Ayn Rand Institute Privacy Policy

Last Updated: January 17, 2014

This Ayn Rand Institute Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) is a legal notice about how the Ayn Rand Institute (“ARI,” “we,” “us,” “our”) will use personal information collected on the Ayn Rand Institute website, located at http://aynrand.org (the “Site”). The information below outlines the information we collect, the methods we employ for data collection, how we may use that information, the persons to whom the personal information may be disclosed and the security measures taken to protect the personal information. 

At ARI, we take the privacy of our visitors and members very seriously. Please read this Privacy Policy to learn more about how we treat personally identifiable information. We provide this Privacy Policy because you have a right to know what information we collect and with what methods, how it is protected and used and the circumstances under which it may be disclosed. If you have comments, questions, concerns or complaints about our Privacy Policy, please contact us via email at webmaster@aynrand.org

By continuing to use the Site, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to this Privacy Policy. For more information about ARI’s Site policies, please refer to ARI’s Terms of Conditions and Services. 


While there is no comprehensive framework in the United States regulating data privacy practices on the Internet, ARI has modeled its Privacy Policy on the data privacy best practices promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission's Fair Information Practice Principles, currently available here, the Generally Accepted Privacy Principles (GAPP), available here, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Guidelines on the Protection of Data Privacy, available here. 


Information You Voluntarily Submit 

ARI collects any personally identifiable information that you provide to us voluntarily when you respond to a request for information, register for or order educational or other products and services, set up a social network or otherwise register for a Site profile or account, or choose to use one of our learning assessments, courses or other interactive tools.

The exact nature of the information you submit may vary depending on the type of response or service requested. We will only collect information necessary to provide a requested service or respond to an inquiry. The type of information you submit may constitute personally identifiable information (PII), including, without limit, the following types of information: 

  • First and Last Name;
  • Street Address, City, State, Country, Postal Code;
  • Date of Birth;
  • Employment;
  • Education;
  • Native Language;
  • Email Address; 
  • Valid Day or Evening Telephone Number;
  • Cell Phone Number;
  • Confirmation of the age of majority;
  • Prior Education History;
  • Social Networking Content; and
  • Other Information after you become an ARI user, such as course records relating to your use of ARI education tools that may be required to be collected in the normal course of your studies.

No Required Information 

ARI generally does not require users to register or submit any personally identifiable information to engage in the Site. Personally identifiable information may be requested if a Site user wishes to participate in certain ARI programs or utilize certain features of the Site. For example, personally identifiable information is collected when a user enrolls in programs through the ARI Campus or creates an ARI Site account. However, participation in these ARI programs or features is voluntary. Submission of personally identifiable information is not required to generally use and navigate the ARI Site. Additionally, you are fully in control of any information you submit on the public features of the Site. You are responsible for any personally identifiable information you supply to third-party websites that we may link to or connect with. Please visit these websites for their Terms of Use and Privacy Policies. ARI is not responsible for providing their current policies or changes thereof.

Information We Automatically Collect

Besides information you provide us voluntarily, ARI may also collect the following information automatically every time you visit the Site:

i.          Log Files

Similar to many websites, ARI gathers certain anonymous browsing information automatically and stores it in web server log files. This information includes but is not limited to the following:

  • IP Addresses;
  • Collection date;
  • Connection speed;
  • Language settings;
  • Country, State, DMA and City; and
  • Domain (.com, .net, .mil, .org, .edu, etc.)

ARI uses this information to improve our Site, analyze trends, administer the Site, track users' movements around the Site and gather aggregate information about our user base as a whole.

ii.        Cookies. 

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user's computer for recordkeeping purposes. It can also help us understand how ARI Site visitors click through to our Site, and what pages they view during their visit. Similar to many websites, ARI stores an encrypted cookie on your computer so ARI can remember you when you come back to the ARI Site without requiring you to log in every time. Cookies also allow ARI to track and understand the interests of our users to enhance the overall experience on our Site.

You can set your web browser software to disable cookies, but this may render the ARI Site unusable to you. To do so, please refer to the help section of your specific browser for more information on how to manage or disable cookies.

Some ARI partners and other third parties, such as potential advertisers, may also set and access their own cookies on the ARI Site. ARI has no access to or control over these cookies, and, as noted above, this Privacy Policy does not govern the use of cookies by ARI’s partners or advertisers. Such third parties' use of cookies is subject to their own privacy policies, which may differ from this one. Such third parties do not have access to ARI’s cookies.

Browsers with “Do Not Track” Instructions

The ARI Site does not respond to instructions from browsers where a Do Not Track feature has been activated. The ARI Site automatically collects log file and cookie information from all users. 


ARI does not knowingly collect or solicit any information from any individual under the age of thirteen absent parental or guardian consent, nor do we direct any of our business practices or system outputs towards children under the age of thirteen.

ARI is committed to respecting the privacy of children online and ensuring that the Site is fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In the event that we learn we have collected personal information from a child under the age of thirteen without verification of parental or guardian consent, ARI will promptly delete any personal information associated with that child as quickly as possible. If you believe ARI has information from or about anyone under thirteen years of age, please notify ARI by email at webmaster@aynrand.org or write to ARI at the address provided below.


Standard Requested Services

We may use information collected on the ARI Site to perform the standard services associated with the Site, including to determine your admissibility and to register you for your selected courses, to provide you with services you request, to respond to your inquiries, to provide you with courses and course support, for fostering communication and collaboration among members of the ARI community through social networks and to maintain business records for reasonable periods; and/or as may be required or permitted by legal, regulatory, industry self-regulatory, insurance, audit or security requirements applicable to ARI.

Promotional Announcements

In order to improve the experience for our users, ARI may offer you the ability to sign up for optional email communications, such as updates from ARI, periodic newsletters or invitations to events. These communications are enhancements to the ARI service and are entirely optional. ARI will ask for your consent before sending you promotional communications and will make it easy for you to unsubscribe from these communications.

Identification of Authors

The ARI Site may offer opportunities for you to comment on content found on the ARI Site, engage in dialogue, share information and may allow you to submit original content. When you make a contribution to the Site you may be identified by your ARI Site account username or the name under which you choose to post.

Marketing Information

We use marketing information to help us better plan our Site and services to meet your needs; to measure and improve our Site’s services and features; to communicate with you by email to provide you with customer support, to prevent potentially illegal activities (including illegal downloading of copyrighted materials in accordance with our Terms of Conditions and Services) and to enforce our Terms of Conditions and Services. We also use a variety of technological systems to detect and address anomalous activity and to screen content to prevent certain abuses such as spam.

Site Statistics, Internal Reporting and Analysis

ARI may use information collected from web log and cookie files to analyze and publish anonymous, non-personal, aggregate statistics that may help us to analyze how the Site and its services are being accessed and used, to improve Site performance and delivery, to analyze learning outcomes and preferences and to analyze and mitigate Site and data security risks. ARI may also track and publish anonymized aggregate information, such as the total number of users who have viewed a particular web page. ARI will publish this data in aggregate form only and will not tie it to any personally identifiable information.


On Public Forums, Discussion Boards or Message Boards

Some of our features may allow you to communicate with other users by posting public messages. Please be aware that what you write in these public messages can be viewed, collected or used by anyone who visits our website. ARI is not responsible for any personally identifiable information that you submit or permit others to submit through public messages.

To Third-Party Vendors

From time to time, ARI may contract with third-party vendors to support ARI’s standard business practices and to provide you with a better experience on the Site. ARI will only disclose your personally identifiable information to those vendors who also adhere to industry-standard data privacy best practices. ARI will never sell your personally identifiable information for marketing or other purposes. ARI may also include features whereby you may log in to various third-party social media platforms (for example, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) while on the ARI Site. Please note that anytime you are logged in to any third-party social media platform, that third-party social media platform may collect information about your browsing habits, including log files or cookie information, or may collect any information you submitted voluntarily. Information collected by third-party social media platforms while you are logged in to those platforms is subject to the privacy policies of those platforms.

Where Required by Law

ARI may disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and where ARI believes disclosure is necessary to protect our legal rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order or legal process served on our Site.

Acquisition or Other Transfer

If ARI is acquired, all of our assets, including user information, may be transferred to the acquiring company. At that time, your user information, including any personally identifiable information you have selected to provide, may become subject to the acquiring company's privacy policies. In addition, in the event that ARI must liquidate our assets due to bankruptcy or other event, ARI will consider our user information, including personally identifiable information, as a unique asset subject to sale or other transfer. Before ARI transfers your information under any of these scenarios, ARI will notify you by posting a notice on our Site, and ARI will remind you of your ability to add, edit or delete your personally identifiable information from the website in advance of any such transfer.

Other than as described above, ARI does not share or disclose the information that our Site collects to any other third parties.


You may contact ARI at the address listed below or email ARI at webmaster@aynrand.org at any time to receive a copy of the personally identifiable information that ARI may have collected about you for your ARI account or participation in ARI educational programs.

The Ayn Rand Institute
ATTN: Data Privacy Supervisor
2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250
Irvine, California, 92606-4926

For California Residents

California Civil Code Section § 1798.83 permits users of our website that are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please contact ARI using the information listed above.


ARI retains information collected on the ARI Site only for as long as necessary to accomplish the uses described above, or for as long as required or permitted by law. ARI does not retain collected information for any purpose other than those described in this Privacy Policy.


Network Security

ARI has implemented a variety of commercially standard encryption and security technologies and procedures to protect information, including your personal information, stored in our computer systems from unauthorized access. Please be aware that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure, thus ARI strives to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, but ARI cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Management Procedures

ARI also maintains standard physical and electronic procedural safeguards that limit access to your personally identifiable information to our employees (or people working on our behalf and under confidentiality agreements) who, through the course of standard business activities, need to access your personally identifiable information.


Sharing Information With Other Members

You are able to control what personal information about you is shared with other users and what information you choose to keep private in your use of the Site.

Receiving Communications

If you subscribe to any optional promotional communications, you will be able to unsubscribe from them through the emails we send you.


This policy does not cover the privacy practices of any third parties that we do not own or control. We may provide links to other services and on occasion to other sites that may interest you. All of these sites operate independently of ARI, and they have their own privacy or security practices. ARI encourages you to review their policies before submitting any personal information to them.


While the ARI Site is currently intended for and directed towards users in the United States, from time to time ARI may collect information from international users. ARI has implemented data privacy practices consistent with the data privacy principles outlined in the OECD Privacy Guidelines, the APEC Privacy Framework and the Federal Trade Commission’s Data Privacy Principles. Privacy regulations change rapidly, and ARI strives to maintain the highest data privacy practices consistent with domestic and international regulations.

If you are accessing this Site from outside the United States, please be aware that by using the Site, you are consenting to ARI’s collection of your personal information as outlined in this Privacy Policy. If you are an international user and believe that your data was collected in error, please contact us at webmaster@aynrand.org.

EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Certification

ARI is currently seeking EU-U.S. Safe Harbor certification. In the interim, ARI strives to adhere to the highest standard of data privacy practices by abiding by the major privacy principles outlined in the European Union Data Privacy Directive. These principles include:

  • Fairness. Process data “fairly and lawfully.”
  • Specific purpose. Ensure that data are processed and stored “for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a way incompatible with those purposes.”
  • Restricted Use. Ensure that data are “adequate and relevant, and not excessive in relation to” the purposes they are for which they are collected.
  • Accuracy. Ensure that data are “accurate and, where necessary, kept up-to-date,” so that “every reasonable step [is] taken to ensure” errors are “erased or rectified.”
  • Destruction. Maintain personal data “no longer than necessary” for the purposes for which the data were collected and processed.
  • Security. Data must be processed with adequate “security” (a “controller must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data against . . . destruction or . . . loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure or access, in particular where the processing involves the transmission of data over a network. . . .”).


The ARI Site is constantly evolving. From time to time, ARI will review and make changes to our Privacy Policy. We will post any changes we make to our Privacy Policy on this page. If we make material changes to how we treat our users' personal information, we will notify you by email at any primary email address you have provided to us or through a notice on the Site home page. The date the Privacy Policy was last revised is identified at the top of the page. ARI encourages you to visit this Site frequently to stay up to date on our current policies.


If you want access to or wish to update any of your Personal Information or have any questions or complaints about our privacy practices, please contact us at:

The Ayn Rand Institute
ATTN: Data Privacy Supervisor
2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250
Irvine, California, 92606-4926