Privacy policy

Thank you for participating in iGEM or visiting one of our websites. 

Your privacy is important to iGEM. This policy explains what, how, and why we collect, use, manage, export, store, and delete your information, and what choices you have with respect to your information. 

When we refer to “iGEM”, we mean the iGEM Foundation that acts as the controller or processor of your information, as explained in more detail in the “Data Controller and Contacting iGEM” section below. 

“Personal Data” is information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. 

We communicate our privacy policy to iGEM employees and enforce our policies within the company.


Effective date

The Effective Date of this Privacy Policy is May 24, 2018.


Applicability of this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy applies to all of iGEM’s programs and includes,,, and all other iGEM websites (collectively, the “Websites”) and other interactions (e.g., customer service inquiries, emails, newsletters, etc.) you may have with iGEM. If you do not agree with the terms, do not access or use the Websites or interact with any other aspect of iGEM’s programs, including attend our events.


Why iGEM collects data

You may be asked to provide your personal information anytime you are in contact with iGEM. You are not required to provide the personal information that we have requested, but, if you do not provide the information, in most cases we will not be able to register you for our events or respond to any queries you may have. We use the information we collect from all our events, websites, and programs for the following purposes:

  • We use your information to ensure our services are working as intended, such as troubleshooting issues that you report to us. And we use your information to make improvements to iGEM’s programs.

  • We use the information we collect in existing programs to help us develop new ones.

  • We use data for analytics to understand how our services are used. For example, we analyze data about your visits to our sites to do things like optimize our programs.

  • We use information we collect, like your email address, to interact with you directly. For example, your email address will be used to tell you when your account is activated and to send you a new password if needed. You will also be entered on the iGEM mailing lists and will receive our monthly newsletters. We will occasionally send you information about iGEM events, organizations, and sponsors. And if you contact iGEM, we’ll keep a record of your email in order to help solve any issues you might be facing.

  • We use information to help improve the safety and reliability of our services. This includes detecting, preventing, and responding to fraud, abuse, security risks, loss prevention, and technical issues that could harm iGEM, our users, or the public.

  • We use information to bill and collect money owed to us for our programs and events. This includes sending you emails, invoices, receipts, and alerting you if we need a different credit card number. We use third parties for secure credit card transaction processing, and those third parties process your orders and credit card payments.


Your Information

iGEM may collect data and information in a variety of ways:

  1. Account Information. Some information is required to create an account on our websites, such as a username of your creation, your real name, email address, password, age, gender (optional), and in some cases your telephone number. This is the only information you have to provide to create an account with us. This information is treated as personally identifiable information.

  2. Usage Information.

      -- Log data As with most technology services and websites delivered over the Internet, our servers automatically collect information when you access or use our Websites or Services and record it in log files. This log data may include the Internet Protocol (IP) address, the address of the web page visited before using the Website or Services, browser type and settings, the date and time the Services were used, information about your devices, and cookie data. This information is treated as personally identifiable information.

      -- Location information We receive information from you that helps us approximate your location. Unless you provide consent specifically for a location-based service, this type of information is only collected in anonymized or aggregated format, and is not personally identifiable. We may, for example, use an IP address received from your browser or device to determine your approximate location. iGEM may also collect location information from devices in accordance with the consent process provided by your device.

       3. Cookie Information. iGEM uses cookies and similar technologies in our Websites that help us collect other information. This type of information is only collected in anonymized or aggregated format, and is not personally identifiable.

       4. Additional Information Provided to iGEM. We receive other information when submitted to our Websites if you participate in an activity or event, apply for a job, request help or support, interact with our social media accounts or otherwise communicate with iGEM. Here are some examples of situations in which you transmit data to us:

  • When you visit and use our websites. We collect certain data when you use our website or when you take part in our events or reply to our surveys or questionnaires hosted on third-party sites. Certain information is collected even if you do not have a iGEM account. This may happen when you view pages, take part in surveys, attend any of our events, share a page on a social network, etc.

  • When you register an iGEM team or register for an event on our websites, we have to retain certain data relating to your order, such as your delivery and billing address.

  • When you create or use an iGEM account. Creating a iGEM account allows you to use iGEM’s services. You need to provide us with certain data to identify yourself in your unique iGEM user account. Your iGEM account allows you to access and control your Personal Data that you provide. Data are collected and used during account and/or user profile creation, when logging on to your account, editing your team wiki pages, adding an image, etc.

  • When you request your Visa Invitation letter to attend our events, we collect your name, address, and passport information to generate your personalized letter. Your passport information is treated as personally identifiable information and is required to generate the Visa Invitation Letter.

  • When you login to edit a wiki page, we collect information on when you logged in, when you made an edit, and the content of the edit you made. We also have a record of your edit history through the wiki pages. The content you post on your wiki pages is public once the edit has been saved.


Cookies and other technologies

To help analyze how you and other visitors navigate the iGEM websites, help diagnose any problems with iGEM’s servers, we, with assistance from third-party analytics service providers, collect certain information when you visit our site. This information includes IP address, geographic location of the device, browser type, browser language, date and time of your request, time(s) of your visit(s), page views and page elements (e.g., links) that you click. We may use cookies, pixel tags, web beacons, clear GIFs or other similar tools on our websites or in our email messages to assist us in collecting and analyzing such information. We use this information to provide better, more relevant content on our site, to identify and fix problems, and to improve your overall experience on our websites.

If you do not want information collected through the use of these technologies, there is a simple procedure in most browsers that allows you to automatically decline many of these technologies, or to be given the choice of declining or accepting them. If you reside in the European Union or other jurisdiction that requires us to obtain your consent to use cookies on our sites, then you will have an opportunity to manage your cookie preferences on the sites; except that certain cookies are required to enable core site functionality, and you cannot choose to disable those cookies.

In many of our email messages including iGEM newsletters and announcements, we use a “click-through URL” linked to content on the iGEM websites. When you click one of these URLs, you will pass through a separate web server before arriving at the destination page on our website. We track this click-through data to help us determine interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our emailed communications. If you prefer not to be tracked in this way, you should not click text or graphic links in the email messages. Pixel tags enable us to send email messages in a format customers can read, and they tell us whether mail has been opened.


Email and Other Communications

We may use your personal information to send important notices, such as communications about updates for iGEM events you have registered for and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies. We will do this via the email address you provide when you register an iGEM user account. Because this information is important to your interaction with iGEM, you may not opt out of receiving these communications.

We will also want to contact you about iGEM programs, general competition announcements, website updates, and special offers from our sponsors. This type of communication is most often conveyed through our monthly newsletters but may also include special announcements. This type of communication requires your consent, and you may opt out of such email communications at any time by clicking the “unsubscribe” link found at the bottom of those emails.


Sharing Your Information

This section describes how iGEM may share and disclose Information. You determine your own practices for the sharing and disclosure of Information, and iGEM does not control how you choose to share or disclose Information

  1. Customer’s Instructions. iGEM will solely share and disclose user Personal Data in accordance with your instructions and in compliance with applicable law.

  2. Corporate Sponsors. iGEM may share other information with its corporate sponsors, parents and/or subsidiaries.

  3. Aggregated or De-identified Data. We may disclose or use aggregated or de-identified other information for any purpose.

  4. To Comply with Laws. If we receive a request for information, we may disclose Other Information if we reasonably believe disclosure is in accordance with or required by any applicable law, regulation or legal process.

  5. To Enforce our Rights, Prevent Fraud, and for Safety. We may disclose other information to protect and defend the rights, property or safety of iGEM or third parties, including enforcing contracts or policies, or in connection with investigating and preventing fraud or security issues.

  6. With Consent. iGEM may share other information with third parties, when we have consent to do so.


Your rights to export, update, and delete your data

If you reside in the European Economic Area, you have the right under the General Data Protection Regulation to request from iGEM access to and rectification or erasure of your Personal Data, data portability, restriction of processing of your Personal Data, and the right to object to processing of your Personal Data.

To request access to or rectification, portability or erasure of your Personal Data, or to delete your IGEM account, contact us directly.

Mailing address: iGEM Foundation, 45 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States

Email address:

Phone number: +1 617 500 3106


Data Controller and Contacting iGEM

Please feel free to contact iGEM if you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or iGEM’s practices, or if you are seeking to exercise any of your statutory rights.

The Personal Data collected by iGEM is controlled by iGEM Foundation, Inc.

Mailing address: iGEM Foundation, 45 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States

Email address:

Phone number: +1 617 500 3106


EU Data Protection Authority

Subject to applicable law, you also have the right to (i) restrict iGEM’s use of other information that constitutes your personal identifiable data and (ii) lodge a complaint with your local data protection authority.



We may change this Privacy Policy at any time. The most recent version of the Privacy Policy is reflected by the version date located at the top of this Privacy Policy. All updates are effective immediately upon notice, which we may give by any means, including, but not limited to, by posting a revised version of this Privacy Policy or other notice on the Websites. We encourage you to review this Privacy Policy often to stay informed of changes that may affect you, as your continued use of the Website signifies your continuing consent to be bound by this Privacy Policy.


iGEM 2021 Competition – High School Track

Review iGEM Foundation Privacy Policy


The iGEM Team identified above ("Team") led by Team Primary PI identified above ("PI") from Participant School identified above (“School”) desires to participate in the iGEM 2021 Competition ("Program"). As a condition of allowing the Team to participate in the Program, iGEM requires that the school principal ("Principal"), on behalf of him or herself and the School, agree to the terms of this Principal Consent Agreement.

1. Principal understands that participation in the Program may expose student members on Team (roster listed below) to biological laboratory procedures and protocols. Principal understands that iGEM does not select, employ, supervise or otherwise exercise authority or control over the teachers, mentors, and other participants in the Program. The Principal acknowledges and agrees that the PI is primarily responsible for team member safety and that the PI will monitor the Participant’s participation in the Program.

2. The Team, PI, Principal, and/or designated Department Head if applicable, (and the Parent/Guardian of a Participant under 18 years of age for and on behalf of the Participant and the Parent/Guardian) assume the risk of participation in the Program (except as expressly stated below) and hereby releases iGEM and its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, and agents from any and all claims for any injury of any kind to the Participant and the Parent/Guardian, or other damages that may occur as a result of the Team’s participation in the Program, and agrees not to file any lawsuit or otherwise make any claim against iGEM or any of its agents for any such injury or other damages. However, this release by the Team, PI, and Principal is not intended to release any claims against any individual person who intentionally causes injury to the Participant.

3. Principal understands that photographs, videotapes, and other recordings will be made of participants in the Program, including the Team.

4. Principal understands that Participants on the Team will have an online user identity with which to contribute to Team's webpages on the iGEM websites.

5. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Massachusetts, without regard to any conflicts of law rules or principles that would result in the application of the laws of another jurisdiction. Each party hereto, hereby consents to, and confers nonexclusive jurisdiction upon the Federal courts of the United States of America located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and appropriate appellate courts therefrom, over any action, suit or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Agreement.

Principal has read this document and understands that this Principal Consent Agreement includes a waiver of the right to make injury claims that is intended to be legally binding. By signing below, Principal agrees to this Principal Consent Agreement.

Today's Date: September 20, 2021

Please select who will be participating...
First Principal's Name

First Name*

Last Name*
First Principal's Date of Birth*
I certify that I am 18 years of age or older
First Principal's Information

School Name: *

Principal Phone Number: *
First Principal's Signature*
Parent or Guardian's Email Address


Confirm Email*
Team Information

iGEM High School Team Name: *

iGEM High School Team Code (located on the Team Information page): *

Team's Primary PI: *

Team Roster - Please list all team members from your school here.
Parent(s) or court-appointed legal guardian(s) must sign for any participating minor (those under 18 years of age) and agree that they and the minor are subject to all the terms of this document, as set forth above.
Parent or Guardian's Name

First Name*

Last Name*

Parent or Guardian's Date of Birth*
I certify that I am 18 years of age or older
Parent or Guardian's Information

School Name: *

Principal Phone Number: *
Parent or Guardian's Signature*
Electronic Signature Consent*
By checking here, you are consenting to the use of your electronic signature in lieu of an original signature on paper. You have the right to request that you sign a paper copy instead. By checking here, you are waiving that right. After consent, you may, upon written request to us, obtain a paper copy of an electronic record. No fee will be charged for such copy and no special hardware or software is required to view it. Your agreement to use an electronic signature with us for any documents will continue until such time as you notify us in writing that you no longer wish to use an electronic signature. There is no penalty for withdrawing your consent. You should always make sure that we have a current email address in order to contact you regarding any changes, if necessary.

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