Brookings Institution Privacy Policy

The Brookings Institution values our visitors' private information and understands the need for security and trust surrounding such information.

This policy describes the types of information we may collect from you or that you may provide when you visit the website www.brookings.edu (our "Website") and our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting and disclosing that information.

Information Collection & Use

Registration

In order to use The Brookings Institution's web and mobile properties, you may need to first complete a registration form to create a user name and/or password. During registration you may be required to give contact information. We may use this information to contact you about the services on our site in which you have expressed interest. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Online Orders

If you purchase a product or service, or choose to make a donation, we request certain personally identifiable information from you on our order forms. We encrypt this information using Secure Sockets Layer technology (SSL).

We use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you.

Surveys

Occasionally, we may provide you the opportunity to participate in surveys on our site. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary. We use survey results to further improve this site and its content as well as to enhance our communications with you.

We may use third-party service providers to conduct surveys. Those companies will be prohibited from using our users' personally identifiable information for any other purpose than what has been identified above. We will not share the personally identifiable information you provide through a survey with third parties unless we give you prior notice and a choice to opt out.

Tell a Friend/Forward to a Colleague

If you use referral services to tell a friend/colleague about our site or electronic newsletters, we will send your friend/colleague a one-time email inviting him or her to visit the site. The Brookings Institution maintains this information in our database for the purpose of sending the referred email and compiling aggregate statistics on the usefulness of our referral program.

Children Under the Age of 13

Our Website is not intended for children under 13 years of age. No one under age 13 may provide any information to the Website. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If you are under 13, do not use or provide any information on this Website or on or through any of its features, register on the Website, make any purchases through the Website, use any of the interactive or public comment features of this Website or provide any information about yourself to us, including your name, address, telephone number, email address or any screen name or user name you may use. If we learn we have collected or received personal information from a child under 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information. If you believe we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at communications@brookings.edu

Communications from the Site

Newsletters and Products

If you wish to subscribe to our electronic newsletter(s) or receive other materials, we will use your email address to send the requested materials. We always provide a way to unsubscribe or opt out. Please see the "Choice/Opt-out" section below.

Customer Service and Profile

Based upon the personally identifiable information you provide us (i.e., your "profile"), we may send you a welcome email to verify your enrollment when you subscribe to an electronic newsletter, and we may send occasional emails notifying you of email products that may be of interest to you.

In addition, we may store information that we collect through cookies, log files, transparent gifs and other technologies to create a "profile" of your preferences. Please see the "Website Tools" section below.

Choice/Opt-out

We provide you the opportunity to opt out of having your personally identifiable information used for any of these purposes.

If you no longer wish to receive electronic newsletters and/or promotional communications, you may opt out of receiving them by following the instructions included in each newsletter or communication.

Information Sharing and Disclosure

Aggregate Information (non-personally identifiable)

At times, we share aggregated demographic information about our user base with our partners. This information does not identify individual users. We do not link aggregate user data with personally identifiable information in these cases.

Personally identifiable information

We may disclose personal information that we collect or you provide as described in this privacy policy:

  • To our subsidiaries and affiliates;
  • To contractors, service providers and other third parties we use to support our business, and we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that they are bound by contractual obligations to keep personal information confidential and use it only for the purposes for which we disclose it to them.
  • To a buyer or other successor in the event of a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution or other sale or transfer of some or all of Brookings's assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation or similar proceeding, in which personal information held by Brookings about our Website users is among the assets transferred.
  • To fulfill the purpose for which you provide it. For example, if you give us an email address to use the "email a friend" feature of our Website, we will transmit the contents of that email and your email address to the recipient(s).
  • For any other purpose disclosed by us when you provide the information.
  • With your consent.

Donors

We will not trade, share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations.

Agents

We use an outside shipping company to fulfill Brookings Bookstore orders and a credit card processing company to bill you for goods and services you purchase from us. We make commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that these companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any other purposes.

Service Providers

We use third parties to provide fulfillment and processing functions on our site. When you register for products and/or services, we may share information as necessary for the third party to provide those services.

We make commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that these third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

Legal Disclaimer

We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, property, or safety of Brookings, our customers or others and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order or legal process served on the Brookings Institution. We further reserve the right to disclose or use your personally identifiable information for the purposes of collecting on debts owed in connection with the purchase of goods or services on this website.

Website Tools

The technologies we use for this automatic data collection may include:

Log Files

Website visits generate certain information that is automatically stored in log files, including Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, geographic location, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data.

We use this information, which in itself does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer the site, to track users' movements around the site and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.

Cookies

Cookies (or browser cookies). A cookie is a small file placed on the hard drive of your computer. You may refuse to accept browser cookies by activating the appropriate setting on your browser. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you direct your browser to our Website.

Flash cookies. Certain features of our Website may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from and on our Website. Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies.

Session IDs. Session IDs are stored on your computer's memory only during a user's browsing session and are automatically deleted from the user's computer when the session is closed. This means that the Website may remember your data or actions during one browsing session, but the Website cannot retrieve session IDs from your machine that do not persist (and session IDs by default expire when the browser shuts down).

We may use any of these types of cookies on our Website. Cookies and flash cookies are stored on the site visitor's hard drive.

We set cookies that may store your password on your hard drive, and that also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance their experience on our site.

If you reject cookies on your browser, you may still use our site, but your ability to use some areas of our site may be limited.

Transparent images and Web Beacons/Web Bugs

Pages of our the Website may contain small electronic files known as Web Beacons (also referred to as web bugs, clear gifs, pixel tags and single-pixel gifs) that permit Brookings, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity). Web Beacons and other transparent images are embedded invisibly on web pages. In addition, we may use these transparent images in our HTML-based emails and newsletters to help us gauge the effectiveness of our electronic communications. If you would like to opt out of these, please see "Choice/Opt-out." You can also request to receive text-only electronic newsletters, which do not contain transparent images.

Though we do not currently use Web Beacons in our emails, we reserve the right to do so at some future date. In that case, this Privacy Policy will be updated accordingly (see "Changes in this Privacy Statement," below).

Links to Other Sites

This website contains links to other sites that are not owned or controlled by The Brookings Institution. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such other sites.

Access to and Removal of Personally Identifiable Information

You may correct, update or deactivate your personally identifiable information by emailing us at communications@brookings.edu, or by contacting us by telephone or postal mail at the contact information listed below.

Security

The security of your sensitive personal information is important to us. We encrypt that information using Secure Sockets Layer technology (SSL) and digital certificates. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure. Although we do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information transmitted to our Website. Any transmission of personal information is at your own risk. We are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Website.

California Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

Because we value your privacy we have taken the necessary precautions to be in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. We therefore will not distribute your personal information to outside parties without your consent.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Terms and Conditions

Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at http://www.brookings.edu/about/terms-and-conditions.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to this website privacy policy.

Changes in this Privacy Statement

We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time. It is our policy to post any changes we make to our privacy policy on this page. The date the privacy policy was last revised is identified at the bottom of the page. You are responsible for periodically visiting our Website and this privacy policy to check for any changes. Your continued use of this Website after we make changes is deemed to be acceptance of those changes, so please check the policy periodically for updates.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our privacy policy, please contact us at:

The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts, Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202.797.6000

communications@brookings.edu

Last Updated: November 12, 2014