MSU Privacy Statement

Michigan State University is committed to safeguarding the privacy of personal data in compliance with federal and state laws, as well as MSU policy. This privacy statement outlines the collection, use and disclosure of information provided to the University through MSU’s website (“Site”) or other means, such as submission by students, applicants, or alumni. Your use of this Site is subject to all applicable state and federal laws, as well as general University policies.

MSU Home Page Information Collected

The Site collects two general types of information: (a) information you voluntarily provide to the University, which may include personal information (such as your name, address, e-mail address, etc.), and (b) information that is collected automatically when you visit this Site through cookies, third party tracking technologies and server logs.

Information Voluntarily Provided by You Through the Site

This Site will only collect personal information that you knowingly and voluntarily provide by, for example, responding to surveys, completing membership forms, sending e-mails, etc. The information collected by the Site is subject to MSU’s Institutional Data Policy. Generally, it is this Site’s practice to use personal information only for the purposes for which it was requested and any additional uses specifically stated on the Site. However, information collected through this Site may be subject to the University’s obligation to respond to subpoenas, court orders, discovery requests, and requests for public records under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

The University may also access or permit access to information collected through this Site in accordance with and subject to the limitations of the University’s Acceptable Use Policy for MSU Technology Resources.

Although this Site has security measures in place to protect personal information provided to us by users, users should also take steps to protect personal information by, for example, closing all web browsers after using the Site. Information disclosed in chat rooms, news groups, forums, message boards and similar contexts may become public. Users should therefore exercise caution before disclosing personal information in such contexts.

The Site complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. When you engage in financial transactions at our Site, you may be asked for a credit card number. Unless otherwise noted on the Site, credit card transactions are encrypted and the server that processes your credit card information is secure. Such information may also be saved in an encrypted format or in internal systems that are protected by a firewall system.

Information The Site Collects Automatically

This Site collects information automatically through the use of cookies, third party tracking technologies and server logs. MSU uses this information primarily to monitor the use of this Site and to make improvements. MSU may share this data with partners in order to enhance the functionality of this Site.

Cookies

“Cookies” are small text files used to collect information about website activity. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognize a user's device. You can find more information about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org. This Site uses cookies for two main purposes: (a) to carry information about your current session at this Site from one web page to the next, which also allows you to automatically login to other Michigan State University websites, and (b) to identify you on this Site on return visits.

You have the option of disabling or not accepting cookies by changing the preferences on your browser. If you opt to disable cookies, you will still be able to use certain sections of our Site. However, you will not be able to use any parts of this Site that requires a login.

Third Party Tracking Technology

This Site uses Google Analytics, the Google Search API, Google custom search, the Google Maps API, and Urchin.

This Site uses a tracking technology called Google Analytics to obtain Site usage information such as users’ Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, Internet domain and host names, browser software, and the date and time that the Site is visited, which may be considered personal data in some jurisdictions. Data from Google Analytics allows us to monitor the use of this Site, understand how users find our Site, and improve the Site’s function and content.

Site usage data collected through Google Analytics is not shared with other Google products and tools. Our use of Google Analytics is in compliance with Google’s Terms of Service and the MSU Access to Student Information Guidelines. Google provides more information about Google’s privacy practices and information on how to opt-out of Google Analytics tracking of your web browsing.

You may also wish to review the MSU Access to Student Information Guidelines.

This Site uses Google custom search.

Server Logs

Our web servers routinely generate logs that contain the following types of information each time the Site is used:

  • The date, time and length of your visit.
  • The path taken through our Site and the browser being used.
  • The list of files downloaded and the amount of time spent viewing video or audio files.
  • The IP Address of the computer accessing our Site.
  • Any errors encountered.

This information is used primarily to monitor the functioning and integrity of the Site and other MSU websites.

Updating Personal Information

You may correct, update, or remove the personal information provided to MSU through the use of the Site. In particular:

Links

This Site may contain links to other sites. Please be aware that the University does not control or claim any responsibility for the privacy practices or content of other sites linked through the Site. Please read the privacy statements of each website you visit.

Consent

When you submit information to MSU, or you use this Site and other services, you consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information as described in this Privacy Statement. Please note that other Michigan State University sites may adopt different privacy practices as their specific needs require.

Information Submitted to MSU

University Use of Personal Information

MSU collects and processes personal information (including certain Sensitive Information, as defined in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation) that is submitted to MSU from individuals who are, for example, applying for admission to the University, enrolled in the University, employment with the University, or are alumni of the University. MSU processes such personal information as necessary in the exercise of the University’s legitimate interests, functions and responsibilities as a public higher education research institution. Personal information submitted to MSU is subject to MSU’s Institutional Data Policy.

MSU may use information (including certain Sensitive Information, as defined in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation) collected from students, alumni, faculty, staff and prospective employees to register and enroll persons in the University, provide and administer housing to students, manage student and employee accounts, provide academic advising, deliver education programs, analyze and improve education programs, outreach, make regulatory reports, comply with accreditation requirements, and other related University processes and functions. MSU may also use information to conduct general demographic and statistical research to improve University programs.

MSU may share information (including certain Sensitive Information, as defined in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation) with third parties who have entered into contracts with the University to perform functions on behalf of the University, subject to the obligation of confidentiality and safeguarding from unauthorized disclosure.

Retention of Your Information

Your information will be retained by MSU in accordance with applicable federal laws, state laws, and the retention periods in the University’s record retention schedules.

Rights for Data Subjects in the European Union

If you provide information directly to MSU from a location in the European Union, you consent to the transfer of your personal information outside the European Union to the United States.

To the extent applicable, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) grants data subjects in the European Union the right, in certain circumstances, to request access to, a copy of, rectification, restriction in the use of, or erasure of your information. Your requests pursuant to the GDPR will be subject to the retention periods of applicable federal and state law. The GDPR provides further information about your rights. You also have the right to lodge complaints with your national or regional data protection authority. If you are inclined to exercise rights under the GDPR, please contact the MSU unit with which you are interacting (https://msu.edu/contactus.html.).

Security

MSU uses appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect your information when you transmit it to the University and when the University stores it on its information technology systems.

Changes to Privacy Statement

MSU may update or change this policy at any time. Your continued use of the University’s website and any third party applications after any such changes indicates your acceptance of these changes.

Questions and feedback

Your questions, comments and concerns are always welcome. Please send us your feedback regarding the privacy statement or any other issues at: https://msu.edu/contactus.html.

This policy was last updated May 2018.