At Unlock NYC, we build free and inclusive technology that makes the apartment search process transparent and fair. Our approach to user privacy is guided by the principles of Consentful Tech, and we believe it is important for us to be transparent about exactly what personal information we collect through our website and associated tools, why we collect it, and the measures we take to keep it safe. We take your privacy and data security very seriously. Please read this Privacy Policy in full before using our website or our tools, and if you have additional questions or feedback, you can email us at

Our Privacy Policy aims to answer the following questions:

  1. What information do we collect from you?
  2. How do we use and share your information?
  3. Where and how do we store your information?

1. What information do we collect from you?

We collect personal information that you share with us directly.

When you use our website or our tools, you may decide to share personal information with us, but sharing personal information is always voluntary. For example, you might share your email address to sign up for updates, or you might share information about yourself, your voucher, and your housing situation while you’re making a report. You may send us digital evidence, including images of your text messages and audio files of your phone calls. When you’re making a report, you always have the choice to remain anonymous – we don’t ask you for contact information until the end of the report, and sharing your contact information is voluntary. We only require contact information if you are requesting a formal investigation, because we or our partners will need to follow up with you.

We collect anonymous information automatically.

When you use our website or our tools, we may measure data like the average amount of time that visitors stay on our website and how they find our website. This data is anonymized. That means we will not be able to connect this data to you.

We do not collect personal information from children under 13.

If you are under the age of 13, please do not attempt to provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under the age of 13, we will delete that information – please contact us at to notify us if you have reason to believe a child under the age of 13 has submitted personal information.

2. How do we use and share your information?

We use your contact information to communicate with you directly, and/or for marketing and updates.

If you share your contact information (for example, your phone number or email address) with us, we will store that information and may use it to contact you. We contact users whose reports require follow-up, and we also contact users on our mailing list with marketing information and updates. You may opt out of communications with us by sending us an email at

We aggregate data from reports and make it available to our partners, others working to end housing discrimination, and occassionally the public.

On a regular basis, we “aggregate” (create a summary) of data from the reports we receive. We share these summaries with our partners and other groups that are working to end housing discrimination, such as advocacy organizations, nonprofits, legal services, and/or city agencies responsible for monitoring and investigating violations of housing discrimination. These summaries are anonymous. For example, a summary might sound like: “This month, we received 80 reports about discriminatory incidents. Of these, 37% happened in Brooklyn. We identified that one real estate company, ABC Landlord Inc., has been discriminating repeatedly in zipcodes 11219 and 11221. In fact, one person reported that a broker told them, 'This landlord has taken enough voucher holders and doesn’t want any more.' The most common discriminatory tactic reported this month is not returning calls.”

We may also share this aggregated, anonymous data in part or in full on our website, social media, and other communication channels, to inform our community about what we learn. For example, we intend to create a map or other visualization of all the reports we receive.

In very limited cases, we may shared fully anonymized, disaggregated data with trusted researchers and allies who support our movement to end source of income discrimination and homelessness. We only do so when there is a clear benefit to voucher holders, and with a strict data sharing agreement in place to maximize data security and prevent the risk of re-identification. We anonymize data by removing personally identifiable information, such as name, contact information, incident description, housing history, and any evidence uploaded such as text messages, recordings, or e-mails. If you have any questions about this data sharing approach, you can contact our Head of Data & Advocacy, Manon Vergerio, at

If (and only if) you request a formal investigation, we may share your report alongside your contact information with our partners.

In certain cases, when you submit a report on our website, you may request a formal investigation of the incident and evidence that you are reporting. If you request this, we may share the details you have chosen to share with us in your report to one or more of our partners (legal services, nonprofit and advocacy organizations), and/or a city or state agency in charge of investigating and enforcing anti discrimination law. Depending on what information you have shared with us, this might include information such as:

Unlock NYC will not publish identifiable details about you or the incident you are reporting publicly.

3. Where and how do we store your information?

We do our best to research and choose tools that align with our values for protecting your information.

We make it a priority to protect the data you send us, with both physical and digital protection measures. While we cannot guarantee the privacy or security of any third-party website or software we use, we carefully research the tools we use to see if they align with our values. Here are the third-party providers we use to do our work:

Landbot: We use a tool called Landbot to build and maintain our chatbot.

Landbot saves the content of your conversation with the chatbot, and it protects its data with industry-standard SSL encryption. For more information on how Landbot handles your information while it is stored on their servers, see their Privacy Policy. We will delete your chat logs from the Landbot platform after 30 days.

Airtable: When you choose to share personal information with us, we store it in a database software called Airtable.

During the connection, your data is anonymized, encrypted, and protected (256-bit TLS encryption). Once the data lives on Airtable’s servers, it is also encrypted and protected (AES-256 encryption). This kind of data includes your phone number if you share it, and your answers to the bot’s questions that you share with us. If you choose to sign up to receive updates from us, we securely store your name and contact information in Airtable.

Fauna: When you use your phone number to log in with our reporting and recording tool, we store that information in a database called Fauna. We keep this information so that our tools can verify your phone number and "remember" you as you return to our tools. This information is kept separately from any reports that you make with Unlock NYC. All data stored with Fauna is encrypted, at rest and in transit.

Twilio: When you make a phone call with our recording tool, software called Twilio makes the call forwarding happen and records your audio. Your phone calls are encrypted on Twilio's servers: no one at the Twilio company can listen to your phone calls. Unlock NYC only listens to them when you give explicit permission via the recording and reporting tool. After 30 days, the encrypted files are deleted from Twilio's servers.

Digital Ocean: When you send us evidence, including text information, images, and audio recordings, we store your data in the cloud with a platform called Digital Ocean. We create folders with your case information that are only available to you and to third parties where you have agreed to send them (such as the New York City Commission on Human Rights). Digital Ocean encrypts your information on physical disks with 256-bit AES-XTS full-disk encryption. Your phone calls remain even further encrypted on this platform.

Ackee: We collect anonymous data about our website traffic using an analytics tool called Ackee.

We measure data like the average amount of time that visitors stay on our website and how they find our website. This data is anonymized. That means we will not be able to connect this data to you. Your IP address, the unique set of numbers that identify your device on the Internet, is never stored or tracked. We will use the analytics to help us decide how to improve your experience using Unlock NYC.

However, like anything on the Internet, we cannot guarantee that your personal information is 100% secure, and we want to be up-front with you about that.

Unlock NYC cannot guarantee that any information is totally secure. Third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications and Unlock NYC makes no representation, warranty or guarantee that our website is protected from viruses, security threats, or other vulnerabilities. By agreeing to this Privacy Policy and using our tools, you acknowledge that we are not responsible for any intercepted information sent via the Internet or telecommunications systems, and you hereby release us from any and all claims arising out of or related to the use of intercepted information in any unauthorized manner. If we become aware of any security breach which we know has resulted in unauthorized access of your personally identifying information, we commit to informing you as soon as possible.

Your data is yours. Get in touch with us if you ever want to edit or remove it.

If you want to know what personal information Unlock NYC has about you, edit your personal information, and/or erase part or all of your personal information, email us at Additionally, if your image appears on this website and you would like us to remove it, please contact us and we will take it down.