It is not possible in practice to keep personal data confidential, so you
should treat everything that you send us as potentially public.
However we will not deliberately publish any personal data, and will not
have a single html page of all names and addresses. However, all
registrants at BioMOO
are required to give their real-life affiliation.
The types of problem that may arise are:
- Students wish to take the course without their boss (employer, supervisor)
knowing that they are doing it. We shan't tell them deliberately, nor
will we keep a publically available list of names, so that
WWWWorms and other beasties can't index that.
- Employers may worry about the time that people are spending
on the Net. Although logs are kept at BioMOO of logins, and
all httpd servers keep logs of the machines (but not the users)
that access them, we will not run accounting software that tabulates
- Some people might not wish the content of their communications
to be known. If you search for a given subject on a database on the Net,
the query you sent is logged. I am not aware that any of the
biological databases analyse the content of their queries, but it would
be reasonable for them to do so.
- What you say in the MOO may be recorded. In general you should
be informed that this is happening (e.g. we record classes). If you wish
to say something in confidence you should e-mail a consultant. This
will be treated as confidentially as is possible - if other people need
to know, I normally edit out names.
- No academic record will be kept. Thus if you use the
self-assessment tests we
shall not use them to rank students or publish any
statistics (other than anonymous - e.g. only 20% of people answered Q7
The real-life students will only be identified to their local consultant
and their names will not be transmitted further than their local group.
This if I had something to report, I would make it very general, e.g.
"My students all had difficulty installing XYZZY - but they are all
able to use SWISS-PROT by now". Remember that people's identities in
real-life can be sensitive.