Your privacy is important to us. Below, we explain our online privacy practices, the types of information we may collect about you, the ways we may use that information, and the steps we take to protect any information we collect.

Before detailing our privacy policy, it’s important to note that the internet is, generally speaking, not private. Virtually everything you do online—from the moment you connect to the internet—leaves a digital trace that someone may be actively collecting and storing. Every internet search, website visit, social-media post, or email creates sensitive data about you. Depending on the privacy policies of the companies offering those services, they may collect that sensitive data, aggregate it, sell it, or disclose it in response to law-enforcement demands.

It is very difficult to opt out of having your information collected while using the internet. Fortunately, several organizations have published valuable resources explaining some of the measures you can take to reduce your digital footprint online. Check out this post from the ACLU and this website maintained by EFF.

When we collect your personal information and how we use it


The Knight First Amendment Institute collects personal information about you in two ways, both of which are designed to make our site more relevant and rewarding for you to use.

First, like most websites, our server automatically logs certain information from your browser when you visit our site. Specifically, our server logs your IP address, the date and time of your webpage requests, and details about your computer, such as: your web browser, operating system, and language. We may use this information, in aggregate, for our research reports and performance surveys. On occasion we also access this type of information to investigate or maintain the stability and security of our site.

Second, several of the services we offer invite you to share your personal information with us, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number. For example, you may wish to register for one of our events using our online calendaring system, which may require that you provide basic identifying information to us. We may use that voluntarily provided information to fulfill your requests for our publications, programs, and services, to respond to your inquiries about our offerings, and to offer you other products, programs, or services that we believe may be of interest to you. We may use this information to communicate with you, such as to notify you when we make changes to our services, to fulfill a request by you, or to contact you about your account with us.

Our email list

If you join our email list, we will, of course, collect and store your email address. We may also use images embedded within the emails we send to our email list to track whether you open our emails, and we may use URLs in the email that allow us to determine whether and how you’ve engaged with the URLs.

This tracking enables us to improve the emails we send you and to build a more effective First Amendment program.


To enhance and personalize your experience, we use “cookies.” Cookies are text files that your web browser places on your computer’s hard drive to store your preferences. Our site uses “session” cookies, which are not persistent and are removed from your computer when you close your web browser. You can use Tor if you wish to keep your connection information anonymous, but please note that you can still be identified to the Knight Institute if you provide personally identifiable information.

Collection of information by third parties

Some of our web pages and services contain links to other sites and services. For example, we sometimes provide links to social-media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and we sometimes embed content from other sites directly within ours, such as embedded videos from YouTube or documents from DocumentCloud. Those sites may collect your data or place cookies on or retrieve cookies from your computer. You should consult the privacy policies of those sites to understand how they collect and handle your information, as we have no control over information that is submitted to, or collected by, these third parties.

Additionally, we use Cloudflare to protect our website and to optimize its performance. You can read Cloudflare’s privacy policy here:

Will we disclose your personal information to others?

We do not sell, rent, give away, or loan any identifiable information regarding our users to any third party other than agents and contractors of the Knight First Amendment Institute or Columbia University.

Agents and contractors who have access to personally identifiable information are required to protect this information in a manner that is consistent with this privacy policy by, for example, not using the information for any purpose other than to carry out the services they are performing for the Knight First Amendment Institute or Columbia University.

We may release personal information when we believe, in good faith, that such release is reasonably necessary to (i) comply with law, (ii) enforce or apply the terms of any of our user agreements, or (iii) protect the rights, property, or safety of the Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University, our users, or others.

How we protect your information

We make reasonable efforts to preserve the privacy of your information. We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online.

Unfortunately, despite our efforts, there is always a risk that third parties may unlawfully intercept transmissions. This reality is true of all internet use. As a result, we cannot ensure the security of any information you transmit, and you transmit all information at your own risk.

Your consent

By using our website, you consent to the collection and use of your information, as described above, by the Knight First Amendment Institute.


If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page so that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it.

If you have any questions about this privacy policy, or the content or practices of our website, please contact:

Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 302
New York, NY 10115
(646) 745-8500

Past Privacy Policies

Version history on GitHub