Last Revision September 27, 2013
What Is Personal Information?
As used herein, the term “personal information” means information that specifically identifies an individual (such as a name, address, telephone number, mobile number, e-mail address, or credit card number) and information about that individual or his or her activities that is directly linked to personally identifiable information. Personal information does not include “aggregate” information, which is data we collect about the use of the Sites or about a group or category of services or users, from which individual identities or other personal information has been removed. This Policy in no way restricts or limits our collection and use of aggregate information.
What Personal Information Do We Collect?
Active Collection: Personal information may be collected in a number of ways when you visit our Sites. We collect certain information you voluntarily provide to us, such as when you make a donation, make a purchase, send us an email, create an account, sign up to receive email or text message updates, fill out a form, sign a petition, connect through a social feed, sign up to be a volunteer or host an event, request information, apply for an internship, or use a voter registration tool. Such information may include personal information, such as your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, and credit card information. Personal and demographic information may also be collected if you provide such information in connection with creating a profile or group, leaving comments, posting blog comments or other content, sending an email or message to another user, or participating in any interactive forums or features on the Sites. In addition, from time to time we may collect demographic, contact or other personal information you provide in connection with your participation in surveys, contests, promotions, and other activities on the Sites.
In addition, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) may require us to collect personal information from donors. For example, the FEC requires us to collect (and disclose) the name, mailing address, occupation, and employer of all individuals whose donations exceed $200 per calendar year.
If we add a voter registration tool and you use it, you may also provide your driver’s license number, your social security number or the last four digits of your social security number, but that information would be deleted after the form is printed, so we would not retain it.
Passive Collection: When you use the Sites, some information is also automatically collected, such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address, your operating system, the browser type, the address of a referring web site, and your activity on our Sites. We treat this information as personal information if we combine it with or link it to any of the identifying information mentioned above. Otherwise, it is used in the aggregate only.
We may also automatically collect certain information through the use of “cookies” or web beacons. Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive at the request of a website. Among other things, cookies help us improve our Sites and your experience. Information obtained from cookies and linked to personally identifying information is treated as personal information. If you wish to block, erase, or be warned of cookies, please refer to your browser manufacturer to learn about these functions. When you view a video on our Sites, a third party may also set a “flash cookie” on your computer. Removing and rejecting browser cookies does not necessarily affect third party flash cookies used in connection with our Sites.
How Do We Use the Personal Information We Collect?
We use personal information collected through our Sites for the purposes described in this Policy or elsewhere on the Sites. For example, we may use personal information we collect:
- to provide the information or products you request, and to process and complete such requests and any related transactions;
- to send you confirmations, updates, alerts, and support and administrative messages and otherwise facilitate your use of, and our administration and operation of, the Sites;
- to notify you about important changes to the Sites;
- to send you newsletters and otherwise provide you with information or services you request or that we think will be of interest to you, such as sending you information to keep you informed about various campaigns, candidates, issues, events, resources, promotions, contests, products and services;
- to help connect you with other supporters, and to solicit volunteers, donations and support for BGTX and for candidates, issues and organizations that we support;
- to contact you if other information is necessary under Federal election laws;
- to request feedback and to otherwise contact you about your use of the Sites;
- to respond to your emails, submissions, questions, comments, and requests and to provide customer service;
- to monitor and analyze site usage and trends, and to personalize and improve the Site and our users’ experiences on the Site, such as providing content, or features that match your profiles or interests, and to increase the Site’s functionality and user friendliness;
- to serve ads, on this or other websites or media, based on the information you provide and the actions you take;
- to notify and contact contest and sweepstakes entrants; and
- for any other purpose for which the information was collected.
- to remind you to send in your voter registration form and to vote;
- to assist you in finding your registration information and polling location;
What Personal Information Do We Share With Third Parties?
It is our policy not to share the personal information we collect from you through our Sites with third parties, except as described in this Policy or as otherwise disclosed on the Sites. For example, we may share personal information as follows:
- with vendors, consultants, and other service providers or volunteers who are engaged by or working with us and who need access to such information to carry out their work for us;
- with candidates, party committees, organizations, groups or causes that we believe have similar political viewpoints, principles, or objectives;
- to report required information to the Federal Elections Commission and the Texas Ethics Commission, including name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employers of individuals;
- when you give us your consent to do so, including if we notify you on the Sites, that the information you provide will be shared in a particular manner and you provide such information;
- when we believe in good faith that we are lawfully authorized or required to do so or that doing so is reasonably necessary or appropriate to comply with the law or legal processes or respond to lawful requests, claims or legal authorities, including responding to lawful subpoenas, warrants, or court orders;
- when we believe in good faith that doing so is reasonably necessary or appropriate to respond to claims or to protect the rights, property, or safety of BGTX, our users, our employees, our volunteers, copyright owners, third parties or the public, including without limitation to protect such parties from fraudulent, abusive, inappropriate, or unlawful activity or use of our Site;
- in connection with, or during negotiations of, any reorganization, formation of new committee, asset sale or transfer, financing or lending transaction or in any other situation where personal information may be disclosed or transferred as one of the assets of BGTX.
- with candidates, organizations, campaigns, groups or causes that we believe have similar political viewpoints, principles or objectives;
We are not responsible for the actions of any service providers or other third parties, nor are we responsible for any additional information you provide directly to any third parties, and we encourage you to become familiar with their privacy practices before disclosing information directly to any such parties. Nothing herein restricts the sharing of aggregated or anonymized information, which may be shared with third parties without your consent.
Online petitions: If you sign an online petition, you understand that such petition is public information and that we may make the petition, and your name, city, state, and any comments provided in connection therewith publicly available. In addition, we may provide such petitions or compilations thereof, including your comments, name, city, and state to national, state or local leaders, or to the press.
Interactive Features: You understand that when you use the Sites, information you post in any profile, blogs, forums and other interactive areas of the Sites, as well as any information you share with individuals through the Sites or share through social network sites, will be available to other users and, in some cases, may be publicly available. In addition, when you sign up and create an account, certain information regarding actions you take through the Sites, such as joining a group, may available to other users and, in some cases, may be publicly available. We recommend you be cautious about giving out personal information to others or sharing personal information in public or private online forums. We are not responsible for the actions of any third parties with whom you share personal information.
Links to Other Websites
What Steps Do We Take To Protect Your Information Online?
We take reasonable measures to protect your personal information in an effort to prevent loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Please be aware, however, that despite our efforts, no security measures are perfect or impenetrable and no method of data transmission that can be guaranteed against any interception or other type of misuse. To protect the confidentiality of personal information, you must keep your password confidential and not disclose it to any other person. You are responsible for all uses of our web sites by any person using your password. Please advise us immediately if you believe your password has been misused.
What Choices Do You Have Regarding the Use of Your Information?
You may “opt out” of receiving text messages, email updates and newsletters by following the instructions in those text messages and emails. Please note that we may still send you other types of emails, such as emails about your use of our Sites, or use information as otherwise described in this Policy, even if you opt out of receiving email updates and newsletters.
If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org