Privacy Policy

The Mobile Carbon Footprinting research study (MCF study) and smartphone application (MCF app) comply with the protocol registered with the MIT Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES).

You can review the terms of the research study here: Consent to Participate in Research Study.

This privacy policy describes how the MCF study and app use and protect your personal data. The MCF app is a tool for tracking your personal carbon footprint. The Mobile Carbon Footprinting research team ("We"/"Our") refers to the research investigators registered with COUHES. J. Cressica Brazier, PhD candidate, is the primary contact and author of the MCF app.

Data collection in the MCF app
User Provided Information: The MCF app collects the information that you provide during the registration, survey, and daily diary input process. These data include your name, email address, and responses to survey questions.

Automatically Collected Information: The MCF app automatically collects location (GPS) and activity coprocessor data while running in the background. In order to prevent unauthorized access to your account, the MCF app may record the mobile device unique ID. In order to check data collection quality, the MCF app records the mobile device type, operating system, IP address, and the frequency of app usage.

We do not use nor send data to any external service. The MCF app does not use Google Analytics nor any other tracking service. The MCF app only sends map requests to Google Maps/Places.

Use of data collected by the MCF app
We have set up the MCF system to protect your privacy and to secure your data. The researchers' use of your data is limited to the research study, and we will never share any of your data with third parties. The trained investigators, Cressica Brazier and Nina Mascarenhas, will have access to your contact information for communication purposes only.

To ensure privacy, only one researcher (Cressica Brazier) has access to the secure server on which the user data are stored. We will never look at that pathway data in conjunction with your identity. Only you, the participant, will be able to view your own pathway and detailed carbon footprint data via the app. During the carbon footprint feedback phase of the study, other MCF app users will only be able to view your aggregated emissions summaries and simple statements about activities (e.g. 'the emissions that a participant saved due to walking instead of driving for 2 miles'), labeled with the user's Display Name only.

However, there is always a risk that your account could be compromised, e.g. if a third party obtains your password. Use a strong password.

For the research study, we will anonymize the user data before conducting analysis. All information will be appropriately anonymized and aggregated when published in papers.

Opting out
Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and you are free to choose whether to be in it or not. You may choose to opt out of the MCF study at any time. If you want to opt-out of the study and continue to use the MCF app, click on the 'Opt-Out' link in the original confirmation e-mail you received upon registration (from If you wish to delete your account, then uninstall the app and e-mail

Data Retention
According to the COUHES study protocol, we will retain your data for as long as you use the MCF app, and we will delete personally identifiable data at the end of the research study.

We do not use the MCF app to knowingly collect data from children under the age of 13. Contact us at and we will delete the account of any child that uses the MCF app without parental or guardian consent.

Your Consent
By using the MCF app, you are consenting to allowing MCF to collect and process your data according to this Privacy Policy now and future amendments to this policy.

If you have any questions about privacy protection or our study, please contact us at