/Businesses & Websites/Business Policies

Guidelines for Requesting User Information (Pinterest Law Enforcement Guidelines)

Adam Barton
posted this on May 30, 2013, 16:10

Every company that stores information -- from banks to phone companies to email providers -- should have policies and guidelines for responding to requests for user information from folks like law enforcement agencies, courts, etc. These are ours. Most of this information is intended for law enforcement, judicial and regulatory personnel. If you are none of these and have questions, visit our Help Center.

 

What’s Pinterest?

To learn more about Pinterest, Piners, Pins, etc, please jump down to What's Pinterest? 

 

What user information does Pinterest have?

Pinterest stores and maintains user information as described in our Privacy Policy and the applicable Terms of Service [consumerbusiness]. You can find examples of information we store in our Privacy Policy.

We can’t guarantee that the information described in the Privacy Policy or applicable Terms of Service will be available for any given user.  Pinterest does not necessarily maintain a copy of the image, audio or video file a user Pins. For example, users can link to video services like YouTube and the video is played through YouTube's API.

 

What does Pinterest require to produce user information?

For U.S. Law Enforcement

We will not provide any user’s information unless you obtain a valid subpoena, court order or search warrant ("Law Enforcement Request"). We will not provide any user’s content unless you obtain a valid search warrant.

For Non-U.S. Law Enforcement

We will not provide any user information unless you obtain a valid U.S. court order (via the mutual legal assistance treaties or letter rogatory).

 

What does Pinterest need to share user information with law enforcement?

To respond to your Law Enforcement Request(s), we’ll need:

  1. The applicable Law Enforcement Request we described above

  2. The username (pinterest.com/[username]) and/or email address used to create their Pinterest account

  3. A valid return email address from an official government domain

In order to make sure your Law Enforcement Request is narrow and does not seek more information that necessary (potentially at additional cost and time), we ask for the following:

  1. A sufficiently narrow/defined time period;

  2. A specific event or action that the subject took;

  3. A specific reference (ex:, Pin URL = http://pinterest.com/pin/424605071088241488/). 

 

How do I request the preservation of and/or production of user information?

Pinterest must be notified in accordance with applicable U.S. law or valid legal process to this email address: lawenforcement@pinterest.com (We will only respond to emails from law enforcement. If you are not law enforcement and have an issue, please visit our Help Center). Electronic process only please.

Acceptance of legal process does not waive any objections Pinterest may have, including jurisdiction or proper service.

 

Do you notify users of a preservation request?

No, we only notify users of Law Enforcement Requests for their information.

 

Do you notify users of a Law Enforcement Request?

Yes, we notify users by providing them with a complete copy of the Law Enforcement Request before producing their information to law enforcement, unless prohibited by court order that is issued in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b) or applicable statute. The delayed order notice should specify an approximate delayed notice time period (e.g. 180 days).

Note: Officer authored affidavits, descriptions, cover letters or similar statements are not sufficient to preclude notice to our users. You must provide a court order issued in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b) or cite an applicable statute if you wish to prohibit user notice of your Law Enforcement Request. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this. 

 

Do you include a copy of the Law Enforcement  Request in your notice to users?

Yes, we include the complete Law Enforcement Request that was served on Pinterest when we notify the user (unless prohibited from notifying the user - see above). 

 

What are the costs of preservation and/or production requests?

If we may seek reimbursement for the actual costs of preserving and/or producing information, Pinterest will provide a good faith estimate of such costs as part of our production or upon law enforcements request prior to our processing. Costs are based on the amount of data, time and resources required to process and query the raw data Pinterest maintains.

 

Do you provide a Certificate of Authentication or Expert Testimony?

Pinterest provides a certification from its records custodian with each production but is not generally able to provide in person testimony or expert witness.

Emergency Contact

If you are a user and aware of imminent harm to an individual or individuals, please contact local law enforcement authorities immediately.

In a situation where there is an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury, law enforcement can submit a request for disclosure of user information to Pinterest by contacting us:

Emergency Law Enforcement email: lawenforcement@pinterest.com (We will only respond to emails from law enforcement. If you are not law enforcement and have an issue, please visit our Help Center. Emailing this alias is considered abuse).

Pinterest will review and respond to these requests on a case-by-case basis.

 

Miscellaneous

Do you maintain a transparency report?

Yes, here's our transparency report archive

I have questions about CyberTips, what should I do?

Please contact lawenforcement@pinterest.com (We will only respond to emails from law enforcement. If you are not law enforcement and have an issue, please visit our Help Center). 

 

What's Pinterest?

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Pinterest is an online tool for collecting, organizing and discovering interests. The people who use Pinterest are “Pinners.” A Pinner can "pin" a link to media content (ex: images, video or audio) from across the internet, or upload their own images to Pinterest (Pinners can't upload audio or video directly to Pinterest right now).

Pinners collect their Pins on boards. Pinners can invite other people to Pin to a board with them

Pinners can follow other people's boards, and Pin, like or comment on other people's Pins.

Pinners see the Pins of the people or boards they follow in a chronologically ordered Home Feed.

Pinners can discover new Pins, boards, and people by browsing our category feeds (ex: Popular, Design, Home Decor, Men's Fashion, etc.) or searching for specific content.

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More general information about how to use Pinterest.

Pins

A pin is comprised of media content (an image, audio or video), a short description and a link. There are a few ways to Pin, via: (1) pinterest.com, (2) the Pin It button for browsers, (3) the Pinterest mobile application (e.g. iOS or Android) and (4) a “Pin it” button that third party content owners choose to embed on their websites.

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When Pinning, the Pinner can customize the Pin's description and choose the board to Pin to.

Note: In some cases, the website/content owner prepopulates the Pin's description with information about the content (ex: lazy_cat.jpg or “Confessional Cheesecake Recipe | via mbarton.org”). The Pinner can always change this description while Pinning.

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The Pinner may choose to write their own or edit the source and description after they have initially Pinned the image or video. After Pinning, the Pinner can edit the description or source link. Pinners can also move Pins between boards or Pin the same Pin to multiple boards.

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Editing a Pin.

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The Pinner can can move Pins between boards or Repin the same item to multiple boards. More general information about Pins.

Board and Secret Boards

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A board is a collection of Pins usually organized around a Pinner-defined interest or theme. Pinners can invite other people to add Pins to their boards.

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When creating a board, the Pinner can make it public to everyone or secret. Once a board is public, it can't be made secret, but a Pinner can convert a secret board to a public one. Learn more about boards and secret boards.

Repins

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A Pinner can repin another Pinner's Pin, adding it to their own board. In some cases, the Repin chain may be several Repins away from the original Pinner (X repinned it from Y who repinned it from Z, the original content poster).

If a pinner deletes a Pin, it does not delete any of the Repins of that Pin from other people's boards.

Learn more about Repins.

Note:  When repinning, the description is prepopulated with the description of the last Pinner. The Pinner can change this while Repinning or edit the description any time after Pinning.

Likes

Pinners can also like the Pins of other Pinners and they’ll show up in the “Like” section of their profile. A Pinner can unlike Pins they have liked at anytime. Once unliked, the Pin will no longer show up in their profile. All likes are public. Learn more about likes.

Comments

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Any Pinner can comment on Pins they can see (for example, public or secret board that they contribute to). A Pinner can delete comments they have made as well as comments other uses have made to Pins they have created. Comments on Pins are public, if the board is public. Learn more about comments.

Note: What looks like the first comment in a Pin is actually the Pin description - not a comment. 

Profile

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A Pinner's profile is public and includes certain Pinner-provided information (ex: name, profile picture) and a public summary of their boards, Pins, likes, their followers and the people they're following. The pieces of information available on a profile are:

1) Name (required)

2) Username (required)

3) Location (not required)

4) Profile description with a 500 character limit (not required)

5) Website (not required)

6) Profile picture (not required)

7) Facebook or Twitter, if the Pinner chooses to link to these accounts (not required)

Pinterest does not require that Pinners provide their real name, nor do we verify the name or location they provide.

An unsuspended Pinner may edit their profile information at anytime.

 
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