Lasted updated on October 31, 2018
What this policy covers
Your privacy is important to us, and so is being transparent about how we collect, use, and share information about you. This policy is intended to help you understand:
- What information we collect about you
- How we use information we collect
- How we share information we collect
- How we store and secure information we collect
- How to access and manage your information
- How we transfer information we collect internationally
- Other important privacy information
- Cookies and Tracking Notice
We offer a wide range of products and services that support our scientific research, conservation, education, and public outreach nonprofit work. We also fundraise to support our nonprofit mission. We refer to all of these nonprofit products, services, and fundraising activities as “Services” in this policy.
What information we collect about you
We collect information about you when you provide it to us, when you use our Services, and when other sources provide it to us, as further described below.
Information you provide to us
We collect information about you when you input it into the Services or otherwise provide it directly to us.
Account and profile Information: We collect information about you when you register for an account, create or modify your profile, set preferences, sign up for or make purchases through the Services. For example, you provide your contact information and, in some cases, billing information when you register for the Services. We keep track of your preferences when you select settings within the Services.
Content you provide through our Services: The Services include the Cornell Lab of Ornithology products you use, where we collect and store content that you post, send, receive and share. This content includes any information about you that you may choose to include. Examples of content we collect and store include:
Bird sightings, including location and date
Scientific research data
Comments on blog posts
Our citizen-science projects are designed to benefit the entire scientific research community, which in turn benefits the larger public. Therefore, if you participate in any Cornell Lab citizen-science projects, you grant the Cornell Lab and its collaborators, permission to use your contributions in any way to further this goal. We will do our best us to protect your data and your privacy to the extent that it does not impede scientific research.
We ask you to grant us these broad permissions because they allow us to change the legal details by which we keep the data available; this is important because the legal environment can change and we need to be able to respond without obtaining permission from every single contributor.
eBird includes several ways that you can manage your preferences in terms of how your name appears, and what functionality you would like to appear for other eBird users. You can adjust that information from My eBird Preferences.
When you submit records to eBird, you authorize us to have our team of regional editors contact you about questions they may have about your observations. This helps us maintain a high level of data quality so we can use these data for scientific and conservation purposes. This is limited to official volunteers who help with data quality. Find out more about this process click here.
Because a primary goal of eBird is to maintain a universally accessible, centralized database of bird observations, the bird observations you submit are available to all eBird users (eBirders), scientists, and others who are interested in examining the distribution, abundance, and trends of bird species.
eBirders are able to view their personal observations and the observations of others, so please be aware that your observations of sensitive species and their locations will be available to other eBird users. Taxa on our Sensitive Species list, which can be global or customized by region and date range, are automatically protected so that specific location information is not available to the public but can be used by scientists working to protect those species. See eBird’s Sensitive Species policy for more information.
When you upload photos, videos, sounds, and other rich media to eBird and the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, you also agree to the eBird Media Licensing Agreement.
You must not contribute data to the Cornell Lab that you do not own. For example, do not submit photos from Flickr or other third party services if you do not hold copyright of those photos.
Other content we collect
We collect feedback you provide directly to us through our Services.
We collect content using analytics techniques that hash, filter or otherwise scrub the information to exclude information that might identify you.
We collect clickstream data about how you interact with and use features in the Services.
Content you provide through our websites: The Services also include our websites owned or operated by us. We collect other content that you submit to these websites, which include social media or social networking websites operated by us (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Disqus, etc). For example, you provide content to us when you provide feedback or when you participate in any interactive features, surveys, contests, promotions, sweepstakes, activities or events.
Information you provide through our support channels: The Services also include our customer support, where you may choose to submit information regarding a problem you are experiencing with a Service. Whether you speak to one of our representatives directly or otherwise engage with our support team, you will be asked to provide contact information, a summary of the problem you are experiencing, and any other documentation, screenshots or information that would be helpful in resolving the issue.
Payment information: We collect certain payment and billing information when you register for certain paid Services. You might also provide payment information, such as payment card details, which we collect via secure payment processing services. We do not store any payment card details on our servers. We use PCI-compliant ecommerce transaction platform to securely process your payment.
Information we collect automatically when you use the Services
We collect information about you when you use our Services, including browsing our websites and taking certain actions within the Services.
Your use of the Services: We keep track of certain information about you when you visit and interact with any of our Services. This information includes the features you use; the links and buttons you click on; the type, size and filenames of attachments you upload to the Services; frequently used search terms; and how you interact with others on the Services. We keep information you’ve provided to us through our Services; these data include, but not limited to: name, phone, zip code, address, contextual location information, your preferences, etc.
Device and connection information: We collect information about your computer, phone, tablet, or other devices you use to access the Services. This device information includes your connection type and settings when you install, access, update, or use our Services. We also collect information through your device about your operating system, browser type, IP address, URLs of referring/exit pages, device identifiers, and crash data. We use your IP address and/or country preference in order to approximate your location to provide you with a better Service experience. How much of this information we collect depends on the type and settings of the device you use to access the Services.
Information we receive from other sources
We receive information about you from other Service users, from third-party services, from our related companies, and from our business and channel partners.
Other users of the Services: Other users of our Services may provide information about you when they submit content through the Services. For example, you may be invited by our users to join our Services. We receive your email address from other Service users when they provide it in order to invite you to the Services. Similarly, an administrator may provide your contact information when they designate you as the billing or technical contact for your organization.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology partners: We work with a global network of partners who provide consulting, implementation, training and other services around our products. Some of these partners also help us to market and promote our products, generate leads for us, and perform fundraising activities. We receive information from these partners, such as billing information, billing and technical contact information, company name, what Cornell Lab products you have purchased or may be interested in, evaluation information you have provided, what events you have attended, and what country you are in.
Other partners: We receive information about you and your activities on and off the Services from third-party partners, such as advertising, philanthropy, and market research partners who provide us with information about your interest in and engagement with, our Services and online advertisements.
How we use information we collect
How we use the information we collect depends in part on which Services you use, how you use them, and any preferences you have communicated to us. Below are the specific purposes for which we use the information we collect about you.
To provide the Services and personalize your experience: We use information about you to provide the Services to you, including to process transactions with you, authenticate you when you log in, provide customer support, and operate and maintain the Services. Our Services also include tailored features that personalize your experience, enhance your enjoyment of birds by automatically analyzing your activities on our Services to provide search results, activity feeds, notifications, connections and recommendations that are most relevant for you. Where you use multiple Services, we combine information about you and your activities to provide an integrated experience, such as to allow you to find information from one Service while searching from another or to present relevant Services information as you travel across our websites.
For Service research and development: We are always looking for ways to make our Services smarter, faster, secure, integrated, and useful to you. We use collective learnings about how people use our Services and feedback provided directly to us to troubleshoot and to identify trends, usage, activity patterns and areas for integration and improvement of the Services. In some cases, we apply these learnings across our Services to improve and develop similar features or to better integrate the services you use. We also test and analyze certain new features with some users before rolling the feature out to all users.
To conduct scientific research: Our citizen-science projects are designed to benefit the entire scientific research community. It’s critical for the analyzed data to be available to the researchers for use, modification, and redistribution in order to further scientific research. Therefore, if you participate in any Cornell Lab citizen-science projects, you grant permission to the Cornell Lab and its collaborators to use your contributions in any wayto further this goal. We will do our best us to protect your data and your privacy to the extent that does not impede scientific research. The license to use your data is non-exclusive to us. You may still contribute the same data to other organizations.
We ask you to grant us these broad permissions for use, because they allow us to change the legal details by which we keep the data available; this is important because the legal environment can change and we need to be able to respond without obtaining permission from every single contributor.
Finally, you must not contribute data to the Cornell Lab that you do not own. For example, do not submit photos from Flickr or other third party services if you do not hold copyright for those photos..
For philanthropy, development, and stewardship: As is customary for non-profit organizations, we may send requests to support the Lab to people who have expressed an interest in our Services. .You can easily opt-out of these communications by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of any fundraising e-mail you receive.
As a donor of the Cornell Lab, your generosity makes our mission possible. We do not rent or sell your Personal Information but we do share names and postal addresses with other nonprofit organizations. Sharing this information with other reputable charitable organizations is the most cost effective way to find new supporters, share program offerings, and identify new donors. If you would prefer that your information not be shared with other organizations contact the Membership Office by phone at 866-989-2473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not rent or exchange your e-mail address or phone number.
We may use your information to enhance your experience with us and enable relevant communications with you. For example, we may use your data to manage your donation or membership and keep a record of your relationship with us. We may use your information and analyze our database to understand and steward our donors and users, their preferences, and their level of potential donations, to improve our services, products, and communications, including messages, advertisements, fundraising appeals, events, and meetings we think will interest you.
To communicate with you about the Services: We use your contact information to send transactional communications via email and within the Services, including confirming your purchases, reminding you of subscription expirations, responding to your comments, questions and requests, providing customer support, and sending you technical notices, updates, security alerts, and administrative messages. We also provide tailored communications based on your activity and interactions with us. We also send you communications as you onboard to a particular Service to help you become more proficient in using that Service. These communications are part of the Services and in most cases you cannot opt out of them. If an opt out is available, you will find that option within the communication itself or in your account settings.
To market, promote, and drive engagement with the Services: We use your contact information and information about how you use the Services to send promotional communications that may be of specific interest to you, including by email and by displaying Cornell Lab of Ornithology ads on other companies’ websites and applications, as well as on platforms like Facebook and Google. These communications are aimed at driving engagement and maximizing what you get out of the Services, including information about new features, survey requests, newsletters, and events we think may be of interest to you. We also communicate with you about new product offers, promotions and contests. You can control whether you receive these communications as described below under “Opt-out of communications.
Customer support: We use your information to resolve technical issues you encounter, to respond to your requests for assistance, to analyze crash information, and to repair and improve the Services.
For safety and security: We use information about you and your Service use to verify accounts and activity, to monitor suspicious or fraudulent activity and to identify violations of Service policies.
With your consent: We use information about you where you have given us consent to do so for a specific purpose not listed above. For example, we may publish testimonials or featured customer/donor stories to promote the Services, with your permission.
Legal bases for processing (for EEA users):
If you are an individual in the European Economic Area (EEA), we collect and process information about you only where we have legal bases for doing so under applicable EU laws. The legal bases depend on the Services you use and how you use them. This means we collect and use your information only where:
- We need it to provide you the Services, including to operate the Services, provide customer support and personalized features and to protect the safety and security of the Services
- It satisfies a legitimate interest (which is not overridden by your data protection interests), such as for research and development, to market and promote the Services and to protect our legal rights and interests
- You give us consent to do so for a specific purpose; or
- We need to process your data to comply with a legal obligation.
If you have consented to our use of information about you for a specific purpose, you have the right to change your mind at any time, but this will not affect any processing that has already taken place. Where we are using your information because we have a legitimate interest to do so, you have the right to object to that use though, this may mean no longer using the Services.
How we share information we collect
We make citizen science and learning tools, and we want them to work well for you. This means sharing information through the Services and with certain third parties. We share information we collect about you in the ways discussed below, but we do not sell information about you to advertisers or other third parties.
Sharing with other Service users
When you use the Services, we share certain information about you with other Service users.
For research and citizen science: You can create/upload data and content (i.e. bird sightings, pictures, audio, video, etc), which may contain information about you, and grant permission to others to see, share, edit, copy and download that content based on settings you select. Some of the citizen-science features of the Services display some or all of your profile information to other Service users when you share or interact with specific content. Please be aware that some aspects of the Services like the eBird user profile page can be made publicly available, meaning any content posted, including information about you, can be publicly viewed and indexed by and returned in search results of search engines. You can confirm whether certain Service properties are publicly visible from within the Services or by contacting the relevant administrator.
Community forums: Our websites offer publicly accessible blogs, forums, online chats, and other community interactions. You should be aware that any information you provide on these websites–including profile information associated with the account you use to post the information–may be read, collected, and used by any member of the public who accesses these websites. Your posts and certain profile information may remain even after you terminate your account. We urge you to consider the sensitivity of any information you input into these Services. To request removal of your information from publicly accessible websites operated by us, please contact us as provided below. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to and why.
Sharing with third parties
We share information with third parties that help us operate, provide, improve, integrate, customize, support and market our Services. We share information with third parties that conduct scientific research using our datasets (e.g. eBird observation dataset). In these cases, your identity is pseudo-anonymized using a unique ID so your activities and data are not associated with your real world identity.
Service providers: We work with third-party service providers to provide website and application development, hosting, maintenance, backup, storage, virtual infrastructure, payment processing, analysis and other services for us, which may require them to access or use information about you. If a service provider needs to access information about you to perform services on our behalf, they do so under close instruction from us, including policies and procedures designed to protect your information.
Partners: We work with third parties who provide consulting, sales, and technical services to deliver and implement user solutions around the Services. We may share your information with these third parties in connection with their services, such as to assist with billing and collections, to provide localized support, and to provide customizations. We may also share information with these third parties where you have agreed to that sharing.
We also work with third parties who act as partners to further our non-profit mission. We may share your information with these third parties to help them operate, provide, improve, integrate, customize, support and market our Services for their users.
Social media widgets: The Services may include links that direct you to other websites or services whose privacy practices may differ from ours. Your use of and any information you submit to any of those third-party sites is governed by their privacy policies, not this one.
With your consent: We share information about you with third parties when you give us consent to do so. For example, we often display personal testimonials of satisfied participants and supporters on our public websites. With your consent, we may post your name alongside the testimonial.
Compliance with enforcement requests and applicable laws; enforcement of our rights: In exceptional circumstances, we may share information about you with a third party if we believe that sharing is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, including to meet United States national security requirements, (b) enforce our agreements, policies and terms of service, (c) protect the security or integrity of our products and services, (d) protect the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, our users or the public from harm or illegal activities, or (e) respond to an emergency which we believe in good faith requires us to disclose information to assist in preventing the death or serious bodily injury of any person.
How we store and secure information we collect
Information storage and security
We have physical servers in Ithaca, New York, that we use to store data and serve our Services. We also use cloud data hosting service providers in the United States to host the information we collect, and we use technical measures and industry best practices to secure your data.
While we implement safeguards designed to protect your information, no security system is impenetrable and due to the inherent nature of the Internet, we cannot guarantee that data, during transmission through the Internet or while stored on our systems or otherwise in our care, is absolutely safe from intrusion by others.
How long we keep information
How long we keep information we collect about you depends on the type of information, as described in further detail below.
Account information: We retain your account information for as long as your account is active and a reasonable period thereafter in case you decide to re-activate the Services. We also retain some of your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, to resolve disputes, to enforce our agreements, to support business operations, and to continue to develop and improve our Services.
Information you share on the Services: If your account is deactivated or disabled, some of your information and the content you have provided will remain in order to allow your team members or other users to make full use of the Services. For example, we continue to display the bird sightings you reported to others users.
Marketing information: If you have elected to receive marketing emails from us, we retain information about your marketing preferences for a reasonable period of time from the date you last expressed interest in our Services, such as when you last opened an email from us.
Scientific data: If you submitted citizen-science or any scientific research data through our Services, these data will be retained for an indefinitely amount time.
How to access and manage your information
You have certain choices available to you when it comes to your information. Below is a summary of those choices, how to exercise them and any limitations.
You have the right to request a copy of your information, to object to our use of your information (including for philanthropy and marketing purposes), to request the deletion or restriction of your information, or to request your information in a structured, electronic format. Below, we describe the tools and processes for making these requests. You can exercise some of the choices by logging into the Services and using settings available within the Services or your account. Where the Services are administered for you by an administrator, you may need to contact your administrator to assist with your requests first. For all other requests, you may contact us as provided in the Contact Us section below to request assistance.
Your request and choices may be limited in certain cases: for example, if fulfilling your request would reveal information about another person, or if you ask to delete information which we or your administrator are permitted by law or have compelling legitimate interests to keep. If you have unresolved concerns, you may have the right to complain to a data protection authority in the country where you live, where you work or where you feel your rights were infringed.
Access and update your information: Our Services give you the ability to access and update certain information about you from within the Service. For example, you can update your profile information within your profile settings and modify content that contains information about you using the editing tools associated with that content.
Deactivate your account: If you no longer wish to use our Services, you or your administrator may be able to deactivate your Services account. If you can deactivate your own account, that setting is available to you in your account settings. Otherwise, please contact us. Your information remains visible to other Service users based on your past participation within the Services. For more information on how to delete your information, see below.
Delete your information: The ability to delete your information is dependent on the Service you used. In some cases we may not be able to delete your information due to legitimate use. In those case, we will make the best attempt to hide or anonymize your information. If you wish to delete your information in our Services, please contact us, as provided below. Please note, however, that we may need to retain certain information for record keeping purposes, to complete transactions or to comply with our legal obligations.
Request that we stop using your information: In some cases, you may ask us to stop accessing, storing, using and otherwise processing your information where you believe we don’t have the appropriate rights to do so. For example, if you believe a Services account was created for you without your permission or you are no longer an active user, you can request that we delete your account as provided in this policy. Where you gave us consent to use your information for a limited purpose, you can contact us to withdraw that consent, but this will not affect any processing that has already taken place at the time. You can also opt out of our use of your information for marketing purposes by contacting us, as provided below. When you make such requests, we may need time to investigate and facilitate your request. If there is delay or dispute as to whether we have the right to continue using your information, we will restrict any further use of your information until the request is honored or the dispute is resolved.
Opt out of communications: You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us by using the unsubscribe link within each email, updating your email preferences within your Service account settings menu, or by contacting us as provided below to have your contact information removed from our promotional email list or registration database. Even after you opt out from receiving promotional messages from us, you will continue to receive transactional messages from us regarding our Services. For example, you’ll continue to receive email receipts for any purchases of our Services.
Turn off cookie controls: Relevant browser-based cookie controls are described in our Cookies & Tracking Notice.
Send “Do Not Track” signals: Some browsers have incorporated “Do Not Track” (DNT) features that can send a signal to the websites you visit indicating you do not wish to be tracked. Because there is not yet a common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, our Services do not currently respond to browser DNT signals. You can use the range of other tools we provide to control data collection and use, including the ability to opt out of receiving marketing from us as described above.
Data portability: Should you request it, we will provide you with an electronic file of your basic account information and the information you create on the spaces you under your sole control.
How we transfer information we collect internationally
International transfers of information we collect
We collect information globally and primarily store that information in the United States. We transfer, process and store your information outside of your country of residence, to wherever we or our third-party partners operate for the purpose of providing you the Services and scientific research. Whenever we transfer your information, we take steps to protect it.
Other important privacy information
Our policy toward children
The Services are not directed to individuals under 13. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with personal information, we will take steps to delete such information. If you become aware that a child has provided us with personal information, please contact us.
European Union Minors’ Privacy: Where General Data Protection Regulation applies, we do not knowingly collect personal data from children under age 16 (or such lower age permitted under applicable local law not being lower than age 13).
Your information is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If you have questions or concerns about how your information is handled, please direct your inquiry to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In some cases, we may refer you to Cornell University’s Data Protection Office or other appropriate offices to handle your request.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850
Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and our third-party partners, such as our advertising and analytics partners, use various technologies to collect information, such as cookies and web beacons.
What types of technologies do we use?
How do we use them?
Where strictly necessary. These cookies and other technologies are essential in order to enable the Services to provide the feature you have requested, such as remembering you have logged in.
These cookies and similar technologies remember choices you make such as language or search parameters. We use these cookies to provide you with an experience more appropriate with your selections and to make your use of the Services more tailored.
For performance and analytics
These cookies and similar technologies collect information on how users interact with the Services and enable us to improve how the Services operate. For example, we use Google Analytics cookies to help us understand how visitors arrive at and browse our products and website to identify areas for improvement such as navigation, user experience, and marketing campaigns.
Targeting cookies or advertising cookies
These cookies collect information about your browsing habits in order to make advertising relevant to you and your interests. They remember the websites you have visited and that information is shared with other parties such as advertising technology service providers and advertisers.
Social media cookies
These cookies are used when you share information using a social media sharing button or “like” button on our websites or you link your account or engage with our content on or through a social media site. The social network will record that you have done this. This information may be linked to targeting/advertising activities.
How can you opt out?
You will not be able to opt out of any cookies or other technologies that are “strictly necessary” for the Services.
Updates to this Notice
This Cookies & Tracking Notice may be updated from time to time. If we make any changes, we will notify you by revising the “effective starting” date at the top of this notice.