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Privacy Policy


Last updated: 30 August 2022

This Privacy Policy applies to Foldscope Instruments, Inc. (“we,” “our,” “us”). This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, use, and share the personal information that we gather on the subdomains and websites on www.foldscope.com, https://microcosmos.foldscope.com, any other websites that link to this Privacy Policy (the “Sites”), on our mobile applications (the “Apps”), through your use of our products and services, or through our in-person events. By continuing to use our Sites, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please click the following links to learn more about our Privacy Policy:

  1. What Types of Personal Information Do We Collect?
  2. How Do We Use Personal Information?
  3. How Do We Share Personal Information?
  4. How Do We Respond to ‘Do Not Track’ Signals?
  5. Cookies
  6. Your Privacy Choices
  7. Legal Bases for Processing (EEA and UK Individuals)
  8. International Transfers of Data
  9. Children’s Privacy
  10. Change of Control
  11. Security and Data Retention
  12. Policy Changes
  13. Contact Information

      1. What Types of Personal Information Do We Collect?

      Information You Give Us. You may give us information by using our Apps, signing up for an online account, entering information through our online forms or surveys, contacting us by phone or email for information or customer service, or attending our in-person events.

      The categories of information include:

      • Contact information, such as name, address, location, email, and telephone number
      • Online identifiers, such as Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, cookies, username, and password
      • Commercial information, such as your Foldscope ID, records of products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies
      • Visual information, such as images from your Foldscope
      • Professional, employment, or education information, such as copies of your resume or CV and any other information required to verify your qualifications, for recruitment purposes
      • Inferences drawn from any of the information in this section to create a profile about your preferences, characteristics, abilities, and aptitudes, such as whether you are a novice or professional Foldscope user, or to determine your qualifications for a role at Foldscope

      The sensitive categories of information include:

      • Precise geolocation, such as when you enable location services on our Apps and geo-tag an image
      • Financial information, such as credit card information, for purchases on our online store

      Information We Automatically Collect.We collect information that your browser sends whenever you visit our Sites or that your device sends when you use our Apps.

      • Log Data, such as your computer’s IP address, browser type, browser version, the pages of our Sites that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages and other statistics, and whether you reached our page via a social media or email campaign. This information may be collected via several technologies, including cookies, web beacons, clear GIFs, canvas fingerprinting and other means. You can control cookies in your browser to enable or disable them. Learn more in our Cookie Policy.
      • Device Information, such as the device and software you use for our Apps, such as the mobile device name, operating system version, hardware model, application or browser version, and unique identifiers associated with your device.

      Information We Collect From Third Parties.If you access our Sites through third parties (e.g., Facebook or Google), or if you share content from our Sites to a third-party social media service, the third-party service will send us certain information about you if the third -party service and your account settings allow such sharing. The information we receive will depend on the policies and your account settings with the third-party service.

      2. How Do We Use Personal Information?

      We use your personal information as follows:

      (a) To Provide Our Services. We process certain personal information when you access or use our Sites and Apps, or to purchase our products and services, including to:

      • process your purchases of, or requests for, products and services;
      • register and verify user accounts;
      • facilitate the functionality of our websites, including payment-related functionality; and,
      • customize experiences and personalization when you are in and around our Sites and Apps, if you have given permission for location sharing. 

      (b) To Communicate With You. We process certain information in order to communicate with you in relation to your accounts, our services, our marketing, and your requests, including to:

      • communicate with you about orders, purchases, returns, services, accounts, programs, contests, and sweepstakes;
      • respond to your customer service inquiries and requests for information;
      • send you personalized promotions, content, and special offers;
      • communicate with you about our brands, products, events, or other promotional purposes; and,
      • provide important product safety information and notice of product recalls.

      (c) For Research, Development, and Improvement of Our Services. We want to ensure that our Sites, Apps, products and services are continually improving and expanding so that we meet and exceed your needs and expectations. To do so, we may process certain personal information, including to:

      • maintain, improve, and analyze Foldscope microscopic images and features to improve the Foldscope and similar products and offerings through AI processing and machine learning;
      • maintain, improve, and analyze our Sites, Apps, and the products and services we offer; and,
      • detect, prevent, or investigate suspicious activity or fraud.

      (d) To Enforce our Terms, Agreements, or Policies. To maintain a safe, secure, and trusted environment for you when you use our websites and other services, we use your personal information to ensure our terms, policies, and agreements with you and any third parties are enforced.

      (e) To Comply with Applicable Laws. We may be required to process certain personal information under certain laws and regulations, such as tax laws, as well as to:

      • maintain appropriate records for internal administrative purposes; and,
      • comply with applicable legal and regulatory obligations, and respond to lawful governmental requests, as needed.

      (f) With Your Consent. We may process certain personal information to fulfill any other business or commercial purposes at your direction or with your consent.

      3. How Do We Share Personal Information?

      To Users or the Public with Your Consent.We may share your username and posts with other users with your consent. All posts to https://microcosmos.foldscope.com and its subdomains are shared with other users and the public.

      Affiliates and Service Providers.We share your information with our third-party service providers and any subcontractors as required to offer you our products and services. The service providers we use help us to:

      • run, operate and maintain our Sites and Apps through third party platform and software tools;
      • provide shipment and fulfillment services for our products and services;
      • perform content moderation and crash analytics;
      • run email and mobile messaging campaigns;
      • provide measurement services and target ads (you can opt out of these services at websites such as http://www.aboutads.info/choices and http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/);
      • administer live events, competitions, sweepstakes and promotions, including registering attendees, managing check-in and attendance, verifying eligibility and prize fulfilment;
      • provide payment attribution; and,
      • provide technical and customer support.

      Some external service providers may also collect information directly from you (for example, a payment processor may request your billing and financial information) in accordance with their own privacy policy. These external service providers do not share your financial information, like credit card number, with us, but may share limited information with us related to your purchase, like your zip code.

      Aggregated Data. We may also aggregate or otherwise strip information of all personally identifying characteristics and may share that aggregated, anonymized data with third parties or publish it. This data does not personally identify you and helps us to measure the success of the Services and its features and to improve your experience. We reserve the right to make use of any such aggregated data as we see .

      Third Party Marketing and Advertising Organizations.With respect to website cookies, we share your information with third party marketing and advertising partners to market our services on our Sites and other websites that you may visit. Learn more in our Cookie Policy.

      Third Party Links and Websites.Our Sites may contain links to and from the websites of third parties. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any data to these websites.

      Disclosures Required by Law. We may be required to disclose your data in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet law enforcement requirements. We may be under a duty to disclose or share your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation, to enforce or apply our terms and conditions and other agreements, to protect our rights, property, or safety, or to protect the rights, property, or safety of others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for the purposes of fraud protection.

      4. How Do We Respond to ‘Do Not Track’ Signals?

      Do Not Track (“DNT”) is a privacy preference that users can set in certain web browsers. DNT is a way for users to inform websites and services that they do not want certain information about their webpage visits collected over time and across websites or online services. We do not currently recognize or respond to browser-initiated DNT signals, as the Internet industry is currently still working toward defining exactly what DNT means, what it means to comply with DNT, and a common approach to responding to DNT.

      5. Cookies

      To make our Sites and services work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site. It enables the website to remember your actions and preferences (such as login, shopping cart, or other preferences) over a period of time, so you do not have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to the site or browse from one page to another. To learn more, please see our Cookie Policy.

      Google Analytics. We use Google Analytics. We use the information we get from Google Analytics only to improve the Sites. We do not combine the information collected through the use of Google Analytics with personally identifiable information. Please refer to Google’s Privacy Policy for more information. You may also choose to download the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on.

      Google Ads/Facebook Pixel. We also use Google Ads and Facebook Pixel to deliver tailored advertising on our Sites and other websites that you may visit. You can learn more about how to control advertising cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative’s Consumer Opt-Out link, the DAA’s Consumer Opt-Out link for browsers, or the DAA’s opt-out link for mobile devices. Please note that electing to opt-out will not stop advertising from appearing in your browser or applications and may make the ads you see less relevant to your interests.

      6. Your Privacy Choices

      Please contact us if you would like to request access and/or make any changes to your personal information.

      Marketing Opt Out:We may use your personal information to contact you with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from us by following the unsubscribe instructions provided in any email we send, or you can contact us using the contact details provided in the “Contact Information” section below. You will still continue to receive service-related messages concerning products and services you have purchased (unless we have indicated otherwise).

      Your Privacy Rights.We have listed the privacy rights for several jurisdictions below, but we understand you may have additional rights in your jurisdiction. You may contact us directly at any time about exercising your data protection rights. We will consider your request in accordance with applicable laws.

      • Access to Specific Information and Data Portability Rights– Subject to certain exceptions, you have the right to request a copy of the personal information that we collected about you. Once we receive your request and verify your identity, we will disclose to you:
        • The categories of personal information we have collected about you;
        • The categories of sources for the personal information we have collected about you;
        • Our business or commercial purpose for the information collection;
        • The categories of third parties with whom we share that personal information;
        • The specific pieces of personal information we collected about you.
      • Correction and Deletion Request Rights– You have the right to request that we correct and/or delete any of your personal information that we collected from you and retained, subject to certain exceptions.
      • Objecting to or Restricting Processing of Your Personal Information– Residents of certain states/countries have the right to opt-out of having their personal information used for AI processing/machine learning and purposes other than providing our goods and services to you.
      • Non-Discrimination– Residents of certain states/countries may not receive discriminatory treatment by the business for exercising your privacy rights.
      • Direct Marketing– If you are a California resident, you can request a notice disclosing the categories of personal information we have shared with third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing .
      • Exercising Your Rights– To exercise the privacy rights described above, please submit a verifiable consumer request to us at the “Contact Information” below. Please note that to verify your request, we may require you to verify personal information that we already have on file for you or to provide additional information. 
      • Use of an Authorized Agent to Submit a Request– Only you or a person you formally authorize to act on your behalf, may make a verifiable consumer request related to your personal information. If you use an authorized agent to submit such a request, we will require written proof that the authorized agent has been authorized to act on your behalf or a copy of the power-of-attorney document granting that right.

      7. Legal Bases for Processing (EEA and UK Individuals)

      If you are from the European Economic Area or United Kingdom, our legal bases for collecting and using your Personal Information is as follows:

      • The performance of your contract or to enter into the contract and to take action on your requests. For example, the processing of your Foldscope order or account registration.
      • Our legitimate business interests. For example, fraud prevention, maintaining the security of our network and services, direct marketing to you, and improvement of our services.
      • Compliance with a mandatory legal obligation. For example, accounting and tax requirements, which are subject to mandatory retention periods. We may also collect your Personal Information to record your requests to exercise your rights and to verify your identity for such requests.
      • Consent you provide where we do not rely on another legal basis. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
      • In some limited cases, we may also have a legal obligation to collect Personal Information from you, in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet law enforcement requirements, as described above in “How Do We Share Personal Information?”

      If you have questions about or need further information concerning the legal basis on which we collect and use your personal information, please contact us using the contact details provided in the "Contact Information" section below.

      If you are from the European Economic Area, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, under certain circumstances.

      8. International Transfers of Data

      Any data that you provide to us may be accessed, shared or processed by our offices, located in the United States, and service providers located in the United States, if such data transfer is necessary for the specific purpose for which you submitted your data (such as the provision of goods or services under a written contract). 

      This may entail a transfer of your personal information across international borders. The data protections standards may differ and be lower than the standards enforced in your jurisdiction.

      9. Children’s Privacy

      The Sites are not directed at individuals . We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 16. If you become aware that a child has provided us with personal information, please contact us using the contact details provided in the “Contact Information” section below. If we become aware that a child under 16 has provided us with personal information, we will take steps to delete such information.

      10. Change of Control

      Personal information may be transferred to a third party as a result of a sale, acquisition, merger, reorganization or other change in control. If we sell, merge or transfer any part of the business, part of the sale may include your personal information.

      11.  Security and Data Retention

      We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you enter, submit, or access your personal information. For example, when possible, we use encryption to transfer and store data. We further limit access to this data using access controls and confidentiality commitments.

      However, no website, application, or transmission can guarantee security. Thus, while we have established and maintain what we believe to be reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information obtained through the Sites, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us.

      We retain information from or about you for so long as necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy. When the information is no longer necessary for these purposes, we delete it or keep it in a form that does not identify you, unless we are required by law to keep this information for a longer period. Further information is available in our Data Retention Policy.

      12. Policy Changes

      We may change our Privacy Policy at any time. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Policy to ensure you are familiar with the most current version.

      13. Contact Information

      If you wish to contact us or have any questions about or complaints in relation to this Privacy Policy, please contact us at the following contact details:


      Data Privacy Officer: privacy@foldscope.com