The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, recognizes the concerns of individuals regarding privacy and online data collection. We strive to respect and protect the privacy expectations of our website visitors.
All websites collect some information regarding visitors. Types of information collected are wide-ranging, and are collected both passively (by the web servers that host the websites) and actively (via user input through forms, surveys, etc.).
Some of the information collected allows site owners to determine who a particular visitor is and to track their behavior within and across a website domain.
However, most of the information collected cannot identify you as a particular individual and is only collected in aggregate.
Websites within the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, website domain, utk.edu, likewise collect information regarding site visitors. This policy outlines the types of information (data) collected, our methods for collecting data, and the reasons we collect data.
Gathering & Use of Information
The following are examples of information that may be collected in aggregate to provide campus communicators, site owners, content managers, designers, and IT specialists insight into visitor behavior for the purpose of improving university websites and access to university information.
- The Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer and name of the Internet domain used to access the Internet;
- IP addresses of websites linking directly to sites within the utk.edu domain;
- The date and time a site was accessed within the utk.edu domain;
- Pages visited (“requested”) during this session;
- Web browser and operating system used to access a site within the utk.edu domain;
- Device used to access a site within the utk.edu domain.
University of Tennessee websites commonly use one of the following methods to collect this data:
Cookies are small pieces of data sent from our website(s) and stored in your web browser. Accepting cookies allows visitors to set user preferences and otherwise enable a more “personalized” experience with a website. Users may set preferences regarding the storage of cookies within their individual web browsers, which can also be used to remove stored cookies.
Third-party Tracking (e.g. Google Analytics)
Many websites within the utk.edu domain use Google Analytics to collect visitor data in aggregate. This data is also collected using cookies set by Google. See Google’s privacy and terms with regard to partner sites for more info: https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/ The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, may also transmit NPII collected by third-party tracking services (cookies) to other third parties (e.g. Facebook) so that you may see messages from the university when you visit other websites outside of the utk.edu domain.
All web servers collect very basic visitor information to monitor site usage and performance.
The following are examples of personal information that visitors may choose to share with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, via a website interface (e.g. an online form or survey):
- E-mail address
- Phone number
- Mailing address
- Subject matter interests
- Date of high school graduation
The university may also collect personal information about you from third parties, including trusted vendors, suppliers, and related companies. This is primarily done for the purpose of recruiting students to attend the university.
If you have shared personal information with UT, we may use that information to tailor services to you, to fulfill materials requests, to contact you, or to display web content that may be of particular interest to you.
The university does not share personal information with third parties except:
- As required by law,
- As necessary to protect the university’s interests,
- With trusted vendors contracted by the university who have agreed to keep this information confidential.
In these latter cases, we share relevant personal information with trusted vendors to gain insight into ways we can improve your overall experience and otherwise further your interest in our university.
We do not sell personal information to third parties.
Browsing Information and Tracking
Some websites within the utk.edu domain may use third-party vendor re-marketing tracking tools, such as the Google “AdWords” conversion tag and the Facebook “pixel,” to serve targeted online advertisements about the university, its colleges, its events, etc. These ads may appear within third-party services and/or on unrelated websites across the internet. The third-party vendors who serve the ads use the information they gather from cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies to tailor advertisements to you. This collected data may also be used by university communicators to measure the success of online advertising campaigns (i.e. “ad conversion”).
Some of these re-marketing tools can potentially transmit personally identifiable information to third parties and the university along with your browser history, particularly if you are logged in to one of the services while browsing the internet (e.g. Facebook, Google).
To opt out of the collection and use of information for ad targeting on Facebook and other websites, you can use the Digital Advertising Alliance’s WebChoices Tool, which scans your browser for companies that are already serving you customized ads.
To opt out of Google's ad personalization, visit Google’s Ad Settings.
You can also opt out of “interest-based advertising” by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt out page.
UT and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation
The University of Tennessee (“UT”) may be a data “controller” or “processor” with regard to certain activities as defined under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“EU GDPR”). UT is committed to protecting the rights of individuals in compliance with the GDPR.
If you have a question regarding your rights as a data subject under GDPR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detailed information on UT and GDPR is available at dataprivacy.utk.edu.
Policy Updates and Changes
Technology used to access the internet and build websites changes nearly every day. Likewise, the ways in which online data is generated and collected change frequently. We reserve the right to update and make changes to this policy, and we encourage site visitors to reference it periodically to familiarize themselves with its current terms.
For a broader policy on the expectation of user privacy at the University of Tennessee, please see IT0110—Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.
Last updated: March 2019