Measurement Lab Privacy Policy

Active and previous versions

This Policy was last modified on July 12, 2018, and superceded on July 1, 2019 by the version 2. The current Privacy Policy is version 3, published July 14, 2020.

Measurement Lab (M-Lab) is a measurement platform that provides one of the largest collections of public data on Internet performance. The data is generated by users that voluntarily conduct tests (or “experiments”) either directly through the M-Lab site or through third party “clients,” which are software applications or hardware equipment that test the connection between the user and an M-Lab server. The experiments may be authored, designed and maintained by parties other than M-Lab, e.g. university research groups or third party developers.

All experiment data is retained indefinitely and published publicly to support research into trends in Internet performance.

Please check this policy before you submit any data to the M-Lab platform through a test or client.

Information We Collect

Information Collected Through Experiments

Since all data collected through experiments is released publicly, M-Lab’s Acceptable Use Policy requires the submission of only specific technical Internet measurements and prohibits the collection of sensitive personal information, physical location or web browser history.

Information that may be collected under our Acceptable Use Policy includes:

  • Measurement Data: Performance variables describing the state of connection during the test, such as average download and upload speed; latency and topology of the path between the client and server; and whether the application or protocol is manipulated or discriminated against in transit.
  • Connection Data: Information necessary to characterize performance data, including the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the client that conducted the measurement and the date and time of the test.
  • Metadata: Descriptive information about the user’s environment to support analysis of measurement data. Metadata varies by experiment and client but may include the name and version of the web browser software, software application, or operating system used to conduct the test.

M-Lab does not allow the storage of information on the platform that would associate individuals or clients with their history of tests or devices or reveal content of communications, such as emails or Internet searches.

Information Collected for the Performance of M-Lab Operations

M-Lab interfaces with a number of third parties in the operation of its platform, including for the purposes of contracting and operations for server infrastructure and transit and maintaining measurement experiments. M-Lab may collect contact information from these parties including name, email, address, and telephone number and retain and use this contact information for as long as is necessary. This information will not be published and will be accessible only to members of the M-Lab team.

Information Collected Through the Use Of Our Website

We may collect information about how you interact with M-Lab, like when you visit our website. This information may be collected, processed and analyzed using Google Analytics:

  • Log information: When you use M-Lab services or view M-Lab content, we may automatically collect and store certain information in server logs (records of the page requests made when you visit our sites). This may include: details of how you used our platform; Internet protocol address; device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, standard HTTP request headers, including but not limited to user agent, referral URL, language preference, date and time; and cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.
  • Cookies and Local Storage: We may use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit the website, and this may include sending one or more cookies or randomly generated identifiers to your device. A cookie is a small file containing a string of characters that is sent to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies may store user preferences and other information. The “help” portion of the toolbar on the majority of browsers will direct you on how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to command the browser to tell you when you receive a new cookie, or how to fully disable cookies. We may also collect and store information using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML5) and application data caches.

This information will not be published and will be accessible only to members of the M-Lab team.

How we use the information we collect

Publication and Sharing

M-Lab releases all of the data collected through experiments into the public domain under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0) license, free of any use restrictions. M-Lab waives all copyright and related rights in and to the experiment data. Everyone is free to use the open experiment data.

We encourage third parties to make use of this data for research and other projects, illustrative examples of which are detailed on our publications page and data tools page. Third parties may use the experiment data for any purpose, without needing to seek prior permission from M-Lab. M-Lab cannot assert control over third parties’ use of the published data.

Use of Data

M-Lab uses data directly for the following purposes:

  • Research: M-Lab may directly use aggregated experiment data to conduct research related to Internet performance.
  • Aggregation of data: We aggregate experiment data to support analysis internally and by third parties. To improve the transparency and usability of data we may also produce visualizations that display experiment data patterns for a particular region or ISP.
  • Maintenance and improvement of the M-Lab Platform: We may also use the information we collect to maintain and support our platform and presence, including troubleshooting issues, optimizing our website, or making decisions about how to expand our server network.
  • Operation of the M-Lab Platform: We may use the information we collect to operate experiments associated with the M-Lab platform, including directing a client to an appropriate server on the platform.
  • Abuse Detection and Troubleshooting: We may use information we collect to detect, prevent, or otherwise addressing abuse, security, or technical issues with the M-Lab Platform.
  • Legal Purposes: We may use data we collect to enforcing legal claims, including investigation of potential violations of applicable Acceptable Use Policies.

Data Storage, Control, and Transfers

M-Lab’s platform is internationally distributed and uses cloud services to store and process data, which affects how M-lab collects and stores data. The initial point of collection for experiment data is the server on the M-Lab platform with which an experiment is conducted. For a single user, the initial point of collection can differ each time a measurement is made and may or may not be in the user’s country of residence. After the initial collection, M-Lab aggregates the data from the servers on the platform. This process enables the long-term storage and analysis of the data. Data hosted on the platform may be distributed across multiple countries.

We process the data for the purposes of the above described legitimate interests.

Accessing, updating, and deleting your personal information

Information collected through M-Lab experiments becomes part of our public dataset, which anyone has the right to access. M-Lab does not authenticate users or allow storage of information on the platform that would associate individuals or clients with their history of tests, and IP addresses may be dynamic and vary across tests. Accordingly, M-Lab is generally unable to identify any specific test data as relating to any specific individual. Users may initiate new tests, which will be included in the public dataset in addition to prior results.

Compliance and Cooperation with Regulators

We regularly review this Privacy Policy and make sure that we process the information we collect in compliance with it.

Regardless of where your information is processed, we apply the same practices described in this Policy.

When we receive formal written complaints, we respond by contacting the person who made the complaint. We may work with the appropriate regulatory authorities, including local data protection authorities, to resolve any complaints regarding the processing of data that we cannot resolve with you directly.

You can contact your local data protection authority if you have concerns regarding your rights under local law.

When this Policy Applies

This policy applies to the processing of data through experiments on the M-Lab platform, as well as through use of the M-Lab website. It does not apply to the information practices of other companies and organizations, including information practices of members of the Experiment Review Committee, experiment hosts, or clients occurring outside of the M-Lab platform.

Experiment hosts or clients may have additional privacy requirements for data that they collect that apply to your data. Our Acceptable Use Policy requires that experiments and clients using the platform notify users of this Policy and any additional applicable privacy policy or terms of service within the experiment or client.

Changes to this Policy

We may change this Policy from time to time. We’ll post notice of modified terms on the M-Lab website and will notify users subscribed to the M-Lab discuss list. Any changes will not apply retroactively and will not diminish your rights under this Policy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, comments, or requests regarding M-Lab’s Privacy Policy, please contact us at

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