How is the personal information that I enter in the Tornado Tales web App used? Can others access my personal information?
This Citizen Science tool relies fundamentally on the good will of internet users like you, and we appreciate and respect the valuable data you provide. Please be assured, we have obligations to keep all personal information private and secure. The personal information is automatically processed and summarized (devoid of any personal information) in our final products such as the zip code map, for example.
We do allow government researchers to use the data for scientific studies, but again, they are obligated to strip out any personal information prior to quoting or characterizing it. For example, it might be said, "an observer in Moore, OK noted..." While a very common, popular request is to see others' entries, we obviously cannot do so without potentially sacrificing personal information. This request comes from the media as well, but we politely decline such access.
Your input is used in a variety of ways.
- How it helps us:
- Immediate high quality and large quantity of data.
- Cost-effective means of collecting data (replacing expensive and slow postal questionaires).
- How it helps others:
- Provides a rapid assessment of the potential impact and damage for emergency responders, which may be of particular importance in rural areas.
- Confirms experiences of the tornado for other people.
- How it helps you:
- You learn more about what information is of interest to us.
- Helps you feel more in control of your experience.
- Opportunity to share your experience with others.
- Opportunity to contribute to the advancement of social and behavioral science in tornado research and its application to benefit society.
Occasionally we receive bad responses from people who think it might be amusing to throw off the map with an unnaturally high response. We reserve the right to manually exclude such responses from the final product, but we also have several built-in filters.