Privacy Policy for oer.gitlab.io

This privacy policy explains the collection of personal data during the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) served as HTML presentations under the domain oer.gitlab.io.

First of all, you do not need to expose any personal data to access OER under oer.gitlab.io. Personal data are neither collected nor even asked for. Furthermore, these OER neither embed ads, nor trackers, nor social media plugins, and they are served without the use of cookies. However, most OER are served as HTML presentations by web servers operated by GitLab, and your web browser quite likely shares lots of data with GitLab’s web servers, most notably your IP address but also other technical information which can be used to uniquely track you. GitLab explains their use of such data in their privacy policy. Besides, some OER presentations embed external web resources (e.g., JavaScript, fonts, images, videos), and your browser shares its characteristics with their origin servers as well.

In addition, depending on your jurisdiction, your internet service provider (ISP) may be required by law or misguided by monetary incentives to record your IP addresses or browsing behavior. On top of that, thanks to the Snowden revelations we know that most foreign intelligence services collect all Internet data that they can acquire, including our browsing behavior.

The good news is that you do not need to be tracked in any of the above ways if you choose so, in particular when learning from OER provided under oer.gitlab.io, as explained subsequently.

First, if you do not want to be tracked when surfing the web in general, you need to learn and apply techniques for digital self-defense. Luckily, appropriate privacy enhancing tools are available as free software. Personally, I perform my “random” browsing protected by the Tor Browser, which I recommend (here in German, here in English). The OER served under oer.gitlab.io are even usable under the higher-than-default “Safer” security settings in Tor Browser.

Alternatively, you can download OER and use them locally and offline afterwards. As explained for the OER presentations on Operating Systems you can either download the results of the latest build pipeline or clone the repository and build presentations yourself. (As mentioned above, some presentations include web resources from external servers, which will not be available for offline learning. When you learn online and when your browser fetches such resources, those requests can again be tracked on the web, which is why the Tor Browser might be your first choice.)

Finally, if you are working with OER under oer.gitlab.io as one of my students in Münster and feel uncomfortable with any of the above, please talk to me. If you preferred to be tracked as authenticated user in Learnweb in accordance with our university’s privacy policy, the OER served under oer.gitlab.io could also be replicated into Learnweb.

License: This text, “Privacy Policy for oer.gitlab.io,” by Jens Lechtenbörger is published under the Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0.

Created: 2019-11-06 Wed 12:31

Imprint | Privacy Policy