The Electronic Commons/Agora électronique is a national, not-for-profit experiment in participant design and public space online. Some of the questions we seek to answer are Who uses the Internet? What prevents people from using it? What would those who are on and off the Internet like to find online (aside from electronic commerce)? How can the eCommons develop into a public space that will help citizens find what they are looking for online?
While we need to gather data to both provide users with the resources they need and answer these *research questions,* *link to the research/Ur questions section* your privacy is fully protected on the eCommons/ Agora électronique site. The eCommons/ Agora électronique espouses the spirit of Canada's newest privacy legislation (see www.privcom.gc.ca.) We will not sell or otherwise distribute the personal information we gather to other organizations; following is a summary of the kinds of information we gather, what we use it for, and how we will protect it.
When visiting our site, the following information may be passed to our webserver and stored in our site's logs:
Because the eCommons is a research project, questionnaires that help us identify the needs of our participants will be posted on the site. Participants are free to respond to these questionnaires, as well as to submit questions and comments through the other feedback forms. The information will help us make the site responsive to the needs and suggestions of participants, as well as helping us answer the research questions we have developed pertaining to the eCommons. While the information may be made public through periodic research reports, no identifying material will be used unless explicit consent is obtained.
We use the information we gather in two ways. First, we gather data to help us understand how people use the site, including:
Gathering and analyzing this information helps us give users access to the resources and information they want from the eCommons site.
The second way in which we use the information we gather relates to the eCommons' role as a research site. From time to time, we will post research reports related to the development of the eCommons. These reports will include information we have gathered through questionnaires and surveys, but will not identify any participants unless we have obtained express consent to do so, or unless the information comes from the publicly accessible areas of the site, such as the forums.
Unless you have posted publicly-accessible information (for example, in a forum on the eCommons), or have expressly consented to the public use of your information (as, for example, in a research case study), all information about you and/or your organization will be kept confidential, used only by the site designers and researchers to improve the site and to analyze the use of online public space. All those who work with the data have signed confidentiality agreements based on accepted human subject research guidelines.
The Electronic Commons/Agora électronique has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. Data is stored on separate servers that exist behind secured firewalls. (A firewall is a built-in computer feature that keeps a web site or server safe from intrusion by other computer users or other servers).
If you receive information from the eCommons, it does not mean that your information is publicly accessible. It means that as part of our outreach, we are seeking to inform you or ask your advice. If you do not wish to receive information from the eCommons, please follow the unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of the email message, or contact email@example.com and ask that your name be deleted.
Thank you for your cooperation, and we welcome further suggestions or inquiries.