You/user – means you as a website user, content/data user, or content/data provider.
the VAL site – the website with the URL val.vtecostudies.org, vtatlasoflife.org (or any URL replacing it) and associated web services, internet publishing tools, software, tools etc.
Personal information is information relating to an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion provided.
Site visit data
The VAL website is operated by VAL without the use of an external service provider. When visiting the VAL website, a record of your visit is logged. The following information is supplied by your browser or recorded by our servers:
- the user’s server address
- the user’s operating system, eg Windows, Mac OS
- the user’s top level domain name, eg .com, .gov, .au, .uk
- the date and time of the visit to the site
- the pages accessed and the documents/data downloaded
- the previous site visited
- search terms used
- the type of browser used.
We use the site visit data for the purposes of:
- monitoring, developing and improving the quality of the VAL website
- dealing with your inquires and requests
- usage statistics such as determining traffic through the server, download statistics etc
- providing you with information about VAL services and products.
This site visit data may be aggregated for analysis with identifiable characteristics removed. We may publish or provide this aggregated data to other people, for instance site/page usage statistics around a particular data set may be provided to the original data provider.
No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the server’s logs.
Collection and use of personal information
When you email us, use an online form, submit content or data, enter a user profile, access restricted pages or contribute your details to a forum or as a contributor or expert:
- we will record your name, email address, telephone number, postal address, organization, area of interest and such other personal information as provided
- we will only use your details to communicate with you, respond to your requests and inquiries and for directly related purposes as stated on the pages or forms where you submit it
- you may opt out of receiving communications from us by following the unsubscribe link or instructions in any email we send
- your details will not be added to an external mailing list without your consent
- we will not use your details for any other purpose
- unless otherwise required to by law, we will not disclose any information you submit without your express permission or except where we may be required by law to disclose certain information
Note also that if you provide your personal information associated with biodiversity related data or records, then users of that data will be able to see the personal information provided, and may use that personal information to verify the details of the particular record, to acknowledge/attribute you as the creator of the record, or contact you to request greater access, further information or support.
Certain personal information may be required such as name and email address to provide a particular Atlas service or product, eg. data set, to you or respond to your inquiries. This information may also be used by VAL to inform you of additional related products or services or obtain your feedback on the service or product.
A cookie is a small file that a website sends to your browser when you access information at that site. Upon receipt of the information your browser saves the information on your hard-disk (unless your browser doesn’t support cookies). Each time you use your computer to access that same website, the information that was previously received is sent back to the website by your browser. It records information necessary for certain website functions, such as remembering your preferences or settings.
If you don’t want to accept cookies, you can set your browser and/or firewall to block them. You will still be able to access most VAL content but some interactive features will be unavailable.
For more information about cookies, how they are used by websites and how you can change your settings see Cookie Central.
Interaction with the VAL website
There are a number of interactive features on the VAL website that you can contribute to, eg forums, mailing lists, reviews, annotations, message boards and emails. Online forms and forums record information on clearly labelled fields. The information you provide will be solely used for the purposes stated on the form/page.
Please keep in mind if you directly disclose or post personal information through the VAL website on pages such as sightings information, forums or message boards, this information becomes available to anyone with access to the internet and may be collected and used by others. We suggest that you use your discretion and exercise caution when providing your personal information. Therefore, we recommend that you refrain from posting any information that you do not want seen in these public areas.
This site contains links to other sites. The Atlas is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.
Security of information
Your personal information will not be released unless the law requires or permits it or your permission is given. We provide a secure environment and a reliable system but you should be aware that there may be inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the internet. For those who do not wish to use the internet, the Atlas provides alternative ways of obtaining and providing information.