IWitness Privacy Policy

The IWitness website ("IWitness") is operated and presented to users in all locations by the USC Shoah Foundation ("the Institute") of Los Angeles, California. This Privacy Policy covers use of information collected by IWitness.

We are committed to providing an educational and safe website for people of all ages. We are dedicated to safeguarding any personal information collected on the IWitness website. We ensure that our privacy policy and our information practices adhere to the United States Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, applicable European Union Data Protection legislation, Canadian federal and provincial privacy legislation, other applicable data privacy laws and all other applicable legislation.

To help ensure a rewarding online experience for our visitors, we provide you with this Privacy Policy that describes the information practices of the IWitness website , including how we collect, use and disclose personal information.

Information Collected and Use of Data

We collect two types of user data: 1) anonymous data that is automatically collected from all visitors to our site and 2) personally identifiable data that you voluntarily submit to us (Personal Data).

1. Anonymous Data

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors - to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. This information does not identify you personally. We collect the following information:

  • The Internet domain (for example, “xcompany.com” if you use a private Internet access account, or “yourschool.edu” if you connect from a school domain) and the Internet Protocol (IP) address (the unique numerical expression of the domain from which your computer operates and the computer that you are using; you cannot be personally identified by this number) from which you access our website
  • The types of browser and operating systems used to access our site
  • The dates and times our site is accessed
  • The pages visited
  • The number of accesses to each page
  • If users linked to the IWitness website from another website, the address of that website

2. Personal Data

The type of information we may collect includes: your name; email address; your role i.e. a student or a teacher; and your school or institutional affiliation and location (state, city, country).

Personal Data may be collected when you:

  • Register for IWitness
  • Create content to share on the IWitness site
  • Send correspondence to our webmaster or other IWitness staff member
  • Participate in one of our online surveys
  • Post a comment to IWitness

If you choose to provide us with personal information, we may use that information to:

  • Respond to your message
  • Help us get you the information you have requested
  • Provide you the requested service
  • Allow you to select or change user preferences
  • Make decisions about how to better make the website suit your needs
  • Personalize the content you see based on the activities and choices you have made

If you decide to give us personal information on our website, by phone, or by mail, you may be contacted by the Institute with the option to receive mail or e-mail. For example, if you do one of the activities on our website such as post a comment, you may be given the option to subscribe to our e-newsletters. You will always be given the option to decline.

We also enable users to participate in public forums such as message boards. Please remember that any information (comments, photos, sounds) posted on these areas becomes public information. If you use the chat function within this website and disclose personally identifiable information, you should be aware that such information could be read, collected or used by other users. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit through the chat function. Please exercise caution when deciding to disclose personal information.

3. Protecting Children's Privacy

In an effort to comply voluntarily with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, IWitness does not knowingly collect and retain personal identifying information from persons under the age of 13 and has safeguards in place to attempt to ensure it does not inadvertently collect and retain such information. The Institute strongly urges children to check with their parents before entering information on its websites, and it urges parents to discuss with their children restrictions concerning the online release of personal identifying information to anyone they do not know.

Use of Cookies

We may collect some data through the use of cookies. Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that are transferred either to your computer's hard drive ("long-term cookies") or temporarily to your computer’s Random Access Memory ("session cookies"). A cookie cannot read data off your computer hard disk nor can it read cookies files created by other Web sites. We use cookies to make visiting and using our site easier.

We only use long-term cookies to enable us to measure return visits to the Web site. These cookies contain no personal information and will only be used in aggregate form. You may refuse to accept long-term cookies by adjusting your browser preferences.

When you visit the IWitness site, session cookies may be stored that last only as long as your session on the IWitness site. They expire when your session ends and are not written onto your computer's hard drive. For example, we will use a session cookie once you login as a registered user in order to unlock features such as viewing the results of a search and interacting with sections of the application, most notably the "Activities" and "Discuss" section.

As with long-term cookies, no personal information is stored in session cookies.

You may set your browser to refuse long-term and session cookies from any Web site that you visit. If you so choose, you may still gain access to some of the IWitness website, but you may not be able to conduct certain types of transactions such as searches or take advantage of some of the interactive elements offered.

Third-Party Disclosure

We will not disclose your name or personal information to other organizations without informing you and giving you the opportunity to opt out.

We may disclose Personal Data to third-party service providers who are contracted by the Institute to facilitate services such as response to your service requests, sending of e-newsletters, response to your surveys, or other similar functions. All of our third-party service providers have access to your Personal Data solely for the purpose of providing services to you on our behalf, and they are contractually prohibited from sharing your Personal Data with other third parties.

We may disclose Personal Data to third-party entities at your request when authorized by law. We may also disclose Personal Data to third parties for law enforcement purposes or other purposes as may be specifically required by law.

This website contains links to the websites of other public and/or private organizations. While we make efforts to choose our links carefully, we cannot take responsibility for the content or privacy policy of linked websites. We encourage you to review the privacy policies on those websites.


If you have any questions or concerns about these polices, or our data collection practices, please send them to our Webmaster at iwitness@usc.edu or by mail to Webmaster, USC Shoah Foundation, 650 W 35th Street, Suite 114, Los Angeles, CA 90089.

We hope you join with us in our growing online community. Our success is made possible through your continuing online participation.

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