Privacy Policy Statement


The Project Echo Research Team at Western University is committed to ensuring that your data is stored in a private, confidential, and secure manner.
This privacy policy statement (“Privacy Policy”) applies to the Project Echo website and is intended to provide you with notice of our information management practices, including the information gathered, how it is used and safeguarded, and the degree to which you may control the maintenance and sharing of your information. 

Terms of Use

Secure Connection

All Project Echo web pages that contain sensitive information and/or that require login are accessed through a secure encrypted connection (SSL). All transmission of information (between end-user and server, and server and Project Echo Research Team), as well as the long-term retention of data, is done so through using encryption technology. 

Data Security

The Project Echo Research Team members adhere to strict administrative, technical, and procedural measures to protect your data. Your data can only be accessed by accredited members of the Project Echo Research Team.

All registration profiles in Project Echo are password protected. Information can only be accessed by individuals with assigned privileges controlled by the Project Echo Research Team. Each user can be assigned a set of roles by the Project Echo Research Team to identify what pages and information should be accessible to that particular user. At any given point in time the Project Echo Research Team can instantaneously revoke or revise a user’s assigned roles.

Server Security

All participant data that is entered into Project Echo is stored securely at our third-party, hosting provider Canadian Web Hosting. This cloud-based hosting service provider stores participant data at the Montreal server location. All servers are physically protected and monitored by a surveillance system and under lock and key with restricted physical access. All servers are placed behind a double set of firewalls and configured according to state-of-the-art best practices and principles.

Data Collected

Data fields in Project Echo are used to collect information about research participants. Project Echo registration page collects information that falls into the following categories:

i.    Identification information (e.g., name, email, year of birth, gender, city of residence);
ii.    Registration Type (e.g., recreation, high performance, sports administrator).
iii.    Limitation (e.g., disability type);
iv.    Electronic identification data (e.g., IP address, session cookies);
v.    Audit log information (e.g., login and logout information).
vi.    Discussion form content (e.g., participant comments and responses to discussion forum questions and prompts, 
vii.    Discussion forum supplementary content e.g., participant uploaded pictures, memes or reference material.

Breach Notification

Should there be any breach of security or regarding the Project Echo database or our 3rd party hosting provider, the Project Echo Research Team will immediately notify all impacted participants of when the breach occurred, and what potential data was observed/violated in the breach. The Project Echo Research Team will take all necessary steps to remedy the breach of information and to recover any loss or stolen information.

Data Collection Purposes

The data sets collected in Project Echo registrations and through the asynchronous focus group discussion forums are used for the Project Echo Research Team to conduct analysis on a variety of environmental, social and sport-related themes pertaining to disability. Project Echo collects personal data related to you, as permitted to:

•    Verify your identity and proximity to the case study locations (Toronto, Canada and Glasgow, Scotland);
•    Obtain contact information;
•    Sort you into relevant focus group discussion forums;
•    Communicate research findings with you;

Disclosure of Information

The Project Echo Research Team at Western University is considered the formal owner, and hence the sole and only party that can grant access to the registered data under any form and/or circumstance.

Any disclosure hereof under any form and/or circumstance is at the discretion/responsibility of the owner of the specific data (i.e., Project Echo Research Team at Western University).

In the unlikely event that the Project Echo Research Team should ever be approached by any third-party, including but not limited to governmental agencies, with a request for information or to extract specific data; such request will immediately be directed to Western University Research Ethics Board for review. No information nor data can or will be revealed by the Project Echo Research Team unless directed by the Western University Research Ethics Board.

Data Hosting Term

Project Echo will retain your data for the length of time as it is necessary to fulfill the purposes as identified above. Electronic data will be stored on a password-protected, encrypted hard drive by the Principal Investigator for a minimum of 7-years. 

Any information that is collected and unused by the research team will be deleted from the database on a regular basis (after the closeout of weekly discussion forums). Project Echo Research Team at Western University is responsible for all activities on the site and will ensure proper monitoring and removal of all unnecessary / inappropriately submitted content.

Individuals who have data stored in Project Echo and are wishing to remove themselves or specified content from the database can contact the Project Echo Research Team in writing (via email) to request information removal.  

Session Cookies

Cookies are files that are sent to your browser from a website’s server. The cookie does not contain personally identifiable information. To improve performance, Project Echo uses session cookies when you visit the website. Your Internet browser stores the session cookie on your computer's hard drive, and this is accessed by Project Echo upon your next visit.

By using the Project Echo software, you are consenting to the use of cookies. You can always choose to reject cookies at any time by changing your browser settings (if your browser permits). You should be aware that certain features are only available through the use of cookies and if you choose not to accept cookies, such features may not be available to you.

Project Echo uses session cookies to register your preferred browser settings e.g., language preference. If your browser is set up to avoid cookies, Project Echo will still function, but you will use the default settings every time you enter the systems.

Contact the Project Echo Research Team

Please feel free to contact Principal Investigator Dr. Laura Misener (Canada) at 1-519-661-2111 ext. 86000 or by email at; or Dr. Gayle McPherson (Scotland) at Tel: 0141 848 3233 or by email at