Public Lab Wiki documentation



Public Lab Privacy Policy



For tools to maintain your own privacy while using electronic devices, see Privacy Tools

Updated September 2018 | public-lab-privacy-policy-sept-2018.pdf

Based on https://digitalimpact.io/document/privacy-policy-high/

The following document outlines the Privacy Policy of Public Lab. Also review our Code of Conduct (https://publiclab.org/conduct) and licensing guidelines (https://publiclab.org/licenses), which govern your use of our services. There is a short explanation at the end of each section in italics that is not legally binding.

At Public Lab, we are committed to the ethical and respectful use of personal information. In our work, and to serve our community and those we work with, we need to make use of personal information in a number of ways. We always seek to protect individual privacy while we fulfill our responsibilities and mission, and when these must be balanced, we seek to do so transparently and in good faith.

Acceptance of policy

This privacy policy ("Policy") describes how Public Lab collects, uses and shares personal information of its Users. This Policy also applies to any of our other websites that post this Policy. This Policy does not apply to websites that post different statements. To use our websites you must agree to this Policy, our Code of Conduct, and our licensing guidelines.

Basically: This policy describes how we collect, use and share personal information.


Control over your information

  • You may send requests about personal information to our Contact Information below.
  • You can request information about and updates to your personal information. Our outreach emails tell you how to "opt-out." If you opt out, we may still send you emails for other purposes, such as to communicate about your accounts, security, and other important topics.
  • You can remove and reject cookies from our websites in the settings for most browsers. Many browsers are set to accept cookies until you change your settings. If you remove or reject our cookies, it could affect how our websites work for you.

Basically: You have to opt out to avoid us using your data, but we do give you some control over your data.

What we collect

We collect information about you and your activity in a range of ways.

Information You Give Us. When using our websites, purchasing kits from us, or attending events, you are often asked to give us information.

  • In the Public Lab store at store.publiclab.org, we collect your name, postal address, email address, phone number, username, password, order information (such as what you ordered), and other information you provide to us.
  • When organizing events that you attend, we may collect information such as your name, mailing address, demographic information (such as your gender and occupation), and others through sites such as Eventbrite.
  • For evaluating the efficacy of the Public Lab non-profit, we may ask for feedback on your experience with our programming as well as demographic information at various events and in various parts of our community. Surveys may be filled out anonymously.
  • On PublicLab.org, you may enter publicly viewable personally identifiable information, both on your profile page and in the posts, comments, wiki page edits, tags, and other contributions you make. These may include your geographic location and the location of your work.
  • We use a contact management system to build institutional memory among Public Lab staff. Staff notes from group meetings or individual project conversations, as well as emails, may be stored in Public Lab's contact management system.

Information We Get from Others. We may get information about you from other sources. We may add this to information you provide to us. This may include:

  • Geographic and demographic information provided by social media platforms like Twitter
  • Geographic and demographic information provided by analytics platforms such as Google Analytics
  • Username, email, and other information you grant access to when linking your account with external services like Twitter, Facebook, and Github.

Information Automatically Collected. We automatically log information about you and your computer, but only in aggregate; no personally identifiable information is stored and IP addresses are partially obscured for privacy (see https://publiclab.org/location-privacy). For example, when visiting our websites, we log your: computer operating system type, browser type, browser language, the website you visited before browsing to our websites, pages you viewed, how long you spent on a page, access times, Internet protocol (IP) address and information about your use of and actions on our websites.

Cookies. We may log information using "cookies." Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive by a website. Cookies help us make our websites and your visit better. We use cookies to see which parts of our websites people use and like, and to count visits to our websites.

Web Beacons. We may log information using digital techniques called Web beacons on our websites or in our emails. We use Web beacons to manage cookies, count visits, and to learn what outreach works and what does not. We also use Web Beacons to tell if you open or act on our emails.

Basically: In order for you to participate in our online spaces, we need to collect certain information.


How we use personal information

We use your personal information as follows:

  • We use your personal information to operate, maintain, and improve our websites.
  • We use your personal information to respond to comments and questions and provide customer service related to our Kits initiative.
  • We use your personal information to send you things you've ordered from us in the mail.
  • We use your personal information to send information including confirmations, invoices, technical notices, updates, security alerts, and support and administrative messages.
  • We use your personal information to communicate about events and other news relevant to Public Lab's mission.
  • We use your personal information to protect, investigate, and deter against fraudulent, unauthorized, or illegal activity.

Basically: We use the information we collect to provide you with the services offered by Public Lab


How we share personal information

We may share personal information as follows:

  • We may share personal information if you consent to us sharing it. For example, if your kit is being sold in the Public Lab store and another organization approaches us in order to reach you, we may ask you if we can share your information with them. How that organization may use your information will be subject to their privacy policies.
  • We may share personal information when we work with someone to mail you a kit you've ordered, or when partnering with another organization or individual to organize an event.
  • We may share personal information for legal, protection, and safety purposes, for example in an emergency. We may share information to comply with laws.
  • We may share information to respond to lawful requests and legal process.
  • We may share information to protect the rights and property of Public Lab, our agents, customers, and others. This includes enforcing our agreements, policies, and terms of use.
  • We may share information in an emergency. This includes protecting the safety of our employees and agents, our customers, or any person.
  • We may share information with those who need it to do work for us; for example, for purposes of accounting, audits, or contracted services like systems administration.
  • We may also share aggregated and/or anonymized data with others for their own uses.

Basically: Under certain circumstances, we can share this information with others.


Security of your personal information

We take steps to help protect personal information. No company can fully prevent security risks, however. Mistakes may happen. Bad actors may defeat even the best safeguards.

We provide regular security and privacy training and resources for our staff and for our contractors who may handle private information, and maintain internal guidelines to ensure security and privacy in our daily operations and communications.

Basically: We have security measures in place to protect your information but internet accessible information is vulnerable


Contact information

We welcome your comments or questions about this Policy. You may contact us about it at privacy@publiclab.org.


Changes to this privacy policy

Public Lab reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace the Policy at any time. If the alterations constitute a material change to the Policy, Public Lab will notify you by posting an announcement on our websites. What constitutes a material change will be determined at Public Lab's sole discretion. You shall be responsible for reviewing and becoming familiar with any such modifications. Using any service or viewing any content following notification of a material change to the Policy shall constitute your acceptance of the Policy as modified.

Basically: We may change this policy from time to time.


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