Privacy & data safety

Running interactive Citizen Science apps also means protecting the privacy and data of all Citizen Scientists.

In an online environment, privacy and data safety are an important point to consider when running an interactive project. As digital natives ourselves, we apply high standards to the SPOTTERON platform in regards of technical solutions and also ethical decisions.

Our three core principles are:

features privacy encryption

We use strong encryption

All data transferred over the internet has to be encrypted. We use strong encryption standards via Transfer Layer Security(TLS) protocol for all data exchange between our servers and the smartphone apps, interactive maps and also for all project websites we build and run on the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform.

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We don`t monetize user data

All apps on the SPOTTERON platform are ad-free and we keep the user's data safe. We will never sell user data to third parties and we don't include third party ad networks or other forms of user monetization in the smartphone apps or websites - simply because Citizen Science should stay independent and respect its user's privacy.

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We don't track users

Every service on the internet costs something - by including Google Analytics, Twitter Feeds, Facebook Buttons or other free tools, all user data will be tracked, monitored and fed into personal user profiles. As an ethical principle, our policy is that we do not track our users and don't include third party scripts, which permanently keep watching.

EU General Data Protection Regulation

Beginning with 25th May 2018, the European Union sets high standards for privacy laws with the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679). All science projects running on the SPOTTERON platform automatically comply with the regulations terms and include functionalities like the "right to erasure" or "data protection by design". More information about the GDPR can be found at its Wikipedia page here: General Data Protection Regulation.

In all apps on the platform, users can find options to directly export a copy of all their personal data and to anonymize all their personal information, stored on the SPOTTERON servers.


  • New in our blog series: the Tea Bag Index (TBI) collects data on soil observations and in particular on the dynamics of soil decomposition. The degradation of organic matter in the soil is part of the global carbon cycle, which provides information about the biological activity of the soil and is therefore important for climate change. Read more on the blog!

    Thursday, 17 October 2019
  • A new paper by Barbara Strobl, Simon Etter, Ilja van Meerveld, and Jan Seibert from the CrowdWater project has been added, titled: "Accuracy of crowdsourced streamflow and stream level class estimates". Read more in our papers section here.

    Thursday, 17 October 2019