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A             Privacy policy - MPLS website and divisional newsletters (“This site”) is operated by the University of Oxford. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information (‘personal data’).

This policy (together with our terms of use, together with any other documents referred to in it) describes how we collect and use your personal data during your use of our site and, where relevant, our divisional newsletters, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and associated data protection legislation.

B             Who is using your personal data?

The University of Oxford is the “data controller" for the information that you provide to us when visiting this website and receiving MPLS division newsletters. This means that we decide how to use it and are responsible for looking after it in accordance with the GDPR.

Access to your personal data within the University will be provided only to those staff who need to view it as part of their work in connection with the operation of this website. It may also be shared with the third parties described in Section G.

Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. We may update this policy at any time.

By visiting our site you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

C          Glossary

Where we refer in this policy to your ‘personal data’, we mean 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).

Where we refer to the ‘processing’ of your personal data, we mean anything that we do with that information, including collection, use, storage, disclosure or retention.

D             Types of data we collect about you

We will collect, store, and use the following categories of data when you use our site:

Data you give us

When you fill in a contact form on our website, or contact us by email or phone in relation to the website, you may give us data about you including name, phone number or email address.

Unless otherwise stated on the form, this information will be processed by our web content management system providers via servers based in the EAA. Further information about the data we share with third parties is provided in section G below.

Data we collect about you

If you consent to our use of cookies:

  1. If you visit our site, we will automatically collect certain technical information, for example, the type of device (and its unique device identifier) you use to access our site, the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your device to the Internet, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system, mobile network information and platform.
  2. We will automatically collect information about your visit to our site including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL), clickstream to, through and from the Website (including date and time), pages you viewed, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page.

Data we collect via divisional newsletters (applicable to staff and students within the University)

When you open and interact with our newsletters you provide us with information. The newsletter software that we use (Upland Adestra) records the email address of each person who opens the newsletter and each person who clicks on a link, as well as other data including time of opening the newsletter, the device used to access it, the type of email client or browser used and the geographical location of the person. Upland Adestra is approved for use at the University by IT Services and accords with relevant data privacy and information security policies. 

E              When we collect your data

We will collect the vast majority of data about you when you fill in a contact form on our site, when you correspond with us by phone, e-mail or otherwise, when you access one of our divisional newsletters, or when you report a problem with our site.

When you visit our site we may also automatically collect technical information about your visit from your computer.

F              How we use your data

We process your data for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. To send you marketing or other types of communication by email, e.g. Enterprise Programme notifications. We do this only where you have specifically indicated that you consent to receive such communications, for example by completing a contact form on the website. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us at In this event, we will stop any processing as soon as we can. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before your withdrawal of consent.
  2. To reply to specific queries you make via contact forms, phone calls or email.  We do this only where you have actively contacted us with a query that requires a reply. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us at In this event, we will stop any processing as soon as we can. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before your withdrawal of consent.
  3. For purposes arising from your use of this website, for example, to ensure that we understand who uses our site and how our site is used.  This processing occurs because it is necessary to meet our legitimate interests in operating this website. Information processed for this purpose includes, but is not limited to the type of information listed at (D) above.
  4. For purposes arising from your interaction with our divisional newsletters. We track interaction with our newsletters for internal use only, to help us improve their effectiveness. For example we may monitor how many people have opened a newsletter and when, which links they have clicked on, what type of device they are reading the newsletter on, or their geographical location. In theory we are able to track the activity of individual users via their email addresses; in practice we use only an anonymised and aggregated form of the data.

We will only use your data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another related reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your data for an unrelated purpose, we will seek your consent to use it for that new purpose.

Please note that we may process your data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

G             Sharing your data with third parties

We may share your data collected via use of the website with third parties who provide services on our behalf; for example, our website provider. All 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 and in accordance with our instructions.

We do not share data arising from use of our divisional newsletters.

We may also share your personal data with third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our site terms of use or to protect the rights, property or safety of our site, our users, and others.

Where your data is shared with third parties, we will seek to share the minimum amount necessary.

H             Where we store or use your data

We may store data collected by the website manually or electronically.  The data is stored on our secure servers and/or in our premises within the UK.

There may be occasions when we transfer your data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), for example, when we collect technical information using Google Analytics. Such transfers will only take place if one of the following applies:

  1. the country receiving the data is considered by the EU to provide an adequate level of data protection;
  2. the organisation receiving the data is covered by an arrangement recognised by the EU as providing an adequate standard of data protection e.g. transfers to companies that are certified under the EU US Privacy Shield;
  3. the transfer is governed by approved contractual clauses;
  4. the transfer has your consent;
  5. the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or to take steps requested by you prior to entering into that contract; or
  6. the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract with another person, which is in your interests.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted to the website and any transmission is at your own risk.

I            Third party websites

Our site contains links to and from various third party websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

J              Retaining your data

We will only retain your data for as long as we need it to fulfil our purposes, including any relating to legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. 

K             Your rights

Read information on your rights in relation to your personal data.

L              Cookies

Our site uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our site. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our site and also allows us to improve our site. Users have the option to opt out of all but essential cookies. For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our Cookie statement.

M            Changes to this policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.

N             Contact

If you wish to raise any queries or concerns about this privacy policy please contact us at or at the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division offices, 9 Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PD.

Last updated: 26 October 2023