Last updated: May 26, 2018
This policy explains how NationStates uses information that it collects from you.
NationStates aims to comply with US privacy law as well as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Information Collection
- Information Usage
- Information Protection
- Cookie Usage
- Right to Erasure
- Third Party Disclosure
- In-Site Disclosure
- Non-Personally Identifiable Information
- Submitted Content
- Google AdSense
- Fair Information Practices
- Our Contact Information
- Terms & Conditions
What information does NationStates collect from people who visit our website?
We may collect:
Your IP address. This happens automatically when you connect to the site. An IP address does not uniquely identify you, but usually indicates your general geographic area, and could be used in conjunction with other information to identify you more specifically.
Your browser's UserAgent. This is a short summary of the make and model of your browser and device operating system, which is automatically transmitted to sites unless you disable it in your browser's settings.
Cookies. Cookies are used to track returning visitors to the site, so that when you come back, we can connect that session to your previous activity. Without cookies, you can't stay logged in, as we can't tell whether you've already authenticated.
Your e-mail address. NationStates players may optionally supply an e-mail address. This is treated as personally identifying information and therefore private data. You are not required to supply an e-mail address to browse the site or create an account (a nation), but you can do so for password recovery and if you wish to join the in-game World Assembly organization.
- When making a transaction via the NationStates Store, we may be sent your name and address as well as purchase information such as the type of credit card used by our payments providers PayPal and Stripe.
When does NationStates collect information?
Your IP address is recorded whenever you visit any page.
Your UserAgent is recorded when you log in.
Your e-mail address is collected if you choose to supply one during registration (i.e. nation creation) or if you enter one later via your Settings.
Cookies are used when a registered user logs into the site.
Transaction details are recorded during any NationStates Store purchase.
Why does NationStates collect this information and how is it used?
We use this information:
To provide basic site functionality
Cookies are essential to maintaining a login session. They must be enabled so the site can remember that you are logged in. Our cookies don't contain any private information and only store the name and/or session key of nations you have logged in. They also support "autologin" / "Remember me" functionality, which is an optional setting that allows you to skip entering a password each time you visit the site.
If you provide an e-mail address, this is used to verify that address, to support password recovery ("Forgot my password"), and (optionally) to send you a reminder if your account is scheduled to be deleted for inactivity.
Beyond this, site moderators may use the information to unravel disputes over account ownership, or to help verify the legitimacy of a request to reactivate an old account.
To protect the community
Site moderators frequently block or ban people for violating site rules, such as attempting to spam, harass players, or post obscene content. For such bans to work, we must be able to identify those people as they attempt to return to the site. We do this by comparing information such as IP addresses to that which we have recorded as belonging to banned users.
Similarly, moderators may use this information to identify the source of problems when a person uses multiple accounts to conceal their activity.
In these cases, we retain relevant information as long as we believe the problem user represents a danger to the community, as indicated by the severity of the behavior and the frequency with which the person attempts to circumvent our bans. We will remove the information within eight years of the most recent contact.
To uphold a "one player, one World Assembly nation" rule
The World Assembly is an optional organization within the site that relies on a principle of one vote per member. In order to enforce this, we use collected information to perform algorithmic matching in order to detect when one person appears to be cheating by operating multiple World Assembly nation accounts.
To manage Store disputes
We retain NS Store logs for up to three months in order to resolve any transaction disputes or refund requests.
To perform basic analytics
We use aggregated data to generate internal and Google Analytics reports on the numbers of people using the site, their geographic spread, the relative popularity of different browsers, devices, and operating systems, and so on. More on Google Analytics.
To serve advertising
We are ad-supported and allow third-party ad networks such as Google AdSense to place advertisements on the site. We do not share any of your information with these networks. However, they are capable of independently recording your IP Address and using cookies to track how often you view their ads.
To allow account recovery
NationStates was founded in 2002 and has a rich community history. To allow users to return to the site and revive their nations even years later, and for this purpose only, we retain e-mail addresses for up to eight years. After this, all information is scrubbed, and the account can only be reactivated by password.
To provide backups
Our systems are regularly backed up against data loss, and these backups may include information such as e-mails and IP addresses associated with nations. Backups aren't accessed at all under normal circumstances, and cannot be viewed by moderators. They are purged after three years.
Who can see my information?
Site moderators can view IP Addresses, UserAgents, and e-mail addresses associated with an account. When they view such information, their actions are logged.
Site administrators (but not moderators) can additionally view Store transaction logs.
How does NationStates protect visitor information?
NationStates employs SSL (aka HTTPS) so that all communication between your device and our servers are encrypted.
User passwords are encrypted and never stored in plain text.
Moderators and administrators are trained in dealing with personal information, and whenever a moderator accesses such information, this access is logged in a way that is visible to all other moderators and administrators.
Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or service provider transfers to your computer's hard drive through your browser (if you allow) that enables the site's or service provider's systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.
You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Each browser is a little different, so look at your browser's Help menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.
If you disable cookies, it is impossible to remain logged in. You can only browse the site anonymously.
Right to Erasure
You may request that we erase from your account all information we have collected from you: your IP addresses, e-mail addresses, and UserAgents. You can also request to view all the information we have collected without erasing it. In either case, please file a Getting Help Request.
If you operate multiple accounts, you must file one request per nation.
Please bear in mind that this is at present a manual process and we may take a few days to respond.
We may refuse requests in special cases where information must be retained for essential operation of the site; for example, if a person who is banned from the site wants their identifying information erased.
Third Party Disclosure
Under normal circumstances, NationStates doesn't sell or transfer any of your information to outside parties. However, we may do so when we believe it is necessary in order to comply with the law, respond to a real-world threat or personal emergency, or protect ours or others' rights, property, or safety.
In the event that ownership of NationStates transfers to a third party in the future, said party will be bound by these same conditions, and be required to notify users in advance should they wish to alter them.
We don't disclose your personally identifiable information via forum post or any other kind of in-site communication to other users. For example, moderators are not permitted to inform users of another user's IP address or e-mail address.
A user may sometimes post their own information (IP address or e-mail address) in order to seek technical help. This is not recommended, and we instruct users to use a private channel instead (the Getting Help page).
Non-Personally Identifiable Information
We may disclose non-personally identifiable information we collect; in particular, under some circumstances we may disclose publicly that particular nations are connected—operated by the same person—while not personally identifying the owner.
This is done in order to enforce site rules and etiquette, e.g. to combat "puppet wanking," when a person posts from multiple accounts in order to promote the false impression that many people agree with them.
Users can voluntarily post content to NationStates in a variety of ways, such as:
Sending a telegram to another nation.
Posting on a regional message board (RMB).
Posting in the forums.
Writing a factbook or dispatch.
Uploading an image to use as a national flag.
Voting in a poll or World Assembly motion.
Customizing their nation via fields such as its name, national slogan, currency, and animal.
Writing a World Assembly proposal.
Submitting an Issue.
All such content can be viewed by moderators and/or administrators.
With particular reference to telegrams, NationStates assumes a high but incomplete level of privacy. Our policy:
Moderators may only view the content of telegrams of another nation when they have cause. A moderator has cause to inspect telegrams when they have reasonable grounds to believe a violation of site rules has occurred or is likely to occur in the near future (e.g. in response to a user complaint about harassment), or when the nation in question is being considered for elevation to the site staff. When investigating telegrams, moderators are permitted to view both sides of a conversation, even when only one party is being investigated.
Our system requires moderators to enter a reason/reference to view a telegram, which is permanently logged. This enables administrators and other moderators to verify who viewed which telegram, when, and for what reason, in order to ensure compliance with site policy.
NationStates does not disclose which telegrams have been viewed by moderators, but does investigate internally any query as to whether site policy was followed.
NationStates has implemented the following:
Google Display Network Impression Reporting
Demographics and Interests Reporting
DoubleClick Platform Integration
You should know that:
Google's use of the DoubleClick cookie enables it and its partners to serve ads to you based on your visit not only to NationStates but other sites using the DoubleClick network across the Internet.
A list of approved ad exchange vendors, which may serve ads on NationStates via Google DoubleClick, is available here.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
We support the GDPR. In particular, as of May 25, 2018, you can request a list of the information we have collected about you, and request that this information be erased (see: Right to Erasure).
California Online Privacy Protection Act
In accordance with CalOPPA, NationStates agrees that:
Users can visit our site anonymously.
Users are usually able to change some of their personal information by logging in to their account. Specifically, users with active accounts can change their current e-mail address. Users with deleted nations can restore their account and log in. However, users of accounts that are perma-deleted by moderators, banned from the site, or otherwise permanently barred from the public site are thereafter not able to log in and change their personal information. Users are never able to change their IP address, which is not publicly displayed but is logged. All information may be archived in periodic private system backups.
COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)
When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under 13, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, the US consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children's privacy and safety online.
NationStates does not specifically market to children under 13.
Fair Information Practices
The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.
In line with Fair Information Practices, NationStates will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur: users will be notified via a message posted on the site within seven business days.
NationStates also agrees to the individual redress principle, which requires that individuals have a right to pursue legally enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or a government agency to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.
CAN SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial e-mail, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have e-mails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
NationStates does not send any advertising or promotional e-mail messages. If you supply your e-mail address, it may be used:
To help enforce a site rule limiting players to one World Assembly member nation per person
To help identify when a site visitor is banned from the site for rule violations by moderators.
To send you an e-mail notification when your account is about to be deleted for lack of activity. (You may disable this in your Settings.)
To send you topic update notification e-mails for any forum topics to which you manually subscribe to receive such updates.
To respond to inquiries and/or other requests or questions.
If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future e-mails, you can:
Follow the instructions at the bottom of each e-mail; or
Contact site moderators: This is the fastest way to receive help, and your message is private.
Visit the Technical forum: This is a public forum for technical help visited by users, moderators, and site administrators.
E-mail site administrators: Please note this is a slow channel and if you require urgent assistance, use one of the other options above.
Terms & Conditions
If this document has left you wanting more, you may enjoy our thrilling Terms & Conditions.