1.1 Objectives

The objectives of the Data Policy of India Observatory (IO) are to:

  1. Define the principles, conditions and exceptions governing access to India Observatory Services (hereinafter referred to as IO Services), their management in such a way as to increase access to such data, to facilitate their wider reuse and application.
  2. IO Services Promote transparent and good practices in order to improve management of and access to the IO Services, and thereby reinforce the overall FES goals of greater transparency, accountability and democracy.

1.2 Scope

This Data Policy applies to data and/or services produced and/or developed by India Observatory (an initiative of Foundation for Ecological security (FES)) or by public and private entities on its behalf, as well as to data and/or services received by FES and/or acquired against payment.

This Policy does not apply to :

  • Data and/or Services exempted from the obligation to provide access or reuse, as per statute or any other contractual obligations;
  • Access to Data and/or Services which is restricted in accordance with the statute or any other contractual obligations and
  • Access to any other Data and/or Services, the reuse of which is restricted due to any other existing legal provisions which are binding and incompatible with this Policy.

1.3 Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy, the following definitions will apply:

IO Services” mean spatial data, non-spatial data, metadata, software applications, application programming interfaces (API’s), source code, use cases, case studies, reports and any other digital content produced and/or otherwise acquired by FES within its sphere of responsibility and made available through its websites and/or software applications.

Use” means utilisation of data and/or services by users for commercial or non-commercial purposes other than the initial purpose for which the data and/or services were produced or acquired. Use includes but is not limited to such acts as reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, modification, combination with other data and information, distribution of the data with or without any modifications by the user, as well as any combinations of such acts; it also includes "reuse".

Spatial Data and Non-Spatial Data” Data that are primarily defined as those which are directly or indirectly referenced to a geographic location on the surface of the earth are referred to as spatial data. When a data cannot be related to a location on the surface of the earth it is referred as non-spatial data.

Personal Data” Means any information relating to a person who is or can be identified either from the data, or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of FES and/or its authorized vendors or subcontractors. Personal Data may include but is not limited to, an individual’s (a) name and/or surname, (b) place/date of birth, (c) age, (d) gender, (e) nationality, (f) postal address (g) job title h) Email address; (i) Telephone number; (j) the organization or company user represents or works for k) income l) religion m) caste n) asset holding.

Application Programming Interface (API) – Means software program including functions and procedures that allow access to features or data of an operating system, application or other service without the need for a developer to share its entire software code. APIs are sets of requirements that govern how one application can communicate and interact with another.

Third Party(ies): Means any natural or legal person, public authority, agency or any other body other than the user, FES’s authorized vendors and subcontractors, from where the IO Services may be provided access and/or who may access and process data from a FES database.

1.4 Use of Data

India Observatory (IO) adopts an open data policy, intended to provide services free of constraints and restrictions on use, unless otherwise specified. IO Services use spatial and non-spatial data. These can be categorized as a) Primary and b) Secondary. “Primary” data refer to those that have been created and/or collected and/or produced by FES for India Observatory. “Secondary” data refer to those that have been procured and/or acquired by FES from external sources either “at cost” or “no cost”. All the secondary data are subject to provisions of “external data” as indicated in this policy.

Users can download, share, and adapt IO Services for “non-commercial” uses. IO at its discretion can allow its services for “commercial” use on case to case basis, subject to the condition that such “commercial” use promotes the vision/mission of FES and stated objectives of this policy. Should the users desire to use IO Services for “commercial” purposes, they may do so by requesting for permission in a written form and FES may decide at its discretion, to recover a reasonable cost for such “commercial” use. All such commercial use shall be governed by the ownership/citation/attribution provisions as indicated in this policy.

Spatial data depicting administrative boundaries used by IO Services are solely for the purpose of reference and ease of identification of the administrative units. Administrative boundaries used in IO Services do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FES concerning the legal status of any country, state, district, city, village or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

To access full services a person will be required to register for IO Services with personal data. Wherever the personal data is collected by IO as part of its field studies or surveys, the same will be curated and anonymized to protect the privacy of the individuals. Personal data will be used only for the purpose(s) specified in this policy.

IO Services could also be accessed without registering. However, such anonymous users will only be able to access limited IO Services. The details of such anonymous access shall be listed in the “terms of use” of the respective portal(s)/website(s).

Exceptions to free, full, open and timely access to the IO Services may be imposed for reasons that may include but not limited to : protecting the public interest in security, defence and military matters, international relations, financial, monetary or economic policy, privacy and the integrity of the individual; commercial interests of natural or legal persons, intellectual property, court proceedings and legal advice, and for the purpose of inspections, investigations and audit.

1.5 External Data

IO Services incorporate content, data and services from external sources including software applications, services and/or data. These can include those that have been procured by FES for IO or made available to FES for IO under specific agreements or are available openly for public use. Use of such software applications, services and/or data will be governed by the policy framework and/or licensing guidelines as notified by the respective external sources.

Data from external sources which are not produced by FES and are made available as “”IO Services” may carry more restrictive licensing or permissions in accordance with the policy framework of respective data producers/owners.

IO may crowd source data which users upload or is captured by mobile devices based on the consent / permissions provided by the users. Such crowdsourced data may be used by IO for the purpose of data enrichment or technical analysis. Wherever identifiable IO will provide attribution to the user/source of the data.

While FES/IO Services may review any third party content and remove it if it determines that it violates the law or IO or FES policies, FES and IO do not commit to review all content, and users will not rely on FES to do so.

1.6 Application Programming Interfaces (API)

For data aggregation and generating analytics IO Services may use application program interfaces (API) to connect to the data or services from external sources or systems. Access to such services or systems will be governed by the policy framework of the respective data producers or service providers.

IO provides API’s its users to facilitate access to its data and services from its systems. Where IO API’s are used, each request to an API must include user account’s (created during the process of registration to IO Services) unique API keys.

Where IO - APIs are accessed/downloaded by users to develop applications, enrich data and/or carry out analytics, users will adhere to the guidelines set forth in this policy. FES/IO reserves right to cancel or suspend access to API’s at any time and for any reason, without notice.

1.7 Ownership / Citation / Attribution

Except as noted in specific cases, IO Services are provided access under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license., which permits unrestricted reuse of IO content when proper attribution is provided. This means users are free to copy, display, and distribute IO Services, or include IO content in derivative works, under the following conditions:

  • Users will acknowledge the source of IO Services, except if the copyright notice or licence accompanying the data authorises the user not to mention the source, such as in the case of public domain dedication. The copyright owner is FES if no further information is provided in the copyright notice.
  • Users must clearly attribute the work and provide a link back to the work on IO website. Some IO Services may carry additional copyright restrictions and IO makes every effort to clearly label such content.
  • Content provided access through IO Services does not imply any endorsement, accreditation or recommendation by IO or FES.

1.8 Warranty and Liability

  1. IO Services are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty against infringement of third parties' property rights, or merchantability, integration, satisfactory quality and fitness for a particular purpose.
  2. FES has no obligation to provide technical support or remedies for the data. FES does not represent or warrant that the data will be error free or uninterrupted, or that all non-conformities can or will be corrected, or that any data are accurate or complete, or that they are of a satisfactory technical or scientific quality.
  3. FES will not be held liable for any direct or indirect, incidental, consequential or other damages, including but not limited to the loss of data, loss of profits, or any other financial loss arising from the use of the IO Services or inability to use them, even if the IO Services are notified of the possibility of such damages.
  4. Though all efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and currency of the content in “IO Services”, the same should not be construed as a statement of law or used for any legal purposes. IO accepts no responsibility in relation to the accuracy, completeness, usefulness or otherwise, of its content.


2.1 Use of Personal Data

By using IO Services, users may share personal data to gain access to its data and/or services. The data IO collects depend on the context of user’s interactions with IO Services, the choices users opt, including privacy settings, and the services and features that are used.

IO collects personal data to help make the IO Services more useful to its users. This includes:

  • Administering and improving IO Services
  • Analysing the quality and reach of IO Services
  • Personalizing user experience with IO Services
  • Promoting safety and security of the IO Services
  • Contacting users about the IO Services

IO may also collect the following categories of information through use of IO Services including browser information, hardware model, operating system, IP address, the time of access of the Services, and type of content viewed or engaged with while using the IO Services.

IO may collect information about users from third parties viz Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc when they access IO Services using third-party platforms/credentials, subject to their consent.

IO may combine information collected from or about users from these various sources.

2.2 Sharing of personal data

IO may share user information as follows:

  • Third Party Service Providers. IO may share user information with third party service providers and contractors working on behalf of IO who assist us in providing the Services. These service providers are only authorized to use user Personal data to help IO provide the Services.IO does not sell or otherwise share user personal data with such third parties for their direct marketing purposes.
  • As Required or Permitted by Law – IO may share user information with courts, government agencies and other third parties as required or permitted by applicable law, to comply with any legal requests, to enforce our policies, or to protect our or others' rights, property, or safety.
  • Performance Reporting – IO may share aggregated, anonymized usage Information with its donors and partners to report on the utility and performance of the IO Services .

2.3 Security of personal data

FES has implemented commercially-reasonable, technical, administrative and physical safeguards to protect user information. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet or data storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. However, if users have reason to believe that their use of the IO Services is no longer secure (e.g., username and password have been compromised), they should contact IO services and or FES immediately.

FES and IO encourage users to promptly update their personal data if it changes. Users may correct, update, amend, remove, or ask to have their personal data and contact data removed by making the change on their user account settings page, if applicable, or by contacting FES and or IO.

2.4 Data Retention

FES will retain personal and contact data for as long as needed to provide users the IO Services . IO will try to comply with any requests in regard to personal data as soon as reasonably practicable as required by applicable law.

IO may retain and use certain information for record keeping purposes, to complete any prior request, as necessary to comply with FES’s legal obligations, resolve disputes, enforce agreements, or for other purposes as required or permitted by applicable law.

For any questions in regard to this policy contact us on :

Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)
Post Box No. 29, At - Jahangirpura, PO - Gopalpura
Vadod- 388 370
Hadgud, District - Anand
Gujarat, INDIA

E-Mail: info@indiaobservatory.org.in