If you only read the Spotting World project websites, no more information is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites in general.
If you contribute to the Spotting World projects, you are publishing every word you post publicly. If you write something, assume that it will be retained forever. This includes articles, user pages and talk pages. Some limited exceptions are described below.
Publishing on the wiki and public data
Simply visiting the web site does not expose your identity publicly (but see private logging below).
When you edit any page in the wiki, you are publishing a document. This is a public act, and you are identified publicly with that edit as its author.
When you publish a page in the wiki, you may be logged in or not.
If you are logged in, you will be identified by your user name. This may be your real name if you so choose, or you may choose to publish under a pseudonym, whatever user name you selected when you created your account.
If you have not logged in, you will be identified by your network IP address. This is a series of four numbers which identifies the Internet address from which you are contacting the wiki. Depending on your connection, this number may be traceable only to a large Internet service provider, or specifically to your school, place of business, or home. It may be possible that the origin of this IP address could be used in conjunction with any interests you express implicitly or explicitly by editing articles to identify you even by private individuals.
It may be either difficult or easy for a motivated individual to connect your network IP address with your real-life identity. Therefore if you are very concerned about privacy, you may wish to log in and publish under a pseudonym.
When using a pseudonym, your IP address will not be available to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by you or by another user with the same IP address. In all cases, your IP address will be stored on the wiki servers and can be seen by Spotting World's server administrators and by users who have been granted "CheckUser" access. Your IP address, and its connection to any usernames that share it may be released under certain circumstances (see below).
If you use a company mail server from home or telecommute and use a DSL or cable Internet connection, it is likely to be very easy for your employer to identify your IP address and find all of your IP based Spotting World project contributions. Using a user name is a better way of preserving your privacy in this situation. However, remember to log out or disconnect yourself after each session using a pseudonym on a shared computer, to avoid allowing others to use your identity.
The wiki will set a temporary session cookie (PHPSESSID) whenever you visit the site. If you do not intend to ever log in, you may deny this cookie, but you cannot log in without it. It will be deleted when you close your browser session.
More cookies may be set when you log in, to avoid typing in your user name (or optionally password) on your next visit. These last up to 30 days. You may clear these cookies after use if you are using a public machine and don't wish to expose your username to future users of the machine. (If so, clear the browser cache as well.)
Privacy is of great concern to most users of the Internet and is a critical part of an enjoyable and satisfactory user experience. We at Spotting World are acutely aware of and sensitive to the privacy concerns of our subscribers and other visitors to our website. We do not collect personal information from you unless you give it to us. We have servers located throughout the world, and your data is stored on one or more of these.
Please note that our sites contain links to other sites. Spotting World is not responsible for the privacy practices, privacy statements or content regarding these other sites.
Information We Gather from You
We do not collect any personal information from a visitor to our site unless that visitor explicitly and intentionally provides it. If you are simply browsing our site, we do not gather any personal information about you.
Subscription or Registration
If you choose to subscribe to or download certain information from us, we will request certain information from you. We will then use this information to fulfil your requests and to send you the material you have asked for.
When you visit our site, our computers may automatically collect statistics about your visit. This information does not identify you personally, but rather identifies information about your visit to our site. We may monitor statistics such as how many people visit our site, the user's IP address, which pages people visit, from which domains our visitors come and which browsers people use. We use these statistics about your visit for aggregation purposes only. These statistics are used to help us improve the performance of our website.
We collect anonymous statistics about your visit, like which of our pages you viewed.
Some 3rd parties like Facebook and Twitter may know you visited this website, if you use their services. We can’t control them but we don’t believe this knowledge poses any threat to you.
If you sign up with us we take great care to keep your information safe and we’ll never share it with others without your express permission.
We never share your data with 3rd parties except to help us deliver our own services.
These are just the key points. If you need detail, keep reading.
Measuring our visitors
We measure visitors to our website using Google Analytics. This records what pages you view within our site, how you arrived at our site and some basic information about your computer. All of that information is anonymous – so we don’t know who you are; just that somebody visited our site.
The information we collect from analytics helps us understand what parts of our sites are doing well, how people arrive at our site and so on. Like most websites, we use this information to make our website better.
You can learn more about Google Analytics or opt out if you wish. You should also read How Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps.
These services provide social buttons and similar features which we use on our website – such as the "Like" and "Tweet" buttons.
To do so we embed code that they provide and we do not control ourselves. To function their buttons generally know if you're logged in; for example Facebook use this to say "x of your friends like this". We do not have any access to that information, nor can we control how those networks use it.
Social networks therefore could know that you’re viewing this website, if you use their services (that isn’t to say they do, but their policies may change). As our website is remarkably inoffensive we imagine this is not a concern for most users.
How We Use and With Whom We Share the Personal Information We Gather
The personal information we gather from you is used by us only as explained below.
Sending you responses and updates
We generally respond to any e-mail questions, requests for product or service information and other inquiries that we receive. We may also retain this correspondence to improve our products, services and website and for other disclosed purposes. Frequently we retain contact information so that we can send individuals updates or other important information about our services and products.
Disclosure by Law and Protection of Spotting World and Others
If we are required by law to disclose certain information to local, state, federal, national or international government or law enforcement authorities, we will do so. We will also disclose information to third parties as necessary in order to comply with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, Spotting World may share information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities or suspected fraud, or enforce or apply Spotting World's agreements.
From time to time, we may request information from customers via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use of and satisfaction with this website, and improving our customer service and product offerings.
Your Ability to Opt Out of Further Notifications
At any time you may alter your registration on this site. This affects any future communications from us with the specific exception of a very short "work in progress" period during which you may still receive information from us that differs from your registration period
Changes to this Privacy Statement
If a material change is made to this Privacy Statement, we will post this change on our website.
Many aspects of the Spotting World projects' community interactions depend on the reputation and respect that is built up through a history of valued contributions. User passwords are the only guarantee of the integrity of a user's edit history. All users are encouraged to select strong passwords and to never share them. No one shall knowingly expose the password of another user to public release either directly or indirectly.
Every time you visit a web page, you send a lot of information to the web server. Most web servers routinely maintain access logs with a portion of this information, which can be used to get an overall picture of what pages are popular, what other sites link to this one, and what web browsers people are using. It is not the intention of the Spotting World projects to use this information to keep track of legitimate users.
These logs are used to produce the statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public, and is normally discarded after about two weeks.
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. IP addresses of users, derived either from those logs or from records in the database are frequently used to correlate usernames and network addresses of edits in investigating abuse of the wiki, including the suspected use of malicious "sockpuppets" (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruption of the wiki.
Policy on release of data derived from page logs
It is the policy of Spotting World that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, may be released by the system administrators or users with CheckUser access, in the following situations:
- In response to a valid court order or other compulsory request from law enforcement
- With permission of the affected user
- To the Spotting World Office, legal counsel, or designee, when necessary for investigation of abuse complaints.
- Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues.
- Where the user has been vandalising articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to assist in the targeting of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers
- Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of Spotting World, its users or the public.
Spotting World policy does not permit public distribution of such information under any circumstances, except as described above.
Sharing information with third parties
Except where otherwise specified, all text added to Spotting World projects is available for reuse under the terms of the GFDL.
Spotting World will not sell or share private information, such as email addresses, with third parties, unless you agree to release this information, or it is required by law to release the information.
Security of information
Spotting World makes no guarantee against unauthorized access to any information you provide. This information may be available to anyone with access to the servers.
E-mail, mailing lists and IRC
You may provide your e-mail address in your Preferences and enable other logged-in users to send email to you through the wiki.
If you do not provide an email address, you will not be able to reset your password if you forget it. However, you may contact one of the Spotting World server administrators to enter a new mail address in your preferences.
You can remove your email address from your preferences at any time to prevent it being used.
IRC channels are not officially part of Spotting World proper. By participating in an IRC channel, your IP address may be exposed to other participants. Different channels have different policies on whether logs may be published.
Data on users, such as the times at which they edited and the number of edits they have made are publicly available via "user contributions" lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.
Removal of user accounts
Once created, user accounts will not be removed. It may be possible for a username to be changed (depending on the policies of your local wiki and on the number of edits you have). Spotting World does not guarantee that a name will be changed on request.
Whether specific user information is deleted is dependant on the deletion policies of the project that contains the information.
Deletion of content
Removing text from Spotting World projects does not permanently delete it. In normal articles, anyone can look at a previous version and see what was there. If an article is "deleted", any user with "administrator" access on the wiki, meaning almost anyone trusted not to abuse the deletion capability, can see what was deleted. Information can be permanently deleted by those people with access to the servers, but there is no guarantee this will happen except in response to legal action.
UK Information Commissioner
Spotting World has been advised on 1 February 2007 by the UK Information Commissioner, under whose jurisdiction all Spotting World operations fall, that the database of registered users is exempt from notification under the terms of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 on the basis that users register only to use the facilities, and that no marketing to those users take place, nor are the registration details rented, sold or passed in any way to any third party organisation.