Privacy and Anonymity

About BPN's Privacy Policy

The Berkeley Parents Network is meant to be a supportive, helpful forum for parent-to-parent networking. BPN's Privacy Policy is designed to 1) protect the anonymity of subscribers so that we will all feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics about ourselves and our families, and 2) ensure that parents who post to BPN will not be subjected to unwanted email from other subscribers.

Information You Provide to BPN When You Subscribe

When you subscribe to BPN, we ask for certain information to make sure you are eligible to subscribe and also to create an account for you on the BPN website. The information we request includes:

  • All subscribers:  your full name, your email address, the city you live in, a username of your choice, and a password
  • Parents: the ages of your children, the neighborhood you live in, and an optional introduction
  • Community subscribers: the name of your school or business, license number, capacity, and a description of your program

How BPN Uses the Information Your Provide

Your email address is used to:
  • mail BPN newsletters to you (you can opt out of newsletters on your account page)
  • forward messages to you from other BPN subscribers (you can disable this on your account page)
  • contact you if moderators have a question about something you posted

Your username is used for posting and sending messages on BPN - more below.

All of the other information you provide when you subscribe is stored on your account page on BPN, which can be accessed only by you and by BPN administrators. This information is never shared or sold or made available to anyone else outside of BPN, except as may be required by law, or with your consent. For example, if you choose to be included in the "Welcome to New Members" section of the Announcements newsletter, your username, city, ages of your children, and your introduction are listed in the next newsletter, which is a one-time mailing sent to BPN subscribers only.

Your Username on BPN

Your username will appear on all your posts, with the exception of "Parent Q&A" where parents have the option to post anonymously.  BPN uses your username to create a "Contact" link on your post so other BPN subscribers can contact you via BPN's private message system.

Parents: Most parent subscribers choose a username that does not identify them, such as "Oakland Mom."  Your username will appear on posts you make to the childcare and marketplace listings.

Community Subscribers: Community subscribers typically use the name of their business or their full name. By default, nanny and student subscribers are assigned only their first name and last initial for their username. All subscribers have the ability to change their username. You can change your username on your account page -- click "my account" in the upper right corner when you're logged in, and then click the "Edit my Account" tab.

Posting Anonymously

All posts are signed with the username of your choosing (not your real name), except for "Parent Q&A" posts, which offers the option to post anonymously.  Your real name and email address are never included on a post unless you specifically type it into the body of your post.  Only the BPN moderators have access to your name and email address. We recommend that you choose a username that does not identify you to preserve your privacy, rather than hiding your username on Q&A posts. Posts that include a username are friendlier and more in keeping with the community spirit of BPN. You can change your username to make it more anonymous - see How to Change your Username.