Privacy Policy

WHYY Websites

Thank you for visiting and any features of this site, including, but not limited to, Content Feeds, Podcasts, and social networking features (collectively, the “WHYY Websites” or the “Service”). We know you don’t want the information you provide us shared indiscriminately. Here we explain how the WHYY Websites collect information, what we do with it, and what controls you have. We’re committed to ensuring the privacy of your personally identifiable information, and to protecting your ability to make financial transactions and transmit your personal data with full confidence.

Please read our Privacy Policy carefully, and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. Also, note that the WHYY Websites link to numerous other sites. Please consult those sites to learn more about their policies.

Gathering and Use of Information

WHYY may collect personally-identifying information (such as your name, email address, mailing address, telephone number, and credit card information) from the WHYY Websites for a variety of purposes.

Visitors are asked to provide certain personal information when they register for certain features or services of the WHYY Websites (for example, when they request to receive newsletters; make a donation; email or share a page of the WHYY Websites; post, upload, transmit and/or otherwise submit (“Submit”) a comment, message, story idea, essay, photo, image, or other text, content or material (“User Materials”), and when they register for any online contests. In addition, any information you Submit through social networking features, as part of a story or blog comments, or otherwise Submit to the WHYY Websites, may, as with any other information that is put onto the web, become public.

Like all other web servers, WHYY’s web server automatically creates log files for each visitor who accesses the WHYY Websites. These access logs allow us to make our site more useful to our visitors. They do not record a visitor’s name, address, email address, phone number, credit card numbers, or any other personally-identifying information. Rather, they contain some or all of the following:

  • The Internet Protocol (IP) Address of the machine which accessed the WHYY Websites.
  • The date of the visit.
  • The time of the visit.
  • The path taken through the WHYY Websites.
  • The browser being used.
  • A list of files downloaded or viewed.
  • The amount of time spent listening to/viewing media files.
  • Any errors encountered.

Cookies and Other Technologies

WHYY may also use “cookies” to collect information. A cookie is a string of characters that can be written to a file on the user’s hard drive when the user visits a website. Only the website that set the cookie can read it, and then it can only be used as a record keeping device to store user IDs and information that the site already has. It cannot be used to read other information from a user’s hard drive.

WHYY may use cookies to track users’ activity through the site in order to improve the site’s architecture, to offer the user interactive features that would not be possible without them, and to recall specific information to save the user time during subsequent visits to the site. For example, cookies allow WHYY to remember your registration information when you are logged in. In addition, sponsorship service vendors, who service sponsorship messages onto the WHYY Websites, and third party vendors that measure and analyze the use of the WHYY Websites for WHYY, may also use their own cookies.

WHYY and any third party vendors that measure and analyze use of the WHYY Websites for WHYY may also use web beacons, alone or in conjunction with cookies, to help compile information about and facilitate usage of the WHYY Websites. A web beacon is an electronic image which can be used to recognize certain information on your computer, such as cookies, and the time and date of a page viewed.

If you wish to prevent certain or all cookies or web beacons from being set to your hard drive you may disable them in your browser’s preferences, although your browser might then be unable to accommodate certain functionalities on the WHYY Websites.

Use of Information

The use of personally identifying information is limited to the following: managing and administering the WHYY Websites; responding to user messages; listing name and location (city, state and/or country) information provided by users when broadcasting or publishing User Materials; processing donations; contest management; editorial purposes such as contacting users for an online survey; sending WHYY email newsletters and other communications, including marketing and promotional communications; other internal WHYY purposes; and other purposes specified at the time the information is gathered. WHYY may contact users regarding their submissions in certain circumstances.

Any information that you disclose when participating in the WHYY Websites (including creating a profile or submitting a comment to a story or blog or in a discussion thread), such as your full name and any nickname, may become public. This information may be posted on the WHYY Websites. In addition, WHYY and its licensees may use, copy, sublicense, modify, transmit, publicly perform, display, create derivative works of, host, index, cache, tag, encode, and/or adapt any User Materials, and any information contained therein, in any and all media formats or channels, whether now known or hereafter devised, including, but not limited to, the WHYY Websites, other third party websites, over the air (on radio or television), and on mobile platforms. Further, other users of the WHYY Websites may embed a widget or feed that allows your User Materials to appear on their personal, noncommercial website, blog or other application, subject to conditions set forth in the Terms of Use.

In addition, if you send User Materials to WHYY through a WHYY Website, we may print the User Materials or an excerpt from the User Materials, on a WHYY Website, read them on air, or otherwise publish them in any other medium, together with your name and location (city, state and/or country) if you provide that information to us.

Excluding information provided by the user when participating in the WHYY Websites or sending User Materials to WHYY, which may become public as discussed above, personally-identifying information collected by WHYY is not provided to outside parties except WHYY service vendors (such as WHYY’s email list manager), and other third parties when the user specifically consents to such distribution (such as the disclosure of your name to a friend when you email a story to that friend). In these circumstances, the information is provided for the sole purpose of – and only to the extent necessary for – delivering the requested goods to the user, delivering communications from WHYY, providing services for and on behalf of WHYY, or serving other internal WHYY purposes.

WHYY may also disclose personal information if required to do so by law or if it believes that such action is necessary to (a) comply with the law or with the legal process, (b) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of the WHYY Websites, or (c) protect the personal safety or property of users of the WHYY Websites, the public or WHYY and its employees.

If you do not want your personally-identifying information to be collected or used for any of these purposes, please do not provide it (although if you do not provide it, you may not be able to use or participate in certain features of the WHYY Websites).

WHYY, with the assistance from time to time of its third party service vendors, uses non-identifying aggregate information to analyze use of and better design the WHYY Websites and to share with third parties in aggregate form only as appropriate. For example, we may tell a third party that a certain number of users accessed a particular audio stream on our Website. However, we will not disclose any information that could be used to identify those users.

E-mail Addresses

WHYY maintains customer databases with email addresses of viewers, listeners and Members, web visitors who have provided them to WHYY by registering at our sites, audience members who email questions about Membership or programs and donors who submit online Membership contributions (that is, make an online pledge). We use these addresses to send newsletters, information about WHYY programs, websites, services, or Membership, or to correspond about other offers.

WHYY does not sell, exchange, or lend email addresses to outside companies, organizations, or individuals except where required by law. WHYY will always provide a clear and convenient method of unsubscribing to our emailings. Follow the unsubscribe directions included in every email message we send. We will update our records as soon as possible. If you have already unsubscribed from WHYY emails, rest assured that we will continue to honor your request.

Secure Credit Card Transactions

The WHYY Websites offer the convenience of making Membership contributions and product purchases via credit card. WHYY utilizes state-of-the-art measures to ensure credit card account information security and to secure any information from your computer to our server. Our web financial transaction forms are stored and served from secure servers. This means that each page you view and any information you submit is encrypted on its way between computers. Even in the highly unlikely event that your transmission is intercepted, it should not be usable. All online credit card transactions are done through a secure server using 128-bit SSL; you know you’re on a secure page when the Web address starts with “https” (the “s” is for “secure”). Your credit card information is used only for your intended purpose – that is, for the contribution you wish to make. It is important to remember, however, that it is impossible for WHYY or anyone else to ensure 100 percent security of any information sent via the internet.


You must be at least 13 years of age to register for email newsletters or other features of the WHYY Websites. If you are under 13, please do not send any information about yourself, including your name, address, or email address. If we discover that we have collected any personally-identifying information from a child under the age of 13, we will remove that information from our database as soon as possible.

You must be at least 18 years old to Submit any User Materials on or through the WHYY Websites, create a profile in the WHYY Websites, participate in online contests, or place an order on the WHYY Online Shop. Visitors between the ages of 13 and 18 must obtain permission from their parents or guardians before registering for email newsletters, for other features of the WHYY Websites not open to those under 18 years of age without parental permission, or otherwise sending any personally-identifying information.

Acceptance of Privacy Policy for the WHYY Websites

By using the WHYY Websites, you signify your agreement to the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, please do not use this site. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of this policy at any time. Please check this page periodically for any changes. Your continued use of the WHYY Websites following the posting of any changes to these terms will mean that you have accepted those changes.

Links to Other Sites

It is important to note that the WHYY Websites contain links to other sites that may not follow the same privacy policies as the WHYY Websites. These sites may use cookies, collect data, and use the data in ways the WHYY Websites would not. WHYY is not responsible for the privacy practices or any information or materials on these other sites. Please visit these sites if you wish to review their privacy policies.

International User Notice

For international users, please note that it may be necessary to transform your information internationally and, in particular, your information may be transferred to and processed in the United States. For residents of the European Union, the data protection and other laws of other countries outside of the European Union may not be as comprehensive as those of the European Union. Please be assured that we take steps to ensure that your privacy is protected as described in this policy. By using this site, you agree to have your information used and transferred to the United States as set forth in this policy.

Membership List Policy

Membership is WHYY’s single most important source of support, and WHYY’s relationship with its Members is the highest expression of our commitment to our mission.

WHYY has established the following policy and practices for use of our online and offline Membership and donor lists to protect the privacy of our Members and ensure control in safeguarding against any unauthorized use.

WHYY considers the protection of its Members’ confidentiality to be of paramount importance. The station will, at a minimum, adhere to the industry standards outlined by the Direct Marketing Association. Accordingly, the station and its third-party fundraising counsel and list brokers will adhere to procedures designed to insure that Member privacy is maintained. The station will periodically inform its Members of the potential for their names, physical and email addresses and phone numbers to be used in a commercial mailing list exchange and that they have the right to have their names withheld from any and all such mailings.

Use of the Membership List by WHYY

WHYY regularly contacts its Members to carry out necessary and normal operations. In addition, WHYY also communicates with its Members by phone or email. All Membership communications are conducted directly by WHYY or through an affiliated third party, such as a direct marketing firm, acting on behalf of WHYY.

WHYY will, from time to time, provide Member names to research organizations hired by and working on behalf of WHYY or other public broadcasting organizations (such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, NPR) for the purpose of Member research that will benefit WHYY and/or the public broadcasting stations.

Use of the List by other organizations

WHYY does not sell its Membership list to other organizations. However, in order to assist in its Membership and fundraising efforts, WHYY periodically exchanges the names and addresses and/or contribution history of its Members and former Members with other like-minded non-profit organizations, using a process that does not permit the other organization to review or retain a copy of the Membership list. Exchange of the list allows WHYY to expand its Membership base by obtaining the names and addresses of other likely donors, and provides a valuable source of additional funding.

WHYY will not sell, rent, transfer, provide or exchange its Membership list with any political party, political committee, candidate for political office, political lobbying organization, religious groups, credit card mailers, pornographers, or certain public advocacy or self-interest organizations, as defined from time to time by WHYY’s President and CEO.

Members’ right to privacy

In its fundraising practices, WHYY will respect the privacy of its Members. Members who want to exclude their names from any donor list exchange activity may contact WHYY Member and Audience Services by calling 215-351-0511 or sending an email to In the course of an exchange transaction involving names of donors that have not requested to be excluded, WHYY will provide only non-personal public information, limited to Members’ names and addresses and/or contribution history to outside organizations.


  • Each proposed use must be pre-approved in writing by the Director of Member Communications.
  • Each use will be on a one-time only basis using a process (such as employment of a third-party mailing house) that does not permit the organization to review or retain a copy of the Membership list.
  • Each use will consist of names and addresses and/or contribution history (no phone numbers or other contact information will be provided).


WHYY will keep a complete and accurate record of all uses of the WHYY Membership list.


WHYY will take appropriate measures to ensure against unauthorized use of Membership and donor lists, including requiring any third party, including but not limited to, list brokers, mail-list management organizations, Friends organizations, fundraising organizations, or advertising or public relations agencies, to abide by WHYY’s compliance requirements.

The Membership List Policy will be reviewed by the Director of Member Communications on an annual basis.

Rev. 02/24

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