PCF Privacy Policy

Last modified: March 31, 2020

This PCF Privacy Policy explains generally how we receive information about you, and what we do with that information once we have it. This privacy policy applies to all websites and services offered by the Participatory Culture Foundation or PCF, unless the web site or service has a separate privacy policy.

Amara.org is a service offered by PCF.

What do we mean by "personal information?"

For us, "personal information" means information which identifies you, like your name or email address.

Any information that falls outside of this is "non-personal information."

If we store your personal information with information that is non-personal, we will consider the combination as personal information. If we remove all personal information from a set of data then the remaining is non-personal information.


How do we learn information about you?

We learn information about you when:

  • you give it to us directly (e.g., when you register for an account);
  • we collect it automatically through our products and services (e.g., when you log in to Amara.org);
  • someone else tells us information about you (e.g., when subtitles created by an user on Amara.org contain a reference to you); or
  • when we try and understand more about you based on information you've given to us (e.g., when we use your IP address to customize language for some of our services).


What do we do with your information once we have it?

When you give us information, we will use it in the ways for which you've given us permission. Generally, we use your information to help us provide and improve our products and services for you. For example, when you link a third party platform account (eg. Vimeo or YouTube), we only share information necessary to link your account. We will never sell your personal information. You have the right to access your personal information and/or delete it from our services; please contact us if you require assistance.


When do we share your information with others?

  • When we have asked and received your permission to share it.
  • For processing or providing products and services to you, as well as improving our offerings. Examples include:

    • Web and database hosting services

    • Data analytics services (see How do we use cookies and clear GIFS? below)

  • In cases where you request specific services, we may share data with carefully vetted contractors or partners to help provide them. These services are not limited to, but could include captioning, translation, automatic-alignment, and so on.

    • But only if those entities receiving your information are contractually obligated to handle the data in ways that are approved by PCF.

  • When the law requires it. We do disclose personal information in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements. We'll notify you when we're asked to hand over your personal information in this way unless we're legally prohibited from doing so. When we receive requests like this, we'll only release your personal information if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so.

  • When we believe it is necessary to prevent harm to you or someone else. We will only share your information in this way if we have a good faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of you, our other users, PCF or the public.
  • In the event of organizational restructuring, we may pass your information to a successor or subsidiary.
  • Here is a list of subprocessors used to provide the Amara service.


How do we store and protect your personal information?

We are committed to protecting your personal information once we have it. We implement physical, business and technical security measures. Despite our efforts, if we learn of a security breach, we'll notify you so that you can take appropriate protective steps.

We also don't want your personal information for any longer than we need it, so we only keep it long enough to do what we collected it for. Once we don't need it, we take steps to destroy it unless we are required by law to keep it longer.


How do we use cookies and clear GIFS?

Cookies, clear GIFS, and web analytics

We may use cookies, clear GIFs, third party web analytics, device information, and IP addresses for functionality and to better understand user interaction with our products, services, and communications.

  • Functionality: We may use cookies, device information and IP addresses to enhance functionality of certain products, services, and communications. For example:
    • Cookies are used to remember your Amara language preferences.
    • IP addresses are used to customize communications by language and country.
  • Metrics: We may also use cookies, device information and IP addresses, along with clear GIFs, cookies and third party services to help us understand in the aggregate how users engage with our products, services, communications and websites. We use:
    • Google Analytics, which places a cookie on your device, to obtain metrics on how users engage with our websites. This helps us to improve site content.
    • Other metrics tools from time to time, on an experimental basis. For example, we may do this to help evaluate a new metrics tool, or test existing metrics collection.

Opting out of cookies, and web analytics

You can control individual cookie preferences, indicate your cookie preferences to others, and opt-out of web analytics and optimization tools.

  • Cookie History: You can accept or decline individual cookies in your browser preferences. Note that certain features of our products and services may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
  • Analytics & Optimization: Follow the instructions below to prevent data collection about your visits to PCF websites:


Do we process or retain your payment information?

Some PCF websites allow you to make purchases or donations. These transactions are processed by third parties, and not PCF.

PCF does not receive any financial information, which is transmitted from you to our third party vendors for processing. The name of the third party will be displayed at the time of the transaction.


How do we comply with the GDPR?

As laid out in our Privacy Shield certification, we comply with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the US Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of personal information from European Union member countries. PCF has certified that it adheres to the Privacy Shield Principles. PCF remains responsible for any of your personal information that is shared under the Onward Transfer Principle with third parties for external processing on our behalf, as described in the “When do we share your information with others?” section. To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, and to view PCF’s certification, please visit the Privacy Shield website.

GDPR issue resolution

In compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles, we commit to resolve complaints about our collection or use of your personal information. EU individuals, and any others, with inquiries or complaints regarding our Privacy Shield policy should first contact PCF at:



via the postal addresses at the bottom of this policy

We have further committed to cooperate with the panel established by the EU data protection authorities (DPAs) with regard to unresolved Privacy Shield complaints. If we cannot resolve your complaint in a timely fashion, please contact United States Council for International Business for independent dispute resolution; this service is provided free of cost to you. Individuals, under certain conditions, have the possibility to invoke binding arbitration for complaints regarding Privacy Shield compliance not resolved by any of the other Privacy Shield mechanisms.

In compliance with the Privacy Shield, we shall not be held liable for third-party service providers processing personal information in violation of Privacy Shield Principles, unless we are proven to be solely responsible for the action of the third-party service provider which violated the Principles.

With regard to Privacy Shield compliance, we are subject to the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


What else should you know?

We're a global organization and our computers are in several different places around the world. We also use service providers whose computers may also be in various countries. This means that your information might end up on one of those computers in another country, and that country may have a different level of data protection regulation than yours. By giving us information, you consent to this kind of transfer of your information. No matter what country your information is in, we comply with applicable law and will also abide by the commitments we make in this privacy policy.

If you are under 13, we don't want your personal information, and you must not provide it to us. If you are a parent and believe that your child who is under 13 has provided us with personal information, please contact us to have your child's information removed.


What if we change this privacy policy or any of our privacy notices?

We may need to change this policy and our notices. If the changes are substantive, we will announce the update through PCF's usual channels for such announcements such as our blog. Your continued use of the product or service after the effective date of such changes constitutes your acceptance of such changes.


Contact PCF

If you want to make a correction to your information, or you have any questions about our privacy policies, please get in touch with:


If you live in the US, Canada, or anywhere outside the EU

Participatory Culture Foundation

Attn: Legal Notices - Privacy

PO Box 55071


Boston, MA 02205-5071



If you live in the European Union

Participatory Culture Foundation

Attn: Legal Notices - Privacy

5 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3TW

United Kingdom



About this Privacy Policy: This text is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license. It is based on Mozilla Foundation’s privacy policy.