Friends of the SEP Society
Privacy Policy

Last modified: June 11, 2009

The Friends of the SEP Society (“Society”) recognizes the importance of your privacy. This page outlines our Privacy Policy, and it applies to all the services offered at the Society's website: <>.

  1. Information We Collect. The Society collects the following kinds of information:
    • Information You Provide. When you register to become a member of the Society, we ask you for a limited amount of personal information (namely, your name, email address, an account password, and some user preferences). For payment of membership dues, the Society uses the Stanford University Credit Card Merchant Services (‘eCommerce’) payment system, which routes all credit card transactions through a secure CyberSource gateway. The Society itself therefore doesn't keep any credit card information, though it does receive confirmation from the CyberSource gateway that your membership dues have been received.
    • Cookies. (1) When a member logs in to the Society's webpages, our server responds by sending a string of characters known as a “cookie” to your computer, to uniquely identify your browser. This is only a “session cookie”, which means it will be deleted when you close your browser (it is called a “session cookie” because it is correlated with a log-in session on the Society web server). We use this cookie to ensure that each time you interact with the Society web server you receive all and only the services you have registered and paid for. When you finish your session, the cookie expires. (2) When someone joins the Society, the secure servers used by Stanford eCommerce and by the CyberSource gateway may also use cookies to properly track the payment process.
    • Log Information. When you access the Society's webpages and/or log in to receive services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit one of our pages or request a PDF version. These server logs may include information such as the date and time of your web request, the Internet Protocol address of your computer, the type of browser you are using, etc.
    • Communications. Should you ever send paper mail, email, or phone the Society to leave voicemail, we may retain such communications in our records for processing your enquiries, responding to your requests, improving our services, etc.

  2. How We Use The Information We Collect. The Society processes personal information not only for the purposes mentioned above but also to:
    • display customized content (such as a member's list of previously viewed PDF versions),
    • audit, research and analyze member accesses (anonymously) in order to maintain, protect and improve our services,
    • ensure that our systems are functioning properly, and
    • develop new services.
    The Society reserves the right to analyze, and make public, appropriately anonymized usage patterns and statistics concerning the membership of the Society. These usage patterns and statistics will be created in such a way that they cannot be used to identify the habits of any particular member.

  3. Choices for Personal Information. The Society agrees not to share member registration or activity information with third parties, with the exception of information that members have opted-in to share with members of the Society or other third-parties. Note that the Society's services cannot be provided to members who have configured their browsers to refuse cookies, since these are essential to the proper function of the website.

  4. Information Security. Though the Society does not store the credit card numbers of its members, we nevertheless take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized access to, and disclosure or destruction of, data. We restrict access to member personal information to Society employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve our services. These individuals are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.

  5. Data integrity. The Society processes personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected and in accordance with this Privacy Policy. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we process is accurate, complete, and current, and we depend on our members to update or correct their personal information whenever necessary.

  6. Changes to the Privacy Policy. Changes to this Privacy Policy may be put into effect from time to time. We anticipate that such changes will be minor, i.e., will not signficantly affect or reduce member rights. Such minor changes will be posted on the Society's web page and the effective date posted at the top this Privacy Policy will be changed accordingly. You will be notified by email should there be any changes to this Privacy Policy that significantly affect or reduce your rights. The Society incurs no obligation to contact those members with email addresses that have become non-functional.

If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us through our website or write to us at the following address:

Friends of the SEP Society
c/o Metaphysics Research Lab
202 Cordura Hall
Stanford University
210 Panama Street
Stanford, CA 94305-4115