NaturesAudio Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

NaturesAudio represents a project and a group of people interested principally in finding out where birds occur in the UK, and what affects that.  Audio data are collected by people who deploy audio recorders, or use other forms of audio recording e.g. smart-phones, (“Recorders”) and submit recordings to our online platform.  To determine what species are heard in the submitted audio, we ask “Identifiers” to submit classification data. Recorders are always registered users of the project.  Identifiers are often registered, although we may make it possible for unregistered identifiers to submit classifications under certain circumstances.

We use audio recordings, audio classifications and metadata concerning recording sites to inform ecological analyses; we may also use those data for publicity purposes.  We also use recording and classification information – including data on rates of engagement – to inform understanding of the wider endeavour of “citizen science”.

If you contribute and upload your audio recordings (i.e. data) to NaturesAudio, you agree to license those data under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (, and let us and collaborating scientists use your contributions for research purposes, and on occasion for publicity purposes. However, you still own the audio data recorded, and are not limited in what else you can do with them (such as sharing them through social networking platforms from NaturesAudio or elsewhere).

We take very seriously the privacy of users of our platform (whether registered or unregistered).  This policy sets out the details of the data we collect and how we use it.

What personal data do we collect?

For registered users, we collect the following information:

  • Your user name (which need not be your real name)
  • How you heard about NaturesAudio
  • The email address with which you registered
  • Your password
  • The date you registered
  • The date you last visited
  • The grid references of audio recording sites that you have registered
  • Records of audio recordings you have uploaded and when you uploaded them
  • Records of birdsong classifications that you have submitted and when you submitted them
  • Emails you have sent to our registered email address

How do we use personal data?

Website management

Your user name and password are used to verify your identity when you log on to our website.

Project membership

If you request membership of a restricted project (to upload data to sites associated with that project, or to help to classify images that belong to that project), your details will be shared with the project’s administrator. This is so that the administrator can validate your membership of the project and can communicate with you regarding the project. These are the only two purposes for which your details will be shared but you should check with the project administrator regarding their project’s privacy policy.

Data analysis

Your personal details (user name, email address and password) are stored in a data base separate from that which stores other data that we collect.  The two data bases are linked by the use of an anonymous user ID.  That anonymous ID is used to differentiate data you submit from data submitted by others.  This helps us to understand the range of engagement with the project, and whether that is affected by interventions (such as promotional drives, competitions or website improvements).  Location data (audiuo recording site grid references) are required to link images to their origin, in order to understand where species occur and what affects that.  No personal data will ever be made publicly available as a result of data analyses, and only aggregated statistics will be reported.  When data analysts are provided with access to the data base housing image and classification data, they will not be able to access users’ personal data.  The latter will be accessible only to staff involved in maintaining the platform and its data sets.


Most communication from NaturesAudio will be via a newsletter to which you will be required to subscribe.  We will not ordinarily contact you by email, unless we have a query or concern that is specific to your activity on the site or to the data you have submitted.  Your contact details will not be shared with third parties.

We may also contact you separately to ask some simple questions about how taking part in this project has impacted you and your engagement with nature.

Promotion and marketing

Sometimes, project participants contact us with images of interest, anecdotes or other materials that they would like to share with the wider community.  We may use these materials in reporting, promotional activities, on our website, or on social media (e.g., Twitter or Facebook).  We will never identify anyone personally without their permission.

How long do we keep your data?

We will keep your data until you notify us that you wish us to delete it.  At that point, we will delete your username, email address and password but will keep other submitted data linked to the anonymous user ID.

How do we protect your data?

All NaturesAudio data are stored on a physically secured server hosted by Amazon Web Services. Only we, the maintainers of NaturesAudio, have access to the server, and we will not share the data base containing users’ personal information with any other entity in ways not in accordance with this document.


We reserve the right to alter this privacy policy without prior notice.