At SciStarter, our top priority is protecting our users' privacy. Therefore, we have adopted the following policy to advise you of our use of your personal information. This policy describes what types of information we gather about you, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it to third parties.
I. CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT:
A. Information You Provide to Us
Identifying information: When you sign up at SciStarter, you create a username (and, optionally, provide a real name) and provide an e-mail address and zip code. The e-mail address is not visible to other users, except project owners for projects you enrolled in, but others may see your username (or real name if one was provided ) in various contexts, including Profile pages and on project pages in the form of your ratings/reviews, bookmarks, or contribute to projects. Privacy preferences can easily be changed in Settings where you can tell us what information you'd like public or private.
B. Other Information We Receive and Store
Usage information: We also monitor and study how people use SciStarter and Science For Citizens websites, and aggregate data about visits and online activities. The following data may be recorded:
- log ins
- page views
- activities including online ratings/reviews, bookmarks, contributions to projects, social sharing
When you sign in, your username, real name, or an "anonymous" identity (depending on your Settings) is associated with these activities. Otherwise, they are associated with an IP address. If your profile is public, your username and link to your profile will be associated with participation in projects and listed on SciStarter webpages.
We will never share your e-mail address with third parties without your express permission which includes projects you've enrolled in (when you sign up for those projects through SciStarter, you give us permission to share your information with those project owners). We will also never share data we collect about you unless it cannot be associated with you or your username, it is necessary to accomplish the research goals of SciStarter or our university partners, or unless you give permission to third-party sites when you sign in to other sites using your SciStarter credentials or give your permission to affiliate your data with other citizen science platforms and projects (to track your contributions to projects, for example). Specifically, we may share your anonymized data with research study participants, other researchers, or in scholarly work describing our research. We may collect information from you as a result of your visiting our site and/or sending us emails including your domain name, IP address, the time you spend on our site, your email address, referral data, your browser type and version, your operating system and platform, pages you view, length of visits to pages and other browser interaction information.
We may also gather certain generic information with respect use of our web site, such as the number of unique visitors, the frequency with which they visit, and the areas on the web site that they favor. We only use this type of data in aggregate, in other words, we look at the data collectively and not with reference to an individual visit. This data can help us determine the extent to which visitors use which parts of our website, which, in turn, enables us to make it as appealing as possible. We also reserve the right to provide general information about how visitors collectively use our web site to advertisers, sponsors, and other companies with which we do business or who may be interested in our business. We do this so they can understand how often people use our site and certain specific areas of the site. This information does not contain any specific information about any individual user.
We use a technology nicknamed "cookies" on our web site. Cookies are pieces of information or data sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Cookies also allow us to count the number of unique and return visitors who use our site. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies. Cookies are a widespread and widely accepted technology. If you prefer, you can reset your browser to notify you when you've received a cookie or, alternatively, to refuse to accept cookies. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance their experience on our site.
www.scistarter.org, www.scistarter.com, and www.scienceforcitizens.com counts, tracks, and aggregates the visitor’s activity into our analysis of general traffic flow at these sites (e.g., tracking where traffic comes from and how traffic flows within the sites). We may merge this information into group data, which may then be shared on an aggregated basis with potential advertisers, research firms, and business partners. We will not disclose your individual identity or personal data-ever-without your explicit permission. When and if we do present aggregated information to university researchers, potential advertisers, research firms, and business partners, no one will be able to identify you or contact you without your explicit permission.
II. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT
A. Use and Disclosure of Information
Once you have provided us with your information, as detailed above, we will only use the specific information we have collected about you in the following ways:
To send Email Alerts on items we feel would be of interest to visitors to www.scistarter.org and www.scienceforcitizens.com; (you can opt out of our email and messaging features, in Settings)
To provide and collect information with reference to ideas you may suggest;
To protect the rights and safety of us, our shareholders, members, officers, employees and visitors;
To discern information about science projects you suggest to us or about science projects you may be doing via our sites;
To enable other citizen scientists and project owners to message you via the SciStarter messaging feature. We will not share or expose your email address with other citizen scientists or project owners.
And as otherwise required by law.
We disclose your information to third parties only as reasonably required to protect the rights and safety of us, our, members, employees and users (such as to legal representatives and law enforcement) as you expressly permit and as required by law (such as the result of a court subpoena). We may transfer your information in the event of the sale of substantially all of the assets of our business to a third-party or in the event of a merger, consolidation or acquisition. However, in such event, any acquirer will be subject to the provisions of our commitments to you. If you subscribe to any Email Alerts we may provide, participate in a questionnaire, post comments or information, or send us an email, you provide us with information that we may collect. Such information may include your name, address, phone number, email address and any other information provided, for example, in your email or in the body of a questionnaire.
Other than the uses listed above, we do not share, sell, rent, or lease any of your specific personal information including name, phone, address, email, with anyone.
B. Protection For Children
We are committed to protecting the privacy and rights of children online. We believe that children should be able to use the Internet in a safe, productive, and efficient manner and should be afforded the highest protection available with respect to their personal information. To that end, we have made it our policy not to knowingly collect any individually identifiable information from users whom we know are under the age of 13 or without permission from an adult. We also make known non-adult accounts private by default.
C. Email Communication From Us and Other Registered SciStarter Users
We may send you periodic information via email which we feel may be of interest to you. We do not share your personal information with any third parties in connection with our emails. Please note that we may use a third party service provider to administer any email lists. Any such provider may not use your email information for any purpose other than in connection with providing and monitoring our email alerts to you. Note that other registered users of SciStarter, including citizen scientists and project owners, will be able to message you via the SciStarter messaging system. This system does not expose your email address. You can opt out of the Messaging service in your Settings.
D. Academic Research
We conduct academic research and may invite you to participate in surveys and interviews. You have the right not to answer any question, or to remove yourself from involvement in the research at any time. Email addresses and/or telephone numbers are recorded internally only as a means of validating a participant's identity, and for project staff to communicate with participants. As with any online and social media activity, there are risks to data privacy. Your participation in our studies is voluntary. If you choose not to participate or to withdraw from the study at any time, there will be no penalty. You must be 18 or older to participate in the research study. Your responses will be anonymous, unless you decide otherwise. The results of this study may be used in reports, presentations, or publications but your name will not be known without your express permission. Most results will only be shared in the aggregate form and any individual comments will remain anonymous, unless you decide otherwise. If you have any questions concerning the research study, please contact the research team via: Darlene Cavalier (Darlene.Cavalier@asu.edu). If you have any questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, through the ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance, at (480) 965-6788.
As part of research funded by the National Science Foundation for the development of SciStarter, we also may work with other academic researchers to examine the online patterns of how users navigate the site, search for and bookmark projects, join and display projects, and communicate with project leaders and other citizen scientists. This research helps us better understand citizen scientists and improve the design of SciStarter accordingly. By joining SciStarter, you are consenting to participate in this research. Your activity in SciStarter and all information you provide will be kept confidential in all reports and publications (unless you explicitly agree to share your identity), but may be shared with the owners of citizen science projects in which you are enrolled. If you have questions about the research, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
III. NOTIFICATION OF CHANGES
A. Notification of Changes
IV. EFFECTIVE DATE
A. Effective Date
V. USE COMMON SENSE
A. Use Common Sense and Your Best Judgment
With reference to any and all activities online, the best policy is to always use common sense with regard to providing your personal information. Even the best policy and safest website and email security cannot protect your privacy in all circumstances. The worldwide web is populated by many unscrupulous advertisers, scammers, con artists and hackers who seek to use your personal information to their advantage. The best protection is to understand the risks out there and the limits to privacy in the internet and use your best judgment and common sense in all your internet activities.