Playing With Data.

Data Policy

This explains how the Secchi Disk Project, and the associated companies and organisations working with us, collect, use, share and protect data in relation to the project activities including the website and Apps. By using the Apps you understand and agree that we are providing a platform for you to upload content to, with the content including scientific information, photos and comments.

1         Principles

The Secchi Disk database is maintained for the Secchi Disk Foundation, and contains all the data which has been uploaded by our users.

The Secchi data creates a long term dataset of worldwide Secchi depths which is made is available for research into the conservation of the oceans for the public good and is freely available to the general public for not-for-profit use.

Use of the Secchi Disk Foundation’s data for commercial or grant-funded academic research may be subject to a charge having due regard for:

  1. The contribution of the requesters’ use of the data to the charitable purposes of the Secchi Disk Foundation,
  2. The commercial value of the data being requested,
  3. The financial resources available to the requester.

2         Uploaded Data

2.1       What does the upload include for the Secchi App?

The first time the App you’ve installed communicates within the PlayingWithData database it’s assigned a unique id (appuser) so we can group all the data uploaded by the same App installation. In addition, each database entry will include the following fields:

  • Information about the phone e.g. operating system version
  • Positioning information retrieved via the GPS e.g. time, latitude & longitude
  • Data input by the user e.g. Secchi depth from the Secchi App
  • Date of the depth reading

There is also the possibility of uploading a photograph in relation to the depth reading. This can be really helpful to identify water conditions, sea state and water colour, together with meteorological conditions, for the Secchi Depth.

2.2       How do we use the uploaded data

We may use the data we receive to:

  • Develop a dataset
  • Provide, improve, test, and monitor the effectiveness, of the Apps, database and website.
  • Develop and test new products and features within them including diagnosing and / or fixing technology problems.
  • Help you efficiently access your information e.g. through a login based on your unique id.
  • Use in-app push notifications on your device to automatically update the Apps, provide information notices and to keep you informed of the study developments.

2.3       Sharing of the Uploaded Data

Parties with whom we may share the uploaded data:

  • Sailors and the general public: Details of the Secchi Depths taken, location, date and boat name are available to anyone by selecting relevant individual points on the website.
  • Researchers, scientists & scientific journals: Can request datasets in a format that is suitable for research. The data is first made anonymised and so it not possible to associate it with individual devices. This will allow people to undertake the scientific research for which the project, the Apps and website was designed.
  • Businesses/organisations that become part of the project in the future, and they will be required to follow all the relevant data and privacy policies.
  • Third-party organizations that help us provide, develop or maintain the website, apps or the data.

2.4       Data Usage

Individuals or organisations conducting research where data from the project may be useful can apply for access by emailing

For sailors, and any other member of the general public, we have a policy that data is freely available via the website map. Whilst for academics and researchers we ask for a donation as the project is run from volunteer time and efforts i.e., there is no under-pinning grant funding salaries, etc.  Currently, we suggest £500 GBP per year of data, or part thereof, requested. However, as we do not want to hinder research we only ask for a ‘donation’ – the decision is yours.

Note, that the dataset is currently not quality controlled and so comes ‘as is’.

We also request that the project is acknowledged in any resulting publication using the following citation:

The authors thank the Secchi Disk project for the seafarer Secchi Depth data.

The data originating from the project jointly belongs to the Secchi Disk Foundation and Pixalytics Ltd.

3         Data Security

We use commercially reasonable safeguards to help keep the information collected through the Apps is secure. However, Pixalytics cannot absolutely ensure the security of any information you transmit.

4         Data Retention

The Secchi Disk study is an open-ended study with the aim of creating a long term dataset of worldwide Secchi depths to support the scientific study of the conservation of the oceans. As such, the uploaded data will be kept indefinitely as part of the dataset.

5         How To Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Data Policy please contact us at