Last updated December 2017

The Citizens Utility Board or “CUB” and the Consumer Education and Research Fund, or “CERF” (“CUB/CERF” or “we” or “us” or “our”) respect the privacy of our users (“user” or “you”). This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, use, disclose, and safeguard your information when you visit our website, including any other media form, media channel, mobile website, or mobile application related or connected thereto (collectively, the “Site”). Please read this privacy policy carefully. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE TERMS OF THIS PRIVACY POLICY, PLEASE DO NOT ACCESS THE SITE.

We reserve the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time and for any reason. We will alert you about any changes by updating the “Last Updated” date of this Privacy Policy. Any changes or modifications will be effective immediately upon posting the updated Privacy Policy on the Site, and you waive the right to receive specific notice of each such change or modification. You are encouraged to periodically review this Privacy Policy to stay informed of updates. You will be deemed to have been made aware of, will be subject to, and will be deemed to have accepted the changes in any revised Privacy Policy by your continued use of the Site after the date such revised Privacy Policy is posted.


Registration. We do not ask that you register or enter any personal information to access or use most areas of the Site. However, you may choose to subscribe to certain newsletters or bulletins distributed by CUB/CERF, or to join the CUB/CERF’s mailing list. To do so, you may be required to enter certain personal information, including your email address.

Online Activism. To send a message from our online action center to government officials and other decision-makers, you are required to identify yourself by name, address, email address, phone number or other personal information. CUB/CERF includes this information when we send your message. This is necessary for your message to be effective, and in the case of many government officials, it is required. CUB/CERF may also use this personal information to contact you with the latest alerts and progress reports. Please note that comments sent to federal or state agencies may be made available publicly, often via the web, and will sometimes include the full name and address of the person(s) submitting the comments.

Communications between you and CUB/CERF. As described in this Policy, you may contact CUB/CERF or subscribe to newsletters and other mailings, and the CUB/CERF may respond to your inquiries or request for mailings. Additionally, when you provide CUB/CERF with your email address and mailing address, we may contact you to ask you to become a member of CUB/CERF. You can choose not to receive such requests by contacting us at 1-800-669-5556. If you have opted to receive any of our publications by email, you are able at any time to unsubscribe by clicking a link that appears in the email publication itself.

We may collect information about you in a variety of ways. The information we may collect on the Site includes:

Personal Data

Personally identifiable information, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number, demographic information, such as your age, gender, hometown, and interests, and utility account number that you voluntarily give to us when you choose to participate in various activities related to the Site, such as our online complaint form or online blogs and message boards. You are under no obligation to provide us with personal information of any kind, however your refusal to do so may prevent you from using certain features of the Site.

If you post information or materials on our message boards, chat, profile pages, blogs, and other services, please note that any information you post or disclose through these services will become public and may be available to users of those services on the Sites and to the general public. We urge you to be careful when deciding to disclose any information on such services.

To be clear: CUB/CERF only obtains this kind of personally-identifying information when you choose to provide it.

Derivative Data

Information our servers automatically collect when you access the Site, such as your IP address, your browser type, your operating system, your access times, and the pages you have viewed directly before and after accessing the Site.

Financial Data

When you donate to CUB/CERF via the Site, your donation information (i.e., your name, address, donation amount, last four digits of your credit card, expiration date of your credit card, and the name and email address of the recipient, if applicable) is encrypted and transmitted via a secure connection. CUB/CERF uses your credit card information only for the purpose of processing your donation. We will not disclose this information except as necessary to process your donation or as required by law, and we do not store it once your donation has been processed.

Data From Social Networks

User information from social networking sites, such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, including your name, your social network username, location, gender, birth date, email address, profile picture, and public data for contacts, if you connect your account to such social networks.

Mobile Device Data

Device information, such as your mobile device ID, model, and manufacturer, and information about the location of your device, if you access the Site from a mobile device.

Third-Party Data

Information from third parties, such as personal information or network friends, if you connect your account to the third party and grant the Site permission to access this information.

Data From Contests, Giveaways, and Surveys

Personal and other information you may provide when entering contests or giveaways and/or responding to surveys.


Having accurate information about you permits us to provide you with a smooth, efficient, and customized experience. Specifically, we may use information collected about you via the Site to:

  • Administer sweepstakes, promotions, and contests.
  • Compile anonymous statistical data and analysis for use internally or with third parties.
  • Create and manage your membership.
  • Deliver targeted fundraising, newsletters, and other information regarding utility service and the Site to you.
  • Email you regarding your membership.
  • Enable user-to-user communications.
  • Fulfill and manage donations and other transactions related to the Site.
  • Generate a personal profile about you to make future visits to the Site more personalized.
  • Increase the efficiency and operation of the Site.
  • Monitor and analyze usage and trends to improve your experience with the Site.
  • Notify you of updates to the Site.
  • Offer new services and/or recommendations to you.
  • Prevent fraudulent transactions, monitor against theft, and protect against criminal activity.
  • Process donations and refunds.
  • Request feedback and contact you about your use of the Site.
  • Resolve disputes and troubleshoot problems.
  • Respond to membership service requests.
  • Send you a newsletter.
  • Solicit support for the Site

Note: If necessary, we may use information you give us to assist law enforcement and respond to subpoena.

We use your personally identifiable information to give you personalized service (for example, information about your utility, neighborhood, or your favorite subjects); to send you email alerts; to answer your requests; to let you become a member online; and to better understand demographic information about our supporters and website visitors. Our overriding goal in our use of your personal information is to better serve you and our other supporters and website visitors and to advance our consumer advocacy goals. You can opt out at any time to stop any further contact from us.

We may also use this information to suggest other web site services to you, ask you to become a member, or to solicit donations. At any time you can opt out at [email protected].


We may share information we have collected about you in certain situations. Your information may be disclosed as follows:

By Law or to Protect Rights

If we believe the release of information about you is necessary to respond to legal process, to investigate or remedy potential violations of our policies, or to protect the rights, property, and safety of others, we may share your information as permitted or required by any applicable law, rule, or regulation. This includes exchanging information with other entities for fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Third-Party Service Providers

We may share your information with third parties that perform services for us or on our behalf, including payment processing, data analysis, email delivery, hosting services, customer service, and marketing assistance.

We are not responsible for the actions of third parties with whom you share personal or sensitive data, and we have no authority to manage or control third-party solicitations. If you no longer wish to receive correspondence, emails or other communications from third parties, you are responsible for contacting the third party directly.

Marketing Communications

We may disclose your information, whether personally identifying or not, to third parties who perform functions on our behalf such as solicitation or acknowledgment of charitable gifts and aggregate analysis and marketing activities, as well as to professional advisors such as auditors and attorneys. While CUB/CERF may undertake efforts to see that any third party to which CUB/CERF discloses personal information is under an obligation to use the personal information solely for the purposes for which the information was disclosed, such third parties are independent third parties over which CUB/CERF exercises no control. CUB/CERF is not responsible for, and will not be liable for, the conduct, actions, omissions, or information handling or dissemination practices of third parties. We also may rent or exchange names and postal addresses to other organizations through a broker. If you wish to remove your name from our list rental/exchange program, please call 1-800-669-5556 to make that request.

Interactions with Other Users

If you interact with other users of the Site, those users may see your name, profile photo, and descriptions of your activity, including sending invitations to other users, chatting with other users, liking posts, following blogs.

Online Postings

When you post comments, contributions or other content to the Site, your posts may be viewed by all users and may be publicly distributed outside the Site in perpetuity.

Social Media Contacts

If you connect to the Site through a social network, your contacts on the social network may see your name, profile photo, and descriptions of your activity.


Website Analytics

We may partner with selected third-party vendors, such as Blackbaud, Google Analytics and others, to allow tracking technologies and analytic services on the Site through the use of first party cookies, to, among other things, analyze and track users’ use of the Site, determine the popularity of certain content and better understand online activity. By accessing the Site, you consent to the collection and use of your information by these third-party vendors. You are encouraged to review their privacy policy and contact them directly for responses to your questions. We do not transfer personal information to these third-party vendors. However, if you do not want any information to be collected and used by tracking technologies, you can visit the third-party vendor or the Network Advertising Initiative Opt-Out Tool or Digital Advertising Alliance Opt-Out Tool.

You should be aware that getting a new computer, installing a new browser, upgrading an existing browser, or erasing or otherwise altering your browser’s cookies files may also clear certain opt-out cookies, plug-ins, or settings.


The Site may contain links to third-party websites and applications of interest, including news articles, government agencies, and external services, that are not affiliated with us. Once you have used these links to leave the Site, any information you provide to these third parties is not covered by this Privacy Policy, and we cannot guarantee the safety and privacy of your information. Before visiting and providing any information to any third-party websites, you should inform yourself of the privacy policies and practices (if any) of the third party responsible for that website, and should take those steps necessary to, in your discretion, protect the privacy of your information. We are not responsible for the content or privacy and security practices and policies of any third parties, including other sites, services or applications that may be linked to or from the Site.


We use commercially reasonable precautions to protect us and our users from unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of information we hold. We take care to utilize appropriate and reasonable administrative, physical, and technical measures to help safeguard personally identifiable information that we control. While we have taken reasonable steps to secure the personal information you provide to us, please be aware that despite our efforts, no security measures are perfect or impenetrable, and no method of data transmission can be guaranteed against any interception or other type of misuse. Any information disclosed online is vulnerable to interception and misuse by unauthorized parties. Therefore, we cannot guarantee complete security if you provide personal information.


We do not knowingly solicit information from or market to children under the age of 13. If you become aware of any data we have collected from children under age 13, please contact us using the contact information provided below.


Most web browsers and some mobile operating systems include a Do-Not-Track (“DNT”) feature or setting you can activate to signal your privacy preference not to have data about your online browsing activities monitored and collected. No uniform technology standard for recognizing and implementing DNT signals has been finalized. As such, we do not currently respond to DNT browser signals or any other mechanism that automatically communicates your choice not to be tracked online. We do not track you across the internet, and we do not change or disable the DNT setting in your browser. If a standard for online tracking is adopted that we must follow in the future, we will inform you about that practice in a revised version of this Privacy Policy. Most web browsers and some mobile operating systems include a Do-Not-Track (“DNT”) feature or setting you can activate to signal your privacy preference not to have data about your online browsing activities monitored and collected. If you set the DNT signal on your browser, we will respond to such DNT browser signals.


Please contact us at [email protected] to obtain, change, update or delete our records of your personal information, to change your privacy options, or if you no longer wish to receive correspondence, emails, or other communications from us. If you no longer wish to receive correspondence, emails, or other communications from third parties, you are responsible for contacting the third party directly.


Should our practices change, this notice will be immediately updated. See Official Terms and Conditions of using our web sites [].


You agree that this Policy and your use of this Site shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the State of Illinois. Any dispute relating to this Policy and your use of this Site shall be resolved solely in the state or federal courts located in Chicago, Illinois.


If you have questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at:

Citizens Utility Board
309 W. Washington St., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60004