PRC's Privacy Policy


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As a leading national consumer privacy organization, we strive to provide a privacy policy that is easy to understand and transparent.   We comply with Fair Information Principles, and maintain this privacy policy to let you know what information we collect and how that information is used.  In general, we ask for the minimum amount of data necessary. We will not share any information you disclose to us unless you give us permission or it is required by law.

Our Privacy Policy in a Nutshell (details below)

Your Data is Used Only for Intended UseYour Data is Never Given to AdvertisersYour Data is Never Bartered or SoldData is Given to Law Enforcement Only When Legal Process is Followed

Our Privacy Policy has Five Sections:

I.       Major Activities on Our Website

II.     Use and Disclosure

III.   Access, Correction, and Data Quality

IV.    Security

V.     Other

 

I.  Major Activities on Our Website

When You Visit Our Website

            Information Our Site Gathers

When you visit our website, our site collects information to provide us with aggregate data.  We use an analytics program called AWStats.  AWStats analyzes the data our site collects and provides us with a report.

  The information our site collects includes:

  • Internet Protocol or IP address (the unique number assigned to the device you are using to connect to the Internet);
  • Your browser, the version and what operating system you use (for example if you are using Internet Explorer 9 or Mozilla Firefox 8.0 on Windows 7);
  • The bandwidth used when you visit our site.
  • When you visit on our site and how long you spend on it, and what pages you view;
  • How you arrived on our site (for instance, did you use a search engine or click through a link in an online publication?)

This data is stored in log files that are used by AWStats to generate website usage reports that do not contain personally identifiable information.  PRC deletes the log files monthly, and we do not back them up.

            What Information We Are Able to See

While our site collects the information listed above, we receive aggregate data from AWStats. The data reveals, for instance, how many unique visitors we have in a month, how many individual page views we receive, the top 25 countries from which our site is viewed, the top 10 operating systems and browsers that people use to visit our site, and how people reached our content (through links in other sites, search engines, etc.).   The reports do not include IP addresses and we do not attempt to tie individual IP addresses to this information.

            Cookies

We do not use persistent cookies on our website. We do use session cookies.  Session cookies allow us to provide you with a better experience on our site.  They do not capture personally identifiable information, and they do not track your online movements.  Session cookies expire when you close your browser. 

You can set your browser to refuse cookies.  For more information, search for how to refuse and delete cookies or see PRC's Fact Sheet 18: Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely.

When You Join Our Mailing List

We invite you to join our mailing list to receive alerts from us.  To join our mailing list, you must give us an email address and choose whether you want to receive mail in HTML format or Plain Text format. You may choose to give us your first name and state. We store our mailing list in a database hosted by Topica, an online service provider we use to send our alerts via email.

If you choose to receive our alerts in HTML format, the email includes a web beacon telling Topica that you opened the email.  The web beacon does not track anything else, such as the links you click on or whether you forward it to a friend.

 If you choose, you can block web beacons. For more information, search for how to block web beacons or see PRC's Fact Sheet 18: Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely.

You may also choose to receive our emails in Plain Text format. In this case, the email will not have a web beacon.  The email won't look pretty, but you can receive our alerts without any tracking. 

You can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.  Look for the "Safe Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the emails sent through Topica or call us at 619-298-3396.

When You Make a Donation

When you donate by mail, we ask you to print and fill out a PDF mail-in donation form.  The form asks for your name, mailing address, and optional phone number.  We use your information to send you a receipt and thank you letter.  We store any hard copies of information you send in a locked cabinet in our office.

When You Call or Email Us

We invite emails and phone calls from individuals who have privacy-related complaints or questions. We maintain records of the types of inquiries we get so that we can identify emerging privacy issues that need further research or possible legislation.

If you give us your name or other personally identifiable information we may retain it in our records.   If you contact us online, we will respond to you via email.  When you call us, you are not required to give us any personally identifiable information.  We do not voluntarily share any personally identifiable information you provide to us unless you specifically ask or if required by law.

When You File a Complaint with Our Online Complaint Center

If you use our online complaint center, you must give us your email address and state so that we can respond to you.  Provide other personally identifiable information only if you choose.  You also have the option to register with our complaint center so that you can update your complaint and your contact information.

Data you provide us is stored and backed up securely, and is encrypted on our server.  We do not voluntarily share any personally identifiable information unless you specifically ask or we are legally required to do so.  We do, however, aggregate the data to analyze trends and publish reports.

            If You Ask Us to Share Your Complaint

You have the option to allow us to share your complaint with appropriate federal or state government agencies, with the media (newspapers, television, radio, websites), or with a lawyer.  When you allow us to share your complaint, we will include personally identifiable information so that the recipient can contact you to follow up.  When we share complaints, we cannot guarantee how the recipient will use your personal information.  In other words, the data will be subject to the recipient's own privacy policy, and your personal information could be shared with others.

A Note about Third-Parties

Our privacy policy only applies to www.privacyrights.org and the activities of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC).  If you click on a link on our site that takes you to a different organization or company's website, you need to read that site's privacy policy. For example, if you interact with PRC on Facebook or Twitter, your information is subject to their respective privacy policies.

II. Use and Disclosure

See Section I above for the major ways we use and share information collected from website visitors, those who email or call us, donors, and users of our complaint tool.  We assure you that we will never sell, trade, or otherwise share your information with an advertiser, marketer, credit bureau, or profiler.  Our general policy is that we do not share your personally identifiable information with anyone without your consent.

However, there are some limits on what we can and do promise.  Most of these disclosures are unlikely, but we feel it is necessary to let you know they are possible.

  • We disclose personally identifiable information when required by law.  Just like everyone else, we cannot guarantee that your personally identifiable information will never be sought by subpoena, search warrant, court order, or other lawful form of legal process. 

    If someone demands that we produce your identifiable information, we will try to notify you in advance.  If we do not have current contact information for you, we may not be able to reach you.  It is also possible that we may be prohibited from contacting you.

  • We may disclose personally identifiable information to law enforcement if we have reason to believe that our site has been used in a way that violates the law (e.g. someone uses our website for improper activities or tries to hack our website).

  • We may disclose personally identifiable information to the extent we reasonably believe it necessary:
    • to protect the security or integrity of our operations;
    • to take precautions against liability;
    • in the event of a security breach, or to take action to prevent, minimize, or remedy any harm from the breach; or
    • to the extent permitted by law, to provide information to a law enforcement agency or for an investigation on a matter related to public safety.
  • We may disclose personal information to staff and third-parties such as lawyers, consultants, volunteers, and contract workers.  When we disclose personal information to third parties, we do our best to contractually restrict any further use or disclosure of the information that would be inconsistent with this policy.

  • If the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse ever changes its structure, merges with another organization, or evolves in other ways, all information may be shared with a successor organization. We will do our best to ensure that the information is handled in accordance with this privacy policy.

III. Access, Correction, and Data Quality

If we have personally identifiable information about you, we will make that information available to you upon request.  We also welcome updates to your contact information so we can keep in touch with you.  You can ask us to delete any personally identifiable information we have for you, and we will comply unless we are otherwise required to keep it.  Please contact our Chief Privacy Officer at cpo (at) privacyrights.org or 619-298-3396 if you have such a request.

IV. Security

We maintain appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect all information that we have, including your personally identifiable information.  No one can guarantee absolute security, but we exercise great caution in protecting our information. 

V. Other

            Children and Foreign Users

We do not anticipate that children under the age of 13 will provide personally identifiable information through our website.  If we learn that we have information about a child under the age of 13 we will delete it.

Individuals in other countries are welcome to use our website.  Any individual outside the United States should understand that any personally identifiable information provided to us through our website is collected, stored, and otherwise processed in the U.S.  Privacy protections for personal data in the U.S. are different from the privacy protections available by law in other countries and are often weaker.  If this is unacceptable, you should not provide any personally identifiable information.

            Changes to this Policy

The PRC may make changes to this policy on occasion.  We will announce substantial changes on this page and on our homepage.  If possible, we will post notice of substantial changes before they take effect. 

            Questions and Concerns

We practice what we preach, and we train our staff so that they understand our privacy policy.  If you have any questions or comments about our privacy policy, please direct your inquiry to our Chief Privacy Officer at cpo (at) privacyrights.org  or 619-298-3396. 

 

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Privacy Policy Revision History

Revised: 01.02.2012

Version: 2.0.  We revised our policy to add more detail, describe our complaint tool, spell out the disclosures that we make with more specificity, provide information about access and correction.  We did not make any changes to our basic policy of respecting the privacy of our users, or to our policy of not giving user data to advertisers.

 



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