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Privacy Policy

Introduction, Scope and Definitions

Welcome to The Markup, an investigative news website that covers the impacts of technology on society, including the rise of the data-driven economy and the increasing use of personal data in corporate and government surveillance. At The Markup, we are committed to protecting the privacy of our users, and we aim to be fully transparent with users about our data practices and their implications for user privacy. We have established this Privacy Policy, which is part of our Terms of Use, to explain what information we collect through our website, how we use and share it, and how you can make choices about our use of that information.

The policies below are applicable to the website located at (the “Website”), however the Website is accessed and/or used, whether via personal computers, mobile devices, or otherwise, and other interactive features, applications (including mobile applications), or downloads that are operated by The Markup (“we” and “us”) and are made available by us. Please be advised that the practices described in this Privacy Policy apply only to information gathered online at our Website. They do not apply to information that you may submit to us offline or to websites maintained by other companies or organizations to which we may link. The Markup is a fiscally-sponsored project of NEO Philanthropy (“NEO”). All references to “The Markup” “we,” “our” or “us” in this Privacy Policy includes NEO.

The Markup is published in the United States and is subject to laws of the United States. If you are located in a country outside the United States and voluntarily submit personal information to us, you thereby consent to the general use of such information as provided in this Privacy Policy and to the transfer of that information to, and/or storage of that information in the United States. The Markup shall not be liable under any circumstances for damages resulting from use of information collected from visitors to the Website.

In this policy we use the following terms:

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is information that can be used to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. This includes, for example, your full name, your email address, your date of birth, a social media account name, or your phone number.

Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII) is information that cannot by itself identify an individual user. It includes such information as your device type, browser type, plugin details, language preference, time zone, or screen size. It is possible for non-personally identifiable information, when collected in sufficient quantity, to make it possible to identify a specific individual.

By visiting our Website, you are accepting the practices described in our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use the Website. Questions and comments about this policy may be directed to

Information we collect

As a general matter, you can browse our Website without submitting personally identifiable information to us. However, there are some circumstances in which you may need to provide us with personally identifiable information in order to complete specific actions. Here are the most common ways in which we receive your personally identifiable information:

  • When you sign up to receive email newsletters from us;
  • When you request information or assistance, or provide us with feedback;
  • In conjunction with your employment inquiries or applications;
  • When you donate to us;
  • When you interact with our social media accounts.

In addition, when you interact with the Website, our servers may keep an activity log that collects information that does not identify you individually ("non-personally identifiable information"). Generally, we collect the following categories of non-personally identifiable information:

  • We collect and store connectivity and configuration data about the device you use to access the Website. This includes the type of device you are using (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.); the operating system it is running; and the browser type, version and language settings, and the language your browser is set to.
  • We collect and store service use data, including data about the pages you visit, the emails you view, the Website that referred you, the time of day of your visit and software crash reports.
  • We collect and store imprecise location data (e.g., location derived from your IP address or language data that indicates your country).
  • We collect and store device identifiers, including your browser user agent.

The Website does not use cookies, which are small data files placed on your computer. However, if you choose to donate to The Markup through the Website, our Service Provider (as defined below) may use cookies as part of the donation process. You are not required to accept cookies and may disable their functionality or delete existing cookies by using your web browser’s options. If you disable cookies, certain features of the Website may not work as intended.

How We Use Your Information

We use the information we learn from you to help us personalize and continually improve your experience on the Website. We use your personally identifiable information and non-personally identifiable information in the following ways:

  • To send you, with your permission, newsletters, mailings and information;
  • To respond to your inquiries and communicate with you about transactions with us;
  • To process your employment applications;
  • To process your donations;
  • To better understand your behaviors and preferences, so we can optimize and improve our products, services and operations;
  • To test if our site is working well;
  • To detect, investigate and protect against activities that may violate our policies or be illegal, such as abuse and spam.

How We Share Your Information

Except as disclosed below, we don’t sell, barter, give away, rent, or permit anyone outside The Markup to use or access your personally identifiable information or non-personally identifiable information.

Upon occasion we may use independent contractors, consultants and third-party agents, affiliates, and partners to perform project-based functions such as marketing, analytics, providing customer service, etc., on our behalf. These entities have access to the personal information needed to perform their functions and are contractually obligated to maintain the confidentiality and security of any personal information collected from the Website. They are restricted from using, selling, distributing, or altering this data in any way other than to provide the requested services to The Markup.

We may also use or disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to (a) conform to applicable law or comply with legal process served on us or the Website; (b) protect and defend our rights or property, the Website, or our users; or (c) act under emergency circumstances to protect the personal safety of us, our affiliates, our agents, or the users of the Website or the public. If we are compelled to share data about users with law enforcement, we will attempt to give notice to the users and will aim to protect user privacy as much as possible.

Our Service Providers (as defined below) may also use beacons, tags, scripts, or similar technologies (collectively, “Technologies”) in connection with our e-mail messages to help us track e-mail response rates, measure the success of our newsletters and identify when our e-mails are viewed or forwarded. These Technologies are generally tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies. However, in contrast to cookies, which are stored on your computer’s hard drive, Technologies are embedded invisibly on Website pages and email messages. The Markup does not use information derived from Technologies to identify visitors individually.

Service Providers; Third Party Websites

Much of the Website’s and communications infrastructure, including donations, is operated by third party service providers (“Service Providers”) and we may share your personal information with these Service Providers in order to operate the Website. You can find a list of Service Providers we are currently using at the bottom of this page.

The Markup cannot control how our Service Providers may collect, use, and share your personal information. We recommend you familiarize yourself with their policies, especially if you have privacy concerns.

The Website may contain links to websites operated by third-parties (collectively, “Third-Party Sites”). If you follow any link to a Third-Party Site, you should review those sites’ privacy statements to find out how they protect your privacy. We are not responsible for Third-Party Sites or their privacy practices.

Donor Privacy

The Markup values and respects the privacy of its donors. As with all other personal information, we do not share, loan, trade, rent, or sell our donor information to any other organization, nor will we send mailings to our donors on behalf of any other organization.

We maintain historical records of donor giving histories for certain types of gifts. This information is gathered so The Markup can properly acknowledge gifts for IRS purposes and is also used by The Markup to analyze giving histories. Donor information may be made available to Service Providers, but only as necessary to process the donation or for The Markup to provide its services. This section applies to donations and donor information received online or offline.

See also The Markup’s Donation Policy.

Updating or Removing Your Information

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

Your consent to our use of your information is very important to us. If you would like to withdraw your consent to receive bulk emails from us, you may unsubscribe by clicking the “unsubscribe” link in any email communication you receive from us. If you would like to otherwise withdraw your consent, restrict or object to The Markup’s processing of your data, please email

Children’s privacy

Protecting the privacy of young children is especially important. The Website is intended for general audiences and is not directed to children under 13. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If you are a parent or guardian and discover that your child under 13 years may have provided personally identifiable information through the Website, please contact us at

Data Storage and Retention

The Markup’s server logs are stored and retained indefinitely.

Email subscriptions information is retained until you unsubscribe from the mailing list(s).

If you communicate by email with The Markup, we may keep records of those communications indefinitely.

Financial records of donations and other transactions are kept indefinitely. Check copies and payment distribution details are normally kept up to seven years. Accompanying donor information is kept indefinitely unless the individual requests that it be removed.

If we inadvertently collect more personal information than intended, we endeavor to delete the extraneous information. When we no longer need to retain information or when deleting information on request, we endeavor to remove all copies. However, please understand that deleted information may continue to persist on backup media.


The Markup employs reasonable measures to protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control, including appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk. The data that we store is encrypted. We use HTTPS to encrypt the data sent to and from our Website. But some elements of our web pages may contain insecure content transmitted in an unencrypted fashion from other servers. Those third party elements of content might also contain tracking technology that we cannot remove.

Although we make good faith efforts to store information collected by The Markup in a secure operating environment, we cannot guarantee complete security.

Changes to this policy

The Markup’s Privacy Policy will change from time to time without notice and your continued use of the Website following any revision to the Privacy Policy will be deemed to be your consent to any revised Privacy Policy. Any revised Privacy Policy will be consistent with The Markup’s mission, and with our commitment to protecting user privacy. We will make archived (previous) versions of the Privacy Policy available on the Website after they have been superseded by updated versions, so that users may review what has changed.

Questions and comments about this policy may be directed to If you would like to change your preferences, if you no longer wish to receive e-mail updates from The Markup, or if you believe The Markup has erroneous or incomplete information about you, please send an email to

First published: September 23, 2018
Last revised: September 23, 2018

As of September 2018, The Markup uses the following third party service providers: