Although we make every possible effort to keep this site and the data that it manipulates safe and secure, we make no claim to be able to protect sensitive or privileged information. If you are at all concerned about sensitive information being released, please do not use the site and consider installing the Rfam database and/or this website locally.
We use the information generated by GA purely for audit and accounting purposes, and to help us assess the usefulness and popularity of different features of the site. It does not provide the ability to track individual users’ usage of the site. However, GA does provides a high-level overview of the traffic that passes through the site, including such information as the approximate geographical location of users, how often and for how long they visited the site, etc.
We understand that this level of tracking may be worrying to some of our users. If you have any concerns about our use of Google Analytics, please feel free to contact us.
All web servers maintain fairly detailed logs of their activity. This includes keeping a record of every request that they serve, usually along with the IP address of the client that made the request. This is true of the web servers that host the Rfam websites.
Although our servers do collect information about your IP address during the normal process of serving the Rfam website, we do not use this information explicitly. The Rfam group uses server logs only to help with development and debugging of the site.
The sequence search feature of the site allows you to upload a DNA or or RNA sequence to be searched against our library of CMs. The sequence that you upload is stored in a database and is retrieved by a set of scripts that actually perform the search. Although we do not have any information that could be used to link that sequence to you personally, you should be aware that the sequence itself is accessible to system administrators and other users who maintain the Rfam site.
The batch search function allows you to submit larger searches, the results of which are emailed to you. Obviously, this requires you to provide identifiable information, namely an email address. However, beyond the routine backups of our databases, we do not store any information about email addresses and sequences in the longer term and we make no attempt to keep track of the searches that a particular user may be performing.
Information from other types of search, such as a keyword search, is held only in the web server logs but, as described above, no attempt is made to interpret these logs except as part of development or debugging of the site.