AcaWiki:Privacy policy

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AcaWiki Inc. (AcaWiki) is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation with its principal place of business in Fremont, CA 94539, USA. AcaWiki was formed to promote education, knowledge and the public benefit generally by making information from scientific, scholarly and other publications more accessible to the public reader via the Internet. As such, we will include content of various kinds from various sources in addition to content that we generate ourselves.

AcaWiki respects personal privacy, however we conduct our work in as an open and transparent a manner as possible. The nature of our program is to provide publicly accessible information. Most of our content is, therefore, publicly accessible, including email addresses if you choose to make them public and other information where voluntarily supplied by participants in online forums. Those users who do not wish to expose any personal information should not provide it, or should consider using anonymizing services where possible.

This Privacy Policy explains the collection, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information that AcaWiki collects through the websites that it operates at (the Website).

This Privacy Policy also explains our commitment to you with respect to our use and disclosure of non personal browsing and of the site usage data that is collected for AcaWiki. That commitment is contained in a Data Usage Policy, below. As used in this policy, “personal information” means information that would allow a party to identify you such as, for example, your name, address or location, telephone number or email address.

By accessing our websites, you are accepting the practices described in this Privacy Policy.

I. Privacy Policy

Our Principles

AcaWiki is committed to responsibly handling the information and data we collect about you through the Website, whether personal information or non personal browsing and site usage data. We have designed our Privacy Policy and our Data Usage Policy consistent with the following principles (the “Principles”):

1.Privacy policies and data collection and use policies should be human readable, comprehensive, and easy to locate; 2.Only the minimum amount of information reasonably necessary to provide you with services should be collected and maintained, and only for so long as reasonably needed; 3.Information you provide through the Website, or that we gather as a result of your use of our Website, should not be used for marketing or advertising purposes, nor should it be provided voluntarily (without your permission) to anyone else unless required; and 4.Unless restricted or prohibited by law, you should be notified when AcaWiki is required to provide a third party with your personal information.

Personal Information AcaWiki Collects

We collect personal information at several places on the Websites, including without limitation:

•in connection with your establishment of a user profile; •when you provide us with your personal information such as by sending an email to us or signing up to receive a newsletter or events listing; •when you contribute comment to the site or edit an abstract; •when you subscribe to one of our email discussion lists; and •when you donate money to us or purchase merchandise.

What AcaWiki does with Personal Information

User Profile.

You must establish a User Account to contribute content to the Website. You are not required to give us a real name or email address in order to set up a User Account. However, to participate in certain features on the Website, you will be required to establish a User Profile by giving us a valid email address. The email address in your Profile will not be publicly revealed unless you opt to reveal it. The User Profile provides you with a public profile page where you can post personal information for public viewing. The information that you submit on your public profile page, including but not limited to any photograph or image of yourself you upload, may be used by anyone who views that information for any lawful purpose, which, if you choose to provide it, must be licensed under and becomes subject to the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons license version identified in the footer of the Website (currently Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License). We use the personal information to establish and maintain your User Profile, provide you with the features we provide for account holders such as watch lists, and for the purpose of contacting you about upcoming news and events relevant to AcaWiki. Creative Commons may use the personal and non personal information you provide in your public profile to promote the mission of AcaWiki.

Any other personal information that we may collect which is not described specifically in this Privacy Policy will only be collected and used in accordance with the Principles.


The personal information you provide to us as part of your content postings, file uploads, and your contributions to wiki and discussion forums is publicly accessible to anyone.

Emails and Newsletters.

We use the personal information you provide to us when you send us emails or opt in to receive our newsletter or events listing in order to respond to your request — for example, to reply to your email or to send you communications about news and events related to AcaWiki. When you subscribe to our newsletter, events list or one of our email discussion lists, your name and email address is sent to and stored by (, a collaboration between the Center for the Public Domain ( and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill ( Personal information submitted as part of our email discussion lists is used for the purpose managing the discussion lists. Your name and email address will typically be visible to other list participants when you correspond on the list and to the general public in the discussion archives. All emails sent to the discussions list are publicly archived.


When you donate money to us, your personal information will be handled in one of two ways, depending on which option you choose. You may donate money to AcaWiki (1) directly or (2) through a third-party on-line payment site such as PayPal. When you use any third-party services to donate to us, your personal information is sent to, handled by and stored by those websites in accordance with their respective privacy policies and terms of use. You should read and understand the privacy policy and terms of use of any website you use to donate to AcaWiki. When you donate money to AcaWiki directly, we use your personal information to process your donation. Donations over a certain size are required by law to be publicly reported on our tax returns.

Regardless of the method by which you donate to AcaWiki, we additionally use the personal information you provide for the purpose of contacting you about upcoming news and events relevant to AcaWiki. When we contact you for the first time after your donation, we will use reasonable means to give you the option to choose not to be contacted in this manner again.

Disclosures of Personal Information

In general, it is not AcaWiki’s practice to disclose personal information to third parties. We may share personal information in two instances:

•First, AcaWiki may share personal information with our contractors and service providers in order to maintain, enhance, or add to the functionality of the Website. The Website is currently hosted by a third-party service provider, Creative Commons Corporation, which therefore has access to all of the information that you provide us. •Second, we may disclose your personal information to third parties in a good faith belief that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) take action regarding suspected illegal or abusive activities; (b) enforce or apply our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy; (c) comply with legal process, such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order; (d) resolve technical difficulties on the Website or (d) protect our rights, reputation, and property, or that of our users, affiliates, or the public.

Security of Personal Information Collected via the Websites

AcaWiki has implemented reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to and unlawful interception or processing of personal information that it stores and controls. However, no website can fully eliminate security risks. Third parties may circumvent our security measures to unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. We will post a reasonably prominent notice to the Website if any such security breach occurs.


Maintaining and preserving the privacy of user data is an important value. This Privacy Policy represents a committed effort to safeguard the security of the limited user information that is collected and retained on our servers. Nevertheless, AcaWiki cannot guarantee that user information will remain private. Determined individuals may develop data-mining and other methods to uncover such information and disclose it, despite our efforts to protect data. For this reason, AcaWiki can make no guarantee against unauthorized access to information provided in the course of participating in the Website.

No Linking.

We do not intentionally link browsing information to the personal information you submit to us. We use this information for internal purposes only, such as to help understand how the Website is being used, to improve our Website and the features we provide, and for systems administration purposes. We may use a third party analytics provider to help us collect and analyze non personal information through operation of our Website for those same purposes.

No Selling or Sharing.

Except in the unique situations identified in this Privacy Policy, AcaWiki does not sell or otherwise voluntarily provide the non personal information we collect about you or your website usage to third parties who are not service providers. Notice. If AcaWiki is required to provide a third party with your non personal information or to allow them to log in on behalf of you (whether by subpoena or otherwise), then we will use reasonable means to notify you promptly of that event, unless we are prohibited by law from doing so or is otherwise advised not to notify you on the advice of legal counsel.

Any other non-personal information that we collect which is not described specifically in this Privacy Policy will only be collected and used in accordance with the Principles.

Reorganization or Spin-Offs

AcaWiki may transfer some or all of your personal and/or non personal information to a third party as a result of a reorganization, spin-off or similar transaction. Upon such transfer, the acquirer’s privacy policy will apply. In such event, AcaWiki will use reasonable efforts to notify you and to ensure that at the time of the transaction the acquirer’s privacy policy complies with the Principles.


Consistent with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), we will never knowingly request personal information from anyone under the age of 13 without requiring parental consent. Any person who provides their personal information to AcaWiki through the Website represents that they are 13 years of age or older.

Third-Party Sites

The Websites may include links to other websites. You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party sites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other websites.

Special Note to International Users

The Website is hosted in the United States. If you are accessing the Website from the European Union, Asia, or any other region with laws or regulations governing personal data collection, use and disclosure that differ from United States laws, please note that you are transferring your personal data to the United States which does not have the same data protection laws as the EU and other regions. By providing your personal data you consent to:

•the use of your personal data for the uses identified above in accordance with the Privacy Policy; and •the transfer of your personal data to the United States as indicated above. II. Data Usage Policy: Non Personal Browsing and Site Usage Information Our Data Usage Policy covers how we maintain and use information about you that is collected by our Website and server logs.

When you browse the Website, our servers may collect information indirectly and automatically (through, for example, the use of your “IP address”) about your activities while visiting the Website and information about the browser you are using.

Because the AcaWiki Website allows the greatest possible participation of the general public, it is vulnerable to abuse. AcaWiki reserves the right to use non personal user information to investigate abuse, vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behavior. The IP addresses of users (derived either from those logs or from records in the database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behavior. This information may be shared with law enforcement authorities.

AcaWiki may statistically sample raw log data from users' visits. These logs are used to produce the site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public.

Log data may be examined by developers in the course of solving technical problems and in tracking down badly-behaved web spiders that overwhelm the site.

Technical Information

We may keep raw logs of visits, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users.

When a page is edited by a logged-in User, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. Only the username and edition date is kept after the set period. It may be possible for a third party to identify the author from this IP address in conjunction with other information available.


The Website sets a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in or edit may deny this cookie; it will be deleted at the end of the browser's session. More cookies may be set when one logs in to maintain logged-in status. If one saves a user name or password in one's browser, that information will be saved for up to 30 days, and this information will be resent to the server on every visit to the same Project. Contributors using a public machine who do not wish to show their username to future users of the machine should clear these cookies after use.

Page history

Edits or other contributions to an Abstract, user pages and talk pages are generally retained forever. Removing text from a project does not permanently delete it. Normally, in projects, anyone can look at a previous version of an article and see what was there. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with access to AcaWiki servers, but aside from the rare circumstance when the AcaWiki is required to delete editing-history material in response to a court order or equivalent legal process, there is no guarantee any permanent deletion will happen.

User contribution

User contributions are also aggregated and publicly available. User contributions are aggregated according to their registration and login status. Data on user contributions, such as the times at which users edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via user contributions lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.

Reading projects

No more information on users and other visitors reading pages is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites. Aside from the above raw log data collected for general purposes, page visits do not expose a visitor's identity publicly. Sampled raw log data may include the IP address of any user, but it is not reproduced publicly.

Editing Summaries

Edits to Summaries are identified with the username of the editor, and editing history is aggregated by author in a contribution list. Such information will be available permanently on the projects.

•Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the wiki servers for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators. •IP address information, and its connection to any usernames that share it, may be released under certain circumstances (see below). •Editors using a company mail server from home or telecommuting over a DSL or cable Internet connection are likely to be easy to identify by their IP address; in which case it may be easy to cross-identify all contributions to various Summaries made by that IP. Using a username is a better way of preserving privacy in this situation.


On wiki discussion pages:

•Any editable page can theoretically be the location of a discussion. In general, discussions on Foundation projects occur on user talk pages (associated with particular users), on article talk pages (associated with particular articles) or in pages specially designated to function as forums (e.g., the Village Pump). Privacy expectations apply to discussion pages in the same way as they do elsewhere.

Via email:

•Users are not required to list an email address when registering. Users who provide a valid email address can enable other logged-in users to send email to them through the wiki. When receiving an email from other users through this system, one's email address is not revealed to them. When choosing to send an email to other users, one's email is displayed as the sender. •The email address put into one's user preferences may be used by the Foundation for communication. Users whose accounts do not have a valid email address will not be able to reset their password if it is lost. In such a situation, however, users may be able to contact one of the Wikimedia server administrators to enter a new e-mail address. A user can remove the account's email address from his preferences at any time to prevent it from being used. Private correspondence between users may be saved at those users' discretion and is not subject to Wikimedia Foundation policy.

On mailing lists:

•The email addresses used to subscribe and post to Project mailing lists are exposed to other subscribers. The list archives of most such mailing lists are public, and searches of public archives may be performed on the Web. Subscribers' addresses may also be quoted in other users' messages. These email addresses and any messages sent to a mailing list may be archived and may remain available to the public permanently.

III. Changes

Changes and Updates to this Privacy Policy

We may occasionally update this Privacy Policy. When we do, we will also revise the Effective Date below. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Policy to stay informed about how we are protecting the personal information we collect. Your continued use of the Website constitutes your agreement to this Privacy Policy and any updates.

Change/Modify Information

Profile information that you have previously provided AcaWiki may be changed or modified by accessing your User Account preferences at Upon request, we can delete a User Account and Profile, in which case the User's Summaries and other website contributions will be retained but the User Name will be changed to "Anonymous."

Opt In/Opt Out

You can opt-out from receiving email and newsletter mailings from us by contacting us by email at


If you have questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us by email at

Effective Date: 15 January 2009