Last Updated: April 2014
This policy covers personally identifiable information collected or stored by Readable on its servers in relation to the Projects and their communities. Consistent with its Data Retention Policy, Readable collects and retains the least amount of personally identifiable information needed to fulfill the Projects' operational needs.
The public and collaborative nature of the projects
All Readable Services are collaboratively developed by its users using the Readable software. Anyone with Internet access (and not otherwise restricted from doing so) may edit the publicly editable transcript pages of these sites after logging in as a registered user using their Facebook or Google+ login credentials. By doing this, editors create a published document, and a public record of every word added, subtracted, or changed. This is a public act, and editors are identified publicly as the author of such changes. All contributions made to a Project, and all publicly available information about those contributions, are irrevocably licensed and may be freely copied, quoted, reused and adapted by third parties with few restrictions.
Activities on Readable projects
In general, this Policy only applies to private information stored or held by Readable which is not publicly available.
Interactions with the Projects not covered by this Policy include, but are not limited to, aspects of browsing and editing pages. These interactions may reveal a contributor's IP address, and possibly other personal information, indiscriminately to the general public, or to specific groups of volunteers acting independently of Readable.
User accounts and authorship
Readable does not require editors to create a Readable account in order to edit a project. Anyone can edit a page by logging in using their Facebook or Google+ login credentials. Users that login are identified by their Facebook or Google+ username, and by their network IP address.
Purpose of the collection of private information
Readable limits the collection of personally identifiable user data to purposes which serve the well-being of its projects, including but not limited to the following:
- To enhance the public accountability of the projects. Readable recognizes that any system that is open enough to allow the greatest possible participation of the general public will also be vulnerable to certain kinds of abuse and counterproductive behavior. Readable and the project communities have established a number of mechanisms to prevent or remedy abusive activities. For example, when investigating abuse on a project, including the suspected use of malicious “sockpuppets” (duplicate accounts), 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 by users with administrative authority who are charged by their communities with protecting the projects.
- To provide site statistics. Readable statistically samples raw log data from users' visits. These logs are used to produce the site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public.
- To solve technical problems. 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.
Details of data retention
IP and other technical information
When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends email to a Readable server, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. The Readable may keep raw logs of such transactions, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users. When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period.
The sites set a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a Project 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.
Edits or other contributions to a Project on its transcripts 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 a transcript and see what was there. Even if a transcript is "deleted", a user entrusted with higher level of access may still see what was removed from public view. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with access to Readable servers, but aside from the rare circumstance when Readable 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.
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.
Edits to Project pages are identified with the Facebook/Google+ username and network IP address 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 registered users:
Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a transcript page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the Readable servers for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators and by users who have been granted CheckUser access.
Release: Policy on Release of Data
It is the policy of Readable that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, or through other non-publicly-available methods, may be released by Readable staff, in any of the following situations:
- In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement
- With permission of the affected user
- 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 vandalizing transcripts or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity 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 Readable, its users or the public
Except as described above, Readable policy does not permit distribution of personally identifiable information under any circumstances.
Third-party access and notifying registered users when receiving legal process:
As a general principle, the access to, and retention of, personally identifiable data in all projects should be minimal and should be used only internally to serve the well-being of the projects. Occasionally, however, Readable may receive a subpoena or other compulsory request from a law-enforcement agency or a court or equivalent government body that requests the disclosure of information about a registered user, and may be compelled by law to comply with the request. In the event of such a legally compulsory request, Readable will attempt to notify the affected user within three business days after the arrival of such subpoena by sending a notice by email to the email address (if any) that the affected user has listed in connection to their Google+/Facebook account.