Our Wave Privacy Policy

Updated September 12, 2019

This Privacy Policy describes the information we collect, use, and store via the Our Wave platform. Our Wave is built for survivors, by survivors. We understand that sharing any information about unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault is difficult and can create risks for survivors. We weave privacy and information security into every design decision of our platform.


1. What Information We Collect and Store

The type of information we collect and store depends on your activity on the platform. The description below details the information we collect at various stages of use of our platform. For additional information on who has access to your information and how we protect it, you can refer to the “Who Has Access to Your Information” and “How We Keep Your Information Safe” sections below.


You Visit www.ourwave.org

This website is intended for an audience over the age of 18 years old. We do not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 18 years old.

When you visit the www.ourwave.org website, we collect certain data by automated means, including:

System Data: Technical data about your computer or device, like your IP address, device type, operating system type and version, unique device identifiers, browser, browser language and time zone settings, internet provider, or mobile carrier name.

Usage Data: Usage statistics about your interactions with the website, including the last webpage or application you visited before visiting our website (referrer information), the website pages visited, the time spent on each page, the date and time of your visit, and the features and resources you accessed or used (for example, if you signed up to receive our newsletter or made a donation).

Approximate Geographic Data: An approximate geographic location, including information like country, city, and geographic coordinates, calculated based on your IP address. If you are using a mobile device, your mobile device’s geographic location (specific geographic location if you have enabled collection of that information, or general geographic location automatically).


We collect this data for the following purposes:

To recognize your browser if you leave the site and come back, so we understand you are the same visitor.

To provide the content and services on our website and improve them. We analyze information about how many visitors we have, how our visitors use our website and what content, resources, and features they access and use, to improve the site experience and provide additional resources to survivors and allies.

Testing and site analytics, so we can understand any technical problems or issues with our website and fix them.

Complying with our obligations. We may use visitor information to carry out fraud prevention checks or comply with other legal or regulatory requirements, where this is explicitly required by law.


You Contact Us or Sign Up to Receive Our Newsletter

The www.ourwave.org website provides various ways for you to contact us and provide additional information to us about you.

If you choose to use the donation feature to financially support our mission, you will be asked to provide your first and last name, email address, country, and postal address, as well as your payment information. Our Wave will use this information to process your donation, issue a tax receipt to you where applicable, and send you email communications about our mission, activities, resources to survivors and their allies, impact reports, as well as messages regarding our fundraising efforts.

If you choose to subscribe to our Our Wave newsletter, you will receive periodic email updates about our mission, activities, resources to survivors and their allies, impact reports, as well as messages regarding our fundraising efforts. We may also add you to our subscriber list if you register for one of our events, or otherwise share your contact information with us via means other than our website.

You can "opt out" of receiving our emails at any time via the unsubscribe link in the footer of each of our email messages.

If you chose to apply for a job at Our Wave, you will share your application information (which may include your name, contact information, citizenship or immigration status, resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, names of you references, and other information you submit). We will only use this information to process your job application.

If you contact us via one of the email addresses published on our website, we will store your email address and the text of your message to us, and only use this information to respond to your question, feedback, or request.

There is no need to provide to us, and we strongly discourage you from providing, any sensitive information about you or anyone else, including details about any sexual assault or coercion that you experienced, your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, or information about your health.


You Visit The Our Wave Stories Platform

When you visit the Our Wave stories platform website, we might collect and store the following information:

  • Your IP address (automatically assigned to the computer that you are using by your internet service provider)
  • Information from your device and browser (e.g. device type, operating system, screen resolution, language, web browser type and version, and language setting of your browser)
  • The last website you visited before clicking to our website
  • The parts of Our Wave you visit (URL of the specific website pages) and features you use
  • The exact time when you visited each of our website pages or took actions within the page
  • Other information about your activity on our website

Collectively, the data above is called Visitor Data. We use Google Analytics to help us collect and track this information. Google Analytics uses a “cookie” to track your activity and send us the information listed above. We collect and store this information even if the "Do Not Track" function of your browser is turned on. If you create an account with Our Wave, or log into an existing account, some or all of your Visitor Data will then be tied to your internal unique account ID. This information is stored in a Google Analytics hosted database, as well as in databases managed by Our Wave and hosted by third party hosting service providers.


You Contact Us Directly

You may contact our support team via email to report a problem or concern. When you do, we collect and store your email address and the content of your message, as well as the content of any response we provide.

Because email communications are not always secure, and because we tie your messages to your email address, please do not include sensitive information in your messages to us.


2. Why We Collect and Store Your Information


To Provide Our Services to You and Our Community

Our platform aims to build a safe community for survivors. We use all user information collected to operate our website and platform and to provide our services.

We utilitize stories collected on the Our Wave platform to perform secure, anonymous research and analysis on patterns presented in stories and experiences, with the primary goal of developing better prevention strategies, support resources, and pathways for healing. These analyses include anonymous tagging of data in stories (including names and locations provided in stories), sentiment analysis, and working with third-party research experts to further analyze anonymous stories.

We collect data (for example, the data about your computer device) to ensure that our websites function properly and are optimized for your computer or device. We also use these data to facilitate the service’s technical functioning, including security, troubleshooting, and resolving issues. We use your activity data, together with data about the activities of other users, to determine how and if we should make changes to features and content of our platform.


To Measure Our Effectiveness and Impact

We analyze usage trends to understand how our users are using our websites and platform, and which features or content appear to be more useful and have the most impact. This helps us in our decisions to develop new products, features and services, and to create a better website, platform, and set of services.


To Comply with Legal Requirements

Additionally, we store usage data for audits, and to verify that our internal processes function as intended and are compliant with legal, regulatory, or contractual requirements.


3. How Long We Keep Your Information

In the event that we discontinue the Our Wave platform, we will give you at least six months advance notice by displaying a notification on the Our Wave websites. Once we discontinue Our Wave, your data will be deleted from our servers and you will no longer have access to it. You may use the time provided by the advance notice to download existing records, if desired.


4. Who Has Access to Your Information


Our Wave Employees

Our Wave employees only have access to limited information about you as detailed below. Not all employees have access to this information. Only a very limited number of authorized employees have access to user data.

  • Your non-identifying visitor ID and account ID, linked to all of your activities on Our Wave
  • Any information you provide when you email Our Wave’s support team will be visible to staff members of that team

Other Partners and The Public

Our Wave partners with other entities, including our Board, our funders, advocacy organizations, policy makers, and stakeholders. We may share aggregate platform usage information with these partners, or the general public, but never in any way that would identify or enable the identification of any particular user or perpetrator.


Our Service Providers

Like all other technology and web platforms, we cannot do it all alone. We work with vendors and service providers to help us run our website and platform. We share non-identifying data about our users with these service providers.

  • We use cloud-based data hosting providers to host the user data we collect and store as well as to securely store encryption key information.
  • We use vendors to help with our website infrastructure and network protection from third-party attacks.
  • We use a customer relationship management software to keep track of potential partners interested in implementing Our Wave in their community.
  • We use customer support software to help us receive and answer your messages asking for help with our products or services.
  • We use Google Analytics as our analytic service to help us gauge and improve our services. Google Analytics may recognize you when you visit other sites via their cookies and other tracking technology.
  • We also utilize internal communications tool, including, but not limited to Slack and G Suite.

If you make a donation via the www.ourwave.org website, we will share your information with Donorbox, who provides donation payment processing services to Our Wave. Information shared includes your first and last name, email address, and postal address, as well as your payment information. Our Wave does not collect nor access any donor credit card data. This data is processed by Donorbox on our behalf. All Donorbox donation forms are protected by SSL/TLS encryption technology and the checkout process is secure. Donorbox does not store any card information. All card and bank account data are tokenized before charging.

Our donation page allows you to share on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter information about our fundraising campaigns. These social media features may allow the third-party social media providers to collect data like your IP address and which page of our website you are visiting, and to set a cookie to enable the feature. Your interactions with these features are governed by the Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter’s respective privacy policies.

We use Google Analytics to help analyze how visitors use the www.ourwave.org and stories.ourwave.org websites. We do not combine the information generated through the use of Google Analytics with any other information you may provide to us. Google Analytics collects the IP address assigned to you when you visit the site. They also place a persistent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit the site, and recognize you when you visit other sites that use Google Analytics. Google continues to collect and store this information even if the "Do Not Track" function of your browser is turned on. Google's ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics about your visits to the www.ourwave.org and stories.ourwave.org sites and other sites is governed by the Google Analytics Terms of Use. To see an overview of privacy at Google and how to opt out of certain Google practices, visit Google’s Privacy Policy. You can prevent your data from being collected by Google Analytics by downloading the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on here. Opting-out is generally done by the third party dropping a cookie on your browser indicating your intent to opt-out. If you get a new device, install a new browser, erase, or otherwise alter the third party’s browser cookie file, you may clear the opt-out cookie and no longer be subject to its opt-out.

We require all third parties to respect your privacy and to treat your information in accordance with the law. We only permit third parties to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our agreements with them.


5. How We Keep Your Information Safe

Our Wave was built by survivors, for survivors. We understand that reporting unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault creates risks for survivors, and we care deeply about the privacy and security of our users.

To stop the spread of sexual violence while still protecting the privacy of survivors, we encrypt all information you submit. Encryption is the process of converting data to an unrecognizable or "encrypted" form. It is used to protect sensitive information so that only authorized parties can view it. Encrypted information will appear scrambled to anyone who tries to view it. It must be decrypted in order to be recognized and comprehended. This requires a password or a private key, which can be used to unlock files associated with the key.


What Happens if We Receive a Court-Ordered Request for User Information?

In the event of a court-ordered request for your information, Our Wave may have to decrypt and provide any and all information and data you submitted to us. It is possible that a prosecutor and parties involved in a legal proceeding might have access to certain aspects of your activity on the Our Wave platform.


100% Security Cannot Be Guaranteed

Unfortunately, no internet-enabled data transmission or storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (for example, if you feel that the security of any of the information you submitted to Our Wave has been compromised), please immediately notify us by contacting us at support@ourwave.org.


6. Applicable Law

The www.ourwave.org and stories.ourwave.org websites are controlled and operated by Our Wave from its offices in the State of North Carolina. This privacy policy shall be construed in accordance with, and governed by the laws of the United States and the State of North Carolina, without reference to their rules regarding conflicts of law. You hereby irrevocably consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state or federal courts in Wake County, North Carolina, USA in all disputes arising out of, or related to, this privacy policy or our use of your data. If, for whatever reason, a court of competent jurisdiction finds any term or condition in this privacy policy to be unenforceable, all other terms and conditions will remain unaffected and in full force and effect.


7. Updates to This Policy and How to Contact Us


Modifications to This Privacy Policy

From time to time, we may update this Privacy Policy. We will notify you through a notification posted on the website, or as required by applicable law.

If you continue to use our website, platform, and services after the effective date of any change, then your access and/or use will be deemed an acceptance of our revised Privacy Policy. The revised Privacy Policy supersedes all previous Privacy Policies.


Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our Privacy Policy or the way in which we process or protect your information, please contact us at support@ourwave.org.

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