Terms of Service


Terms of Service of main website V1.0

  1. Definitions

    The following terms and conditions govern all use of the EMPATIA’s application service (“Service”) and all content, services and products available at or through empatia-project.org (“Site”).

    The Service and the Site are developed and managed under the framework of the EMPATIA project (“Project”), that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 687920. The Service is managed by the Center for Social Studies (CES) of Coimbra on behalf of the EMPATIA Consortium (“EMPATIA”), led by CES and composed by the following partners: OneSource (Portugal); D21 (Czech Republic); Brunel University London; (United Kingdom); Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy) Zebralog; (Germany); Associação In Loco (Portugal).

    The Service is offered subject to your acceptance without modification of all of the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies (including, without limitation, EMPATIA’s privacy policy) and procedures that may be published from time to time on this Site by EMPATIA (collectively, the “Agreement”).

    Use of the site is subject to these Terms. In addition, the Privacy Policy explains how we use any personal information which we collect via the site. If you do not agree with these Terms or our Privacy Policy, please do not use this site.

    If you are entering into this agreement on behalf of a company or other legal entity, you represent that you have the authority to bind such entity, its affiliates and all users who access our services through your account to these terms and conditions, in which case the terms "you" or "your" shall refer to such entity, its affiliates and users associated with it. If you do not have such authority, or if you do not agree with these terms and conditions, you must not accept this agreement and may not use the services.

    Please read this Agreement carefully before accessing or using the Service. By accessing or using any part of the Site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this agreement. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Service. If these terms and conditions are considered an offer by EMPATIA, acceptance is expressly limited to these terms.

  2. Ethical Principles

    EMPATIA is committed to enforce the following ethical principles:

    • Social Inclusion. EMPATIA shall be used to reduce barriers to citizen participation, targeting the weakest social groups and providing multiple venues for active engagement. Under no circumstances EMPATIA may be used in processes that discriminate groups or minorities, or exclude social groups entitled to participate as part of the community engaged in the process.

    • Deliberative Quality. EMPATIA must aim to enhance the quality of deliberation in the participatory spaces managed through the platform. Deliberative processes delivered through EMPATIA shall be inspired to principles of “ideal speech situation”, meaning: (i) no one capable of making a relevant contribution can be excluded, (ii) participants have equal weighted voices, (iii) they are free to speak their honest opinion without deception or self-deception, and (iv) there is no coercion built into the process and procedures of discourse. All participants shall be provided with all the information and resources necessary to engage in an informed debate.

    • Multi-Channel Participation. The use of EMPATIA-based means of engagement should not automatically replace or eliminate other channels of engagement of citizens, but should lead to the design and management of multi-channel Democratic Innovations. Multi-channel democratic innovations are processes that integrate messages and participatory spaces, targeted to different segments of the population, in a system specifically designed to increase and deepen citizen participation in the political decision making process.

    • Personal Data Protection. EMPATIA must protect the privacy of its users, inform them of the data that will be collected and ask for an explicit consent, in compliance also with local, national, and international regulations on personal data protection. EMPATIA must ensure the enforcement of the principles defined in the Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 that establishes Horizon 2020: “the principle of proportionality, the right to privacy, the right to the protection of personal data, the right to the physical and mental integrity of a person, the right to non-discrimination and the need to ensure high levels of human health protection” (article 19, Regulation (EU) 1291/2013).

    • Transparency. EMPATIA aims to increase accountability over the implementation of decisions made through the participatory processes and on the overall activity of the platform and its management. EMPATIA shall follow the Open Access principles defined by the EU Commission in Horizon2020 and integrated in Article 29 of the GA of EMPATIA: all the knowledge collected and generated though EMPATIA must be publicly released in open format for any non-commercial purpose, including especially research and independent monitoring and evaluation. In particular data collected and generated through the use of EMPATIA’s platform shall be released in a public data repository, with appropriate measures to make it possible for third parties to access, mine, reproduce and disseminate for any non-commercial purpose, free of charge for any user.

    • Legality. No use or configuration of EMPATIA platform can infringe or abridge existing laws and regulations (local, national or international regulations) existing in the context where the pilot is implemented.

    • Commons. EMPATIA is conceived in the first instance as a “non-exclusive” and “non-appropriable” tool. It shall be freely available to third parties and oriented to favour use and reuse, rather than to exchange as a commodity. This new public domain involves the distribution and communal ownership of informational and instrumental resources and technology designed to be used by the community by which they are created and elsewhere by all those who share and respect its main principles. Under this definition EMPATIA may be used by individuals, institutions, governments, corporations, or other business whether for-profit or non-profit so long as the use itself is not a direct sale and commercialization of the results EMPATIA. The software, the data and the content collected and created through EMPATIA that are intended to belong to the community that generated them.

  3. Users responsibility

    Users of the Site shall be human beings. Accounts registered by "bots" or other automated methods are not permitted. Users could be required to provide legal name to access subsection(s) or specific features of the service.

    Each User:

    • is responsible for maintaining the security of your account and password. The Manager cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage from your failure to comply with this security obligation

    • is fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with the account

    • must immediately notify the Manager of any unauthorized uses of your account, or any other breaches of security

    • must not use the Service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose

    • must not, in the use of the Service, violate any laws in your jurisdiction

  4. User-generated content

    Any users that takes an active role in one or more of the processes managed through the Site by (for example) submitting a proposal, commenting in a discussion, posting images or links in a discussion, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available through the Site (any such material, User-generated content), is entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that User-generated content. That is the case regardless of whether the User-generated content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or computer software.

    Unless otherwise indicated, the user-generated content resulting from the discussions and the processes managed on this Site are intended to be released under the Creative Commons Attribution – Non-commercial – Share alike 4.0 International license (full details at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). This is the same license used for the content generated by the Manager of this Site.

    By making User-generated content available, users represent and warrant that:

    • users shall not infringe the privacy policy of the Site by making personal data available through the content published on this Site;

    • the downloading, copying and use of the Users’ Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party;

    • users have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Users’ Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms;

    • the Users’ Content does not contain or install any viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses or other harmful or destructive content;

    • the Users’ Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);

    • the Users’ Content is not pornographic, does not contain threats or incite violence, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party;

    • the Users’ Content do not contain unwanted electronic messages such as spam links on newsgroups, email lists, other groups and web sites, and similar unsolicited promotional methods;

    • the Users’ Content is not named in a manner that misleads your readers into thinking that you are another person or company.

    • in the case of the Users’ Content that includes computer code, user shall accurately categorize and/or describe the license, type, nature, uses and effects of the materials.

    Each user may deactivate the account at any time. Identifying information such as username or profile photo will no longer be associated with content previously posted. However, the User Content already made public by the users will remain, in order to preserve the integrity of the processes managed through the Service.

  5. Termination

    The Manager has the right to:

    • refuse or remove any content that violates any EMPATIA’s policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or

    • terminate or deny access to and use of the Service to any individual or entity that violates any EMPATIA’s policy.

    The Manager may terminate the access of any user to all or any part of the Service at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. If a user wishes to terminate this Agreement or the account (if you have one), the user may simply discontinue using the Service. All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.

  6. Cookies

    To make this service work properly, we may place small data files called cookies on your device. A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the Site. It enables the website to remember your actions and preferences (such as language, font size and other display preferences) over a period of time, so you do not have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to the site or browse from one page to another.

    A few pages of our service use Session and Persistent cookies to remember the following preferences:

    • Persistent: Display and language preferences, such as contrast color settings or font size;

    • Previous agreement to the use of cookies on this site.

    Session:

    User input cookies (session-id) such as first party cookies to keep track of the user's input when filling forms, for the duration of a session;

    Enabling these cookies is not strictly necessary for the website to work but it will provide you with a better browsing experience. You can delete or block these cookies, but if you do that some features of this site may not work as intended. The cookies cannot identify you and the pattern data is fully under our control. These cookies are not used for any purpose other than those described here.

    Some EMPATIA subsites may use additional or different cookies to the ones described above. If so, the details of these will be provided in their specific cookies notice page. You may be asked for your agreement to store these cookies. You can control and/or delete cookies as you wish - for details, see aboutcookies.org. You can delete all cookies that are already on your computer and you can set most browsers to prevent them from being placed. If you do this, however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionalities may not work.

  7. Third Party software

    We use third party software listed on this page to provide further functionalities and a high performance service. EMPATIA shares data with these services and for convenience this page provides links to third party privacy policies.

    Google Analytics

    Google Analytics provides insights into EMPATIA's website traffic and marketing effectiveness.
    Description: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/
    Privacy Policy: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/

  8. Ombudsperson

    EMPATIA appointed an Ombudsperson to act as an impartial intermediary between the managers and users of EMPATIA’s platform. The ombudsperson can collect and investigate complaints related to misuse of the Service, infringements of the Terms of Service and/or the Privacy Policy and/or the IP policy of the Service: these three policies represent the scope of the Ombudsperson area of action.

    The Ombudsperson activity is of an informative character in relation to the matters of her/his competence, which means it does not have an executive or managerial character. The competences of the Ombudsperson are:

    • To ensure the enforcement of the right to access personal data and the right to withdraw as defined in the Privacy Policy of the Service;

    • To monitor on the enforcement of the Terms of Service and/or the Privacy Policy and/or the IP policy of the Service;

    • To assist users in exercising their rights and in complying with their duties;

    • To hear and receive users’ claims, complaints or suggestions, assessing them and directing the recommendations or suggestions;

    • To answer to the requests and complaints received by providing consultancy, evaluation; mediation and conciliation; investigation and determining of complaints; recommendations.

    The Ombudsperson can reject a request when complaints are detrimental to the legitimate rights of others; when there is an ongoing judicial or administrative procedure on the subject of the claim or when the facts described have occurred for over a year; are insufficiently substantiated or are clearly irrelevant; when the content of the complaints do not match with the scope of the Ombudsperson remit.

    The Ombudperson for this Service is:

    Professor Vishanth Weerakkody,

    Professor of Digital Governance

    Brunel University London (UK) –

    Email: Vishanth.weerakkody@brunel.ac.uk

    The Ombudsperson shall be contacted via email, with the following subject:

    “REQUEST FOR THE OMBUDSPERSON OF THE WEBSITE EMPATIA-PROJECT.EU”

    The Ombudsperson should provide a feedback within thirty days from the date the request was received.

  9. Disclaimer of Warranties

    The Sevice is provided “as is”. The Manager disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied. Neither the Manager nor the Consortium or its suppliers and licensors, makes any warranty that the Service will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. Users download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, the Service at their own discretion and risk.

  10. Limitation of Liability

    In no event, will the Manager, the Consortium or its suppliers and licensors, be liable with respect to any subject matter of this agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for:

    • any violation of laws by users;

    • any special, incidental or consequential damages;

    • the cost of procurement for substitute products or services;

    • for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data.

  11. Rules to changes the ToS

    These Terms may be varied from time to time. If you use the site after any change has been made, you will be deemed to have accepted the change. Additional terms may apply to certain areas of this site, such as applications for grant funding or payment for events. We reserve the right to modify these Terms at any time and modified terms are effective upon posting to this website. We will inform you of these changes via email or through the Service. Your continued use of or access to the Service following the posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes. The Service may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features (including, the release of new tools and resources). Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

  12. General Representation and Warranty

    Each User represent and warrant that:

    • The use of the Service will be in strict accordance with the EMPATIA Privacy Policy, with this Agreement and with all applicable laws and regulations (including without limitation any local laws or regulations in your country, state, city, or other governmental area, regarding online conduct and acceptable content), and

    • The use of the Service will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.

  13. Applicable Law

    These Terms of Service are governed by Portuguese Law and the courts of Portugal will have jurisdiction over any dispute arising from them.