Privacy Policy

Who we are

This website is published by the Centre for Research in Social Simulation at the University of Surrey, and uses the website address:

If you have any privacy-specific concerns, please contact us.

What personal data we collect and why we collect it


When visitors leave comments on the site, they agree that their comments are published in their name along with a public profile picture, in case such picture exists. An anonymised string created from your email address (also called hash) is routed through the Gravatar service to see if a profile picture is available for online sharing.  See Gravatar service privacy policy.

We collect and store the data you insert into the comments form, your name, email address and comment text, also your IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

Commentators have the right to request that we delete this data.

Cookies does not generate and transfer cookies to client machines. If you leave a comment on our site you can opt-in to save your name, email address and website address in your own browser, a function that uses your browser’s cache or temporary holdings of data. This function is provided for your convenience but it depends on your browser settings whether or not the browser deletes this data on exit.

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 had visited the site of origin.

These third-party websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interactions with that embedded content, especially if you have an account at such a website and are logged in.


This site incorporates Google Analytics which automatically sends certain information to Google, including the URL of the pages you visit and an anonymised IP address. Google Analytics will set cookies on your browser and read cookies that are already there.

To meet the requirements of the GDPR, the Google Analytics service is configured to anonymise IPs while tracking, and to exclude tracking for users sending ‘Do Not Track’ header. It also enables support for user opt-out. To prevent your data from being used by Google Analytics, you can install their opt-out browser add-on.  You can also configure your browser to block third-party cookies.

Google uses the information shared by sites such as ours to deliver its services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse, and personalize content and ads seen on Google and on its partners’ sites and apps. For more information see Google’s Privacy Policies and Terms.

How long will we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained for the lifetime of this project at the University of Surrey. The purpose of this data collection is to recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue, and be able to communicate back to commentators on issues that are relevant to and/or inform our project.

What rights you have over your data

If you have  left comments you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data you have provided us with and we hold about you. You can also request that we erase all data you have provided and we hold.

Where we send your data

Visitor comments are checked by routing them through the automated Akismet anti-spam service. The information we route includes the IP address, user agent, referrer and Site URL, along with the information provided by the commentator – name, email address and the comment itself.