openDemocracy is committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) and other relevant legislation. This is the legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the UK and 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 and guarantee not to 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 [email protected].
Who are we?
openDemocracy is an independent global media platform covering world affairs, ideas and culture. We seek to challenge power, inspire change and encourage democratic debate across the world.
openDemocracy.net 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 openTrust, 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.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that is sent from our website and stored in your web browser or on the device you're using.
Most web browsers accept cookies automatically but you can change your browser’s settings to stop cookies.
You can also delete your cookies any time you want.
If you choose not to accept cookies you might find some parts of our website does not work as you would expect.
We have assessed our cookies based on the ICC Cookie Guide, summarised below. Most of the cookies on our web pages fall into categories one and two.
1. Strictly necessary
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, we cannot provide services you may ask for, like making a donation.
2. Analytics cookies
Analytics cookies allow us to collect information about how readers access our site – for example, counting the number of readers on site, how long they stay on the site for, and what parts of the site they visit. This is also sometimes known as ‘web audience measurement’.
3. Third-party cookies (targeting or advertising)
These cookies are used by services not controlled by openDemocracy (e.g. video-hosting platforms) to deliver content and adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited the website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.
Specific cookies of interest
Google Analytics is a web-based service provided by Google, Inc. It sets a cookie to evaluate your use of the website and compile reports for us on activity on the site.
Google stores the information collected by the cookie on servers in the US. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using the openDemocracy website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google as described above.
Tags and pixel tags
openDemocracy may use tags and pixel tags to track, measure and report on activities that happen on our website after you see or click on an advert or link off-site, for instance on Facebook. These allow us to measure the effectiveness of our adverts. Data collected and shared is anonymous and does not personally identify you.
Your control over tags
Pixel tags are not stored on your computer or mobile device. If you disable cookies, the pixel tag will detect only an anonymous website visit.
Facebook pixel code
Some of our pages contain embedded content such as YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter and Facebook.
For further information on third-party cookies, see:
Further information about cookies and how to control their use is available from
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.
Emails we send may include tracking tags that tell us information about whether you have opened an email, clicked on a link in an email, and information about the email software and device you use to read the email. They may also allow us to determine some activities you may subsequently undertake on our website.
We try to send a plain text version of our emails with no tracking pixel along with a richer HTML version. If you wish to receive our emails without tracking tags most email software can be set to display the plain text version of the email.
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.
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.
openDemocracy may remove any comment on our website or social media channels that we deem inappropriate, spam or offensive. Comments are pre-moderated using the automated Perspective API system.
Surveys and petitions
From time to time openDemocracy will conduct voluntary surveys to better understand our readers' views or to support editorial initiatives. This information may be aggregated and then compiled and shared with third parties.
No personally identifiable information will be published or shared with third parties without your explicit consent.
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.
The basis we may process your personal data are:
Consent: When you have given clear consent for us to process your personal data for a specific purpose.
Contract: When we must process your data in order to fulfill a contract we have with you, or because you have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
Legal obligation: When we must process personal data about you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).
Legitimate interests: When we need to process your personal data in order to manage and grow our organisation.
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.
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 [email protected]
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 3DL or email us at [email protected] We aim to respond within 72 hours of receiving an email.
Data protection officers
Ricardo Santos, HR manager
Alastair Tibbitt, head of audience and engagement
For general enquiries, please contact [email protected]