Privacy Policy

Last updated: Jan 13, 2016

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 and other content that are most likely to matter to you.

Table of Contents

This Privacy Policy covers your activities on Change.org, our platform that enables people to create the change they want to see, and Change Politics, our platform that empowers voters to make informed election decisions (“platforms”). These platforms allow people to start and promote “campaigns”, which include petitions and fundraisers on Change.org, candidate questions and endorsements on Change Politics, and related actions like creating and sharing content via our platforms and third-party sites and services.

  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 Change.org platform, an account is created for you. All your campaign activities are then tied to this account.

    If you create a Change Politics account, you submit to Change.org certain information about you for your profile, and all of your activities on the Change Politics platform are then tied to this account. You must create a separate account for Change.org and Change Politics.

    Through these activities and upon your general use of our platforms, 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, Twitter handle, biography, political party affiliation)
    • 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 our platforms - 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 and candidates you support based on your activities on the platforms (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.

    If you use the Change.org platform for fundraising (either by setting up or contributing to a fundraiser), we will collect additional information:

    • the currency of the contribution
    • the amount you contributed or received
    • the goal amount of the fundraiser
    • the country and location of the fundraiser
    • the amount of any refund

    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 zip code or general geographic area)
    b. How we collect it
    • When you create accounts on our our platforms, 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 platforms are tracked and are associated with your account. Such activities may include signing a petition, creating a petition, sharing someone else’s petition, posting a comment, submitting or upvoting a question to a candidate, posting a candidate endorsement, following a candidate, creating or participating in a fundraiser, opting in to being contacted by an advertiser, or skipping a sponsored campaign.
    • 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 Change.org or Change Politics 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 if they are connected to your Change.org or Change Politics account. If you log in to Change.org or Change Politics 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 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 platforms’ 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 platforms and services, along with the time of your visit and the specific page(s) that you visited.
  2. How we may use your information

    Here are the ways we might use your information to run our platforms, 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, post comments or endorsements, upvote questions, contribute to fundraisers, or participate in other activities on our 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 platforms, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of campaigns, and operating and expanding our business activities.
    • We personalize 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.
    • If you create a Change Politics account, we may also send you emails about actions you can take, such as asking a question to a candidate or making an endorsement, and notifications about your activities and the activities of those you follow (for example, trending questions, candidate responses, upcoming town halls, and messages from candidates and organizations you follow). We may also send you reminders around elections and in connection with other major political events.
    • 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 petitions or other content, through our platforms 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 the Change.org platforms, such as to share a petition. By using this feature, you guarantee that you have the right 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 optimized for your computer or device.
    • If you are using one of our mobile applications, we use your device ID to recognize 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 organizations.
    • 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 anonymized information to better understand and serve our users or for optimization 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.

    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 platforms ). In such case the combined information will be treated by us as personally identifying information and protected accordingly.

    In some instances, we may combine information about you from your activities on the Change.org platform and on the Change Politics platform. For example, we may personalize your experience on Change.org and send you petitions we think may interest you based on the issues you support or questions you post or upvote on the Change Politics platform. Or we may display to you on Change.org an advertisement on behalf of a political party that you have endorsed on Change Politics.

    As described above, we may combine the information you submit to us with information about you from public records, publicly available databases, and third-party providers.

  3. Who may receive your information

    Here we outline when and how information can be shared - either by you via the platforms, or by us. Organizations can pay to promote their campaigns (that’s what helps keep the platforms free to use), but we won’t share your contact details with them without your permission.
    a. The Change.org and Change Politics communities
    • 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 organizations 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 platforms.
    • 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.

    Change Politics is about publicly expressing your views on political issues and candidates. Your name, general geographic location (such as city, state, country), and a link to your Change Politics user profile are displayed in connection with any content you post or endorsement you make on the Change Politics platform. This information will be viewable to any visitor, including the media, search engines, and other organizations that provide archival Internet activities. If you do not wish to have your personal information displayed on Change Politics, you should not use the service.

    If you start a fundraiser on Change.org, your contact information may be shared with other users who have contributed to your campaign, for example to facilitate a dispute resolution.

    Our platforms provide an open forum for communication by users all around the world. We do not monitor, verify, or perform any background checks on campaign starters, petition signers, political candidates, organizations, endorsers, or other members of Change.org  or Change Politics. Interacting with others on our platforms 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 and Change Politics with friends on other social media sites, for example, sharing on Facebook a petition you signed, questions you asked or upvoted, endorsements you made, or fundraiser contributions you made. To do so, you must connect your Change.org or Change Politics account with your social media account. In such case, you authorize 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 or Change Politics account and do not use the social sharing features on the platforms.
    • 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 platforms. For more details regarding posting content to our platforms, 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 platforms. To do so, these companies may place or recognize 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 “Advertising networks”.
    • 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. Change.org operates both the Change.org and Change Politics platforms and will share data among these two platforms.
    • 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.
    • We work with Stripe, a Payment Card Industry compliant payment processing company to process credit card payments in connection with fundraisers, promoting petitions, and other transactions. If you create or participate in a fundraiser, Stripe will store on our behalf the following information:
      • For organizations and individuals who create a fundraiser: Your name and bank account details, date of birth, address, city, state, postal code, IP address of the device used while creating the fundraising account, and the last four digits of your social security number.
      • For users who make payments: your full name (if you do not have an existing Change.org account) and your credit card details.
    • 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 Change.org profile and the settings to make it public and manage certain emails we send you. Your Change Politics profile is public.
    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, organizations, 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”.

    Because Change Politics is about publicly expressing your political views, your profile and most of your activity on Change Politics is public. As we develop the product, we will be adding the option to edit your privacy settings.

    b. Social media

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

    If you’ve signed in on Change.org or Change Politics 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 emails from Change.org going forward, you may opt out of receiving them by following the instructions contained in any email or by logging in to your Change.org account, clicking on “Settings,” and selecting “Email Preferences”. We will comply with your request(s) within 10 working days. Please also note that if you do opt out of receiving 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.

    If you no longer want to receive emails from Change Politics, you may unsubscribe from all emails or delete your account. Please note that if you do opt out of receiving emails from us, we may still send you important administrative messages. As we develop Change Politics, we will be adding the option to edit your email settings on that platform.

    d. Advertising networks

    You may opt out of receiving targeted online advertising from advertising networks that may be delivered on our platforms 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 platforms.

    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 iOS 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. 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.

    As we develop Change Politics, we will be adding the option to edit your profile on that platform. You are able to remove endorsements, questions or other content you have posted on Change Politics by finding that content linked from your profile page.

    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 platforms  and databases, information related to those other users’ signatures cannot be removed and will remain in our records. Similarly, if you upvoted a question to a candidate on Change Politics, your upvote will still be counted after you delete your Change Politics account.

  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 by contacting our Help Desk.

    We seek to use reasonable organizational, technical, and administrative measures to protect your information within our organization from loss, misuse, unauthorized 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 organization with offices around the world, so your information can be transferred across borders when you use the platforms. We comply with the “US-EU Safe Harbor Framework,” a set of rules about the transfer of personal information from Europe, but have put in place other measures to legally store European users’ data since the framework stopped being recognized in October 2015.

    Change.org is a global organization. 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 platforms 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. With the recent European Court of Justice ruling no longer recognizing the Safe Harbor Framework, Change.org has put in place other means to safely and legally store the personal data of our European users in the US.

    Our service providers who have access to our users’ personal 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. 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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