Privacy is very important to Forge, and we take it seriously. Forge has a mission to foster safe, secure and trustworthy transactions in shares and other securities of non-public companies, as well as other alternative assets (the “Transactions”). Doing so requires a commitment to the privacy of our community.
If you are a California resident, you may be entitled to additional disclosures and rights. Please see our Notice to California Residents.
2. The information we collect and how we collect
In the course of operating the Services, Forge Group collects or receives the following types of information, which may include personal information:
- Your name, address(es), email address(es) and phone number(s)
- As applicable, your bank account information, money transfer instructions, age / date of birth, social security number, taxpayer ID number, driver’s license number or federal employer ID number.
- Gender/sex, height and weight.
- Occupation, employment information, income information.
- Citizenship and residency information.
- Account and identity information with respect to funds transfer accounts.
- Financial information with respect to your investment objectives and means, including information about your wealth and financial situation, equity compensation and prior investments.
- Service usage and Transaction history (including among other things bids, asks, negotiations, failed, abandoned, rejected, and otherwise uncompleted Transactions), as well as records of your communications with Forge and customer service requests. When you list, bid, ask, or otherwise indicate an interest in a Transaction, we provide information about your availability and offers, in anonymized form except as described below, unless you agree otherwise.
- Information requested or required by regulatory or governmental authorities or law enforcement bodies.
- In connection with certain Transactions, we gather documents pertaining to your ownership of Stock if you are a shareholder, including any documents you choose to upload. The types of documents we ask for include employment, stock purchase, option, and vesting agreements you may have with the company that issued your Stock, as well as company-related documents that may be considered confidential. We also keep records of the Transactions and Transaction documents. We may also have, or solicit, applicable documents from the issuer of the Stock, or from third party reporting services.
- Information about your affiliation with the issuers of Stock you may own or purchase, or with any organizations, securities professionals, entities, or clients on whose behalf you are using the Services.
- Behavioral and marketing information such as your interests, and your public social media presence.
- If you invite others to use Forge, we may retain Personal Information related to your referral.
We may collect information by asking you to enter information (including Personal Information) into forms, by observing your account activity and usage of the Services, by logging your access and activity on the Site, by your uploading of documents, and via third party information providers that, among other things, provide background checks to verify your identity, creditworthiness, and your eligibility and suitability to participate in Transactions. Third party information providers include, among others: credit reporting agencies, social media sites, our affiliated entities, fund administration partners, advertising platforms, data brokers and other data sources, and compliance service providers.
If you register or use the Services through a third-party site or application such as AngelList, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or link your Forge account to those sites and applications, we may collect Personal Information from them. We may also collect Personal Information by direct communication with you and others by telephone, in person, and by online or electronic messaging means both on-Site and through off-Site services.
3. Cookies and similar technologies
When you access the Site or Services, we and certain information providers may place cookies, pixel tags, web beacons, page tags, or other data-gathering and transmitting tools or files on your device. These help us recognize you as a user, customize and personalize the Services, study and improve our offerings, collect information about your device and software in order to improve Site performance or prevent fraud. Most Internet browsers and our consent management tool are able to disable or remove these cookies, and will contain instructions on how to do so, but doing so could affect your ability to use the Site and Services. We use the following cookies:
- Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website (e.g., to enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services).
- Performance cookies. They allow us to recognize and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works (e.g., by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily).
- Functional cookies. These are used to recognize you when you return to our website (e.g., to personalize our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences).
- Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed, to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.
Some web browsers provide a Do Not Track feature that sends signals to the websites you visit to indicate that you do not want your online activities tracked. There is currently no industry agreed-upon response to a Do Not Track signal. At this time, we do not support the Do Not Track browser option.
4. Why we collect personal information
We collect Personal Information from and about you to:
- Create a user account to use parts of our Services, and maintain your user profiles.
- Set up your user account, correspond with you, and otherwise enable and facilitate your usage of Forge’s Services or as is necessary for your use of the Site and the provision of the Services.
- Help you discover, bid for, agree to, close, and otherwise participate in Transactions, as well as buy, sell, and otherwise enter into and service the securities and contracts that are issued as part of the Transactions, including but not limited to, enrolling you as a client of our affiliated brokerage(s) in connection with a Transaction.
- Assure us, and parties to the Transactions, of the valid issuance, ownership, vesting status, transferability, and other attributes of securities issued by third party private companies (the “Stock”).
- Verify your identity, your status as a professional investor, an accredited investor or qualified purchaser (or other qualifications), if applicable, process diligence checks, and establish your eligibility and suitability for being a member of the Forge community.
- If you are using the Services on behalf of an entity, organization, or client, to verify your affiliation and that you are authorized to do so.
- Setup and maintain accounts for sending and receiving funds and for depositing, holding and transferring securities.
- Facilitate your and our compliance with various laws, regulations, and industry oversight pertaining among other things to banking, financial information, securities transactions, money laundering, terrorism, and “know your customer” rules promulgated by, among others, applicable government and regulatory bodies.
- Communicate with you.
- Provide you with information about, and solicit your further participation in, the Services (which may include research and development purposes and direct marketing activities and/or the transfer of your Personal Information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes).
- Provide online advertising on the Services from a Forge Global entity and to facilitate the transmittal of information we think may be useful or relevant to you
- Study, test, and improve the Services, and the overall user experience using the Services.
- Detect, prevent and address technical issues with the Services.
- Offer customer support, technical support, maintenance, and product development.
Protect against fraud, Site misuse, privacy and security breaches, securities and other legal and regulatory violations, and to fulfill and enforce agreements reached with you and others.
5. Onward transfer of personal information
Like any company, we may share Personal Information that we have collected for the purposes described above with our affiliates and the following third parties (whether located within or outside your jurisdiction):
- The other party or parties to a prospective or actual Transaction through the Services.
- Intermediate entities such as funds and “special purpose vehicles” that handle securities pools on behalf of Forge or on their own account, as well as the organizers, managers, and fund advisers of these entities or other parties in order to complete, service and enforce the terms of a Transaction or contemplated Transaction.
- In the event of a reorganization, restructure, sale of a business unit, asset sale, merger with another company, public or private offering of our stock, creation of a subsidiary or a parent holding company, creation of a trust or other affiliated entity or other corporate transaction affecting the Forge Group, or our entry into negotiations to do the same, we may share your information (which may include Personal Information) with other parties to those transactions and such parties’ advisors and representatives on a need-to-know basis under assurances of confidentiality.
- If we are under a subpoena, court order, investigation, audit, reporting requirement or other legal or regulatory obligation, we may be required to disclose Personal Information as a matter of legal or regulatory process to any local or foreign regulatory, governmental, tax, law enforcement or other agencies or authorities for the purposes of complying with any law, rule, regulation or guideline.
- Any affiliate, adviser, contractor, agent or third party service provider (including but not limited to affiliated broker-dealers, financial institutions and payment providers) who provide us with services relating to administration, telecommunications, payment, clearing, audit, accounting, risk management, credit, legal, compliance, operations, sales and brokerage, marketing, relationship management, securities management, information technology, records and data storage, performance measurement and compilation and analysis in connection with our provision of the Site and Services and our operations.
- Our service providers who provide us with security, fraud prevention, marketing technology, information technology, site analytics, site maintenance, software development, electronic signatures, identity verification and other Site and service features, provided that all such parties will be under confidentiality duties to protect and not share any Personal Information we give them.
- Our affiliated broker-dealers in order to enroll you as their client. Please note that these brokerages may have their own privacy policies and client agreements, which they will disclose to you at the time of your enrollment and participation.
- Our affiliated custodial organizations in order to enroll you as their client. These organizations may have their own privacy policies and client agreements, which they will disclose to you at the time of your enrollment and participation.
- Further, per the terms of the Transactions and other agreements you may enter into, Forge may setup or contract with third parties to service, pool, and otherwise manage the securities that are the subject of the Transactions.
- To any other third parties at your direction or instruction, or with your approval
- Any other person under a duty of confidentiality to the Forge Group or its affiliated entities that have undertaken to keep such Personal Information confidential.
6. Aggregate information
In an ongoing effort to better understand our Services, we might analyze your information in aggregate form to operate, maintain, manage, and improve the Services. This aggregate information does not identify you personally. We may share this aggregate data with vendors, and our affiliates, agents, and business partners. We may also disclose aggregated user statistics to describe the Services to current and prospective business partners and to other third parties for other lawful purposes.
7. Your rights regarding your personal information
Under certain circumstances, you have the right to do the following:
- Opt out from direct marketing at any time and without charge via the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you, via your account settings if you are a Site Member, or by contacting us directly.
- You may limit our sharing of certain personal information. You may prevent us from sharing the Personal Information we have collected about you with non-affiliated third parties in certain circumstances. You may opt out of our sharing of the Personal Information that we have obtained from third parties, such as your credit reports, with our affiliates. You may also opt out of our sharing of Personal Information about you to affiliates and non-affiliates so that they can market to you. You may not, however, limit our sharing of Personal Information for the purposes of providing the Service, our everyday business purposes, our own marketing, or for joint marketing efforts with other financial companies.
If you are a resident of California, you may have additional rights as set forth in our Notice to California Residents.
8. Record retention
We may retain or delete your Personal Information according to our internal data retention policies as permitted by applicable laws and regulations, even after you no longer use the Site and Services or terminate or deactivate your account or your relationship with Forge, among other things for backup, archival, contract enforcement and dispute resolution, auditing, and regulatory compliance purposes. Note, also, that securities law and regulations, among other things, may require that we keep an archival / recordkeeping copy of some or all of your Personal Information, that we provide such information to regulatory authorities, and that removing, deleting, erasing, suspending processing of, or withdrawing consent with respect to your Personal Information may result in our no longer being able to provide you the Services.
9. Age restrictions
The Site and Services are directed at and intended solely for adults according to the age of majority and other laws of their jurisdiction. We do not knowingly collect any information from anyone under the age of 18 or allow them to use the Site or Services. If you learn that we may have inadvertently collected any such information, please contact us immediately for a resolution.
10. Other sites and services
11. How we protect your personal information
Forge is committed to maintaining the confidentiality, accuracy, and security of the Forge community’s Personal Information, to honor our clients’ integrity, respect the trust the Forge community places in us, and for purposes of compliance.
We protect Personal Information by using software, physical safeguards, and internal procedures, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. This includes using secure servers, encryption, and locked facilities as applicable. We maintain access policies designed to limit access to Personal Information to those who need to know as part of the Services, and education and training for employees on the importance of confidentiality. We have a policy of requiring companies that work with us to protect Personal Information as well.
We ask you to help by taking reasonable precautions to protect your own files, use secure passwords, and generally exercise due care with any sensitive information about yourself or other people.
No security system is completely without risk. If there is a security or data breach affecting your Personal Information, we will attempt to investigate and as appropriate, notify you and take other applicable legal steps. Further, if you become aware that any Personal Information we have appears to be inaccurate, and you are unable to correct it yourself from your user account, you may contact us as described below. You may also contact us anytime if you have questions regarding your Personal Information, the Services, or any other matter.
12. Contact us
13. Policy changes
14. Transfer of personal information between jurisdictions