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Ensembl Privacy Statement

Information provided to or gathered by ensembl.org is controlled by the Ensembl Project, a collaboration between the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute, based near Cambridge, UK.

Ensembl.org gathers information about users solely to improve the usability and usefulness of the site, and not for any commercial purposes. No use is made of users' contact information except when directly requested by them, e.g. to sign up for a mailing list or activate a user account. Other information collected during the course of your usage of the site, such as pages visited, may be collected in server log files and used for statistical analysis of traffic patterns.

Use of Cookies

Ensembl and its Sanger-based satellite sites (including archives, Pre! and Vega) conform to the Sanger Institute cookie policy. Please see this document for an explanation of the types of cookies we set.

There are two types of cookie that are set by Ensembl. These are as below:

Functionality Cookies


    This is an encrypted cookie set to save the identity of the logged in user only after user has successfully logged in to our website.


    This is an encrypted cookie set to save your poersonalised settings while you are using Ensembl.

  • Other ENSEMBL_*, *_WIDTH and modal cookies

    Set to save the information about your window size, preferred screen size for images and model configuration window.

  • toggle_*

    Set to save the state of the togglable components on the website

  • gv_*

    Set by Genoverse, the scrollable region view to remember your preferences.

  • config_*

    Used to save some minor configurations.

  • redirect_*

    Used to save the redirection information if you are being redirected to or redirected from another Ensembl mirror website.

Tracking Cookies

We use Google Analytics and Piwik to track the users on our website. This is purely to see the user behaviour and then use that information to improve our website. This information is not shared with any third part for advertisement purposes.

  • Google Analytics

    More information about Google Analytics cookies can be found here.

  • Piwik

    Cookies created by Piwik start with: _pk_ref, _pk_cvar, _pk_id, _pk_ses.

Additional information held in user accounts

All Ensembl data that is publically available for download is also freely available via the website. For the convenience of users we have introduced a wholly voluntary system of user accounts, through which we can offer additional services such as saved configurations and user groups.

Of necessity, all user accounts are accessible to the Ensembl web database administrators. However passwords are stored in one-way encrypted format and cannot be retrieved by staff.

The public release of the Ensembl database includes a blank copy of the user database, for use in setting up a local copy if required. Also, unlike the rest of the Ensembl codebase, the account system can only be extended in limited ways, to prevent abuse of systems that may be less secure than ensembl.org.