Privacy Policy

Last Updated: June 18, 2015

Overview

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB," "us," or "we") respects your privacy, and we want you to understand how we may collect information about you through our websites: http://pcaobus.org, https://rasr.pcaobus.org, https://payments.pcaobus.org, and https://bdpayments.pcaobus.org (collectively, "Website" or "Websites"), and how that information may be used, maintained and, in some cases, shared. This privacy policy ("Privacy Policy") sets forth the privacy practices and policies governing our Websites.

BY USING OR ACCESSING OUR WEBSITES OR BY PROVIDING PERSONAL INFORMATION TO US ON OR THROUGH THESE WEBSITES, YOU CONSENT TO THE COLLECTION, USE AND DISCLOSURE OF THAT INFORMATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS PRIVACY POLICY AND APPLICABLE LAW.

Please read our Privacy Policy to understand:

  • Information We Collect
    • Information You Provide to Us
    • Site Use Information
    • Use of Cookies
    • Social Networking Activities
    • Financial Transactions

Information We Collect

The following describes the types of personal and other information we may collect about you, and how we use and maintain that information:

Information You Provide to Us

The PCAOB gathers and retains personally identifiable information about you, including name, email address, physical address, phone number, or other personal or background information ("Personal Information") when you voluntarily submit it to us. We may use any information that you provide for our general purposes, and may share it with third parties, only as described in this Privacy Policy.

Before you can utilize some portions of our Website, we may require that you request access to those portions by providing us with your contact information, a user name and a password. The information you provide may be used, for example, for identification purposes, to communicate with you regarding your access request or your account, and to facilitate the functioning of our Website. If you provide us with a telephone number or an email address, you expressly agree that we, or our authorized agents, can use that information to contact you about your access request or your account, or about the PCAOB and its associated activities.

The PCAOB collects information reported by individuals and entities as part of its regulatory activities, which may include Personal Information such as names of reporting entities' personnel, business and mailing addresses, phone numbers, accounting license numbers, and pending or concluded criminal, civil or administrative actions. If you submit Personal Information of others to the PCAOB, you represent and warrant that you have the necessary consent or authority to do so.

We may keep any information that you provide to us indefinitely.

Site Use Information

The PCAOB may collect the IP address of visitors to our Website. Such information is considered Personal Information under this Privacy Policy. We may use this information to measure the use of our Website, including number of visits, average time spent on the Website, pages viewed, etc., and to improve the content we offer. We may share with third parties this information or other data on an aggregated basis without the use of any information that personally identifies you.

Use of Cookies

Like most websites, we may employ "cookies" or similar technologies on certain pages of our Website. Cookies make the use of the Website easier by, among other things, saving your preferences. We may also use cookies to deliver content tailored to your interests. We may use information collected with cookies to statistically analyze usage of our Website, and to improve and customize our content and other offerings. Cookies are not considered Personal Information under this Privacy Policy.

Types of cookies we may use on our Website include:

  • Session cookies: These temporary cookies expire and are automatically erased whenever you close your browser window. We may use session cookies to grant our users access to content and to enable actions such as remembering application or payment information as you are in the process of entering it.
  • Persistent cookies: These cookies usually have an expiration date in the distant future and remain in your browser until they expire or you manually delete them. We may use persistent cookies to better understand usage patterns so we can improve the Website for our users. For example, we may use a persistent cookie to associate you with your account or to remember your choices on the Website.
  • Third-party cookies: We may permit third-party service providers to place cookies through our Website to provide us with better insights into the use of the Website or user demographics or to provide relevant services to you. These third parties may collect information about a user's online activities over time and across different websites when he or she uses our Website. For example, we may use a third-party tool to analyze usage patterns of the Website. Such a tool may generate a cookie to capture information about your use of the Website which the third-party provider uses to compile reports on website activity for us and to provide other related services. The third-party provider may use a portion of your IP address to identify its cookie. We do not control the use of third-party cookies or the resulting information and we are not responsible for any actions or policies of such third parties.

The specific cookies that may be used on the Website are:

Cookie Purpose
WSS_FullScreenMode Determines whether the page should be shown in “full screen” depending on the particular local system configuration.
SearchSession Contains an identifier for the current search session.
SearchQuery Contains the text of the last search performed by the user.
WOPISessionContext Identifies where to redirect a web application.
PcaobPrivacyPolicyAck201506 Tracks whether users have clicked to accept the cookies notice.

Your use of our Website will be deemed to be your consent to the placement of cookies on your computer or other devices. If you prefer not to receive cookies through our Website, you can set your browser to either reject all cookies, to allow only "trusted" websites to set them, or to accept only those cookies from those sites you are currently on. Unless you have adjusted the setting of your browser so that it will refuse cookies, our system may issue cookies when you log on to our Website. If your browser is set to reject cookies, or if your browser notifies you that you are about to receive a cookie and you reject it, then your use of the Website may not be as efficient as it would be if the cookie were enabled, and some parts of the Website may not work at all.

We do not use technology that recognizes a "do-not-track" signal from your web browser, because we do not track users other than for aggregate statistical purposes.

Social Networking Activities

Our Website may allow you to link to social networking websites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When you choose to use a link from our Website to these social networking websites, or otherwise share information on these social networking websites, we may receive information about you. We may use such information about you in a variety of ways, including to enhance your experience with the PCAOB's outreach and to communicate with you about new PCAOB activities. We may keep all of this information indefinitely.

Financial Transactions

If you pay registration or annual fees using the PCAOB's "Registration, Annual and Special Reporting" ("RASR") system, you will be engaging in a financial transaction through our RASR Website, https://rasr.pcaobus.org. In any such transaction, you will be asked to provide certain financial information, such as your bank account number and routing details, to effectuate a bank transfer. We retain such information for our records, and may also transfer it to a third party for payment processing. We use technology designed to encrypt the transmission of data to us through the system, as well as financial information we receive, transfer or maintain. If you submit financial information through payments.pcaobus.org or bdpayments.pcaobus.org, all of that information is submitted directly and securely to a third-party payment processor; the PCAOB does not receive or retain any financial information submitted through payments.pcaobus.org or bdpayments.pcaobus.org.

Opting Out of Communications

If you have subscribed to or are otherwise receiving PCAOB news or similar information from us by email and no longer want to receive such information in the future, you may opt out of receiving these emails by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of those emails you receive or on the unsubscribe page on the Website. Please allow ample time for us to process your request. If you are having difficulty unsubscribing, please contact us directly at info@pcaobus.org.

Please note that even if you opt out of receiving emails, you may still receive communications related to the PCAOB's oversight activities or otherwise as required by law. Also note that we may need to keep information we have collected about you for record-keeping, research and other purposes.

Disclosing Information to Third Parties

We will not share, rent, sell or otherwise disclose any Personal Information that we collect about you through our Website, except in any of the following situations:

  • You request or authorize the release of your Personal Information.
  • We may use the Personal Information we collect from you to communicate with you about PCAOB activities and to conduct research and analysis.
  • We may disclose Personal Information that we collect about you to our third-party contractors and payment processors who perform services for us in connection with the Website, or to complete or confirm a transaction or series of transactions that you conduct with us. We may also disclose Personal Information to service providers or suppliers if the disclosure will enable that party to perform business, professional or technical support for us.
  • We may disclose Personal Information about you as part of a transfer of the assets or related interests of the PCAOB. We do not guarantee that any entity receiving such information in connection with one of these transactions will comply with all the terms of this Privacy Policy.
  • We may disclose Personal Information about you to comply with the law, applicable regulations, governmental and quasi-governmental requests, court orders or subpoenas, or to enforce our Terms of Use or other agreements, or to protect our rights, property or safety or the rights, property or safety of our users or others. We reserve the right to release information that we collect to law enforcement or other government officials, as we, in our sole and absolute discretion, deem necessary or appropriate.
  • In accordance with our regulatory function, we post to our Website certain information reported to the PCAOB by individuals and entities, that may include Personal Information such as names of reporting entities' personnel, business and mailing addresses, phone numbers, accounting license numbers, and pending or concluded criminal, civil or administrative actions. The reporting individual or entity is responsible for obtaining any necessary consent or authority for disclosure of such Personal Information.

We may also share aggregated or anonymous information that cannot identify you with third parties. For example, we may disclose the number of visitors to our Website or the number of people who have downloaded a particular document.

Security

We use technology designed to encrypt the transmission of data to us through our RASR system, through https://payments.pcaobus.org and through https://bdpayments.pcaobus.org. In addition, we take steps to protect all user data we collect against any unauthorized access. However, you should keep in mind that the Website is run on software, hardware and networks, any component of which may, from time to time, require maintenance or experience problems or breaches of security beyond our control.

While we take steps to protect your Personal Information and keep it secure, you also play a role in protecting your information. You must maintain the security of your online transactions by not sharing your passwords and account information with any unauthorized parties.

Please also be aware that despite our best intentions and the guidelines outlined in this Privacy Policy, no data transmission over the Internet or encryption method can be guaranteed to be 100 percent secure. The PCAOB cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us or from our Website, and therefore, you use our Website at your own risk.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website may contain links to other websites, including social media websites hosted by third-party providers; however, this Privacy Policy only addresses the PCAOB's use and disclosure of your information collected through our Website, if any. If you choose to link to an external website from our Website, you will leave our Website. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of any third parties or the content of linked websites. We encourage you to read the applicable privacy policies and terms and conditions of such parties or websites.

Child Privacy

If you are under the age of 18, please do not use or access the Website. It is not our intention to collect or use Personal Information from anyone under 18 years of age, and we will not knowingly do so. If we are made aware that we have collected any Personal Information from children under the age of 18, and are asked to delete such information from our system, we will promptly do so.

Consent to Transfer of Information from Outside the United States

If you access the Website from outside of the United States, information that we collect about you will be transferred to servers inside the United States and maintained indefinitely, which may involve the transfer of information out of your country of origin. By allowing us to collect information about you, you consent to such transfer and processing of your data.

We will not collect your Personal Information through the Website unless you have provided it to us voluntarily or the collection is pursuant to the regulatory activities of the PCAOB. In situations other than those listed in this Privacy Policy, you will be informed if your Personal Information will be disclosed to third parties and will have the opportunity to opt out of such disclosure, unless such disclosure to third parties is pursuant to the regulatory activities of the PCAOB or is otherwise required by law. Whenever Personal Information is transferred to entities based in countries outside of the European Economic Area, we will make sure that the data is transferred in accordance with this Privacy Policy and as indicated by applicable laws and rules regarding the protection of data in the communication of data to third parties as described above.

Governing Law

By choosing to visit our Website or provide information to us, you agree that any dispute over privacy or the terms contained in this Privacy Policy will be governed by the law of the State of New York. You also agree to abide by any limitation on damages contained in our Terms of Use, or other agreement that we have with you.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may occasionally amend this Privacy Policy to reflect PCAOB activities and user feedback and we reserve the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time. The use of your information is subject to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use in effect at the time of use. The provisions contained in this Privacy Policy supersede all previous notices or policies regarding our privacy practices with respect to our Website. Please check the "Last Updated" legend at the top of this page to see when this Privacy Policy was last revised. We encourage you to check frequently to see the current Privacy Policy to be informed of how the PCAOB is committed to protecting your information and providing you with improved content on our Website in order to enhance your experience.

Contact

If you have any questions or comments regarding our Privacy Policy or our Website, please contact us at info@pcaobus.org.