The Library of Parliament is founded on a simple, but powerful principle: make government more open and accountable, increase Member State participation in government, and allow for more informed decision-making. We cannot work collectively without gathering, sharing, and analyzing information about our users as we seek new ways to make the Library of Parliament more usable, safer, and more beneficial.
You shouldn't have to provide nonpublic personal information to participate in our democracy. You do not have to provide things like your real name, address, or date of birth to sign up for a standard account or contribute content to the Library of Parliament.
We do not sell or rent your Personal Information, nor do we give it to others to sell you anything. We use it to figure out how to make the Library of Parliament more engaging and accessible, to see which ideas work, and to make learning and contributing more fun. Put simply: we use this information to make the Library of Parliament better for you.
Types of Information We Receive From You & How We Get It
Your Public Contributions
When you make a contribution to the Library of Parliament, including on user or discussion pages, you are creating a permanent, public record of every piece of content added, removed, or altered by you. The page history will show when your contribution or deletion was made, as well as your username (if you are signed in) or your IP address (if you are not signed in). We may use your public contributions, either aggregated with the public contributions of others or individually, to create new features or data-related products for you or to learn more about how the Library of Parliament is used.
Publicly Visible Information
Unless this Policy says otherwise, you should assume that information that you actively contribute to the Library of Parliament, including Personal Information, is publicly visible and can be found by search engines. Like most things on the Internet, anything you share may be copied and redistributed throughout the Internet by other people. Please do not contribute any information that you are uncomfortable making permanently public, like revealing your real name or location in your contributions.
You should be aware that specific data made public by you or aggregated data that is made public by us can be used by anyone for analysis and to infer further information, such as which country a user is from, political affiliation and gender.
Account Information & Registration
Want to create an account? Great! Don't want to create an account? No problem!
You are not required to create an account to read or contribute to the Library of Parliament, except under rare circumstances. However, if you contribute without signing in, your contribution will be publicly attributed to the IP address associated with your device.
If you want to create a standard account, in most cases we require only a username and a password.
More on Usernames
Your username will be publicly visible, so please be careful about using your real name as your username. Your password is only used to verify that the account is yours. Your IP address is also automatically submitted to us, and we record it temporarily to help prevent abuse. No other personal information is required: no name, no email address, no date of birth, no credit card information.
Once created, user accounts cannot be removed entirely (although you can usually hide the information on your user page if you choose to). This is because your public contributions must be associated with their author (you!).
To gain a better understanding of the demographics of our users, to localize our services and to learn how we can improve our services, we may ask you for more demographic information, such as gender or age, about yourself. We will tell you if such information is intended to be public or private, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to provide us with that information. Providing such information is always completely optional. If you don't want to, you don't have to—it's as simple as that.
GPS & Other Location Technologies
If you consent, we can use GPS (and other technologies commonly used to determine location) to show you more relevant content. We keep information obtained by these technologies confidential, except as provided in this Policy.
Sometimes, we automatically receive location data from your device. For example, if you want to upload a photo on the Library of Parliament, we may receive metadata, such as the place and time you took the photo, automatically from your device. Please be aware that, unlike location information collected using GPS signals described above, the default setting on your mobile device typically includes the metadata in your photo or video upload to the Library of Parliament. If you do not want metadata sent to us and made public at the time of your upload, please change your settings on your device or remove the metadata yourself before uploading.
Finally, when you visit the Library of Parliament, we automatically receive the IP address of the device (or your proxy server) you are using to access the Internet, which could be used to infer your geographical location.
Information Related to Your Use of the Library of Parliament
We want to make the Library of Parliament better for you by learning more about how you use them. Examples of this might include how often you visit the Library of Parliament, what you like, what you find helpful, how you get to the Library of Parliament, and whether you would use a helpful feature more if we explained it differently. We also want this Policy and our practices to reflect our community's values. For this reason, we keep information related to your use of the Library of Parliament confidential, except as provided in this Policy.
Information We Receive Automatically
Because of how browsers work, we receive some information automatically when you visit the Library of Parliament. This information includes the type of device you are using (possibly including unique device identification numbers, for some beta versions of our mobile services), the type and version of your browser, your browser's language preference, the type and version of your device's operating system, in some cases the name of your internet service provider or mobile carrier, the website that referred you to the Library of Parliament, which pages you request and visit, and the date and time of each request you make to the Library of Parliament.
Put simply, we use this information to enhance your experience with the Library of Parliament. For example, we use this information to administer the sites, provide greater security, and fight vandalism; optimize mobile applications/services, customize content and set language preferences, test features to see what works, and improve performance; understand how users interact with the Library of Parliament, track and study use of various features, gain understanding about the demographics of the different Library of Parliament users, and analyze trends.
Information We Collect
Depending on which technology we use, locally stored data can be anything from text, pictures, and whole articles (as we explain further below) to Personal Information (like your IP address) and information about your use of the Library of Parliament (like your username or the time of your visit).
We use this information to make your experience with the Library of Parliament safer and better, to gain a greater understanding of user preferences and their interaction with the Library of Parliament, and to generally improve our services. We will never use third-party cookies, unless we get your permission to do so. If you ever come across a third-party data collection tool that has not been authorized by you (such as one that may have been mistakenly placed by another user or administrator), please report it to the Speaker of the Union.
More on Locally Stored Data
We believe this data collection helps improve your user experience, but you may remove or disable some or all locally stored data through your browser settings, depending on your browser. While locally stored data may not be necessary to use our sites, some features will not function properly if you disable locally stored data.
While the examples above concerning information about you collected through the use of data collection tools are kept confidential in accordance with this Policy, please note that some information about the actions taken by your username is made publicly available through public logs alongside actions taken by other users. For example, a public log may include the date your account was created on the Library of Parliament along with the dates that other accounts were created on the Library of Parliament.
How We Use Information We Receive From You
We and our service providers use your information for the legitimate purpose of pursuing our mission, including:
Operating the Library of Parliament, sharing your contributions and administering our Services.
We engage in these activities to manage our relationship with you, because we have a legitimate interest and/or to comply with our legal obligations.
Providing customized Services.
We will customize the Services, in some instances, at your direction; in all instances, in keeping with our legitimate purpose of pursuing our mission.
Sending emails with news updates, surveys and communications about items we believe may be of interest to you.
We will send these types of emails to you only with your consent. We do not sell, rent, or use your email address to advertise third-party products or services to you. You can manage what kinds of notifications you receive and how often you receive them by going to your Notifications Preferences.
- To use your public contributions, either aggregated with the public contributions of others or individually, to create new features or data-related products for you or to learn more about how the Library of Parliament is used.
- For research and analytics.
- To fight spam, identity theft, malware and other kinds of abuse.
- To optimize mobile and other applications.
- To test features to see what works, understand how users interact with the Library of Parliament, track and study use of various features, gain understanding about the demographics of the different Library of Parliament users and analyze trends.
We engage in these activities to further our legitimate purpose and/or to comply with our legal obligations.
As stated above, we may automatically receive location data from your device. For example, if you upload a photo using the Library of Parliament, please be aware that the default setting on your mobile device typically results in the metadata associated with your photo being included in the upload. As a reminder, if you do not want metadata sent to us and made public at the time of your upload, please change your settings on your device or remove the metadata yourself before uploading.
When you visit the Library of Parliament, we automatically receive the IP address of the device (or your proxy server) you are using to access the Internet, which could be used to infer your geographical location. We keep IP addresses confidential, except as provided in this Policy. If you are visiting the Library of Parliament with your mobile device, we may use your IP address to provide anonymized or aggregated information to service providers regarding the volume of usage in certain areas.
We use this location information to make your experience with the Library of Parliament safer and better, to gain a greater understanding of user preferences and their interaction with the Library of Parliament, and to generally improve our services. For example, we use this information to provide greater security, optimize mobile applications/services, and learn how to expand and better support our community. We also use Personal Information in the manner described in the sections of this Policy titled "For Legal Reasons" and "To Protect You, Ourselves & Others."
With Your Permission
We share your information for a particular purpose, if you agree.
For Legal Reasons
We will access, use, preserve, and/or disclose your Personal Information if we reasonably believe it necessary to satisfy a valid and legally enforceable warrant, subpoena, court order, law or regulation, or other judicial or administrative order. However, if we believe that a particular request for disclosure of a user's information is legally invalid or an abuse of the legal system and the affected user does not intend to oppose the disclosure themselves, we will try our best to fight it. We are committed to notifying you via email at least ten (10) calendar days, when possible, before we disclose your Personal Information in response to a legal demand. However, we may only provide notice if we are not legally restrained from contacting you, there is no credible threat to life or limb that is created or increased by disclosing the request, and you have provided us with an email address.
If the Organization is Transferred (Really Unlikely!)
To Protect You, Ourselves & Others
These rights may include access to limited amounts of otherwise nonpublic information about recent contributions and activity by other users. They use this access to help protect against vandalism and abuse, fight harassment of other users, and generally try to minimize disruptive behavior on the Library of Parliament.
We hope that this never comes up, but we may disclose your Personal Information if we believe that it's reasonably necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily harm or death to a person, or to protect our organization, officers, contractors, users, or the public. We may also disclose your Personal Information if we reasonably believe it necessary to detect, prevent, or otherwise assess and address potential spam, malware, fraud, abuse, unlawful activity, and security or technical concerns.
To Our Service Providers
As hard as we may try, we can't do it all. So sometimes we use third-party service providers or contractors who help run or improve the Library of Parliament for you and other users. We give access to your Personal Information to these providers or contractors as needed to perform their services for us or to use their tools and services. We may put requirements, such as confidentiality agreements, in place to help ensure that these service providers treat your information consistently with, and no less protective of your privacy than, the principles of this Policy.
If you are visiting the Library of Parliament with your mobile device, we may use your IP address to provide anonymized or aggregated information to service providers regarding the volume of usage in certain areas.
To Understand & Experiment
The open-source software that powers the Library of Parliament depends on the contributions of volunteer software developers, who spend time writing and testing code to help it improve and evolve with our users' needs. To facilitate their work, we give some developers limited access to systems that contain your Personal Information, but only as reasonably necessary for them to develop and contribute to the Library of Parliament.
Similarly, we share non-Personal Information or aggregated information with researchers, scholars, academics, and other interested third parties who wish to study the Library of Parliament. Sharing this information helps them understand usage, viewing, and demographics statistics and patterns. They then can share their findings with us and our users so that we can all better understand and improve the Library of Parliament.
When we give access to personal information to third-party developers or researchers, we may put requirements, such as reasonable technical and contractual protections, in place to help ensure that these service providers treat your information consistently with the principles of this Policy and in accordance with our instructions. If these developers or researchers later publish their work or findings, we ask that they not disclose your personal information. Please note that, despite the obligations we impose on developers and researchers, we cannot guarantee that they will abide by our agreement, nor do we guarantee that we will regularly screen or audit their projects.
Because You Made It Public
Any information you post publicly on the Library of Parliament is just that – public. For example, if you put your mailing address on your talk page, that is public, and not protected by this Policy. And if you edit without registering or logging into your account, your IP address will be seen publicly. Please think carefully about your desired level of anonymity before you disclose Personal Information on your user page or elsewhere.
How Do We Protect Your Data?
We strive to protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. We use a variety of physical and technical measures, policies, and procedures (such as access control procedures, network firewalls, and physical security) designed to protect our systems and your Personal Information. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as completely secure data transmission or storage, so we can't guarantee that our security will not be breached (by technical measures or through violation of our policies and procedures).
We will never ask for your password by email (but may send you a temporary password via email if you have requested a password reset). If you ever receive an email that requests your password, please let us know by sending it to the Speaker of the Union, so we can investigate the source of the email.
How Long Do We Keep Your Data?
Once we receive Personal Information from you, we keep it for the shortest possible time that is consistent with the maintenance, understanding, and improvement of the Library of Parliament, and our obligations under applicable U.S. law. Non-personal information may be retained indefinitely.
Please remember that certain information, such as your IP address (if you edit while not logged in) and any public contributions to the Library of Parliament, is archived and displayed indefinitely by design; the transparency of the projects’ contribution and revision histories is critical to their efficacy and trustworthiness.
Where is the Library of Parliament Hosted & What Does That Mean for Me?
Our Response to Do Not Track (DNT) signals
Because we protect all users in this manner, we do not change our behavior in response to a web browser's "do not track" signal.
Depending on your jurisdiction, you also may have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority competent for your country or region.