Privacy Policy

As a nonprofit organization that focuses on consumer and technology issues, we know that privacy is a concern for many visitors to our website. This page describes Public Knowledge's practices in collecting and using information from this website, and is intended to allow you to make informed choices about how you interact with it.

How we protect you when accessing our website

As you may know, surveillance of the Internet is a substantial problem, both as a policy matter for organizations such as Public Knowledge and as a practical matter for individual website viewers like you who may wish to maintain anonymity in browsing habits. To protect you from others eavesdropping on you when accessing our website, we implement Transport Layer Security (commonly known as TLS or SSL), which encrypts the content of data transmitted to and from our website.

Encryption protects the information that you send to our site and that we send back to you. This means, for example, that an eavesdropper would not be able to determine which pages on our site you visit solely from your Internet traffic. However, it does not protect you from, for example, (1) others discovering that you have visited our site generally, (2) others determining which pages you have visited by obtaining logs from the website, and (3) others determining your interactions with our website based on interactions with services that we use, as described in the next section.

What information do we collect?

Web visit information. Generally, we collect standard information about web visits to the site, www.publicknowledge.org and other sites operated by Public Knowledge. This information includes your IP address, the pages you visit, the time and date of your visit, the User-Agent identified by your web browser, and the referring page from which you accessed our site. Additionally, the site makes use of cookies designed to remain on your computer for a period of time, which contain information including unique identifiers that help us associate your multiple page visits into a single session.

Services that we use. Public Knowledge believes in a rich ecosystem of Internet services that provide you with a multitude of experiences, and our website takes advantage of that Internet diversity. Our website uses various third-party services that assist us in providing you with useful content and features. These services may collect information from you, and may provide some or all of that information to us. By using our website, you will access some or all of these third-party services, possibly automatically. A listing of these services, along with their corresponding privacy policies, is provided below:

This list will be kept up-to-date to the extent possible, but cannot be guaranteed to be complete.

How can you change incorrect information?

If you believe we have incorrect information about you, and the error in that information is causing problems for you or others, then you may contact us to have that information corrected. Where we are capable of correcting an error, we will try to do so. However, in some cases the error may lie with a third-party service as described above, and we may not have the ability to correct it, in which case we will refer you to the appropriate third-party service.

Can children access our site?

Public Knowledge is a nonprofit organization, so the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 does not apply. Nevertheless, we strive to maintain the privacy of personal information of all visitors to our site, including children. As explained above, our website does not collect personal information directly from visitors. Information may be collected by third-party services, in which case their procedures will apply. If we become aware that we have personal information from a child under 13, we will take steps to remove it immediately.

How do we use your information?

Web visit information. The information we collect on your web visits is primarily used for internal analytics. For example, we may use this data to:

  • fix problems with our website server
  • identify popular or interesting content on our site
  • monitor aggregate statistics about our site's visitors

Services that we use. We use data from third-party services for all of the purposes for which we use web visit information. We also use that data to perform actions that you request of us. These actions include, for example:

  • joining our mailing list
  • making a donation to us
  • sending you merchandise you purchase from our site
  • signing petitions or letters
  • connecting you with members of Congress

In cases where you provide personal information specifically in connection with a particular action or service we provide, we will not use your information for other purposes that you do not authorize.

How do we share your information?

We generally do not share, rent, or sell information collected from this site with anyone outside of Public Knowledge, except in the manner described when you provide that information. We do not rent, sell, or share Web visit information collected as described above. We do use third-party services for managing information we collect, such as those described above, and some information is stored on servers outside of our control, but we believe that these services will maintain appropriate confidentiality of the information they receive from us, in accordance with their respective privacy policies or other policies.

Of course, if you provide information to us that you intend to be shared, we will share it. For example, if you sign a petition to Congress, your name and geographic location may be shared with the member of Congress receiving the petition.

We also will share information with others in particular circumstances:

  • to comply with a law or legal order, such as a subpoena, that we believe to be valid and properly issued
  • to protect the safety of a person or prevent serious harm
  • to support internal operations of our website, such as maintaining or fixing it
  • to provide aggregate information, such as numbers of visitors per month, in a manner that does not identify individuals

How can you contact us?

If you have questions about this privacy policy, or wish to contact us for any of the reasons described above, you may reach Public Knowledge at the contact information on this page.

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