Privacy Policy

These terms of use were last updated on October 8, 2020 (v2020.10.08)

Your use of the Lens is your business, not ours.

This privacy policy explains what and how we collect, share, and use personal information, and how you can make use of your privacy rights. This policy applies to the use of the Lens.org platform and may be supplemented in Additional Terms, Agreements, or notices provided to you.

Information Collected

Personal information can be collected directly i.e. when you provide your personal details or email address upon registration, or indirectly i.e. when you use the site.

Information you provide

To register for a Lens account to access the Lens services and features, we require a valid email address so we can:
  • Activate your account to enable your access and use of the Lens.org platform
  • Respond to you when reporting a bug or asking a question about The Lens
  • Engage you, should you wish, in the design of new Lens services
  • Provide you with alerts, updates, or personalised services
  • Communicate legal obligations regarding the use of the site and resolve disputes

We do NOT share your personal details including your email address, with anyone unless and until we get your permission.

Your choice: you can opt out of providing an email address and use the Lens as a guest user without registering for an account.

Information we collect

The Lens is a public resource for research and innovation information and is always a work in progress. As we are committed to providing a first-class service and user experience, we’d like to know what features you're mostly interested in, what kind of browser you’re using, which language version and where you’re visiting from. We collect this information when you visit the site if you give us permission to do so.
Logs

Whenever you visit Lens.org, we log the IP address, user-agent, referrer and the URL in our web server log files. These logs are for security and debugging purposes only, we use them to identify bots scraping the site which may be causing excessive system load and to debug any errors that may arise.

We don't use the log information anywhere within the Lens and the log files are deleted every 4 weeks. We don't record users IP addresses in our Lens application databases or on the Lens Web analytics server used to analyse site usage.

Search History
Upon logging in to Lens.org, your search history is recorded against your own account, if you have chosen to opt in. You can opt in or out of this feature from your account page at any time. Guest user accounts are retained for a maximum of 48 hours, upon deletion the entire guest user account is deleted including all searches that were performed by guest users. Under no circumstances do we mine, or allow others to mine any user information, including search history, for any purpose.
Web Analytics

The Lens uses its own self-hosted instance of the Matomo analytics platform to give you more control over your data and ensure your privacy is protected, while allowing us to gain anonymised aggregated data to improve user experience.

When we talk about The Lens user base or write about The Lens, we might say that "X number of searches are performed each day" or "Y percent of the people who visit the Lens use the Firefox browser, and Z percent of them use the Chinese language version." But that's it. Any non-personally-identifying information is disclosed in the aggregate only.

Your choice: If you don’t want to be tracked, you can opt out of web analytics from your account page or change the settings on your browser to turn off tracking – as simple as that.

You can opt out of Web Analytics and recording Search History from the Privacy section on your Account page. If you are using a private browser session or have Do Not Track enabled, you will not need to opt out of Web Analytics.

Bot Management

We use a third-party security service (see Privacy FAQs for a list of third-party service providers) to protect the lens.org platform against malicious attacks and to help detect and manage bots and automated crawling. We limit the information that the third-party has access to, but this does include your IP address, request URLs, user-agent and other HTTP headers, when required. Personal account information is never shared with this security provider and the service provider itself is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

We regret having to take this step and while we minimise the use of third-party security services as much as we can to protect the site against malicious attacks, our servers can’t cope with the load placed on them by some crawlers and we have taken this step to ensure that the site remains accessible to all.

Cookies

The Lens uses cookies to provide the best possible user experience. These Cookies are small text files that are placed on your device to make it easier for you to use the dynamic features of the site (see Privacy FAQs for a list of cookies used on the lens.org platform).

This includes cookies and cached browser storage that are necessary for the functionality of the site, as well as third-party cookies that are also used for site functionality and web analytics. We do not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you. Cached storage (Local Storage and Session Storage) are restricted to the user's browser, and no information is exchanged with the servers.

Your choice: If you wish to restrict or block cookies, you can do this through your browser settings - see allaboutcookies.org for detailed information on how to do this on a variety of browsers.

Data Protection

Confidentiality

We maintain in confidence, and shall not disclose to any third party, information (including but not limited to any biological sequence information) submitted by you in the context of using The Lens. The Lens does not monitor, share, distribute, or monetize any aspect of the user’s journey while using the lens.org platform.

Personal Data

We consider the use of the Lens to be your business not ours, and so we do not use the gathered information to identify you personally. Still, under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you have the right to request access to and rectification or erasure of your Personal Data from The Lens. For more information on your rights under the GDPR, see gdpr.eu.

Your choice: If you would like to exercise your rights under the GDPR or to delete your Lens account, just let us know by sending an email to dpo@lens.org

Privacy Policy Changes

Technology changes, and we strive to continually improve your experience by adding new services and features, and so we may occasionally need to change this Privacy Policy. We’ll post a notice on the homepage whenever this happens, but it would be a good idea to check back here every now and again to see if anything has changed.

Contact

If you have any question, comment, complaint, or feedback on this policy, please email the data protection officer at dpo@lens.org or contact us at support@lens.org, or:
  • The Lens Data Protection Officer, Lens@QUT
  • Room 816, Level 8, P Block, 2 George Street
  • Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia

Privacy FAQs

  • Question: Can a search in The Lens compromise a later patent filing, for example, by affecting novelty of a new DNA sequence by the submission to the PatSeq App?
  • Answer: No, your submission to The Lens does not establish a public disclosure or prior art. We will maintain in confidence, and shall not disclose to any third party any information (including but not limited to any sequence information) submitted by you in the context of using The Lens.
  • Question: What cookies does the Lens website use?
  • Answer: The main cookies and cached storage used on the Lens.org platform includes:
Type / Name Description
First-Party Cookies and Cached Storage
Necessary cookies Cookies necessary for the proper function of the site (e.g. LENS_SESSION_ID, SIDE_TAB_VIEW, PREVIOUS_SIDE_TAB_VIEW and TZ).
Local Storage Necessary for some site functionality such as providing the context of previous search for improved navigation, user authentication, language preferences, one-time site tours, cookie notice, etc.
Session Storage Used for cached search results to improve navigation performance and user experience within a single browser session (e.g. analysis dashboards and previous search results).
Third Party Cookies
AWS* Registers which  server-cluster is serving the user. This is used in the context of load balancing, in order to optimize user experience.
_pk_* Cookies used by Matomo (previously known as Piwik), a self-hosted web analytics application used to help us improve the website. This cookie collects statistics on the user's visits to the website, such as the number o f visits, average time spent on the website and what pages have been viewed, etc. Matomo supports the 'Do Not Track' setting if you have this turned on in your browser settings.
__uz* ShieldSquare cookies used to distinguish bot and scraper traffic.
vuid Vimeo is to embed videos on the site, this cookie is used by Vimeo to collect analytics on video views.
  • Question: What Third party service providers does the Lens use?
  • Answer: The following third party entities are used in connection with Lens services to provide web hosting and infrastructure services, and customer support which may involve the handling of user data:
Provider Description Privacy | Data Protection Policies
Amazon Web Services (AWS) AWS provides web hosting and infrastructure services for Lens web applications. AWS Privacy , Data Privacy FAQ
Radware Bot Manager | Shield Square Radware Bot Manage provides security against crawling and DoS attacks. User-agent strings including IP addresses are exchanged with this service. Privacy Policy , GDPR Compliance Corporate Statement
Zendesk Zendesk provides customer support services. When contacting support or providing feedback , the user’s email address and user-agent strings (including the webpage that feedback is submitted from) is exchanged with this service. Zendesk Privacy and Data Protection