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Website privacy at OpenLearn Create

This page describes how OpenLearn Create will use your personal data. The Open University is the Data Controller for this data. See also the information at .

1.What information do we collect?

When you register to use OpenLearn Create and its services you will be required to set up an OU account and provide us with personal data, comprising your name, date of birth and email address, and your contact preferences. If you enrol on an OpenLearn Create course, we will record your participation in and completion of the course.

We automatically collect information about your use of OpenLearn Create (website logs).

The OU also collects information about how you use its websites including the devices you use to access its content and services. This includes collecting unique online identifiers such as IP addresses. For more information see the section below on OpenLearn Create’s use of cookies and similar technologies.

The only registration information about you which is pulled through to the site from the central OU registration database when you login to OpenLearn Create is your name and email address along with the OU computer user name which is generated when you register your account.  The IP address for the device you use at login is matched to your name and email address in OpenLearn Create and will be visible in some course reports visible to course managers and teachers only.  In your OpenLearn Create profile you have the option to add further information about yourself and you can edit or remove this information at any time when you login.

2.How do we use your personal data?

We use your personal data in order to deliver and improve our services, which are part of our public task of providing education to all. This includes maintaining records of your participation in OpenLearn Create courses. We will contact you when necessary via email, for example when you enrol on or complete an OpenLearn Create course and notify you if a course you have enrolled on is being deleted, amended or updated. We use data to analyse patterns and trends of use and the uptake of educational courses and facilities.

We may use your personal data within The Open University for research purposes.

This is part of our public task of conducting academic research.

We may contact you to take part in market research. This is part of our legitimate interest in improving OU services.

3.Where you have provided consent to receive marketing communications

If you have given your consent to receive marketing communications when signing up for an OU account, then you may receive Open University marketing information. For further information see section 3 of the OU’s Enquirer Privacy Notice (pdf 112kb).  If you need to change your marketing preferences you can update your preferences when you sign into the Open University website, by using any unsubscribe options available in communications we send you, or by contacting us.

4.Your rights

You have a number of rights in relation to your personal data – please see for more information. If you would like a copy of the personal data that we hold about you, please contact the Data Protection team.

5.How long will you keep my data?

We will normally keep your data for as long as necessary to give you the services you are using. This will be determined by several factors, including the purpose for which we use that information, our obligations under other laws or unless you tell us you would like your account deleted. We will keep data on the OpenLearn Create study you may have participated in until you ask us to delete it.

If you have contacted us via the Report a Concern button on the site (which sends a message to the mailbox) or emailed the mailbox direct, this contact and our response to your contact will be stored in the mailbox for a period of up to 12 months, depending on the nature of your enquiry and any investigations we may make on your behalf.  When making investigations on your behalf we operate an anonymise data policy to limit where your personal details are shared within The Open University. We regularly audit the mailbox contents and delete old messages when an enquiry is complete. 

6.Who do we share it with?

We use third party suppliers and service providers, for example to provide some of our IT systems and survey tools.  There are links to these surveys within OpenLearn Create and you may choose to undertake the survey or not. 

OpenLearn Create hosts courses created by third party individuals and organisations.  Some of these courses and resources have been created in partnership with The Open University, some of them have been created independently of The Open University. 

If you enrol on a course by a partner/third party organisation which has been given enhanced permissions to manage their course(s) hosted on OpenLearn Create, you will be informed that the individuals managing or teaching that course will be able to see your name, email address, IP address, progress through course materials and any grades you may achieve (by completing activities such as quizzes or submitting files for assessment).  You can choose not to enrol on the course if you do not want individuals from partner/third party organisations to see this data.  Course managers and teachers who are external to The Open University are required to sign a declaration to confirm they will act in accordance with the OU data protection and privacy policies to comply with General Data Protection Regulations. 

These transfers are in our legitimate interest of carrying out cost effective activities on behalf of users of the platform.  It is in our legitimate interest to transfer participant data to the organisation creating the course, so that they can analyse progress and provide support to learners enrolled on their course.

7.Where do we store your information?

Generally, information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers, or on our cloud-based systems which are located within the European Economic Area.  

If we transfer your information outside of the EEA, we will take steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are taken with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this policy. These steps include imposing contractual obligations on the recipient of your personal information or ensuring that the recipients are subscribed to ‘international frameworks’ that aim to ensure adequate protection. For example, we would ensure that a US based supplier has signed up to “Privacy Shield”.

8.Cookies and similar technology

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 OpenLearn Create before. Cookies can make it easier for you to maintain your preferences on OpenLearn Create.

By seeing how you use OpenLearn Create we can 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.

If you register to use our website, we will store some of your website activity when you are signed in as part of your record.

You can, should you choose, disable cookies within your browser and delete all cookies currently stored on your computer. You do not need to have cookies turned on to navigate through many parts of our website.

For more information see Cookie Use on the OU website.

9.Links to third party websites

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 OpenLearn Create 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.

Contact us

Please direct any queries about this policy or about the way we process your personal information to our Data Protection Officer using the contact details below.


Telephone: +44(0)1908 653994

By post:

The Data Protection Officer,
PO Box 497,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AT.