MammalWeb terms of use and privacy policy

MammalWeb represents a project and a group of people interested principally in finding out where mammals occur in the UK, and what affects that.  Image data are collected by people who deploy camera traps (“Trappers”) and are submitted to our online platform.  To determine what species are pictured in the submitted images, we ask “Spotters” to submit classification data.  Trappers are always registered users of the project.  Spotters are often registered, although we may make it possible for unregistered spotters to submit classifications under certain circumstances.

We use images, image classifications and metadata concerning trapping sites to inform ecological analyses; we may also use those data for publicity purposes.  We also use trapping and classification information – including data on rates of engagement – to inform understanding of the wider endeavour of “citizen science”.

If you contribute and upload your camera trap images (i.e. data) – taken either with our or your own camera traps – to MammalWeb, you agree to license those data under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/), and let us and collaborating scientists use your contributions for research purposes, and on occasion for publicity purposes. However, you still own the pictures taken by the camera you deployed, and are not limited in what else you can do with them (such as sharing them through social networking platforms from MammalWeb or elsewhere).

We take very seriously the privacy of users of our platform (whether registered or unregistered).  This policy sets out the details of the data we collect and how we use it.

What personal data do we collect?

For registered users, we collect the following information:

• Your user name (which need not be your real name)

• How you heard about MammalWeb

• The email address with which you registered

• Your password

• The date you registered

• The date you last visited

• The grid references of camera trapping sites that you have registered

• Records of images you have uploaded and when you uploaded them

• Records of image classifications that you have submitted and when you submitted them

• Emails you have sent to our registered email address

If you borrow a camera from MammalWeb, we will also collect information on:

• Your phone number

• Your postal address

• Information on whether equipment is for personal use or use in organisation/school

• Your signature

Record of equipment loaned to you

If you classify images on MammalWeb for which we already have 'expert' classifications, whether through a formal self-test or through the 'Spotter' module, we will also collect information on:

• The frequency with which your classifications agree with expert classifications on the site

 

How do we use personal data?

Website management

Your user name and password are used to verify your identity when you log on to our website.

Equipment logs

If you borrow equipment from us, we will use your contact information to communicate with you regarding the equipment you have borrowed and your use of it, and whether we need it to be returned.

Project membership

If you request membership of a restricted project (to upload data to sites associated with that project, or to help to classify images that belong to that project), your details will be shared with the project’s administrator. This is so that the administrator can validate your membership of the project and can communicate with you regarding the project. These are the only two purposes for which your details will be shared but you should check with the project administrator regarding their project’s privacy policy.

Data analysis

Your personal details (user name, email address and password) are stored in a data base separate from that which stores other data that we collect.  The two data bases are linked by the use of an anonymous user ID.  That anonymous ID is used to differentiate data you submit from data submitted by others.  This helps us to understand the range of engagement with the project, and whether that is affected by interventions (such as promotional drives, competitions or website improvements).  Location data (camera trap site grid references) are required to link images to their origin, in order to understand where species occur and what affects that.  Records of the frequency with which your submitted classifications agree with those provided by 'experts' will be used to reach a better understanding of what affects accuracy, and to improve the efficiency of consensus classification approaches.  No personal data will ever be made publicly available as a result of data analyses, and only aggregated statistics will be reported.  When data analysts are provided with access to the data base housing image and classification data, they will not be able to access users’ personal data.  The latter will be accessible only to staff involved in maintaining the platform and its data sets.  If you have agreed to share your account details with the iMammalia App for European mammal recording, records of the frequency with which your submitted classifications agree with those submitted by 'experts' will be made available to verifiers of iMammalia data. No other data will be shared with iMammalia.

Communication

Most communication from MammalWeb will be via a newsletter to which you will be required to subscribe.  We will not ordinarily contact you by email, unless we have a query or concern that is specific to your activity on the site or to the data you have submitted.  Your contact details will not be shared with third parties.

Promotion and marketing

Sometimes, project participants contact us with images of interest, anecdotes or other materials that they would like to share with the wider community.  We may use these materials in reporting, promotional activities, on our website, or on social media (e.g., Twitter or Facebook).  We will never identify anyone personally without their permission.

How long do we keep your data?

We will keep your data until you notify us that you wish us to delete it.  At that point, we will delete your username, email address and password but will keep other submitted data linked to the anonymous user ID.

How we protect your data

All MammalWeb data are stored on a physically secured server hosted by Amazon Web Services. Only we, the maintainers of MammalWeb, have access to the server, and we will not share the data base containing users’ personal information with any other entity in ways not in accordance with this document.

 

We reserve the right to alter this privacy policy without prior notice.  If we do so, we will announce the change on the MammalWeb homepage.