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Privacy Policy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”), through its MIT xPRO, offers courses via online platforms, including the open-sourced online education platform developed by edX Inc. (“edX”). We care about the confidentiality and security of your personal information, and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to keep your Personal Information secure, in compliance with this Privacy Policy. "Personal Information" is defined below. As used in this Privacy Policy, "we," "us," and "our" refer to MIT xPRO Digital Programs and to edX, to the extent edX is acting on behalf of MIT xPRO.
This Privacy Policy applies to information that we collect through the MIT xPRO Website (the "Site," which consists of all content and pages located within the mitxpro.mit.edu web domain), as well as information that we may collect from you in other ways (for example, information that you may provide to us via email, mail, phone, fax, social media, or other means). In addition, please note that your education records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") to the extent FERPA applies.

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usernames and postings

Comments or other information posted by you to our forums, wikis, or other areas of the Site designed for public communications or communications among registered class members may be viewed and downloaded by others who visit the Site. For this reason, we encourage you to use discretion when deciding whether to post to those forums (or to other public or classwide areas) any information that can be used to identify you.

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By using our Site, or providing information to us, you understand and affirmatively consent to the collection, use, disclosure, and retention of information for the purposes set forth in this Privacy Policy and the MIT xPRO Terms of Service. You hereby consent to the collection, use, disclosure, and retention by us of your Personal Information as described under this Privacy Policy, including but not limited to the transfer of your personal data between us and Participants, as defined in the Terms of Service. For further certainty, any consent relating to a right to transfer information referred to in this paragraph shall be deemed to include your consent to the transfer of the applicable Personal Information to a jurisdiction which may provide a different level of privacy protection from that available in your own country.

If you do not agree with these terms, then please do not access, browse, or register for the Site. If you choose not to provide us with certain information required to provide you with various services offered on our Site, you may not be able to establish a user account and we may not be able to provide you with those services.

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personal information

As used in this Privacy Policy, "Personal Information" means any information about yourself that you may provide to us when using the Site, such as when you sign up for a user account or enter into a transaction through the Site, which may include (but is not limited to) your name, contact information, gender, date of birth, and occupation.

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information we collect and how we use it

We collect information, including Personal Information, when you sign up for a user account, participate in online courses, register for a paid certificate, send us email messages, and/or participate in our public forums and social media. We also collect certain usage information about student performance and patterns of learning. In addition, 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 analytics tools are used to collect this information. Some of the information is collected through cookies (small text files placed on your computer that store information about you, which can be accessed by the Site). 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.
We currently collect financial information from individual registrants; however, when you register and pay for a course, you will be directed to our third party payment processor and the submission of your payment information will be subject to the terms of that third party processor’s privacy statement.

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use and disclosure to third parties

Among other things, we may use the information about you collected through the Site (including your Personal Information) as follows:

  • To enable us to provide, administer, and improve our courses.
  • To help us improve MIT xPRO offerings, both individually (e.g., by course staff when working with a student) and in aggregate, and to individualize the experience and to evaluate the access and use of the Site and the impact of MIT xPRO on the worldwide educational community.
  • For purposes of scientific research, particularly, for example, in the areas of cognitive science and education.
  • For the purpose for which you specifically provided the information, for example, to respond to a specific inquiry or provide you with access to the specific course content and/or services you select.
  • To track both individual and aggregate attendance, progress and completion of an online course, and to analyze statistics on student performance and how students learn.
  • To monitor and detect violations of the Honor Code and the Terms of Service, as well as other misuses and potential misuses of the Site.
  • To publish information, but not Personal Information, gathered about MIT xPRO ’ access, use, impact, and student performance.
  • To send you updates about online courses offered by MIT xPRO or other events, to send you communications about products or services of MIT xPRO Digital Programs, affiliates, or selected business partners that may be of interest to you, or to send you email messages about Site maintenance or updates.
  • To archive this information and/or use it for future communications with you.
  • To maintain and improve the functioning and security of the Site and our software, systems, and network.
  • For purposes described elsewhere in this Privacy Policy (including, e.g., sharing with third parties).
  • As otherwise described to you at the point of collection or pursuant to your consent.
  • To authenticate your identity when you register for a course.
  • To process refunds, as applicable.

We will share information we collect (including Personal Information) with third parties as follows:

  • With service providers or contractors (including edX) that perform certain functions on our behalf, including processing information that you provide to us on the Site, processing purchases via third party providers, and other transactions through the Site, operating the Site or portions of it, providing or administering courses, or in connection with other aspects of MIT xPRO services.
  • With other visitors to the Site, to the extent that you submit comments, course work, or other information or content (collectively, "Postings") to a portion of the Site designed for public communications; and with other members of an MIT xPRO class of which you are a member, to the extent you submit Postings to a portion of the Site designed for viewing by those class members. We may provide your Postings to students who later enroll in the same classes as you, within the context of the forums, the courseware, or otherwise. If we do re-post your Postings originally made to non-public portions of the Site, we will post them without your real name and email (except with your express permission), but we may use your username without your consent.
  • For purposes of scientific research, particularly, for example, in the areas of cognitive science and education. However, we will only share Personal Information about you for this purpose to the extent doing so complies with applicable law and is limited to the Personal Information required to fulfill the purposes stated at the time of collection.
  • To provide opportunities for you to communicate with other users who may have similar interests or educational goals. For instance, we may recommend specific study partners or connect potential student mentees and mentors. In such cases, we may use all information collected about you to determine who might be interested in communicating with you, but we will only provide other users your username, and not disclose your real name or email address, except with your express permission.
  • To respond to subpoenas, court orders, or other legal process; to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, or security or technical issues, or to enforce our Terms of Service, our Honor Code, or this Privacy Policy; as otherwise may be required by applicable law; or to protect our rights, property, or safety or those of others.
  • As otherwise described to you at the point of collection or pursuant to your consent.
  • To support integration with third party services. For example, videos and other content may be hosted on YouTube and other websites not controlled by us.

In cases where we share or disclose your Personal Information: (1) the third party recipients are required to handle the Personal Information in a confidential manner and to maintain adequate security to protect the information from loss, misuse, unauthorized access or disclosure, alteration, and destruction; and (2) we will only disclose and share the Personal Information that is required by the third party to fulfill the purpose stated at the time of collection. In addition, we may share aggregated information that does not personally identify you with the public and with third parties, including but not limited to researchers and business partners.

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use for personalization and pedagogical improvements

Our goal is to provide current and future visitors with the best possible MIT-based 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, unless otherwise permitted under this Privacy Policy, those publications or public disclosures will not include Personal Information.

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The Site contains links to websites published by third parties, including other content providers and certain service providers, such as edX and those who process payments on behalf of MIT xPRO. These other websites are not under our control, and you acknowledge and agree that we are not responsible for the collection and use of your information by such websites, unless we have otherwise indicated in this Privacy Policy. We encourage you to be aware when you are redirected to a third party website and review the privacy policies of each website you visit and use.

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security

MIT xPRO is designed to protect Personal Information in its possession or control. This is done through a variety of privacy and security policies, processes, and procedures, including administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that reasonably and appropriately protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the Personal Information that it receives, maintains, or transmits. Nonetheless, no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure, and therefore we do not guarantee its absolute security.

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changing our privacy policy

Please note that we review and may make changes to this Privacy Policy from time to time. When changes are made, the Privacy Policy link will include a notation "Revised (date)." indicating that you should review the new terms, which will be effective immediately upon posting on this page, with an updated effective date. The notation will be included in the Privacy Policy link for at least seven (7) days after the update has been made. By accessing the Site after any changes have been made, you signify your agreement on a prospective basis to the modified Privacy Policy. Please return to this page periodically to ensure familiarity with the most current version of this Privacy Policy.

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minors

Our Site is not intended for use by individuals under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect personal data from those in this age group. If we become aware that someone under the age of 13 has registered, we will expunge any related Personal Information from our records.

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privacy concerns

If you have privacy concerns, have disclosed data you would prefer to keep private, or would like to access the information we maintain about you, please contact us at mitxpro@mit.edu.

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Effective Date: December 17, 2015