Privacy statement

Thank you for visiting and reviewing the Teen Tribune, Tween Tribune, TEspañol and TTJunior (hereinafter collectively referred to as "TTribune") Privacy Statement. TTribune is operated by the Smithsonian Institution's Smithsonian Enterprises ("SE"). This Privacy Statement applies only to the TTribune website. It does not apply to any of SE's other websites, Smithsonian magazine (, Air&Space Magazine (, SmithsonianStore (, Smithsonian Journeys (; or the Smithsonian Institution "Smithsonian" websites. Consult those websites for their respective privacy statements.

1. What is TTribune?

TTribune is a free online educational service offered by SE for use by K-12 teachers and students, including text, photos, graphics, audio and/or videos materials prepared by the Smithsonian and others, about current events, history, art, culture, and science, lessons, instructional and assessment tools, and opportunities to communicate with other participants. TTribune is also a moderated comment sharing community where registered teachers can assign educational content (like news stories) to students and the students using a screen name have the ability to create comments which, if approved by their teacher, are then published either to the other students within the Teacher's TTribune classroom page, or publically on TTribune. Refer to our FAQs for more detailed information about how the service works.

2. Generally, What Personal Information Will TTribune Collect from Me When I Visit the Website and How Will it be Used?

TTribune only collects your personal information when you knowingly and voluntarily provide it to us as part of the registration process for obtaining a Teacher user account. Teacher accounts may only be obtained by teachers who are 18 years of age or older. During the Teacher account registration process you will be asked to provide your first and last name, personal email address, school name, school email address, school address, and school phone number. We will use your email address to contact you about the service in the following situations: (i) if you request a password reset; (ii) to respond to a question or a concern that you have submitted to us; (iii) or if we need to address a concern raised by other TTribune users about a comment published from a student user that is associated to your classroom, or (iv) to contact you about TTribune, SE, and/or Smithsonian activities, programs, memberships and development opportunities, products, and special events that may be of interest to you. When we send information by email, you will always have an immediate opportunity to decline further communications. You should use the contact specified in the email so that we can remove your information from the list that contains your contact name and email address. If uncertain about whom to contact, you may contact our webmaster. Except as stated in this TTribune Privacy Statement, we will not rent, exchange, or release your personal information to outside parties without your consent. Once we obtain your consent, we consider it valid until revoked by you.

3. What Personal Information Will TTribune Collect from Students?

We do not knowingly collect any personal information from those registered on the site as students, or anyone under the age of 13. Teachers are responsible for obtaining and maintaining verifiable parental/legal guardian consent for their students' participation in and use of TTribune, and for the duration of the school year in which the students will be using TTribune. We reserve the right to request proof of such consent at any time. Teachers are responsible for creating user names and screen names for their students that do not contain personally identifiable information (PII) such as a student's full first and last name, email address or phone number. These can be plain words, fictional first names and last initials, or an alternative system that the teacher can use to set up distinct user and screen names for his/her students. We do not request or collect personal information from users who are registered on the site as students. We will not seek to contact users who are registered as students in any way. If anyone known to be under the age of 18 years old (whether a student or a visitor to TTribune) sends an inquiry or request via email, we will reply one time to the email and then promptly delete it and all personal information.

4. What information Does TTribune Collect and Store Automatically from Visitors?

We automatically gather and store the following information about site visitors so we can monitor site usage, traffic trends, functionality, and make technological improvements. This information is aggregated and stored. It will only be used for SE's internal purposes, and will not be used to contact any teacher, student or visitor. In particular, we automatically collect:

  • The IP address from which TTribune was accessed;
  • The name of the domain from which visitors and users access the Internet (for example,, if connecting from a Google Online account);
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access TTribune;
  • The date and time TTribune was accessed;
  • The TTribune pages, files, news stories, documents and links visited; and
  • The domain of the website which referred the visitor or user to TTribune (the last website visited before visiting this one).

5. How Does TTribune Use Cookies?

In addition to information collected automatically, we use cookies to support the internal functionality of the website. Cookies, which are small pieces of information sent to your browser by TTribune when you visit it, are used to track usage patterns, traffic trends, and visitor behavior, as well as to record other information from TTribune. Cookies are not used to identify visitors or users over time or across websites. Many content adjustments and service improvements are made based on the data derived from cookies.

TTribune uses third-party vendors, such as Google Analytics, to place cookies and analyze the information collected by cookies in order to make TTribune more interesting and useful to you as a visitor or user. No PII is collected by us. Information that we collect from cookies will not be used to create profiles of individual users or visitors, and only will be used in aggregate form. The data is retained for as long as is necessary to support the technology and mission of TTribune. You may set your browser to refuse cookies from TTribune, however, if you do so, some functionality may be limited. If you would like more information about cookies and the option not to have them used by third-party companies during your visit, please visit the following website: To opt-out of Google Analytics using the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Additionally, TTribune uses the Demographics and Interest reporting feature for Google Analytics for Display Advertising. The data provided by this service (such as age, gender, and interests) is also used to better understand TTribune's visitors and customize it to our users' interest. You may opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising by visiting Ad Settings.

6. Does TTribune Have Third-Party Online Advertising?

TTribune uses third party advertising and analytic companies, such as Hotchalk, to display contextual advertisements across the TTribune website. TTribune may also display interest based ads for logged in Teachers users. In that case, such advertising is primarily directed toward teachers and is only visible to the registered teachers when they are logged-in to TTribune. These third party companies may use information (not including the teacher’s name, address, e-mail address or telephone number) about the teachers’ visit to this website or other websites in order to provide relevant advertisements and offers that may be of interest to the teachers. TTribune does not permit interest based advertising to appear on the website when unregistered visitors or registered student users access the website. Only logged-in teacher users receive Interest based advertising. For more information about third parties involved in online behavioral advertising, and for information on how to opt-out, please see our online behavioral privacy notice here:

7. When Might TTribune Share or Disclose Personal Information?

TTribune may also use outside vendors to provide certain services, such as the monitoring or filtering of comments, on our behalf. These third-party vendors will have access to the information needed to perform their functions but may not use that information for any other purpose.

TTribune may send you information from non-SE or non-Smithsonian entities, including correspondence on programs, products, or services that might be of interest to you. If you decide that you would like to subsequently opt-out of receiving any further correspondence from a non-SE or non-Smithsonian entity, you should correspond directly with that business or organization to be removed from their mailing list.

Please note that the Smithsonian Institution also may provide your information to: (1) a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency if the Smithsonian becomes aware of a violation or potential violation of law or regulation; (2) a court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the Smithsonian is a party or in order to comply with a subpoena; (3) a member of the public in response to his or her request for Smithsonian records under Smithsonian Directive 807, available at; (4) the Department of Justice or in certain legal proceedings when the Smithsonian, an employee of the Smithsonian, or the United States is a party to litigation or has an interest in the litigation and the use of such records is deemed relevant and necessary to the litigation; (5) Smithsonian officials, including the Inspector General, as needed to perform official duties; (6) a Committee of Congress in response to a formal request; (7) protect the security or integrity of the TTribune or any other Smithsonian website and service; and (8) any other person or entity as required by law.

Any further sharing or disclosure requires your consent. The Smithsonian will not share information about its user that it receives through TTribune outside the Smithsonian unless you affirmatively authorize us to do so by opting-in.

8. How Does TTribune Protect Children's Privacy?

The Smithsonian is committed to protecting the privacy of all its visitors, especially those under the age of 13.

For TTribune, we have taken measures to ensure that we do not knowingly collect PII (e.g., first and last names, ages, addresses, location, telephone numbers, photographs, or email addresses) from any registered student user, regardless of age. We don't ask for, collect, or use student information in order for a student to be able to participate. Teachers create user and screen names for their students, not using student PII about the students (such as a full first and last name, email address or phone number). Further, we require prior verifiable parental or legal guardian consent for students to be able to participate and use TTribune as part of an organized school activity. Teachers are required to obtain this documentation prior to their students' use of TTribune. Teachers are required to maintain this documentation for the duration of the school year in which the student will be using TTribune. We reserve the right to request proof of such consent at any time during the respective school year. We also monitor and filter comments for accidental posting of PII or inappropriate information.

Similarly, if at any time a website visitor known to be under the age of 13 (a "Child") sends an email to us, we will only use it to respond to the writer to address the inquiry or request, and will not create a profile or otherwise retain the information. If at any time we learn that we have otherwise collected PII from a Child, we will send a single email to the Child informing them that we are deleting their information, and then promptly delete all of their information.

9. How Does TTribune Keep Personal Information Secure?

SE has taken reasonable steps to design and manage TTribune's technology to ensure that its information technology systems, applications, and information technology infrastructure are secure. As appropriate and feasible, the Smithsonian monitors network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to access, upload, or change information or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized access and/or unauthorized attempts to change information on TTribune is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. In addition to limiting access to personal information to those who have a business "need to know", the Smithsonian requires its service providers who help maintain or operate TTribune to contractually agree to protect the confidentiality, integrity, availability and security of the personal information.

10. How Does TTribune Use Embedded Plug-Ins, Widgets, and Links?

Within TTribune there are advertisements, widgets, and other content links to non-Smithsonian Websites. These sites operate independently of SE and have their own privacy policies. When you visit these sites, you leave our website and no longer will be subject to our privacy and security policies. The Smithsonian is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of non-Smithsonian Websites, and such link is not intended to be an endorsement of the non-Smithsonian Website or its content. For your protection, you should review the privacy policy of the site you linked to from our website.

11. How Will I Know If You Change the TTribune Privacy Statement?

From time to time we may update this TTribune Privacy Statement. When this happens, we will notify our visitors of the new provisions by publically posting them here. If the change is material, we will send notice to you as a registered teacher via your email addresses.

12. Who Can I Contact With Questions?

Questions and comments about this Privacy Statement may be directed to us via email at or by mail:
Smithsonian Institution
Privacy Office
PO Box 37012, MRC 041
Washington, DC 20013-7012

For questions or concerns about the TTribune service, please refer to our FAQs, or contact us via email.

This TTribune Privacy Statement was last updated on August 20, 2014.