GBIF Community Site Privacy Policy


The GBIF Community Site is a virtual space to exchange ideas, share information and develop collaborative projects. It is a platform that provides the means for better collaboration among the GBIF Community of biodiversity data publishers and users, stakeholders, policy makers, and anyone interested in collaborating in this common effort that GBIF represents. For more information about GBIF, please visit the GBIF website.

For the proper functioning of the site, we need to collect some personal information. This Privacy Policy refers to the management of that information. The main guidelines in this policy are:

  • We do not rent or sell your personally identifiable information to third parties.
  • We do not share your contact information with another user without your consent.
  • Any personally identifiable information that you provide will be secured with industry standard protocols and technology.

Please read this privacy policy to learn more about:

  1. What personally identifiable information of yours is collected by GBIF;
  2. How the information is used;
  3. With whom the information may be shared;
  4. How you can access and change your account settings;
  5. What security procedures are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information collected by GBIF.
  6. How to contact us.

1. Personal information collected

You willingly provide us with certain personal information, which we collect in order to allow you to benefit from the GBIF Community Site. If you have any hesitation about providing such information to us and/or having such information displayed on the GBIF Community Site you should not become a member of the GBIF community.

We collect your personal information in the following ways:

    In order to become a user of the site, you must first create an account. To create an account you are required to provide the following contact information, which you recognise and expressly acknowledge is true personal information allowing others, including GBIF, to identify you: complete real name (first name and surname), email address, a username and a password chosen by you.   
    Once you become a user, you may provide additional information in the profile section describing yourself, your location, interests, skills, telephone number(s), related website and additional information about yourself and your relationship with GBIF. Providing additional information beyond what is required at registration to become a user is entirely optional, although highly recommended.   
    In order to invite others to connect with you directly in the GBIF community site, you may use the GBIF services to invite them if they are a User, or enter their names and email addresses. This information will be used by GBIF to send your invitation including a message that you write. The names and email addresses of people that you invite will be used only to send your invitation and reminders.    
    Like most websites, GBIF uses cookies and web log files to track site usage. If your browser settings do not allow cookies, you may not be able to use the GBIF website and/or some of its services. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. GBIF does not store personally identifiable information in the cookies.    
    Due to the communications standards on the Internet, when you visit the GBIF Community site we automatically receive the URL of the site from which you came and the site to which you are going when you leave the GBIF Community site. We also receive the Internet protocol (IP) address of your computer (or the proxy server you use to access the World Wide Web), your computer operating system and type of web browser you are using, email patterns, as well as the name of your ISP. This information is used to analyse overall trends to help us improve the GBIF Community site service. The linkage between your IP address and your personally identifiable information is not shared with third-parties without your permission or except when required by law.

Certain information you provide to the GBIF Community site may reveal, or allow others to identify, your nationality, ethnic origin, religion or other aspects of your private life, and more generally about you. Please be aware that in providing information to the GBIF Community site for the purposes of opening your user account, you are expressly and voluntarily accepting the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy. The supplying of all such information by you to the GBIF Community site, including all information deemed “sensitive” by applicable law, is entirely voluntary on your part. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time, in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy, but please note that your withdrawal of consent will not be retroactive.

You have a right to access, modify, correct and eliminate the data about you which has been collected pursuant to your decision to become a user. If you update any of your information, we may keep a copy of the information which you originally provided to us in our archives for uses documented herein.

We take your rights seriously and encourage you to use them if you deem this to be appropriate. You may exercise these rights by contacting us using the contact information provided in this Privacy Policy.

2. Uses of personal information

GBIF will communicate with you through email and notices posted on the GBIF Community Site or through other means available through the service. Please be aware that you will always receive certain emails from GBIF related to the proper functioning of your account, such as email notices when another User in your network wants to connect with you. You can change your e-mail and contact preferences at any time by logging into your ‘Settings’ and amending your email address, or to 'Notifications' and 'Group notifications' for notification choices.

If you post comments in any section of the GBIF Community Site, or use a bulletin board, participate in a blog or a chat room on the site, you should be aware that any personally identifiable information you choose to provide there can be read, collected, or used by other users of these forums, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. GBIF is not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit in these forums.

Some emails you initiate through the GBIF Community Site, e.g., an invitation sent to a non-user, may list your email address and name in the header of the message. The contact information shared with another user will depend on the privacy settings defined by you in your personal profile. Please use this setting to control who can access this personal information.

It is possible that we may need to disclose personal information when required by law, such as responses to civil or criminal subpoenas, or other requests by law enforcement personnel. We will disclose such information wherein we have a good-faith belief that it is necessary to comply with a court order, ongoing judicial proceeding, subpoena, or other legal process or request to GBIF brought in any country throughout the world, or to exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.

3. Your information choices

You can review the personal information you provided us and make any desired changes to the information you publish, or to the settings for your GBIF account including your email, and contact preferences, at any time by logging in to your account on the GBIF website. Please be aware that even after your request for a change is processed, GBIF may, for a time, retain residual information about you in its backup and/or archival copies of its database.

You can also close your account through the GBIF website. If you close your GBIF account, we will remove your name and other personally identifiable information from our publicly viewable database. We may retain certain data contributed by you for legitimate business purposes, such as analysis of aggregated, non-personally identifiable data, account recovery, or if required by law. To request that we close your account and remove your information from the GBIF website, please send your request using the contact information provided at the end of this document. Please send your request using an email account that you have registered with GBIF under your name.

As a User, you have certain obligations toward the other users with whom you will be communicating. Certain of these obligations are imposed by applicable law and regulations, and others have become commonplace in user-friendly communities of like-minded members, such as the GBIF Community Site:

  • You must, at all times, respect the terms and conditions of the then-current Privacy Policy and terms of use. This includes respecting all intellectual property rights which may belong to third parties (such as photographs).
  • You must not download or otherwise disseminate any information which may be deemed to be injurious, violent, offensive, racist or xenophobic or which may otherwise violate the purpose and spirit of GBIF and its community of Users.
  • You must not provide information to GBIF and /or other users which you believe might be injurious or detrimental to your person, professional or social status.

Any violation of these guidelines may lead to the restriction, suspension or termination of your account by GBIF, as we take these principles seriously and consider them to be the basis on which our users adhere to the GBIF Community Site and the services which it offers.

4. Important information

Children are not eligible to use our service and we ask that minors (under the age of 18) do not submit any personal information to us or use the service.

GBIF may update this privacy policy at any time, with or without advance notice. In the event there are significant changes in the way we treat your personally identifiable information, we will display a notice on the GBIF Community Site or send you an email, as provided for above. Unless stated otherwise, our current Privacy Policy applies to all information that we have about you and your account. If you use the GBIF service after notice of changes have been sent to you or published on our site, you hereby provide your consent to the changed practices.

5. Security

In order to secure your personal information, access to your data on GBIF is password-protected. To protect any data you store on our servers we also regularly audit our system for possible vulnerabilities and attacks. It is your responsibility to protect the security of your login information. Please note that emails and instant messaging and similar means of communication with other users of GBIF are not encrypted and we strongly request you not to communicate any confidential information through these means.

6. Contact us

The GBIF Community site is managed by the GBIF Secretariat:

Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat
Universitetsparken 15
Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Tlf: +45 3532 1470
Fax: +45 3532 1480
email: gbif@gbif.org
web: www.gbif.org