Privacy Policy


The following policy governs how we at handle personal information; it applies across all of offerings on our website. When we speak of “we”, “us” or “” anywhere on this website, we in effect mean the people involved with preparation, production and dissemination of the contents of the website. Whenever in the following we speak of “policy” we’re referring to this privacy policy; when we speak of “Terms of Use” we refer to another set of rules as determined here that are about other legally binding rules for using our website.

Additionally, there are our “House Rules”, which are intended to set the tone for the community that we’re trying to build around this site; the latter are however not necessarily legally enforceable. Please, take the time to read these various policies and guidelines as by using any of our offerings, you inherently agree to them. If you do not agree to these policies and guidelines we won’t take it personally, but please do not continue using

What type of personal information do we collect?

We collect certain (limited) personal information about visitors and users of The most common types of information that get collected are things like user names, member names, email addresses, other contact details, some transactional details, support queries, forum comments, and web analytics data. Information or an opinion (e.g. in a comment) is your “personal information” if it is about you as an identified or identifiable individual.

How we collect personal information?

We may collect personal information directly when you provide it to us (e.g. when submitting a contribution), and/or automatically as you navigate through the site. When you provide personal information to us via the site you’re consenting to us collecting and using that information in line with this policy and our Terms of Use. You are likely to provide personal information when you complete a user registration, when you leave a comment, subscribe to a newsletter or email list, or send us a communication. If you choose not to provide personal information, we may not be able to provide you with the full scope of the website experience, as you may not be able to carry out transactions, participate in discussions or access the full range of features available through

Personal information about you That we collect from others

Although we generally collect personal information directly from you, we may on occasion also collect information about you from other people (such as e.g. through social media platforms) and by using tracking technologies such as cookies, web beacons and other web analytics software or services.

How do we use personal information?

We may use your personal information for us to:

– operate and provide you with our services, like to verify your identity when you submit a contribution, to facilitate and process purchase transactions, to respond to communication, to possibly facilitate and process purchase transactions in the future etc.;
– visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service;
– customise our services and pages, e.g. any advertising that may appear on site in the future, in order to provide a more personalised experience;
– update you with operational news and information about and its services like to notify you about changes to the site, website disruptions or security updates;
– provide you with information that you request from us or, where we have your consent to do so, provide you with marketing information relating to which we feel may interest you;
– carry out technical analysis to determine how to improve and the services we provide;
– analyse activity on to generate impact statistics, citation records and similar academic performance data;
– monitor activity on, like to identify potential fraudulent activity and to ensure compliance with our Terms of Use;
– manage our relationship with you, like by responding to your comments or queries submitted to us directly or through one of the discussions, or asking for your feedback or whether you want to participate in a survey;
– manage our legal and operational affairs;
– provide general administrative and performance functions and activities.

When may we disclose your personal information?

We may disclose personal information to people like:

– employees, volunteers, people contributing to’s operation;
– service providers who assist us with the ways we may use personal information (e.g. online web analytics services and others as set out in this policy);
– our professional advisers (lawyers, accountants, financial advisers etc.);
– regulators and government authorities in connection with our compliance procedures and obligations;
– other people where we are authorised or required by law to do so.

We use a network of global subcontractors and service providers to ensure that we maintain the best possible service standards. Some of the subcontractors and service providers to whom we may disclose your personal information, like service providers who provide us with web analytics, are based outside Hong Kong (in places like Asia, Europe, and the US). In order to protect your information, we take care where possible to work with subcontractors and service providers who we believe maintain an acceptable standard of data security compliance.

How do we store your personal information?

We store personal information on secure servers in Germany that are managed by the (formerly; we may occasionally keep selected files on offline hard drives – e.g. aggreagate statistical information – that are kept in a secure location. Personal information that we store is subject to security and access controls, including username and password authentication and data encryption where appropriate.

How can you access your personal information?

You can access some of the information that we collect about you by logging in to your account – if any. You also have the right to make a request to access other information we hold about you and to request corrections of any errors in that information. You may also close the account you have with us at any time, at which time all your information will be deleted. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes. To make an access or correction request, please contact us through the contact details at the end of this policy.

Choices regarding control of your personal information

Where we have your consent to do so (e.g if you have subscribed to one of our e-mail lists or have otherwise indicated that you are interested in receiving information from us), we may send you communication about products and services that we feel may be of interest to you. You can ‘opt-out’ of such communication if you would prefer not to receive them in the future. If your e-mail address has changed and you would like to continue receiving our e-mails, you will need to access your account and update your e-mail address information in your account and sign-up again for those e-mails that you want to receive. If we send e-mails with commercial content we will generally include an “unsubscribe” facility that you can use to opt-out of further communications – to opt-out, just follow the instructions in the e-mail. We may not include an opt-out facility in important operational and service-based e-mails concerning things like the Term of Use, important updates and need-to-know messages. By using you agree that we do not need to include opt-out facilities in those messages.


Cookies are used to enhance your use of, such as remembering that you are logged in. You are able to minimise or block cookies using the privacy settings in your internet browser, but this may restrict your use of our site. For general information on cookies, see All About You also have choices about cookies: By modifying your browser preferences, you have the choice to accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is set, or to reject all cookies. If you choose to reject cookies some parts of may not work properly in your case.

If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Web Analytics

When you visit, certain generally anonymous information (“web analytics information”) is automatically recorded. We only use this information for statistical and website development purposes and to improve our services. If you’re logged into your account while you browse some of this usually anonymous information could be associated with your account, e.g.

– your IP or proxy server IP;
– basic domain information;
– your internet service provider is sometimes captured depending on the configuration of your ISP connection;
– the date and time of your visit to the website;
– the length of your session;
– the particular pages that you have accessed;
– the number of times you accessed our site within any month;
– the size of file you’ve looked at;
– the website which referred you to; and
– the operating system that your computer uses.

As outlined in our Terms of Use we may use Google Adsense in the future to serve ads based on prior visits to some of our pages. Google Adsense, like other advertising companies, uses cookies to anonymously collect data, however these cookies do not collect personally identifiable information. The anonymous data they collect is kept separate from the personal information about you as a user. You can opt out of third party advertising cookies at any time by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative.

How long we will retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

Information you make public or give to others

If you make your personal information available to other people, we can’t control or accept responsibility for the way they will use or manage that information. There are lots of ways that you may find yourself providing information to other people, like when you post a public message on a comment thread, share information via social media, or make contact with another user via Before making your information publicly available or giving your information to anyone else, consider carefully. If giving information to another user via, ask them how they will handle your information. If you’re sharing information via another website, check the privacy policy for that site to understand its information management practices as this privacy policy will not apply.

Please be aware that you may additionally be giving away information involuntarily. E.g. if you uploaded images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Other visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Policy Changes

We may need to change this policy from time to time in order to make sure it stays up to date with the latest legal requirements and any changes to our privacy management practices. When we do amend the policy, the changes will be effective straightaway. We’ll usually publish information about changes to be made to this policy on the website – but please be aware that it is your responsibility to check in and make sure you keep up to date with any changes to this policy.

How can you contact us?

If you have any questions about our privacy practices, please contact us through our Contact page or directly through



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