Privacy Policy

The OpenGov Foundation (OpenGov), developers of the Free Law Founders website, is committed to protecting the privacy of visitors to our websites, as well as our support team and citizen-users. OpenGov has established this Privacy Policy to explain what information we collect through our websites and how it is used.

In this policy, “OpenGov” refers to OpenGov staff, board members, cooperating attorneys, interns, volunteers, and consultants, all of whom are bound by law or contract to keep confidential information they receive as part of their assistance to OpenGov.

OpenGov does not sell or rent member, donor or website visitor information under any circumstances, and we do not share member, donor or visitor information without prior consent except as compelled by law. (See discussion below.)

Information Gathered by OpenGov

Logging: For visitors to our main website ( and to the Free Law Founders, we generally log requests. Circumstances in which OpenGov may need to log and retain technical information for longer than seven days include when we believe it is reasonably necessary for OpenGov’s mission and functionality, including situations such as:

In those and similar situations we will delete the information as soon as it is apparent that the information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was retained. For more information on data logging and techniques OpenGov intends to use to anonymize, obfuscate, aggregate and delete information, see The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Best Practices for Online Service Providers.

Cookies: We use persistent ID cookies on this site for account sessions and to ensure that visitors do not receive notifications - such as first-visit sign-up lightboxes - more than intended. We use session cookies on certain portions of the website. Session cookies expire when you close your browser. You can use Tor if you wish to keep your connection information anonymous.

Voluntarily Submitted Information: In addition, OpenGov collects and retains information you voluntarily submit to us. It is up to you whether to submit information to us, and how much information to provide. If you choose to support OpenGov or otherwise donate to OpenGov, we ask for your name, email address, mailing address and phone number. For those supporters, we also could ask for your credit card number. We also maintain records of our members’ use of Free Law Founders tools or data or similar websites running our free, open source software code and those currently under development. The project repositories and open source software code are viewable at

We may ask for additional personal information when you provide feedback or comments, or otherwise communicate with us. We are pleased to receive anonymous donations in the mail (P.O. 3672, Washington, DC 20027), but please note that your personal information is required if you choose to donate using an online form.

From time to time, we may ask for personal information on other portions of the site, such as asking you to sign a petition, participate in a contest, or provide prior art for an open government or software development initiative.

OpenGov Updates and other Mailing Lists: If you choose to subscribe to receive Free Law Founders or OpenGov updates, or any of our other mailing lists, we collect your name, email address, and, if you choose to provide it, a zip or postal code. OpenGov’s Use of Information In general, OpenGov uses the information provided by you to further its mission, including to protect privacy, to open government at all levels, to defend freedom and innovation, and to protect your rights in the digital world.

Supporter Information: We use OpenGov supporter information to process and manage your support or contribution. If you opt in, we will use your email address to send you updates and alerts on protecting your rights in the digital world, so you may contributed your talents and knowledge to a project, take action - such as contacting a friend, your elected representatives or attending an event.

Invitees to OpenGov: If you invite another person to support OpenGov or contributed time, knowledge, talent or resources, we will ask for that person’s name and online contact information. We use this information to contact and, if necessary, remind that person that he or she has been invited to get involved with OpenGov.

Publication by OpenGov: If you provide information for publication we may use your name and contact information you have provided to us to provide you with attribution.

Other activities: We may run surveys, contests, or similar activities through this site. Such information will be used for the purposes for which it was collected. We also look at technical information to diagnose problems with or consider improvements to our servers or related technologies and to administer and other websites we host or provide.

Third-Party Service Providers to OpenGov

Portions of OpenGov sites may be operated by a third-party service provider or providers. These service providers may place session cookies on your computer. OpenGov’s service providers may also log standard technical information, such as the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer you are using; the browser software you use and your operating system; the date and time you access our site; and the Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our site. Our service providers may also store and organize the personal information collected through this site on our behalf.

OpenGov also may use a third-party credit card processor and hosting providers. For all of OpenGov’s service providers, hosting providers and credit card processors and any other providers we may use in the future, the information collected from OpenGov supporters remains under our control, and our agreement with each will require the information to be kept confidential and disclosed only to employees who require such access in the course of their assigned duties. OpenGov also requires all of our third-party service providers to notify OpenGov if they receive legal process seeking information about visitors to OpenGov’s website or users of OpenGov products, software or services.

OpenGov may change the specific third-party providers from time to time, and will transfer stored information to any new provider subject to similar restrictions and agreements. From time to time, OpenGov may work with third-party consultants or other service providers who may have access to personally identifiable information. In such cases, we will restrict their use of personally identifiable information in accordance with their assigned tasks.

OpenGov’s websites may also provide links to a wide variety of third-party websites, including interactive links to sites like Twitter or mapping services. OpenGov is not responsible for, and does not have any control over, the privacy practices or the content of such third parties. We encourage users to read the privacy policies of any website visited via links from OpenGov’s websites.

We do occasionally allow our website to interact with other services, like social networking, mapping, and video hosting websites. It is our policy not to include third-party resources when users initially load our web pages, but we may dynamically include them later after giving the user a chance to opt-in. If you believe a third-party resource is automatically loading, please let us know so we can address it. Disclosure of Your Information While OpenGov endeavors to provide the highest level of protection for your information, we may disclose personally identifiable information about you to third parties in limited circumstances, including: (1) with your consent; or (2) when we have a good faith belief it is required by law, such as pursuant to a subpoena or other judicial or administrative order.

If we are required by law to disclose the information that you have submitted, we will attempt to provide you with notice (unless we are prohibited) that a request for your information has been made in order to give you an opportunity to object to the disclosure. We will attempt to provide this notice by email, if you have given us an email address, or by postal mail if you have entered a postal address. If you do not challenge the disclosure request, we may be legally required to turn over your information.

In addition, we will independently object to requests for access to information about users of our site that we believe to be improper.

Updating or Removing Your Information

You may choose to correct, update, or delete information you have submitted to us by sending an email requesting changes to Furthermore, if we inadvertently collect more personal information than intended, we endeavor to delete the extraneous information. However, please understand that deleted information may continue to persist on backup media.

Changes to Our Policies

OpenGov’s Privacy Policy may change from time to time. However, any revised privacy policy will be consistent with OpenGov’s mission. If we make any substantive changes to our policies, we will post notice of changes on this page and include them in our subsequent update email to Madison users and other OpenGov updates subscribers.


OpenGov employs industry standard security measures to protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control.

Although we make good faith efforts to store information collected by OpenGov in a secure operating environment, we cannot guarantee complete security. Information collected by OpenGov will be maintained for a length of time appropriate to our needs. However, we generally do not retain credit card information unless, when the option is available to supporters, you choose to have us make automatic monthly withdrawals from your account for your donation.

Last Updated: July 15, 2014