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Privacy Policy

The Markup is an investigative news website. We cover technology’s effects on society, including the rise of the data-driven economy and the increasing use of personal data in corporate and government surveillance.

As such, we make a unique promise to you, our readers: we will not surveil you in ways that could put you at risk, period.

The Markup’s website does not expose you to third-party tracking technology, with the exception of when you make credit card donations, which is unavoidable.

The Markup will collect as little personal information about you as possible when you visit our site and we will never monetize this data. We don’t agree with the common practice of making the audience unwittingly “pay” for journalism by allowing third parties to track their users. We would much rather you donate to us directly if you care about our work! For that same reason, we do not intend to display advertisements on our site, because they so often contain tracking technology.

However, we do want to collect some basic information about readership of our articles to help us understand who is reading our journalism — both on our website and on those of our publishing partners. Collecting this limited reader data about how you interact with our work will allow us to better serve you.

The data we collect includes information about the device and software you use to access our website (user-agent header), your device address (IP address), which can be used to infer approximate location, the time of your visit, and the page you were visiting prior to arriving at our website (referrer headers). This data allows us to test that our site is working well, determine which articles are attracting the most interest, and fight abuse or spam if necessary.

Some of you voluntarily share some personal information with us when you sign up for newsletters or to be contacted by us. We will not rent, lease, or sell this voluntarily-submitted data to third parties without your explicit consent, unless required by law. If we are compelled to share data about users with law enforcement, we will attempt to give notice to those users.

We will, by necessity, share your email address with our email service provider, Revue. Please consult Revue’s privacy policy for further details.

We also collect data from donors when they donate to support our work. As with all other personal information, we do not share, loan, trade, rent, or sell donor information to third parties nor will we send mailings to our donors on behalf of any other organization. If you share personal information with The Markup, it stays with The Markup.

Our donor payment processor is Stripe, whose privacy policy is here. In order to comply with credit card processing requirements, The Markup’s website includes third-party javascript from Stripe which may contain other tracking. However, this content is only loaded upon clicking the “Donate!” button on the donations page.

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. This applies to donations and donor information received both online and offline.

We take reasonable steps to protect the data that we collect. The data that we store is encrypted. We use HTTPS to encrypt the data sent to and from our website.

We do not utilize “cookies,” a technology that would allow us to identify unique users by a temporary device-related ID. We host our website on Amazon Web Services, whose privacy policy is here.

Our privacy policy will likely evolve as our website evolves. We promise to update it when our practices change, and to be transparent about what we’ve changed and why we’ve made those changes.

Contact Us:

You can reach us with questions at privacy@themarkup.org.

You can also reach us at the address below:

The Markup ℅ NEO Philanthropies
45 West 36th St., 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018
(212) 378-2800

The Fine Print

  1. About This Notice
  2. Information We Collect
  3. How We Use Your Information
  4. How We Share Your Information
  5. Service Providers; Third Party Websites
  6. Donor Privacy
  7. Updating or Removing Your Information
  8. Children’s privacy
  9. Data Storage and Retention
  10. Security
  11. EU Users - International Transfers
  12. Changes to This Policy

About This Notice

This privacy notice tells you how The Markup collects and processes information that may identify you when you use our site or interact with us in other ways. The policies below apply to the website located at https://themarkup.org (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.

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 privacy@themarkup.org.

Information We Collect

There are some circumstances in which you may need to provide us with personal information in order to complete specific actions. Here are the most common ways in which we receive your personal data:

  • 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. For example, we generally collect the following categories of 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 Website that referred you, and the time of day of your visit.
  • We collect IP addresses and may derive imprecise location data from that (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 third-party service provider 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 collect, use, or otherwise process your 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.

We do so based on one or more of the following:

  • The consent you provide to us at the point of collection of your personal information;
  • The performance of the contract we have with you;
  • The compliance of a legal obligation to which we are subject; or
  • The legitimate interests of The Markup, a third party or yourself.

"Legitimate interest" is a technical term under the General Data Protection Regulation, and means that there are good reasons for the processing of your personal information and measures are taken to minimize the impact on your privacy rights and interests. "Legitimate interest" also references our use of your data in ways you would reasonably expect. We have a legitimate interest in collecting and processing personal information, for example, to administer and generally conduct business within The Markup, to prevent fraud, and to ensure that our networks and information are secure.

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 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.

Service Providers; Third Party Websites

Much of the Website and communications infrastructure, including donations, is operated by third party service providers (“Service Providers”) and we may share your 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 privacy@themarkup.org. If you would like to request to receive an electronic copy of your personal information for purposes of transmitting it to another company (to the extent this right to data portability is provided to you by applicable law), please email privacy@themarkup.org.

In your request, please state what personal information you would like to have changed, or otherwise let us know what limitations you would like to put on our use of your personal information. For your protection, we only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address that you use to send us your request, and we may need to verify your identity before implementing your request. We will respond to your request consistent with applicable law.

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 privacy@themarkup.org.

Please note that we may need to retain certain information for recordkeeping purposes and/or to complete any transactions that you began prior to requesting a change or deletion.

You may lodge a complaint with a data protection authority for your country or region or where an alleged infringement of applicable data protection law occurs. A list of EU data protection authorities is available at https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/article29/item-detail.cfm?item_id=612080.

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 privacy@themarkup.org.

Data Storage and Retention

We retain personal information for as long as needed or permitted in light of the purpose(s) for which it was obtained and consistent with applicable law.

The criteria used to determine our retention periods include: Whether there is a legal obligation to which we are subject (for example, certain laws require us to keep records of your transactions for a certain period of time before we can delete them); or whether retention is advisable in light of our legal position (for example, in light of applicable statutes of limitations, litigation or regulatory investigations).

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

Email subscription 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.

Security

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. We use HTTPS to encrypt the data sent to and from our Website.

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

EU Users - International Transfers

The Markup is based in the United States. Information you provide to us is collected in your country and then transferred to the United States or to another country in which we have facilities or in which we engage service providers.

Third parties with whom we share your data may be based outside the EEA and their processing of your personal data may involve a transfer of data outside the EEA.

When your data is transferred outside the EEA we take steps to make sure it has the same level of protection as it would have in the EEA. Our agreements with third parties make clear the standards we expect of them in order to safeguard your information and your legal rights.

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.

Questions and comments about this policy may be directed to privacy@themarkup.org. 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 privacy@themarkup.org.


As of August 5, 2019, The Markup uses the following third party service providers: