Privacy Policy

Introduction

Welcome to PhotoCircle, your solution for truly private photo sharing!

With the PhotoCircle App, you can create one or more “Circles” to share photos and video clips you select, and invite others to join those Circles. Media, including photos, videos, comments and similar types of content, that are uploaded to a Circle can only be viewed by Members of that Circle (its Moderator and any other Members invited by the Moderator or other members). Below we share more detail about our privacy practices. We also want to tell you right up front:

  • Media you add to a PhotoCircle will be visible only to others in that PhotoCircle, and will not be shared with humans outside of it.
  • You always control what Contributions you upload or delete
  • You can control whether you see personalized ads
  • You can always update or remove personal information we have about you
  • We will never sell your personal information to a third party

We want you to feel comfortable and confident that PhotoCircle shares your photos and identity only as you choose, and only with people you choose.

Please read on for more specifics about our privacy practices. If you still have questions or concerns, email us anytime at support@photocircleapp.com and we’ll be happy to help.

About this Policy

This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, store, share, and maintain information on our systems about your use of our website, which is located at photocircleapp.com (the “Website”), and our native mobile Android and iOS applications (collectively, the “App”). The Website and App are operated by Circle 38, Inc. (“PhotoCircle”, “we”, “us, and/or “our” as used in this Policy). Our references to “you” or something of “yours” in this Policy refer to users of the Website and App.

Capitalized terms used but not defined in this Policy with the same meaning as set forth in our Terms of Service, including Users, Circle, Member, Media, Comments, Contributions, SSO and PhotoCircle+. As defined in the Terms:

  • A “Moderator” is a User who has created at least one Circle, and they are the initial Moderator of any Circle which they create. Moderators have the ability to invite individual eligible Users to their Circles whether or not those Users already have an account. Moderators can (i) view, add, and delete Contributions from themselves or other Members of their Circles, (ii) invite and remove others from their Circles, and (iii) create and delete their Circles.
  • A “Contributor” is a Member of a Circle who can (i) view, add and delete their own Contributions, and (ii) invite other users to join a Circle of which they are a Member.
  • A “Viewer” is a Member of a Circle who can only view others’ Contributions to that Circle.

We aim to operate the most private photo sharing app around. In order to offer a free version, we show advertisements to users of the free App. Below we share more about how advertising works in our App and how you can turn off any personalization. You can also remove advertisements and disable any advertising technology anytime by subscribing to PhotoCircle+. You can subscribe to PhotoCircle+ through the “Settings” menu of the app.

If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Policy or our information collection and use practices, please contact us at support@photocircleapp.com.

How You Permit Us to Collect Data from You

When you Visit our Website

We do not collect personal information from or about our website visitors. We do not use tracking technologies of any kind on the Website - not Cookies, web beacons, clear gifs, etc. Browse freely!

Installing the App and Logging In

When you install the App, you’ll be prompted to either: (1) enter your email and set a password (“Standard Sign-on”) or (2) sign on using you Google, Facebook, or Apple credentials (“SSO”). You’ll be prompted to choose a Display Name either way, and this can be your name or any fake name you choose. You can -- but don’t have to -- add a profile photo in our Settings menu.

If you use SSO to create and/or log into your account, we redirect you to the login page of the SSO provider (ex: Google) to enter your credentials, and we never see those credentials. For SSO, if the applicable service has a profile photo associated with your login, we receive that photo and set it as your profile photo. If you use Google SSO, we automatically receive back your email as well. For Apple and Facebook SSO, you can choose whether to share your email with us.

Whether you sign on with SSO or Standard Sign-On, you can update your Display Name, profile photo, and password in the App’s “Settings” menu anytime. Access the Settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner of the App’s home screen. We refer to any information in your profile in this policy as “Profile Information,” but we only have Profile Information you give us (or that your SSO provider gives to us as a part of the ordinary operation of their technology).

Creating and Sharing a Circle

When you create a new “Circle” to share photos with select friends, you can choose who to invite to that Circle. Once you invite Members to a Circle as Contributors, they have the ability to invite others. On the Home screen, you can see both the number of Members in the Circle you have joined/created, as well as the number of photos uploaded by all of its Members. Any Member of a Circle can add comments to a particular photo. As the Moderator of a Circle, you will be able to remove Members by tapping their profile photo icon at the top of the Circle and then selecting “remove.” If you do this, that Member’s Contributions will be automatically removed from the Circle, and that former Member can no longer see anyone’s Contributions in the Circle.

You can invite others to join a Circle, or accept an invitation to join a Circle, by sending (to invite) or tapping (to accept an invite) the unique join link or QR code.

Anyone you invite to a Circle will need to create an account of their own to use the App. Please be sure to share these links and/or QR Codes only with those you’d like to join your Circle. You should only invite members you trust into your Circle(s), as they will be able to see and export your Contributions to that Circle. Please join only Circles where you trust the Moderator. Note that we reserve the right to remove harmful photos in response to certain serious concerns about harm to our users or third parties, as further described below and in our Terms of Service.

All Members of a Circle will be able to see all of the Contributions in that Circle, upload more Contributions (Media and Comments) to the Circle, and save Media from the Circle. If you added Contributions to the Circle, you can delete it from the App by tapping the “Delete” option when viewing the selected Media or Comment.

Once you confirm that you want to delete, we’ll remove that Media from the Circle and our systems, and it will no longer be visible to other Members. After Media is deleted from a Circle, we will periodically remove any Media on our storage that no longer belongs to a Circle.

Please only share Media when you are comfortable with each Circle Member (and anyone they share the photo with) having irrevocable access to that Media.

Showing Quality Advertisements for Free Users

When you use the free version of the App, we use a unique advertising identifier to choose which ads to display. These identifiers have been designed by the App Store and Play Store, respectively, to aggregate information about a device across applications. This aggregate information is, in turn, used to entice advertisers to bid to occupy ad space on apps like PhotoCircle when they want to offer a product that might suit a user of that device.

You can control this process on both Apple and Google platforms, though the process differs.

If you are using the iOS App and do not have an ad-free subscription, as of the date of this Policy, we use Apple’s IDFA. If you use iOS version 14 or later, you may be prompted to Allow tracking across apps and can click “Ask App not to track” to opt-out of tracking. If you allow tracking, we will show personalized ads. If you use an earlier version of iOS, you can disable tracking by going to your phone’s “Settings” menu. If you do not allow tracking, we will not use IDFA to advertise to you. You will still see ads, but they will not be personalized.

If you are using Android, we use Google’s Advertising ID (GAID). As of the Date of this Policy, you can opt out of personalized ads by heading to Settings on your Android device. Once you do so, Google Play Services will stop pushing personalized ad recommendations to your device, but apps on your phone will still be able to see the advertising ID. Google has indicated that by the end of 2022, changing this setting will remove all apps’ access to the Advertising ID. You will still see ads as a free user, but they will not be personalized.

We refer to the GAID and IDFA collectively as “Ad Identifiers” in this Policy.

How We Use Your Information

We use your Profile Information for display in the App. We use your password to help you log into the app on one or more devices if you use Standard Sign-On; for SSO, we never collect, use, or store a password. We use your email to identify and administer your account access and permit account recovery.

As a free user, if you allow it, we use Ad Identifiers to offer advertising space to ad publishers within the App. We do not use Ad identifiers for PhotoCircle+ users.

We use the Contributions you upload to populate Circles, display Contributions to other members of the Circle, allow members to comment on Contributions, and allow members to download Media. When any member adds a Contributions to a Circle, we also store that Contribution on our servers.

On an anonymized basis, we use third party analytics to analyze user actions within the App. This information helps us understand how to maintain and improve the App, fix bugs, and to conduct standard maintenance based on which parts of the app are used, rather than your individual behavior - and the data used in this process does not and cannot identify you personally. The session and usage data generated by our analytics is not associated with your identity.

How We Share Your Information

We do not share your personal information with third parties except as expressly described here:

For free users, the applicable Ad Identifier is shared with advertising networks in order to allow ad publishers to submit bids to fill our ad spaces. The App shares this identifier directly and solely for the purpose of finding a personalized ad directly from your device, and does not store the Ad identifier or delivered advertisement on servers or our systems.

We may also share information about you in the following ways:

With your express consent.

  • Your displayed name and profile photo, as well as Media you uploaded to a Circle, with those you invite (or they invite) into that Circle.
  • With any parent or subsidiaries of ours, or other companies or entities which control, are controlled by or under common control with us.This may include sharing with a potential successor-in-interest in a business transaction. For such transactions, we will generally require the potential successor-in-interest to execute a confidentiality agreement before sharing any information with them. We will require such parties to honor this Privacy Policy, as updated from time to time, with respect to such shared information. If material changes to our privacy practices will occur as a result of a business transition, we will make a reasonable attempt to notify you via email of the changes before they occur.
  • With third-party vendors who provide the infrastructure that allows the App to operate - such as cloud servers, hosting, and notifications. We select vendors based on privacy, security, and confidentiality standards, and only share personally-identifiable information with vendors who provide contractual assurances that it will stay private and secure.
  • Without identifying you, we may generate reports and/or analyses of the aggregate usage of our Services, and use this for our business operations. We do not consider this personal information in this Policy. However, the aggregate reports are derived from information about user accounts and their activities within the App.
  • As we deem necessary, in our sole discretion to:
  • Comply with applicable law
  • Comply with a valid governmental and/or law enforcement request
  • Comply with a court or other governmental body’s order
  • Protect the privacy, security, safety, or likeness rights of any user or a third party subject of a photo uploaded to a Circle.
  • Evaluate and comply with legitimate copyright takedown requests
  • Identify and remove illegal, hateful, and/or abusive images and/or comments from our systems
  • To otherwise enforce our rights and/or to protect the safety and security of our Website, App or other users.

Do Not Track

Our Website does not recognize Do Not Track signals. Nonetheless, we do not track Website visitors on any identifiable basis whatsoever.

California Privacy Rights

Under California Civil Code Sections 1798.83-1798.84, California residents are entitled to contact us to prevent disclosure of personal information to third parties for such third parties’ direct marketing purposes; however, PhotoCircle does not share your information with third parties for direct marketing purposes.

  • We still offer all of our users certain options to exercise control over their information, regardless of their residency:
  • Right to Know: You have the right to request that we disclose to you the personal information about you we collect, use, or disclose, and information about our data handling practices with respect to your information;
  • Right to Request Deletion: You have the right to request that we delete your Personal Information that we have collected from you; and
  • Right to Non-Discrimination: We will not discriminate against you for exercising any of these rights.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please email us at support@photocircleapp.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

How We Secure Your Information

Like most applications today, we use cloud server infrastructure to run our App and Website. We license server spaces that encrypt data sent to the App and displayed by the App, both while “at rest” in our database and “in transit” between the App and those databases. Only we can access the database(s) we created to operate the App, and we do so only through a single executive account - even the owner of the database does not have access to the data we store there.

When we generate QR codes or links to add members to a Circle, we share these only with the user and device that requested them. You choose who to share it with from there.

Note that SSO information is controlled and accessed by the relevant SSO provider, such as Google or Facebook. Please refer to the privacy policies of these platforms for more information about how they operate their SSO.

While we take reasonable precautions against possible security breaches of the Website, PhotoCircle and our customer databases and records, no website or Internet transmission is completely secure, and we cannot guarantee that unauthorized access, hacking, data loss, or other breaches will never occur. We urge you to use caution when choosing what information to share with us, just in case.

PhotoCircle is not for use by minors

PhotoCircle is not intended for, and should not be used by, children younger than 13. We do not intentionally collect any information from or about persons under 13. In the event that we learn that we have inadvertently gathered Personal Information from children under the age of 13, we will use our best efforts to erase such information from our records. If you believe we have inadvertently collected information about a minor 3 years or younger, please contact us at support@photocircleapp.com with a description of the potential issue.

How to access, update, and/or delete information we have about you

You can confirm what items of personal information we have about you, update this information, or delete that information (including by deleting your entire account), by emailing us at support@photocircleapp.com.

If you email us, we will comply with your requests to update or remove your personal information within a reasonable time period unless we are prohibited by law from doing so. This may take up to 30 - 60 days depending on the nature of the request and the operations of our business.

If you delete your account, we will remove you from the Circles you created and the Circles you have joined. All your Contributions will be deleted. If you are the moderator of any Circle, all Contributions from other Members will also be deleted.
Contact Us

Questions or concerns? Reach us anytime at support@photocircleapp.com

Last Updated: January 9, 2022