Privacy Questions and Answers

This notice describes how the Gathering for Open Science Hardware forum moderators collect and use data about you.

What is Gathering for Open Science Hardware?

Gathering for Open Science, or GOSH for short, is a meeting and community run by volunteers. We host in-person meetings, this forum ( and a website ( We are not an organisation.

How does Gathering for Open Science Hardware collect data about me?

GOSH collects data about you:

  • when you browse the forum that GOSH hosts

  • when you create and use an account on the forum that GOSH hosts

  • when you post, send private messages, and otherwise participate in a forum that GOSH hosts

GOSH collects data whether you use our forums using a web browser on your own computer, or use Discourse apps for mobile devices.

GOSH does not buy or otherwise receive data about you from data brokers.

What data does GOSH collect about me, and why?

GOSH collects data about visits to forums.

When you visit forum that GOSH hosts, whether you have an account or not, the forum uses cookies, server logs, and other methods to collect data about what pages you visit and when.

GOSH uses data about how you use the website to:

  • optimize the forum, so that it’s quick and easy to use

  • diagnose and debug technical errors

  • defend the forum from abuse and technical attacks

  • compile statistics on forum and topic popularity

  • compile statistics on the kinds of software and computers visitors use

GOSH usually stores data about how you use the forum in identifiable form for just a few weeks. In special circumstances, like extended investigations about technical attacks, GOSH may preserve log data longer, for analysis. GOSH stores aggregate statistics about use of the forum for as long as GOSH hosts the forum, but those statistics don’t include data identifiable to you personally.

GOSH collects account data.

The GOSH forum requires an account to post and reply to topics.

To sign up for a forum account, the Discourse software that we use requires your name, a user name, and an e-mail address.

GOSH uses your account data to identify you on the forum, and to create pages specific to you, like your profile page. The GOSH forum is public, so we publish your profile data.

GOSH uses your e-mail address to:

  • notify you about posts and other activity on the forum

  • reset your password and help keep your account secure

  • contact you in special circumstances related to your account

You may provide additional data for your account, like a short biography, your location, or your birthday, on the profile settings page for your account. GOSH makes that data available to others who can access the forum. You don’t have to provide this additional information, and you can erase it at any time.

GOSH stores your account data as long as your account remains open.

GOSH collects data about posts and other activity on the forum.

GOSH collects the content of your posts, plus data about bookmarks, likes, and links you follow in order to share that data with others, through the forum.

GOSH also collects data about private messages that you send through the forum. GOSH makes private messages available to senders and their recipients, and also to forum administrators.

GOSH stores your posts and other activity as long as your account remains open.

How can I make choices about data collection?

You can make choices about how data about is used on the settings page for your account. When a forum uses access restrictions that vary by category, you can choose who will see your post by choosing the appropriate category.

GOSH does not respond to the Do Not Track HTTP header.

Where does GOSH store data about me?

The GOSH Forum is hosted on a Digital Ocean Virtual Private Server in London, UK.

Does GOSH comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

GOSH respects privacy rights under Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information that GDPR requires GOSH to give can be found throughout this privacy notice.

Where can I access data about me?

You can see your account data at any time by visiting your account page on the forum. Your account page also lists your posts and other activity on the forum.

Your account activity page also includes a link to download all of your activity in standard comma-separated values format.

How can I change or erase data about me?

You can change your account data at any time by visiting the profile settings page for your account. The settings for a particular forum may also allow you to close your account, on the settings page for your account. Closing your account starts a process of erasing or anonymizing GOSH’s records of data you provided for your account. Forum administrators can also erase and anonymize accounts.

Depending on the settings for your particular forum, you may also be able to edit, anonymize, or erase your posts. When you edit posts, GOSH will keep all versions of your posts. Forum administrators can view old versions of posts, and optionally make them visible to other forum visitors.

Does GOSH make automated decisions based on data about me?

GOSH classifies posts as spam automatically.

The GOSH Forum uses data about your posts and other activity on many forums to make automated decisions about whether your posts to are spam. When it decides that a post is likely spam, the forum refuses to accept the post.

If you think a post has been wrongly blocked or removed, contact an administrator of your forum. They can override the decision that a post was spam.

GOSH uses data about posts and activity to set trust levels automatically.

The Forum uses data about your posts and activity to award you badges and calculate a trust level for your account. Your trust level may affect how you can participate in the forum, such as whether you can upload images, as well as give you access to moderation and management powers in the forum. Your trust level therefore reflects forum administrators’ confidence in you, and their willingness to delegate community management functions, like moderation.

If you think your trust level has been set incorrectly, contact an administrator of your forum. They can manually adjust the trust level of your account.

Does GOSH share data about me with others?

GOSH shares account data with others as mentioned in the section about account data.

GOSH shares data about your posts and other public forum activity with others as mentioned in the section about account data.

Service Privacy Notice Description
Google Analytics Compiles visitor statistics on some forums, including You can opt out of Google Analytics using a browser extension.
Digital Ocean Hosts forum and stores backups.
Apple Push Notification Service Sends push notifications to users of the Discourse iOS app.
Google Cloud Messaging Sends push notifications to users of the Discourse Android app.

Other individuals and companies may also reuse data about you that GOSH publishes, such as your posts to public forums.

How can I contact GOSH about privacy?

You can send questions and complaints to:

Jenny Molloy and Rafael Pezzi
<forum_admin at>

For complaints under GDPR more generally, European Union users may lodge complaints with their local data protection supervisory authorities.

How can I find out about changes?

This version of GOSH’s privacy questions and answers took effect May 25, 2018.

GOSH will post the next version at GOSH may change how it announces changes in future versions.

In the meantime, GOSH may update its contact information without announcing a change. Please refer to for the latest contact information at any time.

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site and gather data when you participate in the forum by reading, writing, and evaluating the content shared here.

When registering on our site, you may be asked to enter your name and e-mail address. You may, however, visit our site without registering. Your e-mail address will be verified by an email containing a unique link. If that link is visited, we know that you control the e-mail address.

When registered and posting, we record the IP address that the post originated from. We also may retain server logs which include the IP address of every request to our server.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

  • To personalize your experience — your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs.
  • To improve our site — we continually strive to improve our site offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you.
  • To send periodic emails — The email address you provide may be used to send you information, notifications that you request about changes to topics or in response to your user name, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you enter, submit, or access your personal information.

What is your data retention policy?

We will make a good faith effort to:

  • Retain server logs containing the IP address of all requests to this server no more than 90 days.
  • Retain the IP addresses associated with registered users and their posts no more than 5 years.

Do we use cookies?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow). These cookies enable the site to recognize your browser and, if you have a registered account, associate it with your registered account.

We use cookies to understand and save your preferences for future visits and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information or any other visitor information. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. We may publish aggregate statistics of forum usage for reporting and marketing purposes.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

Our site, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older. If this server is in the USA, and you are under the age of 13, per the requirements of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), do not use this site.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our site and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our web site privacy policy and the GOSH Code of Conduct.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

This document is CC-BY 4.0. It was last updated on 25 May 2018.