Navigation auf


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Data Privacy

Data Collection and Processing by Coursera

The US company Coursera, which offers the UZH MOOCs on its platform, collects detailed usage data from each participant and stores this on its servers or servers of contracted third parties. The processing of this information is subject to US law; i.e. the applicable data protection is not equivalent to Swiss data protection laws.

We recommend that all participants read Coursera's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before registering and signing up for a course.

Coursera's Terms of Use
Coursera's Privacy Policy

Data collection and processing by UZH

UZH does not itself collect any data of MOOC participants, but it is able to obtain certain usage data from Coursera. It uses this information within the framework of the privacy policy regulations: for course administration, improvement, and development, as well as for research purposes.

UZH has direct access to some of the data collected by Coursera. This is usually aggregated or non-personal data. In some cases, specifically in discussion forums and peer assessments, personal data becomes available to us if you post something or submit a piece of work or evaluation.

All of this data will be used only for the purpose of managing, optimizing, and further developing the MOOCs in question.

For research purposes, UZH researchers can request more extensive data sets from Coursera through the UZH Data Coordinator. This personal data must only be used for the research projects stated and must be anonymized. The research ethics search results must not allow any conclusions to be drawn about individual persons. The original personal data will be destroyed after the analysis.

All personal information of participants will be saved on UZH systems for a maximum of two years, after which the data will be deleted.

Disclosure of personal data

Personal data will only be communicated to third parties (e.g. to other authorities) if this is required in compliance with mandatory statutory regulations (e.g. government measures, court rulings) or for the purposes of legal action or prosecution. Data will not be given to third parties for any other purposes.


UZH uses technical and organizational security measures to ensure that data it has received from Coursera and further processed

  • remains confidential and is protected from accidental and unlawful access, change, disclosure, loss, and destruction; and
  • access to the data is granted only to those persons who, due to their role and task, have to access the personal data in accordance with the principle of necessity (on a "need-to-know" basis).

The measures to be taken must be appropriate to the type of information, the type and purpose of use, and the state of technology available.

Right to Information

If you would like information on data relating to your person that has been collected and processed, or if you want such data to be corrected, destroyed, or blocked, or if you have further questions on the use of such data, please contact Coursera directly at the following e-mail address:

If you would like information on data relating to your person that UZH processes in relation to MOOCs, particularly for the purposes of course improvement and development as well as research projects, please contact the UZH Head of Data Protection. The Delegate can be reached at the following address:

University of Zurich
Department of Data Protection
Hirschengraben 56
CH-8001 Zurich

Weiterführende Informationen

UZH Regulations for Hosting MOOCs

The regulations govern the rights and obligations of UZH employees in relation to MOOCs.