Privacy Policy

Last updated: 12 January 2015

Change.org’s mission is to empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see. We believe the best way to achieve that mission is to be a technology company using the power of business for social good.

Our Privacy Policy outlines how we get and use information about you, who we share it with, and how you can control your privacy settings. This information helps us build technology to show you campaigns that are most likely to matter to you.

1. Information we collect

To run our service and show you relevant content, we need to know a little about you and your interests. Here we outline what information Change.org collects, and how we collect it.

a. What we collect

When you sign or create a petition via our platform, an account is created for you. All your campaign activities are then tied to this account. By “campaign” we mean petitions, all the activities you can do to promote your petitions via our platform or through third-party sites and services, and any other action through our platform.

Through these activities and upon your general use of our platform, we may collect and/or receive the following information about you that reveals your specific identity, or is directly tied to your specific identity:

  • your name
  • your postal address
  • your telephone number
  • your email address, or non-email authentication if you are using a mobile device
  • your profile picture
  • other information you voluntarily submit (for example: photos)
  • your unique mobile device ID number if you access our services via a mobile application
  • your social media account ID and information shared with us via your social media account
  • your specific activities on the Change.org platform - for example, petitions you have started or signed, sponsored petitions you have signed, or campaigns you have shared or promoted

And possibly:

  • information inferred about the issues you care about based on your activities on the platform (e.g. animal rights, climate change)
  • information about you available in public records, or other publicly available databases, such as civic data APIs, which, as an example, we use in the United States to help match citizens with the elected officials who represent them at all levels in government
  • information about you that we get from third party data providers. We obtain this data with assurance from these providers that you have consented to the collecting and sharing of this data. We don’t actively collect sensitive public data such as medical data. In addition, we only collect information that is permissible to collect in each country where we operate.

We also collect information that does not reveal your specific identity, or does not directly relate to you, such as:

  • browser and device information
  • information collected through cookies, pixel tags, and other technologies
  • demographic information and other non-identifying information provided by you (such as a postal code or general geographic area)
b. How we collect it
  • When you register for the Change.org platform, you will be asked to create a user profile that includes information such as your user name, city, state, and country. You may choose to upload photos and provide additional information as well.
  • When you are signed in to your account, your activities on the Change.org platform (for example: when you sign a petition, create a petition, share someone else’s petition, opt in to being contacted by an advertiser, or skip a sponsored campaign) are tracked and are associated with your account.
  • When you download and use our existing or future mobile applications, we’ll collect your unique device ID and all your account and activity information will be tied to that unique device ID. In addition, we may track and collect app usage data, such as the date and time the app on your device accesses our servers and what information and files have been downloaded to the app, and this information may be associated with your account.
  • When you use a website that allows for the posting of content to Change.org through our Application Programming Interface (“API”), your activities are recorded as if they were directly on our site and applications.
  • We may collect information through your activities offline, for example when you respond to user surveys or provide information if we assist you by telephone.
  • We may obtain information about you from public records, publicly available databases, and third-party providers as described above.
  • We may obtain certain information through your social media accounts connected to your Change.org account. If you log in to Change.org via Facebook, we ask for your permission to access certain information about your Facebook account, activities and friends. Social media sites make information available to all apps through their APIs, such as friend lists. The information we receive depends on what information you or the social media site decide to give us.
  • Browser and device information: Certain information is collected by most browsers or automatically through your device, such as your Media Access Control (MAC) address, computer type (Windows or Macintosh), screen resolution, operating system name and version, device manufacturer and model, language, Internet browser type and version, and the name and version of the Change.org platform you are using.
  • Cookies and online tracking: We, our service providers, and any ad networks who help us deliver relevant ads to you may use cookies, pixel tags (also known as web beacons and clear GIFs), and other similar technologies to measure and track general user activities on Change.org and on third party websites. Like other websites, Change.org will not function properly if cookies are not enabled. Please review our Cookies Policy for more information.
  • Third-party analytics providers: We use third-party analytics services like Google Analytics provided by Google Inc. (“Google”) and the Mixpanel service provided by Mixpanel, Inc. (“Mixpanel”). These analytics services use cookies and similar technologies to analyze how people use our services and compile statistical reports. Such services may also collect information about Platform visitors’ use of other websites. For more information on your choices, please see our section below entitled “Your privacy choices”.
  • IP Address: Your “IP Address” is a designator that is automatically assigned to the computer that you are using by your Internet service provider (ISP). An IP Address may be identified and logged automatically in our server log files whenever you use our platform and services, along with the time of your visit and the specific page(s) that you visited.

In some instances, we may combine non-personally identifiable information with personally identifiable information (for example, we may combine your name with your geographical location or combine your name with information about your activities on our platform). In such case the combined information will be treated by us as personally identifying information and protected accordingly.

2. How we may use your information

Here are the ways we might use your information to run our platform, provide our services and serve you better content.

  • We use your information to respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests, such as when you create petitions, sign petitions, or participate in other activities on Change.org platforms, sites, apps and third-party sites who use our API and to complete and fulfill your transactions with us.
  • We need your contact information to send administrative information to you, for example, information regarding our services and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies.
  • We use your information for general business purposes, such as data analysis, audits, fraud monitoring and prevention, developing new services, enhancing, improving or modifying our Platform, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of campaigns, and operating and expanding our business activities.
  • We personalise your experience by presenting petitions, campaigns and offers tailored to you based on what we know about you. We may also send you promotional communications that we believe may be of interest to you.
  • We use your information to allow you to participate in events and similar promotions and to administer these activities. Some of these activities have additional rules, which could contain additional information about how we use and disclose information about you, so we suggest that you read these rules carefully.
  • We need information about your social media account and activities to facilitate social sharing functionality, such as sharing content and petitions through the Change.org platform and other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • We use your account information to allow you to send email messages to your email contacts through our platform, such as to share a petition. By using this feature, you guarantee that you have the right to to use and provide us the names and email addresses you submit.
  • We use information about your computer or device to ensure that our site, apps and APIs function properly and are optimised for your computer or device.
  • If you are using one of our mobile applications, we use your device ID to recognise you when you use the application and to store your preferences and settings.
  • We use cookies, pixel tags and other tracking technologies to measure and improve our services and develop features and functionalities on our sites, apps and APIs. For example, if we see that people using a certain device use the platform the most, we might decide to build an app specifically for that device.
  • We use cookies, pixel tags and other tracking technologies to improve the relevance of our marketing campaigns and those of our advertisers. For example, if you signed a petition regarding the protection of animal rights, you may subsequently see sponsored campaigns from animal protection organisations.
  • We use IP Addresses for administration and security purposes, such as calculating usage levels of our sites, apps and API, helping diagnose server problems and detecting fraud and spam behavior.
  • We may use and share aggregated and anonymised information to better understand and serve our users or for optimisation of our marketing and ad targeting efforts. For example, we may compile statistics like the percentage of our users in a state or country who care about animal rights, or the age range of those users.

3. Who may receive your information

Here we outline when and how information can be shared - either by you via the platform, or by us. Organisations can pay to promote their campaigns (that's what helps keep the platform free to use), but we won’t share your contact details with them without your permission.

a. The Change.org community
  • Your name, general geographic location (such as city, state, country), and a link to your Change.org user profile may be displayed on the landing page for any petition you sign, and on related areas of our platform. This information will be viewable to any visitor, including the media, search engines, and other organisations that provide archival Internet activities. If you do not wish to have your personal information displayed on a petition landing page, you may select the option not to display your signature publicly.
  • We also share your first and last name and city with the person who initiated a petition you have signed, even if you select the option not to display your signature publicly. If you do not wish to have such information shared with the person who initiated the petition, please do not sign the petition.
  • We may identify you to the recipients of messages you may choose to send through our platform.
  • We may, in certain circumstances, share your name and general geographic location with the intended decision maker who is the recipient of the petition. If you do not wish to have this information shared with the petition recipient, you should not sign the petition.

Our platform provides an open forum for communication by users all around the world. We do not monitor, verify, or perform any background check on campaign starters, petition signers, or other members of Change.org. Interacting with others on our platform and the resulting sharing of information is at your own risk.

b. Your other social media platforms
  • You may share your activities on Change.org with friends on other social media sites, for example, sharing a petition you signed on Facebook. To do so, you must connect your Change.org account with your social media account. In such case, you authorise us to share information with your social media account provider, and you understand that the use of the information we share will be governed by the social media site’s privacy policy. If you do not want your information shared with other social media users or with your social media account provider, please do not connect your social media account with your Change.org account and do not use the social sharing features on the Platform.
  • You may voluntarily share information on message boards, chat, profile pages and blogs, and other services to which you are able to post information and materials (including the Change.org pages on Facebook and other social media platforms). Please note that any information you post or disclose through these services will become public information, and may be available to other Change.org users, social media platform users and to the general public. We urge you to be very careful when deciding to disclose any information about yourself via the social sharing features of our platform. For more details regarding posting content to our platform, please see our Terms of Service.
c. Advertisers and ad networks
  • Only at your election and if you specifically consent, we may share information about you with our advertisers, including your email address, mailing address and the petition you signed. We may also share your telephone number, but only if you separately consent. The advertiser may then use this information to communicate with you and send you promotional materials that may be of interest to you. We do not control the content or frequency of communications that you may receive from our advertisers.

    California law permits residents of California to request certain details about what personal information a company shares with third parties for the third parties' direct marketing purposes. If you have questions about our sharing practices or your rights under California law, please contact our Privacy Officer with the contact details listed at the end of this privacy policy.
  • We may use third-party advertising companies to serve advertisements regarding goods and services that may be of interest to you based on your use of and activities on our platform. To do so, these companies may place or recognise a unique cookie on your browser (including through the use of pixel tags). If you would like more information about this practice and to learn about your choices in connection with it, please visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp and http://www.aboutads.info/. You can also see our section below entitled “Your privacy choices”.
  • If you are using one of our mobile applications, our ad network partners may use and store your mobile device ID to show ads that they consider relevant to you in various mobile services that you use. If you would like to learn about your choices, please see our section below entitled “Your privacy choices”.
d. Administrative purposes

We may share your information with third parties for the following purposes:

  • Companies within the Change.org group of companies: We may share your information with our affiliates, which are entities under common ownership or control of Change.org to provide our services in different countries.
  • Our suppliers, subcontractors and business partners (“service providers”): We may share information about you with our services providers who process information to provide services to us or on our behalf. We have contracts with our service providers that prohibit them from sharing the information about you that they collect or receive with anyone else or from using such information for other purposes.
  • Fraud prevention: We may disclose the personal information we collect about our users when we believe disclosure is necessary to investigate, prevent, or respond to suspected illegal or fraudulent activity or to protect the safety, rights, or property of us, our users, or others.
  • Law enforcement purposes: If requested or required by government authorities, such as law enforcement authorities, courts, or regulators, or otherwise to comply with the law, we may have to disclose any information we have about our users. We also may disclose information collected about you in order to exercise or protect legal rights or defend against legal claims.
  • Sale or merger of our company: We have no plans to sell our business. In this unlikely event, we may transfer your personal information to a third party if we or any of our company affiliates are involved in a corporate restructuring (e.g., a sale, merger, or other transfer of assets).

4. Your privacy choices

Your Change.org profile is set to private by default. You can edit your profile and the settings to make it public and manage certain emails we send you.

a. Account settings

Your Change.org profile is set to private by default. We allow you to choose whether your user profile is private, viewable by the public, or viewable only by the Change.org friends you have designated. You also may update your profile information and remove certain causes, organisations, or friends from your profile page through the “Settings” page.

You can change your Privacy settings by clicking here, or logging in to your account, clicking on “Settings,” and selecting “Privacy”.

b. Social media

You can edit or remove the permissions you have granted to Change.org to use information from your social media accounts by using your application privacy settings on your social media account.

If you’ve signed in on Change.org through Facebook connect, you are likely cookied by Facebook. You can modify or change those cookies through the settings on your Facebook account. For more details on cookies, please see our Cookies Policy.

c. Email settings

If you no longer want to receive marketing-related emails from Change.org or its affiliate companies going forward, you may opt out of receiving these by following the instructions contained in any such email or by logging in to your account, clicking on “Settings,” and selecting “Manage Email Preferences.”

We will comply with your request(s) as soon as reasonably practicable. Please also note that if you do opt out of receiving marketing-related emails from us, we may still send you important administrative messages (such as updates about your account or service changes), and you cannot opt out from receiving these messages.

d. Advertising networks

You may opt out of receiving targeted online advertising from advertising networks that may be delivered on our platform and other websites by visiting the following websites:

Please bear in mind that there are many more companies listed on these sites than those that place cookies on your computer when you access our platform.

We may also display ads within our present or future mobile apps. If you are using an iOS device and you do not want to receive tailored in-application ads that relate to your interests, you may opt-out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com. If you are using an iOS6 device, you also may limit the delivery of tailored ads through the following process: Open Settings and tap “General” then tap “About”; Scroll to the bottom of About and tap “Advertising”; Flip “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON. If you are using an Android device and you do not wish to receive tailored in-application ads, you can visit Google’s Ads Preferences page from a browser on your device and make your choices there. We do not control how the applicable platform operator allows you to control receiving tailored in-application ads; thus, you should contact the platform provider if the above options are no longer available.

e. Third-party analytics companies

To opt out of Google Analytics, please go to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en-GB. To opt out of Mixpanel’s automatic retention of data collected through your browser while on the Website, please go to https://mixpanel.com/terms/ and the opt-out link available at https://mixpanel.com/optout/. These opt-outs may be provided through the use of specific tracking opt-out cookies. Please note that if you get a new computer, install a new browser, or erase or otherwise alter your browser's cookie file (including upgrading certain browsers), this may also clear the opt-out cookie.

5. Accessing or deleting your information

If you want, you can ask us for the information we have about your account and even ask us to delete it.

If you would like to review, correct, update, suppress, or delete information that has been previously provided to us by you, you may log in to your account, click on “Settings” and update your profile information.

You can also contact our Privacy Officer at the email address or mailing address listed at the bottom of this Privacy Policy and ask us to specify what information we have about you and to delete certain information about you from our records. Please let us know what information you would like us to remove from our databases or otherwise let us know what limitations you would like to put on our use of your personal information. For your protection, we may only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address that you use to send us your request, and we may need to verify your identity before implementing your request. We will try to comply with your request as soon as reasonably practicable.

Please note that we may need to retain certain information for mandatory record keeping purposes and/or to complete any transactions that you began prior to your request. There may also be residual information that will remain within our databases and other records, but such residual information will no longer be tied to your identity. For example, if you created a petition, we will have records that other Change.org users signed your petition. If you subsequently ask us to delete your information from our platform and databases, information related to those other users’ signatures cannot be removed and will remain in our records.

6. Data retention & security

We take a lot of measures to protect your personal information. If you suspect someone else is using your account, let us know.

We seek to use reasonable organisational, technical, and administrative measures to protect your information within our organisation from loss, misuse, unauthorised access or disclosure, alteration and/or destruction. We take reasonable steps to ensure that all data we process is reliable for its intended use, accurate, complete and current to the extent necessary for the purposes for which we use it. Unfortunately, no data transmission or storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (for example, if you feel that the security of any account you might have with us has been compromised), please immediately notify us of the problem by contacting our Privacy Officer using the contact details listed at the end of this Privacy Policy.

We will retain your Personal Information for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy, unless a longer retention period is required by law.

7. Cross-border transfers

Change.org is a global organisation with offices around the world, so your information can be transferred across borders when you use the Platform. We comply with the “US-EU Safe Harbor Framework,” a set of rules about the transfer of personal information from Europe.

Change.org is a global organisation. Your personal information may be stored and processed in any country where we have facilities or in which we engage service providers, and by using the platform you consent to the transfer of your personal information to countries outside of your country of residence, including the United States, which may have different data protection rules than those of your country.

The Change.org website is certified under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from EU member countries and Switzerland. More information about the Safe Harbor Programs can be found at http://export.gov/safeharbor/.

Our service providers who have access to Safe Harbor data are restricted from using this data for any purpose other than providing services to us. If we use or share your personal data in a manner that is not disclosed in this Privacy Policy, we will notify you and give you an opportunity to consent to such use or sharing.

We will investigate and attempt to resolve complaints and disputes regarding use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the Safe Harbor Principles. Please contact our Privacy Officer with the contact details listed at the end of this privacy policy.

8. How to contact us

The best way to get in touch with our Privacy Officer is to email our Help Center. You could send us a letter, but we have to say we don’t love snail mail - we are a tech company, after all.

We’d love to hear your questions, concerns, and feedback about this policy. If you have any suggestions for us, feel free to let us know by contacting our Help Desk at http://help.change.org/ or writing to the following address:

Change.org, Inc. Privacy Officer
548 Market Street Private Mailbox #29993
San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
USA

Please note that email communications are not always secure; so please do not include credit card information or sensitive information in your emails to us.

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