Privacy Policy

privacy policy, As of 11/8/00

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is committed to protecting the privacy of its members and customers. ACM recognizes the interest of its members and customers in the confidentiality of their personal information. ACM only maintains personal information that is relevant to ACM activities and seeks to maintain accurate, complete, and timely information.

The security of personal information is important to ACM. ACM maintains all personal data with technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect against loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure. No computer system or information can ever be fully protected against every possible hazard. ACM provides reasonable and appropriate security controls to protect personal information against foreseeable hazards.

ACM maintains member databases that contain mailing, billing, and member profile information, as well as a record of each member's product and service purchases. ACM also maintains databases of member and non-member purchases and of registrations for conferences and other ACM activities. The information in these databases is used by authorized ACM staff members to process orders; mail invoices, purchases, renewal notices, and announcements; respond to member inquiries; and help us improve our offerings. Member records are maintained as long as an individual is an ACM member and for two years following a membership lapse. Purchases and credit card transactions are retained for as long as appropriate to meet contractual, tax, or auditing needs.

All personally identifiable information contained in ACM membership, purchase, and registration databases is treated as confidential and will be used only for the purposes stated in this policy, except where required by law.

Just like any other record keeper, ACM may be required to disclose personal information in response to valid legal process. This includes a search warrant, subpoena, or court order. Disclosures may also be appropriate to protect ACM's legal rights or during emergencies if physical safety is believed to be at risk. These disclosures are possible although unlikely.

Personal data about ACM members and customers may, from time to time, be collected or shared with outside contractors, auditors, consultants, and others hired by ACM to assist in carrying out financial or operational activities. ACM informs recipients about safeguarding personal information, and requires them to use it only for an authorized purpose consistent with this privacy policy, and to return it or destroy it upon completion of the activity.

ACM members may access the information contained in their membership records and correct and update their member profile and mailing information by going to the following web page: In order to update your postal tolerance you will need to contact ACM's Member Services Department by phone: +1-212-626-0500, 1-800-342-6626, fax: +1-212-944-1318, or email:


Email Policies

ACM does not sell, rent, or exchange email addresses of its members and customers. ACM uses email addresses to send the following:

  1. "Must Have" messages that help to service ACM members including answers to member questions; acknowledgments of the receipt of membership applications, renewal notices, and other orders.
  2. Occasional "Member Update" announcements about ACM services that we believe to be of some importance to members. These announcements are short, straightforward messages that contain pointers to online resources where members can explore the information more fully.
  3. Email messaging that is part of a program for which the member has registered (e.g. an ACM Digital Library early alert email system).
  4. Email distribution lists targeted at ACM groups (e.g. special interest group members, chapter officers, etc.). Only ACM headquarters staff can create and support "" email distribution lists. All ACM created and supported email distribution lists have "unsubscribe" instructions.


Postal Mail Policies

ACM provides four [postal] mailing list options to its members:

  1. ACM Subscription & Renewal Notices Only: receive only products subscribed to plus renewal invoices.
  2. ACM Announcements: information about ACM's Member Value Plus Program (a program offering discounts on products and services other than ACM's), Calls for Papers, Advance Conference Programs, Local Chapter Announcements.
  3. ACM Announcements & Sister Society Announcements: receive all of the above plus mailings from other computing societies (e.g. IEEE-CS).
  4. ACM Announcements, Sister Society Announcements, and selected Information Technology Offers: receive all of the above, plus selected non-ACM information technology offers from publications, conference sponsors, software/hardware vendors. (This is the default option for members).

The names and mailing addresses of members who have selected options #2, #3, or #4 (above) may be rented to outside organizations for the purposes of sending mailing packages that have been carefully screened by authorized ACM staff for their suitability. Managers in ACM's Membership Department are responsible for the screening of materials used by those companies or organizations renting ACM's mailing list. Materials must be of an educational nature for ACM to rent its list. ACM licenses mailing list usage for one-time only -- the standard mailing list rental practice, and renters are asked to sign their agreement to this practice. ACM's Mailing List Manager does not "enhance" or overlay any data on ACM's mailing list. ACM does not rent telephone or email addresses.
In order to update your postal tolerance you will need to contact ACM's Member Services Department by phone: +1-212-626-0500, 1-800-342-6626, fax: +1-212-944-1318, or email:



If you have any questions or comments on the above policy please direct them to