RFC Surveys: Data Privacy

This section relates to data collected as part of the RFC Food/Soil surveys. Samples are collected from stores, farmers markets, and farms and sent to the RFC Lab for additional testing.

We believe strongly that:

  1. Data collected from farms have the right to keep their personal information private, and
  2. Sharing information is critical to building high quality, trusted, and effective tools for measuring food quality.

Data rights and use

Sample data collected as part of the survey will be made public. If collected from a grocery store, all data will be public. If samples are collected from a farmers market or farm, the producer’s personal data will be anonymized by default. This includes their farm name, farm address, email, GPS location, and related identifying information. For these anonymized samples, the only location information made public is the county and state – meaning the public will know that a farm in this county had a carrot which had these results, but not know who or where exactly.

When collecting samples from a farmer or at farmers’ market, farmers may include their email so that we can email them their results. This will come as an email with a unique link they can use to access their results. Others can only access these de-anonymized results if that link is shared to them, so keep your unique link private to protect your data.

By submitting samples to the RFC Food/Soil Surveys, those submitting samples consent to ongoing use and distribution of the anonymized data (metadata and lab data, as described above) from that sample and its environment.

Who else can access the de-anonymized data and why?

  1. Maintainers of the Our Sci data management platform may access the data for purposes of necessary fixes or improvements the software or database.
  2. Real Food Campaign management may access the data for statistical analysis. No outputs of this analysis will be made public with normally anonymized data visible (farm name, email, location, GPS), and no de-anonymized data will ever be shared with any third parties for any reason.

RFC Lab Website

This section relates to the RFC Lab website (which you are currently on). Our website address is: https://lab.realfoodcampaign.org.

What personal data we collect and why we collect it


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Contact forms


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with

We do not sell or trade your browsing data, comments, or metadata to 3rd parties. We may share your browsing data, comments or metadata with a 3rd party for a specific purpose, like checking comments through an automated spam detection service, and sending information to website analytics which is used internally.

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes. You may contact the site admins to request the deletion of your data. We are a small website and do not have a full procedure for complete erasure of individual browsing data or comments, but we will do our best to accommodate your concerns.


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