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Privacy Policy


What is this Privacy Policy for?

Welcome to McDonald’s Happy Studio! We at McDonald’s are committed to protecting your personal information and the personal information of your family. This Privacy Policy explains what information we collect, how we use it and how we keep it safe and secure.

This Privacy Policy applies to your use of both the Happy Studio website and the Happy Studio Smartphone App.

McDonald’s Europe Limited has been awarded TRUSTe's Privacy Seal signifying that this privacy policy and practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe's program requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information while on www.happystudio.com and our Happy Studio Smartphone App. TRUSTe's mission, as an independent third party, is to accelerate online trust among consumers and organizations globally through its leading privacy trustmark and innovative trust solutions. If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy policy or practices, please contact us at support@happystudio.com. If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact TRUSTe here.

McDonald’s Europe Limited privacy practices on www.happystudio.com and our Happy Studio Smartphone App are in compliance with TRUSTe’s Web Privacy certification standards and has adopted privacy practices consistent with TRUSTe’s Children’s Privacy Program regarding how we collect and use information collected from Children on this site.

This Privacy Policy contains the following sections (click on each heading to go straight to that section):

1. Who operates Happy Studio?

Happy Studio is operated and controlled by McDonald’s Europe Limited, which is established in the United Kingdom and whose registered office address is:

178/180 Edgware Road  London, W2 2DS.

Click here for further contact information.

2. Do children need to get a parent or guardian’s permission to use Happy Studio?

Children will need to get their parent or guardian to activate their account before they can use Happy Studio.

When a child first visits Happy Studio, the child will need to enter their parent or guardian’s email address. An email will then be sent to that child’s parent or guardian in order to ask the parent to activate their child’s account to allow the child to be part of Happy Studio.

The email sent to the parent or guardian will contain a link to confirm the activation of the child’s account. Parents or guardians can register themselves either on the Happy Studio website or through the Happy Studio Smartphone App by setting up their own passcode, and once registered, they have the option of managing the account.

3. Is Happy Studio safe for children?

We have made every effort to ensure that Happy Studio is safe for children. For example, children cannot enter Happy Studio unless a parent or guardian has activated their account. . Please note though that in line with the approach taken by other similar services, we are not able to verify that the email address provided by a child is actually that of their parent or guardian.

Within the Grown Up’s Section there is a “Dashboard” which lets parents or guardians monitor their children’s accounts to see what games and activities they’re playing, what are their strengths and interests, how long they have spent using Happy Studio and check out all the creative gifts the child has made for their parent or guardian.

There are absolutely no food or other product promotions on Happy Studio. Happy Studio is a safe environment and is generally a closed site. On occasion, we may provide links to other McDonald’s-owned kids sites (“Microsite”) or mobile applications for special children’s activities in order to enhance the child’s experience (for example for the Olympic Games we will have a special site to help get kids active). In these instances, we will always provide a notice when your child is leaving www.happystudio.com and tell them where they will be directed to and for what activity. Please note that each website has their own privacy policy and we encourage you to read these documents. No personal information, such as your email address, will be shared with these Microsites. However, so that your child may be rewarded within Happy Studio for their efforts on these Microsites, a Happy Studio unique number for your child's account and their chosen country and language will be shared with the Microsite for your child’s ease.

In addition, information about your child’s activities on these Microsites may be shared back with Happy Studio in order to reward your child for their participation in those activities. No personal information will be shared between Happy Studio and the Microsites. If your child links to a Microsite from Happy Studio they will be required to enter your details at which point you will receive an email from that Microsite. Upon receipt of that email you will have the option to disable your child's ability to play on that Microsite if you would like to.

It is not possible for children to communicate directly with other children other than using pre-set chat messages and “emoticons”. This means that children can’t free-type messages and there can be no nasty words used for bullying whatsoever. Parents can rest assured that there is no way for their child to have free chat, share any information or communicate with other children inappropriately. In addition, it is not possible for children to communicate directly with adults, other than their own parent or guardian when using Happy Studio.

4. What personal information do we collect?

When a child first registers, they will select a “nickname” from a set list of pre-set names we have chosen and provide a password. In addition they will choose a boy or girl Avatar and will also have the option to tell us their age. The child will then need to enter their parent or guardian’s email address so that we can have their parent activate the child’s account. Please know that we will never request more information than is reasonably necessary for a child to participate in any activity on Happy Studio. Age collection and the child’s choice of their Avatar’s gender will allow us to adapt Happy Studio to make it more suitable and fun depending on how old the child is and whether it is being accessed by a girl or a boy Avatar (for example, we might change the scenery or the accessories that can be chosen to personalise characters). Parents / guardians can access the child’s age information in the Grown Up Section and can delete or amend it there. If you delete your child’s age we will not be able to tailor Happy Studio to make it more suitable and fun based on the child’s age.

After a parent or guardian has activated a child’s account, we will keep track of the child’s usage of Happy Studio, for example, the amount of time spent using Happy Studio and which games or activities the child has played or performed. We share this information within the Grown Up’s Section on the “Dashboard” to show the child’s parent or guardian how and what the child is learning by using Happy Studio.

5. Where will your personal information be stored?

Currently, we store personal information in a data centre located in Europe. However, if this changes we will take all reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy, even in countries where people have fewer legal rights in relation to their personal information.

6. How do we make sure your personal information is kept safe and secure?

Happy Studio was designed using various technical methods to ensure your personal information is safe and secure. For example, all of your personal information is held on computer servers which are not directly accessible to the outside world. We also use sophisticated technologies to help prevent any outsider accessing the machines which host Happy Studio. We follow generally accepted standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure, however. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

7. Will we share your personal information with anyone else?

We will never sell your personal information to third parties.

Generally, your information will only be used by people who work for McDonald’s (some of whom may work in our offices abroad). However, we often need someone else to help us manage all the information collected from the site and we may therefore need to share your information with them. For example, we currently use a company called Fuel Industries to run the Happy Studio website for us. If we do give your information to anyone else we will make sure that it is kept safe and secure and is not used for the third parties’ own marketing purposes..

We reserve the right to use or disclose any information as needed to satisfy any law, regulation or legal request, to protect the integrity of the Site, to fulfil your requests, or to cooperate in any law enforcement or regulatory investigation.

We may share certain “non-personal” statistical information with others to identify trends in how Happy Studio is used. For example the number of girls and boys who use Happy Studio or how many people visit Happy Studio each month. Don’t worry though because this information will never identify you specifically.

8. Can you share content from Happy Studio with anyone else?

Children can share their Happy Studio creations with their parents or guardians to be received in the Gift area of the Grown Up’s Section.

The Grown Up’s Section of Happy Studio allows parents or guardians to preview their child’s online creations, print them out, email them to friends and family. Parents or guardians can even reward their children with Stars for good behaviour!

9. How long will we keep your personal information?

We will only keep the nickname, password and parent or guardian’s email addresses initially provided by a child temporarily until a parent or guardian has the child’s account to be created as explained above. If a child’s account is not activated by the parent or guardian within 7 business days, we will delete this information and the child’s content and avatars etc.

Once you have registered and created an account for your child, we will keep your personal information for as long as you and your child use Happy Studio. If you decide to close your account or your child’s account, we will delete all of your personal information. We will also delete your account and your information if there is no activity on your account for at least 1 year.

10. Can you find out what personal information we hold about you?

You can request a copy of all the personal information we hold about you by contacting us at support@happystudio.com

11. How can you delete or update your personal information?

You can delete or update your personal information and other settings at any time in the Grown Ups section of the Happy Studio website.

12. Can you cancel your registration and your child’s account?

You can cancel your registration and your child’s account at any time via the Grown Ups Section of the Happy Studios website.

13. When will we contact you?

As explained above, we will send an email to children’s parents or guardians in order to request they activate their child’s account for their child’s use of Happy Studio.

If you choose, by way of opt-in, we may contact you from time to time by email to tell you about recent news on the Happy Studio website and update you about your child’s activities. If you no longer want to receive the newsletter, you will be able to opt-out by following the instructions contained in the newsletter email.

Parents or guardians will also have the option to join our “Parents Panel”. If you are part of the Parents Panel, we may email you to ask your opinion on Happy Studio, your experience with your family at McDonald’s, and sometimes just your thoughts as parents or guardians. Click here to find out more about the Parents Panel.

In countries where we run a McDonald’s “Junior Club” or “Family Club”, if you agree to opt-in to joining as a member, we may also contact you from time to time with local news, activities and family offers from this club. Again, if you no longer want to receive these emails, you will be able to opt-out by following the instructions contained in the email.

14. Is there anything else you should know about when you use the Happy Studio Smartphone App?

The Happy Studio App, like other smart-phone apps, may access your smart-phone’s unique identifying code (e.g. referred to on an iPhone as a “UDID”) in order for you to install and use the App. This code is a unique identifying number which can be used to identify your smart-phone. We do not use geo-location tracking on the App although when you download the App we will know which country you reside in because of the account you hold with Apple or Android. You will need to enter the same parent’s email address and parent’s password from the Website to be able to use the App.

15. What are cookies and do we use them or something similar?

Cookies are text only pieces of information that a website transfers to someone’s computer to allow the website to remember certain information and therefore making the website easier to use. This section will explain to you a bit more about cookies and how you can block/delete cookies.

A cookie is a bit like the person behind the till at your local McDonald’s. That person doesn’t know your name or where you live, but they do recognize you and remember your favorite order so that the next time you visit they can guess what you’re going to want and make the service even quicker than normal!

Like most websites, the Happy Studio websites uses cookies for a variety of purposes in order to improve your online experience. For example, we use cookies to remember your login email. Happy Studio also uses clear gifs (also known as Web Beacons) to better help manage content on Happy Studio. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier (similar in function to cookies) which are stored on a person’s hard drive and they are imbedded invisibly on webpages to track online movement on the web however all information collected is anonymous and we do not gather personally identifiable information using these clear gifs. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails as well so that we can see which emails have been opened by recipients in order to gauge the effectiveness of our communications (remember that you can opt-out of receiving any marketing communication at any time if you have already subscribed just by following the simple unsubscribe instructions in the email).

We may also use a special type of a cookie, called a “Flash” cookie which allows us to store some of your preferences on the website (for example, how loud you want the sound on the website). Flash cookies are different from browser cookies because of the amount of, type of, and how data is stored. Cookie management tools provided by your browser will not remove Flash cookies. To learn how to manage privacy and storage settings for Flash cookies click here.

A cookie will typically contain the name of the domain from which the cookie has come, the "lifetime" of the cookie, and a randomly generated unique number or other value.

Depending on the purpose, we use “session” cookies, which are temporary cookies that remain in the cookie file of your browser until you leave the site, and “persistent” cookies, which remain in the cookie file of your browser for much longer (though how long will depend on the lifetime of the specific cookie).

You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You can easily delete any cookies that have been installed in the cookie folder of your browser. You can adjust the cookies settings through your browser settings. Each browser is different, so you'll probably need to take a look at your Help menu of your browser, selecting “cookies” for information on where to find your cookie folder. But if you have Internet Explorer 8 you can follow these steps to delete cookies:

  1. Click to open Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.

  3. On the General tab, under Browsing history, click Delete.

  4. Select the Cookies check box, and then click Delete if it isn't already checked. Clear or select check boxes for any other options you also want to delete.

If you don't change any check boxes, deleting the browsing history removes temporary Internet files, webpage history, and cookies. Temporary files and cookies for your saved favorite websites are preserved.

If you turn cookies off, you may not be able to take advantage of all the fun and exciting features of this website and some of the webpages may not work properly. Unless you turn cookies off via your browser settings, we will assume that you consent to the use of cookies on the Happy Studio website.

What are the categories of cookies?

1) Strictly necessary Cookies

'Strictly necessary cookies’ let you move around the website and enable you to use features that you have specifically asked for, such as Parents Account login. Without these cookies these features would not function.

Strictly necessary cookies tend to be session cookies which are deleted at the end of the browser session.

Accepting these cookies is a condition of using the website, so if you prevent these cookies we can't guarantee how our website will perform during your visit.

2) Performance Cookies

'Performance cookies’ collect information about how you use our website such as which pages you visit and if you experience any errors. These cookies don't collect any information that could identify you – all the information is collected on an anonymous aggregate basis and is only used to help us improve how our website works, understand what interests our users and measure the effectiveness of our advertising. They also enable us to track the total number of visitors to our site. Most performance cookies tend to be session cookies which are deleted at the end of the browser session.

'Performance cookies’ collect information about how you use our website such as which pages you visit and if you experience any errors. These cookies don't collect any information that could identify you – all the information is collected on an anonymous aggregate basis and is only used to help us improve how our website works, understand what interests our users and measure the effectiveness of our advertising. They also enable us to track the total number of visitors to our site. Most performance cookies tend to be session cookies which are deleted at the end of the browser session.

If you prevent performance cookies we cannot use information from your visit to help us improve the website for the future.

3) Functionality Cookies

'Functionality cookies’ are used to provide services or to remember your settings. This may include your user ID & email, for example, personalized site login, country and language preferences. These cookies help to customise your McDonald's web experience. They also assist with the administration of certain other activities. We may associate personal information with a cookie file in those instances.

Functionality Cookies, by their very nature, are persistent cookies so that we remember your computer when you return to our website. Some of these cookies are managed for us by third parties – where this is the case we don't allow the third party to use the cookies for any purpose other than those listed above for the purposes of this website

Some of these cookies are managed for us by third parties – where this is the case we don't allow the third party to use the cookies for any purpose other than those listed above for the purposes of this website.

If you prevent cookies, including functionality cookies, this may mean we can't offer you some services.

4) Targeting Cookies

Targeting cookies collect the most information about users. These cookies are used to deliver advertising targeted to you and your interests. We do not use targeting cookies on this website.

However if we ever wished to do so in the future, we would not do so without your express consent, which we would usually obtain by asking you to register and/or opt in to a particular service.

16. What info is shared with or collected by this partner?

Happy Studio works with Third Party Partners to ensure optimal site performance. Most partners collect, monitor and analyze non-personally identifiable information to provide Happy Studio with accurate analytics. This information allows us to improve our services, provide content of more interest to users, and better understand and serve our users.

For a list of our Third Party Partners click here

If you have any inquiries regarding our partner’s privacy practices or how they use your child’s personal information, please contact us directly at support@happystudio.com.

17. Will this Privacy Policy change?

We may need to update this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we do make any changes to this Privacy Policy, we will post the changes in the Grown Ups section of the website and in any other areas of the website we think necessary so that you are aware of the changes. Please make sure you look at the website frequently just in case we do make any changes to this Privacy Policy. Where a change may affect how your information is handled, we will also notify you of the change by email.

18. How can you contact us?

If you have any questions or suggestions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at support@happystudio.com. click here for further contact information.

19. When was this Privacy Policy last updated?

23 July, 2013

20. Does Happy Studio link to other websites?

There are only a couple of places where Happy Studio links to other websites:

TRUSTe: the TRUSTe logo (and brand) link to the TRUSTe website in order to provide more detail on the validation of McDonald’s and Happy Studio’s compliance with the TRUSTe privacy certifications.

Apple iTunes and Google Play: The Happy Studio app and the Happy Studio mobile website will link to the Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play to direct users on how to download iPhone, iPad and Android applications developed by McDonald’s. These applications may have their own privacy policies and we encourage you to review them. The Happy Studio application will also provide the opportunity for users to rate the Happy Studio app on the storefront from which the app was downloaded. When prompted, the user will be asked to rate the app and leave a review. Downloading, rating and reviewing of any app on these storefronts require valid accounts on each storefront and for the user to be logged in to the store.

For information on how to restrict the content your child can see and access...

on iTunes: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1904?viewlocale=en_EN
on Google Play: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1075738?hl=en

For information on how to require a password for app purchases and for leaving reviews on the iTunes App Store: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1904?viewlocale=en_EN

To setup password protection on your Google Play account: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1626831?hl=en

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