Privacy Policy

Stanford University (“Stanford”) and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (“VPUE”) know you care about the privacy and confidentiality of your information.  We take protecting your privacy very seriously.  Please read the following to learn more about how we treat your information collected as part of the Explore IntroSems website.  

IntroSems is an academic program for first-year and sophomore students administered by Stanford University.  By using the Explore IntroSems website and participating in the IntroSems Program in any manner, you acknowledge that you accept the practices and policies outlined in this VPUE Notice of Privacy Practices (“Privacy Policy”).

Privacy Policy Coverage/Applicability

This Privacy Policy covers our treatment of personal information that we gather when prospective IntroSems participants use this website (Explore IntroSems) or sign-up for IntroSems courses on the vcais.stanford.edu site.  

The VPUE website may include hyperlinks to other websites maintained or controlled by others. Our Privacy Policy does not apply to the information practices or services offered by other organizations or individuals (“Third Parties”), including service providers, vendors, other education providers, faculty websites, lab websites, and others.  Stanford is not responsible for and does not routinely screen, approve, review or endorse the contents of or use of any of the products or services that may be offered at these websites.  If you choose to follow a link to another website, you should read that website’s privacy policy or consent form and make sure that you agree with it and can accept it.  

Information VPUE Collects

When visiting the Explore Introsems site, certain information about you will be collected.  We will obtain information from you in one or both of the following two ways:

  1. Information you provide on Explore IntroSems:

    1. My Annual Seminar Plan

As part of the Explore IntroSems, you tag courses for your annual seminar plan, which we collect. While we do not look at your individual selections, we do look at your choices in the aggregate to better understand students preferences and choices.

  1. Information we collect automatically:

  1. WebAuth

Students use the university’s WebAUth system in order to gain access to our site.  WebAuth will send your SUNet ID, name, email address, Stanford affiliation to us automatically.

  1. HTTP Referrer

We may collect non-personal identification information about you whenever you interact with the VPUE Program website.  Non-personal information may include the browser name, geographic location, referral link, the type of computer, and technical information about your means of connection to our website, such as the operating system and the Internet service providers utilized and other similar information.

  1. Web browser cookies

Our website may use "cookies" to enhance your experience and keep continuity during your visit to the site.  Your web browser places cookies on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about you.  You may choose to set your web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent.  If you choose to reject cookies, some parts of the website may not function properly.

Except eligible undergraduate students, we do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from anyone under the age of 18 or knowingly allow such persons to register for the Explore IntroSems website.

How VPUE Uses Your Information

We will only use your data as described below or as required or permitted by law.  

We will use your data primarily for the purpose of providing you with a better first year and sophomore seminar experience.  As such, your personally identifiable data are accessible only by limited parties within Stanford, such as the staff of the Introductory Seminars Program and the IT personnel who maintain the data and websites.

Your data may be used for the following purposes:

  1. To allow you to access the application, course-specific information, and the My Annual Seminar Plan feature.

  2. To solicit feedback about Introductory Seminars, the application process, or the My Annual Seminar Plan feature.

  3. To evaluate the effectiveness of Introductory Seminars and the Explore IntroSems website.

  4. To suggest and plan future VPUE programming at Stanford.

  5. For use in research projects.

When used for purposes c through e, your data will be combined with data provided by other participants and subjected to aggregate data analysis for research, educational, and publication purposes.  No identifiable information will be used for these purposes.

Authentication and tracking logs, primarily Google Analytics, will be used to produce usage statistics and identify potential website improvements. This information does not contain any personally identifiable information.

Information VPUE Shares with Third Parties

The VPUE Program will never sell, rent or lease your information.

How VPUE Protects Your Personal Information

The VPUE Program is committed to protecting the security of your personal information.  We are required by law to maintain the privacy of certain types of information.  We maintain safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality or integrity of your data, including the following practices:

  1. Protecting the transmission of your information over the Internet, through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol;

  2. Storing information we collect on computer systems located in controlled facilities with limited access;

  3. Using a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosures;

  4. Limiting data access to only authorized personnel with a need to perform a specific job; and

  5. Training Introductory Seminar staff on our security and privacy practices.

As required by our accreditation agency, we will maintain your data for a minimum period of at least six years. At the end of the six years, we securely destroy your data.

We endeavor to protect the privacy of the personal information we hold in our records, but we cannot guarantee complete security. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of your personal information.  We will notify you of any security incidents that compromise the security, confidentiality or integrity of your personal information in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and Stanford University policies and procedures.

Knowing Your Choices

You may choose not to visit or use the ExploreIntroSems website or participate in the Introductory Seminar program.  

If you do not wish to receive information or other notices from us in the future, you can "opt-out" by contacting us at the e-mail address indicated at the end of this policy or by following the "unsubscribe" instructions in any electronic communication you receive from us. Please be aware that you are not able to opt out of receiving communications about your account or your transactions with us.

You may also request a correction to your personal and profile data, or submit any questions or concerns to the VPUE team using the procedure under "Contacting Us." Please do not include any sensitive information, such as credit card information, in an email or voicemail message.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy will be updated periodically to reflect any material changes in our programs and practices.  These changes will be evident by inserting a new “Effective Date” (see below) and are effective when they are posted to our website at: http://exploreintrosems.stanford.edu/privacy.  Treatment of information we collect now is subject to the version of the Privacy Policy in effect at the time such information is used.

Contact Information

For questions regarding this privacy policy, contact the Stanford Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education via e-mail at vpue@stanford.edu .

Effective Date

This policy is effective as of  01 August 2016.