Terms and conditions

Privacy statement

PeerWise is an interactive learning website hosted by the University of Auckland to assist students in engaging with their learning content. PeerWise needs to collect a small amount of personal information about its users in order to operate, and we're committed to processing this information with care and respect.

The University of Auckland is the data controller and determines the purposes for, and ways in which, we collect and use personal information.

Information we collect
We only collect the personal information we need to operate the site. We collect this information from you when you provide it to us (for example when you create an account) and when you use the site (for example by authoring questions and providing answers). The personal information we collect about you includes:

Cookies are small text files sent to your browser from our web server, stored on your computer, and sent back to us each time your browser requests a page from our server. You can disable cookies in your web browser but the site will not operate well if you do.

How we use and share information
We process the personal information we collect for the purposes of operating the site and providing the services you expect from the site, and improving site functionality and the services offered. In particular, we use your personal information to:

Automated processing
In order to meet the purposes and uses set out above, your personal information may be shared with:

How we store and protect information
We store your personal information on a secure SQL server hosted by the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The University of Auckland uses industry-leading approaches to data security. All data is stored securely within an isolated network and database infrastructure. All data transferred to and from the server is encrypted, and passwords are hashed (not stored in plain text). No identifiable user information is published or accessible to the wider world wide web. We retain your personal information for the duration of your participation in courses and a further three years after your last login, to ensure that you can view your previous usage for a reasonable period of time. Once this retention period has passed, we digitally erase your personal information.

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.

How to exercise your privacy rights
You have the right to access and correct your personal information, and in some cases to delete it or object to the ways we're using it. We do not send any marketing communications. Email us at peerwise@cs.auckland.ac.nz to make any requests about your information.

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
Associate Professor
School of Computer Science
The University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 923 7087
Email: paul@cs.auckland.ac.nz
Email: peerwise@cs.auckland.ac.nz

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