Privacy policy

1. Legal notice
This privacy policy refers to services offered by the Globethics Foundation with its Head Office in Geneva, Switzerland, constituted in accordance with Art. 80 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code and subject to Swiss federal law. Globethics shall not be held liable for the practices of any third parties, either directly or inferred. This Globethics Privacy policy came into effect on 15 May 2018. (Updated on 21 September 2021).

2. What this policy covers
Your privacy is important to us, and so is being transparent about how we collect, use, and share information about you. This policy is intended to help you understand:

  • What information we collect about you;
  • How we use information we collect;
  • How we share information we collect;
  • How we store and secure information we collect;
  • How to access and control your information; and
  • Other important privacy information

This privacy policy covers the information we collect about you when you use our website or engage with us through our network or events, unless a different privacy policy is displayed. This policy also explains your choices about how we use information about you. Your choices include how you can object to certain uses of information about you and how you can access and update certain information about you.

Globethics offers websites and services that provide possibilities for collaboration and access to resources to users and registered participants. These resources include publications, course materials and library documents. Globethics also organises worldwide events and training seminars that involve individuals signing up for the events and sometimes registering as participants of the Globethics social platform. We provide access to an online training academy ( In this policy, all of these provisions by Globethics are referred to as ‘services’. The Globethics Online Academy and may be referred to as our ‘websites’.

3. Information you provide us with
We collect information about you when you input it into our services or otherwise provide it directly to us.

Website account and profile information
We collect information about you when you register as a participant in our network, create or modify your profile, set preferences or sign-up for online training through our academy. For example, you provide your contact information when you register for our services. You also have the option of adding a profile photo, short biography, and other details to your profile information to be displayed in our services. We keep track of your preferences when you select settings within our services.

Preferences and comments
Your preferences and comments when you engage with other participants on our network may be recorded. This information is available to Globethics staff. You may record preferences for training and reading lists. We collect other content that you submit to us. For example, you provide content to us when you provide feedback or when you participate in any interactive features, surveys, promotions activities or events.

Attending events and conferences
We record who has attended our events and conferences. You may be asked to fill out a survey or indicate preferences when attending one of these events.

Publishing and submitting material
We record details of participants who publish books and submit material to us. We provide publishing agreements and submission forms to participants that should be filled in before manuscripts for publication or submitting materials.

4. Information we collect automatically
We collect information about you when you use our services, including browsing our websites and taking certain actions within our services.

Your use of our services
We keep track of certain information about you when you visit and interact with any of our websites. This information includes the features you use, publications downloads, library downloads, how long you stay engaged on our website and other click based data.

Device and connection information
We collect information through your device about your operating system, browser type, IP address, URLs of referring/exit pages and device identifiers. We use your IP address and/or country preference in order to approximate your location to provide you with a better service experience. How much of this information we collect depends on the type and settings of the device you use to access our services.

Globethics uses cookies to provide functionality and to recognise you across different services, devices and sessions. We measure specific navigation patterns, identify those pages that are visited and, more generally, determine the visiting habits of participants. We make use of this research to analyse similarities or differences in the visiting habits of our users in order to better anticipate your expectations. We make use of this information to better customise our content.

5. Information provided to us by third parties
Globethics, from time to time, engages with academic partners and third parties to offer services to their user base and participants. We sometimes use this data to tailor courses and to develop special services such as online library collections.

Third-party registrations
We register students and participants from third-party institutions. In these situations, we assume that the third party has received consent from the individual to engage with our services.

6. How we use the information we collect
How we use the information we collect depends in part on which services you use, how you use them, and any preferences that you have communicated to us. Below are the specific purposes for which we use the information we collect about you.

To provide our services and personalise your experience
We use information about you to provide our services to you, including authenticating you when you log in, provide customer support, and operate and maintain our services. For example, we use the name and picture you provide in your account to identify you to other participants and users. Our services also include tailored features that personalise your experience and improve your ability to collaborate effectively with others.

To communicate with you about our services
We use your contact information to send transactional communications via email and within our services, including responding to your comments, questions and requests, providing user support, and sending you technical notices, updates, security alerts, and administrative messages. Depending on your settings, we send you email notifications when you or others interact on our services. These communications are part of our services and in most cases you cannot opt out of them. If an option to opt out is available, you will find that option within the communication itself or in your profile settings.

To market, promote, and drive engagement with our services
We use your contact information and information about how you use our services to send promotional communications that may be of specific interest to you, including by email as well as on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. These communications are aimed at driving engagement and maximising what you get out of our services, including information about new features, publications survey requests, newsletters, and events we think may be of interest to you. You can control whether you receive these communications as described below under "Opt-out of communications."

For research and development
We are always looking for ways to make our services smarter, faster, more secure, integrated and useful to you. We use collective learning about how people use our services and feedback provided directly to us to troubleshoot and to identify trends, usage, activity patterns and areas for integration and improvement of our services. We also test and analyse certain new features with some users before rolling the feature out to all users.

Customer support
We use your information to resolve technical issues you encounter, to respond to your requests for assistance, to analyse and to repair our services.

For safety and security
We use information about you and your service use to verify accounts and activity, to monitor suspicious or fraudulent activity and to identify violations of service policies.

Legal basis for data processing concerning EEA users
If you are an individual in the European Economic Area (EEA), we collect and process information about you only where we have legal bases for doing so under applicable EU laws.
The legal bases depend on which of our services you use and how you use them. This means we collect and use your information only where:

  • We need it to provide you our services, including to operate our services, provide customer support and personalised features and to protect the safety and security of our services;
  • It satisfies a legitimate interest (which is not overridden by your data protection interests), such as for research and development, to market and promote our services and to protect our legal rights and interests;
  • You give us consent to do so for a specific purpose; and
  • We need to process your data to comply with a legal obligation.

If you have consented to our use of information about you for a specific purpose, you have the right to change your mind at any time, but this will not affect any processing that has already taken place. Where we are using your information because we or a third party (e.g. your employer) have a legitimate interest to do so, you have the right to object to that use although, in some cases, this may mean no longer being able to use our services.

With your consent
We use information about you where you have given us consent to do so for any other specific purpose not listed above. For example, we may publish newsletters that mention a participant or attendee at a Globethics event with your permission.

7. How we share information we collect
We share information we collect about you in the ways described below, but we are not in the business of selling information about you to advertisers or other third parties.

For service collaboration
When you use our websites, we collaborate with other platforms and technical networks to provide additional services. For instance, you may fill out a form that is embedded in our website but hosted on another website not owned by Globethics. We may in these instances share information (basic profile information, language of account, email address) to ensure we can use these services. In all instances, this collaboration is governed by non-disclosure of user data agreements (privacy and data protection between organisations.)

For course collaboration
From time to time, Globethics runs online courses and events in conjunction with academic partners and third parties. In these instances, we sometimes share usage information about the processing and flow of data through a course. You, as a course participant may be included as a datum in a population that is used to infer usage patterns for future enhancements and collaboration.

For service providers
We work with third-party suppliers to provide website and application development, hosting, maintenance, backup, storage, virtual infrastructure, payment processing, analysis and other services, which may require them to access or use information about you. If a service provider needs to access information about you to perform services on our behalf, they do so under instruction from us, and they are obliged to abide by policies and procedures designed to protect your information.

Our services may include links that direct you to other websites or services whose privacy practices may differ from ours. Your use of and any information you submit to any of those third-party sites is governed by their privacy policies.

Embedded widgets
Some of our services contain widgets and social media features, such as the Twitter "tweet" button. These widgets and features collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our services, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Widgets and social media features are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our services. Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing them.

Compliance with enforcement requests and enforcement of our rights
In exceptional circumstances, we may share information about you with a third party if we believe that sharing is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, including to meet national security requirements, (b) enforce our agreements, policies and terms of service, (c) protect the security or integrity of our staff and services, (d) protect Globethics, our participants or the public from harm or illegal activities, or (e) respond to an emergency which we believe in good faith requires us to disclose information to assist in preventing the death or serious bodily injury of any person.

With your consent
We share information about you with third parties when you give us your consent to do so. For example, we may display personal testimonials and reviews of publications on public websites (Amazon reviews). With your consent, we may post your name alongside the testimonial.

8. How we store and secure information we collect

Information storage and security
We use data hosting service providers in Switzerland or Europe to host the information we collect, and we use technical measures to secure your data. While we implement safeguards designed to protect your information, no security system is impenetrable. Due to the inherent nature of the Internet, we cannot guarantee that data, during transmission through the Internet or while stored on our systems or otherwise in our care, is absolutely safe from intrusion by others. We will respond to queries about this within a reasonable timeframe.

Account information
We retain your account information until your account is deleted. We also retain some of your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, to resolve disputes, to support our operations and to continue to develop and improve our services.

Where we retain information for service improvement and development, we take steps to eliminate information that directly identifies you, and we only use the information to uncover collective insights about the use of our services, not to specifically analyse personal characteristics about you.

Collaborative accounts
If our services are made available to you through a third party in collaboration (for instance your university where you are enrolled), we retain your information as long as required by the administrator of your account.

Marketing information
If you have elected to receive marketing emails from us, we retain information about your marketing preferences unless you specifically ask us to delete such information. We retain information derived from cookies and other tracking technologies for a reasonable period of time from the date such information was created.

Non digital format
We retain marketing agreements, publication acceptance agreements, attendee questionnaires completed and submitted for events, business cards and other paper based records. In certain situations, this data is governed by other legal requirements (e.g. GAAP accounting standards, etc.). In these situations, the data is secured onsite at the Globethics Head Office in Switzerland and is identifiable to individual participants.

9. How to access and control your information
You have certain choices available to you when it comes to your information. Below is a summary of those choices, how to exercise them and any limitations. We will respond to queries about this within a reasonable timeframe.

Your choices
You have the right to request a copy of your information, to object to our use of your information (including for marketing purposes), to request the deletion or restriction of your information, or to request your information in a structured, electronic format. Below, we describe the tools and processes for making these requests. You can exercise some of the choices by logging into our services and using settings available within our services or your account. Where our services are administered for you by a third party (e.g. by your university) you may need to contact your administrator to assist with your requests first.

For all other queries, you may contact us at [email protected] to request assistance.

Your request and choices may be limited in certain cases: for example, if fulfilling your request would reveal information about another person, or if you ask to delete information which we or your administrator are permitted by law or have compelling legitimate interests to keep. Where you have asked us to share data with third parties, you will need to contact those third-party service providers directly to have your information deleted or otherwise restricted. If you have unresolved concerns, you may have the right to complain to a data protection authority in the country where you live, where you work or where you feel your rights were infringed.

Access and update your information
Our services and related documentation give you the ability to access and update certain information about you from within the service. For example, you can access your profile information from your account and search for content containing information about you using keyword searches in the service. You can update your profile information within your profile settings and modify content that contains information about you using the editing tools associated with that content.

Delete your information
Our services give you the ability to delete certain information about you from within the service. For example, you can remove content that contains information about you and you can remove certain profile information within your profile settings. Please note, however, that we may need to retain certain information for record keeping purposes, to complete transactions and/or to comply with our legal obligations.

Request that we stop using your information
In some cases, you may ask us to stop accessing, storing, using, and otherwise processing your information where you believe we don't have the appropriate rights to do so. For example, if you believe a services account was created for you without your permission or are no longer an active user, you can request that we delete your account as provided in this policy. Where you gave us consent to use your information for a limited purpose, you can contact us to withdraw that consent, but this will not affect any processing that has already taken place at the time. You can also opt-out of our use of your information for marketing purposes by contacting us, as provided below. When you make such requests, we may need time to investigate and facilitate your request. If there is a delay or dispute as to whether we have the right to continue using your information, we will restrict any further use of your information until the request is honoured or the dispute is resolved.

Opt out of communications
You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from us by using the unsubscribe link provided within each email communication from us, updating your email preferences within your service account settings menu, or by contacting us at [email protected] to ask to have your contact information removed from our email list or registration database. Even after you opt out from receiving messages from us, you will continue to receive administrative communications from us regarding our services. You can opt out of some notification messages in your account settings.

Turn off cookie controls
Relevant browser-based cookie controls may allow you to restrict data gathering pertaining to your account with Globethics and your browser.

Send "Do Not Track" signals
Some browsers have incorporated "Do Not Track" (DNT) features that can send a signal to the websites you visit indicating you do not wish to be tracked. Because there is not yet a common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, our services do not currently respond to browser DNT signals.

Data portability
Data portability is the ability to obtain some of your information in a format you can move from one service provider to another. Depending on the context, this applies to some of your information, but not to all of your information. Should you request it, we will provide you with an electronic file of your basic account information and the information you create on the pages and spaces under your sole control.

10. Other important privacy information

Notice to participants
Our services are intended for both personal use and use by institutions. Where our services are made available to you through an institution (e.g. your university), that institution is the administrator of our services and is responsible for the participant and/or service sites over which it has control. If this is the case, please direct your data privacy questions to your administrator, as your use of our services is subject to that institution's policies. We are not responsible for the privacy or security practices of an administrator's institution, which may be different to this policy.

Our policy towards children
The content on our website is provided for tertiary level students and above. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children, i.e. those deemed to be minors in EEA member states. If we become aware that a minor has provided us with personal information, we will take steps to delete such information. If you become aware that a minor has provided us with personal information, please contact us at [email protected].

Changes to our privacy policy
We may change this privacy policy from time to time. We will post any privacy policy changes on our website and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice by adding a notice on our services homepages, login screens, or by sending you an email notification. We will also keep prior versions of this privacy policy in an archive for your review. We encourage you to review our privacy policy whenever you use our services to stay informed about our information practices and the ways you can help protect your privacy.

If you disagree with any changes to this privacy policy, you will need to stop using our services and deactivate your account(s), as outlined above.

Globethics, with our Head Office in Geneva, Switzerland, operates in accordance with Swiss federal (2023) and Canton of Geneva (2002) legislation for data protection and transparency.

Our privacy policy is governed by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation that enshrines data protection to private citizens within the EEA.

21 September 2021