Website privacy and cookies policy
What is this statement and what does it cover?
This statement explains what information we gather when
you visit our website and informs you
how this information is used and protected. The University
hosts a number of websites on various webservers: this
policy covers websites hosted at www.essex.ac.uk,
www2.essex.ac.uk, courses.essex.ac.uk, blogs.essex.ac.uk,
forums.essex.ac.uk moodle.essex.ac.uk, libwww.essex.ac.uk,
and perception.essex.ac.uk; other University of Essex
webservers have their own privacy policies. Our web
pages link to external websites: the University has no
responsibility for privacy or other legal issues relating to
these external sites.
and processed via this website, are subject to review and development and
any such changes will only be notified by this page.
This policy was last reviewed on
08 May 2013.
What data is collected?
It is standard practice for webservers to collect data automatically
about all requests for files (web pages, images, etc). Data gathered by
University of Essex webservers include:
- your IP address
- details about your web browser
- details about the files requested
- date and time of requests
- for each file requested, the referring page, if any,
from which you may have followed a hyperlink
- search terms and search results
- the domain from which your request originated
- your username, if you have authenticated with the
This information is also gathered by Google Analytics
to provide web traffic reporting for the University.
If you visit our pages via a proxy server, some of the logged data will
be obscured; for instance, the IP address collected will be that of the
proxy server rather than that of your computer.
In addition to data collected automatically by the webservers, some of
our pages request additional information; for instance, the prospectus
request form asks for contact and other details, and the myEssex portals
allow you to record a range of preferences so that you can customise what
you see. Where this happens you will find further specific information about
the data gathered and its use.
All personal data is collected and stored in compliance with the Data
Protection Act 1998.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, any individuals about whom the University
may be holding personal data have the right to access the data that is being
held about them. Full details about how this works, and how to request such
information are available on the Records Management web pages under
How to access your personal data.
What about cookies?
Cookies are small text files stored on your computer. They relate to a
specific site, and can be used to enhance that site's functionality and your
interaction with it; they may also be used for usage tracking, research,
browser preferences, choosing to allow them, block them, only allow them
from selected sites or only allow certain types of cookies. Restricting
cookies for a site may interfere with some of the functionality of that
Details of the cookies we use are available elsewhere:
Cookies on the University website.
For more information about cookies please see
We use a third-party product, 'Google Analytics', to help us understand
how our site is used. For this to work, cookies are used and information
about your use of our site, including your IP address, may be transmitted
to, and stored by, Google. This information is subject to
by adjusting your web browser preferences. Google also provide a browser
plug-in which allows you
to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites.
Additional data for specialist applications
Specialist applications, including the myEssex portals and e-learning
tools, such as Moodle, Perception and OCS gather user data specific to their
intended purpose. Data gathered by these applications includes user
identifiers, tracking information, user contributions (eg on discussion
forums, submitted essay content and assessment answers).
What do we do with the data?
Data relating to webserver requests are used for completion of the
current activity (eg a request to view a web page), and are subsequently
stored in log files, which are later processed to provide statistical
information about usage, load on servers, traffic patterns, troubleshooting,
incident investigation, etc. These data are also recorded by Google
Analytics which is used by the University to report on web traffic on its
sites. Analysis of web usage may be used for: systems and performance
monitoring; research; marketing (eg analysis of demographic information and
user behaviour). Information gathered by specialist applications such as
e-learning tools and portals will be used to support the function and
management of those applications. Information gathered will not be used to
contact users, except where consent has been explicitly given or where
security incidents are under investigation.
Do we share the data?
Personal data will not be passed on to third parties and will remain
confidential, unless explicitly stated (eg if a web form is gathering data
to be passed on to an external partner). The four exceptions to this are:
- Log files and other data may be analysed by the
University's external support providers when investigating
faults and other technical issues relating to webserver
- Many University of Essex web pages include tracking code
which allows Google Analytics to record usage and traffic
information. These data are held on Google servers, are used
for reporting and analysis by the University and a limited
number of external consultants; they are
not shared with any other parties. They are not used to
- Data entered by the user for online ordering of certain
goods and services are passed to our credit card-processing
partner Netbanx together with a unique transaction number
when required for the purpose of processing online orders
and payments. Such data is also stored by the University in
accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. University web
pages do not gather details of your credit or debit card.
- Data may be passed to the police and other authorities
where it is required in the investigation of illegal
activities and security breaches.
Where data is passed to third parties, it is done so in compliance with
the Data Protection Act 1998.
Anonymised usage data may be provided in publicly-available web
statistics; any such data cannot be traced to individual users.