Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Last modified: November 11, 2011

This Privacy Policy is continually under review to ensure your privacy and security.

This website, (the “Site”) is operated by Access (“We” or “Us”). We work hard to protect your privacy. We’re members too, and we treat your privacy as we do our own. We wrote this privacy policy to let you know how we treat your personal information and the ways we work to keep it safe and private.

We strongly believe that you have the right to control the use of your personal information and that your privacy must be respected. Our broader policy is to collect less information rather than more. We take industry standard security measures to protect personal information under our control from loss, misuse, and alteration, but like with every website there are risks associated with uploading your information online.

In this policy, "Access" refers to Access staff, board members, cooperating attorneys, interns, volunteers, and consultants, all of whom are bound by law or contract to keep information they receive as part of their assistance to Access confidential.

Collection of Information

When you are on the Access website and are asked for personal information, you are sharing that information with Access alone, unless stated otherwise. Access collects personal information from users when they make a donation online or subscribe to our campaigns. Access collects information regarding website visitors, including IP address, browser and domain information, and information volunteered by you, such as your email address. We may also track visitor usage patterns on our website, including website hits.

When you make a donation online, Access collects a variety of information about you including your first name, last name, address, city, state/region/province, zip/postal code, country, and email address. We do not require you to input your billing address when making a credit card donation on our website, although it is a field on our donation forms. At this time, if you would prefer not to give us this information, just write “n/a” in the address field. However, in order to prevent fraud, we do require that you provide valid information for all other fields listed above.

Use of Information

Access does not sell, rent, or lease your personal data under any circumstances. We do not purchase lists from other sources.

Access uses the information you provide to us to enable us to send you communications such as our campaign emails and action alerts and to help administer and improve our website.

For Access petitions and surveys, we only require an email address, your name and country. Beyond that, it is up to you to decide exactly how much information to submit. We do not provide your full name, email address or other identifiable information to 3rd parties including to the media or decision makers (such as those who are the targets of particular campaigns). We provide compilations of petition numbers to 3rd parties but we will never disclose your personal identity. Occasionally we may publicize user’s general comments, which are connected with a first name and country (e.g., Michelle, Australia) but there no other identifiable information will be disclosed.

Disclosure of Information

Any subpoena or attempts by government agencies or private sector organizations to gain access to any information that you give us will be vigorously challenged.

In the unlikely event that we are required by law to disclose the information that you have submitted, we will attempt to provide you with notice (unless we are prohibited from doing so) that a request for your information has been made in order to give you an opportunity to object to the disclosure. We will attempt to provide this notice by email, if you have given us an email address or by phone if you have provided us with that information.

In addition, we will independently object to requests for access to information about users of our site that we believe to be improper.


We use cookies for a limited number of purposes. A "cookie" is a tiny element of data that our site can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your hard drive. If you are concerned about your privacy and the use of cookie technology you may set your web browser to notify you when you receive a cookie. You may also set your browser to refuse the cookies our site attempts to send you. However, if you choose to reject cookies from Access, some functions on the website may be limited.

Sending Emails Via Access

In certain cases, we enable you to send individual e-mails to friends through our website. These messages are generally sent in your name, with your e-mail address as the return address. Your name and contact information is provided as part of the submission. These messages will only be sent out under your name as you approve them on an individual basis using our email tool. You are solely responsible for the specific message(s) you send using our email tool. If those messages are to be sent out under the Access name we will advise you before sending.

Third Party Service Providers

Access uses third-party service providers for some services on our web site. While we are in close communication with all our third-party service providers, who share our commitment to privacy and security, users should remember we don’t have ultimate control over their policies. And while we own and have control over the information contained on contracted accounts (including personal information you provide), each third-party provider has its own privacy policy that is linked below.

Blue State Digital:
Expression Engine:

Access Weekly Brief Newsletter Provided by Gravit, Inc.

On November 11, 2011, Access entered into a Service Agreement with Gravit, Inc., in which Gravit will provide regular newsletters to Access’ mailing list consisting primarily of curated news stories that we think may be of interest as well as announcements and documents from Access. In order to provide this service, Access has agreed to share the names and email addresses of members who opt-in to receiving this newsletter to Gravit. To prevent any misuse of the information provided by Access’ members, Access has entered into a Confidentiality Agreement with Gravit, in which Gravit agrees to protect the sensitive information of our members provided by Access and to comply with Access’ privacy policy. Moreover, Access staff will review every email before it is sent to members.

The newsletter is an opt-in service, which allows Access’ members to decide whether or not they want to receive this service. Members will also be able to opt-out from the service in the future at any time by using the unsubscribe link in the email itself or emailing

In compliance with Access’ Change in Privacy Policy Clause, Access will be posting on the front page of its website a notice about this new service.

Links to Other Websites
Access may provide links to third-party websites, and other websites may provide links to our Site. Third-party websites operate according to their own terms of use and privacy policies. Access has no control over such third-party websites and does not own any data contained therein, and therefore does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products or other materials on or available from such websites. Such websites include:

Berkman Center:

Social Media

Access uses social media and social networking services to advance our work. These applications require the use of third-party service providers.

For example, the Twitter account we use is administered by Twitter, in accordance with Twitter's Privacy Policy. We integrated our Twitter account onto our website through the use of a plug-in. This results in our comments, and the comments of others that we redirect, being published temporarily on our website, and links to our feed on Twitter's site. These posts also include the publishing of links to "URL Shortening" services that convert long URLs into shorter URLs that direct users to other websites.

If you click on a shortened-URL, it will most likely redirect you eventually to a third-party website that contains a file or document relating to the Tweet, and the third-party website will have its own privacy practices that may include trying to place a cookie and/or web-bug on your computer, collecting your IP address, and other forms of tracking. The Twitter feed may include the usernames of other Twitter users, particularly when we respond to questions and/or “retweet.” Apart from this information appearing on our website temporarily, we do not process this information beyond the Twitter-environment.

The Access Facebook page is administered by Facebook and is accessible by Facebook users who already have consented to Facebook's Privacy Policy. The Group page is managed by Access staff members. We do not store information on our followers nor process any information beyond Facebook. Other third-party service providers include:

Google Buzz:


Access does not solicit personally identifying information from children. Visitors who are under 13 years of age should ask their parent or legal guardian for assistance when using our site and should not submit any personally identifying information to the Site.


All Access staff members with access to data are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.

Financial Donations

If you choose to make a donation to Access, your credit card information will be used only for this transaction through our secure online payment system. Access does not retain credit card information. We are pleased to receive anonymous donations, but please note that your personal information is required if you choose to donate using our online form. If you are interested in making a donation to Access by another method, please contact


Access employs industry standard security measures to protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control. Information submitted through our sign up form or any other action forms is encrypted through a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) connection, which protects the information while in transit.

Access’ website,, is secured using Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which utilizes a SSL certificate. HTTPS provides a secure channel over which data can be transferred from your computer to the web servers that host Access’ site. Please note, however, that several pages on the Access website contain mixed content (including Twitter feeds and YouTube videos) that is not necessarily secured by HTTPS.

Although we make every effort to store information collected by Access in the securest of operating environments, no organization or website can guarantee complete security. Therefore, if you believe that you may be at risk by putting your name to an online campaign or making a donation, we would encourage you to consider the implications before doing so.

Updating or Removing Your Information

You may choose to correct, update, or delete the information you have submitted to us by sending an email requesting changes to

Changes to this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy may change from time to time. However, any revised privacy policy will be consistent with Access’ mission.

We will post any Privacy Policy changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, for certain changes, an email notification announcing and explaining said changes to our Privacy Policy).


Updated November 11, 2011 to include information about the new “Access Weekly Brief” weekly newsletter service provided to members through an agreement with Gravit, Inc.

Updated April 15, 2011 to reflect a change in Access’ policy on the collection of billing address information when making an online donation.

Updated December 31, 2010 to clarify Access’ ownership over user data on contracted and third-party websites and security features (HTTPS) on the Access site.

Updated November 9, 2010 to include more details about the way we collect information, how we use and disclose information, information on third-party providers, cookies and security.

Our original privacy policy, published on September 1, 2009, is available here.


In an effort to create the most secure website possible, we welcome your feedback and input on our Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at