Privacy Policies

Last Updated: July 26th, 2018


This is the privacy policy for the myFOSSIL mobile App and our website: We take the privacy of personal data very seriously and therefore set out in this privacy policy our position regarding certain privacy matters as it relates to these data.

This policy covers all data that is shared with us, whether directly via, the mobile App, or via email. This policy provides an explanation as to what happens to personal data that you share with us, or that we collect from you either directly via the website, App or via email. 


If you visit our website or use our App to browse, read, or download information:

We collect personal data through our Internet access logs. When you access our website, information is automatically collected and is placed in our access logs (i.e., log files on a server). This information may include Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type and version, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and/or clickstream data, number of visits, websites from which you accessed our site (Referrer), and websites that are accessed by your system via our site.

  • We will use this information as aggregate data for scientific research (as defined in our informed consent for social science research, which has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Florida; 2016-U-0023) and to help us maintain this site, e.g., to determine the number of visitors to different sections of our site, to ensure the site is working properly, and to help us make our site more accessible and useful.
  • We will use this information to identify individuals for site security or for law enforcement purposes.
  • We will not obtain personally-identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information.



If you choose to identify yourself, which includes the creation of an account:

We will collect (and retain) any personally identifying information that you submit, such as your name and email address as well as any other information you provide. We will use this information to try to fulfill your request and in a de-identified form for scientific research (as defined in our informed consent for social science research, which has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Florida; 2016-U-0023). We will not disclose such information to third parties, except as specified in this privacy policy. In addition, all of your activity with the site/App is logged and will be used for educational research in a de-identified form. This includes, but is not limited to status updates, friend requests/relationships, group requests/relationships, follows, messages, forum post/replies, comments, and additions to the fossil gallery and 3D specimens gallery. We will use these data to address the following broad research question: What elements of design support the myFOSSIL environment serving as an effective and transformative STEM learning environment?


Please be aware that the web hosting service is provided and managed by (“WPEngine”) as our service provider. The personal data you provide thus will be collected and stored on our behalf by WPEngine.

We also use tools like Google Analytics to measure traffic to our site and how users interact with our site. The Google Analytics terms specify that no personally identifiable information may be collected through the Google Analytics software.



For users that  identify as under the age of 18:


Users Under 13 Years Old

The myFOSSIL website and App are accessible only to individuals who are 13 years of age or greater. Individuals under the age of 13 may not access the website or App without verifiable parental consent. We do not knowingly collect information from children under 13 years of age. Should we discover that information was collected for an individual under 13 years of age and we are not able to expeditiously obtain verifiable parental consent, we will act quickly to delete the collected information.


Users 13-17 Years Old

One goal of the myFOSSIL App is to increase youth participation in paleontology. Gaining feedback from youth subjects will be important for developing features of the App that are of interest to the youth demographic, as well as for evaluating the App’s effectiveness at engaging the youth audience. Youth participants indicate their assent to participate in the research, which is entirely voluntary, and a parent or guardian will be provided an opt out option for research participation via email.


Youth and their guardians have the opportunity to ask questions at any time about their participation in the study and participation in the research is not required for receiving full access and benefit from the myFOSSIL website or the myFOSSIL App.


There is a minimal risk that security of any online data may be breached, but since no identifying information will be collected, and the hosting service uses several forms of encryption and other protections, it is unlikely that a security breach of the online data will result in any adverse consequence for participants. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed, the information will be shredded and/or electronically erased.



What Information Do We Share?

We do not share your personal information with others except as indicated within this policy or when we inform you and give you an opportunity to opt out of having your personal information shared.


We will share your information in the following ways:


Analytics. We use Google Analytics, which is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our website. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.


  • Our website uses Google Analytics, a web analysis service of Google, Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 USA, (“Google Analytics” or “Google”). Google Analytics employs cookies that are stored to your computer in order to facilitate an analysis of your use of the site. The information generated by these cookies, such as time, place and frequency of your visits to our site, including your IP address, is transmitted to Google’s location in the US and stored there.
  • In using Google Analytics our website employs the extension “anonymizeIp”. In doing so, Google abbreviates and thereby anonymizes your IP address before transferring it from EU/EEA member states. Google uses this information to analyze your use of our site, to compile reports for us on internet activity and to provide other services relating to our website.
  • Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law or where such third parties process this data on Google’s behalf. Google states that it will in never associate your IP address with other data held by Google. You can prevent cookies from being installed by adjusting the settings on your browser software accordingly as noted elsewhere in this Privacy Policy. You should be aware, however, that by doing so you may not be able to make full use of all the functions of our website.
  • You can opt-out of having your activity on the website made available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on ( for your web browser. The Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on provides visitors with the ability to prevent their data from being collected and used by Google Analytics. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity. For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page:



Contact Information

For questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact the FOSSIL Project Team.


The FOSSIL Project

1659 Museum Road

PO Box 117800

Gainesville, FL 32611

[email protected]