Privacy Notice

UW–Madison Privacy Notice

The UW–Madison Privacy Notice is generally applicable to activities conducted by UW–Madison that involve the processing of personal data. This notice provides a broad overview of the range of activities that require personal data processing and the approach to protecting privacy. Note: UW–Madison Schools, Colleges, Departments and other units may have additional privacy notices that are related to their specific collection and processing of personal data practices. We value the privacy of the University community and its guests and strive to protect individual privacy by:

  • informing individuals about our practices
  • collecting the minimum amount of personal data necessary for legitimate business purposes and legal compliance
  • limiting access to personal data to appropriate individuals
  • using appropriate physical and technical security measures to protect personal data
  • integrating privacy principles in the design of projects that involve the use of personal data.


In this notice, “personal data” is defined as any recorded information that is about you and from which you can be identified. It does not include data where your identity has been removed — anonymous data. Personal data “processing” refers to anything that we do with that information—including collection, use, storage, disclosure, deletion or retention.

Types of Personal Data We Collect

We collect personal data from you directly through automated processes (e.g., learning management tools or our websites) and from third party entities. We generally collect and use the following categories of data for different groups of people at an institutional level:

  • Prospective students: to facilitate admission and provide higher education services, we collect personal and family information related to the application and financial aid process, including supporting documentation, identification and contact information; education history, demographic information (e.g., race, gender, and age) as volunteered, testing history, personal information and history, employment history, and payment information.
  • Students: to register, administer financial aid, provide housing, track academic progress, and provide academic advising and other services, we use information submitted as prospective students, information related to academic record and performance, subscription data for online courses, and video images recorded by our video security system for the purposes of ensuring physical security and to protect university property.
  • Faculty and staff: to administer an employment relationship with the university, we collect identification, contact information, biographic information, employment and education history, payment and tax information, family and health information related to benefits, and information related to performance at work.
  • Visiting scholars and exchange students: to facilitate and manage their visit to the university, we collect identification, contact information, biographic information, and possibly data related to health as relevant.
  • Alumni: to manage their relationship and engagement with the university, we collect identification, contact information, and donor information.
  • Research subjects: in the exercise of scientific, historical research, or for statistical purposes, we collect identification and contact information and all information that is produced and observed in relation to the subject as part of a research project.
  • Participants in conferences, symposia and other campus events: to register, track payment and participation, we collect identification, contact information, payment information, and possibly data related to health for accommodation.
  • Website visitors: to understand and save their preferences for future visits and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences, we collect contact information, IP address, browser type, internet service provider, pages visited, operating system, date and time of visit, location information, and other information collected through cookies.
  • Campus visitors: to facilitate their visit, we collect contact information, payment information, and video images recorded by our video security system for the purposes of ensuring physical security and to protect university property.

We occasionally process other types of personal information for various legitimate and specific purposes. When these situations occur, we endeavor to inform the data subjects of such occasional processing activities.

How We Use Your Personal Data

We use the personal data we collect to facilitate the operations and educational activities of the University. We only use the personal data for the purposes for which it was collected, unless we reasonably consider that it is needed for another related reason and that the reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your data for an unrelated purpose, we will seek your consent.

Sharing Your Data with Third Parties

We may share your data with third parties who contract with the university to help administer our operations. All of our third-party service providers are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your data in line with our policies. We do not allow them to use your data for their own purposes. We permit them to process your data only for specified purposes in accordance with our instructions.

We may also share your personal data with third parties to comply with any legal obligation, administer a contract you have with the university, and/or assist university-affiliated programs regarding contacting you about goods, services, charitable giving, or experiences that may be of personal interest.

Other circumstances where we may need to share your personal data with third parties include where we have your consent to do so or when it is necessary to protect the health and safety of you or others.

Where your data is shared with third parties, we will seek to share only the necessary pertinent information.

How We Secure Your Information

UW–Madison recognizes the importance of maintaining the security of the information we collect and maintain. We strive to ensure reasonable security measures are in place, including physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to protect your personal information.

Cookies and Other Technology

A description of how the university uses cookies, beacons and certain other technologies to collect or receive information from its websites is located in Cookies and Tracking on UW–Madison websites.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

In addition to the general privacy information provided above, the GDPR supplemental privacy notice outlines the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data provided to UW–Madison.

Privacy Notice Changes

This privacy notice may be updated from time to time. We will post the date our notice was last updated here: Last Revision Date — December 2, 2022


If you have any questions about our practices around the use of personal information, contact

Are you searching for something specific?

This search returns up to five matches as you type. The matches can be found immediately after the search input field.