Privacy Policy

Last Modified on September 7, 2018

This is the privacy policy ("Privacy Policy") of the California Academy of Sciences' and National Geographic Society's website located at (the "Website") and the iOS App, and Android App, and Our Seek by iNaturalist App (collectively, the "App"). This Privacy Policy describes how ("iNaturalist," "We," "Us" or "Our") handles Personal Information (as defined below) that users ("You," "Your” or "User") provide to Us, or that We collect from You through the use of Our Website or Apps.

Website and App Visitors collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request.'s purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how's visitors use its Website and Apps. From time to time, may release non-personally-identifying information in the aggregate, e.g. by publishing a report on trends in the usage of its Website and Apps.

Personal Information

"Personal Information" means information such as Your first/middle initial or name, last name, e-mail address, street address, mailing address if different, town or city, state, postal code, telephone number, date of birth, location data, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, personal photo, and any other information that would allow someone to identify You or contact You. does not disclose such information other than as specified below.

The Personal Information We Collect may collect Personal Information when You choose to interact with in ways that require to gather such information, such as if You browse on iNaturalist, register as an iNaturalist User, update or add information to Your iNaturalist page, provide content to iNaturalist through Your computer or phone, or otherwise communicate with Us about the iNaturalist service. When You post an Observation on iNaturalist, We may collect Your User ID, latitude and longitude of the site of the Observation, the place name of the site of the Observation, the date and time of the Observation, the app You used to contribute data, and the time zone of the site of the Observation. The amount and type of information that gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. In each case, collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of Your interaction with does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below, and You can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that doing so may prevent You from engaging in certain Website and App-related activities.

How We Use Personal Information

We may use the Personal Information that You provide in order to provide the iNaturalist services and to administer and maintain the iNaturalist website. If You register as an iNaturalist User, You must give Us current, complete, and accurate information and keep the information You provide to Us up to date. We cannot and shall not be responsible for any problems or liability that may arise if You do not give Us current, accurate, truthful or complete information or You fail to update the information You give Us.

How We Disclose and Share Personal Information

Personal Information related to the Observations You post (date, time, location) is published on iNaturalist as matter of normal usage and therefore is shared with other iNaturalist Users. We explicitly share this public information in a machine-readable format for certain Observations with a handful of partners, including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (“GBIF”).

Personal Information associated with Users’ registration and account (name, email address, etc.) is shared with iNaturalist staff and representatives from iNaturalist Network partners (see for information about the iNaturalist Network). iNaturalist Network partners can request and receive Personal Information from Users who affiliate with their particular partner site as their primary site, including requesting and receiving Personal Data related to Observations made by such Users. discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only to those of its programmers, contractors, and affiliated organizations that (i) need to know that information in order to process it on's behalf or to provide services available at's Website and Apps, and (ii) that have agreed not to disclose it to others.

We share IP addresses, User agents, and information relating to software stability (e.g. information about software crashes) and behavior (e.g. the sequence of screens visited) with several analytics services. These processors include Google Analytics, Fabric, Amplitude, and Flurry. We do not share Your iNaturalist User ID, Username, email address, or name with any of these services. Some of those employees, contractors, and affiliated organizations may be located outside of Your home country; by using's Website or Apps, You consent to the transfer of such information to them. will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone.

Other than to its employees, contractors, and affiliated organizations, as described above, discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only when required to do so by law, when believes it is necessary to do so in the interest of User safety, or when believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of, third parties, or the public at large. Unless authorized by You through Your opt-in, or as provided above, We will make Your Personal Information available to non-affiliated third parties only in the following circumstances:

If You are a registered User of and have supplied Your email address, may occasionally send You an email to tell You about new features, solicit Your feedback, or keep You up to date with the iNaturalist Website and App. We primarily use blogs and groups to communicate this type of information, so We expect to keep this type of email to a minimum. If You send Us a request (for example via a support email or via one of Our feedback mechanisms), We reserve the right to publish it in order to help Us clarify or respond to Your request or to help Us support other Users. takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction of potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information.

We do not share Your Personal Information with any parties for commercial purposes.

How We Retain Personal Information

We retain Your personal information associated with Your registration for so long as You remain a registered User of iNaturalist. In addition, We may retain personal information from closed accounts to comply with national laws, prevent fraud, resolve disputes, troubleshoot problems, assist with any investigation, enforce Our Terms of Service and take other actions permitted or required by applicable national laws.

Some Personal Information associated with Observations (time, date, location, etc.) may remain attached to Observations, even after You have closed Your account.


We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from children or knowingly allow children to purchase goods or memberships through Our Website and Apps. Visitors 12 years of age and younger must obtain a parent or guardian's permission before submitting any personal information to this or any other website or App. In the event that We learn that We have received any personal information from a visitor 12 years of age or younger, and We do not receive parental permission within a reasonable period of time of Our request for it, We will delete that information as quickly as possible. If You believe that We might have information from or about a child 12 years of age or younger, please contact Us at


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. uses cookies to help identify and track visitors, their usage of the Website, and their Website access preferences. visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using's websites, with the drawback that certain features of's websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

How We Protect Your Personal Information

We are committed to protecting the Personal Information You share with Us through use of iNaturalist and We maintain reasonable physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect Your Personal Information. We limit access to iNaturalist by Our own employees to individuals who are authorized for the proper handling of such information and any employee found violating Our standards of security and confidentiality is subject to Our disciplinary processes. We request Our service providers to follow the same policy. Unfortunately, We cannot guarantee that data transmitted over the Internet will always be secure. As a result, although We strive to protect Your Personal Information, We cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information You transmit or We may learn as a result of Your use of iNaturalist and You do so at Your own risk. If, for any reason, You do not agree with this Privacy Policy, please do not use or attempt to take advantage of any of the information, services, features, or functions of iNaturalist that might require You to provide Your Personal Information.

Your Rights with Your Personal Information

You have the right to know what Personal Information We have about You, request a copy of it, update and correct Your Personal Information, request that We stop collecting Your Personal Information, request a transfer of Your Personal Information, or ask questions about any automated decision-making processes regarding Your Personal Information. For any such information or requests, contact Our Data Protection Officer at

Posting Observations

If You do not wish to have the time, date, place, or other identifying information of an Observation included on iNaturalist, You should not post an Observation. Once You post an Observation, You may not be able to change or remove it. Upon Your request, We will close Your account and remove Your Observations.

Withdraw Consent

If You withdraw Your consent for the use or disclosure of Your Personal Information for purposes set out in this Privacy Policy You may not have access to all Our Services and We might not be able to provide You all of the Services and customer support offered to Our Users and authorized under this Privacy Policy and Our Terms of Service Agreement.

Links and Third Parties

There may be opportunities through the iNaturalist Website and Apps from time to time to opt-in to receive information from non-iNaturalist entities. If You opt-in, You may receive correspondence from these organizations on programs, products, or services that might interest You. Your communication with these entities should be directly with such entities.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, may change its Privacy Policy from time to time, and in's sole discretion. We will post an updated and revised version of this Privacy Policy on the iNaturalist Website when any material changes have been made, and encourages visitors to check this Privacy Policy often so You are aware of the most current terms and conditions that apply to You. The revisions are effective immediately upon posting. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute Your acceptance of such change.

Information from Users Outside the US, and Cross Border Data Transfers

The services of iNaturalist are operated in the United States (U.S.). By using the Services and posting Observations, You consent to the transfer, processing and storage of Your personal information in the U.S., a jurisdiction in which the privacy laws may not be as comprehensive as those in the country in which You reside. We take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy. Partner iNaturalist sites operate in other jurisdictions. The Personal Information You provide Us may be transferred and stored in other jurisdictions if You select an iNaturalist Partner as Your primary iNaturalist site.

California Do Not Track Notice

Because there are not yet common, industry-accepted “do not track” standards and systems, the Website does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Your California Privacy Rights

Residents of the State of California, under the California Civil Code, have the right to request from companies conducting business in California, a list of all third parties to which the company has disclosed Personal Information during the preceding year for direct marketing purposes. Except with respect to the limited exceptions described above, We do not share Your Personal Information with any third parties for direct marketing purposes.

If You are a California resident and request information about how to exercise Your third party disclosure choices, You must send a request to the following address with a preference on how Our response to Your request should be sent (email or postal mail). Send an email Our Data Protection Officer at or contact Us via postal mail at:

California Academy of Sciences – Data Protection Officer
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park 
San Francisco, CA 94118
Attn: Your California Privacy Rights

All requests sent via postal mail must be labeled "Your California Privacy Rights" on the envelope or post card and clearly stated on the actual request. For all requests, please include Your name, street address, city, state, and zip code. (Your street address is optional if You wish to receive a response to Your request via email. Please include Your zip code for Our own record-keeping.) We will not accept requests via the telephone or by facsimile. We are not responsible for notices that are not labeled or sent properly, notices that are illegible or do not have complete information.

All Users

If any User of Our Website, Apps, or any Subscriber has any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact Our Data Protection Officer at or:

California Academy of Sciences – Data Protection Officer
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

This Privacy Policy was last modified on September 7, 2018.

© Copyright 2018 California Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved.

Revised on September 07, 2018 17:50 by kueda kueda