ASM Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

American Society for Microbiology ("ASM") is committed to maintaining your confidence and trust with respect to the information we collect from you on websites owned and operated by ASM ("ASM Web Sites") and other sources. This Privacy Policy sets forth the information we collect about you, how we use this information and the choices you have about how we use such information.

What We Collect and How We Use It

Personal information you give to us:

1. Membership
When you become an ASM member, we collect information about you including (but not limited to) your name, your employer’s name, your work address (including your country location) and your email address. We may also collect your personal email address, a personal mailing address, mobile phone number and social media handles. We ask members to voluntarily provide additional information in their membership profile, such as information about their educational background, certifications, areas of expertise, state licenses and business activities. Additionally, we collect payment information such as credit card information, membership dues information, fundraising and gift information. Members may edit their profile at any time to change, add or remove personal information.

We process your personal information for membership administration, to deliver member benefits to you and to inform you of ASM-related events, content and other benefits or opportunities associated with your ASM membership. ASM may also use this information to help ASM understand our members’ needs and interests to better tailor our products and services to meet your needs.

2. Live Events and Web Conferences
ASM hosts many events throughout the year. These include in-person conferences, public outreach events and live web conferences (collectively “events”). If you register for one of our events, we will collect your name and contact information, payment information, travel and accommodations information, business information, educational information, purchasing preferences and any special accommodations you may need.

If you are a presenter at one of our events, we will collect information about you including your name, employer and contact information, photograph, speaking qualifications and experience. We may also collect information provided by event attendees who evaluated your performance as a presenter. We may also make and store a recording of your voice and likeness in certain instances.

We keep a record of your participation in ASM events as an attendee or presenter. This information may be used to provide you with membership and certification services (such as, for example, keeping track of your continuing education credits, or to tell you about other events and publications). It may also be used to help ASM understand our customers’ needs and interests to better tailor our products and services to meet your needs.

In association with attending one or more of our conferences, you will have the option to download the “ASM Events App” to help you navigate the conference and plan your schedule. The ASM Events App may require the device identifier associated with your device but does not collect or use any other personal data.

Some of our events are sponsored. ASM provides an attendee list to sponsors, co-sponsors and exhibitors of our events. ASM may also allow sponsors, co-sponsors and/or exhibitors to send you material by mail once per sponsored event, in which case ASM engages a third-party mailing house and does not share your mailing address directly with the sponsor/exhibitor. If you do not wish to have your information included in an attendee list or to receive information from sponsors, co-sponsors and/or exhibitors, you can express your preferences when you register for events or you may contact ASM directly at:

3. Travel Awards
ASM offers a travel award to increase faculty's knowledge and skills in the microbiological sciences. A second goal of the program is to increase participation from a larger group of biology faculty to work closely with ASM to improve undergraduate microbiology.

As part of your application for the travel awards, we will collect your personal and business contact information, information regarding prior travel awards, gender, ethnicity and racial background, educational background, employment information, professional activities and memberships, teaching experience and other funding sources.

4. ASM Awards and Recognitions
ASM manages an array of awards for leaders in the world of microbial sciences who are recognized and nominated by their peers. Research, education, service and special awards, as well as grants and fellowships, are essential components of ASM recognition of member excellence.

Members nominate other members for the awards by completing an online nominations form. The form includes the nominee’s contact information, educational degrees, a description of the nominee’s accomplishments and reference sources.

5. Publications
ASM offers a great deal of content for our members and customers. In addition to producing original content, ASM also subscribes to news feeds and blogs produced by others, which we often link to from our website. This means you may find yourself on ASM website or reading an email from ASM publications team and we will offer you a link to another organization’s website where you will find content that we find relevant and useful to you. At these times, you will be leaving ASM website. ASM is not responsible or liable for content provided by these third party websites or personal information they may happen to gather from you.

You may wish to subscribe to ASM’s publications without becoming a member of ASM. To receive ASM newsletters by email, you will need to create a “profile” with us which involves providing ASM with at least your first name and last name, an email address, payment information where applicable and the country in which you live. ASM does not share this information with any third party other than to store the information in our cloud-hosted databases.

You may manage your ASM subscriptions by subscribing or unsubscribing at any time. Please note that if you have set your browser to block cookies, this may have an impact on your ability to unsubscribe. If you have any difficulties managing your email or other communication preferences with ASM, please contact us at:

We also conduct surveys that we use to produce original research on the profession. We do not track individuals but look at information in the aggregate only. Participation in surveys is voluntary.

6. Postdoctoral Training
If you participate in ASM training, you may sign up directly through ASM in which case we collect your name, contact information, employment information, academic degrees, place of birth and citizenship information directly from you. You may, alternatively, sign up for training – or be signed up for training – by or through a third party such as one of our training partners, or your own employer. We may also use independent contractors to conduct the training and third parties to provide the training venue. Your personal information will be stored in our database (hosted by cloud service provider) and may also be shared with our training partners, trainers and/or the venue hosting the event (to verify your identity when you arrive). ASM’s training partners, trainers and training venue hosts have agreed not to share your information with others and not to use your personal information other than to provide you with ASM products and services.

7. Certifications
When you sign up to take one of ASM’s certification exams, we will collect your name, contact information, qualifications, education, experience, references. We will also collect and store information you provide to us about your need for special accommodations. This information may be shared with our computer-based exam hosting service. The computer-based exam hosting service may also share with us information you provide to them to verify your identity in taking the exam. ASM will collect your exam results and, in conjunction with maintaining your certification(s), your record of participation in continuing privacy education. Only authorized employees within ASM have access to your certification exam scores and personal information pertaining to any special accommodations you may request.

8. Your Correspondence With ASM
If you correspond with us by email, the postal service, or other form of communication, we may retain such correspondence and the information contained in it and use it to respond to your inquiry; to notify you of ASM conferences, publications, or other services; or to keep a record of your complaint, accommodation request and the like. As always, if you wish to have ASM “erase” your personal information or otherwise refrain from communicating with you, please contact us at:

9. Payment Card Information
You may choose to purchase goods or services from ASM using a payment card. Typically, payment card information is provided directly by users, via ASM website, into the PCI/DSS-compliant payment processing service to which ASM subscribes and ASM does not, itself, process or store the card information. Occasionally, members or customers ask ASM employees to, on their behalf, enter payment card information into the PCI/DSS-compliant payment processing service to which ASM subscribes. We strongly encourage you not to submit this information by email. When ASM employees receive payment card information from customers or members by email, fax, phone, or mail, it is entered as instructed and then deleted or destroyed.

10. What Happens if You Don’t Share Your Data
You can enjoy many of ASM’s services without giving us your personal data. Much of the information on our website is available even to those who are not ASM members. You can even enter only the minimal amount of information (name and contact information) to your ASM profile if you wish and you can edit your profile at any time. Some personal information is necessary so that ASM can supply you with the services you have purchased or requested and to authenticate you so that we know it is you and not someone else. You may manage your ASM subscriptions and you may opt-out of receiving marketing communication at any time.

Use of ASM Websites

As is true of most other websites, ASM’s website collects certain information automatically and stores it in log files. The information may include internet protocol (IP) addresses, the region or general location where your computer or device is accessing the internet, browser type, operating system and other usage information about the use of ASM’s website, including a history of the pages you view. We use this information to help us design our site to better suit our users’ needs. We may also use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our website, analyze trends, track visitor movements and gather broad demographic information that assists us in identifying visitor preferences.

1. Cookies and web beacons
Cookies are pieces of data that a website transfers to a user's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Web beacons are transparent pixel images that are used in collecting information about website usage, email response and tracking.

The Site uses cookies and Web beacons to provide enhanced functionality on the site (e.g., user ID and password prompts and conference registration) and aggregate traffic data (e.g., what pages are the most popular). These cookies may be delivered in a first-party or third-party context. ASM may also use cookies and web beacons in association with emails delivered by ASM. Our site also captures limited information (user-agent, HTTP referrer, last URL requested by the user, client-side and server-side clickstream) about visits to our site; we may use this information to analyze general traffic patterns and to perform routine system maintenance. You have many choices with regards to the management of cookies on your computer. All major browsers allow you to block or delete cookies from your system. To learn more about your ability to manage cookies and web beacons, please consult the privacy features in your browser.

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics uses "cookies," which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purposes of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using ASM website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

ASM also uses a marketing database management program that deploys a cookie when a user interacts with a marketing communication, such as a marketing email or a marketing-based landing page on our website. This cookie collects personal information such as your name, which pages you visit on ASM website, your history arriving at ASM website, your purchases from ASM and the like. We use the information we collect to serve you more relevant advertisements (referred to as Retargeting). We also collect information about where you saw the ads we serve you and what ads you clicked on.
For more information about how Google uses data collected from our website visit Google's Privacy Policy.

Users can opt out of Google's use of cookies by visiting Google's Ads Settings.
Alternatively, users can choose to opt out of a third-party vendor's use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

2. Do not track
ASM tracks users when they cross from our primary public website ( to our “ASM community” portion of the site ( by logging in with their user name and password, as well as when visitors to our website enter through a marketing landing page ( We use cookies from Google AdWords and other third party partners for marketing purposes. These cookies allow us to display promotional material to you on other sites you visit across the web. If you do not wish to receive these promotions, ASM urges you to implement targeted advertising to them and therefore does not respond to Do Not Track (DNT) signals.

Information From Third Parties

ASM occasionally receives personal information about individuals from third parties. This may happen if your employer is a corporate member of ASM and signs you up for training, certification or membership. One of our third-party training partners may also share your personal information with ASM when you sign up for training, certification or membership through that training partner.

When and How We Share Your Information

Information about your ASM purchases and certification status are maintained in association with your membership or profile account. The personal information ASM collects from you is stored in one or more databases hosted by third parties located in the United States. These third parties do not use or have access to your personal information for any purpose other than cloud storage and retrieval. On occasion, ASM engages third parties to mail information to you, including items like books you may have purchased or material from an event sponsor.

We do not otherwise reveal your personal data to third-parties for their independent use unless:
  1. you request or authorize it; 
  2. it’s in connection with ASM-hosted and ASM co-sponsored conferences as described above; 
  3. the information is provided to comply with the law (for example, to comply with a search warrant, subpoena or court order), enforce an agreement we have with you or to protect our rights, property or safety or the rights, property or safety of our employees or others; 
  4. the information is provided to our agents, vendors or service providers who perform functions on our behalf; 
  5. to address emergencies or acts of God;
  6. in the event of any reorganization, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of our operations, assets (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings);
  7. to address disputes, claims, or to persons demonstrating legal authority to act on your behalf; and 
  8. through the ASM Member Directory.
We may also gather aggregated data about our members and site visitors and disclose the results of such aggregated (but not personally identifiable) information to our partners, service providers, advertisers and/or other third parties for marketing or promotional purposes.

The ASM website uses interfaces with social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. If you choose to "like" or share information from ASM website through these services, you should review the privacy policy of that service. If you are a member of a social media site, the interfaces may allow the social media site to connect your site visit to your personal data.

Member Directory

ASM makes member information available through our ASM Member Directory to other ASM members using this site. Members are invited to opt-in to having their information shared in the Member Directory.

Transferring Personal Data From the E.U. to the U.S.

ASM is headquartered in the United States. Information we collect from you will be processed in the U.S. The U.S. has not sought nor received a finding of “adequacy” from the European Union under Article 45 of the GDPR. ASM relies on derogations for specific situations as set forth in Article 49 of the GDPR. In particular, ASM collects and transfers to the U.S. personal data only: with your consent; to perform a contract with you; or to fulfill a compelling legitimate interest of ASM in a manner that does not outweigh your rights and freedoms. ASM endeavors to apply suitable safeguards to protect the privacy and security of your personal data and to use it only consistent with your relationship with ASM and the practices described in this Privacy Notice. ASM also minimizes the risk to your rights and freedoms by not collecting or storing sensitive information about you.

Your Privacy Rights

You have the right to confirm that ASM is processing your personal data, or to have access to the personal data ASM may have about you, please contact us at:

You may also request information about: the purpose of the processing; the categories of personal data concerned; who else outside ASM might have received the data from ASM; what the source of the information was (if you didn’t provide it directly to ASM); and how long it will be stored. You have a right to correct (rectify) the record of your personal data maintained by ASM if it is inaccurate. You may request that ASM erase that data or cease processing it, subject to certain exceptions. You may also request that ASM cease using your data for direct marketing purposes. In many countries, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the appropriate data protection authority if you have concerns about how ASM processes your personal data. When technically feasible, ASM will—at your request—provide your personal data to you or transmit it directly to another controller.

Reasonable access to your personal data will be provided at no cost to ASM members, customers, conference attendees and others upon request made to ASM at: If access cannot be provided within a reasonable time frame, ASM will provide you with a date when the information will be provided. If for some reason access is denied, ASM will provide an explanation as to why access has been denied.

Security of Your Information

To help protect the privacy of data and personally identifiable information you transmit through use of this Site, we maintain physical, technical and administrative safeguards. We update and test our security technology on an ongoing basis. We restrict access to your personal data to those employees who need to know that information to provide benefits or services to you. In addition, we train our employees about the importance of confidentiality and maintaining the privacy and security of your information. We commit to taking appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce our employees' privacy responsibilities.

Data Storage and Retention

Your personal data is stored by ASM on its servers and on the servers of the cloud-based database management services ASM engages, located in the U.S. ASM retains data for the duration of the customer’s or member’s business relationship with ASM. For more information on where and how long your personal data is stored and for more information on your rights of erasure and portability, please contact ASM at:

As our organization, membership and benefits change from time to time, this Privacy Notice and Conditions of Use is expected to change as well. We reserve the right to amend the Privacy Notice and Conditions of Use at any time, for any reason, without notice to you, other than the posting of the amended Privacy Notice and Conditions of Use at this site. We may email periodic reminders of our notices and terms and conditions and will email ASM members of material changes thereto, but you should check our site frequently to see the current Privacy Notice and Conditions of Use that is in effect and any changes that may have been made to it.

State Nonprofit Disclosures

Certain states require written disclosures for nonprofit organizations soliciting contributions. Individual state disclosures are below.


Georgia: A full and fair description of our programs and our financial statement summary is available upon request at our office and phone number indicated above.

Maryland: For the cost of copies and postage, from the Office of the Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401. (410) 974-5534.

Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of American Society for Microbiology may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State's office by calling 1-888-236-6167. Registration by the Secretary of State does not imply endorsement.

Nevada: Contributions may be tax deductible pursuant to the provisions of sec. 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. ¤170(c).


New York: Upon request, from the Attorney General's Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005, 1-212-416-8686 or

North Carolina: Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-919-814-5400. The license is not an endorsement by the state.

Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of American Society for Microbiology may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Virginia: From the State Office of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218.

Washington: From the Secretary of State at 1-800-332-4483 or

West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305.

Wisconsin: A financial statement of the charitable organization disclosing assets, liabilities, fund balances, revenue and expenses for the preceding fiscal year will be provided to any person upon request.


More information about state disclosures for charities and charity fundraising registrations.