Last updated: September 18, 2018

Astron International, Inc., which owns and manages RefiningOnline, recognizes that your privacy is very important and we take it seriously. This Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) describes our policies and procedures on the collection, use, disclosure, and sharing of your personal information or personal data when you use the RefiningOnline Platform. This Privacy Policy applies to activities by Astron International, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively “Astron International”, “RefiningOnline,” “we” or “us”).

The Information We Collect

We collect information directly from individuals, from third parties, and automatically through the RefiningOnline Platform.

Account and Profile Information: When you create an account and profile on the RefiningOnline Platform, we collect your name, contact information, and other information you provide, such as topics that you are experienced in or find interesting. Your name, photo, and any other information that you choose to add to your public-facing profile will be available for viewing to users of the RefiningOnline Platform. Once you create a profile, other users will be able to see in your profile certain information about your activity on the RefiningOnline Platform, such as the questions and answers you post, your followers and who you follow, topics of interest to you, the information you list as credentials, and your edits to Your Content. For more information about your choices for publicly displayed information, see the section below about Your Choices.

Your Content: We collect and store the information and content that you post to the RefiningOnline Platform, including your questions, answers and comments. Your Content, date and time stamps, and all associated comments are publicly viewable on the RefiningOnline Platform, along with your name. This also may be indexed by search engines and be republished elsewhere on the Internet. For more information about what you can change, see the below section on Your Choices.

Communications. When you communicate with us (via email, phone, through the RefiningOnline Platform, or otherwise), we may maintain a record of your communication.

Integrated Service Provider and Linked Networks. You can elect to connect your existing RefiningOnline account with certain third-party networks like LinkedIn (a “Linked Network”). If you elect to sign up through or connect a Linked Network, we receive certain profile and account information about you from the Linked Network. These Linked Networks may also appear in your profile, so that people can find you on these Linked Networks. The specific information provided to us by Linked Networks is determined by these third parties and may vary by network. In all cases, the permissions page for the Linked Network will describe the information being shared. You should consult their respective privacy policies for information about their practices. You may elect to use information from the Linked Network to populate your profile on the RefiningOnline Platform and help you find and follow your contacts on the RefiningOnline Platform. For information on your choices, including how to disconnect a Linked Network from your RefiningOnline profile, see the “Your Choices” section below.

Automatically Collected Information About Your Activity. We use cookies, log files, local storage objects, and other tracking technologies to automatically collect information about your activities, such as your questions, responses, comments, page views, date and time of your visit, and other information about your use of the RefiningOnline Platform. We also collect and may store information that your computer or mobile device provides to us in connection with your use of the RefiningOnline Platform such as your browser type, type of computer or mobile device, browser language, IP address, mobile carrier, unique device identifier, location, and requested and referring URLs. We also receive information when you view content on or otherwise interact with the RefiningOnline Platform, even if you have not created an account.

Engagement. We collect browsing information – such as IP address and location, date and time stamp, user agent, RefiningOnline cookie ID (if applicable), URL, and time zone, and other information about user activities on the RefiningOnline Platform.

How We Use Your Information

We do not sell your personal data – such as your name and contact information – to third parties to use for their own marketing purposes. RefiningOnline uses the information we collect for the following purposes:

  • Provide our Services. To provide you the services we offer on the RefiningOnline Platform, communicate with you about your use of the RefiningOnline Platform, respond to your inquiries, provide troubleshooting, and for other customer service purposes.
  • Personalization. To tailor the content and information that we may send or display to you in the RefiningOnline Platform, to suggest colleagues and content, to offer customization, and personalized help and instructions, and to otherwise personalize your experiences while using the RefiningOnline Platform.
  • Marketing and Promotions. For marketing and promotional purposes, such as to send you news and newsletters, or to otherwise contact you about products or information we think may interest you, including information about third party products and services.
  • Analytics. To gather metrics to better understand how users access and use the RefiningOnline Platform; to evaluate and improve the RefiningOnline Platform, including the personalization, and to develop new products and services.
  • Comply with Law. To comply with legal obligations, as part of our general business operations, and for other business administration purposes.
  • Prevent Misuse. Where we believe necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety of any person or violations of our Privacy Policy.

How We Share Your Information

We share information as set forth below, and where individuals have otherwise consented:

Service Providers. We may share your information with third party service providers who use this information to perform services for us, such as hosting providers, auditors, advisors, consultants, customer service and support providers.

Affiliates. The information collected about you may be accessed by or shared with subsidiaries and affiliates of RefiningOnline, whose use and disclosure of your personal information is subject to this Privacy Policy.

Business Transfers. We may disclose or transfer information, including personal information, as part of any merger, sale, and transfer of our assets, acquisition or restructuring of all or part of our business, bankruptcy, or similar event.

Legally Required. We may disclose your information if we are required to do so by law.

Protection of Rights. We may disclose information where we believe it necessary to respond to claims asserted against us or, comply with legal process (e.g., subpoenas or warrants), enforce or administer our agreements and terms, for fraud prevention, risk assessment, investigation, and protect the rights, property or safety of RefiningOnline, its users, or others.

Your Content and Activity. Your Content, including your name, profile picture, profile information, and certain associated activity information is available to other members of the RefiningOnline Platform and may be viewed publicly. Public viewing includes availability to non-registered visitors and can occur when users share Your Content across other sites or services. See the section below about Your Choices for information about how you may change how certain information is shared or viewed by others.

Metrics. We may share with content providers aggregate statistics, metrics and other reports about the performance of their content in the RefiningOnline Platform such as the number of unique user views, demographics about the users who saw their content, conversion rates, and date and time information. We do not share IP addresses or personal information.

Anonymized and Aggregated Data. We may share aggregated or de-identified information with third parties for research, marketing, analytics and other purposes, provided such information does not identify a particular individual.

Cookies and Tracking

We and our third-party providers may use cookies, JavaScript, local storage, log files, and other mechanisms to automatically collect and record information about your usage and browsing activities on the RefiningOnline Platform. We may combine this information with other information we collect about users. Below, we provide a brief summary these activities.

  • Cookies. These are small files with a unique identifier that are transferred to your browser through our websites. They allow us to remember users who are logged in, to understand how users navigate through and use the RefiningOnline Platform.
  • Analytics Tools. We may use internal and third-party analytics tools, including Google Analytics. The third-party analytics companies we work with may combine the information collected with other information they have independently collected from other websites and/or other online products and services. Their collection and use of information is subject to their own privacy policies.

Do-Not-Track Signals. Please note we do not change system behavior within the RefiningOnline Platform in response to browser requests not to be tracked. You may, however, disable certain tracking by third-parties as discussed in the RefiningOnline Personalization section below.

RefiningOnline Personalization

We may display personalized content based on information that we have collected via the RefiningOnline Platform. We also may report aggregated or de-identified information about the number of users that saw a particular content and related audience engagement information to publishers of content on the RefiningOnline Platform.

How We Protect Your Information

The security of your information is important to us. RefiningOnline has implemented safeguards to protect the information we collect. However, no website or Internet transmission is completely secure. We urge you to take steps to keep your personal information safe, such as choosing a strong password and keeping it private, as well as logging out of your user account, and closing your web browser when finished using the RefiningOnline Platform on a shared or unsecured device.

Access and Amend Your Information

You may update or correct your account information at any time by logging in to your account. You may also make a number of other adjustments to settings or the display of information about you as described in more detail in the following section about Your Choices.

Your Choices

The RefiningOnline Platform consists in two parts: a limited, publicly available interface and a members-only, comprehensive, personalized private interface. The public interface collects only automated and third-party data such as cookies as previously described. No personalization or profile content is visible on the public interface.

While registration is required in order to gain access to the private, personalized interface, you may, of course, decline to submit information through the RefiningOnline Platform, in which case we may not be able to provide certain services to you. You may also control the types of notifications and communications we send, and otherwise limit the information shared within the RefiningOnline Platform about you. Here is some further information about some of your choices:

Anonymous Posts. All users must be registered and logged-in in order to post questions, responses or comments. Anonymous posts are not permitted.

Emails and Communications. You can manage your email preferences in your account profile settings. If you opt out of receiving emails about recommendations or other information we think may interest you, we may still send you transactional e-mails about your account or any services you have requested or received from us.

Third parties may comment on your postings within the RefiningOnline Platform. You can also adjust permissions about who you allow to send you messages on the RefiningOnline Platform.

Colleagues. You can decline the request of another RefiningOnline user to follow you by rejecting the invitation in your profile. You can change whether or not you follow other users.

Events. You may elect to indicate your intent to attend an event listed in RefiningOnline Events. You can change whether or not to display that intent in the Events section.

Companies. You may elect to associate your employment or affiliation with a company in the RefiningOnline Companies. You can change whether or not to display that affiliation in your Profile by adding or removing the Company content.

Topics. You can change topics that you follow or that your profile lists as areas that you know about.

Credentials. You can change your credentials that are displayed in your profile or in connection with a specific answer.

Deleted or Deactivated Account. If you choose Delete Your Account in your privacy settings, then your profile will be removed from view by other members on the RefiningOnline Platform. However, any questions, responses or comments submitted will remain available and will continue to be appended by your name on the private interface. If you choose Deactivate Your Account, then you will no longer receive any communications from us, and users will not be able to interact with you; however, Your Content will remain on the RefiningOnline Platform. Once you deactivate your account, you can reactivate it any time by choosing to log in.

Linked Networks. You may connect or disconnect your Linked Networks, such as LinkedIn, through your profile settings, and you may access, amend and delete much of your profile information through your profile settings. Once you disconnect a Linked Network, we will not receive information from that Linked Network going forward; unless you choose to reconnect it. You may also control whether the Linked Network is visible in your profile.

Transferring Your Data

RefiningOnline is headquartered in the United States, and has operations, entities and service providers in the United States and other parts of the world. As such, we and our service providers may transfer your personal information to, or access it in, jurisdictions (including the United States) that may not provide equivalent levels of data protection as your home jurisdiction. We will take steps to ensure that your personal information receives an adequate level of protection in the jurisdictions in which we process it.

Children’s Privacy

We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from anyone under the age of 13 (or under the age of 14 for anyone living in Spain or South Korea) or knowingly allow such persons to register. If we become aware that we have collected personal information from a child under the relevant age without parental consent, we take steps to delete that information.

Links to Other Websites

The RefiningOnline Platform may contain links to third party sites or online services. We are not responsible for the practices of such third parties, whose information practices are subject to their own policies and procedures, not to this Privacy Policy.

Your California Privacy Rights

California law permits users who are California residents to request and obtain from us once a year, free of charge, a list of the third parties to whom we have disclosed their personal information (if any) for their direct marketing purposes in the prior calendar year, as well as the types of personal information disclosed to those parties. If you are a California resident and would like to request this information, please submit your request in an email to

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our practices or this Privacy Policy, please contact us at, or send mail to:

Attn: Privacy
P.O. Box 218275
Houston, TX 77218

Changes to Our Privacy Policy

If we change our privacy policies and procedures, we will post those changes on this page. If we make any changes to this Privacy Policy that materially change how we treat your personal information, we will endeavor to provide you with reasonable notice of such changes, such as via prominent notice in the RefiningOnline Platform or to your email address of record, and where required by law, we will obtain your consent or give you the opportunity to opt out of such changes.

Refining Online is a service of Astron International, Inc.
© 2024 Astron International, Inc.