Privacy Policy for Our Northwestern
Privacy Policy: Effective April 1, 2013

If you have questions about deleting or correcting your personal data please contact our support team at

Northwestern University ("Northwestern University") operates several websites including ("Our Northwestern") and It is Northwestern University policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect while operating Our Northwestern as specified below.

Website Visitors

Like most website operators, Northwestern University collects non-personally identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. Northwestern University’s purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how Northwestern University’s visitors use Our Northwestern. From time to time, Northwestern University may release non-personally identifying information in the aggregate, e.g., by publishing a report on trends in the usage of Our Northwestern.

Northwestern University also collects potentially personally identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for logged in users and for users leaving comments on Our Northwestern. Northwestern University discloses only logged in user and commenter IP addresses under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally identifying information as described below, except that commenter IP addresses are visible and disclosed to the administrators of the website where the comment was left.

Gathering of Personally identifying Information

Certain visitors to Our Northwestern choose to interact with Northwestern University in ways that require Northwestern University to gather personally identifying information. The amount and type of information that Northwestern University gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, we ask visitors who sign up for an Our Northwestern account provide a name and email address. In each case, Northwestern University collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the visitor’s interaction with Northwestern University. Northwestern University does not disclose personally identifying information other than as described below. Additionally, visitors may refuse to supply personally identifying information, with the caveat that this may prevent them from engaging in certain website-related activities.

Northwestern University does not intentionally or knowingly collect data through Our Northwestern from children under 13 years. If you have reason to believe that a child under 13 years of age is providing data on Our Northwestern, please contact

Aggregated Statistics

Northwestern University may collect statistics about the behavior of visitors to its websites. For instance, Northwestern University may monitor the most popular content on Our Northwestern. Northwestern University may display this information publicly or provide it to others. However, Northwestern University does not disclose personally identifying information other than as described below.

Protection of Certain Personally identifying Information

Northwestern University discloses potentially personally identifying and personally identifying information only to its employees, volunteers, contractors and affiliated organizations that (i) need to know that information for the legitimate business and stated mission of Northwestern University, and (ii) have agreed not to disclose it to others. Some of those employees, contractors and affiliated organizations may be located outside of your home country; by using Our Northwestern, you consent to the transfer of such information to them. Other than to its employees, volunteers, contractors and affiliated organizations, as described above, Northwestern University discloses potentially personally identifying and personally identifying information only in response to a subpoena, court order or other governmental request, or when Northwestern University believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Northwestern University, third parties or the public at large. If you are a registered user of Our Northwestern and have supplied your email address, Northwestern University may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what’s going on with Northwestern University and our services. If you send us a request (for example via a support email or via one of our feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish it in order to help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users. Northwestern University takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction of potentially personally identifying and personally identifying information obtained through Our Northwestern.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Northwestern University uses cookies to help Northwestern University identify and track visitors, their usage of the Our Northwestern website, and their website access preferences. Northwestern University visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using Northwestern University’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Our Northwestern may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

Privacy Policy for the Northwestern Alumni Directory

Northwestern University maintains the Northwestern Alumni Directory (“the Directory”) for the purposes of facilitating interaction between alumni and allowing alumni to update their records in the University databases. The Our Northwestern system is user ID and password protected and may be accessed by authenticated alumni of Northwestern University, current students, approved University faculty and staff, and other authorized users. Users are responsible for all use of their name and password to gain access to the Northwestern Alumni Directory and for the use of information as a result of such access. Users acknowledge that responsibility and agree not to share their password with any other person. Northwestern has taken precautions to secure the personal information available through Our Northwestern. However, it is the users’ responsibility to restrict or hide personal information that they do not wish to be generally available in the Northwestern system.

Alumni may opt-out of Our Northwestern and the Northwestern Alumni Directory by registering and editing one’s profile: To hide profile information, select “Edit Profile & Privacy,” select “Yes” to the question “Hide your profile?” which can be found under “Search Preferences." All users may also restrict individual elements of profile information by selecting the “Privacy Settings” tab and changing to “Only Me.” If you opt-out of the Northwestern system (i.e. choose to hide your entire record), you may forfeit access to the Northwestern Alumni Directory.

By default, the search results summary view displays these fields:

  • Name
  • Preferred email address
  • Preferred phone number
  • Our Northwestern affiliation (student, alumnus/a, faculty/staff), school, and class year
  • Educational information: Northwestern degree(s) and major(s)
  • Employment information: Current and previous
  • Personal interests, including past/current activities and Northwestern alumni affiliations

At no time will Northwestern University rent or sell an individual's personal information to third parties. However, the methods of collecting information regarding visitors to the Northwestern University network of websites may also be utilized in connection with the Northwestern system of enterprise software platforms, and Northwestern may use the information for official Northwestern business.

NOTE: If you do not register for the Our Northwestern, and you have not otherwise designated your official University record as private, some of your personal information—including but not limited to your name, school, class year—may be published in the alumni directory.

Terms of Use for the Northwestern Alumni Directory

Alumni/User guidelines: In addition to the University's policies and guidelines, users of Northwestern University resources must abide by the following specific rules and regulations:

  • Unauthorized copying, reproduction, republishing, uploading, downloading, posting, transmitting, or duplicating any of the material is prohibited. Users may download or copy any downloadable materials displayed on the Northwestern University network of websites for personal, non-commercial use, provided that you maintain all copyright, trademarks, usage guidelines and other notices contained in such material.
  • Use of personal contact information made available through the Northwestern Alumni Directory—including but not limited to names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social media accounts, Northwestern affiliations and student information, employment information—for any commercial, advocacy-related, promotional, or political purpose is strictly prohibited. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, solicitations for commercial or personal services, fundraising, invitations to participate in research or surveys, cold-calling of any kind, mass-mailings, or broadcast e-mails.
  • Alumni who have registered in Our Northwestern will have access to information in the directory but may not use the information they obtain for commercial or political purposes, promotions, advocacy, or any other purpose, business or otherwise except to facilitate individual personal communication or business of Northwestern University. However, Northwestern University will not be held liable for unauthorized use by alumni or other users who do not adhere to these policies.
  • Northwestern students, faculty, staff, authorized volunteers and guest users, and agents of Northwestern University may access Our Northwestern information for the exclusive purpose of carrying out Northwestern University business.

Neither Northwestern University nor the Our Northwestern system is responsible for screening communications in advance, and neither Northwestern University nor Our Northwestern will actively monitor the use of the online directory. For this reason, it is essential that users report abuse or misuse to

Northwestern University reserves the right to determine whether the use or misuse of information obtained through the Northwestern Alumni Directory (print or online) by any person or group is a violation of this policy or is otherwise abusive and further reserves the right to bar access to the Directory information and websites by any such person or group and to take appropriate action without notice.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Northwestern University may change its Privacy Policy for Our Northwestern from time to time, and in Northwestern University’s sole discretion. Northwestern University encourages visitors to check this page frequently for any changes to its Privacy Policy for Our Northwestern. If you have an Our Northwestern account, you should also check the Our Northwestern homepage for alerts to these changes. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy for Our Northwestern will constitute your acceptance of such change.

Change log: Last updated July 6, 2016