CELLxGENE logoCollectionsDatasetsGene Expression

Privacy Policy

Last updated: Oct 19, 2021.


We are a site for biologists, computational researchers, and others (collectively, “Visitors” or “you”) to explore curated single-cell transcriptomics datasets at cellxgene.cziscience.com (the “Site”). As a visitor to the Site, the collection, use and sharing of your personal data is subject to this Privacy Policy.

Please read our full Terms (which incorporates this Privacy Policy) and this Privacy Policy for complete details, but here is the key information you should know:

  • This is a free service we provide in order to advance biomedical research.
  • The data made available through the Site is not personally identifiable.
  • We use the privacy-friendly Plausible service to collect basic analytics about our Site traffic (e.g. the number of visitors and page views) so we know how it’s being used. This helps us improve the Site as well as get a sense of its impact.
  1. Data Controllers and Contracting Parties

    By accessing and using the Site, you are contracting with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation (“Provider,” “we” or “us”), and agreeing that Provider is the “controller” of your personal data provided to, collected by, or processed in connection with the Site. This Privacy Policy along with the Terms of Use form a contract. If you don’t agree with this Privacy Policy or the Terms of Use, do not access or use the Site. This Privacy Policy applies to only this Site, and excludes any other services that state that they are offered under a different privacy policy. For example, this Privacy Policy does not apply to chanzuckerberg.com.

  2. Data We Collect

    Cellxgene is a tool that enables fast visualizations of curated single-cell transcriptomics datasets. It takes data submitted by researchers (gene expression matrices that indicate counts of how often genes are expressed in certain cell types and metadata detailing how those matrices were generated) and helps you visualize it for faster analysis, exploration, and – hopefully – insight.

    This data is not personally identifiable.

      Data You Provide To Us.

      We collect certain information from you when you provide it to us directly. Specifically, this includes data you submit for display in CELLxGENE (ex: single-cell .h5ad matrix files), data you provide you us as part of submission or registering for an account (ex: name and email address), as well as if you contact us for support or with information about a dataset via email. This information is necessary in order to create your account and provide you with access to the services we offer on the Site.

      Data From Your Browser or Device.

      Whenever you use any online service, certain information gets created and logged automatically; the same is true when you access or use the Site. Here’s what we collect:

      • Log.
        When you access or use the Site (whether on your computer or on a mobile device), we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes IP addresses, the Internet Site Provider, referring pages, date/time stamps, clickstream data, and duration of time spent on the Site. We collect this data pursuant to our legitimate interests in understanding how Visitors use our Site and improving our Site.
      • Device.
        In addition to log data, we collect information about the device you’re using to access the Site; this includes the type of device, browser type, and operating system that helps us understand when something goes wrong. We collect this data pursuant to our legitimate interests in improving our Site.
      • Cookies and Other Similar Technologies.
        For certain users that need to log into CELLxGENE Discover to publish data, we use essential cookies (small text files sent by your computer each time you access the Site that are unique to your account or your browser) to enable that use. For web analytics, we do not use Google Analytics. Instead, we use the privacy-friendly Plausible as our website analytic tool. Learn more about Plausible’s data and privacy practices here.

  3. How We Use Your Data

    CZI does not sell, rent, or lease your personal data to others. We use your data for the following business purposes only:


      We use the information we collect to provide the Site, and maintain and improve the Site, including understanding the content that Visitors find valuable.


      We may also use your information to respond to an email from you, and to engage with you about a dataset you wish to share.

      Aggregate Insights.

      We use the privacy-friendly Plausible service to produce and share aggregated insights that do not identify you. For example we may receive from Plausible statistics about the location of our Visitors, and how many Visitors engage with the Site on a monthly basis. These aggregated insights are not personally identifiable.

      Security and Investigations.

      We use your data (including your communications) if we think it’s necessary for security purposes or to investigate violations of our Terms of Use or this Privacy Policy. We may use human and automated systems and inferences we make to determine whether you or others can be trusted to engage with the Sites.

  4. How We Share Information

    Except in the instances listed below, we will not disclose your personal information to others unless you consent to it, nor will we ever sell your personal information to advertisers or other third parties. However, we share your information in the following ways:

      Third Party Site Providers.

      CZIF works with service providers that help us operate, secure, and improve the Site. These services are, for example, performing statistical analysis, database management services, database hosting, and security. To the extent they will have access to your information, their use is limited by this Privacy Policy.

      Legal and Safety Reasons.

      We may disclose information if we believe in good faith that it’s necessary (a) in connection with any legal investigation; (b) to comply with relevant laws or to respond to subpoenas or warrants served on us; (c) to protect or defend our rights or property; and/or (d) to investigate or assist in preventing any violation of the law.

      CZIF Entities and Affiliates.

      The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, LLC (“CZI LLC”) is our primary technology partner, focusing on the Site’s infrastructure, security, and compliance. In this role, CZI LLC is a data controller for all data referenced in this Privacy Policy. As with Service Providers mentioned above, CZI LLC‘s use of data is limited by this Privacy Policy. “Affiliates” refers to entities controlled by or under common control with CZIF (such as CZI LLC) and does not include Facebook for purposes of this policy.

      Reorganization, Sale or Merger.

      We may share your information in connection with a merger, reorganization, or sale of all or a portion of our organization or assets related to CZIF. In the event of a merger, reorganization or sale of assets, the buyer or other successor entity will continue to be bound by the terms of this Privacy Policy.

  5. Choices and Rights


      You have the following rights with respect to the personal data we have about you:

      • Delete data.
        You can ask us to erase or delete all or some of your personal data.
      • Change or correct personal data.
        You can also ask us to change, update or fix your data in certain cases, particularly if it’s inaccurate.
      • Object to, limit, or restrict use of personal data.
        You can ask us to stop using all or some of your personal data (e.g., if we have no legal right to keep using it) or to limit our use of it (e.g., if your personal data is inaccurate or unlawfully held).
      • Right to access and/or take your personal data.
        You can ask us for a copy of your personal data in machine-readable form.
      • The right not to be discriminated against.
        CZIF will not discriminate against you in any manner for exercising any of the above rights with respect to your personal data.
      • Contact us at privacy@chanzuckerberg.com if you have questions or would like to exercise any rights you have under applicable law to control your personal data. If you wish to raise a concern about our use of your information (and without prejudice to any other rights you may have), you have the right to do so with your local supervisory authority.

  6. Retention and Deletion.

    We retain your personal data as needed to provide the Site. This includes data you provided to us and data generated or inferred from your use of the Site.

  7. Data Transfers.

    CZIF is based in the United States; when you engage with the Site, you are sending personal data into the United States which may have different data protection rules than those of your country. We process data both inside and outside of the United States.

  8. Our Legal Bases.

    We will collect, use and share your personal data only where we have a legal right to do so. This section explains our legal bases for processing personal data, including under GDPR.


      We rely on consent to engage in certain data collection activities, like data you choose to submit to us for display on CELLxGENE Discover.

      Legitimate Interests.

      We rely on legitimate interests to process the device and log data we collect when you use the Site. We process this data based on our legitimate interest in understanding how the Site is being used so we can improve it and have a sense of its impact, and your legitimate interest in accessing the Site.


      We rely on contract where processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with you (e.g. to make the data you submitted to us publicly available via CELLxGENE Discover).

    Where we rely on consent, you have the right to revoke your consent and where we rely on legitimate interests, you have the right to object by emailing us at privacy@chanzuckerberg.com. If you have any questions about the lawful bases on which we collect and use your personal data, please contact our Data Protection Officer via email at GDPR-REP@chanzuckerberg.com.

  9. Other Important Information


      Security of personal data is important to us. We implement security safeguards designed to protect your personal data, including reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect that personal data from unauthorized access, use, alteration and destruction. Despite these efforts, we cannot guarantee that your data may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by a breach of any of our physical, technical, or administrative safeguards. Please notify us immediately at security@chanzuckerberg.com if you become aware of any security issues relating to the Site.

      Direct Marketing and Do Not Track Signals.

      We don’t currently share personal data with third parties for their direct marketing purposes, nor do we support any Do Not Track signals, since there’s currently no standard for how online services respond to those signals. As standards develop, we may establish policies for responding to DNT signals that we would describe in this Privacy Policy.


      We may modify this Privacy Policy from time to time, and you can see when the last update was by looking at the “Last Updated” date at the top of this page. If we make material changes to it, we’ll provide you notice through this Privacy Policy. Your continued use of the Site after we publish a notice about changes to this Privacy Policy means that you acknowledge and agree to the updated Privacy Policy following the date it takes effect.


      The Site is not designed or intended for children under 16. If we become aware that we have the information of such children collected through the Site, we will promptly delete it.

      Contact Information.

      If you have questions or complaints regarding this Privacy Policy, please contact us at privacy@chanzuckerberg.com.
      To comply with article 27 of the GDPR and the UK-GDPR, we have appointed a representative who can accept communications on behalf of CZIF and CZI LLC in relation to personal data processing activities falling within the scope of the GDPR or the UK-GDPR. If you wish to contact them, their details are as follows:

      European GDPR Representative:
      Bird & Bird GDPR Representative Services SRL
      Avenue Louise 235
      1050 Bruxelles
      UK Data Protection Representative:
      Bird & Bird GDPR Representative Services UK
      12 New Fetter Lane
      London EC4A 1JP
      United Kingdom