacons can be embedded in online or mobile content, videos, advertisements, or emails.  They allow a server to read certain types of information from your device, such as when you viewed the beacon (and thus the content in which it is embedded) and the IP address of the device on which you viewed the beacon.  We and third parties may use beacons for a variety of purposes, including to analyze the use of our Services and (in conjunction with cookies) to provide content and ads that are more relevant to you.

THIRD PARTIES

We rely on third parties to provide many features of our Services using data about your use of our Services and of other websites.  These third parties may use cookies, web beacons, or other technologies to collect and process your personal data for the purposes of information storage and access; personalization of our Services; measurement of and analytics regarding the use of our Services; and content selection, delivery, and reporting.

For instance, third party analytics services use cookies, web beacons, and other tracking technologies to collect information such as your IP address, time of visit, whether you are a return visitor, and any referring website, in order to help us analyze how users interact with and use the Services, compile reports on the Services’ activity, and provide other data and insights related to the Services’ usage.

We do not currently serve third party advertisements as part of our Services or provide third party advertisers with any personal information about you.

In general, the information collected and generated by third parties is processed and stored by the third parties and will be subject to their respective privacy policies (which we do not control and for which we are not responsible).  We do not control these third parties’ tracking technologies or the information they may collect.

We are presently developing a list of the third party data processors with which we have a direct relationship, the categories of data processing they provide to us, and links to their privacy policies (which we encourage you to visit for more information); in the interim, please contact Privacy(at)nationaljournal(dot)com with any questions regarding specific vendors.  We may add or change this list of third party data processors from time to time and we encourage you to check this section for changes.

PRIVACY CHOICES

Turning Off Cookies.  Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but also usually allow you to modify your settings to disable or reject cookies.  If you delete your cookies or if you set your web browser to decline cookies, however, some features of the Services may not work or may not work as designed.  You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser; links to instructions provided by several of the most common browsers are below:

The Services may use Google Analytics to track your usage.  If you wish to opt-out of Google Analytics’ tracking, use this browser add-on provided by Google.

Do Not Track. Your browser or device may include “Do Not Track” functionality.  Because a “Do Not Track” compliance protocol has not yet been finalized, Ballast’s information collection and disclosure practices, and the choices that we provide to customers, will continue to operate as described in this Privacy Policy, whether or not a Do Not Track signal is received.

USERS IN THE EEA AND SWITZERLAND

If you are a resident of the EEA or Switzerland, the following information applies with respect to personal data collected through your use of our Services.

Purposes of processing and legal basis for processing: We process personal data consistent with our disclosures in this Privacy Policy. We process personal data on the following legal bases: (1) with your consent; (2) as necessary to perform our agreement to provide Services (such as when you become a Subscriber); and (3) as necessary for our legitimate interests in providing the Services where those interests do not override your fundamental rights and freedoms related to data privacy.

We note that the Services do not process any personal data for the purposes of third party ad targeting, selection, and delivery, either within or beyond the Services.

Transfers: Personal data we collect may be transferred to, and stored and processed in, the United States or any other country in which we or our affiliates or processors maintain facilities. We will ensure that transfers of personal data to a third country or an international organization are subject to appropriate safeguards.  Our Privacy Shield Policy governs use of personal information that has been transferred to us from organizations in the EEA and Switzerland.

Your Rights: You are entitled to the rights under Chapter III of the EU General Data Protection Regulation or Section 2 of the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection with respect to the processing of your personal data, which include the right to access and rectify and to request erasure of personal data. To exercise these rights, contact Privacy(at)NationalJournal(dot)com and provide as complete a description of your request as possible.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

How Your Information Is Secured.  We take reasonable security measures to protect your information, including the use of physical, technical and administrative controls.  Please understand, however, that while we try our best to safeguard your personal information once we receive it, no transmission of data over the Internet or any other public network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.  You need to help protect the privacy of your own information. You must take precautions to protect the security of any personal information that you may transmit over any home networks, wireless routers, wireless (WiFi) networks or similar devices by using encryption and other techniques to prevent unauthorized persons from intercepting or receiving any of your personal information. You are responsible for the security of your information when using unencrypted, open access or otherwise unsecured networks.

How Long Your Information Is Stored.  The time period for which we keep information varies according to the purpose for which it is used for. In some cases, there are legal requirements to keep data for a minimum period. Unless there is a specific legal requirement for us to keep the information, we will retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data was collected or for which it is to be further processed.

Emails and Newsletters.  You may always opt-out of receiving future e-mail marketing messages and newsletters from Ballast by following the instructions contained within the emails and newsletters, or by e-mailing, calling or writing us at the addresses in the “Questions” section of the Privacy Policy below. 

Contests, Sweepstakes or Games.  When we run a contest, sweepstakes, or game relating to the Services, it will be accompanied by a set of rules. The rules for each contest, sweepstakes or game will specify how the information gathered from you for entry will be used and disclosed if it is different than as described in this privacy policy.  In conjunction with your entry in such contest or sweepstakes, personal information will be collected only if you voluntarily submit it.

Children’s Information.  The Services are not intended for children under 13 years of age. Ballast does not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 years of age. If you are under 13 years of age, do not provide personal information to Ballast without providing us with consent from your parents. If we discover that a child under the age of 13 has provided us with personal information and we do not have parental consent, we will immediately delete that child’s information. If you believe that company has been provided with the personal information of a child under the age of 13 without parental consent, please notify us immediately at privacy(at)nationaljournal(dot)com.

Your California Privacy Rights.  Ballast does not disclose your personal information to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes unless you affirmatively agree to such disclosures. 

QUESTIONS

If you have an account with NationalJournal.com, you may review and change your information by logging into your account and editing your account profile.

If you have questions about our Privacy Policy, please contact us at:

ATTN: General Counsel
Ballast Research, a division of National Journal Group LLC
600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 266-7000
Email: Privacy(at)nationaljournal(dot)com