Privacy Policy

Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of California and its Related Entities (“Masons of California,” “we,” “us”) know that you care how Personal Information about you is collected, used, shared and stored. “Personal Information” means information which personally identifies you or another. “Related Entities” includes Masonic Homes of California (including Masonic Outreach Services (“MOS”) and Masonic Center for Youth and Families (“MCYAF”)), Acacia Creek, a Masonic Senior Living Community, Union City, California Masonic Foundation, California Masonic Memorial Temple and Nob Hill Masonic Center, Inc.

This Privacy Policy explains what Personal Information is collected, used, shared and stored by the Masons of California when you use our Website www.freemason.org or otherwise to provide services to you, when you apply for membership, a scholarship or employment, act as a board member, make a contribution or respond to a survey and how you can control the collection, correction and/or deletion of Personal Information. Your disclosure of your Personal Information using our Website or otherwise accessing or using our services, applying for membership, a scholarship or employment, acting as a board member, making a contribution or responding to a survey is deemed your written affirmative consent for us to use your Personal Information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Notices of Privacy Practices are posted for Masonic Homes of California, Masonic Outreach Services, and MCYAF, and Acacia Creek.

This Privacy Policy should be read along with our Terms of Use posted at: www.freemason.org/terms of use (“Agreement”). Capitalized terms, if not defined in this Privacy Policy, are defined in the Agreement.

If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy policy or practices, please contact us at: privacy@freemason.org or at: 1111 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.

Mobile Privacy

We may offer you the ability to connect with our Website, or use our applications, services, and tools using a mobile device, either through a mobile application or via a mobile optimized website. The provisions of this Privacy Policy apply to all such mobile access and use of mobile devices. This Privacy Policy will be referenced by all such mobile applications or mobile optimized websites.

Personal Information We Collect or You May Provide

Through the Website:
You do not need to provide us with any Personal Information to use our Website.

If you are using our Website to:

  • Register, log on and access member specific information
  • Register online to attend events, courses and programs we offer
  • Contribute money or
  • Participate in a survey

You provide us Personal Information:

  • Your name
  • Email and mailing Address
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Birthdate
  • Unique log-in identifier
  • Member ID Lodge Name and Number
  • Current Office Held
  • Bank Account information (if paying by check)
  • Other Personal Information requested in the survey

We may not collect or receive your credit card information.

When you attend an event, course or program or make a contribution, your name, lodge and the name of the event, course or program or amount of your contribution may be posted on our Website. We display personal testimonials on our Website in addition to endorsements. With your consent, we may post your testimonial along with your name or may post your picture or voice. If you wish to update or delete your name, picture, testimonial or other data or information which may be posted, you can contact us at using the information below.

Other Personal Information Collected:

You may also provide the following Personal Information: Family information, educational background, employment history, government issued identification number(s), Masonic affiliations, financial and bank account information, health and health insurance information, criminal history and other background information. We may obtain Personal Information about you from publically or commercially available sources.

We may also collect Personal Information from you as a result of your email communications with us which we may retain along with our responses.

When you use our mobile site, we may receive information about your location and your mobile device, including a unique identifier for your device. We may use this information to provide you with location based services, search results, and other personalized content. Most mobile devices allow you to control or disable location services in the device's setting's menu. If you have questions about how to disable your device's location services, we recommend you contact your mobile service carrier or the manufacturer of your particular device.

How We Use Your Personal Information

The Masons of California’s Web sites may use "cookies" to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie may be to tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize the Masons of California pages, or register with the Masons of California’s Web site or services, a cookie helps the Masons of California to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as billing addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to the same Masons of California Web site, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the features that you customized.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Masons of California services or Web sites you visit.

Security Measures and Safety of Children

We use your Personal Information to provide service to you and conduct our business. By way of example and not limitation, to:

  • Register as a member and to identify you when you log-in to your account
  • Respond to your inquiries, member service requests, complaints, your job application, scholarship application or application for assistance or residency, or acknowledge your contributions
  • Administer employment related activities (e.g. payroll, workers compensation claims, health insurance, pension)
  • Verify activity as we deem necessary
  • Delivery programs or services
  • Send you a newsletter or other marketing or promotional communications
  • Conduct surveys, research and analyze data to improve our services or customize our communications with you
  • Communicate with you
How We Share Your Personal Information with Third Parties

We will share your Personal Information with third parties only in the ways that are described in this Privacy Policy. We do not sell your Personal Information to third parties.

We share your Personal Information:

  • With other concordant Masonic bodies
  • To perform services
  • In connection with the administration of benefits, employment or award of scholarship.
  • As required by law, such as to comply with clearance/reporting requirements, a subpoena, or similar legal process.
  • To investigate and help prevent abuse, fraud, security threats, malicious activity, intellectual property infringement or other unlawful activity
  • To resolve disputes and enforce our agreements.
  • To protect the rights and personal safety of the Masons of California, its employees, members, residents, recipients, patients and others.
  • In connection with a merger or corporate re-organization. With your prior consent.

We may provide your Personal Information to companies that provide services to help us with our business activities such as background investigations, payment processing, finance and accounting, accepting job applications, human resource management, fund raising activities and marketing and communication initiatives. These companies are authorized to use your personal information only as necessary to provide these services to us and are obligated to keep your Personal Information confidential.

Some of our pages utilize framing techniques to serve content to from our service providers while preserving the look and feel of our site, such as when you enter credit card information or register for an event, course or program. Please be aware that you are providing your personal information to these third parties and not to www.freemason.org.

How We Store and Protect Your Personal Information

We may store Personal Information in locations outside our direct control (for instance, on servers or databases co-located with hosting providers).

We use Security Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology to encrypt sensitive Personal Information (such as your password) before it travels over the internet. Credit card numbers are never stored on our database or servers.

The security of your personal information is important to us. We follow generally accepted standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about security on our Website, you can contact us at privacy@freemason.org.

Compromise of Personal Information

We will promptly notify those persons whose Personal Information is compromised. Notwithstanding, the Masons of California do not accept liability for any unintentional disclosure or a disclosure that occurs due to a security breach of our systems or facilities.

User Access and Choice

You may, of course, decline to submit Personal Information to us; in which case, you may not be able to use certain features of the Website or receive certain services.

If your Personal Information changes, you may correct, update, amend, remove, or ask to have it removed by contacting us at privacy@freemason.org by telephone or postal mail at the contact information listed below. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your Personal Information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. We will respond to your request within 30 days.

We will retain your Personal Information for as long as needed to provide you services or as required by law.

Children's Privacy

Protecting the privacy of young children is especially important. The Masons of California do not knowingly collect or solicit Personal Information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register. If you are between the ages of 13 and 17, please use our Website with adult supervision. If you are under 13, please do not send any Personal Information to us. If we learn that we have collected Personal Information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any Personal Information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at the contact information below.

Cookies, Analytics/Log Files and Clear gifs

In addition to the information you provide, Masons of California may also collection information during your visit to the Website through Automated Data Collection Tools. These Automated Data Collection Tools include Web beacons, cookies, and embedded Web links. These tools collect certain browser-based information your browser sends to a website, such as:

  • Browser type
  • Browser language
  • Access times
  • Address of the website from which you arrived
  • Internet Protocol (IP) address
  • Unique device identifier
  • Clickstream behavior -
    • The pages you view
    • The links you click
    • Other actions you take in connection with the Website

The Masons of California may use some of the Automated Data Collection Tools in connection with emails and communications sent from us and, therefore, may collect information using these tools when you open the email or click on a link contained in the email.

Links to Other Websites, Blogs/Forums and Social Media Widgets

Our Site includes links to other Web sites whose privacy practices may differ from those of the Masons of California. When you use a link to go from our Website to another website, such as that of our payments processors or event management systems, the privacy statement for the other website governs. We encourage you to carefully read and understand the privacy statement of any Website you visit.

Please be aware that any information you submit to any forum on the Website, social network, blog, can be read, viewed, collected or used by the public, other users of these forums and could be used to contact you, send you unsolicited messages, or for purposes that neither you nor the Masons of California have control without any expectation of privacy or confidentiality. The Masons of California are not responsible for the personal information you choose to provide in these public forums. To request removal of your personal information from our blog, contact us at privacy@freemason.org. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why.

Our Website includes Social Media Features, such as the Facebook Like button and Widgets, such as the Share this button. These Features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our Website, and may set a cookie to enable the Feature to function properly. Social Media Features and Widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Website. Your interactions with these Features are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing it.

English Language

The English version of this Privacy Policy governs. All disputes, claims and causes of action (and related proceedings) will be communicated in English.

Changes to Our Privacy Policy

If we make a material change to our privacy policies and procedures as to the collection, use or disclosure of your Personal Information, we will post a notice of those changes on our Website or notify you by email (sent to the email address specified in your account) to keep you aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we may disclose it, prior to the change becoming effective. You are bound by changes to the Privacy Policy when you use the site after those changes have been posted. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at privacy@freemason.org or at 1111 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.