implications as well, such as triggering unrelated business income tax.
Can you collect information from or
about citizens and use it to further
your activities in the United States?
US privacy laws are structured differently from those of many other
countries. If you operate outside of
the United States and want to collect information about citizens of a
country, your standard practice in the
United States may not meet the standards or laws of the foreign country.
You may not be able to collect the
information for the expected use, nor
will you be able to store the data on a
US-based server, or transfer the data
to the United States for use in the
United States. Countries have varying
requirements for the collection, use,
and transfer of data. For example, the
privacy laws in Europe and Canada
differ from those in the United States.
Advice from an experienced data
privacy expert who is familiar with
cross-border transactions is critical
to ensure that you are complying with
requirements for data collection, use,
transfer, and storage, and the right
to be forgotten. One helpful global
resource can be found at www.
The new European Union General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
should also be considered, since its
fines and penalties apply beyond
Europe. See www.eugdpr.org for more
Citizens of many countries have an
expectation of privacy as a consumer
that is much different than expecta-
tions in the United States. You may
not be allowed to contact them for
fundraising purposes without ensur-
ing that you have properly collected
and retained their information. You
should be especially mindful about
collecting information from or about
children in other countries.
Personal information in other
countries could include a person’s
name and address, credit card number, and image or voice. Cultural
sensitivity is also very important to
take into account, as well as whether
collection, use, retention, or transfer
of any information that could identify
a person is legal.
Are the legal structures of
another country like those
within the United States?
In the United States, unless you are told
you can’t do something, or something
is considered illegal, you usually can
conduct certain activities within the
bounds of the law. However, outside
of the United States, you can’t often do
something without explicit permission.
Don’t assume that you can perform
your mission within a country simply