Privacy Policy

Updated: May 10, 2024

The Urban Institute (“Urban” or “we”) is committed to respecting and maintaining the private information of visitors to our websites (“Sites”). This Privacy Policy has been adopted to address the collection, storage, and use of information obtained through your use of the Sites. By using our Sites, you consent to this Privacy Policy.



This Privacy Policy explains what information we may collect about you, the Visitor, how we may use the information we collect, and the steps we take to ensure that it is kept secure. We also explain your rights with respect to your personal data. We are only responsible for the privacy practices and security of our Sites. Our Sites may contain links to third party websites and we recommend that you check the privacy policies of each that you visit.

Urban gathers two (2) types of information when users interact with our Sites: 1) Information you give and provide us directly; and 2) Information we passively collect or receive when you use our services.

Information You Give Us:
Visitors may provide Urban with non-personally and personally identifiable information in order to utilize certain services, use Urban’s web properties, and retrieve information. Such instances may not be noticeable to the user and include, but are not limited to: filling out surveys, purchasing goods and services, commenting, making donations, referral services to tell a friend, RSVPing for events, signing up for newsletters, and submitting certain online forms. This type of information may include, but is not limited to, first and last names, email addresses, organization affiliations, professional titles, zip codes, and billing and credit card information.

Billing and Credit Card Information
Urban’s Sites use third party vendors, including Wufoo, and Stripe, to manage and process purchases and donations. These third party vendors may share with Urban information that you provide to them. For more information regarding Rowman and Littlefield, Wufoo, and Stripe, see their respective privacy policies at,, and

Emails from You
If you send us emails, you should be aware that information disclosed may not be secure or encrypted and thus may be available to others. We suggest that you exercise caution when deciding to disclose any personal or confidential information in emails. We will use your email address to respond directly to your questions or comments.


Information We Passively Collect:
When a user visits one of Urban’s Sites, some information such as the visitor’s Internet protocol (IP) address, Internet service provider, operating system, browser type, device ID, the site from which the visitor arrived, and the time and date of the user’s visit may be collected and tracked automatically as part of the software operation of the website. We use third party analytics providers including, but not limited to, Google Analytics, Microsoft Clarity, Bitly, Ad This, New Relic, Woofoo, and Stripe so that we can measure engagement and for information purposes. This information is not used for direct marketing. Information collected by these third party services through their use of tools, such as cookies, tags, scripts and web beacons, are collected directly by these third parties and Urban does not participate in that data transmission. We receive reports based on the use of these technologies on an individual as well as aggregated basis. We do not have access to, nor control over, advertisers' or service providers' use of cookies or other tracking technologies or how they may be used. Information collected by third parties in this manner is subject to the third party’s own data collection, use, and disclosure policies. For more information about opting out of these, please visit their respective sites and privacy policies.

Third party analytics programs are used to capture how users interact with our website through behavioral metrics, heatmaps, and session replay to improve our products/services. Website usage data is captured using first and third-party cookies and other tracking technologies to determine the popularity of content and online activity. Additionally, we use this information for site optimization, and fraud/security purposes.

Interest Based Advertising
Some third parties collect information about users of our Sites to provide interest-based advertising on other sites and elsewhere, including across browsers and devices. These third parties may use the information they collect on our Sites to make predictions about your interests in order to provide you ads (from us and other companies) across the internet. Some of these third parties may participate in an industry organization that gives users the opportunity to opt out of receiving ads that are tailored based on your online activities. 

Personal Information
We use personal information collected to operate and maintain our Sites and to provide better service to you.  
This information helps us improve our operations by: personalizing our services; personalizing our communications; keeping track of how users provide information to us online; monitoring the use of our online services generally, such as the number of users and which pages they use; developing new products; and generally doing a better job for our users.

When requested, and where possible, Urban will delete personal information from current operational systems.  If you like to exercise this right, please contact us at: [email protected]

Email Newsletters
Urban offers several email newsletters that users can opt into.  Per the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, we will not send you marketing messages if you have opted out.  If you no longer wish to receive a specific newsletter, follow the “manage subscribe” instructions located near the bottom of each newsletter or email us to remove your address completely from our internal databases.

We may, through information we have collected from public databases, association websites, events and conferences, send direct non-subscription emails and communications to you.  This information is stored and managed internally and not shared with any third parties   You can unsubscribe from these emails by following the “unsubscribe” button in each email or email us to remove your address completely from our internal databases.

Events and Webinars
Our sites offer and host events that you may RSVP and/or join remotely through webinars.  You may be asked to submit information like your name, email, organizational affiliation, and job title to RSVP and attend.  These services are provided by third party providers like Eventbrite, GoToWebinar, and Greenvelope who may also collect information such as IP addresses and participation levels.  The information collected from you is used internally to improve our outreach and provide you with better service.  Attendees and participants may receive future emails and can unsubscribe from these emails by following the “unsubscribe” or “manage my subscription” button in each email or email us to remove your address completely from our internal databases.

Other Communications
We may use your email address or other information to contact you for other administrative purposes, including but not limited to: customer service; to address intellectual property infringement; right of privacy or defamation issues; etc.  You can email us to remove your address completely from our internal databases.

Within The Urban Institute
We only use your personally identifiable information or email address internally to operate or provide you access to our services, comply with our legal obligations, enforce our policies, facilitate our advertising, or reduce or prevent fraud related to our services.
In the future, we may sell, buy, merge or partner with other companies or businesses. In such transactions, we may include your information among the transferred assets.  Generally, we limit the information we share to that which is reasonably necessary to perform specific functions

Third Parties
It is Urban’s policy never to share, trade, sell or otherwise disclose personal information to third parties without the user’s consent or direction except:

  • Where required by law, e.g. through subpoena, warrant or other legal process or
  • To the electronic bankcard processors and digital trust services which enable Urban to sell its publications on line. Urban does not see or retain credit card information.
  • Urban occasionally mails information about our events and publications to its online bookstore customers. Personal information used for this purpose is never shared with any other organizations.
  • To protect against fraud
  • To protect and enforce legal rights

Service Providers
As mentioned, we contract with other companies to provide services on our behalf, including credit-card and billing processing, ad serving, shipping, email distribution, list processing and analytics or promotions management. These service providers are restricted from using this data in any way other than to provide services for Urban, and they may not share, resell or use the data for their own direct marketing purposes.



EEA Resident Rights
If you are a resident of the European Economic Area, you may be aware that a new European Union law, the General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR”, gives certain rights to individuals in relation to their personal data.  As available and except as limited under applicable law, the rights afforded to individuals are:

  • The right to be informed; 
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights related to automated decision making and profiling

To exercise these rights, please contact us using the contact detailed provided under the “Contact Us” section.
We respond to requests we receive from individuals wishing to exercise their rights in accordance with GDPR.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, we reserve the right to keep any information in Urban’s archives that may be necessary to comply with Urban’s legal obligation, resolve disputes, and enforce Urban’s agreements.

California Privacy Rights
If you are a California resident, the California “Shine the Light” law, Civil Code Section 1798.83, permits you to obtain certain information about the types of personal information that companies with whom you have an established business relationship have shared with third parties for direct marketing purposes during the preceding calendar year. This law provides that companies must inform consumers about the categories of personal information that have been shared with third parties, the names and addresses of those third parties, and examples of the types of services or products marketed by those third parties.  To request a copy of the information disclosure provided by Urban, please contact us at [email protected].
Children’s Privacy
Our Sites are not intended for children under 13 years of age. We do not knowingly collect or store any personal information about children under the age of 13.  In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under the age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible.  If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at [email protected].