Privacy and public life policy
Back to: Rules committee
This is a ROUGH ROUGH draft by Steven Clift. Historically, E-Democracy.Org has limited its collection of information to a minimal set of items widely available as public information. We also strongly believe in our forums that participants have a right to know who else is posting or registered such that they can post. We do not require people to register to simply view our main Issues Forums, so such readers have the option to stay private.
In St. Paul, due to concerns about the use of false identities, they started to collect address and telephone information for only those wishing to post with the promise that it would be kept private and only used internally if identity verification was required.
With forums in the UK and New Zealand, we are also now operating in countries with more stringent privacy laws.
This first draft is an attempt to layout a starting point for development of a privacy and publicness policy that reflects our values. This draft will be submitted to our Rules committee for eventual adoption by our Board.
E-Democracy.Org Privacy and Public Life Policy
Participation in E-Democracy.Org is fundamentally about public life.
We seek to create a safer, trusted environment where people know who has the ability to communicate publicly with them in our forums (those in the room) while protecting the anonymity of those watching from a far (like those watching on television).
E-Democracy does not sell, rent, or exchange private information on individuals using our website, forums, and services with third-parties. To the greatest extent possible under law, we forbid use of any public information optionally disclosed by individuals on our site for direct commercial marketing purposes.
We limit the information we require from forum registration to real names, community, country and at least one e-mail address. This helps protect your exposure online. E-mail addresses are not available on the public website. Only those who choose to post are sharing their e-mail with other participants via e-mail. With our public forums, your name is listed on the list of forum member only if you register and join that forum. Unregistered web visitors are not identified in member lists. If you wish to remain anonymous, do not register and join a forum. As an anonymous reader, you do not have the right to post.
Optional member profiles have public fields that may be accessible to others. Sharing public biographic information among members builds reciprocal trust. We hide e-mail addresses, but do allow a "request contact" feature to ensure participation equality for web-based participants. E-mail participants may reply privately easily and we may add that right for web users. Do not share sensitive information via these optional public fields.
Any and all personal information collected by specific forums (for identity verification required to post (in St. Paul currently), local e-democracy committees/chapters, or for use in other E-Democracy.Org owned and operated services will clearly be labeled private and not disclosed publicly. By default, as a "public life" initiative information fields not clearly labeled private should be considered public, viewable, and potentially accessible. Specific non-forum services, such as e-mail newsletters, surveys requesting demographic information, and online donation systems will have additional privacy guarantees stated clearly on that service where information is submitted.