terms and privacy


MammalWeb (https://www.mammalweb.org/) is a web platform where citizen scientists are involved in the scientific process of collecting and analysing camera trap images of wild animals. These images form a dataset from which we can learn about the ecology, distribution and abundance of these animals. This document describes what will happen to your contributions to MammalWeb, what data are collected from users, and how we use and protect those data. For the purposes of this document, “we” and “us” refer to the entities listed on the "About" page of MammalWeb, including the Durham Wildlife Trust (http://www.durhamwt.com/) and those at Durham University. The information contained in this document may be updated at any time without prior notice. 

What you agree to if you contribute

If you contribute and upload your camera trap images (i.e. data) – taken either with our or your own camera traps – to MammalWeb, you agree to license that data under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/), and let us and collaborating scientists use your contributions for research purposes, and on occasion for publicity purposes. However, you still own the pictures your camera took, and are not limited in what else you can do with them (such as sharing them through social networking platforms from MammalWeb or elsewhere).

By classifying animals you see in camera trap photos, you are contributing to a large dataset collaboratively created by all users of MammalWeb. While you own the photos you upload, you do not own the resultant dataset.

We reserve the right to terminate members’ accounts where there is evidence that inappropriate images, or images not taken with camera traps have been uploaded deliberately. Since MammalWeb relies on its users to classify camera trap images collaboratively, we ask that you do not intentionally mis-classify any images.

To evaluate the effectiveness of this citizen science project, we may occasionally contact you with surveys or through other mediums for you to share your experiences. Your participation would only be with informed consent and is optional, and personal information (if any) will be kept strictly confidential. 

Data we collect

To become a Spotter (to classify images) or Trapper (to upload your camera trap photos), you need to register for a MammalWeb account. During registration, we will ask for some information about you and, where relevant, your camera traps.

When you register, we ask you to create an username and password, and to submit an email address. The email address that you provide will not be available to anyone other than us and will only be used to contact you with any problems or occasional announcements. Your username may become visible to other users on the website. Your username will be associated with your classifications and uploaded photos but, again, this will not be publicly visible. Since MammalWeb has been developed in collaboration with the Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT), we will also ask if you are a DWT member and if you would like to join.

When uploading your camera trap photos, we ask you to provide some information regarding where you set up your camera. This information is important for the scientific value of the camera trap database and, while we ask you to specify on a map where your camera trap was deployed, we will not display this information publicly. Approximate camera trap locations (only accurate to within an UK Ordnance Survey 1x1 km grid cell) may be visible to other users but will not be associated with a specific user.

We ask you to place camera traps in locations where humans are unlikely to be photographed. However, when classifying camera trap images, humans may occasionally appear by accident. There is a dedicated “Human” button in the Spotter interface for tagging these photos, which will prevent them from showing up again. We will prevent those images from publicly appearing again on MammalWeb or elsewhere, and will not relate those photos to any individual. 

What is shared with third parties

We will never release your email or personally identifiable information to others without your express permission. Other anonymous or aggregated data may be displayed or shared with others for research purposes. For example, we might choose to include an animal you classified in a published paper, or examine user involvement to improve the functionality of Mammal Web

Where we store your data and how we secure it

All MammalWeb data are stored on a physically secured server hosted by AWS. Only we, the maintainers of Mammal Web, have access to the server, and will not share its contents with any other entity in ways not in accordance with this document.

Removing your information

You can contact us to delete your account from our servers. Any photos you have uploaded, animal classifications, and information about camera trap sites will remain stored for research purposes, but will no longer be linked to any personally-identifiable data (all of which will be deleted). 

For further information

To contact us, please use one of the following:

Postal address: Biodiversity Monitoring Team, Department of Biosciences, Upper Mountjoy, Durham University, South Road, Durham, United Kingdom DH1 3LE
Email address: info[at]mammalweb.org

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