Previous Online Privacy Statement

As of September 20, 2021, this Online Privacy Statement is no longer effective. The new version is available here.

Your privacy is important to IBM; maintaining your trust is paramount to us.

This Statement discloses the information practices for the World Community Grid site (the "WCG Site" or "our website"), what type of information about our WCG Site users is gathered and tracked, and how the information is used, shared or otherwise processed offline. It also describes how cookies, web beacons and other technologies may be used in the WCG Site. References to IBM websites, products and services in this Online Privacy Statement include apps, programs, and devices.

This WCG Site Online Privacy Statement supplements the IBM Privacy Statement.

This Statement applies to the WCG Site only and does not apply to other IBM websites that have their own Privacy Statement. Additionally, it does not apply to instances where we merely process information on behalf of clients for their benefit, such as when we act as a web hosting service provider. We may supplement this Statement with additional information relating to a particular interaction we have with you.

IBM's privacy practices as it pertains to information collected through the WCG Site, as described in this Online Privacy Statement, comply with the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System. The APEC CBPR system provides a framework for organizations to ensure protection of personal information transferred among participating APEC economies. More information about the APEC framework can be found here.

If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy policy or practices, please contact the IBM website coordinator. If you have an unresolved privacy or data use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact our U.S.-based third party dispute resolution provider (free of charge) here.

Collection of Personal Information


You may choose to give us personal information directly on the WCG Site. If you tell us that you do not want us to use your information to make further contact with you beyond fulfilling your request, we will respect your wishes.


Visitors to the WCG Site are asked to create a member name when they register on World Community Grid, in which case you need to provide us with your member name, email address, and other optional information (e.g. team affiliation, country). We use this information to communicate with you. We will retain your information for potential future interactions with you.

Your member name is maintained in the Member profile and is used to identify each member on the WCG Site, including our forums, our statistics pages, and our leaderboards, as well as on any applications that import our publicly-available statistics. Other members and any person with access to our website will be able to see your member name, statistics and your email address, if you select to make it public. Registration details provided by you will only be used for these specific purposes. Once you are registered, you have the ability to customize your privacy settings here.

Website visits

We collect information relating to your use of the WCG website through the use of various technologies. For example, when you visit the WCG Site, we may log certain information that your browser sends us, such as your IP address (including information deriving from your IP address such as your geographic location), device name, device performance capacity, browser type and language, access time, duration of access, and referring website addresses, and we may collect information about the pages you view within our site, the time you spent on our site and other actions you take while visiting our website. When you access our website without a member name or signing in, we will still collect some of this personal information in order to enable the websites to function properly.

In addition, we utilize technologies that allow us to collect certain information about World Community Grid use. We may also use such technologies to determine whether you've opened an e-mail or clicked on a link contained in an e-mail. Collecting information in this manner allows us to collect statistics about the usage and effectiveness of the WCG Site and allow us to personalize and improve your experience and tailor our interactions with you. For details regarding the technologies we employ, see Cookies, Web Beacons and Other Technologies below.

Marketing information

Most information we collect about you comes from our direct interactions with you.

From time to time, we may also collect information that pertains to you indirectly through other sources, such as list vendors. When we do so, we ask the vendors to confirm that the information was legally acquired by the third party and that we have the right to obtain it from them and use it. The information that we collect, either directly, or indirectly, may be combined to help us improve its overall accuracy and completeness and to help us better tailor our interactions with you.

Use of Personal Information

The following paragraphs describe in more detail how IBM may use your personal information.

Enabling Participation in World Community Grid

In order to participate in World Community Grid you will be required to install on your computer software from IBM or a third party ("Required Software"). The Required Software automatically detects certain basic information from a member's machine, such as information about the member's device specifics, available disk space, IP address, and set preferences regarding disk space, memory and times to run the research projects on the device. The WCG Site will not access any other information on a member device or identify anything else for which a member uses his or her device.

IBM may utilize aggregate member information such as average computing power and geographic dispersion. In addition, unless you opt out here, some of your personal information also will be made publicly available in various ways, including on our website (e.g., pages displaying statistical information by country, by team, by member, etc.) and in export files (e.g., files used by other scoreboards which import our statistics). This information includes generated user ID, member name, total contribution, contribution statistics, device ID, device name, and device total contribution. Members who opt out of publicly sharing their statistical information can continue to post in the forums on the WCG Site, and their previous forum posts (including their member name) will still be visible. The WCG Site may request permission to utilize personally identifiable information for special events or promotions. If you provide permission, you give us and affiliated companies and our suppliers and others who are working on or with World Community Grid permission to use that information worldwide in connection with World Community Grid.

You also agree that, if you provide or enable social communication channel information on the WCG Site (E.g. Facebook, Twitter), we may utilize these social communication channels to disseminate information about your contributions on World Community Grid.

This Online Privacy Statement shall apply to your e-mail address and password, insofar as you do not make such information part of your profile or disclose it elsewhere on the WCG Site. It shall not apply to User Content that you post or provide. "User Content" includes all information, profiles, personal information, contact data, submissions, ideas, tags, messages, recommendations, text, material, articles, photos, music, videos, posts, comments, responses, e-mail and other content that you post on the WCG Site. World Community Grid and affiliated companies and our suppliers and others who are working on or with World Community Grid are not responsible for the protection of User Content.

Fulfilling your Transaction Request

If you request something from IBM, for example, specific marketing or informational materials, we will use the personal information you provide to fulfill your request. To help us do this, we may share information with others, for instance, IBM's business partners, financial institutions, shipping companies, postal or government authorities, such as customs authorities, involved in fulfillment. We may also contact you as part of our satisfaction surveys or for market research purposes.

Personalizing your Experience on our Web Site

We may use the personal information we collect about you to provide you with a personalized experience on our website, such as providing you with content in which you may be interested and making navigation on our site easier. We also may use this information to improve our website.

Providing Support

We may use your personal information to support your participation in World Community Grid. In the course of providing technical support to you, we may sometimes have access to additional data that you have provided to us. We will use personal information you provide in these sessions in accordance with this Online Privacy Statement. We may combine your information with information from other interactions with you to provide you with more valuable suggestions in relation to support.


The WCG Site may provide features that allow members to promote World Community Grid, or their participation in World Community Grid. Any personal information you provide in connection with those features will only be used as provided in this Online Privacy Statement.

The personal information you provide to IBM, as well as the personal information we have collected about you indirectly, may be used by IBM for marketing purposes, i.e. to keep you informed about events and activities which may complement World Community Grid. Before we do so, however, we will offer you the opportunity to choose whether or not to have your personal information used in this way. You may at any time choose not to receive marketing materials from us by following the unsubscribe instructions included in each e-mail you may receive, by indicating so when we call you, or by contacting us directly (please refer to "Privacy Questions and Access" below).

Some of our offerings or events may be co-branded or sponsored by IBM and third parties, such as business partners and solution providers, that use, resell or complement IBM products or services. Offerings and events that are co-branded clearly indicate when such partnership exists. If you sign up for these offerings or events, be aware that your information may also be collected by and shared with those third parties. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with those third-party privacy policies to gain an understanding of the manner in which they will handle information about you.

Use of Information in the Social Computing Environment

World Community Grid provides social communication features on our website to enable online sharing and collaboration among members. These include forums, wikis, blogs and other social media platforms.

When downloading and using these applications or registering to use these social computing tools, you may be asked to provide certain personal information. These applications and tools may also include supplemental privacy statements with specific information about collection and handling practices. Read those supplemental statements to understand what the tools and applications may do. Any other content you post, such as pictures, information, opinions, or any other type of personal information that you make available to other participants on these social platforms or applications, is not subject to this Online Privacy Statement. Rather, such content is subject to the Terms of Use of those applications or platforms, and any additional guidelines and privacy information provided in relation to their use, as well as the process by which you can remove your content from such tools or get help to do so. Please refer to them to better understand yours, IBM's, and other parties' rights and obligations with regard to such content. You should be aware that the content you post on any such social computing platforms may be made broadly available to others inside and outside World Community Grid. Please review our Communications Guidelines.

Protect the Rights and Property of IBM and Others

We may also use or share your personal information to protect the rights or property of IBM or others when we have reasonable grounds to believe that such rights or property have been or could be affected. In addition, we reserve the right to disclose your personal information as required by law, and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, or the rights of others, or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our website.


Unless otherwise indicated, the World Community Grid is not intended for use by children under the age of 18.


Your personal information will be retained for as long as your account is active. An account is considered inactive when all of the following conditions have been met: (1) the member has not returned a result in the last 36 months; (2) the member has not logged in to the WCG Site in the last 36 months; and (3) none of the member's devices have communicated with World Community Grid servers in the last 36 months. Once an account is deemed inactive, IBM will permanently delete that member account and information. IBM will notify a member via email before account deletion.

IBM will retain your other personal information for as long as is required to fulfill the purposes for which the information is processed or for other valid reasons to retain your personal information (for example to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, or enforce our agreements).

If you wish to permanently delete your account and remove your information from the WCG Site, you may do so here.

Cookies, Web Beacons and Other Technologies

As mentioned above, we collect information from your visits to our website to help us gather statistics about usage and effectiveness, personalize your experience, tailor our interactions with you, and improve our offerings and services. We do so through the use of various technologies, including scripts, tags, Local Shared Objects (Flash cookies), Local Storage (HTML5) beacons, and "cookies".

What are cookies and why are cookies used

A cookie is a piece of data that a website can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your device as a tag that identifies your device. While cookies are often only used to measure website usage (such as number of visitors and duration of visit) and effectiveness (such as topics visitors are most interested in) and to allow for ease of navigation or use and, as such, are not associated with any personal information, they are also used at times to personalize a known visitor's experience to a website by being associated with profile information or user preferences. Over time this information provides valuable insight to help improve the user experience. Cookies are typically categorized as "session" cookies or "persistent" cookies. Session cookies help you navigate through the website efficiently, keeping track of your progression from page to page so that you are not asked for information you have already provided during the current visit, or information needed to be able to complete a transaction or activity. Session cookies are stored in temporary memory and erased when the web browser is closed. Persistent cookies, on the other hand, store user preferences for current and successive visits. They are written on your device's hard disk, and are still valid when you restart your browser. We use persistent cookies, for example, to record your choice of language and country location.

How to express privacy preferences regarding the use of cookies

When visiting our websites or online services, you may have the possibility to set your preferences regarding cookies and other similar technologies by using the options and tools made available to you by either your web browser or IBM. If a cookie manager has been implemented by IBM, it will be displayed at your first visit to our website. By clicking 'cookie preferences' at the footer of an IBM website you can choose and change at any time which types of cookies you would like our website to use. You can indicate your preference for required, required and functional or required, functional and personalization cookies. Here you can also find more information on the types of cookies used. Using the cookie preferences does not result in deletion of cookies that are already on your device. You can delete cookies already on your device via the settings of your web browser.

The WCG Site may use automated browser signals regarding tracking mechanisms, such as "do not track" instructions. You also can generally express your privacy preferences regarding the use of most cookies and similar technologies though your web browser. Look under the heading "Tools" (or similar heading) in your particular browser for information about controlling cookies. You can set your browser in most instances to notify you before you receive a cookie, giving you the option to decide whether to accept it or not. You can also generally set your browser to turn off cookies. Since cookies allow you to take advantage of some of our website's features, we recommend that you leave them turned on. If you block, turn off or otherwise reject our cookies, portions of the WCG Site may not display properly or you will not be able to use any website services that require you to log in.

We utilize Google Analytics in order to understand how users arrive at and interact with our website. This allows us to measure and thereby improve the website for our participants. Using Google Analytics, we anonymously collect basic information such as the type of browser or operating system you are using. We also collect information about the order in which you view different pages on our website and your use of our website on different devices so that we understand your entire experience while visiting our website. You may opt-out of us collecting information about you through Google Analytics by clicking here. You will need to do this for each browser you use to access our website. Should you delete or clear this cookie on your browser, then you will need to opt-out again by clicking here.

Web beacons or other technologies

The WCG Site may also use web beacons or other technologies to better tailor the site to provide better customer service. These technologies may be in use on a number of pages across the WCG Site. When a visitor accesses these pages, a non-identifiable notice of that visit is generated which may be processed by us or by our suppliers. These web beacons usually work in conjunction with cookies. If you don't want your cookie information to be associated with your visits to these pages, you can set your browser to turn off cookies. If you turn off cookies, web beacons and other technologies will still detect visits to these pages; however, they will not be associated with information otherwise stored in cookies.

The WCG Site may also use Local Shared Objects, such as Flash cookies, and Local Storage, such as HTML5, to store content information and preferences. Third parties with whom we partner to provide certain features on our website or to display IBM advertising on others' websites based upon your web browsing activity also use Flash cookies or HTML5 to collect and store information. Various browsers may offer their own management tools for removing HTML5. To manage Flash cookies, please visit We may also include Web beacons in marketing e-mail messages or our newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and links contained within clicked on.

Some of our business partners set web beacons and cookies on our site. In addition, third-party social media buttons or features may log certain information such as your IP address, browser type and language, access time, and referring website addresses, and, if you are logged in to those social media sites, they may also link such collected information with your profile information on that site. We do not control these third-party tracking technologies.

Online Advertising

IBM does not deliver third party online advertisements on our web site but we advertise our products and services on others' websites. Please familiarize yourself with those website operators' or network advertisers' privacy policies to understand their practices relating to advertising, including what type of information they may collect about your Internet usage.

Some advertising networks we may use may be members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) or the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA).

Individuals may opt-out of targeted advertising delivered by NAI or EDAA member ad networks by using tools provided visiting the following sites:

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA):
NAI: or

We may also engage with certain third parties to manage some of our advertising on other sites. These third parties may use cookies and web beacons to collect information (such as your IP address) about your activities on IBM's and others' websites to provide you targeted IBM advertisements based upon your interests:

  • In the U.S. and Canada, those IBM advertisements that are targeted to you will be identified with the AdChoices icon, as IBM participates in the Digital Advertising Alliance self-regulatory program for online behavioral advertising (see and You can click on the icon in the advertisements themselves to manage your preferences.
  • Or, if you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here.

Please note that this does not opt you out of being served non-targeted advertising. You will continue to receive generic, non-targeted ads.

Links to Non-IBM Web Sites and Third Party Applications

To allow you to interact with other websites on which you may have accounts (such as Facebook and other social media sites) or join communities on such sites, we may provide links or embed third-party applications that allow you to login, post content or join communities from our website.

We may also provide you with general links to non-IBM websites.

Your use of these links and applications is subject to the third parties' privacy policies, and you should become familiar with the third party sites' privacy policies before using the links or applications.

IBM is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of those other websites.

Notification of Changes

If we make any material changes to this Online Privacy Statement, we will notify you via notification on our website, and as otherwise required by applicable law.

Privacy Questions and Access

If you have a question about this Online Privacy Statement or IBM's handling of your information, you can send an email to the IBM website coordinator. You can also contact us at:

IBM's Corporate Privacy Office
1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10540

In certain cases, you may have the ability to view or edit your personal information online. In the event your information is not accessible online, and you wish to obtain a copy of particular information you provided to IBM, or if you become aware your information is incorrect and you would like us to correct it, you may contact us. More information on Your Rights can be found here.

You also have the right to permanently delete your account. You may opt out of World Community Grid per our Terms of Use.

If you wish to customize the e-mails that you receive from IBM about the WCG Site, or you wish to unsubscribe from emails from the WCG Site, you may do so here or follow the unsubscribe instructions included in each email from IBM about the WCG Site.