Mercatus Center at George Mason University Privacy Policy

This is the privacy policy for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University (“Mercatus” or “Mercatus Center”). This policy describes how the Mercatus Center handles your personal information. It applies to all Mercatus Center web properties and includes information regarding our email sending practices.

What Personal Information Do We Collect?

We collect certain personal information about visitors and users of our platforms. The most common types of information we collect include things like: first and last name, email addresses, affiliation, physical address, IP addresses, survey responses, and engagement with our web and email platforms.

How Does Mercatus Collect Personal Information?

We collect personal information directly when you provide it to us, whether online or in person, or automatically as you navigate through our platforms. This includes when you provide it to us by completing event registration, subscribing to emails, filling out a survey, or attending an event.

How Do We Use Personal Information?

  1. We use the information you provide us to deliver content you have requested and to provide better services for you. This can include:
    • operating our web and email platforms
    • updating you with operational news and information about our platforms and services (e.g. to notify you about changes to our platforms)
    • carrying out technical analysis to determine how to improve our platforms and services we provide
    • managing our relationship with you
    • improving our products and services
    • providing general administrative and performance functions and activities
    • reporting on our activities
  2. When you give us consent, we will:
    • provide you with relevant information about our work.
  3. For purposes which are required by law.

How Do We Keep Your Personal Information Secure?

Your personal information is stored on secure servers. Personal information that is transmitted is protected by security and access controls, including one or more of the following: username and password authentication, two-factor authentication, and data encryption.

How Can You Access Your Personal Information?

You have the right to:

  • make a request to access the online data we hold about you and to request corrections of any errors in that online data
  • close the account you have with us at any time
  • Request us to delete online data we have about you
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data

To make an access or correction request, contact us at privacyrequests@mercatus.gmu.edu.

How Do You Control How We Communicate with You?

When we have your consent, we send you marketing communications by email about products and services that we feel may be of interest to you. You can ‘opt-out’ of such communications if you would prefer not to receive them in the future by using the “unsubscribe” link provided in the communication itself. If you receive marketing emails from us without having signed up, please contact us and we will promptly address it.

More Information About Cookies and Web Analytics

When you visit our platforms, there is certain information that is recorded which is generally anonymous information and does not reveal your identity. The following kinds of details are what tend to be collected:

  • your IP address or proxy server IP address
  • the domain name you requested
  • the name of your internet service provider is sometimes captured depending on the configuration of your ISP connection
  • the date and time of your visit to the website
  • the length of your session
  • the pages which you have accessed
  • the website which referred you to our platform
  • the operating system which your computer or device uses

Occasionally, we will use third-party advertising companies to serve ads based on prior visits to our various platforms (i.e. our website, Facebook, etc.). For example, if you visit our platforms, you may later see an ad for our products and services when you visit a different site or use the Google Search Engine.

How Long Do We Keep Your Personal Information?

We retain your personal information for as long as is necessary to provide services to you and others, and to comply with our legal and contractual obligations. If you no longer want us to use your personal information, you can request that we erase your personal information. Please note that if you request we erase your personal information, we will retain information from deleted accounts as necessary for our legitimate interests, to comply with the law, prevent fraud, resolve disputes, troubleshoot problems, assist with investigations, enforce the terms of service, and take other actions permitted by law. The information we retain will be handled in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Updating the Privacy Policy

We will need to change this policy from time to time to make sure it stays up to date with the latest legal requirements and any changes to our privacy management practices. When we do change the policy, those updates will be posted to our privacy policy page. A copy of the latest version of this policy will always be available on this page.

How Can You Contact Us?

If you have any questions about our privacy policy or practices, please contact us at privacyrequests@mercatus.gmu.edu.