Privacy Policy

Effective date: February 21, 2023

Welcome to Read the Docs. At Read the Docs, we believe in protecting the privacy of our users, authors, and readers.

The short version

We collect your information only with your consent; we only collect the minimum amount of personal information that is necessary to fulfill the purpose of your interaction with us; we don’t sell it to third parties; and we only use it as this Privacy Policy describes.

Of course, the short version doesn’t tell you everything, so please read on for more details!

Our services

Read the Docs is made up of: (“Read the Docs Community”)

This is a website aimed at documentation authors and project maintainers writing and distributing technical documentation. This Privacy Policy applies to this site in full without reservation. (“Read the Docs for Business”)

This website is a commercial hosted offering for hosting private documentation for corporate clients. This Privacy Policy applies to this site in full without reservation.,, and other domains (“Documentation Sites”)

These websites are where Read the Docs hosts documentation (”User-Generated Content”) on behalf of documentation authors. A best effort is made to apply this Privacy Policy to these sites but the documentation may contain content and files created by documentation authors.

All use of Read the Docs is subject to this Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of service.

What information Read the Docs collects and why

Information from website browsers

If you’re just browsing the website, we collect the same basic information that most websites collect. We use common internet technologies, such as cookies and web server logs. We collect this basic information from everybody, whether they have an account or not.

The information we collect about all visitors to our website includes:

  • the visitor’s browser type

  • language preference

  • referring site

  • the date and time of each visitor request

We also collect potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

Why do we collect this?

We collect this information to better understand how our website visitors use Read the Docs, and to monitor and protect the security of the website.

Information from users with accounts

If you create an account, we require some basic information at the time of account creation. You will create your own user name and password, and we will ask you for a valid email account. You also have the option to give us more information if you want to, and this may include “User Personal Information.”

“User Personal Information” is any information about one of our users which could, alone or together with other information, personally identify him or her. Information such as a user name and password, an email address, a real name, and a photograph are examples of “User Personal Information.”

User Personal Information does not include aggregated, non-personally identifying information. We may use aggregated, non-personally identifying information to operate, improve, and optimize our website and service.

Why do we collect this information?

  • We need your User Personal Information to create your account, and to provide the services you request.

  • We use your User Personal Information, specifically your user name, to identify you on Read the Docs.

  • We use it to fill out your profile and share that profile with other users.

  • We will use your email address to communicate with you but it is not shared publicly.

  • We limit our use of your User Personal Information to the purposes listed in this Privacy Statement. If we need to use your User Personal Information for other purposes, we will ask your permission first. You can always see what information we have in your user account.

What information Read the Docs does not collect

We do not intentionally collect sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, genetic data, health information, or religious information.

Documentation Sites hosted on Read the Docs are public, anyone (including us) may view their contents. If you have included private or sensitive information in your Documentation Site, such as email addresses, that information may be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.

Read the Docs for Business may host private projects which we treat as confidential and we only access them for support reasons, with your consent, or if required to for security reasons

If you’re a child under the age of 13, you may not have an account on Read the Docs. Read the Docs does not knowingly collect information from or direct any of our content specifically to children under 13. If we learn or have reason to suspect that you are a user who is under the age of 13, we will unfortunately have to close your account. We don’t want to discourage you from writing software documentation, but those are the rules.

How we share the information we collect

We do not share, sell, rent, or trade User Personal Information with third parties for their commercial purposes.

We do not disclose User Personal Information outside Read the Docs, except in the situations listed in this section or in the section below on compelled disclosure.

We do share certain aggregated, non-personally identifying information with others about how our users, collectively, use Read the Docs. For example, we may compile statistics on the prevalence of different types of documentation across Read the Docs for a blog post or popularity of programming languages for advertising partners.

We do host advertising on Documentation Sites. This advertising is first-party advertising hosted by Read the Docs. We do not run any code from advertisers and all ad images are hosted on Read the Docs’ servers. For more details, see our document on Advertising details.

We may use User Personal Information with your permission, so we can perform services you have requested. For example, if you request service on commercially hosted docs, we will ask your permission to sync your private repositories.

We may share User Personal Information with a limited number of third party vendors who process it on our behalf to provide or improve our service, and who have agreed to privacy restrictions similar to our own Privacy Statement. For more details, see our next section on third parties.

Third party vendors

As we mentioned, we may share some information with third party vendors or it may be collected by them on our behalf. The information collected and stored by third parties is subject to their policies and practices. This list will be updated from time to time and we encourage you to check back periodically.

Payment processing

Should you choose to become a Supporter, purchase a Gold membership, or become a subscriber to Read the Docs’ commercial hosting product, your payment information and details will be processed by Stripe. Read the Docs does not store your payment information.

Site monitoring

Read the Docs uses Sentry and New Relic to diagnose errors and improve the performance of our site. Both companies take part in the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. We aim to minimize the amount of personal information shared, but the information may include your IP address.


We go into detail on analytics in a separate section specific to analytics.

Support desk

Read the Docs uses Front to manage support requests. If you request support – typically via email – Front may process your contact information.

Email newsletter

If you sign up for the Read the Docs email newsletter, your email address and name will be stored by MailerLite. This newsletter is separate from creating a Read the Docs account and signing up for Read the Docs does not opt you in for the newsletter.

You can manage your email subscription including unsubscribing and deleting your records with MailerLite. There is a link to do so in the footer of any newsletter you receive from us.

Public information on Read the Docs

Most of Read the Docs is public-facing including user names, project names, and Documentation Sites. If your content is public-facing, third parties may access it. We do not sell that content; it is yours.

Our use of cookies and tracking

Do Not Track

Read the Docs supports Do Not Track (DNT) and respects users’ tracking preferences. Specifically, we support the W3C’s tracking preference expression and the EFF’s DNT Policy.

For Read the Docs, this means:

  • We do not do behavioral ad targeting regardless of your DNT preference.

  • When DNT is enabled, both logged-in and logged-out users are considered opted-out of analytics.

  • Regardless of DNT preference, our logs that contain IP addresses and user agent strings are deleted after 10 days unless a DNT exception applies.

  • Our full DNT policy is available here.

Our DNT policy applies without reservation to Read the Docs Community and Read the Docs for Business. A best effort is made to apply this to Documentation Sites, but we do not have complete control over the contents of these sites.

For more details about DNT, visit All About Do Not Track.


Due to the nature of our environment where documentation is built as necessary, the DNT analytics opt-out for Documentation Sites only applies for those sites generated after May 1, 2018.


Read the Docs uses cookies to make interactions with our service easy and meaningful. We use cookies to keep you logged in, remember your preferences, and provide information for future development of Read the Docs.

A cookie is a small piece of text that our web server stores on your computer or mobile device, which your browser sends to us when you return to our site. Cookies do not necessarily identify you if you are merely visiting Read the Docs; however, a cookie may store a unique identifier for each logged in user. The cookies Read the Docs sets are essential for the operation of the website, or are used for performance or functionality. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your computer or device. If you disable your browser or device’s ability to accept cookies, you will not be able to log in to Read the Docs.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics as a third party tracking service, but we don’t use it to track you individually or collect your User Personal Information. We use Google Analytics to collect information about how our website performs and how our users, in general, navigate through and use Read the Docs. This helps us evaluate our users’ use of Read the Docs; compile statistical reports on activity; and improve our content and website performance.

Google Analytics gathers certain simple, non-personally identifying information over time, such as your IP address, browser type, internet service provider, referring and exit pages, time stamp, and similar data about your use of Read the Docs. We do not link this information to any of your personal information such as your user name.

Read the Docs will not, nor will we allow any third party to, use the Google Analytics tool to track our users individually; collect any User Personal Information other than IP address; or correlate your IP address with your identity. Google provides further information about its own privacy practices and offers a browser add-on to opt out of Google Analytics tracking. You may also opt-out of analytics on Read the Docs by enabling Do Not Track.

How Read the Docs secures your information

Read the Docs takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect User Personal Information from unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction; maintain data accuracy; and help ensure the appropriate use of User Personal Information. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.

No method of transmission, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Read the Docs’ global privacy practices

Information that we collect will be stored and processed in the United States in accordance with this Privacy Policy. However, we understand that we have users from different countries and regions with different privacy expectations, and we try to meet those needs.

We provide the same standard of privacy protection to all our users around the world, regardless of their country of origin or location, Additionally, we require that if our vendors or affiliates have access to User Personal Information, they must comply with our privacy policies and with applicable data privacy laws.

In particular:

  • Read the Docs provides clear methods of unambiguous, informed consent at the time of data collection, when we do collect your personal data.

  • We collect only the minimum amount of personal data necessary, unless you choose to provide more. We encourage you to only give us the amount of data you are comfortable sharing.

  • We offer you simple methods of accessing, correcting, or deleting the data we have collected.

  • We also provide our users a method of recourse and enforcement.

Resolving complaints

If you have concerns about the way Read the Docs is handling your User Personal Information, please let us know immediately by emailing us at

How we respond to compelled disclosure

Read the Docs may disclose personally-identifying information or other information we collect about you to law enforcement in response to a valid subpoena, court order, warrant, or similar government order, or when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect our property or rights, or those of third parties or the public at large.

In complying with court orders and similar legal processes, Read the Docs strives for transparency. When permitted, we will make a reasonable effort to notify users of any disclosure of their information, unless we are prohibited by law or court order from doing so, or in rare, exigent circumstances.

How you can access and control the information we collect

If you’re already a Read the Docs user, you may access, update, alter, or delete your basic user profile information by editing your user account.

Data retention and deletion

Read the Docs will retain User Personal Information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services.

We may retain certain User Personal Information indefinitely, unless you delete it or request its deletion. For example, we don’t automatically delete inactive user accounts, so unless you choose to delete your account, we will retain your account information indefinitely.

If you would like to delete your User Personal Information, you may do so in your user account. We will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements, but barring legal requirements, we will delete your full profile.

Our web server logs for Read the Docs Community, Read the Docs for Business, and Documentation Sites are deleted after 10 days barring legal obligations.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to revise this Privacy Policy at any time. If we change this Privacy Policy in the future, we will post the revised Privacy Policy and update the “Effective Date,” above, to reflect the date of the changes.

Contacting Read the Docs

Questions regarding Read the Docs’ Privacy Policy or information practices should be directed to