PRC's Privacy Policy

In a nutshell. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) strives to provide a privacy policy that is easy to understand, transparent, and based on Fair Information Principles (FIPs). We maintain this policy to let everyone know that we are committed to and respect the rights of individuals who interact with us.  Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.

  • We collect personal information you provide us with, and require the minimum amount of information necessary.  We automatically collect analytics data from our site visitors, but allow you to opt out of our analytics collection if you want. 
  • We use personal information only for the purpose we collect it unless you ask us to use it otherwise. 
  • We do not sell or rent any personal information. 
  • We implement physical, administrative, and technical security measures to protect any information we collect.  In addition, all communications between PRC and our site visitors will be conducted over an encrypted connection.
  • If you want to stop receiving communications from us, update your information, close an account, or request information be deleted, let us know.  If you create an account to ask us a privacy question, you have the option to delete your account through your dashboard.

Please read the full policy below for details on any of these statements.

  1. What information does PRC collect and how does it use this information?
    1. When you visit our website
    2. When you join our mailing list
    3. When you make a donation
    4. When you file a complaint or share a story with PRC
    5. When you ask PRC a privacy question
  2. How does PRC use and disclose the information it collects?
  3. How does PRC address access, correction, and data quality?
  4. Does PRC take security measures to protect the data it collects?
  5. Additional information
    1. When you click through to other sites from our website or interact with third parties
    2. Children
    3. Site visitors outside the U.S.
    4. Changes to this policy
    5. PRC Privacy Policy revision history
    6. Contact and Accountability

1. What information does PRC collect and how does it use this information?

 

a. When you visit our website

When you visit the PRC website, we automatically collect analytics information and receive reports from Piwik, our analytics provider.

A cookie is a string of information a website stores on a visitor’s computer. We may use session cookies (meaning they disappear when you close your browser) on PRC’s website with our analytics provider to learn more about how visitors use and reach our website.   

We do not allow third party tracking cookies on our website, and you can still use our website even if you set your browser to reject cookies.  To learn more, search for how to block and delete cookies or see PRC’s guide, Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely

The analytics data our site collects is stored in a database used by Piwik to generate reports that contain aggregate data about how people use our website.  PRC does not receive personally identifiable information in these reports, and does not attempt to identify individuals. 

Opt out of analytics collection

If you choose to opt out of PRC's analytics collection, a cookie ‘piwik_ignore’ will be set. All visitors with a piwik_ignore cookie will not be tracked.

Do not track
Piwik also will not track visitors who have indicated they do not want to be tracked in their web browser.  You may indicate this preference in most browsers’ settings.

b. When you join our mailing list

If you choose to join our mailing list, we will use the email address you provide us only to send you messages associated with that particular list.  We do not sell, rent, or share our mailing list.

PRC uses Constant Contact to send our newsletters, alerts, and other email to our email list (you will not be automatically subscribed to this list when you ask us a privacy question). You can always unsubscribe from our mailing list.  To unsubscribe, look for a “SafeUnsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email you receive from us.  See information about Constant Contact and its privacy statement for more information.

Constant Contact may use web beacons to allow them to determine if you opened an email.  You can block web beacons.  To learn more, search for how to block web beacons or see PRC’s guide, Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely.

c. When you make a donation

When you make a donation to PRC, we will keep the information you provide us so that we can thank you, provide you with receipts for tax purposes, and (if you provide an email address) keep you up to date with occasional donor-related emails.  You may also opt in to join our general email list.  Any email we send will contain information about how to unsubscribe from the applicable list.  We do not sell, rent, or share our donor list.

Payment processing.  PRC does not process online donation payments, and we do not have access to your financial information.  We contract with Network for Good to process online donation payments.  When you leave our website, you are no longer subject to the PRC’s privacy policy. Please see the Network for Good privacy policy and terms for more information.   

d. When you file a complaint or share a story with PRC

PRC uses complaints and consumer stories to help us speak out for consumers as we advocate for stronger privacy protections and raise awareness of current privacy issues and concerns.  We also use complaints and stories to analyze trends and publish reports.  If you file a complaint or share a story with PRC, you may choose to submit it anonymously or to provide us with additional information.  We do not share any personally identifiable information unless you give us permission or we are legally required to do so. 

If you request that PRC share your complaint or story. You have the option to allow PRC to share your complaint or story with appropriate federal or state government agencies and with journalists.  When you allow us to share, we will include any information you provide us so that the recipients can contact you to follow up (if they choose to do so).  When we share complaints and stories, we cannot guarantee how the recipient will use your personal information.  The data will be subject to the recipient’s own privacy policy, and your personal information could be shared with others.

e. When you ask PRC a privacy question

If you choose to ask us a privacy question through our website, we require you to create an account and provide us with an email address and your state.  We will only use the email address you provide to notify you when a PRC staff member has posted a response to the question you submitted. 

We request that you provide us with your state because it helps us provide you with a better answer and relevant resources (privacy rights can vary quite a bit by state).  You can choose whether to provide us with more information. 
We will only share information you provide us to the extent that you request that we share with government agencies or journalists.  You may also choose to allow us to seek outside assistance in answering your question. 

You can update your information or fully delete your account at any time through your dashboard.  If you have questions or difficulties, please contact us.

2. How does PRC use and disclose the information it collects?

See Section 1. for the major ways PRC uses information we collect.  We use personal information only for the purpose for which we obtained it from you.  In addition, it is our general policy to disclose personal information only when you consent. 

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

  • We disclose personal information when required by law.  We cannot guarantee that your personal information will never be sought by subpoena, search warrant, court order, or other lawful form of legal process.  We may or may not contest a demand for data.
    If we are able, we will make a reasonable attempt to notify you about any such disclosure.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able or allowed to contact you. 
  • We may disclose personal 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 personal 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 actions to prevent, minimize, or remedy any harm from the breach; or
  • to the extent required by law, or to provide information to a law enforcement agency or for an investigation related to public safety.
  • We may disclose personal information we collect to contractors who provide administrative services and support to PRC.  This may include auditors, our Internet Service Provider, database providers, lawyers, consultants, volunteers, contractors, and others.  We attempt to minimize sharing personal information, and we avoid it where possible.  However, we depend on third parties to support some of our services and operations.  We strive to select vendors and contractors who have strong privacy and security policies.
  • If PRC ever changes its structure, merges with another organization, or evolves in other ways, personal information may be shared with a successor organization.  We will do our best to ensure that the information is handled in accordance with this policy.

3. How does PRC address access, correction, and data quality?

If we have personal 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 personal information we have about you, and we will comply unless we are otherwise required to keep it.  Please contact us if you have such a request.  We do not charge a fee for any of these requests.

4. Does PRC take security measures to protect the data it collects?

PRC maintains appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect all information we have, including your personal information.  It is impossible to guarantee absolute security, but we exercise great care in protecting any information we collect.

PRC also relies on third parties to take appropriate security measures for web hosting, email marketing, and donation processing.

5. Additional information

a. When you click through to other sites from our website or interact with third parties

PRC’s privacy policy only applies to www.privacyrights.org and the activities of PRC.  If you click on a link on our site that takes you to a different organization or company’s website, you will be subject to and should read that company’s privacy policy.   For example, if you interact with or share PRC materials on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you will be subject to their respective privacy policies. 

You will also be subject to third party policies when you donate online to PRC (Network for Good) and when you join our mailing list (Constant Contact).

b. Children

This website is not directed at children under the age of 13 who have protections under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.  Some children may use PRC’s website to obtain information about privacy, but we do not anticipate that they will engage in activities that result in PRC obtaining any personal information. If we learn that we have information about a child under the age of 13, we will delete it.

c. Site visitors outside the U.S.

Individuals outside the U.S. are welcome to use our website, but must acknowledge that any personal 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 privacy protections available by law in other countries (they are often weaker).  If this is unacceptable, you should not provide us with any personal information.

d. Changes to this policy

PRC may make changes to this policy on occasion.  We will announce substantial changes on this page and in our blog.  

e. PRC Privacy Policy revision history

Revised 01.02.2012:  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.

Revised 05.19.2014: We revised our policy to note the switch from AWstats to the Piwik Analytics engine.

Revised 10.06.2016: We revised our policy to reflect changes associated with our website overhaul, to make the policy more reader-friendly, and to account for the addition of Constant Contact and Network for Good as third party vendors.

f. Contact and Accountability

If you have questions or comments regarding our privacy policy, please contact us.  We can also be contacted at 619-298-3396 or by mail at 3033 5th Ave, Suite 223, San Diego, CA 92103.  
We instruct all staff members on our privacy, confidentiality, and security policies.  PRC staff who have access to personal information are required to abide by these policies, and we hold them accountable for doing so.