Home > AAC Text Donation Study > Data collection and privacy

We take your privacy seriously. When you start our application, you can choose the amount of information you want associated with the sentences you share:

  1. None - Only the text of your selected sentences will be shared. We will add your sentences to a large anonymous pool of sentences. There will be no way to know which sentences in this pool came from any particular person.
  2. Anonymous ID - Our application will assign you an anonymous ID (a large random string). All your uploaded sentences will be associated with this ID. This will help researchers with some kinds of experiments (such as how to improve language model personalization).
  3. Anonymous ID + user details - You will be assigned an anonymous ID. Associated with this ID, you can provide more details about yourself such as:

All these fields are optional. These details will help researchers understand the diversity of users and range of interfaces in our data.

The study team periodically reviews your uploaded data for any privacy compromising information. We only add sentences to our public data set that you have uploaded more than a month ago. This gives you time to remove sentences before they become part of the public data set. We will honor requests to retroactively remove sentences from the public data, but copies may exist that are outside of our control.

Before we upload your data, we encrypt it for anonymous delivery to our cloud server. This process uses our project's public encryption key. Our private key is needed to read any data encrypted with our public key. We store our private key separately on a non-networked device. This ensures even if our cloud server were hacked, your uploaded data cannot be read. We periodically retrieve data from the cloud server, decrypting it on our local computer. For each sentence you upload, our application stores a unique random ID on your computer. This unique ID allows you to delete any sentences you may have uploaded accidentally.

If you have questions about our data collection or privacy procedures, please contact Keith Vertanen at [email protected]