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Privacy and COPPA Statement of the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair


The Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, Inc. (hereafter GSDSEF) exists to promote project-based learning in science/engineering/mathematics and to foster public awareness of the scientific/engineering/mathematics accomplishments of students throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties in grades 6-12, and especially the accomplishments of those who participate in the GSDSEF.

We recognize, however, that both parents and students are rightfully concerned about their privacy on-line. The purpose of this page is to explain the policies of the GSDSEF with respect to the protection of participants' privacy. This page also serves to satisfy the requirements of the Children's On-Line Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) whose rules became effective on April 21, 2000. The privacy protection policies of the GSDSEF go beyond the requirements of COPPA, however, in both inclusion (all participants are included, not simply those under age 13 as required by COPPA) and our protections.


Privacy Policy

All private personal information about participants collected by the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair will be used only for the purposes of the operation/promotion of the GSDSEF. No private personal information will be shared with any outside agency except as required for the operation/promotion of the GSDSEF.  No personal or private information of any participant will be sold or given to any organization for any commercial purpose by the GSDSEF.  

However, the GSDSEF will share private personal information with external agencies which sponsor Special and Professional Society Awards. This information includes the addresses and/or email addresses of their award winners only for purposes of delivering award checks and/or invitations to awards dinners.

"Private Personal Information" as used here means personal identifying information which would not normally be known by random strangers and includes such information as a person's home address, phone number, birthdate, and parents’ names. Certain information about a participant, such as his/her school or grade in school, is not considered "private" for purposes of this policy. While a participant's name is certainly "personal identifying information," the GSDSEF does publicize the names, schools, and teachers of participants in its Fair Directory, and the accomplishments of its participants such as their awards, explicitly, including posting them on the GSDSEF website. This use has been authorized by all participants and their parents on their Application to the GSDSEF.  


How Does GSDSEF Collect Information About Participants?

The principal avenue by which the GSDSEF collects information is the electronic screening form and subsequent application every student completes as a prerequisite to participate in the GSDSEF.   Student names, emails, telephone numbers, and schools are available to screeners and GSDSEF officials to access their projects.  Screeners and other GSDSEF officials can see the emails and telephone numbers of students; however, screeners and GSDSEF officials are instructed that no student personal identifying information is to be shared with any other person or entity. 


This website, also collects information about its visitors:

As with every Web server, every requested URL is logged along with the time, IP address, and referring URL. This information cannot be used to identify any individual unless further information is explicitly        provided by that person. We use the information we collect to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, and to help us make our site more useful to visitors. This Web site does not use cookies.

We want to be very clear: We will not obtain personally-identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you explicitly choose to provide such information to us.

These are the only ways that any information about any person is collected by the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair as of the time of this writing. Other forms may be created in the future if other opportunities are then offered by the GSDSEF, and should be included in the above list.


Federal Government Information About Privacy Rules

On October 21, 1998, COPPA, the Children's On-Line Privacy Protection Act of 1998, was signed into law by President Clinton, with broad support from industry and advocates for children and privacy. The statute required that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issue rules to implement COPPA's privacy protections within one year. On April 27, 1999, the Commission published a proposed rule in the Federal Register and requested public comment. Following a review of the comments, the FTC issued the final rule on October 20, 1999, giving Web sites six months to come into compliance with the Rule's requirements by the Rule's effective date of April 21, 2000.

The full text of COPPA, and helpful documents constructed by the Federal Trade Commission, are all available on the FTC's Web site entitled "KIDZ Privacy" located at


Questions about GSDSEFs Privacy Policy

If you have any questions or concerns about the policy described above, please Contact Us online located at the bottom of the GSDSEF website homepage. This web site is presently maintained by the GSDSEF.