Children's Privacy Policy

Untitled Document
Hot Topic Children’s Privacy Policy

We welcome users of the Site who are under 13 years of age (“Children”).  Please read this policy carefully as it explains our practices regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of Personal Information from Children who register on the Site and describes a parent’s or guardian’s (each, a “Parent”) ability to limit the collection and use of data collected from their Children.  Users (including Children) may use many aspects of the Site without providing any Personal Information, in which case this Children’s Privacy Policy does not apply.  Our general Privacy Policy, available at, applies to all users of the Site who are age 13 or older or who use the Site without registering or logging in to the Site. 

This privacy policy (“Children’s Privacy Policy”) is incorporated into the Hot Topic Terms of Use, available at  Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, capitalized terms will have the meanings set forth in the Hot Topic Terms of Use or general Privacy Policy.

We are required by law to obtain verifiable parental consent in order to collect, store, use, or disclose Personal Information from Children.  Once such consent is received and processed, the Child may thereafter access certain activities available through our Site as a registered user.

Before a Child’s registration is activated, we require the Parent to verify his or her consent by email.  By giving consent, a Parent (i) agrees that the Child’s online activities are subject to the Terms of Use, including without limitation this Children’s Privacy Policy, and (ii) consents to our storage, use, and disclosure of Personal Information collected from the Child as described in this Children’s Privacy Policy.  We make special provisions to allow Parents to control the Personal Information submitted by Children as described below.

On the Site, Children may maintain a "wish list" or store other information on the Site, enter sweepstakes and contests, participate in surveys and polls, subscribe to a service, or enroll to receive certain entertainment or information.  We may need or request certain types of personally identifiable information (i.e. information that can directly identify a Child or indicate where a Child might be contacted, or information associated with the foregoing) (any of the foregoing, “Personal Information”) and collect it in connection with these various activities and offerings.  We collect the following Personal Information, if voluntarily provided by a Child: name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, fax number, parent’s email address, age, date of birth, sex, grade level, wish list information, and credit card information.  We do not consider demographic information about a Child (such as age, date of birth, sex, and grade level), products purchased, indications of a Child’s interests, likes and dislikes, or general characteristics such as clothing size or hair color, to be Personal Information unless it is associated with Personal Information so as to permit identification of a specific Child.

When a user we know to be a Child contacts us by sending us an e-mail or using any of our contact forms, we will collect any information that is contained in (and/or attached to) the Child’s e-mail, text message, or that the Child enters into such forms.  If a user we know to be a Child provides feedback to us, we may use and disclose such feedback for any purpose, provided we do not associate such feedback with the Child’s Personal Information. We will collect any Personal Information contained in such feedback and will treat the Personal Information in it in accordance with this Children’s Privacy Policy.

We are prohibited by law from conditioning a Child’s participation in a game, the offering of a prize, or another similar activity on the Child’s disclosure of more Personal Information from the Child than is reasonably necessary to participate in that activity.

As a registered Child uses the Site, certain information may also be collected passively, including the computer’s Internet protocol address, browser type, and operating system. We also use cookies and navigational data like uniform resource locators (URLs) to gather information regarding the date and time of the Child’s visit and the information for which the Child searched and viewed, and those products the Child purchased. This type of information is collected to better understand how users use our Site and make the Site and the services we provide more useful.

Like many websites, our Site uses "cookies," which are small amounts of data sent to the computer browser from a web server that is stored on the computer's hard drive. We use cookies to help us "remember" who users are, to ease navigation of the Site, and to help target our offerings to suit personal interests, as well as for more general reasons such as gauging audience size and analyzing visitor patterns. We also may contract with third parties who may use cookies and collect such information on our behalf. A browser can be set to not accept cookies or to notify the user when she is sent a cookie, providing the chance to decide whether or not to accept it.  However, be aware that if cookies are disabled we may not be able to provide the full range of services available through our Site.
We may from time to time augment information provided to us with information from other sources, such as information validating a Child’s address. Thus, information we obtain may be intermingled with and used in conjunction with information obtained through other sources, including both offline and online sources.

We use Personal Information for various purposes. For example, we may use information provided to process purchases of merchandise or to provide for merchandise delivery.  We use Personal Information to provide better and more personalized services.  We might also use online registries or other databases to permit the use and participation in certain portions of our Site. We also collect Personal Information as may be reasonably necessary for tracking and verifying compliance with federal, state and local laws or for editorial and feedback solicitation purposes.

We may create anonymous records from Personal Information by excluding information (such as the Child’s name) that makes the information personally identifiable.  We reserve the right to use, and disclose such anonymous information to third parties, in our discretion. 

We may use Personal Information to conduct sweepstakes and contests, notify winners, and to fulfill prizes or awards. We will send users service-related announcements (such as, but not limited to, order and shipping information and updates, notices of any updates to our Site, Terms of Use, or Privacy Policy, and communications relating to welcome, ID verification, and permission settings) when we believe it is necessary to do so; however, we will provide the Parent with a copy of such service-related announcements.  Parents may not opt-out of these communications, which are not promotional in nature, but if a Parent does not wish her Child to receive these announcements, the Parent has the option to terminate the Child’s account.  In addition, unless a Parent tells us not to, we will send the Child electronic newsletters, certain information about our merchandise, sales or other offerings, and other marketing materials designed to help Children use our Site and visit our stores with more information.  Unsubscribe instructions will accompany each promotional email the Child receives from us.

We provide Parents the following choices with respect to the collection, sale, and retention of Personal Information.  A Child’s registration information is always accessible to her.  A Parent has the right to review her Child’s Personal Information, which the Parent can obtain by contacting us at the customer service phone number below.  After reviewing the Child’s Personal Information, Parents may ask us to update or delete the Personal Information by contacting us at the customer service phone number below.  A Parent may prohibit us from sharing a Child’s Personal Information with a third party (including an Affiliate) for the third party’s marketing purposes, but cannot prohibit us from sharing a Child’s Personal Information with a third party that is using such information only for the purpose of providing services to or for us. 

If a Parent chooses to prohibit any future collection or use of the Child’s Personal Information, the Parent may do so by terminating the Child’s account, and requesting the deletion of the Child’s Personal Information by us.  Upon a Parent’s request, we will delete the Child’s account information from our live databases and all the information and data stored for such account.  Hot Topic will not have any liability whatsoever for any termination of the account or related deletion of the Child’s Personal Information.  Hot Topic may (and the Parent authorizes us to) rely on the instructions that we reasonably believe are given by a Child’s Parent.  For example, if a person calls our customer support number and provides the account information we request, we may assume that the person calling is the Child’s Parent.  When we delete Personal Information, it will be deleted from our active databases but may remain in our archives.

We may share some or all of the Child’s Personal Information with our parent company, subsidiaries, joint ventures, or other companies under common control with us (collectively, “Affiliates”).  We will require our Affiliates to comply with this Privacy Policy. 

We may share Personal Information given to us with third parties for the purpose of providing services to or for us.  For instance, there may be third-party service providers for our operations or business activities, with whom we have an agreement for services who transmit, store, analyze or otherwise use such information in connection with their services to us.  These service providers agree to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of Personal Information they process for us. 

In the event Hot Topic goes through a business transition such as a merger, acquisition by another company, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, Personal Information will likely be among the assets transferred. Any acquirer of Children’s Personal Information held by Hot Topic will continue to abide by this Children’s Privacy Policy.

We may (and the Parent authorizes us to) disclose information we have collected from a Child (including Personal Information) if we believe in good faith that such disclosure is necessary to (a) comply with relevant laws or to respond to subpoenas or warrants served on us; (b) to enforce our Terms of Use or Children’s Privacy Policy; or (c) to protect and defend the rights or property of Hot Topic, our users and/or customers, or third parties.
We are committed to treating Personal Information with high standards of information security. We use commercially reasonable and industry standard methods to maintain the security and accuracy of Personal Information we collect, including limiting the number of people who have physical access to our database servers, as well as employing electronic security systems and password protections that guard against unauthorized access. We use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to protect the security of credit card information as it is transmitted to us.  Please click on the Verisign Logo to learn more.  Please note that no company, including Hot Topic, can fully eliminate security risks associated with Personal Information.  For example, even though we implement reasonable security policies, it is possible for unauthorized parties to access or intercept a Child’s Personal Information.

When a Child uses the Site, she could be directed to other sites that are beyond our control.  For example, if a Child "clicks" on a banner advertisement, or a link, the "click" takes the Child’s browser off the Site. We have no control over, do not review and are not responsible for the privacy policies of such other websites. These other sites may send their own cookies to users, collect user data, or solicit Personal Information.

Please be aware that if a Child enters any Personal Information into shared sections of the Site, such as message boards or other public areas, that Personal Information will be displayed to anyone who has access to these sections of the Site.
This Children’s Privacy Policy is a living document.  As part of the Terms of Use, this Privacy Policy is subject to occasional amendment, in accordance with the terms of the Terms of Use.  If we plan to make material changes to our collection, use, or disclosure of Children’s Personal Information, we will revise this Children’s Privacy Policy to reflect those changes, notify Parents of Children via the Parents’ registered email addresses, and request renewed verifiable consent from those Parents.  Sixty days after such notice has been sent to Parents, we will implement the planned changes and suspend the use of any accounts for which we have not received verifiable parental consent. 

Hot Topic, Inc. owns and operates the Site and is the company that wishes to collect Personal Information from Children on the Site.  Our mailing address is 18305 East San Jose Avenue, City of Industry, CA, 91748, our customer service telephone number is 800.892.8674, and our customer service email address for questions about this Children's Privacy Policy is  This policy only addresses our activities from our servers.  Other sites (including those that we link to) may have their own policies, which we do not control and which are not addressed by this policy.

This Privacy Policy was last updated February 25, 2009.


Back to top