Privacy Policy

At NICHQ, we are keenly aware of the trust you place in us and our responsibility to keep your privacy and data secure. This Privacy Policy is meant to help you understand what data we collect, how we collect it, why we collect it, and what we do with it. This is important; we hope you will take time to read it carefully.

There are many different ways you can use our services – to search for and share information, to communicate with other people or to create new content. When you share information with us, for example by creating a Collaboratory Account, we can make those services even better – to help you connect with people or to make sharing with others quicker and easier. As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we’re using information and the ways in which you can protect your privacy.

Our Privacy Policy explains:

  • The data collection services we use.
  • What information we collect and why we collect it.
  • How we use that information.
  • The choices we offer, including how to access and update information.

We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible, but if you’re not familiar with terms like cookies, IP addresses, pixel tags and browsers, then read about these key terms first. Your privacy matters to NICHQ so whether you are new to the NICHQ Collaoratory or a long-time user, please do take the time to get to know our practices – and if you have any questions contact us.


Data collection services we use

NICHQ uses Google Analytics and Google Analytics Advertising Features to collect data about how our users interact with this website. We use this information to better understand the needs of our users, to inform our decisions regarding website enhancements and updates, and to maintain the safety and security of the site.

NICHQ believes user privacy to be paramount, and as such we only collect non-personally identifiable information through Google Analytics: none of the data we collect can be traced back to individual users. The Google Analytics terms of service, which all Google Analytics customers must adhere to, specifically prohibits sending personally identifiable information (PII) to Google Analytics. PII includes any data that can be used by Google to reasonably identify an individual, including (but not limited to) names, email addresses, or billing information.

The specific Google Analytics Advertising Features implemented on this website are:

  • Enhanced Link Attribution
  • Link tracking (outbound, mailto, file/download links)
  • Messages shown to users (status, warning and error messages)
  • Site keyword searches
  • Demographics and Interest Reporting

NICHQ has voluntarily implemented the following Google Analytics Services on this website to further protect user privacy in data collection:

  • IP Anonymization. This feature anonymizes the information sent by the tracker objects by removing the last octet of the IP address prior to its storage.
  • Do Not Track/Universal web tracking opt-out. If our server receives the Do-Not-Track header from a user's browser, the Google Analytics module will not embed any tracking code into the site during your visit. Please note that this feature is currently limited to logged in users and disabled page caching.

Information we collect

We collect information to provide better services to all of our users – from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like what content you’ll find most useful, the people you might want to connect with online, or which videos you might like.

We collect information in the following ways:

Information you give us. In order to use the Collaboratory, we require you to sign up for a Collaboratory Account. When you do, we’ll ask for personal information, like your name, email address, telephone number, organization or profile picture to store with your account.

Information we get from our use of Google Analytics. Through Google Analytics, we are able to view aggregated, anonymized information about the online services that you use and how you use them, like when you watch a video on YouTube, visit a website that uses Google advertising services, or view and interact with Google ads and content. This information includes:

  • Device information. We collect device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers.
  • Log information. When you use this website, we automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This includes:
    • details of how you used our service, such as your search queries.
    • Internet protocol (IP) address.
    • device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL.
    • Cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Collaboratory Account through non-personally identifiable information (such as a randomized ID number).
  • Location information. When you use this NICHQ website, we may collect and process information about your location. Through Google Analytics, we may receive or infer information about your location from a variety of sources. For example, we may use the IP address to identify your general location; we may receive precise location from your mobile device; we may infer your location from your search queries; and websites or apps that you use may send information about your location to us through Google.
  • Unique application numbers. Certain services include a unique application number. This number and information about your installation (for example, the operating system type and application version number) may be sent to Google when you install or uninstall that service or when that service periodically contacts our servers, such as for automatic updates.
  • Local storage. Through Google Analytics, we may collect and store information (including personal information) locally on your device using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches.
  • Cookies and similar technologies. Google and its partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit our website or a Google service, and this may include using cookies or similar technologies to identify your browser or device. We also use these technologies to collect and store information when you interact with services we. Google Analytics helps NICHQ analyze the traffic to our websites and apps. When used in conjunction with Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting, Google Analytics information is linked, using Google technology, with information about visits to multiple sites.

    Google Analytics mainly uses first-party cookies to report on user interactions on Google Analytics customers’ websites such as this NICHQ website. These cookies are used to store non-personally identifiable information. Browsers do not share first-party cookies across domains. For more information, see a list of the types of cookies used by Google.

Information we collect when you are signed in to the Collaboratory, in addition to information we obtain about you from Google, may be associated with your Google Account. When information is associated with your Google Account, Google treats it as personal information. For more information about how you can access, manage or delete information that is associated with your Collaboratory and/or Google Account, visit the Transparency and choice section of this policy.

How we use information we collect

We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect NICHQ and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results.

We may use the name you provide for your Collaboratory User Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Collaboratory Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Collaboratory Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. Other users who already have a Collaboratory Account on this website are shown your Collaboratory Profile information, such as your name and photo.

When you contact NICHQ, we keep a record of your communication to help solve any issues you might be facing. We may use your email address to inform you about our services, such as letting you know about upcoming changes or improvements.

We use information collected from cookies and other technologies, like HTTP Referrers, to improve your user experience and the overall quality of our services.

We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other NICHQ services – for example to make it easier to share measure data related to a project you’re participating in. We will not combine cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.

We will ask for your consent before using information for a purpose other than those that are set out in this Privacy Policy.

Google Analytics processes information on servers in many countries around the world. Therefore, they may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live.

Transparency and choice

People have different privacy concerns. Our goal is to be clear about what information we collect through Google Analytics and Google Analytics Advertising Features, so that you can make meaningful choices about how it is used. You can learn more about Google Analytics and privacy. Google provides website users the following controls so users can have more choice on how their data is collected by Google Analytics:

  • Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. Website users that don’t want their data reported by the Google Analytics JavaScript can install the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. This add-on instructs the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) to prohibit sending information to Google Analytics. The browser add-on is available for most modern browsers. The Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on does not prevent information from being sent to the website itself or to other web analytics services. Learn more about the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on.
  • Ads Settings. Some sites using Google Analytics implement Google Analytics Advertising Features, which makes use of the Google advertising cookies. Users can opt-out of this feature and manage their settings for this cookie using Google's Ads Settings.
  • The US-based choices () page or the EU-based Your Online Choices let you manage many companies’ cookies used for online advertising.
  • Incognito mode in Chrome allows you to browse the web without recording webpages and files in your browser history. Cookies are deleted after you've closed all of your incognito windows and tabs, and your bookmarks and settings are stored until you delete them. Learn more about cookies.

You may also set your browser to block all cookies, including cookies associated with NICHQ and/or Google services, or to indicate when a cookie is being set by us. However, it’s important to remember that many of NICHQ’s and Google’s services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled. For example, we may not remember your password even if you check the “Remember Me” option on the Collaboratory login page.

Information you share

Some NICHQ services let you share information privately with other authenticated users. Our services provide you with different options on sharing and removing your content through your Collaboratory Account Settings or User Profile information.

Accessing and updating your personal information

Whenever you use NICHQ’s services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes. When updating your personal information, we may ask you to verify your identity before we can act on your request.

We may reject requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require disproportionate technical effort (for example, developing a new system or fundamentally changing an existing practice), risk the privacy of others, or would be extremely impractical (for instance, requests concerning information residing on backup systems).

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

Information we share

We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of NICHQ unless one of the following circumstances applies:

With your consent
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of NICHQ when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.

With domain administrators
Your Collaboratory Account can be managed by a NICHQ domain administrator. The domain administrator provides user support to Collaboratory users and will have access to your Collaboratory Account information (including your email and other data). The domain administrator may be able to:

  • view statistics regarding your account, like statistics regarding your sign-in history.
  • change your account password.
  • suspend or terminate your account access.
  • access or retain information stored as part of your account.
  • receive your account information in order to satisfy applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
  • restrict your ability to delete or edit information or privacy settings.

Use of your Collaboratory Account information by the domain administrator is covered under the terms of this Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use.

For external processing
We provide personal information to our affiliates or other trusted businesses or persons to process it for us, based on our instructions and in compliance with our Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures.

For legal reasons
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of NICHQ if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:

  • meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
  • enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
  • detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
  • protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.

We may share non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners – like funders, faculty, and project sponsors. For example, we may share information publicly to show trends about the general use of our services.

If NICHQ is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, we will continue to ensure the confidentiality of any personal information and give affected users notice before personal information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

Information security

We work hard to protect NICHQ and our users from unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of information we hold. In particular:

  • We encrypt many of our services using SSL.
  • We review our information collection, storage and processing practices, including physical security measures, to guard against unauthorized access to systems.
  • We restrict access to personal information to NICHQ employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to process it for us, and who are subject to strict contractual confidentiality obligations and may be disciplined or terminated if they fail to meet these obligations.

When this Privacy Policy applies

Our Privacy Policy applies to all of the services offered by NICHQ on this and other sites (such as our measure data tracking services), but excludes services that have separate privacy policies that do not incorporate this Privacy Policy.

Our Privacy Policy does not apply to services offered by other companies or individuals, including products or sites that may be displayed to you in search results, sites that may include NICHQ services, or other sites linked from our services. Our Privacy Policy does not cover the information practices of other companies and organizations who advertise our services, and who may use cookies, pixel tags and other technologies to serve and offer relevant ads.

Compliance and cooperation with regulatory authorities

We regularly review our compliance with our Privacy Policy. We also adhere to several self-regulatory frameworks. When we receive formal written complaints, we will contact the person who made the complaint to follow up. We work with the appropriate regulatory authorities, including local data protection authorities, to resolve any complaints regarding the transfer of personal data that we cannot resolve with our users directly.


Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time. We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent. We will post any privacy policy changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, for certain services, email notification of privacy policy changes). We will also keep prior versions of this Privacy Policy in an archive for your review.

Other useful online privacy and security related materials

Further useful online privacy and security related materials can be found through Google’s policies and principles pages, including:

  • Information about Google technologies and principles, which includes, among other things, more information on
  • A page that explains what data is shared with Google when you visit websites that use Google advertising, analytics and social products (such as this website)
  • The Google Privacy Checkup tool, which makes it easy to review your key privacy settings.
  • Google’s safety center, which provides information on how to stay safe and secure online.