Contribute (“Contribute”) is an online credit and debit card contributions platform located at contribute.nycvotes.org (“the Website”) that is created and maintained by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (“CFB”) as part of its Contribute initiative.
Collection of Information by Contribute
In order to improve the content and usability of the Website, the CFB automatically collects several categories of information from users. This information includes the following:
- The apparent Internet Protocol ("IP") address of your Internet Service Provider ("ISP") and/or your computer, if your computer has an IP address assigned directly to it. 1
- The apparent Fully Qualified Domain Name ("Domain Name") of a user’s Internet Service Provider ("ISP") and/or your computer, if your computer has a domain name assigned directly to it. 2
- The type of browser (such as, for example, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.) used and the operating system resident on a user's computer.
- The date and time a user visited the site.
- The web pages accessed at the site, as well as any applications used and forms data.
- The Uniform Resource Locator ("URL") of the site which a user visited prior to Contribute (if detectable), if such user did not connect directly to Contribute, or use it as a homepage or "Portal."
The CFB uses this information to identify site performance needs, to ensure compatibility with the technology used by Contribute's visitors, and to generally add and improve services offered by Contribute. In order to accomplish those goals, from time to time the CFB may conduct statistical analysis of the data it collects. Any information collected, retained, or disclosed by the CFB is treated in accordance with the City of New York’s Identifying Information Law, as well as other relevant federal, state, and local laws.
The CFB does not collect data for commercial or marketing purposes, 3 and the CFB does not sell, exchange or otherwise distribute the data collected by Contribute for commercial or marketing purposes.
Information Submitted to Contribute
During a session on Contribute, a user may affirmatively submit information to the CFB by, among other means, electronic mail ("email"), filling in and submitting an online form, or by electing to personalize Contribute and use it as a customized portal. Such affirmatively submitted information is stored in a secure environment, and will be used by the CFB as part of its routine business as an agency of the City of New York, in furtherance of its mission and duties and/or obligations to citizens of the City of New York (i.e., "governmental purposes"). 4
The governmental purposes of affirmatively submitted information may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Helping the CFB respond to a request for information not readily available from Contribute.
- Investigating a problem reported to the CFB via Contribute. 5
- Keeping lists of those who are interested in some particular issue or facet of the CFB’s work or who request to receive information about the CFB's work or voter information.
- Sending informational updates about CFB’s work and conducting outreach on topics such as, but not limited to, voter education and civic engagement.
- Assisting users in registering to vote, checking their voter registration, correcting their voter registration, finding their political representatives, finding out about candidates running for office in their district, and obtaining a copy of their election ballot.
- Assisting the CFB with its voter education and campaign finance mandates by tracking the numbers of users of the services and the services used on Contribute.
- Disclosure of such information required to be disclosed by the CFB under the provisions of the New York City Charter and New York City Campaign Finance Act, or pursuant to a request made under Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") or court order, if such information is not protected by federal, state, or local law. 6
The CFB does not rent or sell personally identifiable information (i.e., information such as name, birth date, address, phone number, email, etc., or other information that identifies or could lead to the identification of a user as a particular person), nor would the CFB exchange or trade such information with third parties without a user's explicit permission. The CFB does not disclose credit card or other personally identifiable information other than as necessary to complete a voter registration inquiry or credit card or other financial transaction, or upon explicit permission from the applicable user. All such use by the CFB of financial information shall be subject to the section of this policy on financial issues, set forth below.
If a Contribute user has elected not to receive further information from the CFB, the CFB will not send such information. If the CFB sends email to a user, such email is not confidential, 7 and is identical in nature to that information generally available to the public and news media.
Security and Monitoring
- In certain instances, a user may have the opportunity to receive or create a password to access or submit personally identifiable information. One should not divulge a password to anyone, and the CFB will never ask a user for a password in an email, telephone call, fax, or other form of unsolicited communication. When a user is finished with an application or applications that are password protected, such user should exit the relevant page(s). If the browser used to access said password protected pages is a publicly-accessible browser, users should close down the entire session and, if applicable or possible, flush any temporary caches or other areas where such a password might be stored subsequent to use, and log out of all applications.
- The CFB has integrated industry standard or stricter security measures and systems into the design, implementation, and day to day operation of Contribute and its underlying servers and networks. 8 Furthermore, the CFB maintains ongoing efforts to identify and/or block unauthorized intrusions into, attempts to upload to or change information on, or activities that otherwise cause damage to Contribute or the information resident hereon or submitted hereto. 9
- The act of using Contribute constitutes the user’s express consent to the CFB’s monitoring of all uses of the system. If such monitoring reveals possible evidence of criminal activity or any other unauthorized use, system administration personnel may provide your information to law enforcement or other officials, as authorized or required by law.
Cookies are text files, or entries in larger files, utilized to distinguish between visitors to a website, and to track information during multiple visits to a website. The CFB uses "temporary cookies" 10 on some parts of Contribute, and such temporary cookies expire upon the end of the browsing session. The Website, and Contribute generally, do not use "persistent cookies." 11 However, if a user registers to use Contribute as a customized portal, the CFB uses a persistent cookie to facilitate such customization. The CFB may also use persistent cookies to understand the distribution and patterns of unique and repeat visitors and to enhance the accessibility of the site.
Web Bugs (Web Beacons)
Contribute does not use web bugs 12 on its web pages or in any html email generated by use of the portal, or otherwise sent from Contribute, for any purpose other than to identify site performance needs, to ensure compatibility with the technology used by Contribute's visitors, and generally to add and improve services offered on Contribute.
Contribute may not be used by persons under the age of 18. No applications on nycvotes.org specifically solicit information from minors or seek to determine whether the visitor is a minor. Consequently, because such information will not be specifically identified as being from minors, users of Contribute should be aware that personally identifiable information submitted to Contribute by minors will be subject to being treated in the same manner as information given by an adult and may become subject to FOIL.
The City of New York strongly believes that parental supervision is an important factor in Internet use by minors. Therefore, Contribute asks parents to guide their minor children when children are asked to provide any personal information online. Contribute further asks that children ask for and receive parental consent before providing any information online.
Third Party Links
The content of Contribute's webpages is copyrighted, and contains some third party images/graphics that are used with permission. Users are therefore notified to presume the need to obtain permission from the copyright holder before reproducing or otherwise using images/graphics from the Website.
Copyright 2023 The New York City Campaign Finance Board
An IP address is a numeric value assigned to an Internet Service Provider, a computer network, an individual computer or router, or a firewall (collectively, "users") so that other computers on the Internet may direct Internet message or other traffic to such users. Until the IP addressing system is changed, an IP address will take the form of XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX, where the X's are numbers between 1 and 9, and 0 for some positions. The term “user” may also refer to an individual who has created an account on Contribute.
A Domain Name is an alphanumeric value that represents the plain language (English or such other local language as is relevant) translation of the IP address assigned to a specific user or collection of users. For example, if a user had an IP address of 126.96.36.199, the Domain Name that represented that address might be WWW.HOME.COM.
Commercial and non-commercial marketing purposes include, for the purposes of this policy, Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (colloquially known as "SPAM" email), targeted email for the purpose of selling products, or the sale or exchange of personally identifiable information between parties that anticipate receiving value in exchange for such information.
The City of New York's duties and obligations toward its citizens are set forth in the City Charter and in all applicable and relevant federal, state, and local law. The CFB's duties and obligations are set forth in the City Charter as well as in the New York City Campaign Finance Act and the CFB's Rules.
The material you submit may be seen by various people. Among other CFB actions, we may enter the information you send into our electronic database, to share with our attorneys and investigators involved in law enforcement or public policy development. We may also share it with a variety of other government agencies enforcing consumer protection, competition, and other laws. You may be contacted by any of those agencies.
Pursuant to Article 6 of NYS Public Officers Law 87, certain categories of information may be exempt from such disclosure under FOIL including, but not limited to, records whose disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under 89(2) of Article 6, or might endanger the life or safety of any person.
Email is generally not secure against interception. If a communication is very sensitive, or includes personal information like a bank account, charge card, social security number, or other personal information, it is more prudent to send such communication by postal mail (i.e., "snailmail") instead.
The CFB maintains user registration information behind a "firewall" and limits accessibility to such information to only those few employees that have special access rights to production systems. Sensitive information submitted by users is transmitted by Secure Socket Layer ("SSL") technology and encrypted.
For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, the CFB employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act, and such other federal, state, or local law as is applicable.
Temporary or "Session Cookies" are cookie files that last or are valid only during an active communications connection, measured from beginning to end, between computer or applications (or some combination thereof) over a network.
Persistent cookies are cookie files that remain upon a user's hard drive until affirmatively removed, or until expired as provided for by a pre-set expiration date.
A web bug is a clear, camouflaged or otherwise invisible graphics image format ("GIF") file placed upon a web page or in hypertext markup language ("HTML") email and used to monitor who is reading a web page or the relevant email. Web bugs can also be used for other monitoring purposes such a profiling of the affected party.
These third parties are computers, computer networks, ISPs, or application service providers ("ASPs") that are non-governmental in nature and have direct control of what information is automatically gathered, whether cookies are used, and how voluntarily provided information is used.