Confidentiality, Privacy and Security

Can the ISKCON.NET Administrator see my emails?
Not in general. The only way the ISKCON.NET Administrator can see your emails is by resetting your password and logging into your account. Google would send a notification to your recovery email address and mobile that your password has been reset by your administrator, so you would know as soon as this occurs. Your old password would cease to work and the ISKCON.NET Administrator cannot revert your account back to the old password.

The ISKCON.NET Administrator cannot secretly access your data without you knowing about it – the G Suite admin tools do not offer any such facility.
Google explains here what access the ISKCON.NET administrator has.

Administrative access to an email system is normal and necessary in most email services. For example:
– If you use Gmail, Google can access your data.
– If you use a private email service, the system administrator can access your data.
– If you use your employer’s email service (corporate, government, education), the system administrator can access your data.
Organisations implement policies and procedures to protect user security, privacy and confidentiality.


Can the ISKCON.NET Administrator see my password?
No. Google does not give any such facility. The ISKCON.NET Administrator can reset your password but cannot see your existing password.


How does ISKCON.NET protect my privacy and data confidentiality?
ISKCON.NET is managed by ISKCON Network, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation registered in California in the United States. ISKCON Network is authorised by the GBC Executive Committee to offer communication and collaboration services to ISKCON members. ISKCON Network has no other purpose than doing this, and is bound by its Articles of Incorporation to do this activity and nothing else. ISKCON Network is committed to protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your data to the full extent possible.


How do the service providers protect my privacy and data confidentiality?
All services that are offered on ISKCON.NET are covered by the terms and policies of the respective service providers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Asana. You can view their policies on their websites. These service providers are large, established enterprises offering business-critical cloud-based software to a plethora of clients large and small. The credibility of these service providers rests on their ability to protect customer privacy and data, and they invest heavily in security. ISKCON.NET has selected these service providers after carefully reviewing their policies and procedures, but you should also take the time to satisfy yourself with the same.


Are data and discussions within the ISKCON.NET environment secure and confidential?
Data privacy, confidentiality and security are explained in detail by the service providers in their terms and policies. ISKCON.NET advises you to further adopt confidentiality policies for your centres, projects and teams that you engage with on ISKCON.NET. However, internet communications cannot be 100% secure, and the confidentiality of your data is also a function of how other people that you give access to your data treat that data. As membership of ISKCON is self-declared, anyone can join ISKCON.NET and gain access to information that is freely shared by members, such as on broadcast groups. You should label confidential items as confidential, and take steps to share it only with the people that need to see it. For example, if you post something on an ISKCON.NET Google Groups mailing list, you should ensure that the content of the group is only visible to its members, but you should be aware that members may forward your posts to non-members.


Why should I use an ISKCON.NET email account when I can use a Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo email account where I have more control over my data?
The benefits of ISKCON.NET arise from its users being on the same domain name ( This enables us to offer enterprise-class services that are not otherwise available to consumers. Adopting such services will help ISKCON to achieve more impact without devotees having to compromise on privacy and confidentiality.


Does Google have access to my data?
Google has well established policies and procedures regarding data privacy and confidentiality.
How Google handles your data
Google Privacy Policy


Will my data be scanned or used for advertising?
Google writes here: “Unlike Google’s consumer offerings, which may show ads, we do not collect, scan or use your G Suite data for advertising purposes and do not display ads in G Suite, Education, or Government core services. We use your data to provide the G Suite services, and for system support, such as spam filtering, virus detection, spell-checking, capacity planning, traffic routing, and the ability to search for emails and files within an individual account.
Put simply, the data that companies, schools and government agencies put into our G Suite services does not belong to Google. Whether it’s corporate intellectual property, personal information or a homework assignment, Google does not own that data and Google does not sell that data to third parties.


Who owns the data in my account?
You own your data. ISKCON.NET makes no claim on your data and will never do so.


Can I use my personal ISKCON.NET account for a centre/project/team?
If you use your ISKCON.NET account for purposes related to an ISKCON centre/project/team, then that entity may make a claim over their data that you store in your account. However, we will not entertain such claims. To avoid such disputes, we advise you to create a centre/project/team ISKCON.NET account and keep project-specific data in that account. This will ensure that no individual can cause difficulty for your project by refusing to hand over project data.


What does it mean when Google informs me that “…your administrator decides which services you may access using your account”?
G Suite is a collection of Google services geared towards businesses, educational institutions, governments and non-profits. Organisations like ISKCON can decide which G Suite services to offer to users. The services which we have decided to roll out are explained on our G Suite page. From time to time we may add additional G Suite services, but we will never remove any that we have already added. If Google adds new G Suite services, we will evaluate whether to implement them for ISKCON.NET users. If Google removes a G Suite service, we would have no control on the removal of that service from your account.


Who is the ISKCON.NET Administrator?
Atmarama Krishna Das is the Administrator of ISKCON.NET and is the CEO of ISKCON Network, the legal entity authorised by the GBC to offer ISKCON.NET services.


How is the security of the administrator account protected?
All data is stored in the Google Cloud, and is therefore protected by Google’s own security measures. The password for the administrator account is known only to the ISKCON.NET Administrator. Access to the administrator account further requires multi factor authentication.


Why do we need an ISKCON.NET Administrator?
Google requires that any organisation using G Suite must have an administrator account.


Why is the ISKCON.NET Administrator a devotee?
ISKCON.NET is a devotional project, and the administrator does not take any payment for doing this seva. As ISKCON.NET does not charge any fee for its services, it has no income with which to pay anyone a salary. Furthermore, having a devotee as the administrator makes it easier for us to protect the safety and security of our users and prevent abuse of the system.


Can authorities in ISKCON, such as the GBC, access my data?
No. ISKCON Network is part of ISKCON, but is a separate legal entity and is governed by its own strict data protection and confidentiality guidelines. We will never take your data and share it with anyone in ISKCON – even if the GBC asks us to do so.


How would I know if my account has been accessed/hacked?
You would know that your account has been accessed if you’re sure you entered the right password but it is not working – that would mean that your password has been changed by someone else. If your password has been reset by the system administrator, your alternate email address would receive a notification to this effect. If you have not received any such notification, and you are sure that your password is not working, it means someone has hacked your account.


How can I recover my account?
You should follow these steps to recover a hijacked or stolen Google Account. If you are still unable to access your account, you can contact ISKCON.NET Support from the external email address that you initially entered on the Sign Up form and we will do our best to assist you.


What can I do to protect my account?
Follow Google’s advice – ‘Make your account more secure‘. The Google Safety Center gives further advice. It is strongly advised that you enroll in 2-step verification, which adds an extra layer of security to your account.


In Google Groups mailing lists on ISKCON.NET, who other than the group members can see the posts?
Noone. Not even the ISKCON.NET Administrator can see the content of a group that he is not a member of (although he can administer it).


What if a law enforcement agency asks you for access to my data?
It’s unlikely they will ask us. It’s easier for them to ask Google directly for access to your data, and Google has well established policies and procedures for how law enforcement agencies can approach them, and on what grounds Google would release such data. If a law enforcement agency does request us to give access to your data, we will decline and we will tell them to contact Google instead – unless the agency has a US court order which obliges us to act.


What if there is a critical or life-threatening situation – will you access my data?
No. In such a situation, whoever needs access to your data should call the police. Law enforcement agencies around the world know how to submit legally valid claims to service providers such as Google for access to data.


If I don’t want to use ISKCON.NET anymore, can I close my account and migrate my data
Yes. You are free to transfer out your account data and/or close your account at any time.


Can ISKCON.NET suspend or delete my account? If so, can I export my data?
Yes. We may suspend or delete your account if you significantly breach our terms of use or those of Google. However, we will generally give you enough time to export your data first.


How do I migrate my data out of ISKCON.NET?
Emails can be downloaded to your desktop email client, or migrated to another web-mail service by following their instructions, and files can be downloaded to your computer.


Can I use my ISKCON.NET account for personal or commercial purposes?
Yes, you can use your account for any legal purpose that conforms with Google’s terms of service and our terms. We cannot monitor your emails, but if we become aware that you are misusing your account then we will suspend or delete it.


Can I keep personal documents in my ISKCON.NET account Google Drive?
Yes. But be aware that it is not technically possible to transfer ownership of G Suite Google Drive files out to an external Google Account such as Gmail. Google does not allow it. You can only transfer ownership to another G Suite account within ISKCON.NET. However, you can share files with external Google Accounts such as Gmail and in that external account you can make copies that are new files independent of ISKCON.NET.