Privacy Policy

Last updated: September 24, 2010

The Open Society Foundations (“OSF” or “we”) is the publisher of this Website. OSF is committed to safeguarding your privacy. All OSF-affiliated websites, including this one, adhere to a rigid policy for ensuring the privacy of any personally identifiable information (name, mailing address, email address, occupation, etc.) that may be collected though our websites. By using the Site, you agree to the terms and conditions of this Policy. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Policy, please do not use the Site. We reserve the right to change this Policy without prior notice. You can determine when this Policy was last revised by referring to the “LAST UPDATED” legend at the top of this page. Any changes to our Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised Policy on the Site. Use of the Site following such changes constitutes your acceptance of the revised Policy then in effect.

The Site is controlled and operated by OSF from the United States, and is not intended to subject OSF to the laws or jurisdiction of any state, country or territory other than that of the United States. OSF does not represent or warrant that the Site or any part thereof is appropriate or available for use in any particular jurisdiction. Those who choose to access the Site do so on their own initiative, and are responsible for complying with all local laws, rules and regulations.

Please be aware that we may transfer any Personally Identifiable Information that we collect through the Site to countries, including the United States, that may not provide the same level of data protection as your home country. By using the Site, you consent to such transfer of your PII.

Note Regarding the Use of This Site by Children: The Site is not directed to individuals under the age of thirteen (13), and we request that such individuals not provide Personally Identifiable Information through the Site.

Collecting Information

1. What Types of Information Does OSF Collect From Me?

OSF gathers two basic types of information through the Site: “Personally Identifiable Information” (or “PII“) and “Non-Personally Identifiable Information” (or “Non-PII“). Personally Identifiable Information is information that identifies you as an individual; that is, your name, postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, profile information and user name. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is aggregated information, demographic information, IP addresses and any other information that does not reveal specific identifying information about you.

a. Personally Identifiable Information. In order for you to take advantage of particular opportunities provided through the site (for example, to register to use the site for posting), we may require that you furnish PII. We collect PII from you only when you voluntarily provide it to us.

b. Non-Personally Identifiable Information. When you visit and interact with the Site, OSF and third parties with whom OSF has contracted to provide services to OSF may collect Non-PII (for example, a catalog of the Site pages you visit). Non-PII is generally collected from four different sources: server log files, cookies, pixel tags and aggregated information.

i. Server Log Files. Your Internet Protocol (IP) address is an identifying number that is automatically assigned to your computer by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This number is identified and logged automatically in our server log files whenever you visit the Site, along with the time(s) of your visit(s) and the page(s) that you visit. IP addresses can be used to calculate Site usage levels, to help diagnose problems with the Site’s servers, and to administer the Site. Collecting IP addresses is standard practice on the Internet and is done automatically by many web sites.

ii. Cookies. We and our service providers may use “cookies” on the Site. Cookies are data that a web server transfers to an individual’s computer for recordkeeping purposes. Cookies are an industry standard used by most web sites, and can facilitate users’ ongoing access to and use of a particular web site. Cookies do not cause damage to your computer systems or files. If you do not want information collected through the use of cookies, there is a simple procedure in most browsers that allows you to automatically decline cookies, or to be given the choice of declining or accepting the transfer of a particular cookie, or cookies from a particular web site, to your computer.

iii. Pixel Tags. We and our service providers may also use so-called “pixel tags,” “web beacons,” “clear GIFs” or similar means (collectively, “Pixel Tags”) in connection with some Site pages and HTML-formatted e-mail messages to, among other things, compile aggregate statistics about Site usage and response rates. A Pixel Tag is an electronic image, often a single-pixel (1×1), that is ordinarily not visible to Site visitors and may be associated with cookies on the visitors’ hard drives. Pixel Tags allow us to count users who have visited certain pages of the Site and to deliver branded services, and to help determine the effectiveness of promotional campaigns. When used in HTML-formatted e-mail messages, Pixel Tags can tell the sender whether and when the e-mail has been opened.

iv. Aggregated Information. We may aggregate PII in a manner such that the end-product does not personally identify you or any other user of the Site, for example, by using PII to calculate the percentage of our users who have a particular telephone area code. Such aggregate information is considered Non-PII for purposes of this Policy.

2. How Is Information Collected on the Site Used?

a. Personally Identifiable Information. OSF may use your PII in the following ways:

i. Fulfillment of Requests. We use your PII to fulfill any request you make at the time you provide the PII.

ii. Administrative Communications. From time to time, in our sole discretion, we may use your PII to e-mail to you important information regarding the Site, or changes to our terms, conditions, and policies. Because this information may be important to your use of the Site, you may not opt-out of receiving these e-mails.

iii. Forums. OSF and/or our third party service provider(s) may make available through the Site interactive services (including without limitation, message boards, blogs and wikis) to which you are able to post information and materials (each, a “Forum”). Please note that any information you disclose in a Forum becomes public information, and may be available to other visitors to the Site and to the general public. In addition, when you choose to make a posting to a Forum, certain PII, such as your name, will be available for other users to view. Information regarding your activities in Forums is also available for view by other users. For example, other users may be able to view a list of all the postings you have made in all available Forums. We urge you to exercise discretion and caution when deciding to disclose your PII, or any other information, in any Forum. OSF IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USE BY OTHERS OF THE INFORMATION THAT YOU DISCLOSE IN FORUMS.

b. Non-Personally Identifiable Information. Because Non-PII does not personally identify you, we (including our affiliates) may use such information for any purpose. In addition, we reserve the right to share such Non‑PII, which does not personally identify you, with third parties, for any purpose. Please note that to the extent any Non-PII is linked with PII, such linked information will be treated as PII as long as it is so linked.

3. How Does OSF Disclose Personally Identifiable Information Collected Through the Site?

a. Third Party Service Providers. We work with third parties who provide services including but not limited to web site hosting, data analysis and other services of an administrative nature. We reserve the right to share your PII with these third parties solely for the purpose of enabling these third parties to provide such services.

b. Assignment. We reserve the right to transfer any and all PII that we collect from users of the Site to a third party in the event of any sale, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of OSF’s assets.

c. Law enforcement; emergencies; compliance. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Policy to the contrary, we reserve the right to disclose your PII as we believe to be appropriate: (a) under applicable law; (b) to comply with legal process or governmental requests; (c) to enforce our Terms of Service; (d) to protect our operations or those of any affiliates; (e) to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of OSF, its affiliates, you or others; and (f) to permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.

4. Other Important Notes Regarding Our Privacy Practices.

a. Notice Regarding Security. We seek to have security measures and tools in place to help protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as perfect security in an online environment. As a result, we cannot, and do not, guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us through or in connection with the Site or that we store on our or our agents’ systems. Please do not send sensitive information to us via our web site or e-mail. 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), you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us

b. Third Party Sites. The Site may contain links to third party web sites. These linked sites are not under OSF’s control and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the contents of any such linked site, or any link contained in any linked site. We provide such links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of a link on the Site does not imply endorsement of the linked site by OSF. If you provide any PII through any such third party web site, your interaction will occur on such third party’s web site (not the Site) and the PII you provide will be collected by, and controlled by the privacy policy of, that third party. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the privacy policies and practices of any such third parties. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POLICY DOES NOT ADDRESS THE PRIVACY OR INFORMATION PRACTICES OF ANY THIRD PARTIES.

c. Transfer. Please be aware that we may transfer any PII we collect through the Site to countries, such as the United States, that may not provide the same level of data protection as your home country. By using the Site, you consent to such transfer of your PII.

d. Contacting Us. If you have any questions regarding this Policy, please contact us by e-mail at Please note that e-mail communications will not necessarily be secure; accordingly you should not include credit card information or other sensitive information in your e-mail correspondence with us.