Earthwatch: Privacy Policy


Privacy Policy

    Earthwatch is committed to protecting your privacy on our website.


    Earthwatch is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. We collect information from our users at several different points on our website.


    We use IP addresses to help analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    Our site uses cookies. A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive containing information about the user. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information while on our site. For instance, by setting a cookie on our site, the user would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. If a user rejects the cookie, they may still use our site, but may be limited in some areas of our site. Cookies also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site.


    To receive certain updates or use certain features of this website, a user may have to first register within My Earthwatch. During registration, a user is required to give their contact information (such as name and email address). This information is used to contact the user about the services on our site for which they have expressed interest. It may be optional for a user to provide demographic information (such as gender) and unique identifiers (such as social security number). This type of data is encouraged so we can provide a more personalized experience on our site.


    Whenever you post content to the Earthwatch site, such as Comments & Questions to an expedition page or news article, a Review to an Earthwatch Expedition you have participated on, or a blog post you have made regarding one of your experiences on an expedition, this content will become part of the website. In some instances, an Earthwatch will need to moderate and/or approve submitted content before it becomes posted for internet audiences to see. Always think before you post. Just like anything else you post on the web, information you share on the Earthwatch site can be copied or shared by anyone who can see it.


    If a user wishes to subscribe to one of our newsletters, we ask for contact information such as name, address, and email address. This data allows Earthwatch to contact those who have expressed interest in engaging with our organization.


    Our site uses an online form for customers when they request information, and also requests data when they book expeditions or complete donation transactions. We collect visitor’s contact information (email addresses) and financial information (accounts or credit card numbers if needed). Contact information from the forms is also used for sending information to them about their transaction. The customer’s contact information is also used to get in touch with the customer in regards to our offerings and our mission. This information is not shared or resold in any circumstance except under requirement by law or judgment.

    Users may opt-out of receiving future mailings.

    Our online expedition evaluation surveys ask visitors for contact information (email or mailing address). We use contact data from our surveys to send the user information about Earthwatch and its activities. Users may opt-out of receiving future mailings. Other data collected by online surveys is used to educate Earthwatch about the interests and concerns of its supporters and general site visitors concerning our mission. This information is not shared with other organizations. Earthwatch operates email discussion and contact lists to reach its members who request such information, as well as prospects that we have acquired through various sources. Such services are run both by Earthwatch and contracted vendors. These email addresses whether housed on Earthwatch servers or those of our third-party contractor are never shared with any other organization, and users may opt out of participating or receiving email information from Earthwatch at any time. Instructions are contained within each email sent.


    We will occasionally share aggregated demographic information with our business partners. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person. We use an outside shipping company to ship merchandise orders, and a credit card processing company to bill users for goods and services. These companies do not retain, share, store, or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

    At times, we partner with other parties to provide specific services. When the user signs up for these services, we will share names, or other contact information that is necessary for the third party to provide these services. These parties are not allowed to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose of providing these services.


    This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control. This includes a firewall and 24-hour monitoring of site activities by our hosting service provider as well as 128-bit SSL encryption (where allowable by law) on all transaction oriented operations between you and Earthwatch via our transaction service provider.

    While we use SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, we also do everything in our power to protect user-information off-line. All of our users’ information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, our billing clerk or a customer service representative) are granted access to personally identifiable information. Our employees must use password-protected screen-savers when they leave their desk. When they return, they must re-enter their password to re-gain access to your information. Finally, the servers that we store personally identifiable information on are kept in a secure environment, behind a locked cage.

    Because we care about the safety and privacy of children online, we comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). COPPA and its accompanying FTC regulation establish United States federal law that protects the privacy of children using the Internet. We do not knowingly collect contact or personal information from children under 13. Our sites are not intended to solicit information of any kind from children under 13, and those aged 18 must have expeditions booked with assistance from a parent or guardian. It is possible that by fraud or deception by others we may receive information given to us or pertaining to children under 13. If we are notified of this, as soon as we verify the information, we will immediately obtain parental consent or otherwise delete the information from our servers.


    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes, or if a user no longer desires our service, they may update their personal information within their Profile found in the My Earthwatch section of our website, or they may Contact Us.


    Our email communications provide recipients the opportunity to opt-out of receiving them at the point in time when we receive the request from the recipient.


    If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this website, Contact Us.


    If we change our Privacy Policy, this page will be updated so our users may remain aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

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