Our Privacy & Data Usage Policy

At Public Democracy, we care about your privacy, and we want to be transparent about how we treat your personal information. As a Public Benefit Corporation with a mission to improve the just usage of data and ensure its value is shared with and empowers users, we have taken great care to ensure that our policies reflect those principles and will continue to strive to be leaders in the proper and best use of data to support the interests of users and the common good. The following Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions govern all pages hosted at www.publicdemocracy.io and data we collect outside this website.

Please note that while we do our best to protect your privacy, our Terms of Use only apply to our pages, and the pages of other organizations we link to may have their own policies that differ from ours. Our Terms of Use may change from time to time, so please check back periodically.

Although our Sites may be accessed from outside of the United States, the Sites are directed to individuals and entities within the United States.  If you are not located in the United States, please be aware that by using our Sites you are consenting to your information being transferred to the United States and that we might not offer the same level of privacy protection that would be required by your home country.

Furthermore, the safety of children is very important to us. Our Sites are not intended for children younger than 13 and we do not intend to collect personally identifiable information from children. Children should always ask a parent for permission before sending personal information to anyone online. 

Public Democracy respects the privacy of its visitors, and our policy reflects that respect. Please read the following policy to understand how your personal information will be treated.

Website Usage

Most areas of our site are accessible without having to provide personal information of any kind. Some of our services, however, may require some form of voluntary identification, and users are free to decide whether or not to provide their information in these cases. Submission of a registration form that includes the user's phone number or email address implies the user's consent to being contacted by Public Democracy.

Public Democracy’s Commitment to Online Security

Physical, electronic, and managerial procedures have been employed to safeguard the security and integrity of personal information. All Public Democracy contractors with access to personal information obtained on the Public Democracy website are also bound to adhere to this policy as part of their contract.

Collection of Information

When you are on Public Democracy’s website and are asked for personal information, you are sharing your information only with Public Democracy, unless we tell you otherwise. Public Democracy may collect information regarding website visitors, including IP address, browser and domain information, and information volunteered by you, such as email address or cell phone number. We may also track visitor usage patterns of our website including website hits using standard site tracking software, such as Google Analytics, by placing first party and/or third party cookies (see Use of Cookies below) on devices that access the Sites and on the Sites of partners, clients, or pro-bono initiatives. 

We also collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from email digital advertising we conduct and that conducted on behalf of clients or through our pro-bono work.

Use of Information

Public Democracy uses the information we collect about you to be able to keep you updated on our activities, help administer and improve our websites, and analyze the data for internal purposes. Cookie data and Personally Identifiable Information, audience segments, and behavioral models based on responses to our email correspondences may also be shared with third parties to improve offerings for advertising and marketing purposes and to improve understanding of and better respond to our community’s values and priorities. 

Public Democracy is a contributor to IAB Tech Lab’s data transparency standards and has advised government leaders on best practices for just use and value sharing of user data.  As a certified B-Corp, our corporate charter binds us to work toward better technologies and data usage that “empower people, so that their individual voices are listened to by those in power and so that their collective voices rightfully influence decisions that are made in the political, corporate, and community space.  Knowing the value of the data that will be created, we further believe that people should share in the value generated and insights created by their contributions throughout this process.”  We believe that the best way to secure data and ensure user’s understanding and vigilance of it is through transparency in use and evolving systems that will share that value with users.  And we believe that data used and valued shared in this way can have a profound and positive impact on our society and future.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Public Democracy collects PII from our visitors, and we collect it through our email communications and digital advertising. 

Our web server does not automatically recognize or collect PII based on your email address; the PII we collect from you is always voluntarily submitted by you. 

Public Democracy is not responsible for the use of PII by its partner organizations or clients. Please consult the Sites of those companies for information concerning their privacy policies.

We treat unsubscribes in email correspondences as an opt-out from both future and past collection of data on behalf of the sending entity.  If you would like to opt-out of our database and from future correspondence, you can do so by emailing us at: contact@publicdemocracy.io and including your name, email, and zip code to confirm identity.  This opt-out will remove your PII from our database. 

Use of cookies

Cookies are small text-only files that are stored on your computer and that can be used to help identify you when you visit a website.  A cookie cannot read data off of your computer hard disk, nor can it read cookie files created by other websites. We may use cookies to make visiting and using our Sites easier and to help shape your experience on our Sites to best match your expressed preferences.

These cookies enable us to track how our Sites are used, which portions of the Sites are visited and which items our visitors find most interesting.  From time to time, we may do the same on sites of partners, clients, or pro-bono projects we work on.  Cookies help us better understand the communities we work with and ensure they are being offered opportunities to make a difference in the real world in a way that best aligns with their values.  For example, cookies played a key role in our ability to connect and build trust with veterans who had severe PTSD to get them much-needed services and counseling opportunities, and they helped us mobilize Americans to provide funding and support during the Ebola outbreak. 

Most web browsers accept cookies. However, if you wish, you can set your browser to refuse cookies or notify you when you receive a new cookie. Note that if cookies are disabled, you may not be able to enjoy all the interactive features of the Sites. For more information about cookies, including instructions on how to stop cookies being installed on your browser, please see www.allaboutcookies.org.  To opt out of use of our cookies for tracking, you may visit Google’s advertising policy page or the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Cookie opt-out: www.aboutads.info

Children's privacy

If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 13 and believe your child is using any of the Sites, please contact us at contact@publicdemocracy.io.. Upon request, the parent or guardian of a child under 13 may review and request the deletion of such child’s personally identifiable information, as well as refuse to permit the further collection or use of such information.  If we discover that a user is under the age of 13, we will delete their account and all personally identifiable information immediately.

Privacy rights for California residents

If you are a California resident, California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits you to request information regarding the disclosure of your personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email to contact@publicdemocracy.io.

International Users

Our Sites are operated in the United States.  If you are located outside of the United States, you should be aware that we will collect, process, and maintain your information in the United States.  By using the Sites, accessing the Sites or providing any information to the Sites, you consent to the transfer of your information to the United States, which may not offer the same level of privacy protection that would be required by your home country, and to the processing and maintaining of that information as described in this Privacy Policy.

Links to Third-Party Sites

The Public Democracy website may provide links to other third party websites to serve as a resource for our users. While we make efforts to choose our links carefully from reputable sites, we cannot take responsibility for the content of linked websites or for their privacy policies. Since we do not control those websites, we encourage you to review the privacy policies on all of those websites prior to any use.

Linking to the Public Democracy Website

Generally, Internet websites may link to Public Democracy websites without seeking the permission of Public Democracy. However, such links must clearly identify Public Democracy as the source of the information displayed and preserve the integrity of the Public Democracy web pages without alteration.

Privacy Policy Changes

As privacy laws and standards are constantly changing, Public Democracy continually examines the best options for maintaining a high level of privacy on our site to match the changing standards. This means from time to time, Public Democracy may change or update its privacy policy. Your use of the Public Democracy website constitutes your agreement to our terms. Public Democracy is committed to maintaining your confidence and trust, and we will respect your privacy to the best of our abilities.

If you have questions about this policy or your privacy while on this website, please contact us at contact@publicdemocracy.io.

 Updated March 18, 2019