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Privacy Guidelines (Interim)

Peer 2 Peer University ("P2PU") cares about the personal data of its users. These Privacy Guidelines explain the collection, use and disclosure of “personal information” across all P2PU Web sites hosted under the domain (e.g.,,,, etc.).

As used in this policy, “personal information” means information that would allow a party to identify you such as, for example, your name, address or location, telephone number or email address.

Openness Principles

P2PU is an open and transparent organization. In that spirit, we share as much information as possible about our products, services, operations, and associations. Users who interact with P2PU Web sites should therefore understand and be aware that any personally-identifying information provided to P2PU may be made available to the public. There are three exceptions to this broad principle, explained below.

Visitors to P2PU Web Sites

Except as described below, P2PU does not collect or require visitors to its Web sites to furnish personal information. Like most Web site operators, P2PU collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preferences, referring site, and date and time of each visitor request. P2PU also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are non-personally identifying in and of themselves but could be used in conjunction with other information to personally identify users.

P2PU's purpose in collecting this information is to better understand how P2PU's visitors use its Web sites. To that end, P2PU may share potentially personally-identifying information with its employees, contractors, volunteers, and its subsidiaries and related organizations. P2PU may also release non-personally-identifying information about visitors (e.g., by publishing a report on Web site usage trends). Otherwise, P2PU will not publicly release potentially personally-identifying information except under the same circumstances as P2PU releases personally-identifying information. Those circumstances are explained below.

Community Members

Certain members of the P2PU community (course organizers, participants, etc.) choose to interact with P2PU in ways that require P2PU and others to know more about them. The amount and type of information that P2PU gathers from those members depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, members who wish to post content to certain portions of P2PU's Web sites or participate in live chat session(s) are asked to provide usernames that identify that content as having been posted by a particular member. P2PU asks course leaders and participants to create user profiles, which may include photographs and personal descriptions. Members who are registered and sign in to the P2PU website are able to contact members through their profiles. Contact information such as email addresses are not publicly available on the P2PU Web site, however if a user sends email through the website, that user’s email address will be revealed to the recipient.

Course leaders and participants in the same course are likely to obtain personally-identifying information for the purposes of collaboration and communication in the course itself. P2PU is not responsible for the disclosure of personally-identifying contact information that is volutntarily revealed when participating in a course.


As a general rule, users should assume that that any personally-identifying information provided through P2PU's Web sites will be made available to the public. There are three broad exceptions to that rule:

  • P2PU does not make publicly available information that is used to authenticate users the publication of which would compromise the security of P2PU's Web sites (e.g., passwords).
  • P2PU does not make publicly available information that it specifically promises at the time of collection to maintain in confidence.
  • P2PU does not publicly release information gathered in connection with commercial transactions (i.e., transactions involving money).

Interactive Product Features

Certain P2PU products or services may contain features that report, or that permit users to report, the user's usage patterns to P2PU. The reports generated by these features typically include non-personally-identifying information such as the configuration of the user's computer and the code running at the time the problem occurred. Some of the features give users the option of providing personally-identifying information. P2PU may analyze the information provided by these interactive product features to develop a better understanding of how its products are being used.

Protection of Certain Personally-Identifying Information

Where P2PU has collected personally-identifying information subject to one of the three exceptions described in the Community Members section, above, it discloses that information only to those of its employees, volunteers, contractors and its subsidiaries and related organizations that need to know that information in order to process it on P2PU's behalf and that have agreed not to disclose it to others. Some of those employees, volunteers, contractors and subsidiaries and related organizations may be located outside of a visitor's home country; by using P2PU's Web sites, the visitor consents to the transfer of his/her information to them. P2PU does not rent or sell such information to anyone. Other than to its employees, contractors or its subsidiaries and related organizations, as described above, P2PU discloses such information only when required to do so by law, or when P2PU believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of P2PU, members of the P2PU community, or the public at large.

Updating of Personally-Identifying Information

P2PU permits users to freely update and correct their personally-identifying information as maintained by P2PU. To do so, users should look for links or contact information available on whichever P2PU Web sites store the relevant information, or contact P2PU by email. Users are permitted to deactivate their profile, however, contributions to the P2PU Web site will not be removed when the profile is deactivated.


P2PU's Web sites are not directed at children under the age of 13. Consistent with the United States Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), we will never knowingly request personal information from anyone under the age of 13 without requiring parental consent. Our Terms of Use expressly state that users must be over the age of 18 to use P2PU's Web sites. Any person who provides their personal information to P2PU through the Web sites represents that they are 18 years of age or older.

Cookies and Clear GIFs

What Are Cookies? -- A cookie is a string of information that a Web site stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the Web site each time the visitor returns. Most major web sites use cookies. Because the browser provides this cookie information to the website at each visit, cookies serve as a sort of label that allows a website to "recognize" a browser when it returns to the site. The domain name in P2PU cookies will clearly identify their affiliation with P2PU and, where applicable, its third party service provider.

What Are Clear GIFs? -- Clear gifs (also known as web beacons) are used in combination with cookies to help web site operators understand how visitors interact with their websites. A clear gif is typically a transparent graphic image (usually 1 pixel x 1 pixel) that is placed on a site. The use of a clear gif allows the site to measure the actions of the visitor opening the page that contains the clear gif. It makes it easer to follow and record the activities of a recognized browser, such as the path of pages visited at a website.

How We Use Cookies and Clear GIFs. -- P2PU's Web sites use cookies and may use clear gifs in the future. These tools help P2PU identify and track visitors, their usage of P2PU Web sites, and their Web site access preferences across multiple requests and visits to P2PU's Web sites. The basic idea is to gather aggregate data about how people use the P2PU Web sites. The term usually used to describe this is "web analytics" and the cookies and clear gifs are the tools by which a website owner collects this web analytics data. P2PU will use the web analytics data only to determine aggregate usage patterns for our Web sites as described above. P2PU uses the information provided by cookies and clear gifs to develop a better understanding of how P2PU's visitors use P2PU's Web sites, and to facilitate those visitors' interactions with P2PU's Web sites. P2PU may make the aggregate data it obtains publicly available. If the data is made available, none of the information will be personally-identifying information or potentially-personally-identifying information.

How to Control the Use of Cookies. -- P2PU visitors have the ability to accept or decline cookies. P2PU visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers by P2PU, its contractors, or third-party service providers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before linking to P2PU's Web sites. Certain features of P2PU's Web sites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

Privacy Policy Changes

P2PU may change its Privacy Policy from time to time. Any and all changes will be reflected on this page. Substantive changes will also be announced through the standard mechanisms through which P2PU communicates with the P2PU community, including P2PU's "P2PU-announce" ( mailing list and newsgroup.

For More Information

If you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact P2PU at: thepeople [AT]

Attribution: Substantive parts of this document are based on the Mozilla Drumbeat privacy policy (