GetSmarter's Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy (the “Privacy Policy”) describes how GetSmarter (as owned and operated by 2U, Inc.) (“GetSmarter”, “we”, or “us”) collects, uses and discloses information from and about you when you visit and use GetSmarter.com and GetSmarter’s associated websites, applications and virtual learning environments/online campus platforms (collectively, the “Websites”), as well as your ability to control certain uses of that information. It also describes certain data protection rights which may apply under applicable law, including a right to object to some of the processing which GetSmarter carries out. More information about your rights, and how to exercise them, is set out in the Accessing and managing your personal information section below.

GetSmarter respects your privacy and is committed to protecting it through our compliance with this Privacy Policy. By accessing or otherwise using the Websites, you agree to the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy – which, together with the Terms and conditions for students and Website Terms of Use and Cookie Policy constitute GetSmarter’s terms of use – and to GetSmarter’s collection, use and disclosure of your information, as data controller, in accordance with this Privacy Policy, where such agreement is permitted by applicable law.

We regularly review our compliance with this Privacy Policy. Whenever we receive a formal complaint, we make best efforts to contact the person who made the complaint to attempt to resolve their concerns. If you have any questions about the use of your information, or the contents of this Privacy Policy, please contact us.

Collection of information

Information you provide

GetSmarter collects information from you when you choose to provide it to us. For example, we may collect your information when you submit a webform requesting information about one of our course offerings (“Course”), otherwise provide information to us through the Websites, or otherwise contact us. The information we collect may include personal information – name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, government issued identifier, prior educational background information, work experience, and the content of any communications that we exchange, as well as non-personal information. In some cases, we require your personal information in order to perform a contract or to comply with a legal obligation.

Information automatically collected

When you visit the Websites or interact with emails that we send to you, we may passively collect information from you and store that information on our server logs, including your internet protocol address (“IP address”), browser type, operating system, device identifier, device model, software version, or mobile or ISP carrier information. We and our third-party partners use Cookies and other technologies to collect information about your visit to the Websites, such as the date and time of your visit, the information you searched to find the Websites, your activity on the Websites, and your clicks on our ads. “Cookies” are small files which may be stored on your computer during your use of the Websites and contain data about your use of the Websites. We may use session cookies (which expire when you close your browser) or persistent cookies (which stay on your computer until you delete them) to understand more about your activity on the Websites or on other websites. Please see Getsmarter's Cookie Policy for details on how we use cookies and other tracking technologies and how you can control the cookies set on your browser.

Tracking options and Do-Not-Track disclosures

You may adjust your browser or operating system settings to limit this tracking or to decline cookies. If you choose to limit tracking or decline cookies, however, you may be unable to access certain areas of the Websites. Check the “Help” or “Settings” menu of your browser or operating system to learn how to change your tracking settings or Cookie preferences. Learn more about the use of cookies or other tracking technologies and your choices regarding the use of information collected this way by certain Service Providers (as defined below). On your mobile device, you can adjust your privacy and advertising settings to limit tracking for advertising or to control whether you receive more relevant advertising. Note that our systems may not recognize Do-Not-Track headers or requests from some or all browsers. Please see our Cookie Policy to learn more about your choices for receiving interest-based advertising or to opt out.

Information collected from other sources

Where permitted by law, we collect or receive information about you from companies to whom you indicate that you would like to learn more about the Course, companies that are our partners, or other entities within the 2U family of companies (collectively “Other Sources”) in order to update or supplement the information that you provide or that we collect automatically as described above in Information Automatically Collected. We may use this information to help us maintain the accuracy of the information we collect, to target our communications so that we can inform you of products, services or other offers that may be of interest to you, and for internal business analysis or other business purposes.

Our combination of your information

We may combine the information we receive from and about you, via the Websites and from Other Sources to help us tailor our communications to you and to improve the Websites.

Failure to provide personal information

Failure to provide certain information may make it difficult or impossible for you to access some services through the Websites (for example, to register for and complete Courses). You should ensure that personal information submitted to us is accurate and up-to-date. For example, we need a current email address to communicate with you about the Course in which you choose to enroll.

Children's privacy

We do not direct the Website to, nor do we knowingly collect any personal information from, children under the age of 16.

How we use your information

Purposes for collecting and processing personal information

We process personal information under the following legal bases:

  • To fulfill a contract or take steps linked to a contract, including:
    • providing our services
    • verifying your identity
    • taking payments
    • communicating with you.
  • To conduct GetSmarter’s business and pursue our legitimate interests in marketing our business, ensuring that we conduct our business in line with our objectives, improving and developing our products and services, and keeping our records accurate and up to date. This includes:using your information to provide products and services you have requested and responding to any comments or complaints you may send us;
    • using your information to provide products and services you have requested and responding to any comments or complaints you may send us
    • personalizing your experience on the Websites and in any Course in which you choose to enroll and to help us to better respond to your individual needs;
    • targeting advertising to groups of individuals with similar interests or characteristics through services offered by third party Service Providers, such as Facebook Custom Audiences or other similar business tools
    • developing new products or services or conducting analyses to enhance current products and services
    • reviewing the usage and operations of the Websites and analyzing and improving the Websites (we continually strive to improve the Websites based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
    • contacting you for legitimate business purposes
    • using personal information to invite individuals to take part in market research
    • where consent is not required by applicable law, for direct marketing purposes
    • protecting the security and functionality of the Website, including using personal information you provide to investigate any complaints received from you or from others about our Websites or our products and services.
  • We conduct balancing tests for the data processing we carry out on the basis of our legitimate interests, which we have described above. For more details on the balancing test we have carried out, please contact us at privacy@getsmarter.com. You may also have the right to object to our use of your personal information on the basis of our legitimate interests as described at the outset of this policy.
  • To protect the security and functionality of the Websites. This includes:
    • if you provide a credit or debit card as payment, using third parties to check the validity of the sort code or routing number, account number and card number you submit in order to prevent fraud (see How We Disclose Your Data);
    • monitoring customer accounts to prevent, investigate and/or report fraud, misrepresentation, security incidents or crime, in accordance with applicable law.
  • Where you give us consent. This includes:
    • where consent is required by applicable law, sending you direct marketing in relation to our relevant products and services, or other products and services provided by GetSmarter, its parent company, 2U, Inc., and the 2U family of companies;
    • on other occasions where we ask you for consent, using the data for the purpose which we explain at that time.
  • For purposes which are required by law. This includes:
    • in response to requests by government or law enforcement authorities conducting an investigation;
    • using personal information in connection with legal claims, compliance, regulatory and investigative purposes as necessary, including disclosure of such information in connection with legal process or litigation.
  • For reasons not described in this Privacy Policy where the reason is compatible with the purpose for which we originally collected your information and where such use is lawful.

Use of de-identified, aggregate or anonymized information

We use de-identified aggregate or anonymized information to help us analyze the use of the Websites. Where permitted by law, this Privacy Policy does not limit our use or disclosure of de-identified, aggregate, pseudonymous or anonymous information, and we reserve the right to use and disclose such information to our partners, advertisers, and other third parties at our discretion.

How we disclose your information

GetSmarter shares your information with other entities or individuals in the following circumstances:

  1. Education Partners: We may share your information with the relevant university or institution with which we collaborate on Courses (“Education Partner”) in order to process your information, track your participation in the Course, and/or fulfill our contracted responsibilities to the Education Partner. Once we share your personal information with the Education Partner, GetSmarter does not maintain control over the Education Partner’s use of your personal information. We also share de-identified, aggregate, pseudonymous or anonymous information with the Education Partner for their own research and analytics purposes. The Education Partner’s use of your information is subject to its privacy policy.
  2. The 2U family of companies: Where you have expressed interest and given your consent, we share your information with our parent company, 2U, Inc., and within the 2U family of companies to provide you with information about other educational programs.
  3. Service Providers: We share your information with third parties that provide business, professional, or technical support functions for us. In particular, we use third-party providers for website hosting, maintenance, marketing services, courier services, certification services, business operations, payment services, and identity verification services (“Service Providers”). These Service Providers are only given access to your information to the extent necessary to process your information and/or provide services to GetSmarter, and they are prohibited from using or sharing your information for any other purposes. Where permitted by law, GetSmarter discloses limited information about you to Service Providers to serve relevant advertising on third party platforms to you or to other audiences.
  4. Your employer: We share your information with your employer, in the event that the employer is paying for your Course (“Your Employer”). Information disclosed in this case shall include Course performance information, unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing with GetSmarter.
  5. Legal matters; safety: We access or share your information to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or governmental request; in connection with an investigation on matters related to public safety; as permitted by law; or otherwise as required by law. We may disclose your information to protect the security of the Course, the Websites, servers, network systems, and databases. We also may disclose your information as necessary if we believe that there has been a violation of our Terms of Use (including investigation of potential violations thereof), any other legal document or contract related to the Websites, or the rights of any third party.
  6. Fraud; security: We access and disclose your information to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or other technical issues.
  7. Consent; other: We share information with third parties when we have your consent, or otherwise as described to you at the point of collection.
  8. Sale or transfer of business or assets: GetSmarter may sell or purchase assets during the normal course of our business. If another entity acquires us or any of our assets, information we have collected about you may be transferred to such entity. In addition, if any bankruptcy or reorganization proceeding is brought by or against us, such information may be considered an asset of ours and may be sold or transferred to third parties. Should such a sale or transfer occur, we will use reasonable efforts to try to require that the transferee use your information in a manner that is consistent with this Privacy Policy.
  9. International transfers: We transfer personal information from the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to other countries, including the United States and South Africa. Where information is transferred outside the EEA to a third party in a country that is not subject to an adequacy decision by the EU Commission, data is adequately protected by Standard Contractual Clauses, an appropriate Privacy Shield certification or a vendor’s Processor Binding Corporate Rules. A copy of the relevant mechanism can be provided for your review on request to privacy@getsmarter.com or via our contact page.

Information security and data retention

We are committed to protecting the security of your information. We maintain what we believe to be appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure your information and to prevent unauthorized access, maintain accuracy, and ensure appropriate use of your information. The accuracy, safety, and security of your information also depend on you. Where we have given you or where you have chosen a password for access to certain parts of the Websites, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask that you not share your password with anyone. Even though we do our best to protect your information, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure, and we cannot guarantee our security measures. We are not responsible for any unauthorized access to or acquisition of your information.

We retain your personal information for as long as we have a relationship with you. We also may retain your personal information for a longer period of time which enables us to:

  • Maintain business records for analysis and/or audit purposes
  • Comply with record retention requirements under the law
  • Defend or bring any existing or potential legal claims
  • Address any complaints regarding the services
  • Enforce our commercial agreements
  • Support our legitimate interests, as described in this Privacy Policy

Accessing and managing your personal information

If you are enrolled in a Course, you may access and/or update your personal information through your user profile.

In some instances, you may be eligible to (a) ask us for a copy of your personal information; (b) correct, delete or restrict processing of your personal information; and (c) obtain the personal information you provide to us in a structured, machine readable format. In addition, you may have the right under applicable law to object to the processing of your personal information in some circumstances.

Your rights regarding your personal information may be limited, for example, if fulfilling your request would reveal personal information about another person or would infringe the rights of a third party (including our rights), or if you ask us to delete information which we are required by law to keep or have compelling legitimate interests in keeping. We will inform you of the relevant exemption upon which we rely when responding to any request you make.

Our use of certain personal information is necessary for us to provide information to you about the Course or to provide services to you through the Websites or otherwise. If you choose not to provide this personal information or request that GetSmarter delete or restrict the processing of this personal information, you may not be able to participate in the Course, and we may not be able to provide you with other services, including those provided through the Websites or advertised about the Course.

If you believe your rights regarding your personal information have been infringed upon, please contact us as set forth in the Additional information section below. If you are located in the EEA or Switzerland and have unresolved concerns, you also have a right to lodge a complaint with the applicable Data Protection Authority.

If you wish to access or delete your information as described in this section, please fill out our Data Enquiry Form.

Additional information

Education Records

You may have specific rights relating to the disclosure of any personal information that you provide to us and/or education records that we may create about you under the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (“FERPA”). You also may have specific rights under FERPA related to accessing and/or updating your personal information. Certain information may be excluded from education records made available for inspection, within the bounds of the law and our confidentiality undertakings with third parties. You may also request amendment of education records that you believe are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of your rights. If you would like to inspect and review your education records pursuant to FERPA, you may submit a request to the University’s FERPA office.

Notice for California consumers

Categories of personal information that we collect and disclose

As required by the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), below are the categories of personal information about California consumers that GetSmarter collects and discloses, where we determine the means and purposes of data processing. We do not sell personal information.

We collect and disclose for a business purpose the following categories of personal information:

  • Contact information and identifiers, including real name, alias, address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, IP address, email address, phone number, account name, or other similar identifiers.
  • Customer records, such as name, signature, government issued identifier, physical characteristics (profile photograph), education, employment, bank account number, credit card number, debit card number, or other financial information (payment history).
  • Usage data, including internet or other electronic network activity information, such as browsing history, search history, and information regarding a consumer’s interaction with an internet website, application, or advertisement.
  • Employment history, including professional or employment-related information.
  • Education information, including information about education history or background.
  • Protected classifications, characteristics of protected classifications under California or federal law such as race, color, sex, age, national origin, disability and citizenship status.
  • Inferences drawn from any of the information identified above reflecting your preferences and characteristics.

Categories of sources of personal information

The categories of sources of personal information we collect are described in the section above Collection of Information.

Purposes for collecting personal information

We collect the personal information identified above to communicate with you, for advertising and marketing purposes, to provide and improve our services, and other purposes set forth in Purposes for Collecting and Processing Personal Information above.

Categories of third parties with which personal information is shared

We share personal information identified above with the following categories of third parties:

  • Education Partners
  • The 2U family of companies
  • Third-party providers that serve business, professional or technical support functions
  • Your employer
  • Third parties for legal matters or safety purposes
  • California Consumer Rights

California law gives California consumers the right to make the following requests:

  • The right to opt-out of sale of your personal information. GetSmarter does not sell personal information.
  • The right to request a copy of the personal information that we have collected about you in the prior 12 months.
  • The right to request deletion of the personal information that we have collected from you, subject to certain exemptions (for example, where the information is used by us to detect security incidents, debugging or to comply with a legal obligation).
  • The right to request more details about the personal information we collect and how and why we use and share it, including the categories of personal information we have collected about you, the categories of sources for personal information we collect, the business or commercial purposes for collecting personal information, and the categories of third parties with which we share personal information.

You can submit a copy, deletion, or right-to-know request online by filling out our Data Enquiry Form or by contacting us at +1(888) 213 3846.

The CCPA prohibits discrimination against California consumers for exercising their rights under the CCPA and imposes requirements on any financial incentives offered to California consumers related to their personal information, unless the different prices, rates, or quality of goods or services are reasonably related to the value of the consumer’s data.

Public forums; Publicly available content

Any information you may disclose through the Websites, such as on message boards, in chat rooms, or on other public areas, such as on webinars that you may attend about the Courses, may be viewed by others, such as your classmates and learning facilitators. Please exercise caution when disclosing personal information in these public areas.

If you do not want GetSmarter to store metadata associated with your content, please remove the metadata before uploading your content.

Third-Party Content

The Websites may also offer you the ability to interact with content provided by third parties not affiliated with 2U (“Third-Party Content”). Third-Party Content linked to or embedded on the Websites is governed by the privacy policies of those third parties. Your use of Third-Party Content is subject to each site’s privacy policy, which may be different from ours. We have no control over the information that is collected, stored, or used by Third-Party Content.

Changes to this privacy policy

We review this Privacy Policy from time to time and reserve the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time. If we do make material changes, we will give notice via the Website features or by otherwise contacting you.

Questions or Concerns About This Privacy Policy

You may direct any questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Policy to privacy@getsmarter.com. You may also have the right to file a complaint with your European Union Data Protection authority or South Africa’s information regulator, if applicable. For the purposes of EU data protection law, you can find a list of GetSmarter data controllers here.

Under article 27 of the General Data Protection Regulation, the representative within the European Union for GetSmarter data controllers not established in the European Union is 2U Group (UK) Limited, c/o Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom, E14 5DS, +44 2034 575 774, privacy@getsmarter.com.

The relevant data controller will be charged with making decisions regarding the purposes and methods of processing of data under the terms of this Privacy Policy.

To make a request to delete or access personal information, or for more information about the personal information GetSmarter has about you, use the Data Enquiry Form.

Date of last amendment: 04 November 2020