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Privacy Policy

From The Shoulders of Giants
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Last Updated: December 5th, 2019

The Shoulders of Giants, Inc. (TSoG) is a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) organization dedicated to sharing the thrill of scientific discovery with students of all ages, anywhere.


TSoG Privacy Principles

Our privacy policy is driven by our commitment to the following Privacy Principles:

  1. We are committed to providing a safe and secure online community for our students to thrive in.
  2. We do not sell any personal information to third parties.
  3. We strive to provide you with access and control to all of the information you give us, and we take the protection of your information very seriously.
  4. We take extra precautions for our younger students under the age of 13, including restricting the creation of child accounts.
  5. We recommend products which may be beneficial to aid our students on their educational journeys purely based on value and merit, and never in the form of paid advertising.

About The Shoulders of Giants and our Privacy Policy

At The Shoulders of Giants ("TSoG", "us", or "we"), we believe it is important to protect and respect the privacy of our customers and visitors to our website, / (the “Site”). We are committed to ensuring your privacy as a guest and a customer as set forth below, and we know you care about how your Personal Information is collected, used, and shared.

Our Privacy Policy describes what information we gather from our members and others who visit and use our Service, how we use that information, and what we do to protect it. By visiting or using our Service, you consent to the information handling practices described in this Privacy Policy.

Your use of our Services and any information you provide on our Service are subject to the terms of this Privacy Policy, which is incorporated into and subject to our Terms of Service. Any capitalized terms used but not defined within this Privacy Policy have the meaning given to them in our Terms of Service.

1. General

What kinds of information do we collect?

Depending on which Services or products you use, we collect different kinds of information from or about you. TSoG may collect Personal Information, such as: your name, e-mail address, postal address, telephone and facsimile numbers, and URL. We may also automatically gather and store in log files: IP addresses, browser types, ISPs, referring/exit pages, operating systems, date/time stamps, and movements around the Site. We may also log data related to user participation in the Site, including products purchased, events registered, polls participated, and projects submitted.

Information disclosed within the TSoG Discord server is logged automatically as a feature of the communication platform. We ask that you use this platform responsibly and do not disclose any personal information through the platform that you are not comfortable being publicly visible. No representative of TSoG will ever ask you for personal or account login information via Discord or any other communication platform, and any third party doing so would be in direct violation of our Terms of Service.

Who is collecting the data?

The Site and collaborating third parties, such as Google, Twitch, survey providers, and/or service providers, may collect data from users, in order to provide service to our customers.

What data is being collected?

We collect data including demographic data, email address, phone number, location, and user’s participation in the Site, including products purchased, events registered, polls participated, and projects submitted.

Your rights regarding the data we collect

With respect to the data we collect from you, you have the following rights:

  1. the right to be informed about the data we collect;
  2. the right to access and review the data we have collected from you;
  3. the right of rectification or correction of any data we have collected from you;
  4. the right to have any/all data we collect removed;
  5. the right to restrict how we process data we collect from you;
  6. the right to data portability;
  7. the right to object to our collection of data; and
  8. the right to prevent direct marketing, automated decision-making and profiling.

If you wish to take advantage of any of the above rights, please contact us and we will comply at no charge to you.

Data retention period

We typically maintain your data for as long as you use our Site and/or our services or products. We also reserve the right to retain any/all data from our users and former users indefinitely unless/until the user requests deletion of their data, or in the event we are legally required to remove the data, whichever occurs first.

We will generally only retain your Personal Information for so long as is necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected, as set out under this section above. However, in the following circumstances, we may be required to retain, preserve or disclose your Personal Information for a longer period of time:

  • in order to comply with applicable laws or regulations;
  • in order to comply with a court order, subpoena or other legal process;
  • in response to a request by a government authority, law enforcement agency or similar body (whether situated in your jurisdiction or elsewhere);
  • where we believe it is reasonably necessary to comply with applicable laws or regulations; or
  • in order to enforce the TSoG Terms of Service or this Privacy Policy, protect our rights, property or safety, or the rights, property or safety of our affiliate companies or other users of TSoG Services.

2. How do we use collected information?

TSoG may collect and use a user’s personal information for the following purposes:

Providing and improving our products and services

We are able to deliver our services, personalize content, and make suggestions for you by using this information to understand how you use and interact with our Services and the people or things you’re connected to and interested in on and off our Services. We also use information we have to provide shortcuts and suggestions to you. For example, if you express interest in a particular subject or field, we will be able to suggest similar content that may be relevant to you.

When we have location information, we use it to tailor our services for you and others.

We conduct surveys and research, test features in development, and analyze the information that we have in order to evaluate and improve products and services, develop new products or features, and conduct audits and troubleshooting activities.

Promoting safety and security

We use the information we have to help verify accounts and activity, and to promote safety and security on and off our services, such as by investigating suspicious activity or violations of our terms or policies.

Communicating with you

We use your information to send you marketing communications, communicate with you about our services, and let you know about our policies and terms. We also use your information to respond to you when you contact us.

Sending emails or pushing notifications

We may occasionally also send emails such as TSoG news, updates, related product or service information, etc., and we will use your basic personal information to respond to inquiries, questions, and/or other requests. You may at any time change your preferences or turn off notifications, which will alter or cease the specific notifications you receive. You may also cancel your account at any time, in which case we will cease sending you reminder emails, but you may continue getting shared content from others until you specifically turn off those notifications. We may use a third-party mailing list service for company announcements or occasional marketing emails, and you may need to unsubscribe from these emails separately than other types of emails.

3. Cookie Policy

Full article: Cookie Policy

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your device that allows us to recognize and remember you. It is sent to your browser and stored on your computer’s, tablet's or mobile device's hard drive or SSD. When you visit this site, we may collect information from you automatically through cookies or similar technology.

How do we use cookies?

We use cookies in a range of ways to improve your experience on our site, including

  • Keeping you signed in.
  • Understanding how you use our site.
  • Recommending resources that are relevant to you.
  • Enabling third-party services.

Ultimately, this allows us to provide you with content that you read or watch on our site.

In the next section, we explain in more detail how we use cookies and similar technology on our site for a number of purposes.

Other organisations may also collect user information on our sites through cookies, tags, and pixels. Tags and pixels, also known as web beacons, are similar to cookies but are collected through embedded images.

Using cookies and other technology allows other organisations to help us to analyse how our site is being used and measure the number of visitors to the site. We do not display advertising on this site or sell your information to third party advertisers.

Cookies that are used by The Shoulders of Giants are referred to as "first-party cookies" and those that are used by our partners are "third-party cookies". Because of how cookies work, our website cannot access third-party cookies, nor can other organisations access the data in the cookies we use on our website. There are more details about both in the following section.

What types of cookies do we use?

We use three types of cookies, which we describe in this section.

  • Essential – cookies that are essential to provide you with services you have requested. For example, these include the cookies that make it possible for you to stay logged into your account and access account resources. If you set your browser to block these cookies, then these functions and services will not work for you.
  • Functional – cookies that are used to recognize you and remember your preferences or settings when you return to our site, so that we can provide you with a more personalized experience. For example, if you have expressed interest in electrical engineering in your account profile, we may use this type of cookie to recommend additional electrical engineering content to you in the future (as of our last update to this cookie policy, no such feature has been implemented, but may be at a future date).
  • Performance - cookies which measure how often you visit our sites and how you use them. We use this information to get a better sense of how our users engage with our content and to improve our site so that users have a better experience. At this point in time, all cookies used for performance are third-party cookies (e.g. Google Analytics).
  • Advertising – cookies that are used to collect information about your visit to our site, the content you have viewed, the links you have followed and information about your browser, device and your IP address. We have set out more details on this below. Although The Shoulders of Giants does not collect advertising information on this site, third party partners such as YouTube and Twitch may collect such information using this type of cookie.

How do I control cookies?

You may refuse to accept cookies from The Shoulders of Giants or third-party partners at any time by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse cookies. Please be aware that this site relies on Essential and Functional cookies to provide you with core features of our service, and some of these features may not operate as intended if you choose to refuse all cookies. For more information on how to control cookies, please refer to this section in our full Cookie Policy.

4. Marketing and sponsored content

Messages from TSoG

We may use your Personal Information for the purpose of sending you direct marketing (whether by messaging within our Services, by email, or by other means) that offer or advertise our products and services and/or the products and services of selected third parties. For example, if we partnered with another nonprofit organization which was holding a competition within a field of interest to you, we may use your contact information to communicate this opportunity to you. We will not share your information with the third party unless you specifically opt-in to participate in such a partnership, and if so, the information we would share would be limited to that needed to facilitate your participation. You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time as described in Section 5 below.

Sponsored content

The Shoulders of Giants does not display any third party advertisements on the Service. We do, however, permit third parties to sponsor content displayed on our Service. For example, a third-party organization may sponsor a specific project or video series. Such sponsored content will always be labeled (e.g. "Sponsored by ___").

The Shoulders of Giants does not share any of our users' Personal Information with these sponsors without explicit consent, and these sponsors do not have the ability to track or collect information about our site visitors or users. As a non-profit organization, TSoG relies upon our sponsors, donors, and other contributors to provide funding necessary to provide free Service to our users.

5. Third parties and online advertising

Interest based advertising

The Shoulders of Giants does not display any targeted advertising on our Service. However, we participate in interest-based advertising and use third party advertising companies to serve you targeted advertisements on other websites, apps or services. These third party ad networks use tracking technologies to recognize your browser or device and to collect information about your visit to our Service to provide you customized content, advertising and commercial messages which may be more relevant to your interests, as well as to provide advertising-related services such as reporting, attribution, analytics and market research.

To learn about interest-based advertising and how you may be able to opt-out of some of this advertising, you may wish to visit the Network Advertising Initiative’s online resources, at, and/or the DAA’s resources at You may also manage certain advertising cookies by visiting the EU-based Your Online Choices at You may also be able to limit interest-based advertising through the settings on your mobile device by selecting “limit ad tracking” (iOS) or “opt-out of interest based ads” (Android). You may also be able to opt-out of some – but not all – interest-based ads served by mobile ad networks by visiting and downloading the mobile AppChoices app.

Please note that opting-out of receiving interest-based advertising through the NAI’s and DAA’s online resources will only opt-out a user from receiving interest-based ads on that specific browser or device, but the user may still receive interest-based ads on their other devices. You must perform the opt-out on each browser or device you use.

Twitch and Youtube

TSoG uses Twitch to display live video content and YouTube to display archived video content on the Service. Both platforms incorporate tracking technologies, which may be present in the videos embedded on the Service, which may collect information from your browser when you view the video on the Service, including device identifiers and/or cookie IDs. This information is collected directly and automatically by Twitch, YouTube, and their respective partners, and TSoG does not participate in these data transmissions. TSoG does not provide any Personal Information, such as user names, to Twitch or YouTube.

You can learn more about Google’s practices at You may also be able to control ad tracking through YouTube by visiting the Google Ad Settings page, currently available at:

You can learn more about Twitch's practices at

6. Your Choice and options relating to data collection and use

At The Shoulders of Giants, we use Personal Information as needed for the purposes for which it was collected or where you have consented to our use of your Personal Information. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the Personal Information we store and use is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. If you discover that Personal Information or other data pertaining to you is inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date, please update your account information or contact us as outlined below.

You can choose to not provide us with Personal Information

You may always decline to provide your Personal Information with TSoG. Registration is not required to access most of our online resources. If you decline to register, however, TSoG will not be able to provide to you certain features and functionalities found on our Service. You may later enable or access those features by providing TSoG with the necessary Personal Information.

You can also decline to provide any optional data in your public profile.

You can unsubscribe from email communications

TSoG may, from time to time, send you email regarding our products and services, or products and services we think you may enjoy. Only TSoG (or our vendors or service providers operating on our behalf) will send you these emails. You can choose not to receive these emails by clicking the unsubscribe link in any e-mail or via your Account Settings page. Please note that you are not permitted to unsubscribe or opt-out of non-promotional messages regarding your account, such as account verification, changes or updates to features of the Service, or technical or security notices.

California Children’s Privacy Rights

If you are under the age of 18 residing in California, you are entitled to request removal of content or information you have posted publicly on our Service. To delete your entire account and remove all of your information displayed publicly on the Service, log into your account and select “Delete my Account” through Account Settings. To request deletion or de-identification of a specific question, Submission, or other post displayed publicly on the Service, please email us at for assistance. You must be able to identify the particular data you wish to be deleted or de-identified so that we can locate it on the Service. Please note that removal of your content or information does not ensure complete or comprehensive removal, as there may be de-identified or recoverable elements of your content or information on our servers in some form. Additionally, we will not remove content or information that we may be required to retain under applicable federal and state laws.

7. How to access, update, or delete your personal information

How to access or update your information.

We want you to have access to your information, so that you can help keep it as accurate as possible. If you register and provide The Shoulders of Giants with Personal Information, you may update, correct, or delete your account and information at any time by reviewing your profile information and preferences on your [[Account Settings] page.

How to delete your information.

To request deletion of your personal information at any time, please log into your account and select ”Delete my Account“ through Account Settings. Please note that your information will be retained in backup for up to one week. If you log back into your account within 24 hours, your account may not be deleted and you will need to go through the deletion process again.

We may not be able to delete data in all instances, such as information retained in Discord, technical support logs, and other business records. We will not be required to delete any information which has been de-identified or disassociated with personal identifiers such that it can no longer be used to reasonably identify a particular individual.

Unless we receive a deletion request, we will retain your information for as long as your account is active or as is reasonably useful for operational purposes. For example, we may retain certain data as necessary to prevent fraud or future abuse, for recordkeeping or other legitimate business purposes, or if required by law. We may also retain information which has been de-identified or aggregated such that it can no longer reasonably identify a particular individual. All retained personal information will remain subject to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

8. Our approach to data security

Data security is important to you, and to us.

To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting you account access or making corrections to your information. For example, we may ask you to provide certain Personal Information to confirm your identity, and we may require that you create and use a password to access certain parts of our Service. You should create and maintain a strong password to help ensure the security of your account.

We try to ensure that your information is safe, but no security measures are perfect.

The Shoulders of Giants uses certain physical, managerial, and technical safeguards designed to preserve the integrity and security of your Personal Information and other information we maintain in connection with our Service. We cannot, however, ensure or warrant the security of any or all of the information you transmit to TSoG, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission of information, TSoG makes commercially reasonable efforts to ensure the security of our systems. When you enter sensitive information, we encrypt the transmission of that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL) or similar technologies. However, please note that this is not a guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards. In the event that any information under our control is compromised as a result of a breach of security, we will take reasonable steps to investigate the situation and will notify you of the security incident in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

9. How does The Shoulders of Giants protect children's privacy?

The Shoulders of Giants does not permit children under the age of 13 (a "Child" or "Children") to create an account on our Service. Children under 13 may still access the majority of our online resources without an account.

Please contact us at if you believe we have inadvertently collected information from a Child under 13 so that we may delete the information as soon as possible.

10. International users

Our Service is operated and managed on servers located within the United States. If you choose to use our Service from the European Union or other regions of the world with laws governing data collection and use that differ from United States law, then you acknowledge that The Shoulders of Giants will transfer your personal information to the United States for the purpose of performing the Service according to our contract (e.g., our Terms of Service) and for any other purpose for which you provide explicit, informed consent.

European Union Data Protection

Residents in the European Union are entitled to certain rights with respect to personal information that we hold about them:

  • Right of access and portability. The right to obtain access to your personal information, along with certain related information, and to receive that information in a commonly used format and to have it transferred to another data controller;
  • Right to rectification. The right to obtain rectification of your personal information without undue delay where that personal information is inaccurate or incomplete;
  • Right to erasure. The right to obtain the erasure of your personal information without undue delay in certain circumstances, such as where the personal information is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or processed;
  • Right to restriction. The right to obtain the restriction of the processing undertaken by us on your personal information in certain circumstances, such as where the accuracy of the personal information is contested by you, for a period enabling us to verify the accuracy of that personal information; and
  • Right to object. The right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, to the processing of your personal information, and to object to processing of your personal information for direct marketing purposes, to the extent it is related to such direct marketing.

You may also have the right to make a complaint to the relevant Supervisory Authority. A list of Supervisory Authorities is available here: If you need further assistance regarding your rights, please contact us using the contact information provided below and we will consider your request in accordance with applicable law. In some cases our ability to uphold these rights for you may depend upon our obligations to process personal information for security, safety, fraud prevention reasons, compliance with regulatory or legal requirements, or because processing is necessary to deliver the services you have requested. Where this is the case, we will inform you of specific details in response to your request.

11. Links to other sites

The Service may link to and may be linked by websites operated by other entities or individuals. Some of these websites, such as our social media pages, may be co-branded with our name or logo. This Privacy Policy does not apply to, and we cannot always control the activities of, such other third-party websites. You should consult the respective privacy policies of those third-party websites.

12. Changes and updates to this Privacy Policy

The Shoulders of Giants may modify or revise this Privacy Policy from time to time. TSoG will notify users of any changes to our Privacy Policy by posting the revised Privacy Policy with an updated date of revision on our Service. If we change this Policy in a material manner, we will do our best to notify you of the changes by posting a notice on our website. Your continued use of the Services following the effective date of such update constitutes your acceptance of the revised Policy.

13. Contacting The Shoulders of Giants

Please contact The Shoulders of Giants with any questions or comments via Discord, Chat Application, or by email:

You may also wish to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information you may find useful.

Questions about our Privacy Policy?