Privacy Policy

PEN Center USA Online Privacy Statement
Effective as of: February 15, 2014

PEN Center USA cares about protecting your privacy, and we are particularly committed to protecting the personal information that you provide and entrust to us when using our website. This online privacy statement (the “Privacy Statement”) describes how we treat all user data collected by us during your visit to PEN Center USA, both technical data that is automatically collected and voluntarily submitted data. You can visit most portions of PEN Center USA's Site (which will further be referred to as "the Site") without telling us who you are and without revealing any personal information. The type and amount of information received depends on how you use the site.

PEN Center USA reserves the right to modify the information contained on this site at anytime without notice. This site and all information and materials on it are provided to you "as is" without warranty of any kind. We occasionally may update this Privacy Statement. We will post any changes on this web page, so be sure to check back periodically. If we do make material changes, we will post a notice on the home page stating the Privacy Statement has been modified and will provide a link to the revised Privacy Statement. Any information that you submit after a change has been posted will be subject to the new provisions.

For purposes of this Privacy Statement, the Site is the website whose home page is, which is operated by PEN Center USA. PEN Center USA manages or is related to other websites that do not contain this domain name. This Privacy Statement does not apply to those websites (unless those websites specifically link to this Privacy Statement), including The terms of the privacy statements for these other websites may differ from the terms of this Privacy Statement. Additionally, this is not the privacy statement for any blogs, forums or social networking sites where PEN Center USA has a presence. Further, this is not the privacy statement for any organization other than PEN Center USA, such as other US branches of PEN, PEN International, or branches of PEN international. To learn more about the differences between PEN Centers, visit their respective sites at and

User Data We Collect
We collect two types of user data:
(1) technical data that is automatically collected from all visitors to the Site (“Automatically Collected Data”), and; 
(2) data that you voluntarily submit to us (described below under “Voluntarily Submitted Data”).

Automatically Collected Data
We automatically collect Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses and domain names of the originating visitor’s computer on our server and may know some information you have previously provided through cookies. (See the section on Cookies below for more information.) We also may track the number and frequency of hits per page by IP addresses, but we will not associate any individual IP address with any other personally identifying information except to detect security intrusions or certain unlawful activity.

In addition, if a visitor comes to the Site from a website link, we may also identify the source of that link, so that we can evaluate what content is persuading web users to become involved in PEN Center USA's work. This does not include the name, mailing address, email address, phone number or social security of the visitor. 

Voluntarily Submitted Data
We may collect Voluntarily Submitted Data, including personal data, that you voluntarily provide, such as your name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, and similar information, when you submit comments or content through the Site, sign up to receive information PEN Center USA, PEN Center USA’s programs, Freedom To Write Advocacy Campaigns, sign up for PEN Center USA membership, make a donation to PEN Center USA, or take other voluntary action through the PEN Center USA Site.

We collect some data through the use of cookies. Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that are transferred either to your computer’s hard drive (“Long-term Cookies”) or temporarily to your computer’s Random Access Memory (“Session Cookies”).

We use Long-term Cookies only when you select a “remember” option on the Site, for example the “remember my login” option offered when you log on to the Site. If you select these options, a Long-term Cookie will be stored on your computer’s hard drive solely for the purpose of automatically filling in the remembered information, for example, automatically filling in your password on a log in-protected section of the Site. These “remember” options are offered only for your convenience and are completely voluntary. If you do not select a “remember” option, no Long-Term Cookie will be stored on your computer’s hard drive.

We use Session Cookies whenever you visit the Site to run the Site’s interactive applications, such as the shopping cart module. Session Cookies last only as long as your session on the Site. They expire when the session ends and are not written onto your computer’s hard drive. We also use Session Cookies in e-mails containing the HTML-format. If you select “text-only” format preference, emails sent to you will not contain any Session Cookies.

How We Use The Data We Collect
In addition to the uses described above, we may use Automatically Collected Data to identify the source of user traffic (for example,, or, but we will not tie this information to individual users in our database. We may use data on which sections of the Site are most visited, so that we can evaluate the popularity of our different web pages and continue to improve the Site or our programming. We will not link any Automatically Collected Data you provide to us except to detect security intrusions or certain unlawful activity.

We may use your Voluntarily Submitted Data for various purposes: 

To fulfill the request for which you specifically provided the data, including sharing data with an intended recipient (e.g., delivering a petition you sign or a letter you wish to send to the recipient of the petition or letter);

To analyze actions taken through our website;

To periodically communicate with you concerning PEN Center USA matters, such as delivering to you information and updates on our activities and action alerts, if you have not opted out of receiving such information and updates;

To indicate you as the author of any comment you post, including on any PEN Center USA Site, blog or forum, when you opt to identify yourself as the author or when posting such comment requires such identification, and to display any personally identifying or other information you voluntarily include in such comments.

To allow you to set and change user preferences;

To offer you ways to learn about, support or participate in the activities of PEN Center USA if you have not opted out of receiving such communications;

To respond to an inquiry or feedback you have made to PEN Center USA;

To respond to any content you make submit for ElectricPEN; and

 • To follow up with you with a communication specific to an activity you have participated in or intend to participate in.

The PEN Center USA Site is hosted by servers in the United States. Accordingly, if you are located outside of the United States, the Voluntarily Submitted Data you provide to us will be transferred to the United States. By submitting your Voluntarily Submitted Data, you consent to its transfer and storage in the United States and its use in accordance with the purposes for which it was originally collected (see below regarding third-party sharing of Voluntarily Submitted Data from non-U.S. residents).

If you are a U.S. resident, we may also from time to time combine your Voluntarily Submitted Data with some publicly available data collected from third parties to improve our services to you and for our own internal marketing, communications, and fundraising purposes.

Third Parties
Third Party Sharing
We may disclose and use Voluntarily Submitted Data regardless of where you reside in special circumstances when it is necessary to enforce our User Agreement or this Privacy Statement, or when we, under what we hope to be extraordinary and infrequent circumstances, in good faith, truly believe that the law requires us to disclose your Voluntarily Submitted Data to third parties.

Except as described in this Privacy Statement, we will not share your Voluntarily Submitted Data with any third party unless we first notify you and offer you an appropriate choice to consent to such further use, for example, through an opt-out or opt-in request.

Third-Party Functionality
As discussed in the preceding section, to support certain functions carried out on the Site, we use third-party service providers. In limited instances with respect to specific optional functions on the Site, those third parties may have data collection, use or security procedures that differ from the practices outlined in this Privacy Statement and that may impact users of those optional functions. For example, a third-party service provider may support a specific web tool on the Site, such as a video or a photo slideshow that appears within the PEN Center USA Site, even though that tool is actually on the website of the third-party service provider. Any time a third-party service provider’s data collection, use or security practices differs from the data collection/use practices described in this Statement in a manner that would impact users of the PEN Center USA Site, we will either describe on the pages of the PEN Center USA Site where such optional functions appear the specific data collection, use or security practices of such third-party service provider that would apply if you elect to use those optional functions or we will provide a link to that third-party service provider’s privacy policy.

We do not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 13.

The Voluntarily Submitted Data we collect about you is stored on a secure, password protected server and only authorized personnel have access to your information. We use industry-standard encryption technologies with respect to the receipt and transfer of Voluntarily Submitted Data you submit to us on the Site and only authorized personnel have access to your information. Nevertheless, despite our best efforts, no transmission over the Internet and no data storage method can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.

Updating Your Data
To update your Voluntarily Submitted Data or to make corrections, you can do so by emailing

Comments and Questions


We use this information to generate statistics and measure site activity to improve the usefulness of the site to our visitors. During a normal Web site visit, we do not collect or store personally identifiable information such as name, mailing address, email address, phone number or social security of the visitor.

We collect the IP addresses of visitors, time of access, browser type, and web pages visited. We collect this information on an aggregate basis only. For example, we track which pages are most popular among visitors as a whole. This information is used for internal review only and not shared with third parties. We do not track information on which pages an individual visitor might look at during a visit to our site. We do not collect any other information without the visitor's knowledge and permission.