Privacy Policy  


At Pocket-Monkey, we take your privacy seriously. This policy outlines the sorts of information we collect from you and describes what we do with it.

Types of Information

When you create an account at Pocket-Monkey, we ask you for some information, such as your name, the password you'd like to use to get into the site, what email address we should use to contact you, etc. As you play games and chat with people on Pocket-Monkey, we record other information so that the site can function. Some of this information, such as your username, is Public (although you can hide a lot of it if you like); some of it, like your private messages to other players, is Private between you and that other player; and some of it, like your email address, is Confidential -- information shared between you and Pocket-Monkey, but no one else. Here is how we define Public, Private, and Confidential and what we do with that information:

  • By default, Public information is displayed on the site (and so is available to everyone). For instance, your username is shown on all of your games, forum messages you write, in the Player Directory, and in lists of players (such as Top Players or Active Players). But if you like to keep a low profile, you can ask us to leave you out of the Player Directory and lists of players. This doesn't make your username private, but it does hide it pretty well except from the people you're actually playing games with. (Most people prefer to be listed publicly, of course, so people can find them and invite them to games.)
  • Private information is shared between you and another player, but is not publicly available on the site. For example, when playing a private game, you and the other player can see the game (and your messages to each other in the game) but other people on the site cannot (except in tournament games, which are public). You can also send private messages to other players outside of games. It is not the policy of Pocket-Monkey to monitor, edit, or disclose this information, but Pocket-Monkey administrators may occasionally see this information when working on the site or investigating a complaint. Nothing said or done on Pocket-Monkey is hidden from the site administrators, even though we don't actively monitor.
  • Confidential information is kept confidential by Pocket-Monkey. We never display confidential information to anyone else on the site and we do not share it with any third parties (except if necessary to comply with a legal order; see "Complying with a Legal Order" below); Pocket-Monkey Administrators can see it, but no one else. Your Pocket-Monkey account password and your email address(es) are confidential information which you explicitly supply us with during account creation and when updating your profile. Like most other web sites, we also automatically collect some other confidential information, including but not limited to the IP address you connect with.

Use of Public Information

We make the public information you provide us available on the site. Your username, for instance, is displayed on each of your games, your forum messages, your private messages, game invitations, etc.

Your name: We ask for your name during registration. This name is shown in the Player Directory, on various player lists, and on any forum messages you write. We do not actually require that the name you give be your full name or real name. We do require, however, that you do not impersonate anyone else.

Opting out: By default, your public information is included in the Player Directory and various lists on the site. For example, your username, name, and "blurb" (short description) may be displayed on the Active Players list, the Top Players list, the Player Directory, etc. The Player Directory also contains your name, "about me" description, timezone, and other public fields. You can opt out of appearing in the Directory and on player lists by removing the checkmark from the "Yes, include me in the Player Directory (and other player lists)" checkbox when creating your account (or anytime after that via Settings | My Profile). Opting out of the Directory and player lists means you will not appear on them. It doesn't mean that your public information will never be displayed, but in practice it tends to hide you on the site pretty well. Most people prefer to be shown in the Directory and on the lists so that other members can see them and invite them to games. Again, private information is never shown in these places.

Use of Private Information

Your turns and messages in private games, and your private messages to other users not in games, are used to send the turn and message to the other player in question. Other than that, private information is not displayed on the site. However, we cannot be liable for flaws in the system that could allow outsiders or other players to see this information. Therefore, we advise you not to discuss very sensitive subjects in your games and messages.

Use of Confidential Information

We use the confidential information you provide us with to grant you access to the site and to provide certain features of Pocket-Monkey, such as the (optional) emaill notifications when it's your turn. We also use it to ensure the smooth running of the site.

Your Pocket-Monkey password: We use your Pocket-Monkey account password when you log in, to validate your identity. We will also email you your password if you ask for it.

Your email address: We use your email address to contact you if necessary for any reason. Unless you opt-in to certain features, this is rare. Here are the specific ways in which we use your email address:

  • If we need to contact you about your account for administrative purposes, we'll email you. This is unlikely; we never have reason to contact the vast majority of our players for administrative purposes, but it does happen occasionally.
  • If we change a Pocket-Monkey policy (such as this Privacy Policy, the User Agreement, or other policies on the site) and we deem it absolutely necessary to do so, we will notify you of the change via email. We have sent precisely two policy change emails since starting Pocket-Monkey in 2002.
  • If you use our "forgotten user name" or "forgotten password" features, we'll use your email address to email the information to you. This is only in direct response to receiving a request via those features.
  • If you opt-in to notifications, we use your email address to notify you when you have a turn waiting, when you're invited to a game, when you're sent a private message, etc. (By default, new accounts are not opted-in to notifications).
  • If you opt-in to our newsletter, we'll use your email address to send you the newsletter. (By default, new accounts are not opted-in to our newsletter.)

Pocket-Monkey personnel will never directly ask you for your confidential information. We don't need to, because you supply that information when creating your account or updating your profile (via Settings | My Profile). We may ask that you update it (in your profile), but we will never ask you for it directly. If anyone claiming to be a representative of Pocket-Monkey asks you to give them your password or email address, do not give it to them and please let us know immediately by using the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page.

We take pains to keep your confidential information confidential. However, we cannot be liable for flaws in the system which could inadvertently make this information available.

Other Data Gathered by Pocket-Monkey

We use cookies (and/or other forms of session tracking) to track basic information about you (such as your username) as you move from page to page. This is information we already have about you, so you are not revealing anything new. This information is tracked so you do not need to login between pages.

As you do things on the site, we may or may not keep a record of what you do, when necessary for the functioning of the site. For instance, when you play a turn in a game, we record the turn (there'd be little point to the site otherwise!); when you post a forum message, we keep a copy of the forum message. We keep track of your total games, wins, and losses, and display that information on your user profile and potentially on the Top Players list (if you haven't opted out of these; see above). There may or may not be other, less obvious, information recorded and retained as required to ensure the smooth running of the site.

Third-Party Cookies

Pocket-Monkey makes use of advertising partners to show relevant advertisements on the site. These advertising partners may use cookies to serve ads based on your visits to our site and other sites on the Internet. Here is information about our current ad partners:

  • Google: Google uses the DoubleClick DART cookie to enable it and its partners to serve ads based on your visits to Pocket-Monkey and/or other sites on the Internet. You may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting their advertising opt-out page. Alternately, you may wish to visit the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.
  • Amazon: Pocket-Monkey is an Amazon Associate, please see their privacy information page for details of how they use cookies, and links to their opt-out procedure.

Pocket-Monkey Administrators

It is not the policy of Pocket-Monkey to monitor, edit, or disclose your communications with other players on the site. This includes the messages included with turns in private games, messages sent via the Pocket-Monkey messaging system (the Messages tab), etc. However, nothing you do on Pocket-Monkey is truly private from Pocket-Monkey Administrators. Administrators may view anything recorded on the site in the course of working on the site or investigating complaints, including private games (and messages in private games), private messages, etc. In rare situations, we may act on the information we see. That said, again, it's not our policy to monitor these communications.

Other Personal Information

It is not currently our policy to ask you for personal information such as your street address, phone number, etc. The only information we ask you for is requested via the account signup page and the Edit Profile page. If anyone claiming to be a representative of Pocket-Monkey asks you directly for this type of information, please notify us immediately via the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page.

A duly executed legal order, such as a summons, from a valid authority can override any privacy protection provided by this policy. We've never yet been presented with a legal order for information, but if we are we have no choice but to provide the information it requires.