Site documentation

Visitors to our Website Privacy Notice and Use of Cookies Policy

1. About this Privacy Notice

This statement explains what information we gather when you visit our website and lets you know how this information is used and protected.

Please read this notice alongside our overarching privacy notice.

It is important that you read and retain this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information and what your rights are under the data protection legislation.

The University of Essex is the controller for the purpose of data protection law, in respect of your personal information collected and used when you visit our website.

Our web pages link to external websites: the University has no responsibility for privacy or other legal issues relating to these external sites.

2. What type of information we collect about you

We will collect the following personal information:

  • Your IP address
  • Login details
  • Pages you looked at
  • Duration of your visit
  • 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
  • Your unique ID which is given to each visitor, and the expiration date of the ID
  • The domain from which your request originated

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 (e.g. on discussion forums, submitted essay content and assessment answers).

3. Why we use your data – and our legal basis for doing so

The purpose for collecting and processing data is to maintain and monitor the performance of our website, and to look to improve the services we offer you.

We use this information to bring you the best content and experience on our website. If you do not provide us with the required personal data, we will try to provide you with the best service, but you may not be able to access all the functionality of the website.

Data relating to web server requests are used for completion of the current activity (e.g. a request to view a web page), and are subsequently stored in log files, which are later processed to provide statistical information about, for example, usage, load on servers, traffic patterns, troubleshooting, and incident investigation.

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 (e.g. 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.

We also partner with Microsoft Clarity and Microsoft Advertising to capture how you use and interact with our website through behavioral metrics, heatmaps, and session replay to improve and market our products/services. Website usage data is captured using first and third-party cookies and other tracking technologies to determine the popularity of products/services and online activity. Additionally, we use this information for site optimization, fraud/security purposes, and advertising. For more information about how Microsoft collects and uses your data, visit the Microsoft Privacy Statement.

4. Legal basis for processing your data

Purpose Legal Basis
Optional cookies Consent
In order to maintain the integrity of our IT systems and the continuity of our business. Legitimate interests. We need to process your personal data for our legitimate interest of maintaining security of our systems and services and improving the services we offer.

5. Where the data we hold comes from

It is standard practice for web servers to collect data automatically about all requests for files (web pages, images, etc).

6. Who we share your data with

In addition to the services we use above, we may share your data for the following purposes:

  • 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 performance.
  • 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 identify individuals.
  • 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 are also stored by the University in accordance with Data Protection law. University web pages do not gather details of your credit or debit card.
  • Data may be passed to the police and other authorities where required in the investigation of illegal activities and security breaches.

Where data is passed to third parties, it is done so in compliance with Data Protection law.

Anonymised usage data may be provided in publicly-available web statistics; any such data cannot be traced to individual users.

7. Where we keep your data and how long we keep it for

We have retention schedules that set out how long we keep information of all types. If we have to transfer any of your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA) we ensure the receiving country or organisation is deemed to have adequate data protection provision. Where a country or organisation does not have adequate protections we will put safeguards in place. Details of these safeguards can be provided to you upon request.

8. Changes to this Privacy Notice

This privacy notice was published on 15 March 2022. We may change this privacy notice from time to time.

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Get in touch
Data Protection Officer For any enquiries relating to Data Protection or our privacy policy please email us.