Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy discloses the privacy practices for the Index-Tribune newspaper and (the “Site”). For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, unless otherwise noted, all references to “SonomaNews” include and the Index-Tribune newspaper. SonomaNews is part of Sonoma Media Investments. Third party sites that links to, such as, are governed by their own privacy policies. We are not responsible for the content or the privacy policies of those websites or other websites to which they link. In this Privacy Policy, you will find answers to the following questions:

What information do we gather about you?

The information we gather falls into two categories: 1) personal information you voluntarily supply when you subscribe, order, complete a survey, register for an online discussion, enter a contest or provide your e-mail address and 2) tracking information collected as you navigate through our sites.

Registration for our Web sites

Anyone can view the Site, but a free registration process is required to access the full range of information and services we offer. requires that you supply a unique e-mail address and demographic information (zip code, age, sex, household income to register. By using, you are agreeing to the terms of our Member Agreement.

Contests, Sweepstakes and Special Offers

On occasion, SonomaNews collects personal information from readers in connection with optional sweepstakes, contests or special offers. If this information is to be shared with a third party other than SonomaNews, we will notify you at the time of collection. If you do not want any personal information shared, you may always decline to participate in the sweepstakes, contest or special offer.

Reader Surveys, Reader Panels and Market Research

SonomaNews may collect personal information from readers in connection with voluntary surveys. Data may be collected on our Web sites, on the phone or through the mail. The information you provide in answer to optional survey questions may be shared, but only in the aggregate, with advertisers and partners unless we notify you otherwise at the time of collection.

Mobile Messaging Service

We may elect to offer certain text messaging services (the “SMS Service”). We use the information collected from your interaction with the SMS Service solely for the purposes of improving the SMS Service. The information will not be provided, sold, licensed, rented, assigned or disclosed, except as required by law. We will not use your phone number to initiate a call or SMS text message to you without your express prior consent. Your wireless carrier and other service providers also collect data about your SMS Service usage: their practices are governed by their own privacy policies. SonomaNews collects the mobile phone number you use to send us a text message and the content of the messages sent between you and SonomaNews. When you send a text message to SonomaNews or via SonomaNews, we log the incoming phone number, the wireless provider associated with the number, and the date and time of the transaction. The only information we automatically collect is that related to the use of our Mobile Services. SonomaNews uses this data to analyze the message traffic in order to operate, develop and improve our SMS Service.

Aggregate Information Collected Through Technology: Cookies and Other Technologies

As is standard practice on many Web sites, SonomaNews uses “cookies” and other technologies to recognize you and provide personalization, as well as to help us understand which parts of our Web sites are the most popular, where our visitors are going and how much time they spend there. Users who do not accept cookies from the domain "" cannot access most areas of our sites. We reserve the right to place a SonomaNews Company cookie on your computer with a unique anonymous number to ensure that your browser does not see the same ad over and over again, to sequence ads in a series and to measure the number of unique visitors that have viewed a particular ad or visited a particular Web page. For detailed information about our use of cookies, see the Frequently Asked Questions area of our Member Center. Sonoma Media Investments, of which we are a part, is currently using Omniture, a third party, to track and analyze non-personally identifiable usage and volume statistical information from our visitors and customers to administer our Web site and constantly improve its quality. All data collected by Omniture on behalf of is owned and used by SonomaNews or Sonoma Media Investments. SonomaNews reserves the right to publish non-personally identifiable, summary information regarding its Web site visitors for promotional purposes and as a representative audience for advertisers. Please note that this is not personal information, only general summaries of the activities of our visitors and customers. For more information about Omniture's privacy policy, including how to opt out, go to We reserve the right to change the vendors who provide us with usage data.

Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)

Advertisers on may elect to use third party advertising companies to serve ads on our Web site, and in these instances may use a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs/action tags/pixel tags) to better manage advertising on our site. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies. Clear gifs may ping or alert the advertiser's server about the online movements of Web users. For instance, advertisers may place a clear gif allowing them to recognize an existing cookie on your browser if from the same service. The main difference between cookies and clear gifs is that clear gifs are invisible on the page and are much smaller, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Please keep in mind, we do not have access to any information collected by these clear gifs nor additional information they may be tied to by the advertiser.

IP Addresses

SonomaNews logs IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, or the location of your computer on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. We use the IP address log in an aggregate fashion to track access to our site.

Log Files

Log data is only used in aggregate to analyze usage of our Web.

What do we do with the information we gather about you?

Statistical Analysis

SonomaNews may perform statistical, demographic and marketing analyses of subscribers, and their subscribing and purchasing patterns, for product development purposes and to generally inform advertisers about the nature of our subscriber base. We also use such information to allow advertising to be targeted, in aggregate, to the users for whom such advertising is most pertinent. SonomaNews may share personal information with Sonoma Media Investments for analysis purposes, including analysis to improve customer relationships.

Products and Service Message from SonomaNews

From time to time, we may provide subscribers with information and offers about other products and services offered by SonomaNews, including subscriptions and other premium products and services. This information will only be shared internally. If you do not wish to receive such information and offers, you may opt-out.

Banner Advertising

We may use behavioral, demographic and preference information to allow advertising on our Web sites to be targeted, in aggregate, to the users for whom they are most pertinent. This means users see advertising that is most likely to interest them, and advertisers send their messages to people who are most likely to be receptive, improving both the viewer's experience and the effectiveness of the ads. We will disclose information to third parties only in aggregate form.

User Generated Content (Message Boards, Forums, Reader Reviews and Chats)

We offer message boards for readers in a number of areas throughout our Web sites. The message boards are currently hosted and managed by Grouppee, a third party vendor. Any information you disclose when posting to a message board, along with your message board screen name or ID, becomes public and may be used by SonomaNews for online and offline promotional or commercial uses in any and all media. Chats are also currently hosted by Grouppee, and any posting to a chat becomes public as soon as they are published online. For more information, see the Terms of Service.

E-Mail Newsletters

If you choose to receive them, SonomaNews will periodically send you e-mail newsletters or promotional e-mail about services offered by SonomaNews and its advertisers. For details about SonomaNews e-mail, please see the next section, “What Is Our E-mail Policy?”.

What is our e-mail policy?

SonomaNews complies fully with the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. We will not share, sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address without your permission. If you feel you have received an e-mail from us in error, please contact

Account and Service-Related E-mail:

SonomaNews reserves the right to send you e-mail relating to your account status. This includes order confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, notices of credit-card problems, other transactional e-mails and notifications about major changes to the Site and/or to our Privacy Policy. If you have registered for online discussions or other services, you may receive e-mail specific to your participation in those activities.

E-mail Newsletters:

We offer e-mail newsletters. If you no longer wish to receive a specific newsletter, follow the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each newsletter.

Promotional E-mail:

If you chose to receive them during the registration process, we may periodically e-mail you messages about products and services that we think may be of interest to you. You can choose not to receive messages in the future by either (1) following the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each e-mail, or (2) you can opt-out. From time to time, SonomaNews may obtain e-mail addresses from third party sources to be used for promotional e-mails. You can choose not to receive messages in the future by either (1) following the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each e-mail, or (2) you can opt-out.

Survey E-mail:

If you have not opted out, we may send you an e-mail inviting you to participate in user surveys, asking for feedback on and existing or prospective products and services, as well as information to better understand our users. User surveys greatly help us to improve our Web site, and any information we obtain in such surveys will not be shared with third parties, except in aggregate form.

E-mails From You:

If you send us e-mails, you should be aware that information disclosed in e-mails may not be secure or encrypted and thus may be available to others. We suggest that you exercise caution when deciding to disclose any personal or confidential information in e-mails. We will use your e-mail address to respond directly to your questions or comments.

E-mail This Article Feature: readers may use this feature to send links to articles to others through e-mail. The e-mail address(es) that you supply to this service will only be used to send the requested article.

With whom do we share the information that we gather?

If you have registered to one of our sites, SonomaNews will not sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address or any information that personally identifies you without your permission. We do, however, share information about our audience in aggregate form. If you are a print subscriber to SonomaNews and you subscribed either by mail, phone or online, we may exchange or rent your name and mailing address (but not your e-mail address) with other reputable companies that offer marketing information or products through direct mail. If you prefer that we do not share this information, you may opt-out.

Service Providers

We contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf, including credit-card and billing processing, shipping, e-mail distribution, list processing and analytics or promotions management. We provide these companies only with the information they need to perform their services. These service providers are restricted from using this data in any way other than to provide services for SonomaNews, and they may not share or resell this data. We reserve the right to disclose your opt-out information to third parties so they can suppress your name from future solicitations, in accordance with applicable laws. We may occasionally release personal information as required by law, for example, to comply with a court order or subpoena. (For more information, see the “Compliance with legal process” section of this policy.)

How do I change or update my personal information?

Manage your account at Member Center: You may review and update your membership or account information and access your transaction history in the Member Center. There are a number of things you can do in the Member Center to ensure your personal information is accurate and up to date. For one, you can update the information you provided during the free registration process, sign up for our e-mail newsletters and manage your home and email newsletter delivery options. To gain access to the areas of the Member Center containing personal information, you will be asked to enter your password. If you do not remember your password, you can reset your password. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Service at 707-546-2020 or

How do I opt-out from receiving promtional offers?

E-mail Promotions

Follow the unsubscribe options at the bottom of the e-mail.

Is my information protected?

Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the appropriate use of information, we have put in place physical, electronic and managerial procedures to protect the information we collect online.

Other Information: Compliance with Legal Process

We may disclose personal information if we are required to do so by law or we in good faith believe that such action is necessary to (1) comply with the law or with legal process; (2) protect and defend our rights and property; (3) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our Web sites; or (4) protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public (among other things, this means that if you provide false information or attempt to pose as someone else, information about you may be disclosed as part of any investigation into your actions).

Other Information: Children's Guidelines

COPPA Compliance:

In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), SonomaNews does not knowingly collect or store any personal information, even in aggregate, about children under the age of 13.

Other Information: Changes to This Policy

This Privacy Policy may be amended from time to time. Any such changes will be posted on this page. If we make a significant or material change in the way we use your personal information, the change will be posted on this page thirty (30) days prior to taking effect. Registered users will be notified via e-mail.

News Registry

This Web site uses services provided by News Registry. News Registry collects content usage information and may use cookies in conjunction with this activity. Your continued readership of the Site means you accept the privacy policy of News Registry. Please refer to the News Registry privacy policy at for further information.

Show Comment

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine