Privacy Policy

NASA Earth Observatory image modified by SkyTruth

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

NASA Earth Observatory image modified by SkyTruth

Last updated: 24 February 2021


SkyTruth’s philosophy revolves around transparency, particularly as it pertains to how humans are impacting the environment. We believe that you deserve the same transparency when it comes to how we use information that we collect about you when you interact with our websites or crowdsourcing projects. This document outlines the information we collect, how it is used, and how you can control that use.

We collect some personally identifiable information from you when you do things like sign up to volunteer or collaborate with us on a project, make a donation, subscribe to SkyTruth Alerts, or ask us to send you updates. We use the information you give us to perform the service you requested. In some cases, we work with third party companies to fulfill these tasks. For example, we use MailChimp to send emails updating you about our work. We use Stripe to securely process donations to SkyTruth. This document tells you which third party companies we work with, and provides links to their privacy policies and statements about how they use personal information, so you can make informed choices.

We will not sell, rent or give away your information.

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, you can email us at

Information SkyTruth Collects About You

Personally identifiable information (PII) is information that can be used, either directly or indirectly, to identify you. We collect personally identifiable information about you when you interact with one of our websites. Your email address, your IP address, and your name are all personally identifiable information.

In some cases, we partner with third party companies to accomplish an action that you requested from us. The following examples outlines the kinds of situations when we may collect information from you that may be used to identify you and how it is used:

  • If you request that we notify you about updates related to our work, we collect your email address, and use it to send you email updates.
  • If you volunteer to help with a crowdsourced, online project, we collect your email address so that an account can be set up for you to work on the project. We may email you with updates to a project you are participating in, or we may ask you to participate in a survey that will help us improve our projects in the future. (Participation is voluntary.) We may use a third party application to run our crowdsourced projects. In the past, we have used tools like PyBossa and Ushahidi for projects. See SkyTruth’s Third Party Partners, below, for more information.
  • If you subscribe to SkyTruth Alerts, we collect your email address so that we can email you alerts for areas of interest you have subscribed to. Your selected areas of interest can be connected with your email address in the SkyTruth Alerts database. We may also send you a survey to help us improve the service. You can choose not to participate and you can opt out at any time using links at the bottom of every email. We use Mandrill (an automated email service owned by MailChimp) to send emails to you. See SkyTruth’s Third Party Partners below.
  • If you visit our website, our third party partner, Google Analytics, places cookies on your computer or device. We use Google Analytics to monitor aggregate usage and web traffic routing on our websites and applications and to improve user experience. See more about Cookies below. Our website uses SSL and HTTPS to ensure that any information you give to use will be secure and encrypted. We use Google Analytics, a website tracking tool, to help us understand how visitors use our website. Google Analytics places cookies on your computer to do this. We use these statistics to improve our website. Google Analytics collects some demographic information about you, through your internet provider’s IP address. We see this information in the aggregate, and have a general sense of how many of our visitors are from a particular state, for example. You have some control over what information Google collects about you. See SkyTruth’s Third Party Partners below.
  • You may make a donation to SkyTruth. For online donations, we use a third party credit card processor called Stripe to handle the transaction for us. Using a third party processor in this case makes your data more secure than if it were on our website. Stripe is required by law to process the transaction securely, and to tell you how they use the information they collect. We keep track of our donations using CiviCRM, an open-source constituent management tool for nonprofits. This tool is integrated into our website and uses SSL/HTTP just like rest of our website. If you make an online donation, we collect your name and email address so that we can convey our appreciation and send you a receipt (required by the IRS). If you send us a check, we collect your name and address, and use it to send you a thank you letter. See SkyTruth’s Third Party Partners below.
  • You may apply for a job or sign up to be a volunteer. Information you give us is used only in connection with the job application, or the volunteer position.
  • You may follow SkyTruth on our social network sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. When you interact with these social network sites, you are voluntarily agreeing to these companies’ terms and conditions as it relates to your privacy. See SkyTruth’s Third Party Partners, below, for more information.

As technologies advance, we will likely work with other third party partners, and may update this privacy policy from time to time as we make these changes.

SkyTruth’s Third Party Partners

SkyTruth uses Stripe to securely process online donations made to SkyTruth.

Privacy policy:

Cookies policy:


We use MailChimp to send email when you ask us to notify you about blog updates or news releases. Mandrill is an add-on to MailChimp, used to send out automated emails. Our apps, like SkyTruth Alerts, use Mandrill to send you an email when a new alert has been reported for your selected area of interest (AOI).

Privacy policy:

Cookies policy:


We use Google Analytics to track website traffic in the aggregate.

Privacy policy:

Cookies policy:


We have used Pybossa in the past for projects like FrackFinder (and may use it again). It allows the project maker to create their own privacy policy. In using it, we abide by this policy. We will use the information you provide to us to create your account, reset your password, and update you about the project.

We use Ushahidi to let citizen scientists report what they are seeing on the ground in areas we are monitoring.

Privacy policy:

SkyTruth puts its code and data sets on GitHub so that others can use them.

Privacy policy:

The SkyTruth website is built using WordPress, an open-source website and blogging platform. WordPress does not collect any identifiable information about visitors.

JetPack policies:

We use Enfold as our WordPress theme. Their GDPR blog post is here:

We use CiviCRM, a constituent management system, to keep track of donors, funders and media contacts.

Our staff abides by the policy outlined in this document for our constituents.

We use CartoDB to visually represent our data sets on maps. CartoDB uses cookies, but they cannot personally identify you unless you create an account.

Privacy policy and other policies:

Cookies policy:

Usage Tracking

As mentioned elsewhere, we use Google Analytics to track website traffic on many of our websites. Google Analytics helps us to improve website flow and usability, and it shows us how visitors use the SkyTruth website and helps us ensure that our websites work for them. We know which browser you are using when you access the SkyTruth website, and whether you are viewing the website on a phone or a laptop. We also have a general sense of where you are when you access SkyTruth websites (i.e., the city), via your IP address. By itself, your IP address cannot be used to identify you (nor do we attempt to do this).

When we send out emails related to services you sign up for, such as notifications about a new blog post, we track click-through and open rates.


SkyTruth, as well as some of its third party partners, may place a text file called a cookie in the browser files of your computer. Cookies are small pieces of data stored in text files that are stored on your computer or other device when a website is loaded in a browser. Cookies are widely used for a variety of purposes and can be used for a single visit (called a session cookie) or for repeat visits (persistent cookies).

A cookie does not contain personally identifiable information, but it does enable us to relate your use of SkyTruth’s websites and applications to personal information you have given us.

SkyTruth uses cookies to monitor website traffic patterns in the aggregate. We also use cookies to authenticate you when you log into a crowdsourced project such as FrackFinder.

You can control whether cookies are placed on your computer or device. You can refuse cookies by turning them off in your browser. You can also delete cookies from your device. If you have set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies, you will receive a message with each cookie. Some SkyTruth applications may not function properly if cookies are disabled.


At SkyTruth, we welcome citizen scientists of all ages. Our website, SkyTruthing for Students, was created for children and is used in schools. We use Google Analytics on these pages, and in some cases, we may be able to tell if a school links to our materials, but we but do not knowingly collect any information about the children who may use this website.

If you are under the age of 13 and are visiting our other websites (like, or volunteering on one of our crowdsourcing applications (like FrackFinder), you should know that, in using them, you are giving your consent for us to collect some personal information about you. For instance, you give us an email address when you sign up to use a crowdsourcing app so that we can set up an account for you, help you recover a lost password, and keep track of how many tasks you have completed. We will not give away, rent, or sell your information.

If you sign up to receive updates or subscribe to SkyTruth Alerts, we collect your email address. Our website statistics, which are collected by Google Analytics, will also collect your IP address, which gives us a general idea of your location, like the city you live in. We cannot tell your exact address from your IP address. We do not actively try to connect your email address with your location, but you should know that it could be done.

If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 13, and you have questions or concerns, or wish to have a child’s information removed from our systems, you can contact us at

Opting Out

If you sign up for updates or subscribe to SkyTruth Alerts, you can opt out of these services by following links at the bottom of each email.

User Access

We make a good faith effort to provide you with access to your personal information to correct data that may be inaccurate or delete data at your request. If you would like to review the information in our files, correct it, remove it, or ask SkyTruth to refrain from sending you information in the future, please contact us by email at, or by calling (304) 885-4581.


We take steps to ensure that your information is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy. Our website runs on WordPress, a respected, open-source platform with regular security updates. The SkyTruth website, SkyTruth’s credit card processor, Stripe, and all of SkyTruth’s Third Party partners use SSL/HTTPS to ensure that your personal information is transferred securely in encrypted format.

No data transmissions over the Internet can be guaranteed to be completely secure, however, and we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us. Once we receive your information, we make reasonable efforts to ensure security on our systems, and to ensure the third party organizations we use do the same. If SkyTruth learns of a security systems breach we will attempt to notify you electronically within 72 hours so that you can take appropriate protective steps.

By using this website or providing personal information to us you agree that we can communicate with you electronically regarding security, privacy and administrative issues relating to your use of SkyTruth’s websites and applications. SkyTruth may post a notice on our website if a security breach occurs. We may also send an email to you at the email address you have provided to us in these circumstances.

Your Acceptance of this Policy

If you visit our websites and/or interact with any of our applications, you consent to the terms outlined in this privacy policy.

Changes and Updates

We may occasionally update this Privacy Policy. When we do, we will also revise the “effective date” at the top of this page. In cases where updates to our privacy policy may result in disclosure of your personal information, we will attempt to contact you to obtain your consent or allow you to opt out. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Policy to stay informed about how we are protecting personal information that we collect. Your continued use of this website constitutes your agreement to this privacy policy and any updates.

Contacting SkyTruth

If you have questions, concerns or comments about this policy and/or how your personal information is used, please email us at You can also write us at:

Privacy and Data Policy Administrator
P. O. Box 3283
Shepherdstown, WV 25443 USA