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The Australian National University

LinkR privacy policy


  1. 21 June 2011 - Agreement release
  2. 15 August 2011 - Changes to HTML code for ANU styling
  3. 16 August 2011 - Clarifying possibly ambiguous sentence in 10.
    Original: "We have NO obligations to and will NOT provide Google with collected data nor information about the project that cannot be accessed by you."
    New: "We have NO obligations to and will NOT provide Google with collected data nor information about the project, except performance and other aggregate statistics that will be published."
  4. 19 August 2011 - Rewording a sentence from "LinkR is a research application developed at the ANU Research School of Computer Science." to "LinkR is a research application developed at the Research School of Computer Science, at The Australian National University (ANU)."

The Link Recommender (LinkR) Facebook Application Privacy Policy is designed to clarify the information we collect and how it will be used in our research. The information listed here and about LinkR will undergo an ethical review by the Human Ethics Review Committee at ANU. By accepting our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service through signing a digital consent form or installation, you consent to our collection, storage, use and disclosure of your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy.

LinkR is a research application developed at the Research School of Computer Science, at The Australian National University (ANU). Your information will be physically located in the Computer Science and Information Technology Building (#108), ANU Campus, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. No profit will be made or sought by the investigators and supervisors during this research project (from 21st February 2011 till 3rd January 2012). Your information will be kept for 2 years from the end of the project if you have questions or complaints, during or after the project. Please contact us (Contact Researchers and Section 10) about questions or complaints. If you are not satisfied with our response, please contact the ANU Office of Research Integrity. Our ethics protocol number is "2011/142", titled: "Preference Elicitation for Social Recommendation".

Please note that the LinkR Privacy Policy and the LinkR Terms of Service cover only information collected through the LinkR Facebook app. Those LinkR documents do not cover information that may be collected through the shared links on Facebook.

1. Introduction

The "Preference Elicitation for Social Recommendation" research project is often referred to simply as "research project". The research project is conducted at the Research School of Computer Science (RSCS), at the Australian National University (ANU). The LinkR Facebook App is developed as part of this research project. LinkR refers to the Link Recommender Facebook App, but may also refer to the entire research project. The Intellectual Property of "LinkR" belongs to ANU as part of the research project. We may also refer to the project investigators, supervisors, and LinkR as "we" or "us". We may refer to the recommendation algorithms used in the project simply as "algorithms" or "recommenders". Your information refers to the information you and your friends have shared with Facebook that you have sufficient permission to access, or allow LinkR to access.

If you access LinkR from the third party social networking site Facebook, you may also be required to read and accept Facebook Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

If you have questions regarding this Privacy Policy, please contact us using the details in the left navigation or in Section 10 ("Contact Us").

2. Information we collect

Your information shared with Facebook is protected by your Facebook privacy settings. LinkR seeks explicit permission from you to access information from your profile and your friends' profile, as required by our algorithms. By using LinkR, you are authorising us to collect, store, and use your information in accordance with this Privacy Policy, and authorising Facebook to provide LinkR with your information through the various Facebook Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) or Software Development Kits (SDKs).

While we understand information shared by users may not always be accurate, we ask that you do not attempt any obfuscation of information or purposely misusing LinkR to skew results. We reserve the right to remove users that we suspect of such activities without notice following your agreement with our Terms of Service.

Facebook provides access to your information through their Graph API and their FQL Tables. A complete list of your information we do and do not collect is available here in our Technical Report.

Other information we collect are your usage data of LinkR. For example, the links you have clicked on, shared on your wall, liked, posted to your friends, or commented on. This usage information is ONLY collectable through our LinkR app to view, manage and share links.

3. How we collect information

Your information can be collected when actively using LinkR, cookies, and/or through automated information collection when you are offline. Most links displayed by LinkR have associated action events, such as when your mouse hover over or click the link. When using LinkR, we keep track of your actions to determine how LinkR is being used and if we can improve the interface. When you access LinkR, our Web server logs various information, such as logs, IP addresses, browser information, referring and exiting pages, URLs, number of clicks, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed and the order viewed, time spent on pages, time spent on functions, time spent waiting for server requests, and other similar technical and usage information. We may associate this information with your Facebook ID for our internal use to improve usage or our research algorithms.

4. How we use collected information

Your information collected by LinkR will be used to improve your experience of LinkR, and to help our research.

We occasionally send out updates about LinkR to inform you of our current research progress and if there are any issues. We will send a Facebook message, and also to your email if you have provided us with an email and allow us to send emails in your LinkR preferences.

5. Sharing of information

We will NOT share your information collected by LinkR with anyone besides members of our group listed on the Contact Researchers page. We will notify you if we decide to add another member to our group for this research project. Upon completion of our research project, we may delegate the responsibility of storage and maintainence of collected information to another person - we will provide full details of him/her and how the information will be stored. Our group will still have responsibility to the collected information, so please contact us (Section 11) if you have any concerns.

6. How you can access/remove your information

Please send a request to the primary investigator for this research project on the Contact Researchers page, with a clear title such as "Requesting access to my information" or "Requesting deletion of my information". Note that deletion of your information cannot proceed until you have remove LinkR from your Facebook profile. While LinkR is installed, you are bound to this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service.

Please note that removing LinkR from your Facebook profile does not mean your information is deleted. You must put in a request for deletion. This is because your information may still be useful for our research. Your information may still be cached in our database if you have friends using LinkR.

7. Security of information

We collect and cache your information on our own servers to improve the delivery of content and for offline application of our algorithms. We implement reasonable security to protect stored information and communication between you (and Facebook) with our servers, both online and offline. We take reasonable precautions against security breaches to our Web sites and information storage. However, we cannot guarantee complete security against unauthorised access, hacking, information loss, or physical/communication breaches, as a result of malicious activities, natural disasters, or other security threats. LinkR can only be used with Facebook authentication, so please keep your Facebook personal information safe (especially passwords).

8. Changes to our privacy policy

We will notify you of changes to our Privacy Policy by placing a notice on our research project Home page. We may also send you an email notice and place notices in LinkR. We encourage you to periodically check this Privacy Policy page and our research project Home page for updates.

9. Your ANU privacy rights

Please refer to the ANU Copyright and Privacy page for further information.

10. Project funding from the Google Research Awards

This research project is funded by the Google Research Awards. We have NO obligations to and will NOT provide Google with collected data nor information about the project, except performance and other aggregate statistics that will be published. We may provide our Google contact (overseeing this project), Doug Aberdeen, with updates of project status and progress. We may provide Doug with drafts of our results or publications for criticism. These drafts will not be made available, but final copies of documents will be made available when they are completed. No user identifying information will be given to Google, Doug, or anyone besides those listed in the Contact Researchers page, as agreed to in Section 5.

11. Contact us

Please contact the researchers in this project from the Contact Researchers link if you have questions, comments, or concerns about our Privacy Policy and/or practices. Please consider contacting the investigators first, then the supervisors. Please clearly state in your subject line: "Privacy Policy", for a faster response.

If you are not satisfied with our response, please contact the ANU Office of Research Integrity and provide the following information:

Ethics protocol number: "2011/142".
Titled: "Preference Elicitation for Social Recommendation".
Chief investigator is "Khoi-Nguyen Tran". (ANU ID: u4315673.)

Khoi-Nguyen Tran
Research Assistant
Room N312
Research School of Computer Science
Computer Science and Information Technology Building #108
The Australian National University
Acton, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

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