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Privacy Policy

Last updated:

April 25, 2024

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (“MBARI”, “we”, “us”, or “our”) operates FathomVerse and is committed to respecting your privacy.  This Privacy Policy explains our practices regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of information that you (“User,” “Users” “you” or “your”) may provide to us through your use of the website hosted on the domain and its sub-domains (the “Website”), the FathomVerse mobile application that we make available for download to your device (the “App”), and any related social media pages associated with the FathomVerse game (the Website and App, together with any related social media pages, are collectively referred to herein as “FathomVerse”).

This Privacy Policy is incorporated into, and is part of, our Terms of Use available at, which governs your access to and your use of FathomVerse.  If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Policy, please contact us at

By accessing, using, or downloading FathomVerse, you agree to be bound by this Privacy Policy.  If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use FathomVerse.  The current version of this Privacy Policy will apply each time you use FathomVerse. 


We collect different types of information from Users of FathomVerse, such as: “Personal Information,” which is information that you provide that can be used to identify you (such as your email address), and “Aggregate Information,” which is information that cannot be used to identify you (such as frequency of visits to FathomVerse and your browser type).

Information You Provide to Us

We collect Personal Information and other information that you voluntarily provide to us when you use FathomVerse. For example, you may provide us with your contact information such as your email address, the content of your communication, or other Personal Information when you choose to submit information to us through email or other method.

Your Communication With Us

We collect information when you communicate with us. The specific types of information we collect will depend on the forum in which you communicate with us.  For example, if you send us an email, we will collect your email address and the content of your email.


If you subscribe to our FathomVerse  distribution list through the Website, we collect the information you submit, and you are signing up to receive marketing, promotional, and other communications from us.

Social Media

If you interact with us on social media, we may collect your social media profile information, your communications with us, and your communications and posts on our social media pages.


When you use FathomVerse, we automatically receive and collect information from your device.  This information includes the following:

  • Information about your device, such as the operating system, hardware, system version, and device ID,.

  • Your country and general location, and time zone.

  • The specific actions that you take when you use FathomVerse, including but not limited to pages and screens that you view or visit, how you interact with FathomVerse, and game progress.

  • The time, frequency, connection type, and duration of your use of FathomVerse.

  • Identifiers associated with cookies or other technologies that may uniquely identify your device or browser (as further described below).


Like most websites, the FathomVerse website may use “cookies.”  Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that we or our third party service providers transfer to your computer’s hard drive through your web browser to help us identify you when you come to FathomVerse.  You can learn more about cookies by visiting this helpful resource:

FathomVerse collects cookies and may use cookies for reasons including, but not limited to:

  • Analyzing our web traffic using an analytics package.

  • Testing content on FathomVerse.

  • Storing information about your preferences.

  • Recognizing when you return to FathomVerse. 

Overall, cookies help us improve FathomVerse by enabling us to monitor which features you find useful and which you do not.  A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or device or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. 

You can choose to accept or decline cookies through our Website, except for essential cookies needed for core functionality of FathomVerse which cannot be disabled.  Please note most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer.  This setting may prevent you from taking full advantage of FathomVerse.  

We may use third parties, such as Google Analytics or other analytics providers, to analyze usage of FathomVerse. Google Analytics does not create individual profiles for visitors and only collects aggregate data. 

To disable Google Analytics, please download the browser add-on for the deactivation of Google Analytics provided by Google at

To learn more about privacy and Google Analytics, please consult the Google Analytics overview provided by Google at You may find additional information about Google Analytics at  You have the option to opt out of Google’s use of cookies by changing your settings through Google Ad Settings via the Google advertising opt-out page at

We may also use cookies, pixels, beacons, or other web tracking technologies to track the amount of time spent on FathomVerse or social media, and whether or not certain content was viewed. We may work with a third party to collect and process this information for us, based on our instructions and in compliance with this Privacy Policy.

Although we do our best to honor the privacy preferences of our visitors, we are not able to respond to Do Not Track signals from your browser.


Aggregate Information is information that does not identify you.  Aggregate Information may be collected when you use FathomVerse as described in more detail above, independent of any information you voluntarily enter. Additionally, we may use one or more processes to de-identify information that contains Personal Information, such that only Aggregate Information remains.  We may collect, use, store, and transfer Aggregate Information without restriction.


In general, we collect Personal Information and other information from you so that we can improve FathomVerse, operate our activities, communicate with you, and provide information that you request from us.  This includes but is not limited to the following:  

  • Provide, operate, improve, maintain, modify, and protect FathomVerse.

  • Provide you with technical and other support.

  • Send you updates, marketing communications, and other information about MBARI and FathomVerse if you choose to sign up for our distribution list. 

  • Send you notices and alerts.

  • Conduct research, analytics, and monitor and analyze trends and usage.

  • Product improvement and development.

  • Contact you and respond to your inquiries and requests, and when needed, verify your status and identity in connection with our exchanges.

  • Detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues.

  • Enhance or improve user experience, our activities, and our websites, including the safety and security thereof.  

  • Personalize FathomVerse  for you. 

  • As necessary to comply with any applicable law, regulation, subpoena, legal process, or governmental request.

  • Enforce contracts and our Terms of Use, including investigation of potential violations thereof.

  • Protect against harm to the rights, property, or safety of FathomVerse, our users, or the public as required or permitted by law.


We do not sell your Personal Information.  Like most organizations, we share information, including Personal Information, in certain circumstances with third parties through the operation of FathomVerse and our organization.  Below we explain when that happens. 


We may transfer Personal Information to third parties for the purpose of operating FathomVerse.  For example, we may transfer your Personal Information to third-party vendors and service providers to assist with providing and improving FathomVerse and to communicate with you.  


We may also transfer your Personal Information to third parties without prior notice to you under the following circumstances: (i) to our affiliates and subsidiaries, (ii) to governmental authorities in response to governmental requests, (iii) to comply with a legal requirement, law, subpoena, judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process, (iv) to investigate a possible crime, such as fraud or identity theft, (v) in connection with the sale, purchase, merger, asset sale, financing, reorganization, liquidation or dissolution of MBARI or an affiliate, including the evaluation thereof, (vi) when we believe it is necessary to protect the rights, property, or safety of MBARI or other persons, or (vii) as otherwise required or permitted by law, including any contractual obligations of MBARI. 


Except as otherwise provided in this Privacy Policy, we share Personal Information with companies, organizations, or individuals outside of MBARI only at your direction or when we have your consent to do so.


FathomVerse may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by third parties.  We provide such hyperlinks for your reference and convenience only.  We do not control such websites and are not responsible for their content or the privacy or other practices of such websites.  It is up to you to read and fully understand their privacy policies.  Our inclusion of hyperlinks to such websites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or any association with their operators.  If you are submitting information to any such third party, you should review and understand that party’s applicable policies, including their privacy policies, before providing your information to the third party.


FathomVerse is not intended for use by children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect Personal Information from children under the age of 13 in accordance with applicable laws in the United States. 

We recognize that some data protection laws in countries outside of the United States mandate a different age of consent for data collection.  For example, the age of consent in European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland can be between 13 to 16 years old depending on the jurisdiction.  We do not knowingly request to collect Personal Information from any person under the age of consent (as defined by the jurisdiction in which the person resides) without the consent of that person’s legal representative.  Accordingly, the use of our website by persons under the age of 16 without consent from a legal representative is strictly prohibited.


If you use FathomVerse from the United Kingdom, European Union or other regions of the world with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from United States and other countries’ law, then please note that by sending an email or other communication containing Personal Information, or otherwise providing Personal Information through FathomVerse, you are voluntarily transferring your Personal Information outside of those regions to the United States and other countries.  Please read our Notice to Residents of the European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for more information about additional privacy rights applicable to residents of these jurisdictions under the General Data Protection Regulation and the UK and Swiss equivalents.  


If you no longer wish to receive our marketing and promotional communications, you may opt out by following the instructions included in each communication.


We take the security of your Personal Information very seriously. We use reasonable administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to secure the Personal Information you share with us.  Despite these safeguards and our additional efforts to secure your information, we cannot promise or guarantee that hackers, cybercriminals, or other unauthorized third parties will not be able to defeat our security and improperly collect, access, steal, or modify your Personal Information.


We reserve the right to amend this policy at any time without any prior notice to you; however, we will make reasonable efforts to provide advance notice about material changes to this policy.  Each time you use FathomVerse, the current version of this Privacy Policy will apply.  When you use FathomVerse, you should check the date of this Privacy Policy (which appears at the top of the Privacy Policy) and review any changes since the last version.   


If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our privacy practices, please contact us at:

By e-mail:

By mail: 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, California 95039 


Name of data controller and contact details


7700 Sandholdt Road

Moss Landing, California 95039

United States 

Phone: 831-775-1700 

Purposes of the processing

The purposes of the processing are described in the section of the main Privacy Policy entitled  Information We Collect and How We Use It.

Lawful basis for the processing

Our legal basis for processing personal data is described in the main Privacy Policy and will depend on the personal data concerned and the specific context in which we collect it.  Generally, we process personal data on the basis that the processing is necessary for purposes of our legitimate interest in conducting our business and research in a manner typical in our industry and field of expertise, having taken into account any risks to your fundamental rights and freedoms (including your right to privacy).

We also may process personal data on other bases permitted by the GDPR, the UK Data Protection Act 2018, and other applicable laws, such as to fulfill a contract with you, or when the processing is necessary for us to comply with our legal obligations. 

The legitimate interests of the controller or third party, where applicable

Our specific legitimate interests, such as responding to your requests, comments and questions, providing you with support and improving FathomVerse, and providing you with FathomVerse are described in the section of the main Privacy Policy entitled  Information We Collect and How We Use It.

The categories of personal data concerned

The categories of personal data that we process are described in the section of the main Privacy Policy entitled Information We Collect and How We Use It.

The recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data

The potential recipients of the personal data that we collect via FathomVerse are described in the section of the main Privacy Policy entitled How We Share your Information.

Information regarding the transfers of personal data outside of the EEA, Switzerland and the UK

MBARI is headquartered in the USA.  The laws of the USA have not been deemed by the European Commission, the United Kingdom, or Switzerland to provide an adequate level of protection to personal data.

When you provide your personal data to us via FathomVerse or contact us by email, you are providing your personal data directly to the USA.

Before you provide your personal data to us via FathomVerse, we request your explicit consent to the transfer of your personal data to the USA.

When you email us, the fact that you have chosen to email us knowing that we are located in the USA will be understood to constitute your explicit consent to the transfer of the personal data in your email (including your email address) to the USA.

Regardless of the differences in US and European privacy laws, we safeguard your personal data as described in our main Privacy Policy and this section.  If we transfer your personal data to a third party, we require the third party to commit contractually to process your personal data only in ways that are consistent with our main Privacy Policy and this supplemental notice.

The period for which the personal data will be stored, or the criteria for determining the retention period

How long we retain personal data varies according to the type of data in question, the purpose for which it is used, and applicable data retention and record-keeping requirements.  We delete personal data within a reasonable period after we no longer need to use it for the purpose for which it was collected or for any subsequent purpose that is compatible with the original purpose.  This does not affect your right to request that we delete your personal data before the end of its retention period.  We may archive personal data (which means storing it in inactive files) for a certain period prior to its final deletion, as part of our ordinary business continuity procedures.

Your rights to access, correct, restrict or delete your personal data and object to processing

You have the right to request access to your personal data, to have your personal data corrected, restricted or deleted, the right to data portability, and to object to our processing of your personal data.  Your rights may be subject to various limitations under the GDPR.  If you wish to exercise any of these rights, or if you have any concerns about our processing of your personal data, please contact us by emailing us at 

The right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority

You have the right to file a complaint concerning our processing of your personal data with your national (or in some countries, regional) data protection authority.   The EU Commission has a list here: 

See for information about contacting the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

See for information about contacting the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner.  

Controlling Cookies

If you are visiting our Website from the EEA, UK, or Switzerland, then we do not set non-essential cookies unless you accept those cookies on the “cookie banner” via our cookie management tool that launches when you land on our Website.  If you choose to accept non-essential cookies, we may enable functional cookies or analytics cookies (as explained in more detail on our cookie banner) to collect information about you; however, we do not set marketing cookies for any of our Users.  Please note that strictly necessary cookies cannot be disabled.

You can learn about how you can adjust your browser’s settings to limit or disable non-essential cookies and other tracking technologies by visiting the COOKIES AND ANALYTICS section above. 


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