Privacy Policy

Last Updated: 8th January, 2022

We value your privacy greatly at PBC Guru and are committed to keeping your information safe. This policy outlines how we use your information to give you the best experience possible. This policy applies to all PBC Guru services and programs including company book clubs, alumni book clubs, professional society book clubs, alumni association livestreams/webinars, the Alumni Learning Consortium and other programs.


Information Collection

PBC Guru collects information related to book club, livestream and other program participants. This information includes first and last name, email address, graduation year, interests related to books and program goals, address, phone number, job title, reading quizzes, polling data such as voting for book selections, survey data and other related data. This data is collected when the participant provides it when they register for a program or when they participate in a poll or survey. Non-essential data to the service is optional to provide.

PBC Guru also collects information related to participants activity with their program including opening emails, clicking on links in emails, logging into online discussion forums and posting in the discussion forum.

If you give us credit card information, we use it solely to check your financial qualifications and collect payment from you. We use a third-party service provider to manage credit card processing. This service provider is not permitted to store, retain, or use information you provide except for the sole purpose of credit card processing on our behalf.

Information Use

PBC Guru uses personal information to provide valuable experiences for book club, livestream and other program participants. This includes:

  • Providing the online book club, livestream and other program experiences
  • Personalization of content and the user experience
  • Account set up and administration
  • Sending email reminders and related content relevant to programs that participants have opted into
  • Selecting books and other materials for groups to read or vote for
  • Carrying out polls, voting for books and feedback surveys
  • Internal research and development purposes to improve our services
  • Legal obligations
  • Meeting internal audit requirements
  • Creating reporting on the level of program participation for the sponsoring organization

Information Sharing

PBC Guru sends users email for two primary reasons. The first relate to book clubs, livestreams and programs users are currently participating in and/or registered for. The second reason for emails is important updates on site features and other news which PBC Guru deems important to provide to users. PBC Guru reserves the right to email a user if we feel it necessary but will try to respect users wishes to receive as few emails as possible. Users have the option to adjust which emails they receive.

There are two categories of trusted third parties. The first are other online services which help us to operate our services and provide a fantastic experience to our users. All of these services, to the best of our understanding, keep personal information secure and private as part of their terms of service. These include:

  • Web Hosting Providers: These organizations store our website and data so users can participate in our programs on the internet.
  • Email Communication Tools: These tools allow us to send emails to participants and track engagement data such as whether an email is opened and/or a link in an email is clicked.
  • Credit Card Processing: We use a third party service to manage credit card processing. Please see more information under “Information Collection”.
  • Analytics Tools: These tools allow us to track important data that helps improve our service such as how many people visit a specific web page and how often they click on a link.

The second category of trusted third parties are program sponsoring organizations. These are the organizations that actually commission a given book club, livestream or other program. They include companies, colleges, universities, schools, professional societies, non-profits and other organizations. As an example, for a University of Maryland Alumni Book Club, the sponsoring organization would be University of Maryland. The sponsoring organization for any PBC Guru program, where one exists, will be made explicitly clear through the name and description of the program.

PBC Guru will share participant contact information (e.g. name, email, address) and participation metrics (e.g. email open rates, online discussion activity) with a program’s sponsoring organization or organizations upon request. Note that personal information is only shared with an individual’s sponsoring organization meaning that if a participant signed up for a University of Maryland Book Club then we would share their information with University of Maryland but not with any other sponsoring organization.

Sponsoring organizations may use participant data that we share with them to inform participants about the program, track program success metrics, inform participants about other programs and any other lawful purpose.

Non-personally identifiable information may be provided to third parties for purposes such as analytics or other uses.

If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered by PBC Guru. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website, of any change in ownership, uses of your information, and choices you may have regarding your information.

We reserve the right to use or disclose your information if required by law or if we reasonably believe that use or disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, or comply with a law, court order, or legal process.

Public and Private Forums

We offer both publicly accessible and private message boards, blogs, and community forums. Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose any information through our public message boards, blogs, or forums, this information may be collected and used by others. Private forums require a login account to access but should be treated as public for all intents and purposes where sensitive information is concerned. We will correct or delete any information you have posted on these areas if you so request.

Legal Basis for Storing and Processing Information (European Economic Area visitors only)

PBC Guru relies on the legal basis of consent, contract and legitimate interests to store and process information. Individual participants consent to participate in programs with PBC Guru when they sign up. Participants have the right to withdraw their consent from programs and for PBC Guru to no longer store or process their information when requested.

PBC Guru also has contractual agreements with program sponsoring organizations (see Information Sharing) which outline our relationship with these organizations.

Finally, PBC Guru has legitimate interests to store and process data in order to help individual participants and to improve our services.

Retention of Personal Information

How long we keep information we collect about you depends on the type of information as described in further detail below. After such time, we will either delete or anonymize your information or, if this is not possible, then we will securely store your information and isolate it from any further use until deletion is possible.

We retain information that you provide to us where we have an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, as long as is required in order to contact you about other services, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements).

We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in " Data Protection Rights" below.

Use of Cookies and Session Variables

Cookies and session variables are used on PBC Guru to allow for certain essential functionality like remaining logged into the site as you go from page to page. Session variables are automatically deleted whenever you close your web browser. Cookies expire after a set period. We use both primary cookies (those created by PBC Guru) and third party cookies (those created by one of our trusted third parties).

You can set or amend your web browser controls to accept or refuse cookies. If you choose to reject cookies, you may still use our website though your access to some functionality and areas of our website may be restricted. As the means by which you can refuse cookies through your web browser controls vary from browser-to-browser, you should visit your browser's help menu for more information.

Use of Web Beacons

We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage our service by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user's computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs or pixels in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers' personal information.

Outside Web Links and Embedded Content

Our site has links to other sites such as social networking platforms and interesting online resources as well as embed content such as recorded or livestream videos. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. We do wish to preserve your integrity and welcome any feedback about these sites, as we do all feedback.

Data Protection Rights

You have the following data protection rights:

  • You can request access, correction, updates or deletion of your personal information.
  • You can object to processing of your personal information, ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or request portability of your personal information.
  • If we have collected and process your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.

To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at or via our website contact form. We will respond to your request to change, correct, or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe and notify you of the action we have taken.

Data Security

We take data security very seriously and use secure technology for data storage and data processing.

Data Storage and Process

We store and process data on third party webservers in the United States. Our services are available for access anywhere in the world for participants with the appropriate credentials.

To Unsubscribe From Our Communications

You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link located on the bottom of our e-mails or by sending us email us at

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA because we do not collect information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our site and services is directed to people who are at least 13 years of age.