MapTalks - Privacy Policy

MapTalks is the social network where discussions take place on maps. With MapTalks you can share ideas for your leisure time and read stories of who's already been at your destination. Also, you can publish your collections of venues, write your thoughts from the place where you are right now and do many, many other things more.

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Privacy Policy

Last revision: December 17th, 2011.

Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Information We Receive
  3. Sharing information on MapTalks
  4. Information You Share With Third Parties
  5. How We Use Your Information
  6. How We Share Information
  7. How You Can Change or Remove Information
  8. How We Protect Information
  9. Other Terms



If you have any questions or concerns about our privacy policy, contact us at .


This privacy policy covers all of MapTalks. It does not, however, apply to entities that MapTalks does not own or control, such as applications and websites using Platform. By using or accessing MapTalks, you agree to our privacy practices outlined here.

No information from children under age 13

If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for MapTalks or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from a child under age 13, please contact us at .

Information We Receive

Information you provide to us

Information About Yourself

When you sign up for MapTalks you provide us with your name, email, gender, and birth date. You can also sign up for MapTalks indirectly by accessing through third-party sites. In this case, the information above and your profile photo is entered automatically into our systems. In any case, you can change it any time later. Once you register and any time you login you can provide other information about yourself by connecting with, for example, your current city, hometown, networks, activities, interests, and places. You can also provide personal information about yourself, such as your self-description.


One of the primary reasons people use MapTalks is to share content with others. Examples include when you share your current location on map, upload a photo, share a link, make a comment, write something on someone’s map, write something about a place, or send someone a message. If you do not want us to store metadata associated with content you share on MapTalks (such as photos), please remove the metadata before uploading the content.

Friend Information

When you login to MapTalks through other social sites, MapTalks checks if some of your friends on those sites are already members of MapTalks, in which case they are proposed to you as potential connections on MapTalks.

Information we collect when you interact with MapTalks

Site activity information

We keep track of some of the actions you take on MapTalks, such as adding connections or creating a photo album. In some cases you are also taking an action when you provide information or content to us. For example, if you share a photo, in addition to storing the actual content you uploaded, we might log the fact that you shared it.

Access Device and Browser Information

When you access MapTalks from a computer, mobile phone, or other device, we may collect information from that device about your browser type, location, and IP address, as well as the pages you visit.

Cookie Information

We use "cookies" (small pieces of data we store for an extended period of time on your computer, mobile phone, or other device) to make MapTalks easier to use, to make our advertising better, and to protect both you and MapTalks. For example, we use them to store your login ID (but never your password) to make it easier for you to login whenever you come back to MapTalks. We also use them to confirm that you are logged into MapTalks, and to know when you are interacting with MapTalks Platform applications and websites, and our advertisements. You can remove or block cookies using the settings in your browser, but in some cases that may impact your ability to use MapTalks.

Information we receive from third parties

MapTalks Platform

We do not own or operate the applications or websites that you use through MapTalks Platform. Whenever you connect with a Platform application or website, we will receive information from them, including information about actions you take. In some cases, in order to personalize the process of connecting, we may receive a limited amount of information even before you connect with the application or website.

Information from other websites

We may institute programs with advertising partners and other websites in which they share information with us:

We may ask advertisers to tell us how our users responded to the ads we showed them (and for comparison purposes, how other users who didn’t see the ads acted on their site). This data sharing, commonly known as “conversion tracking,” helps us measure our advertising effectiveness and improve the quality of the advertisements you see.

We may receive information about whether or not you’ve seen or interacted with certain ads on other sites in order to measure the effectiveness of those ads.

If in any of these cases we receive data that we do not already have, we will “anonymize” it within 180 days, meaning we will stop associating the information with any particular user. If we institute these programs, we will only use the information in the ways we explain in the “How We Use Your Information” section below.

Sharing information on MapTalks

This section explains how your privacy settings work, and how your information is shared on MapTalks. You should always consider your privacy settings before sharing information on MapTalks.

Name and Profile Picture

MapTalks is designed to make it easy for you to find and connect with others. For this reason, your name and profile picture do not have privacy settings. If you are uncomfortable with sharing your profile picture, you should delete it (or not add one). You can also control who can find you when searching on MapTalks or on public search engines using the privacy setting.

Email address

We use your email address to validate your registration and to contact you. Your email address is never shared with anyone.

Your gender

You can opt to not show your gender.

Fine-grained Privacy Control Of Profile Information

For all the other portions of information in your profile you can control who can read it according to the following criteria:

  • Everyone: any member of the MapTalks community can read it.
  • Followers of followers: it can be read by your followers and their followers.
  • Followers: it can be read by your followers only.
  • Only myself: only you can read it.

Such a fine-grained privacy control applies to the following information:

  • Basic information, such as your address, city, state, ZIP code and language.
  • About you - that is your self-description.
  • Your profiles and sites.
  • Your connections.
  • Maps you are participating (collaborating) to.

Security model for artifacts

Anything in MapTalks that is entered to the system by a user is called an artifact. Examples of artifacts include posts on maps (also named geoposts), maps (that are collections of posts), comments, photos, etc. An artifact can contain other artifacts. For example, a map is the container of its posts and a post is the container of its comments. Any artifact has a owner and an author, the two of them eventually being the same. The author of an artifact is who writes or uploads it materially. If that artifact is not contained in any other artifacts, then its owner coincides with its author otherwise its owner is the owner of the container artifact.

For example, if user A creates a map P, P has A as both author and owner. If user B makes a comment C on map P, C has author B and owner A.

An artifact can always be read by its author and its owner. The author and the owner can also delete, hide it or add comments (if those features are enabled for that type of artifact).

In the example above, user A can dispose map P and hide comment C, being the owner of the two of them. User B can hide comment C, being its author.

Read and write permissions

When we speak of write permissions for an artifact, we distinguish two possibilities: 1) the ability to add comments and 2) the ability to add posts and photos. It is possible to separately set the permissions to add comments (1) and those to add posts and photos (2). Read and write permissions for an artifact can be decided by its author at the time it is published to the system and, in some cases, its author can change them afterwards. In some cases the author is not provided with the possibility to set read and write permissions for the artifact. In such cases, read and write permissions are set automatically with the corresponding values of the container artifact. Possible values for read and write permissions are the following:

  • Everyone: any Internet user (for read permission) or any member of the MapTalks community (for write permissions).
  • Followers of followers: any member that is a follower of artifact's owner and all of their followers.
  • Followers: any member that is a follower of artifact's owner.
  • Collaborators: any member that has been named a collaborator of the artifact or a collaborator of its container.
  • Only author and owner: only artifact's author and artifact's owner.

Write permissions must be the same or stricter than read permission.

For example, if read permission for an artifact is "Followers" then its write permissions can be either "Followers", "Collaborators" or "Only author and owner" but cannot be "Everyone" or "Followers of followers".

In the privacy settings, you can set the default read and write permissions for new artifacts, but you can always override them at publication time.

A few remarks about read access

When you publish a piece of information, there are no effective ways to prevent it to be spread beyond your intentions.

If you choose on MapTalks to limit read access on an artifact, MapTalks will show it only to legitimate users according to the rules described above. Nonetheless, any of these users may derive a copy out of it and spread it without your consent.

Therefore, we strongly invite you to not send to MapTalks any piece of information (in form of text or other media, such as photos) which publication may cause damage to you or others, even if you limit its read access. In any case MapTalks is not responsible if an information that you send us may cause damage to you or others.

If you find on MapTalks any of such material, we ask you to report it immediately at , by providing any available detail.

Information You Share With Third Parties


Sometimes the advertisers who present ads on MapTalks use technological methods to measure the effectiveness of their ads and to personalize advertising content. You may opt-out of the placement of cookies by many of these advertisers here. You may also use your browser cookie settings to limit or prevent the placement of cookies by advertising networks. MapTalks does not share personally identifiable information with advertisers unless we get your permission.


When you click on links on MapTalks you may leave our site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites, and we encourage you to read their privacy statements.

How We Use Your Information

We use the information we collect to try to provide a safe, efficient, and customized experience. Here are some of the details on how we do that:

To manage the service

We use the information we collect to provide our services and features to you, to measure and improve those services and features, and to provide you with customer support. We use the information to prevent potentially illegal activities, and to enforce our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. We also use a variety of technological systems to detect and address anomalous activity and screen content to prevent abuse such as spam. These efforts may on occasion result in a temporary or permanent suspension or termination of some functions for some users.

To contact you

We may contact you via email with service-related announcements from time to time. You may choose the frequency you receive notification emails or opt out of all communications except essential updates. We may include content you see on MapTalks in the emails we send to you.

To serve personalized advertising to you

We don’t share your information with advertisers without your consent. (An example of consent would be if you asked us to provide your shipping address to an advertiser to receive a free sample.) We allow advertisers to choose the characteristics of users who will see their advertisements and we may use any of the non-personally identifiable attributes we have collected (including information you may have decided not to show to other users, such as your birth year or other sensitive personal information or preferences) to select the appropriate audience for those advertisements. When you click on or otherwise interact with an advertisement there is a possibility that the advertiser may place a cookie in your browser and note that it meets the criteria they selected.

To make suggestions

We use your profile information to help you connect with your friends, including making suggestions to you and other users that you connect with on other social platforms.

To help your friends find you

We allow other users to find you through search. You can prevent other users from finding you by changing your privacy settings.

How We Share Information

MapTalks is about sharing information with others — friends and people in your communities — while providing you with privacy settings that you can use to restrict other users from accessing some of your information. We share your information with third parties when we believe the sharing is permitted by you, reasonably necessary to offer our services, or when legally required to do so. For example:

When you invite a friend to join

When you ask us to invite a friend to join MapTalks, we will send your friend a message on your behalf using your name. The invitation may also contain information about other users your friend might know. We may also send up to two reminders to them in your name. If your friend does not want us to keep their information, we will also remove it upon their request sent at .

To help your friends find you

By default, we make certain information you have posted to your profile available in search results on MapTalks to help your friends find you. However, you can disallow your profile to appear in search results through your privacy settings.

To help you obtain more visualizations of your public artifacts

We can publish (i.e. syndicate) to other sites links or (partial or total) copies of any of your artifacts which read permission has been set to "Everyone".

To give search engines access to publicly available information

We generally limit search engines’ access to our site. We may allow them to access information which read permission has been set to "Everyone" and to your profile information that is visible to everyone, provided that you marked your profile as public. You can change the visibility of some of your profile information using your privacy settings. When you reduce the visibility of your profile, changes will be immediate on MapTalks but may not be as effective and even fail to propagate to external sites that MapTalks does not control and that may have cached the information you want to exclude from public viewing.

To help improve or promote our service

Sometimes we share aggregated information with third parties to help improve or promote our service. But we only do so in such a way that no individual user can be identified or linked to any specific action or information.

To provide you with services

We may provide information to service providers that help us bring you the services we offer. For example, we may use third parties to help host our website, send out email updates about MapTalks, remove repetitive information from our user lists, or provide search results or links (including sponsored links). These service providers may have access to your personal information for use for a limited time, but when this occurs we implement reasonable contractual and technical protections to limit their use of that information to helping us provide the service.

To advertise our services

We may ask advertisers outside of MapTalks to display ads promoting our services. We may ask them to deliver those ads based on the presence of a cookie, but in doing so will not share any other information with the advertiser.

To offer joint services

We may provide services jointly with other companies. If you use these services, we may share your information to facilitate that service. However, we will identify the partner and present the joint service provider’s privacy policy to you before you use that service.

To respond to legal requests and prevent harm

We may disclose information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests (including criminal and civil matters) if we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law. This may include respecting requests from jurisdictions of different countries where we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law under the local laws in that jurisdiction, apply to users from that jurisdiction, and are consistent with generally accepted international standards. We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities.

Transfer in the Event of Sale or Change of Control

If the ownership of all or substantially all of our business changes, we may transfer your information to the new owner so that the service can continue to operate. In such a case, your information would remain subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Policy.

How You Can Change or Remove Information

Editing your profile

You may change or remove your profile information at any time on your profile page. Information will be updated immediately.

Deactivating or deleting your account

If you want to stop using your account you may deactivate it or delete it. When you deactivate an account, no user will be able to see it, but it will not be deleted. We save your profile information (connections, photos, etc.) in case you later decide to reactivate your account. Many users deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and in doing so are asking us to maintain their information until they return to MapTalks. You will still have the ability to reactivate your account and restore your profile in its entirety. When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted from MapTalks. You should only delete your account if you are certain you never want to reactivate it. To deactivate or delete your account contact us at .

Limitations on removal

Even after you remove information from your profile or delete your account, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere to the extent it has been shared with others, it was otherwise distributed pursuant to your privacy settings, or it was copied or stored by other users. However, your name will no longer be associated with that information on MapTalks. (For example, if you post something to an artifact owned by another user and then you delete your account, that post may remain, but be attributed to an “Anonymous MapTalks User.”) Additionally, we may retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested. If you have given third party applications or websites access to your information, they may retain your information to the extent permitted under their terms of service or privacy policies. But they will no longer be able to access the information through our Platform after you disconnect from them.

Backup copies

Removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for up to 90 days, but will not be available to others.

Non-user contact information

If a user provides your email address to us, and you are not a MapTalks user but you want us to delete your address, you can do so by sending us a request to . However, that request will only apply to addresses we have at the time of the request and not to any addresses that users provide to us later.

How We Protect Information

Steps we take to keep your information secure

We keep your account information on a secured server behind a firewall. We use automated and social measures to enhance security, such as analyzing account behavior for fraudulent or otherwise anomalous behavior, may limit use of site features in response to possible signs of abuse, may remove inappropriate content or links to illegal content, and may suspend or disable accounts for violations of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Risks inherent in sharing information

Although we allow you to set privacy options that limit access to your information, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. We cannot control the actions of other users with whom you share your information. We cannot guarantee that only authorized persons will view your information. We cannot ensure that information you share on MapTalks will not become publicly available. We are not responsible for third party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on MapTalks. You can reduce these risks by using common sense security practices such as choosing a strong password, using different passwords for different services, and using up to date antivirus software.

Report Violations

You should report any security violations by contacting us at .

Other Terms


We may change this Privacy Policy pursuant to the procedures outlined in the MapTalks Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Unless stated otherwise, our current privacy policy applies to all information that we have about you and your account. If we make changes to this Privacy Policy we will notify you by publication here. If the changes are material, we will provide you additional, prominent notice as appropriate under the circumstances.

Consent to Collection and Processing in the European Union and in the United States

By using MapTalks, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the European Union and in the United States.

Defined Terms

"Us," "we," "our," "Platform" and "MapTalks" mean the same as they do in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. “Information” and “content” are used more generally and interchangeably here than in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities unless otherwise limited by the context.

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