Privacy

General Nature of Our Privacy Policy

The vCalc Privacy Policy covers and protects information that the user or contributor places into the vCalc Universe or submits to the vCalc system. Our Privacy Policy covers personally identifiable information submitted to vCalc, collected by vCalc, or stored by vCalc on its servers. vCalc plans to collect and retain only that personally identifiable information that will help vCalc improve the vCalc user experience.

Information that is not covered by the vCalc Privacy Policy will not be captured or stored by vCalc.

Information that is covered by the vCalc Privacy Policy may be captured and stored by vCalc, and vCalc is responsible for maintaining the security of that information while it is in vCalc's possession.

vCalc takes this responsibility seriously.

The vCalc Privacy Policy represents a commitment to protecting the personally identifiable information that is collected and stored on our servers. vCalc will make an attempt to make all our policies and practices consistent with the intent of this vCalc Privacy Policy to protect the user's personally identifiable information. However, vCalc cannot guarantee that a user's information will remain private. Even with our committed efforts to protect personally identifiable information, savvy and focused individuals may still find ways to acquire user information and disclose it. vCalc therefore does not guarantee unauthorized access to user information submitted to vCalc may not occur.

What is vCalc Content?

vCalc content comprises all the digital data, formulae, text, and graphics the registered vCalc user may submit to the vCalc system. In creating token content submissions the user may enter text, paste in graphics, enter mathematical formulae in the form of MathML code and enter Groovy code. These submissions are all considered content. In addition, comments and thoughts the user adds to Forums or to Blogs on vCalc are also content.

Applicability

In general, this Policy only applies to personally identifiable information stored or held by vCalc which is not publicly available. The vCalc Privacy Policy does not apply to the user's activity of browsing vCalc content, nor to the use of vCalc calculators and other vCalc tools, nor to the use of the vCalc instant messaging capabilities to include all transaction with colleagues or with groups within vCalc, except where the vCalc system will capture statistical information on the user's areas of interest. vCalc will not capture information on what specifically is computed using calculators and other tools, but vCalc reserves the right to collect statistical information on what areas and tokens the user visits and uses. Capturing this information on user interests helps vCalc sculpt a more capable tool set in the future and provide advertising that is more useful to the users.

Subscribing to group distribution lists is also not covered by the vCalc Privacy Policy. We will not publish any information about which users belong to a specific vCalc group. Communication with vCalc support staff is also not covered by the vCalc Privacy Policy. If the user edits their personal profile settings of their own account, that editing and the resultant settings are not covered by the vCalc Privacy Policy.

vCalc users may interact with one another outside of vCalc, and we hope they do collaborate, but they should determine for themselves if there is any risk associated with such personal communications. All communications outside of vCalc are strictly not covered by vCalc's Privacy Policy.

Blog and forum entries and the editing capabilities associated with Blogs or Forums are protected by the vCalc Privacy Policy.

Collaboration Within vCalc

Collaboration is one of the essential elements of the vCalc experience. Information sharing and dialogue between colleagues is at the heart of what vCalc wishes to promote. All content is intended to be collaboratively developed and validated by vCalc users using the web-based tools that comprise the vCalc system. vCalc provides any registered vCalc user the ability to contribute to the vCalc public through:

  1. submitting vCalc token content, which includes constants, equations, calculators, vectors, data tables. Token content submissions includes formulae, descriptions, illustrative graphics, references, and other written content
  2. submitting content to vCalc forums or blogs

By creating a token content submission, a blog entry, or a forum entry, a registered vCalc user is creating published content. This editing and the submission of content is a public act and vCalc users will be identified publicly as the author of such content. All contributions made to vCalc, and all publicly available information covered by the vCalc Privacy Policy about those contributions, are irrevocably licensed and may be freely copied, quoted, reused and adapted by third parties with few restrictions.

User Accounts and Authorship

vCalc requires users to register with vCalc before they can store and edit content. Users that register are identified by a chosen username. Users may also identify themselves by providing a picture that appears as their avatar in their messaging interface and other collaborative mechanisms within vCalc.

During registration, users select a password, which is confidential and used to verify the integrity of their account. No person should disclose passwords used to identify a user, except as it may be required by law.

Logging-into vCalc does not expose a user's IP address to the public and a user's IP address is only stored on a vCalc server for a fixed period of time during which only server administrators and vCalc Technical Support staff can access IP address information. The connection between usernames and IP addresses is one piece of information vCalc may release under court order to comply with law enforcement.

Users are required to provide an email address when they register to obtain a vCalc account. This email address is used by vCalc to inform users of critical changes to the vCalc system that may affect their accounts, to advise a user of changes in their account status, to advise a user of the status of his content submission, to advise a user of a reward or remuneration vCalc is providing to the user, or to inform a user their activity on vCalc has broken some vCalc policy or practice . If the user opts-in, email addresses may be used to convey additional news from the vCalc Universe.

User email addresses are not visible in the vCalc messaging system. Only user IDs identify the user.

Users must enter their country as part of registering for a vCalc account. This information is used only to characterize the distribution of vCalc users across the planet. The country specified in registration is not made available publicly to the vCalc Universe.

Education level and industry is provided by the user at registration and this information is also not publicly available to the vCalc Universe. This education and career industry information is only used to characterize the distribution of users across the vCalc universe for use by vCalc.

Purpose of the Collection of Private Information

vCalc's Intent in Collecting Personal Information

vCalc limits the collection of personally identifiable user data to purposes which serve to improve and enhance the user experience in vCalc. The purposes for which vCalc uses personally identifiable information include, but are not limited, to the following:

Preventing Abuse and Misuse

To enable vCalc to guard against misuse of the vCalc system and to hold accountable users who contribute to vCalc content, vCalc does require access to personal information included in the transaction that constitute registration and submission of content. vCalc knows that providing a system that promotes collaboration and participation of the general public opens up vulnerabilities to certain kinds of abuse and counterproductive behavior. vCalc uses personal information supplied by users to enforce the vCalc Acceptable use Policy. vCalc has created content and user management mechanisms to prevent or remedy abusive activities. For example, when investigating noncompliance with the vCalc Acceptable Use Policy, 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 logs or records in vCalc's user database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behavior.

Promoting User Participation

vCalc uses site statistics to highlight user participation. Raw logged data is not made public. vCalc uses logged data to characterize users participation and use of content and to solve technical problems. Logged data may be examined by vCalc Technical Support Staff in the course of solving technical problems and in tracking badly-behaved web spiders, web crawlers and other automated web devices.

Characterizing Demographics

vCalc analyzes the user interests associated with vCalc vWorlds, with the sub-domains of the token taxonomies, and with the use of vCalc tools. This aggregated analysis information is used to guide demographic-focused advertising which keeps most of vCalc free to registered users.

Content and User Profile Information Retention

Use of Cookies to Benefit the vCalc User Experience

The use of cookies is a common practice for improving overall user experience on interactive websites. vCalc uses cookies for this purpose alone, to make the user experience simpler and easier. vCalc users who do not intend to log in or edit may choose to deny cookies.

vCalc does at present set a cookie on a vCalc user's computer if they check the box to "Remember me." See the image at right. vCalc uses a cookie to store a unique user ID (UUID) that represents the user's session along with the user's IP address. That UUID expires after 30 days and is not retained. This cookie holding this information allows vCalc to remember who you are if you check the "Remember me" checkbox.

This enables the user to save vCalc as a “Favorite” and return to vCalc logged-in without having to re-enter a password.

Checking the "Remember me" setting is the user's choice. Leaving the check box unchecked avoids unauthorized use of vCalc by forcing the user to log-in each time they use vCalc.

Again, the "Remember me" checkbox provides an ease-of use capability to make the user's experience in vCalc easier, thus more enjoyable. Checking the "Remember me" setting simplifies the log-in process.

Retaining Technical Web-related Information

vCalc may retain raw logs of various transactions with vCalc staff and other vCalc users (colleagues). vCalc collects a typical amount of information when a user browses vCalc pages or emails vCalc staff or another user through a vCalc server. Information acquired through these standard web-based transactions will not be made available to the public.

When a page is edited by a logged-in, registered vCalc user, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time and then deletes this data after a chosen period.

Retaining Contributed Content History

Removing token content does not permanently delete it. Submitted content is usually retained forever. Information can be permanently deleted by vCalc staff with access to vCalc servers and vCalc will respond to court order to remove content but otherwise vCalc does not guarantee any permanent deletion of retained content or vCalc user profile information.

Access to Personally Identifiable Information

vCalc system administrators and some vCalc Technical Support staff will be given privileged access and may share information between themselves.

vCalc system administrators may release personally identifiable information with the approval of vCalc legal advisers in response to a valid subpoena or other request from law enforcement.

vCalc system administrators may release personally identifiable information when vCalc staff require it to investigate abuse complaints. If a user is found to be vandalizing or breaking the Terms of Use Policy, data may be released to third party entities, such as ISPs, for the purposes of identifying IP blocks.

vCalc system administrators may release personally identifiable information to investigate issues generated by automated bots disrupting vCalc.

vCalc system administrators may release personally identifiable information where it is necessary to protect the rights of vCalc or to protect the rights and safety of users and the public as a whole.

vCalc system administrators may also release personally identifiable information with the permission of the user.

If vCalc were to receive a subpoena or other request from law enforcement, a court, or a government agent requiring personally identifiable information, vCalc will attempt to notify the affected user by the email address provide when the user registered or by mail if mailing address was provided.