How does GLOBE protect students’ privacy and personal information?

How does GLOBE protect students’ privacy and personal information?

The GLOBE Data and Information System is managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The NASA Web Privacy Policy is applicable to www.globe.gov. 

  • GLOBE Observer accounts are associated with an email address and country of residence only. We do not request nor do we store any other personal information in our system for a basic account. GLOBE assigns a unique numeric userID to each account, and the email associated with the account is never publicly displayed. Email addresses are used to send messages about the GLOBE Program and data collected, and may be used by a GLOBE Team manager for contacting those who have joined a team. Opt-in/opt-out options for satellite match emails and other communications can be found on the settings page in the app (accessed via the gear icon in the upper right). 
  • Users with a GLOBE Teacher account may create up to 50 GLOBE student accounts.  Student account logins look like an email (in the form of "myschool_student1@globe.gov" or similar), but are not active emails that can be used to send or receive email. Student accounts can be used to allow students to enter data measurements on the GLOBE website or to access the GLOBE Observer app without providing any personal information.
  • Data submitted via a GLOBE student account is associated in the system with the school’s name and the teacher’s account, and not with a particular student. In the GLOBE Visualization System, the data will be identified as part of the school, however it is set up in the system, e.g. “My Town Middle School.” 
  • GLOBE teachers can adjust their communication settings via the app or on the My Account page, accessed on the GLOBE website.

Different countries have different requirements for technology use by children. According to the United States’ Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, location and email address together may be considered personally identifiable information.  Children under 13 should only use the app under an adult’s supervision, such as via a teacher-generated GLOBE student account or with an account created with a parent email. GLOBE does not store home addresses and does not expose user emails with measurement data.

The in-app training requests that observers not include identifiable faces or other text containing personal information (i.e. license plate numbers) in the photos associated with their observations. For photos coming in from unverified GLOBE Observer accounts, compliance is checked by our team before the photos are visible in the database. Photos containing faces and/or text will be rejected by our screening process and will not be approved for posting. Users with GLOBE Teacher/Member accounts are expected to monitor their photos themselves and ensure they don’t contain such items.