Privacy Policy

American Academy of Forensic Sciences Online Privacy and Cookies Policy

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences and its subsidiary and affiliate companies (collectively, "AAFS," "we," "us," or "our") recognize the importance of protecting the personal information collected from users in the operation of its services and taking reasonable steps to maintain the security, integrity, and privacy of any information in accordance with this Online Privacy and Cookies Policy. This policy is designed to help you understand how we collect, use and safeguard information you to provide to us.

This Privacy Policy describes how AAFS collects and uses the personal information you provide to AAFS through its online services. This policy also describes the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and verify the accuracy of this information. This policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Our website and services are not directed to children under the age of 13.  If you are less than 18 years of age, then you must first seek the consent of your parent or guardian prior to submitting any personal information to us.

How We Collect Information 

AAFS may collect personal information from you in the following ways: (1) directly from your input (by submitting an online form such as membership application, annual meeting abstract or registration, JFS article, or job posting); (2) automatically through AAFS's website technologies including tracking online, such as by web cookies (which are small text files created by websites that are stored on your computer), by smart devices, by combining data sets, by collecting data from a browser or device for use on a different computer or device, or by using algorithms to analyze a variety of data, such as records of online behavioral data or location data. 

Information We Collect 

The types of personal information that AAFS collects from you may include: 

  • Contact details, such as your name, email address, postal address, and telephone number;
  • Internet Protocol ("IP") addresses used to connect your computer to the internet;
  • Educational and professional interests;
  • Tracking codes such as cookies;
  • Usernames and passwords;
  • Payment information, such as a credit or debit card number;
  •  Comments, feedback, posts, and other content you provide to the AAFS website;
  •  Communication preferences;
  • Purchase and search history; and
  • Location-aware services, in order to provide you with more relevant content for your location.

In order to access certain content and to make use of additional functionality and features of AAFS's website and services, we may ask you to register for an account by completing and submitting a registration form, which may request additional information. If you choose to register and sign in to our website by using a third-party account (such as your Facebook account), the authentication of your login is handled by the third party, and any personal information collected during that third-party login is not covered by this policy. AAFS will collect your name, email address, and any other information about your third-party account that you agree to share with us at the time you give permission for your AAFS account to be linked to your third-party account. 

Web Cookies 

As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information may include IP addresses, browser type, Internet Service Provider ("ISP"), referring/exit pages, the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, date/time stamp, and/or clickstream data to analyze trends in the aggregate and administer the site. AAFS and its partners use cookies and similar technologies such as pixel tags and web beacons to analyze trends, administer the website, track users' movements around the website, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. You can control the use of cookies at the individual browser level, but if you choose to disable cookies, it may limit your use of certain features or functions on our website or services. The latest versions of internet browsers provide cookie management tools, such as the ability to delete or reject cookies. We recommend that you refer to information supplied by browser providers for more specific information, including how to use these tools.  

Use of Your Information 

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: 

  • To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you);
  • To improve membership service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your membership service requests and support needs);
  • To process transactions;
  • To administer a survey or other site feature; and
  • To send periodic emails.

Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email. 

AAFS may use your personal information in the performance of any contract we enter into with you, to comply with legal obligations, or where AAFS has a legitimate business interest in using your information to enhance the services and products we provide. Legitimate business purposes include but are not limited to the following: providing direct marketing and assessing the effectiveness of promotions and advertising; modifying, improving, or personalizing our services, products, and communications; detecting fraud; investigating suspicious activity and otherwise keeping our site safe and secure; and conducting data analytics.  

In addition, we may use your information in the following ways: 

  • To provide you with information about services that you request from us;
  • For internal business and research purposes to help enhance, evaluate, develop, and create AAFS websites (including usage statistics, such as "page views" on AAFS's websites and the products therein), products, and services;
  • To notify you about changes or updates to our websites or services;
  • To administer our services and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, statistical, and survey purposes;
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features of our service; and
  • For any other business purpose consistent with our business needs and operations.

Protecting Your Information 

We will use appropriate physical, technical, and administrative safeguards to protect your data.  In addition, we train our employees about the importance of maintaining the confidentiality and security of your information. 

Your Right to Exclude Yourself from the Online Directory and Other Communications

Each AAFS member has access to our online membership portal, which includes the Online Directory.  The Online Directory is available to members only.  The Online Directory includes name, address and specialty information about every member of AAFS, except those members who have affirmatively elected to be excluded from the Online Directory.  You can exclude yourself from the Online Directory by checking the box in the Communication Prefereces Tab marked "Do not list my address/phone/email in the AAFS Online Directory."

You can also exclude yourself from general email notifications by unchecking the box in the Communication Preferences Tab next to "Include me in general email notifications." 

Sharing Your Information 

AAFS will not disclose to or share your personal information with any unaffiliated third party except as follows: 

  • Where necessary in connection with services provided to AAFS by third parties (1)    who provide us with a wide range of services, including publishers, exhibitors, office, administrative, information technology, production, payment, and business management services, and (2) who are required to comply with this policy;
  • Where you voluntarily provide information in response to an advertisement from a third party;
  • Where AAFS is required to disclose personal information in response to lawful requests by public authorities and government agencies, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements; to comply with a subpoena or other legal process; when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, to enforce our Terms of Service, or to protect the rights, property, or safety of our services, users, or others; and to investigate fraud; and
  • Where all or substantially all of the business or assets of AAFS relating to our services are sold, assigned, or transferred to another entity.

AAFS may disclose navigational and transactional information to third-party publishing services in the form of anonymous, aggregate usage statistics, and demographics information that do not reveal your identity or personal information. 

Location of the Information We Collect and Process 

AAFS has servers and an office location in the United States. If you reside outside the United States, please know that you are submitting your personal information outside of your country of residence.  

By submitting your personal information, you agree to the transfer, storing, or processing of your information. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your personal information is treated securely and in accordance with this Online Privacy and Cookies Policy and applicable data protection laws. 

Your Rights 

You have the right to make a written request to be informed as to whether or not we hold or process any of your personal information (by emailing info@aafs.org). In your written request, you may: 

  • Request that we provide you with details of your personal information that we have processed;
  • Request that we rectify any errors in your personal information; and
  • Object to direct marketing from us.

You can exercise your rights by contacting the AAFS Executive Director by email at: awarren@aafs.org.

Third Party Websites 

AAFS's websites or services may include links to third-party websites. In using such links, please be aware that each third-party website is subject to its own privacy and data protection policies and is not covered by our Online Privacy and Cookies Policy.  

Changes to our Privacy Policy 

Please note that AAFS's Online Privacy and Cookies Policy is reviewed periodically. We will update the policy with the changes and revise the "last updated" posted at the top of this policy. Any updates to the policy will be posted on this page and will become effective on the date of posting. Your use of the AAFS website following the an update means that you accept the updated Online Privacy and Cookies Policy. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices.