Web Privacy Statement

This statement tells you:

  • The information we collect about you
  • How we use it
  • When we share it with others


What’s covered

It covers anything digitally offered by The Ohio State University. We’ll call them services from now on.  For example:

  • Websites (like osu.edu)
  • Mobile apps (the Ohio State App, the Wellness App)
  • Learning technology
  • Content available through feeds, like RSS
  • Web forms, chatbots, virtual assistant, or email
  • Other stuff we create


What’s not covered

Some areas of Ohio State have a specific privacy statement for their services.  Like the Medical Center or University Registrar.  

Sometimes a department, organization or other group uses its own service, like for a conference or event.  You can review those web privacy statements when you use their services.

You can leave our service by clicking a link to another company’s service, like social media sites.  Those companies have their own privacy and cookie statements, and the information you give them follows their rules and not ours.


Protecting your personal information

We are committed to keeping your personal information safe.  We have dedicated teams who work to look after your information and privacy.  

Our services follow the Ohio State Institutional Data Policy. Also, all of our teams follow the Responsible Use of University Computing and Network Resources Policy.  

But, no service can be completely secure – if you think your Ohio State account or password is at risk, like if someone found out your password, please tell us immediately.  There are things we can do to keep your information secure.


Types of personal information Ohio State collects from you

We’ll explain why we need your personal information and how we’ll use it before you give it to us, unless it’s obvious.

  • Information you give us
    • We ask for your name, email address, phone number, birth date, or financial details, depending on what you’re doing.  If you sign up for an event at Ohio State, we might ask whether you are a student or alum.  If you fill out a form, it should be obvious why we are collecting the information on the form.
    • When you log in with your Ohio State name.#, we collect your personal information and how you use our services.
  • Device information
    • Devices are things like:
      • computer or laptop
      • iPad, Chromebook or tablet
      • mobile phone
      • voice-enabled device
    • We automatically collect technical information from these devices and your web browser when you use our services.  Things like:
      • IP (Internet Protocol) address
      • Device ID
      • App ID
      • MAC ID
      • Device location
    • If you use BuckeyePass, our secure authentication solution, we’ll also collect:
      • Operating system and version
      • Browser types and versions
      • Java and Flash versions (if applicable)
      • Whether the device is:
        • Tampered (rooted or jailbroken)
        • Passcode set
        • Biometrics available
    • This information helps us secure your access to specific Ohio State services.
  • Information on your activities outside Ohio State services when you talk or post about us.
    If you mention us in a Twitter post, we’ll collect your Twitter handle.
  • Information on how you use our services
    We collect all your interactions when you browse around our website.
  • Information about you that we acquire from others
    We use this information to tailor ad campaigns that meet your interests.


Using personal information

We use your personal information when we have a valid reason.  Sometimes, we ask your permission to use your personal information, like when you subscribe to email newsletters.  If we use your personal information in a way that you’d reasonably expect, we don’t ask your permission, but only when:

We use your personal information for these types of reasons:

  • Deliver our services and send you information about them
  • Process your requests
  • Personalize our services and tailor them to your preferences
    We use cookies for this.  To learn more, check out our Cookie Statement
  • Track data across devices
  • Display advertising that is tailored to you
  • Display relevant advertising from another company’s service
  • Understand the services you use and how you use and share them
  • Recommend services or content that might interest you
  • Learn more about you from other data sources
    For example, fundraising or recruiting volunteers.


Sharing personal information with other entities

Here are examples of when we share it with others:

  • You make something public, such as posting a comment the public can see.
  • We use other companies to assist in delivering our services and supporting our mission.
    • We may use other companies to process your personal information on our behalf.  For example, sending you email about our programs or to analyze data on how people use our services so that we can improve them.
    • We strive to work with other entities who agree to protect the security and privacy of your personal information the same way we do. And, we only give them the information they need to do the task – like send email.
  • We share personal information across the university.
  • We are permitted or required by law to share your information.


Privacy for Kids and Teens

Some of our services are kid-friendly and for teens. Here's what happens when you use them.

  • When we collect information from you
    We keep information about you so that we can
    • provide you our services
    • improve our services
    • connect with you
  • We tell you why we collect your personal information and how we use it
    And, if we need your parent or guardian's consent, we'll explain it clearly at the time.  
  • We can only use your personal information if we have a valid reason
  • We may share personal information about you to others, but only under appropriate rules
  • We might ask you to tell us your age
    To make sure your using the services that are designed for you.
  • We might tell your parents about how you use our services
    What we do when you post, upload or share a creation
  • We’ll explain what we’ll do with at that time.


Retaining personal information

If we have collected your personal information from our services, we store it in a variety of university records.  University retention schedules list and describe the types of records we keep, including the record’s purpose and information content.  Additionally, retention schedules provide guidance for how long records should be kept, based upon a review of the administrative, fiscal, legal, and historical values of the information within the records.  Learn more about retention schedules.


Updates to the web privacy statement

If our web privacy practices change, we will update our web privacy statement.  If we make a material change, we’ll post the changes right here to notify you we made the change.



Date: August 23, 2021

Ohio State Privacy Team