Privacy Policy

See related: Terms of Service

At, we recognize the importance of privacy to visitors to our Web site,'s mobile site and applications, any other sites, applications and services, and any features of these sites, applications and services (the " Services").

This Privacy Policy explains what type of information is collected from you when you visit the Services and how that information may be used. Please note that this Privacy Policy is separate and distinct from the privacy policies governing the Web sites, applications and services of National Public Radio (NPR) and its member stations, and the Web sites, applications and services that may link to or from the Services.

Gathering of Information collects personally-identifying information (such as your name and e-mail address, and, for purchases, your address, telephone number, and credit card information) from the Services for a variety of purposes. Services for a variety of purposes. asks visitors to provide certain personal information when they register for certain features or services of the Services (for example, the Car Talk Community, and e-mail newsletters), when they create a profile in the Car Talk Community, when they e-mail or otherwise share a story from the Services, when they make a purchase from the Shameless Commerce section of the Web site, when they post, upload, transmit and/or otherwise submit ("Submit") a comment, message, story idea, essay, photo, image, or other text, content or material ("User Materials"), and when they register for any online contests. In some cases, records the telephone number of your mobile device when you access's mobile site and applications or any features of the site, applications and services (" Mobile Services"). also may ask visitors to provide personal information in other limited circumstances specified at the time the information is gathered. Any information that you Submit on or through the Car Talk Community or other social networking features, as part of story or blog comments, or otherwise Submit to the Services, may become public, including the full name and nickname that you provide when registering for the Car Talk Community.

Like all other Web servers,'s Web server automatically creates log files for each visitor who accesses the Services. These "access logs" allow us to make our site more useful to our visitors. For users of Mobile Services, the access logs record the identifier provided for your mobile device by your wireless carrier ("carrier identifier"). Otherwise, the access logs do NOT record a visitor's name, address, e-mail address, credit card numbers, or any other personally-identifying information. Rather, they contain some or all of the following information:

  • The Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) of the machine which accessed the Services.
  • General location information (based on IP Address)
  • The date of the visit.
  • The time of the visit.
  • The path taken through the Services.
  • The browser being used.
  • A list of files downloaded or viewed.
  • The amount of time spent listening to/viewing media files.
  • Any errors encountered.

Cookies and Other Technologies also uses 'cookies' to collect information. A cookie is a string of characters that can be written to a file on the user's hard drive when the user visits a web site, application or service. Only the web site, application or service that set the cookie can read it, and it can only be used as a record keeping device to store user IDs and information that the site already has. It cannot be used to read other information from the user's hard drive. uses cookies to track users' activity through the Services in order to improve the site/application/service architecture, to offer the user interactive features that would not be possible without them, to offer local station content, and to recall specific information to save the user time during subsequent visits to the Services. For example, cookies allow to remember your registration information while you are logged in. Shameless Commerce and other interactive features also use cookies. Our sponsorship service vendors, which serve sponsorship messages onto the Services, and third party vendors that measure and analyze the use of the Services for, may also use their own cookies. and the third party vendors that measure and analyze use of the Services for also may use web beacons, alone or in conjunction with cookies, to help compile information about and facilitate usage of the Services, including usage of certain API Content. A web beacon is an electronic image, also known as a single-pixel (1x1) or clear .gif, which can be used to recognize certain information on your computer, such as cookies, the time and date of a page viewed, and a description of where API Content is placed. We may use web beacons on this site from time to time for this and other purposes.

If you wish to prevent certain or all cookies or web beacons from being set to your hard drive or device, or to clear existing cookies or web beacons from your browser's or device's cache, you may be able to disable them in your browser's preferences, although your browser might then be unable to accommodate certain functionalities on the Services.

Use of Information
The use of personally-identifying information is limited to the following: managing and administering the Services; responding to user messages; listing name and location (city, state and/or country) information provided by users when broadcasting or publishing User Materials; fulfillment of Shameless Commerce orders; contest management; editorial purposes such as contacting users for an online survey; sending e-mail newsletters and other communications, including marketing and promotional communications, from or NPR member stations to users who have 'opted in' to the receipt of such communications; other internal purposes; and other purposes specified at the time the information is gathered. may contact users regarding their submissions in certain circumstances.

Any information that you disclose when participating in the Car Talk Community (including creating a profile or submitting a comment to a story or blog or in a discussion thread or a recommendation posted to the Mechanics Files section), such as your full name and any nickname, is likely to become public. This information may be posted on the Services. In addition, may use, copy, sublicense, modify, transmit, publicly perform, display, create derivative works of, host, index, cache, tag, encode, and/or adapt any User Materials, and any information contained therein, in any and all media formats or channels, whether now known or hereafter devised, including, but not limited to, the Services, NPR and NPR-member-station web sites and services, other third party web sites and services, over the air (on radio or television), and on mobile platforms.

In addition, if you send User Materials to through the Services, we may print the User Materials, or an excerpt from the User Materials, on the Services, read them on air, or otherwise publish them in any other medium, together with your name and location (city, state and/or country) if you provide that information to us.

Excluding information provided by the user when participating in the Car Talk Community or sending User Materials to, which may become public as discussed above, personally-identifying information collected by is not provided to outside parties except, for limited purposes, NPR and NPR-member stations, service vendors (such as the Shameless Commerce order fulfillment service,'s email list manager, and the provider of the tool that allows users to sign in using information from their account with a third party service), and other third parties when the user specifically consents to such distribution (such as the disclosure of your name to a friend when you email or otherwise share a story to that friend). In these circumstances, the information is provided for the sole purpose of and only to the extent necessary for—delivering the requested goods to the user, delivering communications from or NPR to users who have 'opted in' to the receipt of these communications, providing services for and on behalf of, or serving other internal or NPR purposes. also may disclose personal information if required to do so by law or if it believes that such action is necessary to (a) comply with the law or with legal process, (b) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of the Services, or (c) protect the personal safety or property of users of the Services, the public or and its employees. If you do not want your personally-identifying information to be collected or used for any of these purposes, please do not provide it (although if you do not provide it, you may not be able to use or participate in certain features of the Services). You can also 'opt out' according to the process described below., with the assistance from time to time of its third party service vendors, uses non-identifying aggregate information to analyze use of and better design the Services and to share with third parties in aggregate form only as appropriate. For example, we may tell a third party that a certain number of users accessed a particular audio stream on our Web site. However, we will not disclose any information that could be used to identify those users.

Security has in place what we believe to be appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. Credit card information provided to the Shameless Commerce section is protected against unauthorized use by 128-bit encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security features, which scramble your personal information so that only your browser and the Shameless Commerce server can decipher it. However, no Internet, e-mail or mobile transmission is ever fully secure or error free. Because most e-mail and mobile transmissions are not encrypted, you should take special care in deciding what information you send to us via e-mail or other mobile transmission.

Under 13: You must be at least 13 years old in order to register for e-mail newsletters or other features of the Services. If you are under 13 years of age, please do not send any information about yourself, including your name, address or e-mail address. If we discover that we have collected any personally-identifying information from a child under the age of 13, we will remove that information from our database as soon as possible.

13-18: You must be at least 18 years old in order to submit any User Materials on or through the Services, create a profile in the Car Talk Community, participate in any online contests, or place an order on the Shop. Visitors between the ages of 13 and 18 must obtain permission from their parents or guardians before registering for e-mail newsletters or other features of the Services (excluding the Car Talk Community, for which they cannot register) or otherwise sending any personally-identifying information.

Corrections to Personal Data; Opting Out
Please contact us to (a) correct or update any personal information in the database that you state is erroneous,( b) opt-out of future communications from, or (c) request to make reasonable efforts to remove your personal information from's database, thereby canceling your Car Talk Community profile, newsletter registration and other registrations. This will not necessarily remove previous public comments and other User Materials Submitted for public display on the Services. The user understands that it may be impossible to delete personal information entirely because of backups and records of deletions.

Acceptance of Privacy Policy Terms reserves the right to change this policy. Any changes to this policy will be posted to this page as soon as reasonably possible, so please check this page periodically. Use of the Services constitutes consent to any policy then in effect. Please make sure that you read's Terms of Service to understand additional terms and conditions which apply to the use of the Services.

Links to other Sites and Services
Please note that the Services contain links to other sites, applications, and services maintained by third parties that may not follow the same privacy policies as the Services. For instance, clicking or tapping on a sponsorship notice, a Shameless Commerce link, or some third party logos on the Services will take you to an entirely different site, application or service. These sites, applications and services may use cookies, collect data, and use the data in ways that the Services would not. is not responsible for the privacy practices or any information or materials on these other sites. Please visit these sites if you wish to review their privacy policies.

In some cases, the Services may include certain embedded tools provided and controlled by third parties and governed by the terms and policies of the third parties. You should only use these third party tools if you agree to their respective terms and policies.

International User Notice
For international users, please note that it may be necessary to transfer your information internationally and, in particular, your information may be transferred to and processed in the United States. For residents of the European Union: the data protection and other laws of other countries outside of the European Union may not be as comprehensive as those of the European Union. Please be assured that we take steps to ensure that your privacy is protected as described in this policy. By using this site, you agree to have your information used and transferred to the United States as set forth in this policy.

Questions If you have any questions or comments concerning our Privacy Policy, please Contact Us.

Revised March 25, 2011