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Penn State Web Privacy Statement

Thank you for visiting The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) website and reviewing our privacy policy. Penn State is comprised of many colleges, units and activities, all of which may have individual representation on the web. Penn State does not collect your personally identifiable information (as defined by Penn State Policy AD-53) when you visit one of our websites unless you choose to provide that information to us.

This privacy policy applies only to the online activities of Penn State. For direct mail and other marketing activities not involving electronic commerce, Penn State adheres to the Direct Marketing Association’s privacy guidelines. If you would like more information, please visit the following website: www.the-DMA.org

If You Send Us Personal Information

Penn State’s websites will collect personal information which you knowingly and voluntarily provide to us by — for example — sending emails, completing information forms, registering for accounts, responding to surveys or ordering merchandise. If you provide us with personal information, we will respond to your inquiry, request or order.

We also may contact you to provide information about Penn State activities, programs, memberships and development opportunities, products and special events that may interest you. Additionally, we may occasionally combine your personal information, including personally identifiable information, with information from other third parties to enable us or our trusted third party partners to provide you with a more personalized marketing experience. You will always be provided an opportunity to opt-out of all such communications.

Please note that if you purchase items from the various e-commerce sites, you will automatically receive emails about new products, special offers, sales and other promotions that may be of interest to you. In such cases, we may share limited personal information that we have collected from you, including personally identifiable information, so that we or our trusted partners may contact you with offers that may interest you.

When we send you information by email we will provide the opportunity to decline further communication in a manner consistent with applicable laws and policies. Please use the contact specified in the email so that we can remove you from the list that contains your name. If you are uncertain about who to contact, you may contact our webmaster at webmaster@psu.edu.

Penn State uses outside vendors to provide certain services on our behalf, such as email distribution, order fulfillment and shipping. These third-party vendors will have access to the information needed to perform their functions but may not use that information for any other purpose.

Penn State may offer opportunities for you to opt-in to receive information from non-Penn State entities. If you opt-in, you may receive correspondence from these organizations on programs, products or services that might interest you. If you decide to opt-out of receiving any further correspondence from a non-Penn State entity, please correspond directly with that business or organization to be removed from its mailing list.

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you visit our website, we automatically gather and store the following information about your visit so that we can track the use of our website in order to make improvements. This information includes, but is not limited to the following, and is stored and used in aggregate form only:

The IP address from which you access our website
The name of the domain from which you access the Internet
The type of browser and operating system used to access our website
The date and time you access our site
The pages, files, documents and links that you visit
The Internet address of the website from which you linked to this website

It is not used to contact you personally.


In addition to information collected automatically, we use cookies, which are small pieces of information sent to your browser by a website that you visit. These cookies do not collect personally identifiable information. Cookies are used to track usage patterns, traffic trends and customer behavior, as well as to record other information from the website.

When you register on the website, cookies also allow us to save your information so that you will not have to re-enter it the next time you visit. Many content adjustments and customer service improvements are made based on the data derived from cookies. Information that we collect from cookies will only be used in aggregate form.

As mentioned above, Penn State may employ outside companies (included, but not limited to, Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter) to provide marketing services on our behalf. With our approval, these third parties may place cookies during your visit.  These third-party companies only will collect non-personally identifiable information about your visit or transaction, such as the URLs which lead you to, around and from our site, pages visited, the product(s) purchased, and the amount spent. Any data collected will be used in accordance with out privacy policy, as well as the privacy policy of the vendor.

Penn State may use third-party vendors (including, but not limited to, AddThis), to allow our users to share content from our site with others through popular social networking sites. These vendors may place cookies to collect non-personally identifiable information (included but not limited to browser type, browser language, date, and time) via the social sharing buttons on the website.

Penn State may use third-party advertising and analytic companies (included, but not limited to, Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter) to serve ads about our organization on websites across the internet. on and about our website. These companies may use cookies to serve you more relevant advertisements and offers across the internet based on the information about your visit to this website or other websites.

The Penn State privacy policy does not cover any use of information that third parties may have collected from you (e.g., type of browser, operating system, domain name, day and time of visit, page(s) visited) or the methods used by the third parties to collect that information (e.g., cookies, web beacons).

Penn State may use third-party research companies (including, but not limited to, Google Universal Analytics) that may collect and use information about about your visit to this website or other websites in order to provide quantitative analysis about our audience. We do not combine the information collected with any personally identifiable information.

You may set your browser to refuse cookies from any website that you visit. If you choose to do so, you may still gain access to most of Penn State’s websites, but you may not be able to take advantage of some of the interactive elements offered.

If you would like more information about cookies and the option not to have them used by third-party companies during your visit, please visit the following websites:

Children and Privacy

Penn State is concerned about protecting children’s privacy. We do not collect personally identifiable information from children. If a visitor known to be a child (that is an individual under the age of thirteen (13), as defined by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) sends an email to Penn State, we only will use it to respond to the writer and not to create profiles or otherwise retain the information.


We take commercially reasonable precautions to ensure that all credit card transactions that occur on Penn State websites are secure. When you submit your credit card for any purchase, that transaction is encrypted using “Secure Socket Layer” (SSL) encryption to protect your credit card information. We review network traffic to ensure that our site remains available to all users and to identify unauthorized attempts to access, upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized access is prohibited and punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.


Within Penn State’s websites are advertisements, widgets and other content links to non-Penn State websites. These sites operate independently of Penn State and have their own privacy policies. Penn State is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of non-Penn State websites, and such links are not intended to be an endorsement of the non-Penn State website or its content. For your protection, you should review the privacy policy of the site you linked to from our website.


Questions and comments about this Privacy Policy may be directed to us via email at privacy@psu.edu. Penn State is a large organization with many people sharing responsibility for the content of its websites. Please help us respond to your comments and inquiries by sending them to the appropriate Penn State office.