Terms & Privacy Policy

EyeWire mobilizes an online community of volunteers (“EyeWirers”) who map neural connections by playing a game of coloring 3D images of the retina. EyeWirers learn about neuroscience, and discuss the implications of their mapping for the visual function of the retina. Data collected from EyeWirers is used to advance neuroscience research, and also to devise better ways for humans and computers to work together to accomplish challenging tasks. At the same time, EyeWire is committed to preserving the privacy of its members, and fostering a growing community of “citizen neuroscientists.”

By accessing the EyeWire website (the “Site,” defined as all pages at http://eyewire.org/ and its subdomains), you agree to be bound by the following terms:

a) You affirm that you are at least 13 years of age. If you are less than 18 years of age, your parent or guardian must read, explain, and agree to the terms.

b) Your gameplay data is collected to further neuroscience research and to improve the game. You grant permission to EyeWire to make any use of this data. However, you give this permission non-exclusively, meaning that you still own your contribution.

c) EyeWire reserves the right to record all public communications on the Site, including the blog, forum, and public chat. Private chats will not be logged, except in extreme cases to prevent abuse of the Site. Note that we are unable to prevent any third party from independently logging public communications on the Site.

d) When you register for the Site, you create a username, which will be visible in the leaderboard, forum, chat and other locations on the site. Your username may also appear in publications, presentations, promotional materials, and other locations outside the site. Therefore, if you wish to remain anonymous, you may prefer to choose a username that reveals no personal information about you. Please pick an appropriate username. No profanity, sexual, drug, or overly violent references. We reserve the right to change usernames. In this case you may be notified and be offered the chance to pick a new name that complies with these terms of service.

e) When you register for the Site, you may provide an email address, which remains invisible on the site. EyeWire may occasionally contact you at this email address. Aside from employing Amazon SES for email delivery, EyeWire will not reveal your email address to others. (You may wish to consult Amazon’s Data Privacy Policy.) You can opt out of email contact at any time.

f) Your usage of the Site may be monitored to collect data that helps us improve the Site. Data such as the following may be logged:

  • your IP Address,
  • your username,
  • URL requests, including time, method, and status code,
  • URL that referred you to the Site,
  • number of bytes transferred, and
  • web browser, operating system, and hardware platform

Data associated with your username or your IP address will not be disclosed to third parties except in very limited circumstances when complying with law or legal process, working with consultants assisting us with fixing or improving the Site, or monitoring and improving the security of our network. Even in these exceptional cases, we will attempt to preserve your privacy. EyeWire employs Google Analytics and Muscula to collect and analyze data about site usage that should not be personally identifiable. Click on the links to view their privacy policies. Your anonymized usage data may be shared with others for research purposes.

g) If you choose to engage in Registration-Only Activities through a Facebook account, the Site accesses certain information about you and your Facebook contacts. Such information will include your entries in the following Facebook personal data fields: name, profile picture, gender, networks, your Facebook user ID (the email address you use to access Facebook), your list of friends and any other information you have made available to the public through Facebook. We will comply with the requirements of Facebook’s Data Use Policy regarding any personal information the Site obtains from Facebook. Such information will not be disclosed by us to third parties.

h) EyeWire may place small files on your computer's hard drive known as a “cookies,” in order to personalize your visits to the Site. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you may prefer to modify your browser settings to decline them. If you decline cookies from EyeWire then functionality may be impaired.

i) To learn more about our community, we may post surveys on the Site inquiring about demographic information or other topics. Participation in these surveys is voluntary. Third parties may also post surveys, and we are unable to control their content.

j) The project may terminate, suspend, or block your account at any time. This may be done, for example, if you engage in abusive behavior; create a false identity; disseminate or transmit spam, advertisements, or solicitations; post material that infringes a copyright, trademark or patent right, trade secret or other legal right of any person, corporation or institution; collect, print out, reproduce, distribute, or otherwise make available or use any personally-identifiable information about other users; disseminate or transmit viruses, Trojan horses, worms, defects, date bombs, time bombs, malware, spyware, or other items of a destructive nature or any other malicious code or program; use the Site in any manner that could damage or overburden other sites; use the Site in any manner that would interfere with any other party’s use of the Site.

k) EyeWire reserves the right to change this Agreement at any time. By accessing EyeWire after modifications have been posted, you agree to be bound by the modified terms.


EyeWire is a project of students and researchers in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) You agree that your use of the Site shall be at your own sole risk. To the fullest extent permitted by the law, MIT disclaims all warranties, express or implied, in connection with the Site and your use thereof. MIT makes no warranties or representations about the accuracy or completeness of the Site’s content (including User-Generated Content and Third-Party Content) or the content of any websites linked to this Site and assumes no liability or responsibility for any (1) errors, mistakes, or inaccuracies in content; (2) personal injury or property damage, of any nature whatsoever, resulting from your access to and use of the Site; (3) any unauthorized access to or use of MIT’s secure servers and/or any and all personal information and/or financial information stored therein; (4) any interruption or cessation of transmission to or from the Site; (5) any bugs, viruses, Trojan horses, or the like that may be transmitted to or through the Site by any third party; and/ or (6) any errors or omissions in any content or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any content posted, emailed, transmitted, or otherwise made available via the Site. You assume all risk as to the quality, function, and performance of the Site, and to all transactions you undertake on the Site, including without limitation submission of any User-Generated Content.

You agree that MIT will not be liable to you for any loss or damages, either actual or consequential, arising out of or relating to these terms, or your (or any third party’s) use or inability to use the Site, or your placement of User-Generated Content on the Site, or your reliance upon information obtained from or through the Site, or your communications with other users of the Site. In particular, MIT will have no liability for any consequential, indirect, punitive, special or incidental damages, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable, (including, but not limited to, claims for defamation, errors, loss of data, or interruption in availability of data), arising out of or relating to these terms, your use or inability to use a site, your placement of content on the Site, your reliance upon information obtained from or through a Site, or your communications with other users of the Site, whether based in contract, tort, statutory or other law, except only in the case of death or personal injury where and only to the extent that applicable law requires such liability.


You hereby indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and all its affiliates, employees, faculty members, fellows, students, members of their governing boards and agents (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any and all liability and costs, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees, incurred by the Indemnified Parties in connection with any claim arising out of any breach by you or any user of your account of this User Agreement or the foregoing representations, warranties and covenants. You shall cooperate as fully as reasonably required in the defense of any such claim. MIT reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you.


Questions about this User Agreement and Privacy Policy should be directed to support@eyewire.org.


The effective date of this policy is February 14, 2013.
Updated February 3, 2014.

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