SPARC Science – Privacy Policy

With this Privacy Policy, we, the SPARC Science website (hereinafter also SPARC Science,, SPARC_science, SPARC-science, we, or us), describe how and why we collect and further process personal data. This Privacy Policy is not necessarily a comprehensive description of our data processing. It is possible that other Privacy Policies are applicable to specific circumstances.

The term “personal data” in this Privacy Policy means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

The term “process” in this Privacy Policy means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.

You must not provide us with personal data of other persons (such as family members, work colleagues), regardless of whether you are allowed to do so and such personal data is correct, because there is no way for you to attest that the respective persons are aware of this Privacy Policy prior to providing us with these data.

  1. Controller / Data Protection Officer / Representative

The “controller” of data processing as described in this Privacy Policy (i.e., the responsible person) is
SPARC Science website administrator

University of Pittsburgh, Hillman Cancer Center – Research Pavilion, 1.19d, 5117 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA

You can notify us of any data protection related concerns using the following contact details: 

Data Protection:

  1. Collection and Processing of Personal Data

We primarily process personal data that we obtain from visitors and/or users of the website (e.g., apps, and other applications (hereinafter also SPARC Science Services, Services, or Services).

We collect personal data when you visit or use the website, send us an email, respond to a survey, provide online feedback, register for Services, subscribe to one of SPARC Science’s online publications or email newsletters, or otherwise communicate with us. The SPARC Science may collect personal data in connection with your use of the SPARC Science Services:

  • contact information, such as your name, mailing address, and telephone number;
  • computer and device information, such as IP address and MAC address of your smartphone or computers, your device and settings, cookies, and localization data;
  • use information, such as date and time of your visit, sites and content retrieved, applications used, and referring website; survey information, such as satisfaction with content provided, product usage and satisfaction, and responses to solicited questions that you voluntarily contribute; and
  • user generated content, such as content you post for publication and/or use on our websites, or content you post on social media platforms.
  1. Purpose of Data Processing and Legal Grounds

We primarily collect personal data for internal and SPARC Science Services-related purposes.

In addition, in line with applicable law and where appropriate, we may process your personal data for the following purposes, which are in our (or, as the case may be, any third party’s’) legitimate interest, such as: 

  • improving, enhancing and further developing the SPARC Science Services;
  • reviewing and optimizing procedures regarding usability and user friendliness of the Services;
  • opinion research, media surveillance; and
  • ensuring our operation, including our IT, our websites, apps and other appliances.

If you have given us your consent to process your personal data for certain purposes (for example when registering to get in touch with us or signing up to receive newsletters or surveys), we will process your personal data within the scope of and based on this consent, unless we have another legal basis, provided that we require one. Consent given can be withdrawn at any time, but this does not affect data processed prior to withdrawal.

By using our Services, consenting to the receipt of newsletters, or voluntarily participating in surveys you agree to our use of such techniques. If you object, you must configure your browser or e-mail program accordingly.

  1. Cookies / Tracking and Other Techniques Regarding the Use of the SPARC Science Services

We typically use “cookies” and similar techniques on the website and other Services, which allow for identification of your browser or device. A cookie is a small text file that is sent to your computer and automatically saved by the web browser on your computer or mobile device when you visit the website and other Services. If you revisit the website or other Services, we may recognize you, even if we do not know your identity. Besides cookies that are only used during a session and deleted after you visit the website or other Services (“session cookies”), we may use cookies in order to save user configurations and other information for a time period of two years (“permanent cookies”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, you may configure your browser settings in a way that it rejects cookies, only saves them for one session or deletes them prematurely. Most browsers are preset to accept cookies. We use permanent cookies for the purpose of saving user configuration (e.g., language). If you block cookies, it is possible that certain functions (such as, e.g., language settings) are no longer available to you.

We may use Google Analytics or similar services on the website and other Services. These are services provided by third parties, which may be located in any country worldwide (in the case of Google Analytics Google LLC is in the U.S., and which allow us to measure and evaluate the use of the SPARC Science Services (on an anonymized basis). For this purpose, permanent cookies are used, which are set by the service provider. The service provider does not receive (and does not retain) any personal data from us, but the service provider may track your use of the SPARC Science Services, combine this information with data from other websites you have visited and which are also tracked by the respective service provider and may use this in-formation for its own purposes (e.g., controlling of advertisements). If you have registered with the service provider, the service provider will also know your identity. In this case, the processing of your personal data by the service provider will be conducted in accordance with its data protection regulations. The service provider only provides us with data on the use of our Services (but not any personal information about the user).

  1. Data Transfer and Transfer of Data Abroad

In line with the purposes of the data processing set out in Section 3, we may transfer personal data to third parties, insofar as such a transfer is permitted and we deem it necessary, in order for such third parties to process data for us or, as the case may be, their own purposes. In particular, the following categories of recipients may include, but are not limited to:

  • Other SPARC websites such as https://data.sparc.scienceand
  • our service providers, including processors (such as IT providers);
  • authorities or courts;
  • the media;
  • the public, including users of the website and social media;
  • other parties in possible or pending legal proceedings;
  • employees of the National Institutes of Health.

The above recipients may be located in any country worldwide. In particular, you must anticipate your personal data being transmitted to any country in which SPARC Science is represented by affiliates, branches or other offices.

If SPARC Science is involved in a transition of service to another provider, your information may be disclosed in connection with the negotiation of such transaction, and/or transferred as part of such a transaction as permitted by law and/or contract. We cannot control how the recipient entities may use or disclose such information.

  1. Retention Periods for your Personal Data

We process and retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which we collected it and comply with legal obligations. In general, retention periods of no more than twelve months apply for operational data (e.g., system logs).

  1. Data Security

We have taken appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect your personal data from unauthorized access and misuse such as IT and network security solutions, access controls and restrictions, and encryption of data carriers and transmissions.

  1. Your Rights

In accordance with and as far as provided by applicable law, you have the right to access, rectification, and erasure of your personal data, the right to restriction of processing or to object to our data processing in addition to the right to receive certain personal data for transfer to another controller (data portability). Please note, however, that we reserve the right to enforce statutory restrictions on our part, for example if we are obliged to retain or process certain data.

In addition, every user of our Services has the right to enforce his/her rights in court or to lodge a complaint with his/her country’s competent data protection authority.

  1. Amendments of this Privacy Policy

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time without prior notice. The current version published on the website shall apply. If the PrivacyPolicy is part of an agreement with you, we will notify you by e-mail or other appropriate means in case of an amendment.