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Website accessibility at OpenLearn

This statement sets out how The Open University (“we” or “us”) uses and protects personal information that you provide when you use this Site, in compliance with European Union (“EU”) and UK data protection requirements.

We are established and based in the UK. As such, we comply with EU and UK data protection law. If you are a resident of the USA we have confirmed that our collection and treatment of personal data is compliant with your data protection/privacy laws, Protection of Human Subjects (45 CFR 46). If you are a resident outside of these areas we cannot confirm that our collection and treatment of personal data is compliant with your local data protection/privacy laws.

If you do not agree to your data being dealt with in the manner described in this statement then please do not submit your personal details. However, please note that where you do not submit personal details that we request your access to the services/materials offered by this Site will be restricted.

We may change this statement from time to time by updating this page. You should review this statement regularly and your continued use of this Site after changes have been made will be taken to indicate your acceptance of the updated statement. For your protection we are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”) and have provided appropriate notifications to the Information Commissioner.

What information do we collect?

When you register to use this Site we will grant access to this Site. As part of the registration process you will be required to provide us with personal information, comprising:

  • your name and contact information, including email address.
  • information regarding your personal or professional interests, demographics, experiences with our products and services and contact preferences.

What do we do with the information we collect?

We will use the personal information you provide for the following reasons:

  • internal record keeping,
  • to improve our products and services to users,
  • to contact you for research purposes including market research,
  • to analyse patterns and trends of use and the uptake of educational courses and facilities.

Direct Marketing

By registering to use this Site and providing your personal data you are giving your permission for your data to be held by us. We would like to provide you with information about new products, services, courses and other information which we think you might find interesting. We would like to send you such information by mail or email.

When you provide your personal information to us you will be given the option to let us know that you do not want your information to be used for direct marketing purposes. If you request this option we will not send you any direct marketing.

You can change your mind at any time should you not wish to continue to receive direct marketing material from us. Please contact our Data Protection Coordinator at PO Box 497, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AT should you wish to stop receiving direct marketing from us.

Who do we share this information with?

We will not transfer, disclose, sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required to do so by law. This process may involve sending personal information to other countries, whose data protection laws may not be as extensive as in the EU. However, we have carried out appropriate steps to ensure the same level of protection for the processing carried out in these countries as within the EU.

How to get copies of the information we have collected

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Act. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to our Data Protection Coordinator at PO Box 497, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AT or email If you think that any information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete please write or email us as soon as possible at We will correct or update any information as soon as possible.

Security of Data

We are committed to ensuring that your personal information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect on-line. As long as your browser supports the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) any personal information transmitted from your browser to its web service, or from the service to your browser, will be encrypted to make it unreadable.


The Open University is under a statutory duty to have regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.  If the use of OU computer equipment, information and systems gives rise to a concern that a person may be at risk, this may result in action being taken in accordance with the OU Prevent strategy


As outlined in the terms and conditions of use, we may link to other websites which are not within our control. Once you have left the Site we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.


We use cookies in relation to certain areas of the Site. Cookies are files which store information on your hard drive or browser which means that we can recognise that you have visited the Site before. Cookies can make it easier for you to maintain your preferences on the Site.

By seeing how you use the Site we can tailor the Site around users’ preferences and measure the general usability of the website. In particular we may use cookies to identify which pages are being most frequently used. This information is used for statistical analysis including the identification of patterns and trends in educational needs and demand.

You can should you choose, disable the cookies from your browser and delete all cookies currently stored on your computer. On Microsoft Internet Explorer this can be done by selecting “Tools/Internet Options” and reviewing your privacy settings or selecting “delete cookies”. You can find out how to do this for your particular browser by clicking “help” on your browser’s menu. No information obtained from a cookie will be used for marketing purposes.

For more detailed information see Cookie use on the OU website

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