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Privacy Policy


Herdict is committed to respecting and protecting your personal privacy. This Privacy Statement explains how the Herdict project (“Herdict”) uses and stores information it collects through the Services (as defined below). Please review this Privacy Statement carefully before using any of the functionality or services offered through the website (the “Website”) or any other applications offered by Herdict, including the reporting function (the “Reporter”), the browser add-on (the “Add-on”), and any other functionality or services associated with or offered by Herdict (collectively, the “Services”). Your use of the Services indicates your agreement with the terms of the Privacy Statement. Because this statement may change at any time with or without notice to users, please check back for updates to this Privacy Statement.

Continue reading to learn what data Herdict collects and what Herdict will and will not do with it.

Collection of Information

The Website

When you visit any part of the Website, the following information may be collected, stored and retained by Herdict:

  • the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer you are using,
  • the version of the browser you are using,
  • the operating system running on the computer that you are using, and
  • information about your navigation through pages of the site.

Herdict may collect site navigation information by using session cookies, which are temporary files stored on your browser that are erased when you close all browser windows. Herdict uses these cookies to help the site work properly and to improve the user experience. Herdict also uses persistent cookies to store certain information about you across different browsing sessions. You can block or delete cookies using standard web browser controls.

Please note that while it is our standard policy not to use IP address logs to track the sessions of individual users, there are some important exceptions. These exceptions include cases of reported violations of our Terms of Service, and in cases where we are required to do so by law enforcement (see “Disclosure of Information to Law Enforcement“ below).


When you use the Reporter, it transmits the following information to our servers:

  • the URL of the reported site,
  • the IP address of the reported site,
  • your IP address,
  • whatever information you have provided in the fields next to the buttons labeled “Page,” “Country,” “ISP,” “Access Location,” “Tags,” and “Comments” and
  • whether you marked a particular website Accessible or Inaccessible.

Some of these fields may be pre-populated based on your general location (as determined by your IP address). Note that the complete URL of the site visited may not be collected -- the Reporter (and the Add-on) do not always collect the URLs of individual Web pages. For example, if you visit, the Reporter and the Add-on may only collect “”

Please note that any personally identifying information you provide in the “Comments” field when you use the Reporter Services will be publicly viewable on the Website. We do not ask you for personally identifying information, and we strongly encourage you not to include such information in your reports.


When you use the Add-on to make a report, we receive the same information that we would receive if you were making the report through the Reporter, namely, the URL of the reported site, the IP address of the reported site, your IP address, whatever information you have provided in the fields next to the buttons labeled “Page,” “Country,” “ISP,” “Access Location,” “Tags,” and “Comments,” and whether you marked a particular website Accessible or Inaccessible.

In addition, the Add-on collects and transmits the following information to Herdict's servers, regardless of whether you make a report:

  • The Add-on automatically collects the URL of each site that you visit, together with your IP address. This information is transmitted to our servers.
  • Our servers look in a database to see if other users can access the site at that URL, and the result is transmitted back to the Add-on and appears as an orange, yellow, gray, or green sheep icon. Your IP address and the URL visited are not used for any other purpose, but may be retained in our server logs.
  • You may install the Add-on but choose to opt out of the default browsing actions described above. If you do so, whenever you direct your browser to a new website, the Add-on will no longer collect the URL of each site that you visit or your IP address, with the exception that any reports you make through the Add-on will still cause the Add-on to collect this information.
  • You may choose not to download or use the Add-on without impacting any other functionality offered through the Services.

Use and Sharing of Information

Use of Information

We use the information we collect and that you provide directly to us for the following general purposes:

  • To make aggregate statistics publicly available on the Website. The URLs that you submit, and the contents of the “ISP,” “Tags,” and “Comments” fields you submit with the URLs, will be available for others to see on the Website. The URLs that you submit (and the corresponding websites) may also be reviewed to determine whether the website contains adult material, malicious code, or anything else that may harm Herdict or its users. Please note that the data available on our website is also available for download and use, subject to the limitations set forth in our Terms and Conditions.
  • If you give us your email address, it will be used for account registration verification, as well as any occasional necessary communications directly related to the logistics of your account. Herdict may also use your email address for other communications such as notifying you of updates to our project or new releases to our software.

All of your stored data may be accessed by our system administrators. Because Herdict is part of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which is run by Harvard University, the administrators may produce these records and data to Harvard's Administrative Dean, Dean of Students, or the Administrative Board, upon request or suspected violation of our Terms and Conditions.

Sharing Information with Third Parties

Herdict enables you to share certain information via third party sites or services, such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the Services may link to independently-run websites. For example, Herdict may automatically direct your browser to load independently run websites in order to facilitate the reporting process or may provide direct hyperlinks to such sites. Please note that these third-parties may collect certain data about your computer, including your IP address, and that any information collected by or shared through these third-party websites and services will be used and shared by those sites and services according to their privacy policies and settings. Herdict is not responsible for the privacy practices or content on third-party websites and services.

Herdict is currently affiliated with BCIS, which is run by Harvard University. If Herdict changes its affiliation or becomes controlled by a different organization, it reserves the right to transfer user information as part of that change of control transaction.

Herdict also makes some of the information that Herdict collects through the Services available to select third-party service providers and partners in order to assist Herdict in the delivery of its Service, such as by managing contact lists and helping us better understand how our visitors use the Services in order to improve upon them. This information may include IP addresses and browser versions used by Herdict’s visitors; the pages visited on the site; and other similar information. Except to the extent Herdict uses a third party to help manage its email lists (for instance to make sure we honor opt-outs), Herdict works with third-party service providers only to understand aggregate usage of the Services; our service providers do not collect personally identifiable information about users.

Disclosure of Information to Law Enforcement

If we receive a warrant or subpoena for user information (including information collected from you during report submission) or are otherwise legally compelled to provide such information, we may disclose requested records to law enforcement authorities or outside parties seeking information through the legal process. In the event that we are required by law (including by a court order) to disclose the information you submit, and we have your contact information, we will provide you with notice (unless we are prohibited from doing so) that a request for your information has been made so that you may object to the disclosure. We will send this notice by e-mail to the address you have given us. We generally intend to independently object to overbroad requests for access to information about users of Herdict, but we may not be able to do so in all cases. If you do not challenge the disclosure request yourself, we may be legally required to turn over your information, including information you submitted in your reports.

What we won't do with the information we collect:

We will never publicly display your IP address on the Services. We will never rent or sell your information to anyone. We will not share your name or e-mail address with third parties except as described in this Privacy Statement or with your consent, and only on the condition that the third parties agree not to use your name or e-mail for commercial purposes.


Herdict is based in the United States, and, regardless of where you use Herdict or otherwise provide information to Herdict, the information will be transferred to and maintained on servers located in the U.S. Please note that any information we obtain about you will be stored in accordance with U.S. privacy laws, regulations, and standards, which may not be equivalent to the laws in your country of residence. By using Herdict or by providing us with your information, you consent to this collection, transfer, storage, and processing of information to and in the U.S.

Children’s Privacy

You must be at least 13 years of age to submit information to Herdict. The Website, the Reporter, and the Add-on are intended for adults, and Herdict does not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 years old. If you are a parent or legal guardian of a child under age 13 who you believe has submitted personal information to the site, please contact us immediately at: contact at herdict dot org.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

We retain the right to make changes, in our sole discretion, to this Privacy Statement. Any changes will be reflected in the Privacy Statement when the changes take effect. The privacy policies that apply to any information collected by Herdict will be those contained in the Privacy Statement that is in effect and posted on the site at the time that the information is collected. Please review the Privacy Statement each time you use the Services.

Effective Date

This Privacy Statement is effective as of March 15, 2013.

Contacting Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, you may contact us by email at: contact at herdict dot org, or by mail to:

Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard Law School
23 Everett Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138