Privacy notice

openDemocracy is committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union.

We will be clear about what data we collect from you and how we use it. We will protect all personal data you share with us using the most up-to-date security and will not share it with anyone except those described in this policy.

This notice describes the kinds of information that openDemocracy processes and how we maintain records of your personal data.

If you have any queries regarding this privacy notice please contact us on

Who are we?

openDemocracy is an independent global media platform covering world affairs, ideas and culture. We seek to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. is published by openDemocracy Limited, a UK-registered company (#3855274) limited by guarantee and wholly owned by the non-profit openDemocracy Foundation for the Advancement of Global Education (company limited by guarantee #04807614).

You can support openDemocracy with charitable grants and gifts to the openDemocracy programme of The Open Trust, a UK registered charity (#10864094).

openDemocracy also works with Neo Philanthropy (NEO) (a registered 501(c)3 organisation) as a US-based fiscal sponsor. NEO acts as an umbrella organisation for a project and accepts and administers funds on its behalf.

What kinds of information do we collect?

openDemocracy requests information from you when you subscribe to one of our mailing lists or donate money to us. When you sign up for these reasons, we will ask you for personal information so that we can contact you. Website usage information is collected using cookies.

How do we get your consent?

When collecting information from you, we always

  • process data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;
  • collect data only for purposes that are legitimate and necessary in relation to the services we provide;
  • collect accurate information, keep it up to date and make sure it can be easily deleted or corrected without delay;
  • keep data in a form that permits identification no longer than necessary for the purpose for which the personal data is processed;
  • keep personal data in a secure place that protects the information against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage, making sure we have the appropriate technology to do so.

When you provide us with your personal information, we will tell you why we want to collect and use it. We will ask you to explicitly give us consent to our collecting and using it for that specific reason only. We will ask you to positively opt in to our services, through a two-step process.

Making a donation

When you make a donation via our website, openDemocracy uses third-party organisations to manage the transfer of your money. Our main online payment provider is PayPal, which complies with GDPR, but we also use other organisations such as JustGiving.

Direct email marketing

If you actively give us consent to contact you, we will send you direct email marketing. This will ONLY include the newsletters or campaign information you have requested. You can opt out of these services at any time by unsubscribing to the relevant communication. openDemocracy uses MailChimp and civiCRM software to produce our newsletter content.

We will not share any personal information you give us through donations or email subscriptions with anyone else for marketing or sales reasons.

How is your information used?

The personal information we collect might include your name, address, email address, IP address, and information regarding what pages are accessed and when. The type of personal information we will collect about you will depend on why we are collecting the information. We may use your information to:

  • keep a record of your relationship and communication preferences with us;
  • enable us to deliver more relevant content to you through targeted communications;
  • carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into by you and us;
  • notify you of changes to our services;
  • send you communications which you have requested and that may be of legitimate interest to you;
  • communicate with you about an article or pitch that you have submitted.

What will we do with things you submit yourself?


openDemocracy invites you to submit articles, or pitches for articles, that you would like us to publish on our site. We will assess pitches and articles and let you know if we are interested in publishing them; we aim to do this within three weeks. We require you to give us an email address so that we can communicate with you about your article or pitch.

Normally we will publish your name with the article. We will also write a short biographical summary based on information that you supply. If you wish the article to be published anonymously or under a pen name, please make this clear on initial submission and in subsequent communications.

We may edit the article before or after publication. Normally we will try to agree any changes with you before publishing them, but we this may not always be possible, so we reserve the right to alter your article without notice.

We normally publish articles under a Creative Commons licence that allows anyone to publish your article on their own website. If you do not want this, please make this clear on initial submission and in subsequent communications.

Social media

When you send Direct Messages via Twitter or Facebook, these companies will store and process your communications and information related to them. openDemocracy will not copy, store or re-share the contents of your communications via these social media sites.

Online comments

openDemocracy may remove any comment on our website or social media channels that we deem inappropriate, spam or offensive.


From time to time openDemocracy will conduct voluntary surveys of site visitors to obtain aggregate demographic information. This information may be aggregated and then compiled and shared with third parties, but no personal details will be traceable or associated with specific individuals.

Links to other sites

openDemocracy contains many links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.


openDemocracy uses a separate company called RecruiterBox to manage our recruitment process. If you respond to a job advertisement, any information you give us will be used in that recruitment process to fill open positions or for monitoring statistics. Once a position has been filled, we will store data for 12 months unless otherwise specified, as we may want to keep applications on record for future vacancies.

What is our lawful basis for processing your data?

The lawful basis for processing your information is set out in article 6 of the GDPR. This requires us to be accountable and transparent about any information we ask from you. In line with the GDPR we will provide clear consent from individuals and only ask for information that is necessary. openDemocracy will ensure that we comply with the law. For more information, please see the ICO website in regards to processing data.


openDemocracy will ensure that we have all the necessary processes in place to store your data safely. We follow industry-best practices to make sure your information is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed. As part of our security process we have trained and dedicated members of staff who regularly audit our security access. This ensures that only the appropriate individuals have access to your data.

All third-party organisations we work with are also GDPR-compliant and we work continually to ensure the security of our online data. We do not share your data with any third parties unless you have given your explicit consent.

Use of cookies

Like most other sites, openDemocracy uses cookies – small files placed on your computer – to track which pages you visit, for how long, and what openDemocracy services you use. Cookies also let us recognise you whenever you return. We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of our website. This is collected in a way that doesn’t trace personal information for openDemocracy to use. Google Analytics stores this information.

Cookies make it possible for us to identify registered users without needing to ask for registration details every time you visit the site, and makes it more convenient for you as you don't need to enter your email address and password each time you visit.

Occasionally, we may also use cookies to track registered or unregistered users on the site – for instance, we might use cookies so that you don't see a particular advert more than once. This information will never be shared with a third party, and is used only to make our systems more efficient and improve the service we offer you.

We use two types of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies.

Session cookies are temporary and remain in your browser's cookie folder only until you leave the site. No personal or identifying information is held in these cookies. As soon as you leave our site or close your browser, they are automatically deleted from your computer.

Persistent cookies stay in your browser's cookie folder for a longer period, though how long will depend on the settings of the specific cookie. This cookie uniquely identifies you, so you can access member services without logging in to the site each time. If you are concerned about cookies we recommend the Interactive Advertising Bureau's website, which explains their use and the privacy implications.

How to exercise your rights under GDPR

Under the GDPR, you have the right to access, rectify and erase your data, as well as the right to restrict processing and data portability. Those who object to our processing or do not wish to be subscribed to our services can use the “unsubscribe” link, which is clearly linked on our website and in any correspondence we have with a subscriber.

If you wish to amend any data we hold that you have the right to change, or exercise any of your other rights, we will require identification before making any changes. As part of our lawful responsibilities, upon request openDemocracy will erase any personal information within a month of receipt.

Please contact us at

Appointment of data protection officers

openDemocracy has two data protection officers who are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of data protection. We will ensure that we operate within our legal obligations and have sufficient resources to deal with any enquiries you have.

If you have any concerns or enquiries about our data protection policy, please contact us at openDemocracy, The Print house, 18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3LD or alternatively you can email us at We aim to respond within 72 hours of receiving an email.

Changes to our privacy policy

We regularly review our privacy policy and we will place any updates on this web page. This privacy notice was last updated on 15 May 2018.

Data protection officers

Daniel Garay, Head of Finance

Emily Falconer, Operations Manager

Contact information

General enquiries please contact

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