MIT’s new online learning initiative

Privacy Policy

Confidentiality & Security of Personally Identifiable Information

We care about the confidentiality and security of your personal information. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to keep your Personally Identifiable Information private and will not share it with third parties, except as set forth in this Privacy Policy. However, no method of transmitting or storing electronic data is ever completely secure, and we cannot guarantee that such information will never be accessed, used, or released in a manner that is inconsistent with this policy.

This Privacy Policy only applies to information that we collect through the Site and does not apply to information that we may collect from you in other ways (for example, this policy does not apply to information that you may provide to us over the phone, by fax or through conventional mail). In addition, please note your educational records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") to the extent FERPA applies.

Usernames and Postings

Comments or other information posted by you to our forums, wikis, or other areas of the Site designed for public communications may be viewed and downloaded by others who visit the Site. For this reason, we encourage you to use an anonymous username, and to not post any personally identifiable information to those forums (or other public areas).

What You Consent to by Using Our Site

Please understand that by submitting any Personally Identifiable Information to us, you consent and agree that we may collect, use and disclose such Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service ("TOS"), and as permitted or required by law. If you do not agree with these terms, then please do not provide any Personally Identifiable Information to us. As used herein, "Personally Identifiable Information" means your full name, email address, your physical address (if you provide it) and your student identification number, if applicable. If you refuse, or if you choose not to provide us with any required Personally Identifiable Information, we may not be able to provide you with the services that can be offered on our Site.

Information We Collect and How We Use It

We collect information, including Personally Identifiable Information, when you sign up for a User Account, participate in online courses, send us email messages and/or participate in our public forums. We collect information about student performance and patterns of learning. We track information indicating, among other things, which pages of our Site were visited, the order in which they were visited, when they were visited, and which hyperlinks and other user interface controls were used.

We may log the IP address, operating system and browser software used by each user of the Site, and we may be able to determine from an IP address a user's Internet Service Provider and the geographic location of his or her point of connectivity. Various web analysis tools are used to collect this information. Some of the information is collected through cookies (a small text file placed on your computer). You should be able to control how and whether cookies will be accepted by your web browser. Most browsers offer instructions on how to reset the browser to reject cookies in the "Help" section of the toolbar. If you reject our cookies, many functions and conveniences of this Site may not work properly.

Among other things, we may use the information that you provide (including your Personally Identifiable Information) in connection with the following:

In addition to the above situations where your information may be shared with others, there is also the possibility that MITx will affiliate with other educational institutions and/or that MITx will become a (or part of a) nonprofit entity separate from MIT. In those events, the other educational institutions and/or separate entity will have access to the information you provide, to the extent permitted by FERPA.

Sharing with Third Parties

We may share the information we collect with third parties as follows:

Personalization and Pedagogical Improvements

Our goal is to provide current and future visitors with the best possible educational experience. To further this goal, we sometimes present different users with different versions of course materials and software. We do this to personalize the experience to the individual learner (assess the learner's level of ability and learning style, and present materials best suited to the learner), to evaluate the effectiveness of our course materials, to improve our understanding of the learning process, and to otherwise improve the effectiveness of our offerings. We may publish or otherwise publicize results from this process, but only as non-personally-identifiable data.

Changing Our Privacy Policy

Please note that we review our privacy practices from time to time, and that these practices are subject to change. We will publish notice of any such modifications online on this page for a reasonable period of time following such modifications, and by changing the effective date of this Privacy Policy. By continuing to access the Site after such changes have been posted, you signify your agreement to be bound by them. Be sure to return to this page periodically to ensure familiarity with the most current version of this Privacy Policy.

Privacy Concerns

If you have privacy concerns, or have disclosed data you would prefer to keep private, please contact us at

Effective Date: February 6, 2012

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