Just got an announcement for a meeting from Elsevier that I have absolutely no potential connection too. It is yet another example of Science Conference Spam. Not really shocking to get it from Elsevier to be honest. But one part of the email struck me. This was the end of the message which I post below:
DATA PROTECTION NOTICE
We obtained your name and email address from ISI Thomson Scientific, 3501 Market street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA. If you wish to be removed from the ISI Thomson Scientific mailing lists, please click here ISI Thomson Scientific.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. http://www.elsevier.com. registered office: Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands, under number 33156677, VAT number 002967455B65. All rights reserved.
I can guess what it says but fortunately for those like me that don’t read Dutch, Google offers to translate. So I clicked on that offer just to be sure: “Page not found.” Great policy. Maybe I am supposed to pay to access it? I note – I have not posted the actual original link in the email because it has what appears to be some tracking information embedded in it. This I guess is what one could call an empty promise of privacy?
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This Site automatically collects certain information from your web browser regarding your use of the Site. Examples of information collected automatically from all users include the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; computer and connection information such as browser type and version, operating system, and platform; and full Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”) click stream data, including date and time, and content you viewed or searched for on the Site.
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We use the personal information that you provide for such purposes as:
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Access to your personal information is restricted to our employees, agents, representatives, service providers, and entities for which we are acting as an agent, licensee or publisher, such as societies, for the purposes set forth above. Your personal information may be used by all of our trading names and affiliated group companies and transferred to other countries for processing. These countries may not have similar data privacy laws, but if we transfer your information in this way, we will take steps to ensure that your information continues to be protected.
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We will not otherwise disclose any personal information without your consent except under the following circumstances:
in response to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our rights to defend against legal claims;
if we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, safety of person or property, violation of our policies, or as otherwise required by law; and
if Elsevier, this Site, or a related asset or line of business is acquired by, transferred to or merged with another company.
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Retention of Personal Information
We retain the personal information we collect from you for as long as the information is relevant to our business purposes or until you request that we remove the data.
Our Commitment to Data Security
We endeavor to keep your personal information confidential and protected against unauthorized access, loss, misuse or alteration through the use of appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards. The personal and demographic information about each user is stored on systems that are subject to appropriate physical and electronic security measures, and we limit employee access to and use of such information.
Questions, Complaints, and Dispute Resolution
Elsevier Data Protection Officer
Oxford OX5 1GB
Last revised: 28 May 2010
I don’t know about you but I am not feeling too comforted by this policy. For comparison here are some links to privacy policies of other science publishers:
- Science/AAAS | Science Magazine: About the Journal: Privacy/Legal
- BioMed Central | Privacy