General Purposes and Intent
Ripple Science Corporation (“Ripple,” “Ripple Science” or the “Company”) offers tools and resources that facilitate participant recruiting and administration for scientific research (collectively, the “Platform”) subject to these Terms of Service (“TOS”).
Ripple’s TOS applies to a) entities such as business enterprises, academic institutions or other academic entities or individuals (e.g., medical centers, departments, research centers, principal investigators, research/project coordinators) who obtain authorization from Ripple to utilize the Platform (ie “Customers”) and b) to individuals authorized by such Customers to access the Platform in the course of research activities (ie “End Users” or “Users”). Throughout the TOS we may use “you” to refer to Customers and End Users interchangeably.
Customers and End Users who access a Ripple account and use the Platform confirm their agreement to these TOS, and further confirm that they are authorized to accept these TOS on behalf of a subscribing Customer. We recommend that you review the TOS frequently, with the understanding that Ripple may update it from time to time. Please send questions or comments regarding these TOS via our Contact page, or through Ripple designated contact persons.
IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXTERNAL AGREEMENT THAT EXPLICITLY SUPERSEDES OR SUPPLEMENTS THE TERMS HEREIN, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL APPLY BY DEFAULT.
Intellectual Property Rights in the Platform
Copyright, Trademark and other relevant intellectual property rights apply to all functionality and content of the Platform, whether held by Ripple or third parties who may permit Ripple to post certain materials or include certain functionality.
Ripple’s brand name and logo, as well as names and graphic elements identifying its features and operations, whether registered or unregistered, are owned by Ripple Science Corporation and are protected through application of U.S. Trademark Law and that of applicable jurisdictions outside of the United States.
Redistribution, republication or imitation of any part of the Platform or related user interfaces, or any graphic, verbal or conceptual element of Ripple’s branding, including aesthetic ‘look and feel’ elements, is prohibited without our express written consent.
Rights and Responsibilities when Using the Platform
Ripple reserves all rights in the Platform, except for limited rights to use the Platform that it may grant to authorized customers and end users, as governed by the TOS.
Authorization to use the Platform must be secured on a subscription basis requiring compliance with payment terms established by Ripple and/or its sales representatives. Customers may also be authorized at Ripple’s discretion to use the Platform for a limited time, without payment, on a discretionary trial basis. You agree not to use or allow others to use the Platform in a manner that violates applicable law, regulations, institutional policies or these TOS.
You agree that you will not provide Platform access to unauthorized entities or individuals, including investigators, departments, laboratories, programs or other institutional subdivisions not specifically designated in the account authorization provided by Ripple. Ripple at its discretion may approve shared Platform access where it receives notice of research collaborations between authorized and unauthorized persons or entities.
You also agree to refrain from modifying, reverse engineering, copying, reselling or otherwise disseminating any component of the Platform without specific authorization from Ripple.
While we are continually working to assure that our technology functions properly, due to the imperfect nature of computer hardware, networks and the Internet, we do not promise flawless operation.
While we are confident that your processes for research recruiting and management will be improved through conscientious use of Ripple technology, you use it at your own discretion and risk and we do not promise improved outcomes.
Where Ripple posts or otherwise makes use of comments or information provided by any customer or user of our Platform it declines to accept any responsibility for the quality or reliability of such content. We do not certify or endorse any provider of scientific research services or information.
ALL MATERIAL, FUNCTIONALITY AND INFORMATION COMPRISING THE RIPPLE PLATFORM IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON INFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL RIPPLE BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE PLATFORM, WHETHER OR NOT ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGE, AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL RIPPLE BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE, LOSS OR INJURY RESULTING FROM ANY FAILURE OF A USER’S SYSTEM SECURITY, AND/OR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ANY RIPPLE ACCOUNT BY ANY THIRD PARTY.
USER AGREES THAT IN NO EVENT ABSENT AN EXPLICITLY SUPERCEDING EXTERNAL AGREEMENT TO THE CONTRARY SHALL ANY LIABILITY OF RIPPLE (OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS) EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF SUBSCRIPTION FEES PAID FOR THE YEAR PRIOR TO THE MAKING OF A CLAIM. USER’S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE RIPPLE PLATFORM IS TO TERMINATE ITS SUBSCRIPTION AND DISCONTINUE USE OF THE PLATFORM.
Privacy and Confidentiality
You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any Ripple Science account you initiate or maintain, and for restricting related access to your computers and/or mobile devices. You agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur in relation to accounts or passwords under your control, including but not limited to downloading and/or copying user-generated content using our export tool. Ripple reserves the right to refuse service, limit service or terminate any account, in its sole discretion.
Ripple utilizes encryption and authentication technology and related best practices to protect data entered and accessed via the Platform. Personally identifiable information regarding participants in research studies is encrypted, fully confidential and at no time is accessed by Ripple staff without explicit permission from the Customer for the purposes of data recovery or technical support, or when required or permitted by law, such as during an emergency or disaster recovery. In addition, such participant content can be downloaded by an authorized Customer or End User anytime for any purpose using the export tool available via the Platform, but Customer or End User is responsible for the security and confidentiality of any data downloaded from the Platform. Users have the right to view records pertaining to their own accounts, and participants have the right to view data relevant to their privacy interests, upon a verifiable written request.
Ripple will generally refrain from selling, licensing or otherwise providing personal or institutional information to any third party. The sole exceptions to this policy are 1) where we are explicitly authorized to share specific information and such dissemination is otherwise lawful; 2) where we are required to do so in response to lawful requests by public authorities for legitimate law enforcement and/or national security purposes; 3) where Ripple chooses to publicize that the Platform is in use by an identifiable program, laboratory or other institutional subdivision and the Customer with authority over that subdivision has not affirmatively denied Ripple permission to do so.
We will refrain from knowingly using your contact information to send you unsolicited communications. Any emails or other notifications will only be sent to you by Ripple in connection with providing Platform functionality or information you requested.
Ripple reserves the right to use Internet Protocol addresses, ie “IP addresses,” to analyze trends, administer the Platform and associated website, maintain its tools and features, track user activities, improve Platform and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information. Additionally, for systems administration, detecting usage patterns and troubleshooting purposes, our web servers may log certain non-personal access information including browser type, access times and requested or referred URLs. This information is not shared with third parties and is disclosed among Ripple personnel only to the extent it is necessary for our operations and maintenance purposes. No individually identifiable information related to this data will be used in any other way unless we obtain your explicit written permission.
Regarding compliance with HIPAA privacy requirements applying to individually identifiable health information, although the security features of the Platform meet or exceed HIPAA technical guidelines, only where a) the Customer’s subscription authorization is explicitly documented by Ripple as “Fully HIPAA Compliant” and b) Ripple and the Customer have executed a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, shall use of the Platform be considered HIPAA compliant.
You, ie subscribing Customers and authorized end users, are solely responsible for determining whether your use of the Platform is subject to HIPAA requirements and for implementing a configuration of Ripple that meets the requirements of your use case as well as technical requirements of your institution’s information technology policies.
EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework
Consistent with the Privacy Shield Framework, individuals whose personal information is processed and/or retained by Ripple have the right to access such personal data, to ensure that it is corrected, modified or deleted, or to otherwise limit its use and dissemination.
Individuals who wish to expressly limit use and disclosure of personal information should contact the institution or entity to whom they initially directed the information. Where for any reason their request is not addressed in a timely manner, following the individual’s notification to Ripple via email@example.com, Ripple shall cooperate with clients who received such personal information, or will otherwise act as is reasonably necessary to assure that the individuals’ reasonable requests are addressed.
Where Ripple directs private information to any third party in a manner inconsistent with Privacy Shield principles, it shall remain fully liable for such activity unless it demonstrates another party’s legal responsibility for such non compliance.
Independent Recourse Mechanism for Privacy Shield matters
In compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles, Ripple commits to resolve complaints about the collection or use of personal information.
EU individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding our Privacy Shield policy should first contact Ripple at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint from us, or if we have not addressed your complaint to your satisfaction, please contact the EU Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) for more information or to file a complaint. The services of the EU DPAs are provided at no cost to you. Individuals or entities involved in resolving complaints through the EU DPAs may have the right to invoke binding arbitration.
Ripple from time to time may (but is not obligated to) provide Users with information related to research support, products and services offered by outside institutions or organizations. While Ripple is selective in associating with these entities, we do not monitor, review or endorse their offerings, content or practices. Ripple is not responsible for the privacy and security practices of any entity that can be linked to from our Platform or website. Users should always review relevant Terms and Conditions, privacy statements and community policies of these external entities before disclosing any personal information.
Ripple will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage in whatever manner, howsoever caused, resulting from your disclosure of information to third parties. Ripple will not accept liability for any interactions with such outside organizations.
User Generated Content
Information entered by users via the Platform is considered User Generated Content. Users retain copyright ownership to all User Generated Content but agree to grant Ripple a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual license to use recruitment related content (such as recruitment sources and strategies), excluding personally identifiable participant information, to provide other Ripple users with aggregate analytics concerning campaign effectiveness, regional resources and other non personal recruitment data.
Ripple’s management of User Generated Content is at all times subject to the privacy rights of individual research participants, whose data shall by default be encrypted and treated as confidential, and is also subject to applicable institutional policies as well as relevant Federal, state or local law.
Ripple may in any event create department, university, or regionally based databases of potential participants who explicitly opt in to such databases (Opted-In Participants) subject to terms of external agreements between Ripple and such Opted-In Participants.
You, the User, agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ripple, its contractors, and its licensors, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the Site and Platform, including but not limited to your violation of these Terms and Conditions.
Legal Venue and Dispute Resolution
By visiting Ripple’s website and utilizing the related research optimization technology and data you agree that the laws of the state of Michigan, USA, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will generally govern these terms and conditions and any dispute that might arise between you and Ripple. You further agree that prior to either of us seeking resolution of a dispute in any court of law, we will first attempt to resolve the matter cost effectively through 1) informal negotiation in person or via Skype or other videoconferencing technology; and/or 2) retaining a mutually acceptable provider of mediation services for up to three hours of mediation sessions. Otherwise, where these more informal measures are not effective, the parties may seek traditional legal and equitable remedies. In situations where Ripple is required to seek an injunction or restraining order, or where a customer has not met payment obligations to Ripple, we may seek legal remedies without prior negotiation or mediation.
If any of these terms are deemed invalid or unenforceable for any reason, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be severed from these Terms and the remaining Terms will continue to apply. Failure of Ripple to enforce any of the provisions set out in these Terms and Conditions, or failure to limit or terminate any customer or user’s Platform access for any length of time, shall not be construed as waiver of such provisions and shall not affect the validity of these Terms and Conditions, or the right thereafter to enforce each and every provision. These Terms and Conditions shall not be amended, modified, varied or supplemented in the absence of written notification by Ripple.
Notification of Changes
Ripple reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions from time to time as it sees fit, and your continued use of the Platform and website will signify your acceptance of any adjustment to these terms. If there are any changes to our privacy-related provisions, we will announce that these changes have been made on our website and via the Platform. If there are any changes in how we use personally identifiable information, notification will be made to those affected by this change. You are advised to regularly review our Terms and Conditions and any accompanying memorandum or communication directed to Customers and Users.
Please direct inquiries or concerns regarding these Terms of Service, including the incorporated privacy terms, to email@example.com.