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Privacy Notice

Effective Date: May 25, 2018


This Privacy Notice applies to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) websites. This Privacy Notice explains our general privacy practices about the collection, use, and disclosure of user information collected in connection with visits to our websites. Certain Caltech websites may have their own privacy notices that also apply, and visitors to such sites should review the applicable privacy notice.


Caltech may make changes to its privacy policy and this Privacy Notice, consistent with its respect for visitor privacy, and those changes will be posted in a revised Privacy Notice that will show a new effective date and the date of the superseded notice. Visitors should periodically review this notice for updates.

Collection of Personally Identifiable Information

The term "personally identifiable information" means individually identifiable information about an individual collected online by a site operator from that individual and maintained by the operator in an accessible form, including any of the following:

  1. Name;
  2. Home or other physical address, including street name and name of a city or town;
  3. Email address;
  4. Telephone number;
  5. IP address.

Caltech does not automatically collect personally identifiable information about visitors to the websites other than the visitor's IP address.

Automatically Collected Information

Web server logs collect and store certain system-related information automatically. This information includes:

  • The Internet domain from which you access our websites;
  • The IP address from which you access our websites;
  • The type of browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) used to access our sites;
  • The operating system (Windows, Unix, Macintosh) used to access our sites;
  • The date and time you access our sites;
  • The URLs of the pages you visit; and
  • If you visited a Caltech website from another website, the URL of the referring site.

This information is used to help us make our sites more useful for you. With this data, we learn about the number of visitors to our sites and the types of technology our visitors use. The information collected may be used in aggregate to inform decisions about website content and structure. It may also be used for troubleshooting purposes, or to detect and investigate abuse. With the exception of abuse investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits.

Information Collected for Tracking and Customization (Cookies)

Caltech websites use cookies to better serve visitors. A cookie is a piece of data that is either maintained only for the duration of a particular session visit (session cookie) or is stored on the user's computer to support future visits (persistent cookie). Caltech sites use both types of cookies. If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies stored on your machine, you can turn them off in your browser. However, some of a site's features may be affected if cookies are disallowed.

Google Analytics

Caltech websites use Google Analytics, which employs persistent cookies to help analyze how visitors use the sites. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. Google Analytics uses only first-party cookies for data analysis. This means that the cookies are associated with Caltech's domain. Google will use this information for statistical analysis reporting related to visitor browsing behavior at these sites, and for compiling reports on website activity for website operators. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser; however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of the website. More information about Google Analytics and its use of cookies can be found here.


Caltech websites are not directed to children under 13 years of age, do not sell products or services intended for purchase by children, and do not knowingly collect or store any personal information, even in aggregate, about children under the age of 13. We encourage parents and teachers to be involved in children's Internet explorations. It is particularly important for parents to guide their children when they are asked to provide personal information online.

Collection of Voluntarily Submitted Information

Other than the technical information collected automatically about your visit (described above), we may ask you to provide information voluntarily. Information may be requested for the purpose of making information or services available to you and to maintain and manage our relationship with you, including providing communications and associated services, or to better understand and serve your needs. This information is generally retained as long as you continue to maintain a relationship with us. For example, if you sign up for email communications and later unsubscribe, your contact information will be deleted. Submitting the requested information is wholly voluntary. However, not providing the requested information (or subsequently asking that the data be removed) may affect our ability to deliver the service for which the information is needed. Providing the requested information indicates your consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of this information as described in this notice. Information we may actively collect could include your email addresses if we communicate with you via email, your name, and your comments and questions about the websites.

Disclosure of Information

Other than sharing your information for the processing purposes described above, and with other appropriate university personnel and units to ensure the quality, functionality, and security of our websites, or to manage your relationship with us, we will not disclose personally identifiable information about your use of these Caltech sites except under the following circumstances:

  • With your prior written (including email) consent;
  • When we have given you clear notice that we will disclose information that you voluntarily provide, and the opportunity to oppose that disclosure; or
  • To appropriate external parties, such as law enforcement agencies, in order to investigate and respond to suspected violations of law or university policy. Any such disclosures shall comply with all applicable laws and university policies.

Website Security Notice

Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on Caltech websites are strictly prohibited and may be punishable by law, including under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.

Comments Sent by Email

You may choose to provide us with personal information, for example in an email containing your comments or questions. We may use this information to improve our service to you or to respond to your request. There may be times when your message is forwarded to other Caltech employees who may be better able to help you.

Disclaimer of Endorsement

Reference on a Caltech site to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Caltech. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Caltech, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

Users Located in the European Economic Area

If you reside within the European Union or the European Economic Area (consisting of the European Union, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway), please click here for additional information regarding rights and protections that apply to you under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Contact Information

If you have questions or concerns about this policy, please contact us via email at [email protected].