Terms and conditions

Privacy agreement

Identifying information
Instructors using PeerWise choose a single piece of "identifying" information (IDENTIFIER) that their students use to join - this is typically an email address, student ID number or some other personal code. This IDENTIFIER is only used to allow instructors to identify their students when running reports within PeerWise. IDENTIFIERs are never shared with third-parties, and the instructor is completely in control of which IDENTIFIER values to use. For example, it is possible to use random codes (as long as these are known by students), in which case no identifying information is stored on PeerWise servers.

Use of content
Content generated by students is only accessible to other students granted access to the same course repository by the instructor who set it up. Essentially, the course instructor has full control over determining access to their course’s content. Optionally, if explicit consent is given by an individual student to allow their content to be viewed publicly this will be allowed, but this consent is optional and the default is for content to remain private as described here.

GDPR compliance
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union law relating to data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The European Commission published a fact sheet in January 2017 clarifying safeguards required by services hosted outside of the EU (see European Commission - Fact Sheet; Brussels, Jan 2017). This press release includes a list of countries that provide a "comparable level of protection of personal data to that in the European Union", through domestic laws or international commitments. As a result, "personal data can flow from the 28 Member States and the three European Economic Area (EEA) member countries (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) to these countries, without being subject to any further safeguards or authorisations". The PeerWise service is hosted in New Zealand which is one of the countries listed as providing adequate protection and safeguards of personal data.

Data security
We take data security seriously and follow best practices in keeping all personal data safe. Personal data is limited to the single piece of information (IDENTIFIER ) selected by the lecturer (see "Identifying information" above) and any optionally provided data such as a username and/or email address. All data transferred to and from the server is encrypted, and passwords are hashed (not stored in plain text).

Acceptable use

PeerWise is an open communication tool - enabling students to author various kinds of content. This content is not pre-screened or monitored, so it is the responsibility of every student to use PeerWise in an ethical and reasonable way. Content must not be published if it is illegal, threatening or abusive.


If you have any questions about PeerWise, please feel free to contact:

Dr. Paul Denny
Department of Computer Science
The University of Auckland
Phone: +64-9-373 7599 x 87087
Email: paul@cs.auckland.ac.nz
Email: peerwise@cs.auckland.ac.nz

Return to PeerWise