Genomewiki:Privacy policy

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The Genome Browser wiki privacy policy is a modified version of the policy statement published by the Wikimedia Foundation.


The UCSC Genome Browser servers collect the statistics typically logged by web servers to track usage statistics, correct systems problems, investigate misuse by badly behaved web robots, etc. We do not identify individual users or share information about individuals with external organizations. No additional information is tracked for casual visitors to this wiki site.

Be aware that written contributions to the Genome Browser wiki site constitute a public posting that may be retained forever. You must be logged in to publish or edit pages on this wiki. Because of this, you will be publicly identified by your user name as the author. Depending on the choices you make when you set up your login account, this may be your real name or a selected pseudonym. If you are concerned about privacy, you may wish to log in and publish under a pseudonym.

When using a pseudonym, your IP address will not be available to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by you or by another user with the same IP address. In all cases, your IP address will be stored on the wiki servers and can be seen by our wiki's server administrators and by users who have been granted "CheckUser" access. Your IP address, and its connection to any usernames that share it may be released under certain circumstances (see below).


The wiki sets a temporary session cookie (PHPSESSID) whenever you visit the site. If you never intend to log in, you may deny this cookie, but you cannot log in without it. It is deleted when you close your browser session.

More cookies may be set when you log in, to avoid typing in your user name (or optionally password) on your next visit. These persist for 30 days. You may clear these cookies after use if you are using a public machine and don't wish to expose your username to future users of the machine. (If so, clear the browser cache as well.)


We encourage all users to select strong passwords and to never share them.

Policy on release of data derived from page logs

It is our policy that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, may be released by the system administrators or users with CheckUser access in the following situations:

  • In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement
  • With permission of the affected user
  • To University of California officials, legal counsel, or designees, 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 articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released 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 the University of California, its users or the public.

We do not permit public distribution of such information under any circumstances, except as described above.

Sharing information with third parties

Except where otherwise specified, all text added to the Genome Browser wiki is available for reuse under the terms of the GFDL.

The Genome Browser wiki will not sell or share private information, such as email addresses, with third parties, unless you agree to release this information or it is required by law to release the information.

Security of information

We make no guarantee against unauthorized access to any information you provide. This information may be available to anyone with access to the servers.

Email and mailing lists

You may provide your email address in your Preferences and enable other logged-in users to send email to you through the wiki. Your address will not be revealed to them unless you respond, or possibly if the email bounces. The email address may be used by the UCSC Genome Browser staff to communicate with users on a wider scale.

If you do not provide an email address, you will not be able to reset your password if you forget it. However, you may contact one of the Genome Browser server administrators at to enter a new mail address in your preferences.

You can remove your email address from your preferences at any time to prevent it from being used.

If you subscribe to any of the Genome Browser mailing lists, be aware that the list archives are publicly accessible. Your address will be exposed (with minimal masking) to any other subscriber, and your address and mailing list correspondence potentially may be quoted in other messages. Email messages are usually not deleted or modified, except in extreme cases.

User data

Data on users, such as the times at which they edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via "user contributions" lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.

User Account Removal

Once created, user accounts will not be removed. It may be possible for a username to be changed, but we do not guarantee that a name will be changed upon request.

Content Deletion

Removing text from this wiki site does not permanently delete it. In normal articles, anyone can look at a previous version and see what was there. If an article is deleted, any user with administrator access on the wiki, meaning almost anyone trusted not to abuse the deletion capability, can see what was deleted. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with access to the servers, but there is no guarantee this will happen except in response to legal action.