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Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Terms of Use

Welcome to PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org, both services of The Center for Public Integrity. You may be visiting us from a computer, mobile phone, tablet, or other mobile device. Regardless the platform, these Terms of Use constitute a binding legal agreement between you and the Center for Public Integrity. Please read them carefully. By accessing any of our services (including by automated means) you accept its terms. 

GENERAL PROVISIONS

The Center for Public Integrity respects your privacy. Please take a moment to review our Privacy Statement, so you understand what information we collect through this service, how we use it, how we secure it, and when we may share it.

The web is an evolving medium. If we need to change these Terms of Use in the future, we will post the revised Terms of Use and update the “Last Updated” date, above, to reflect the date of the changes.  By continuing to use this service after we post such changes, you agree to these Terms of Use, as modified.

We reserve the right to deny access to this service, or any other service we provide, to anyone who violates this agreement or who, in our judgment, interferes with the ability of others to enjoy this service, or infringes the rights of others.  We may change, restrict access to, suspend, or discontinue this service, or any portion of this service, at any time.

Please bring to our attention any material on our site that you believe to be inaccurate.  Please forward a copy of the material to communications@publicintegrity.org along with an explanation of your objection.

If you have other comments or questions about our site, please email our communications team at communications@publicintegrity.org

NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

If you are a copyright owner who believes your copyrighted material has been reproduced, posted or distributed on this website in a manner that constitutes copyright infringement, please inform our designated copyright agent by sending written notice by U.S. Mail to:

Kimberley Porteous
The Center for Public Integrity
910 17th Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006

Or email communications@publicintegrity.org  Please include the following information in your written notice: (1) a detailed description of the copyrighted work that is allegedly infringed; (2) a description of the location of the allegedly infringing material on this site; (3) your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and, if available, email address; (4) a statement by you indicating that you have a good-faith belief that the allegedly infringing use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; (5) a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, affirming that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf; and (6) an electronic or physical signature of the copyright owner or someone authorized on the owner’s behalf to assert infringement of copyright and to submit the statement.  Please note that the contact information provided in this paragraph is for suspected copyright infringement only.  Contact information for other matters is provided elsewhere in these Terms of Use or elsewhere on the site.

HOW YOU MAY USE OUR CONTENT

PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org are made available for your personal, noncommercial use only. All content and other material on this website is the property of the Center for Public Integrity and/or its licensors and is protected by U.S. copyright laws, other copyright laws, and international conventions. Except as explicitly provided in these Terms of Use, you may not distribute, display, reproduce, perform, create derivative works from, or otherwise exploit any of the content or other material on this site. You may display and occasionally print or store a single copy of an individual page of our website for your personal use provided that you keep intact all credits and copyright and other proprietary notices, but you may not otherwise reproduce, store or distribute copies of any content or other material found on this site, in any form (including electronic form), without prior written permission from the copyright owner.

To request permission to reproduce or distribute our materials, please call (202) 481-1232. 

You are free to establish a hypertext link to our site so long as the link does not state or imply that we sponsor, endorse, or are affiliated with you or your website. However, you may not, without our prior written permission, frame or inline link any of the content of our site, or incorporate into another website or other service any of the content or other material you find on our site.

REGISTRATION

To receive our email newsletters you will be required to provide your email address. To post comments on our site, you’ll need to log in through Facebook. Our use of any information you provide to us or that we gather while you’re visiting our site is governed by our Privacy Statement

YOUR CONDUCT WHEN USING OUR SITE

Our site includes features that allow users to interact with each other through Facebook. These features are intended to create a community where you can share your thoughts on what you’ve read on PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org. While we reserve the right to monitor user postings, it is up to our users to ensure that the discourse on PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org remains polite and informative.

First and foremost, we ask that you treat other site users with respect. Language and content should be appropriate for a civil, adult conversation. Please respect the rights of others to their opinions; understand that there may be many other sides to every story.  If you see something on the site that you believe is inaccurate, or about which you hold a different opinion, feel free to post a comment in response.

By participating in discussions or posting to PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org, you agree that you will not:

  • Use the site to impersonate any person or entity, or misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
  • Use the site to engage in or to instigate or encourage others to engage in illegal activities or to cause injury or damage to any person or entity;
  • Use the site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, harassing, abusive, libelous, obscene, or pornographic content;
  • Use the site to post or transmit any information or content that violates or infringes the rights of others, including information or content that invades the privacy or violates the right of publicity of any person or that is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary right, without permission;
  • Use the site to advertise or solicit to anyone to buy or sell products or services, or to make donations of any kind;
  • Gather for marketing purposes any email address or other personal information that has been posted by other users of the site;
  • Engage in personal attacks, harass or threaten another user, or deliberately disrupt the conversation; or
  • Use any automated mechanism to collect information from our site in any manner that fails to respect the Robots Exclusion Protocol.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR INFORMATION AND CONTENT YOU SUBMIT

You acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the text, comments, and other information and content that you post on this website or share with others using this site. By posting information or content to PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org, you represent and warrant: (1) that you are 13 years of age or older; (2) that you are the owner of all content you post or are making your posting or submission with the express consent of the owner; (3) that the content you post will not violate or infringe the rights of others; (4) that the information and content you post will not violate the rights of, or cause injury to, any person or entity; and (5) that you will indemnify and hold harmless us and our directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives and licensors, from and against any liability of any nature arising out of any information or content that is displayed on or submitted via the site by you or by others using your Facebook account.

You alone are responsible for the information and content you post on to PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org. We do not control the information or content that you or others may post on or otherwise transmit through the site. You are responsible for creating backup copies of any information or content you post to our site.  We will not be responsible for the deletion of, or the failure to store, display or transmit, any information or content submitted by you.

You understand that we have no obligation to monitor any areas of the site through which users can supply information or content. However, we reserve the right, in our discretion, to screen user submissions and to edit, move, delete, and/or refuse to accept any submissions that in our judgment violate these Terms of Use or otherwise are unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or other reasons.

OUR RIGHTS TO USE CONTENT YOU SUBMIT

When you submit any material to our site, you are not giving up any ownership rights you otherwise have in such content. However, you grant us, and anyone authorized by us, a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide right and license to use, copy, modify, transmit, sell, exploit, create derivative works from, distribute, and/or publicly perform or display such material, in whole or in part, in any manner or medium (whether now known or hereafter developed), for any purpose that we choose. The foregoing grant includes the right to exploit any proprietary rights in such submission, including, but not limited to, rights under copyright, trademark or patent laws that exist in any relevant jurisdiction.  Also, in connection with the exercise of these rights, you grant us, and anyone authorized by us, the right to identify you by your Facebook username as the author of any of your submissions. You understand that technical processing of the site, including content you submit, may involve transmission over various networks, and may involve changes to the content to conform and adapt it to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices.  ] You will not receive any compensation of any kind for our use of any materials you submit.

We may preserve content you submit, and may disclose such content if required to do so by law or if, in our judgment, such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary: (a) to comply with legal process; (b) to enforce these Terms of Use; (c) to respond to claims that any content you submit violates the rights of third parties; or (d) to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of our site, us, our affiliates, our officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives, our licensors, other users, and/or the public.

TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS

THE CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY and PUBLICINTEGRITY.ORG are service marks of the Center for Public Integrity. The names of other products and services referred to on the site may be the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. You may not use any trademark or service mark appearing on this site without the prior written consent of the owner of the mark.

DISCLAIMERS

Throughout our site, we have provided links and pointers to websites maintained by third parties. Our linking to such third-party sites does not imply that we endorse or sponsor such sites, or the information, products or services offered on or through the sites. Neither we nor any of our affiliates operate or control any information, products or services that third parties may provide on or through our site or on websites to which we link.

The information, products and services offered on or through this site are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind, either express or implied.  To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.  We do not warrant that the site or any of its functions will be uninterrupted or error-free, that defects will be corrected, or that any part of this site, or the servers that make the site available, are free of viruses or other harmful components.

If you are dissatisfied with the site, or any materials, products, or services on the site, or with any of the site’s terms and conditions, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the site.

LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY

Under no circumstances, including, but not limited to, negligence, will we be liable for any damages arising out of your use of this website or any information, content, products, or services made available on or through this site, including indirect, incidental, special, punitive, exemplary or consequential damages, even if we are advised beforehand of the possibility of such damages. Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of certain categories of damages, the above limitation may not apply to you.  In such states, our liability is limited to the fullest extent permitted by state law.

INDEMNIFICATION

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless us, our affiliates, and each of our and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors, successors and assigns from and against any and all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, that arise out of your use of the site, violation of these Terms of Use by you or any other person using your account, or your violation of any rights of another.  We reserve the right to control the defense of any claim for which we are entitled to indemnification under this section.  In such event, you agree to provide us with such cooperation as is reasonably requested by us.  We will make reasonable efforts to provide you with notice of any such claim, but our failure to provide such notice will not relieve you of these obligations.

MISCELLANEOUS

This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between us and you with respect to the subject matter of this agreement and supersedes all previous and contemporaneous agreements, proposals and communications on this subject, whether written or oral. This agreement is personal to you, is not intended to benefit any third party, and does not create any third party beneficiaries. You may not assign this agreement to anyone.

This agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the District of Columbia, without giving effect to any principles of conflicts of law. By using this site, you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the state and federal courts in the District of Columbia in all disputes arising out of or relating to this agreement or use of this website. You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action that you may have arising out of or related to use of the site or these Terms of Use must be filed by you within one year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.

PRIVACY POLICY

This Privacy Statement describes the types of information that we collect through our website and what we do with that information.

Our site is designed to permit you to access our content without registering or providing personally identifying information. However, as described in more detail below, if you wish to post comments to our site, you’ll need to register with Facebook, which provides our commenting tool.

This Privacy Statement applies only to information collected online through the PublicIntegrity.org or ICIJ.org websites and does not apply to any information you may provide to us, or that we may collect, offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through the mail).

If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, please contact us.   

PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF CHILDREN

Children should always get permission from their parents before sending any information about themselves (such as their names, email addresses, and phone numbers) over the Internet, to us or to anyone else. Our website is not directed at children under the age of 13 and we won’t knowingly allow anyone under the age of 13 to provide us any personally identifying information. If you’re under 13, please don’t provide any information about yourself on this website.

TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT

The information we gather falls into two categories: (1) information voluntarily supplied by visitors to the site, for example, when they subscribe to our email newsletter, make a donation online to support the Center for Public Integrity, or use the “Contact Us” function on the site to communicate with us; and (2) tracking information gathered as visitors navigate through our website, review our email newsletters and other email messages, and “like” or share content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ (“Social Media Services”), or our “send page by email” function. This information may be collected directly by us or it may be collected by third-party service providers on our behalf. Third parties featured on or linked to by our website, such as advertisers (“Advertisers”) and others involved in displaying advertisements or promotional messages on our site or offering products and services through our site (“Ad Services Providers”), and Social Media Services may be gathering information as well, through processes we don't control.

Information You Voluntarily Supply

We may collect and store information that you voluntarily supply to us while on our site. This may include personally identifying information if you choose to provide it. In accessing and using the PublicIntegrity.org or ICIJ.org websites, you may have the opportunity to voluntarily submit some or all of the following types of information: 

  • Contact information, such as your name, email address, postal address, and phone number;
  • Payment information (such as credit card type, number, expiration date, security code, and billing address) necessary to process a requested transaction (for example, if you make a donation to the Center for Public Integrity through our site); and
  • Information included in correspondence you send to us through the “Contact Us” function available on our site.

You are not required to provide information about yourself to access our site. However, if you wish to post comments on our site, you will have to register with Facebook, which provides our commenting tool. To register with Facebook, you must provide Facebook personal information and create a username and a password. We encourage you to review Facebook’s privacy policy before you register. 

You’ll find the Facebook “comment” box on pages throughout our site. If you use the Facebook comment tool to post a comment about a story on PublicIntegrity.org or ICIJ.org, Facebook will provide us your Facebook username, which allows us to view the information you’ve included in your public Facebook profile. Facebook also provides us copies of all comments that have been posted to our site using Facebook’s comment tool. If you don’t uncheck the box adjacent to the Facebook comment box, any comment you post to our site may also be posted to Facebook.

You may interact with content on our site through social media plugins provided by Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn. We do not control the information that these companies collect when you use their social media tools, nor do we control how these companies use any information they collect. We encourage you to review their privacy policies before interacting with our site through these social media tools.  Facebook’s privacy policy can be found here; Twitter’s privacy policy can be found here; LinkedIn’s privacy policy can be found here; Google’s privacy policy can be found here.

If you wish to receive our email newsletter, you must provide us your email address; we’ll use your email address to send you the email newsletters you have requested.

Information That Is Automatically Collected

We also may collect and store, and our services providers may collect and store, information that doesn’t identify you personally that is generated automatically as you navigate through our site. For example, we and our service providers may collect limited information about the device you use to access our site, including the type of device you’re using (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.), the operating system running on that device, the type and version of browser software you’re using, the resolution of your computer monitor or other device display, the screen colors available on your device, the website that referred you, and your IP address. (Your IP address is a numerical address that is used by computers and other devices connected to the Internet to identify your device so that data – such as the web pages you want to view – can be transmitted to you.) We use this information to make our site as useful and visually appealing as we can for as many users as possible. We may also use IP address information for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes and to derive a rough estimate of your geographic location – by country, city or town, and perhaps ZIP code.

We may use “cookies,” a standard feature found in browser software, to enhance your experience on the site. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. We also may use web beacons (sometimes referred to as “clear GIFs” or “pixel tags”) to collect non-personally identifying information about how our visitors use our site and how they interact with our email newsletters and with our stories that appear on other websites. By showing how and when visitors use the site and review our news stories, cookies and web beacons help us deliver more relevant content to users, identify how many unique users visit our site, various pages within our site, and our stories that appear on other news sites, and track user interests, trends and patterns. For example, we may use these technologies to collect information about the time visitors spend on each page of our site, the number of visits made to each page or section of our site, whether they open the email newsletters we send them, and whether they click on particular links contained in these emails. Providers of web analytics services, such as Google Analytics and Chartbeat, may use cookies and web beacons to gather this sort of information on our behalf. To learn more about Google Analytics, click here.  To install a browser add-on (available for most standard browsers) that communicates with Google Analytics to indicate that information about your website visit should not be sent to Google Analytics, click here. To learn more about Chartbeat’s data collection and privacy practices, click here.  Advertisers and Ad Services Providers involved in displaying ads or other promotional messages (“Ads”) on our site may use cookies and web beacons to record your web browser’s interaction with particular Ads, which, among other things, may allow the Advertisers and Ad Services Providers to track which Ads are displayed and which are clicked on, and to limit the number of times a given Ad is shown to you.  Advertisers and Ad Services Providers may also target Ads to you on our site based on what they perceive to be your interests in light of your activity on other sites, a process that we don’t control.

We also may use cookies to determine that a visitor to our site has previously visited the site, to record the type of device that a visitor has used to access to the site, and to limit the number of times a visitor sees the same Ads.   

The help function on most web browsers contains information on how to set your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie or to disable cookies entirely. However, if you don't accept cookies, you won’t receive the benefits that cookies provide to other users of our site, such as limiting the number of times you see the same Ad while on our site.  

HOW WE USE COLLECTED INFORMATION

Generally 

We use the information we collect from visitors to our site to communicate with our users, to better understand and serve our audience, and to heighten user engagement with our site.  For example, we use the information we gather to send you email newsletters (including geographically targeted newsletters) and other communications (such as solicitations for contributions), to deliver our site content to you, to measure site traffic, to measure user interests and traffic patterns, to limit the frequency with which visitors see the same Ads, and to improve the site and the services and features offered via the site. 

In addition, we may use your personal information to contact you for customer service purposes, to inform you of important changes or additions to our site or the services offered through our site, to enhance our visitor records with information, such as information on mailing address changes and donor capacity, that we obtain from other sources, and to tell you about other products or services offered by the Center for Public Integrity that we think may be of interest to you. We may send you these types of communications via email or direct mail. And if you have provided us with your telephone number, we may contact you by telephone. 

Email Addresses

If you provide us your email address (for example, when you subscribe to our newsletter or when you make a donation to support the Center for Public Integrity), we’ll use your email address to send you the newsletter you requested and/or to acknowledge receipt of your donation for tax purposes. In addition, we may email you with information about our website or other products or services, or events offered by the Center for Public Integrity. From time to time, we may also email you to request your financial support.  Although we hope you’ll find these communications informative and useful, if you don’t, you can always unsubscribe from recurring communications (but not from receiving donation receipts) by following the simple instructions included in each email. 

We also may use your email address to contact you from time to time for customer service purposes, or to send you administrative notices or other information about our site, as described above in the section titled “Generally.”

Our email newsletters contain a “Share with a Friend Link” through which users may share our newsletters with their friends.  If you share a newsletter using this tool, we’ll keep track of which newsletters you shared, but we don’t store information on who you shared it with; we use the email addresses of your friends only to deliver the email newsletters you share.

Information You Provide When Making a Donation

When you make a donation to the Center for Public Integrity through our site, we collect personal information, such as your name, email address and billing address, and your credit card information. We will use your personal information to acknowledge receipt of your donation for tax purposes and to identify you as a donor on our website and our annual report and other printed materials.  If you provide us your email address when you contribute, we’ll send our email newsletter to the email address you provide.  We also may use your personal information to contact you from time to time for other purposes, as described above in the section titled “Generally.” The Center for Public Integrity does not store your credit card information; it is sent directly from you to our third-party credit card processor and is secured during transmission over the Internet using industry-standard secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption. Our credit card processor is authorized to use your credit card information only to process your donation and for no other purpose.

 Sweepstakes and Contest Entry Information

From time to time, we may offer sweepstakes, contests or other promotions on the Public Integrity.org or ICIJ.org websites. If you enter a promotion on our site, we'll ask you to provide information about yourself (such as your name, address, and email address). We'll need this information to contact you if you win, and we also may use this information to contact you for other purposes, as described above in the section titled “Generally.” We also may share this information with shipping or fulfillment companies or other third-party service providers that help administer our promotions, such as by conducting drawings, and/or delivering prizes to winners. If you don't want us to collect the information requested on the entry form, please do not enter the promotion.

Data Collected in Connection with Ad Serving and Targeting

Advertisers and Ad Services Providers that are involved in serving the Ads displayed on our site may use cookies and web beacons to record your web browser’s interaction with these Ads, which allows the Advertiser and Ad Services Providers to track which Ads are displayed, and which are clicked on, and to limit the number of times a given Ad is shown to you.

DISCLOSURE TO THIRD PARTIES

To help Advertisers (and their ad agencies) understand our audience and confirm the value of advertising on PublicIntegrity.org or ICIJ.org, we may present them with aggregate information on our audience and how our audience uses our site (for example, information on traffic to various pages within our site). We may provide similar information to foundations, corporate sponsors and others who may help fund our operations. This information does not identify you personally.

We may share the information that is collected through this site with our third party service providers for purposes related to site administration and operation. In some cases, we may permit our third-party service providers to collect such information directly on our behalf. For example, this website uses third-party web analytics services, such as Google Analytics and Chartbeat, to help analyze how users use the site. These services use cookies and web beacons to collect non-personally identifying tracking data from our site on our behalf, and then use that data to provide us with statistical reports on website activity. If you use a credit or debit card to complete a transaction on our site (for example, to make a donation to the Center for Public Integrity), your personal information and credit card number will be sent directly to our credit card processing service provider to complete your transaction.  When we send you email newsletters and other communications, the content of those communications comes from the Center, but we use a service provider to actually send the emails, since there are so many recipients.  Our service provider uses your name and email address to send these emails, but is contractually prohibited from using this information for any purpose other than sending these emails on our behalf.  We also may share your email address, and if you have elected to share it, your name, with third-party email service providers that send newsletters and other communications on our behalf, but our contracts with these providers prohibit them for using this information for any purpose other than sending out these emails on our behalf. 

We also may occasionally release information about our visitors and registered users if required to do so by law or if, in our judgment, such disclosure is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, to enforce our Terms of Use, or to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of visitors to our site, our employees, our donors, sponsors or Advertisers, or others. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or our site is acquired by another company, information about our visitors to our site may be among the transferred assets.

Storage of Information

The information that we collect through PublicIntegrity.org and ICIJ.org is stored within databases that we control (or databases hosted on our behalf) on servers maintained in protected environments. Any credit card information you provide on our site is secured for transmission over the Internet using industry-standard secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption. However, no physical or electronic security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our servers or databases, nor can we guarantee that information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted to us or our third-party service providers over the Internet.  Our databases are located within the United States.  If you access our site from outside the United States, by providing data to us, you consent to transfer of that data to and storage of that data in the United States.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT

The web is an evolving medium. If we need to change this Privacy Statement in the future, we will post the revised Privacy Statement on our site and update the “Effective Date,” above, to reflect the date of the changes. By continuing to use this website after we post such changes, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Statement, as modified.