The ACLU is committed to the right to privacy, including increasing the control individuals have over their personal information. Our June 30, 2023 privacy statement demonstrates this commitment by outlining in more detail how your personal information is collected, used, and shared by ACLU. Through this update, the ACLU is meeting and exceeding the disclosure requirements of U.S. state privacy laws (e.g., Colorado Privacy Act). We are using this update to expand the scope of our privacy statement to include information on how we treat personal information, regardless of how it is collected by the ACLU, and to expand the choices you have to control how we use your information.
These updates reinforce our commitment to your privacy and our dedication to protecting your personal information as we work together to advance civil liberties.
Effective June 30, 2023
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington ("Union") and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation ("Foundation") (collectively, "ACLU of Washington," "we," "us," or "our) work to expand the right to privacy, increase the control individuals have over their personal information, and ensure civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by technological innovation.
The ACLU of Washington is committed to living our values by describing how we collect and use your personal information in plain language, providing clear choices for how we collect and use your personal information, and continually evaluating and improving our privacy and data governance practices to responsibly handle personal information entrusted to us. This may include information about you, whether you are an ACLU of Washington supporter, or if you are not and we obtain information about you as an individual member of the public from other sources (e.g., you are a registered voter and we have information about you in voter files we use to conduct voter outreach); in this statement “you” refers to both.
This Privacy Statement (“Statement”) describes how ACLU of Washington collects, uses, shares, or otherwise processes personal information in its day-to-day operations. Certain ACLU of Washington programs, as well as “Other ACLU Organizations,” which, along with ACLU of Washington include the American Civil Liberties Union, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc. (collectively, "National" or “ACLU”), and other ACLU state/local/territory affiliated organizations (ACLU “Affiliates”) throughout the United States have separate privacy statements. Those statements are available here ACLU Organizations Privacy Statements. The ACLU of Washington and its affiliated organizations may be referred to individually and collectively as “ACLU Organizations.” To learn more about the scope of this Statement, applicable regulations, and key definitions, read About this Statement.
- Our Data Privacy Principles. ACLU of Washington is committed to your right to privacy. We follow these eight principles when processing your personal information: Transparency, Individual Participation, Purpose Specification, Data Minimization, Use Limitation, Data Quality and Integrity, Security, and Accountability. Learn more.
- Personal Information We Collect. ACLU of Washington collects and stewards personal information about you through a variety of methods, including through direct collection (e.g., through a web form you submit), through automated data collection (e.g., through technologies to understand how people navigate our websites), from third-party sources (e.g., voter information from government and commercial sources), and by inferring personal information about you (e.g., as we look for individuals who may be interested in joining a discrimination lawsuit based on information we have collected from you and/or information acquired from third-party sources). Learn more.
- Why We Use Your Information. ACLU of Washington uses your personal information to further our mission. To better illustrate why we collect this information, we have listed specific processing purposes for which ACLU of Washington uses your information, categorized by the thematic activities of advocacy and organizing; digital services optimization and operations; fundraising; legal services; outreach and research; merchandise; and when required by law, to prevent fraud and protect our or others’ rights. Learn more.
- With Whom and How We Share Your Information. ACLU of Washington shares your personal information with our Affiliates, service providers who help us carry out business activities, business partners, and other third parties as required or permitted by law. Learn more.
- Your Choices and Rights. ACLU of Washington offers choices on how we process your information. You can let us know how you want us to communicate with you, correct your information, and ask us to delete or stop using your information in certain ways. Learn more.
- Account registration. For example, account username and password.
- Audio or visual. For example, your image or voice captured when you attend an in-person or virtual event, or leave us a voicemail.
- Contact. For example, email address, postal address, or telephone number.
- Demographic. For example, age, citizenship status, ethnicity/race, or sexual orientation.
- Financial. For example, the amount you plan to bequest to ACLU of Washington.
- Health. For example, that you have had an abortion or have a disability, information you provide to us when seeking legal representation or to tell your story in an ACLU of Washington campaign.
- Interaction. For example, purchase and donation history, membership status, and advocacy actions taken.
- Interests. For example, civil liberties or campaigns you are particularly interested in hearing about.
- Jurisdiction. For example, your zip code or county to help us identify your voting district or current representatives.
- Legal. For example, details about conditions of incarceration or other detention that may have violated your civil rights or liberties and that you provide to us when seeking legal representation or to tell your story in an ACLU of Washington campaign.
- Preferences. For example, your preferred method(s) of communication.
- Transaction. For example, credit or debit card details that you provide in order to make a donation or purchase ACLU merchandise.
- User-created content. For example, stories you provide to us as part of our storytelling campaigns or messages on issues we send to your legislative representatives on your behalf. This also includes photos, videos, audio, and other information you may submit to us.
- Other. Any other information you choose to provide, including sensitive personal information, such as religious beliefs, information about your sexual orientation or sex life, or citizenship status.
These technologies may include cookies, which refer to small files placed on your browser that can be used to uniquely identify you and record information about the websites you visit, and other technologies (such as web beacons, clear gifs, and single-pixel gifs) that use embedded code in our Digital Services to record details about your use of those Digital Services, for example, whether you opened an email or clicked on a link.
These technologies may be placed by us or by other entities we authorize. We only authorize third parties to place these technologies if those authorized third parties abide by our confidentiality and security requirements described below under With Whom and How We Share Your Information.
ACLU of Washington and our authorized third parties may automatically collect the following categories of information:
- Contact. For example, your email address or telephone number.
- Device identifiers. For example, your phone model, phone carrier browser version, or operating system you use to browse our Sites.
- IP address or information that could be derived from it. For example, your approximate geolocation.
- Interaction. For example, the content you click on or view, the amount of time you spend on our Sites, or the referring URL.
- Contact. For example, your telephone number, physical and email addresses, or social media handles.
- Demographic. For example, your age, gender and race/ethnicity for assessing the potential disparate impact of laws, learning about the diversity of our supporters and voters to further our commitment to Systemic Equality, and deciding how best to engage people.
- Interaction. For example, your engagement with other nonpartisan organizations, nonprofit organizations, and ACLU coalition partners, or your likelihood to support the ACLU of Washington and our issue areas.
- Interests. For example, civil liberties or campaigns you may be interested in hearing about or supporting.
- Financial. For example, estimated household income, real estate or business holdings, or estimated assets and salary which may be inferred and which derives from publicly available sources for engaging current and identifying prospective donors.
- Legal. For example, court records, details about conditions of incarceration, or other detention that may have violated your civil rights or liberties.
- Voting. For example, precinct, voter registration, modeled party registration, or information about your history of voting in prior elections.
ACLU of Washington and our service providers may infer the following categories of information:
- Contact. For example, inferred members of your household.
- Demographic. For example, when we cannot ascertain demographic data directly, we may rely on models or service providers to infer gender or racial/ethnic identity in order to assess the potential disparate impact of laws, learn about the diversity of our supporters and voters to further our commitment to Systemic Equality, and decide how best to engage people.
- Financial. For example, we may use models or service providers to estimate the amount you are likely to donate.
- Interaction. For example, inferred likelihood to engage with the ACLU of Washington and our issue areas.
- Interests. For example, civil liberties or campaigns you may be interested in hearing about or supporting.
- Preferences. For example, your preferred method(s) of communication.
- Voting. For example, inferred likelihood to vote based on an issue area.
- Advocacy and Organizing. ACLU of Washington works to advance our advocacy and organizing capacity to further our mission. To do this, ACLU of Washington uses the personal information you provide to us when you take action in order for us to share your stories and testimonials, deliver your petitions and action messages, and host events. We may also use your personal information to mobilize volunteers and activists in support of our work.
- Digital Services Optimization and Operations. ACLU of Washington works to provide our constituents with a secure and optimized experience engaging with our Sites and other Digital Services. To do this, ACLU of Washington uses your personal information in user experience testing, website performance assessment, fraud detection, and account registration.
- Fundraising. ACLU of Washington, as a nonprofit, needs donor support to enable its operations. To do this, ACLU of Washington uses your personal information to process your donations and solicit donations.
- Legal Services. Foundation works to win court battles and Supreme Court cases core to our issue areas, and to provide other critical legal services regarding important civil liberties and rights to Foundation clients. To do this, ACLU of Washington uses sources that may include your personal information in order to research violations of civil liberties, evaluate requests for legal representation, solicit potential clients, litigate court cases, and effectively represent Foundation clients.
- Outreach and Research. ACLU of Washington works to deliver to you information on issue areas you have identified as important to you and seek out new supporters of our mission. To do this, ACLU of Washington uses your personal information to communicate opportunities to support ACLU of Washington’s mission through various communication channels, including targeted advertising, based on your engagement profile, social listening, and polling.
- Merchandise. ACLU of Washington provides merchandise to support our advocacy and fundraising efforts. When you order merchandise, ACLU of Washington uses your personal information to register your account with our store or process your payments.
- When Required by Law, to Prevent Fraud, and Protect Our or Others’ Rights. ACLU of Washington, as a nonprofit, must submit donation reports to governmental entities and fulfill other legal obligations, such as complying with Your Choices and Rights. To do this, ACLU of Washington uses your personal information to fulfill those obligations (e.g., ensuring that your information is deleted from our systems if you so request). In addition, ACLU of Washington may need to use your personal information to prevent fraud or to protect our or others’ rights (e.g., researching your personal information if we have reason to think you may be using our name and logo without permission).
|Processing Activity and Use||Purpose(s)*^||Type(s) of Information*||With Whom We May Share Information^|
|Account creation and management: To create and manage your account. Accounts may be created for our online store.||
|Broadcast updates and communicate with you: To keep you informed of our priorities and opportunities to get involved, and in response to inquiries made by you. This can be through direct mail, email, phone calls, and text messages and includes any of our action or marketing lists you subscribe to.||
|Conduct research and analyze information to improve the effectiveness of our outreach and communications: To ensure you receive the most relevant opportunities, we use personal information to model who is most likely to support an issue area or campaign and segment our messages.||
|Deliver petitions and other message actions: To facilitate petitions and other message actions to our advocacy targets (such as messages to your member of Congress).||
|Evaluate requests for and provide legal services: To deliver legal services in relation to a legal case.||
|Host our National Advocacy Institute and other events: To plan and host in-person or virtual events, including selecting participants, awarding scholarships, coordinating travel, lodging, or other accommodations and logistical planning.||
|Identify prospective ACLU of Washington donors: To grow our base of donors, we participate in list exchanges with like-minded, nonpartisan organizations and engage in data cooperatives for nonprofits.||
|Improve performance of our Digital Services: To make our Digital Services easier and more pleasant to use by assessing the current performance of our Digital Services and content.
To investigate and maintain the stability of our Digital Services.
|Prevent fraud: To protect ACLU of Washington against fraudulent actors making payments through our Sites.||
|Process payments: To process your donations or payments for other services such as registering and paying for an ACLU of Washington ticketed event. This includes managing payments, charges, and bequests from estates and financial accounts.||
|Mobilize volunteers: To mobilize volunteers to canvass, phonebank, or text-bank in support of an issue area or campaign.||
|Research violations of civil liberties: To research and analyze the impacts of laws, policies, and government or other stakeholder actions. This may be done to prepare and bolster legal claims, ACLU of Washington advocacy campaigns, public education, and/or particular programs. For example:
|Serve and improve targeted advertising: To deliver advertising to people who are likely to support our issues and improve our targeted advertising we may use aggregated ad performance data like views, click, and conversions.||
|Solicit requests for legal support: To process solicited and unsolicited requests for legal support. ACLU of Washington may solicit you directly or indirectly as a potential plaintiff if we think you may benefit from our services. You may also decide to contact ACLU of Washington for legal support, in which case, we may process your information to determine if we can help and/or refer you to organizations that can help.||
|Storytelling: To collect and raise your stories and testimonials of injustice that you provide to us with others as part of our movement building.||
|*Special Circumstance: In some instances, we may collect and/or use your personal information in ways not described in this chart. In those instances, we will describe how we will use or share your personal information at the point of collection.
^When Required by Law, to Prevent Fraud, and Protect Our or Others’ Rights: The ACLU of Washington may also use your information to fulfill our legal obligations. Our processing activities may require that we share your information with government agencies, law enforcement, or other third parties, for example as we assess a potential threat you may have made to us. See With Whom and How We Share Your Information.
- Physical measures. For example, your personal information, such as your name and address, is stored on servers subject to physical security safeguards.
- Technical measures. For example, data transmitted to and from our Sites, including credit card numbers, are encrypted in transit.
- Administrative measures. For example, we have established privacy and security policies and procedures to limit access to personal information. We also adhere to industry standards and regularly monitor our compliance with Payment Card Industry Standards to protect credit card information that you provide to us.
We share personal information with your consent, when you direct us to share it with others, as necessary to complete your transactions, or to provide the services you have requested or authorized. For example, when you provide credit card information to make a donation, we will share that data with payment card processors and other entities as necessary for the processing of your payment and to prevent or detect fraud.
We also share personal information with the following types of other parties:
While the ACLU Organizations adhere to a common set of privacy principles and standards for handling personal information that we share with one another, each ACLU Organization may have its own unique data practices that are not contained in this Statement. When we share your personal information with other ACLU Organizations, they are bound to use that information in accordance with their privacy statement and with regard to their own operations. To view the list of all ACLU Organizations privacy statements, read ACLU Organizations Privacy Statements. Why We Use Your Information above, such as to facilitate the operation of our Sites; support our fundraising, marketing, communications, and advocacy programs; and deliver messages to you on other platforms.
We require these service providers to agree to take reasonable security measures in the handling and storage of that information. When we share personal information about you with a service provider, we take steps to: (1) transmit it in a secure manner and (2) require the service provider to promise to keep that information confidential and use it only for the purpose of carrying out the activities we have directed them to perform.
We allow some service providers to compile and use certain information related to ACLU of Washington and/or its supporters’ use of the services for internal purposes, like improving the functionality or security of the services ACLU of Washington receives from the service provider. In addition, we may also permit service providers to create and use data that has been de-identified for broader business purposes, including sharing aggregated benchmarking data with their business partners and other customers, but we will not agree to that unless the service provider has sufficiently committed to not recombine the data with other information to identify you and will not share or sell or use any identifiable data about you for the benefit of third parties outside the ACLU of Washington -service provider business relationship.
These “Business Partners” include:
- Coalition Partners. To enable more effective advocacy, organizing, and litigation, we often partner with other organizations to further the reach of our work. When working in coalitions, we may share your personal information with our coalition partners to further those efforts and bolster our respective capacities for furthering our missions. We, however, will only share your personal information if you have requested or consented to that sharing.
- Co-counsel. ACLU of Washington may, from time to time, share personal information with third parties in the course of litigation, including with co-counsel, expert witnesses, and other parties engaged to work on prospective and pending litigation as the need arises. Personal Information we share in this context may include personal information related to you or other individuals who are not direct clients depending on the legal matter. For example, we may use modeled voter data that is relevant to a voting rights case against a state government entity. When ACLU of Washington lawyers share personal information, in particular client information, they do so in compliance with applicable professional responsibility rules.
- Data Cooperatives for Nonprofits. To grow our base of donors, ACLU of Washington participates in nonprofit data cooperatives. Data cooperatives are membership-based services offered by vendors that enable cooperative members to pool personal information about their respective supporters to model and identify new prospective supporters and/or to deepen engagement with existing supporters. When we participate in data cooperatives, we may share your personal information, including contact and interaction information — for example, donation history — with data cooperative vendors in exchange for the ability to contact individuals who are prospective ACLU of Washington supporters and/or modeled information about existing ACLU of Washington supporters who also support other cooperative member nonprofits (e.g., likelihood to become a monthly donor to ACLU of Washington). This practice of sharing supporter personal information with and through a data cooperative is a longstanding nonprofit practice that enables nonprofits to maintain a stronger supporter base — while lowering costs — by targeting communications to individuals who are most likely to be interested in hearing from them.
- Nonpartisan Organizations (List Rental or Exchange). To grow our base of donors, ACLU of Washington may share your contact information with other nonpartisan organizations, either on a rental basis (i.e., for a monetary fee) and/or in exchange for a similar supporter list from the other nonpartisan organization that ACLU of Washington can contact. This sharing of information allows each organization to contact the supporters of the other organization in order to further its mission. Working with other organizations in this way is critical to maintaining a strong donor base by allowing us to lower costs while reaching the widest possible audience. Data shared with nonpartisan organizations is done on a one-time use basis.
- Third-party Advertisers. ACLU of Washington may display targeted advertisements to you on non-ACLU platforms, third-party websites, and social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, to fundraise and build support for our advocacy, organizing, and litigation priorities. We target our advertisements to effectively and efficiently reach people who are most likely to take action, including people impacted by government policies. In doing so, we may share your personal information with third-party advertisers to serve targeted advertisements to specific individuals (i.e., one-to-one matching), including you, or to display ads to people who are similar to specific individuals (i.e., “look-alikes”) who have engaged with ACLU of Washington. These practices help us engage in effective fundraising and advocacy operations and enable our teams to communicate more effectively with known and prospective supporters.
- Comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
- Conduct litigation, including by disclosing information to co-counsel or ACLU of Washington advisors or other parties involved in the litigation process of claims by or against the ACLU of Washington;
- In the event of exigent circumstances, to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury or to protect the personal safety of ACLU of Washington personnel, users of our Digital Services, our visitors, or the public;
- Detect, investigate, prevent or otherwise address fraud or privacy issues;
- Operate and maintain the security of our services, including to detect, investigate, prevent, stop, or remediate an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
- Protect the rights or property of ourselves, our Affiliates, or others, including by enforcing our agreements, terms, and policies.
To make updating your phone and direct mail communication preferences as easy as possible, we have provided three methods:
- Recommended: Communication Preferences web form. We recommend submitting your phone and mail preferences via our Communication Preferences web form to expedite processing.
- Email. Send an e-mail to: [email protected].
- Mail. Send a letter to ACLU Membership Department, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004.
You have a number of choices in relation to your personal information. These choices include:
- Opting out: You have the choice to opt out of certain types of data processing activities.
- Targeted Advertising. You have the choice to opt out of targeted advertising.
- Sales of Data. You have the choice to opt out of sales of data. In the ACLU of Washington context, we participate in exchanges of donor personal information with other nonpartisan organizations and nonprofit data cooperative vendors. When you opt out of sales of data, you will be removed from both practices.
- Correcting what we have: You have the choice to request that we rectify inaccurate or incomplete personal information concerning you. We do have to take into account the interests of others, so this is not an absolute right.
- Deleting what we have: You have the choice to request that we delete the personal information we have about you.
Submit a Data Choice Request
You may submit a data choice request to us, or you may authorize another party to do so on your behalf using the mechanisms below. To make submitting Data Choice Requests as easy as possible, we have provided the following methods:
- Recommended: Your Data Choices web form. We recommend submitting your data choice request(s) via our dynamic Your Data Choices web form to expedite processing. to expedite processing.
- Email. You may also submit an opt-out request for targeted advertising or sales of data by emailing [email protected].
- Identity Verification. When you or an authorized agent on your behalf make a request, we will confirm your identity. We may reach out to you for additional information to verify your identity beyond what is included in your initial request. Information collected to verify your identity will never be used for any other purpose than to verify your identity to fulfill your request. To preserve privacy and further equity, we are committed to not using biometrics, social security numbers, or commercial credit bureau information as part of our identity verification process.
- Children. If you are under 13, we do not want your personal information, and you must not provide it to us. If you are a parent or guardian and believe that your child who is under 13 has provided us with personal information, please contact us to have your child’s information removed.
- Appeals. If you would like to make an appeal related to a Data Choice Request, you may do so by emailing [email protected].
Like most websites, our Sites collect and process a range of information about their visitors to enable functionality and to deliver requested services. In addition to information we automatically collect for our purposes (see Personal Information We Automatically Collect), our Digital Services include links to social media sites, links to other websites operated by third parties (e.g., a registration page for another nonprofit advocacy organization’s event, a third-party payment processor), and embedded media (e.g., YouTube videos) that may collect information about you when you choose to interact with them. When you access this content, you are interacting directly with the third parties, whose data collection and other processing activities are governed by their privacy policies, and not by this Statement. When you view embedded media — hosted on other platforms, but viewable through the buttons we provide — you will remain on our Sites but you will be interacting with these third party’s online environment. In these instances, we make clear that you are viewing external content when you click on buttons.
How to Disable Cookies
If you would like to reduce the web data collected about you while browsing the internet, you can purge and disable cookies in your web browser.
For your awareness, our Sites will still work if you disable cookies in your browser. Please note disabling cookies on your browser may impact the operability of other websites you visit and disabling cookies will not disable other technologies (such as web beacons, clear gifs, and single-pixel gifs), which the ACLU of Washington uses on our Sites to support our operations and the security of our Sites. aclu-wa.org, which is operated by the Union but hosts Foundation content, and other ACLU of Washington Sites and Digital Services that link to this Statement.
Certain ACLU of Washington programs, as well as ACLU of Washington’s other affiliated ACLU Organizations, have separate privacy statements. When a different privacy statement applies, the relevant privacy statement will be posted. To see a full list of ACLU Organizations’ privacy statements, read ACLU Organizations Privacy Statements.
“Personal information” means information that identifies, relates to, describes, or can be reasonably linked, directly or indirectly, to a specific human, in a personal capacity. It does not include information that is considered de-identified, anonymous, or aggregated under applicable law or information relating to a person in their employment or professional capacities, including information obtained from or about ACLU of Washington employees or job applicants looking to work at ACLU of Washington.
“Processing” of personal information means any operation, or set of operations performed, manually or automatically, on personal information, like collection, use, organization, structuring, storage, transmission, analysis, retrieval, deletion, or modification of personal information.