Privacy Policy

The Oxford Alumni Online website is provided free of charge to alumni, associate alumni, staff, students and friends of the University of Oxford. The details of all users will be verified during registration before a User is granted access to the communities on the website. The University reserves the right to refuse access to anyone who misuses the site in any way and to delete User accounts or inappropriate updates to individual profiles.

This policy (together with the terms and conditions of use) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat them.

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 ("the DPA"), the University and the applicable Participant(s) (i.e. colleges and departments using the University's Development and Alumni Relations System (DARS)) are joint "data controllers" of the personal data held in DARS (which encompasses both the Oxford Alumni Online website and the database). The University and the applicable Participant(s) reserve the right to remove or block access to the website following an infringement of the terms of this policy or the terms and conditions of use.

Your data and Oxford Alumni Online

Over time, you will be able to use the Oxford Alumni Online website to connect with alumni, associate alumni, staff, students and friends of the University of Oxford from across the collegiate University, regardless of their college or subject of study. It will offer a range of community tools including secure access to directories of members, a messaging service, the opportunity to join virtual groups and more, in addition to online event registration and giving, access to benefits and services (including the Oxford Alumni Email Forwarding Service) and more opportunities to connect actively with old friends and new. It will also allow you to securely view some of the information that is held on you in the DARS database and to update this where necessary. Any participant currently using DARS is eligible to offer a community space via this site (note that different domain names may be used). College and department communities are only accessible by members of that unit. A list of the current Community spaces along with proposed new spaces can be found on our Participants List.

Your data in the system

Once your registration has been processed, you will be able to access certain information held on you in the system - if any details are not correct, then you can update them. When you submit your update, you will immediately view the amended details, but they will be verified by us before they are formally accepted as changes on the database. We will endeavour to do this within three working days of receipt of your update. If we are unable to accept the change, we will contact you and your profile will revert back to the original details prior to your amendment. Any changes you make and which are approved will be held securely in DARS.

The data in your record may be used by colleges, faculties, departments, administrative units, international offices, recognised alumni societies, sports and other entities associated with the University, and agents contracted by the University in that capacity.

Full details on how your data are held and used are set out in our Data Protection Statement at or you can request a hard copy from the address below. Some sensitive personal data may be held in DARS. If at any time you have any queries about the use of your personal data in DARS, or wish to change the fact of, or extent of, use of your personal data, please contact the University Database Team, quoting your Alumni Number (if you have one).

Please also see the section 'Your rights' below.

Communication preferences

We want to ensure that we keep the details we hold about you up to date and communicate with you fully in accordance with your wishes. This website will allow you to update your details and your communication preferences online. Upon registering for the Oxford Alumni Online website, your data will continue to be used for the purposes of communication and marketing activities by post, e-mail, telephone, fax or text message unless you indicate otherwise. By registering for the online community, and providing your email address, you are agreeing that we can contact you for these purposes. You may also have the opportunity to register your interest in volunteering for certain activities; by providing this information you are agreeing to receive emails about volunteering opportunities.

We use tools to monitor the effectiveness of our communications with you, including email tracking, which records when an email from us is opened and/or how many links are clicked within the message. The data from this tracking are generally used in an aggregated and anonymised form.

We want to communicate with you about opportunities to stay involved including sending you newsletters and publications, keeping you informed about events and services we can offer, and ways you can continue to support the collegiate University. Email is a cost-effective way for us to do this.

However, if you have specific preferences regarding the type of email communications you want to receive, or wish to subscribe to a specific mailing, then please let us know. Some communities include a 'My preferences' page, where you can set what sorts of mailings you would like to receive, and whether you would like to have them by post, or by email (where relevant). Alternatively, please contact the Alumni Office at to update your communications options. You can also choose to opt-out of any general email communications from us (although we would continue to use your email address to contact you if you request a specific service via this website, e.g. to book a place at an event). You can set this opt-out through the Email preferences page, or by contacting us at

Where we store your personal data

Oxford is an international University, with a number of Offices around the world (in the USA, China and Japan). For these reasons, the data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA"). It may also be viewed by Users operating outside the EEA. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy but we do not accept liability for other Users.

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 your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk.

Information we may collect from you

We may collect and process the following data about you:

Information that you provide by filling in forms on any part of the Oxford Alumni Online website (our site). This includes information provided at the time of registering to use our site, subscribing to our service, posting material or requesting further services. We may also ask you for information when you report a problem with our site.

  • If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence.
  • We may also ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them.
  • Details of transactions you carry out through our site.
  • Details of your visits to our site [including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, whether this is required for our own billing purposes or otherwise] and the resources that you access.

Uses made of the information

We use information held about you in the following ways:

  • To ensure that content from our site is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer or other device.
  • To provide you with information, products or services that you request from us or which we feel may interest you, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes.
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so.
  • To update the information held about you in DARS.
  • To notify you about changes to our service.

Sharing information with other Users

The Oxford Alumni Online website is just like Oxford itself. The University, colleges and departments/faculties can each have their own space. You only need to register for the site once and then when you log-in you will be able to access any spaces you are eligible to belong to. A list of the current community spaces along with proposed new spaces can be found on our Participants list.

In most Community spaces you will find a members search facility, which is basically a directory of all of the current members of that Community. When you register for Oxford Alumni Online, as a default only your name(s), matriculation year and subject and college details will display in the directory for all of your Communities.

You can choose to share more information by changing your privacy settings. In broad terms, the additional information that you can share will be:

  • Personal details, such as: former surname, interests, where you live (city/country), contact details
  • Education details, such as: first degree name, other college(s) and degree name(s)/subject(s), University club/society involvements
  • Employment details, such as: employer name, job title, sector, employment location (city/country), willingness to be contacted about careers

We encourage you to share further fields, such as degree/program type, degree/program start and end dates, and employment information; the more fields you share, the easier it will be for those in similar constituencies to find you.

You cannot choose to make the default fields private i.e. name, matriculation year, subject and college (see 'Opting-out' below).

If you are a member of more than one Community on Oxford Alumni Online, please be aware that any information you choose to share will then appear in all of your directory entries, unless you request otherwise – see 'Opting-out' below for further information. 


For example:

Mary is an alumna of St John's College. She registers for Oxford Alumni Online and becomes a member of the St John's Alumni Community and the Oxford Alumni Community with access to both spaces. She decides to set her privacy settings so that she is sharing her 'Employer name', 'Job title' and 'Country' in her directory profile. 


Peter, another registered user of the St John's Community can now see the following details, including this employment information, when he searches for Mary. 

Paul, an alumnus of Merton College, is using the Oxford Alumni Community members search facility to find all registered users in his matriculation year. His search returns Mary's record, also including the employment information:


You can also choose to completely remove even your default information from directories. In Privacy settings you can choose to opt-out from any or all of the following types of directory (you are also given this option at the point of registration):

  • The Oxford Alumni Community member search
  • My College Community member searches
  • My Department Community member searches

If your college/s and/or department/s do not yet have a space on Oxford Alumni Online then this information will be stored on your record until such time as a space is launched, at which point you will be notified by email that you now have access to a new Community and given the opportunity to change your settings.

If you are a member of more than one college/department Community and you would like your details to appear in one Community member search but not the other, please contact the Database Team at who will amend your record accordingly.

Please note that if you choose to opt-out from a particular Community member search you will no longer be able to access that facility yourself.

Users should realise that whilst they can change their details from public to private, other users may have retained their details and therefore may still make contact.

Alumni who wish to register to offer careers advice and mentoring to current students are directed to the Oxford Careers Network database.

Messaging facility

Some community spaces provide a messaging facility; however community members will not be able to contact you through the messaging facility until you have registered. 'My messages' allows other members of the website to contact you through the system, without the need to share your personal email address, if you don't want to. You only need to register for this facility once and all your messages will be sent to this one inbox, even if you are a member of multiple communities. We recommend that you set up your messaging facility the first time that you log-in. If you receive a message through the system, you will be sent an alert to the email address with which you registered. To reply to the message, you will need to log-in to the platform.

IP addresses and cookies

We use cookies and similar technologies on our websites. We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. The data from this tracking are generally used in an aggregated and anonymised form. To learn more visit our cookie information page.

Your rights

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data. Our site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our non-collegiate University partner networks, advertisers and affiliates. 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.

As a data subject, under the DPA you have rights of access to the personal data held about you by any data controller. If you wish to access the personal data held about you in DARS, or change the type or extent of the processing of your personal data, please contact the Database Team using the contact details below.

Changes to this policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page.


If you have any queries about the use of your personal data in DARS or have any questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy they should be addressed to the Database Team at the address below:

University Database Team
University of Oxford Development Office
University Offices
Wellington Square
United Kingdom


Related information

Terms and conditions of use

Data Protection statement

Cookies and similar technologies

About the Oxford Alumni Online website