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Privacy Policy

What is Vanished?

Vanished is an educational multiplayer game/event for middle-school students.  It is run by the Smithsonian Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The game will be available from April 4 - May 31, 2011.  Your child may use the Vanished website to watch educational videos, play Flash minigames, learn about museum events, and read through online discussions conducted by MIT students and website users ages 10 ½ - 14 years of age.   If your child is 10 ½ - 14 years of age, your child may participate in these online discussions. 

How do you protect my child's safety online?

Vanished online discussions are extremely safe.   All comments made to these online discussions are screened for safety and appropriate content by Vanished staff before they are posted.  Your child will never be allowed to reveal his or her contact information through Vanished, nor may anyone send your child his/her contact information. Only Vanished staff and Vanished players between 10 ½ and 14 years of age may post to the discussions. Your child's name and contact information will never be revealed to other Vanished players or anyone other than Vanished staff.

What data will you collect?

If your child is younger than 10 ½, we will only collect your child's email address, date of birth and a parent's email address.

If your child is 10 ½ - 14 years of age, we will collect your child's email address, date of birth and a parent's email address.  We will offer your child some optional online surveys to see how they feel about science – sample survey questions might be “Do you enjoy science at school?”  Or “Would you be interested in being a scientist?”  We will also collect data about your child's gameplay experience.  This includes how long your child spends on the Vanished site and what activities he/she does.  Your child may also post to our online discussion forums.

What will you do with this data?

We will never share your child's data with anyone outside of the Vanished staff.

If  your child chooses to, he/she may share his or her gender, age, and state on the Vanished site.  Your child will be prevented from sharing any other personal information, including his/her name, hometown, contact information, or school.  No other contact or identifying information can be made public through the Vanished site.

Vanished staff have your child's email address on file so that we may send your child automated messages, such as password reminders, or an occasional newsletter about website content.  We will not contact your child directly unless they contact us with a question.

We keep your child's age on file so that we may know if your child is old enough to participate in online discussions.

We keep parents' emails so that we may send them privacy notices.

We collect survey information and gameplay information so that we may evaluate our game to see if it is an effective educational tool.  We may also look at your child's posts to our discussion forums for the same reason.

We collect your child's zip code and gender so that we may do demographic research on the effectiveness of our educational game.

How can I learn more?  How can I contact you?

If you would like to see the website your child is using, you may create your own Vanished account at vanished.mit.edu.  If you have questions, or concerns please contact us at questions@vanished.mit.edu.
You have the right to demand we delete any data we have on your child.  You have the right to refuse to allow us to collect any further data on your child.


The Vanished Team