RECAP Project — Privacy Policy

This privacy policy governs the following:

  1. The RECAP Extension for Firefox, Chrome, Safari or other browsers (the “RECAP Extension” or the “Extension”); and
  2. The RECAP Extension Server, hosted at, with which the Extension interacts (the “RECAP Extension Server” or the “Extension Server”).
  3. The system, hosted at, which allows us to receive copies of PACER and CM/ECF notifications.

Collectively, these projects are called the "RECAP System".


This document describes what information we collect from our users and what we will and will not do with it. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email us.

About RECAP and the Role of the Internet Archive

RECAP is a joint project of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University and Free Law Project.

Public records submitted by RECAP user to Free Law Project are transmitted to the RECAP Extension Server, which is under the control of Free Law Project. Public records may then be transmitted to the Internet Archive (“IA”), a 501(c)(3) non-profit tasked with building an Internet library with permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.

Because IA has no control over the RECAP System, and because the IA servers never receive any sensitive information about RECAP users from the RECAP System, the IA servers are considered to be outside of the RECAP System, and this privacy policy does not bind IA. Users of the RECAP System may wish to review IA’s own Privacy Policy, which is available at

Uploading Public Records

The RECAP System helps end users upload and download documents to and from the CourtListener server.

When a RECAP Extension user downloads pages containing public records from PACER, including docket pages, “receipt” pages, and PDF files of individual documents, a copy is automatically sent to the Extension Server. Some of these pages may contain personally-identifiable information such as a PACER username.

When somebody adds their email address to their PACER or CM/ECF account, we receive notification emails from the PACER system on your behalf. Upon receiving these emails, we scrape them for useful metadata and attempt to download any referenced documents so that the data and documents may be added to

Each notification email we receive from the PACER system will have some personally identifiable information in it, such as the email address of the recipients. We store these emails in case we need them later to fix bugs or add new features, but we do not share them publicly or with any third parties beyond our computer hosting partners.

Downloading Public Records

When a RECAP user downloads a public record through the Extension, the public record is actually downloaded from, a related initiative of Free Law Project. Please note that by downloading documents through the Extension from CourtListener, RECAP users may be bound by CourtListener's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Copyright Policy.

Querying the Extension Server

When a RECAP user conducts a search on PACER, the Extension queries the Extension Server to determine if the user-sought public record is publicly-available for download. The Extension transmits information about the court, case, and public record sought to the Extension Server, which responds to the query.

If a user chooses to download a document or public record directly from CourtListener, information may be logged by CourtListener in accordance with CourtListener's privacy policy.

Interacting with PACER

The RECAP Extension never directly interacts with the PACER servers, nor does it store any information related to your PACER account. The Extension does check for the existence of a “PACER cookie” or “ECF cookie” in the user’s browser, but it does not further examine the contents of the cookie or transmit the cookie to any other server. The Extension checks for these cookies in order to determine when you are logged in using a public-access PACER account or an attorney ECF account so that uploads and queries can be triggered. The RECAP System will not retain any information about your PACER account on our Servers.


The RECAP System may keep logs of queries, uploads, and emails it receives. Free Law Project purges user-related logs when they are 12 weeks old, but reserves the right to compute standard aggregate statistics such as total number of uploads, queries, and unique users before purging our logs.

Free Law Project will not publicly display log records or client IP addresses. Free Law Project will not sell logs to third parties. Free Law Project will only release logs to a third party if compelled to do so by a court order. We have never received such an order.


We reserve the right to change our privacy policy from time to time at our sole discretion. Please periodically check this section to review the current version of the Privacy Policy. Your continued use of the RECAP System following the posting of such changes will constitute your assent to all such changes.

Last Updated 2022 July 21.

Note: You may also wish to review our Copyright Infringement Policy and Terms of Use

© 2023 Free Law Project. Content licensed under a Creative Commons BY-ND international 4.0, license, except where indicated.