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GSS Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy discloses the information gathering and use practices for the Harvard Global Support Services website (the "Site"). The Site includes the following:

The Harvard Travel Registry, at or, is hosted and maintained by The Anvil Group on behalf of Harvard University (“Harvard”). Country Specific Information is a service provided by The Anvil Group under contract to Harvard.

As used in this Privacy Policy, the terms "we," "us" and "our" refer to Harvard, and the terms "you" and "your" refer to any user of the Site.

Collection of Information

Information You Provide (or Provided for You)

When you visit certain pages of the Site, you will be asked to login with your HarvardKey. Your HarvardKey will not be accessible to us or to any provider.

You may be asked to provide information about yourself and your travel plans. Some information (marked with an asterisk) must be provided in order to use the Site. Other information is optional; however, completing the forms as fully as possible improves our ability to help you prepare for your travel, respond to your inquiry, or provide assistance in an emergency. You may update information provided to the Travel Registry at any time by logging on to the site with your HarvardKey.

Harvard employees may add (or update) information to the Site about you and your travel. For example, if you participate in a Harvard program, the program leader may enter information about your trip for you; if you are a faculty member, your assistant or department administrator may enter information for you.

When you send email or other communications to us, we may retain the communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests, and improve our services.

Information from Other Parties

If you use one of Harvard’s preferred travel agencies to book your travel, information about your travel will automatically be provided to the Travel Registry on your behalf. Any subsequent changes to your itinerary made by the travel agent will also be provided as an update to the Travel Registry. Unlike information provided by you or another Harvard employee, you cannot edit this information. We may edit this information in order to better provide services to you in an emergency. For example, we may add information such as school affiliation to a traveler record so that designated Harvard staff can appropriately access your information and manage our emergency response.

Web Analytics

When you access the Site, your computer automatically sends information including your network address and how you reached the Site, and we will retain records of your visits to the Site.

This Site will attempt to store a small piece of data known as a “cookie” on your computer, which will be read each time you visit the Site. We may use cookies to establish continuity between related requests, to personalize the Site to your preferences, to authenticate your log-in, and to analyze Site traffic. Cookies do not themselves contain any personal information. You may choose to block cookies with your browser, but if you do, you may not be able to take advantage of all of this Site’s features.

Use of the Information

Emergency Response

In the event of a travel emergency or escalated travel risk, or for emergency planning purposes, designated Harvard staff may access your information to (a) identify your location and whether you may be affected; (b) contact you or others who may have knowledge of your location, condition and/or needs; (c) contact you for information about others; (d) provide or arrange assistance; and/or (e) any other purpose that we reasonably believe may help deal with such emergencies and risks.

Harvard Travel Assist services are provided by Healix International (first response and medical matters) and The Anvil Group (safety and security matters) under the supervision of GSS. Personal information you provide to Harvard Travel Assist about travel problems, such as medical information, will be received by one or both of these contractors.

We may also provide the information to other third parties supporting our emergency response, such as security consultants, hospitals, insurance companies, and other providers, as well as U.S. and foreign government agencies where needed. In such cases, we will provide only specific information that, in our judgment, the third party requires for emergency services.

We may contact your emergency contacts in cases that raise significant health and safety concerns, and especially when decisions may need to be made on your behalf. We may also respond to inquiries from your family and other listed contacts about your location and well-being.

Travel Alerts

We may use the email address and itineraries you give us to provide you email alerts with information about your destination, including medical and security risks, travel advice, advisories, and situation updates. Some email alerts will be sent by The Anvil Group on our behalf and at our request, and some will be sent directly by us.

Respond to Requests for Services

We may use the information you provide to fulfill your request for a service. We may provide the information to third parties participating in providing the requested service, such as security consultants, U.S. and foreign government agencies, insurance companies and other providers. In such cases, we will provide only specific information that, in our judgment, the third party requires in order to assist us in fulfilling your request.

Should payments be made on your behalf by Harvard Travel Assist as a result of your receiving services, Global Support Services will usually be required to provide your Social Security number (on file with Harvard) to our insurance partners in order to finalize the claim.

Aggregate Reporting and Analysis

We may use records on visits to the Site in aggregate (i.e. without names, Harvard IDs or other identifying information) to analyze and report on general travel volume, trends and travel risk, and to evaluate our communications and registration and response procedures. This aggregate data may be used in internal or public communications. We may also evaluate Site usage by collecting statistics about the behavior of visitors to the Site and analyzing user information and demographics, but only to generate aggregate statistical reports. For this purpose, we may use third-party services to collect such information. We may display this statistical information publicly or provide it to others. Such reports will not disclose site usage by individual visitors or by IP addresses.

Internal Program Management

For students, if you are traveling as part of a Harvard program or project, we will inform relevant Harvard contacts regarding your travel plans. We will track, and notify appropriate Harvard personnel, about whether or not you have completed online pre-trip requirements available through the Site, such as undergraduate pre-departure orientations and travel registration, in accordance with the student travel policies. We may also provide such information in response to requests from program or project staff.

Site Operations

We may use the information in the general operation of the Site, for example, to customize your experience of the Site; evaluate the Site and its users' needs; gather feedback about the Site or its purposes; improve our service; generate data and reports about usage of the Site and its content; support the functioning and security of the Site and our network and systems; and other similar purposes.

We have contracted with The Anvil Group and Healix International to perform functions and provide services to us, including, without limitation, hosting and maintenance of the Harvard Travel Registry and the country specific email alert system. We may provide these parties, or they may have access to, some of your information for those purposes. In using the information, these service providers are bound by Harvard's data security and privacy policies.

Protection of Harvard and Others

We may use, or provide the information to third parties for use, in circumstances where we believe that doing so is necessary or appropriate to: satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request; detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues; or protect our rights, property, or safety or the rights, property or safety of others.

Users Located in the European Economic Area

If you are located in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway (the “European Economic Area”), please review additional information about ways that certain Harvard University Schools, Centers, units and controlled entities, including this website, may collect, use, and share information about you.


This Site has security measures in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control. However, no such measures are foolproof or impenetrable, and we are not responsible for any third party circumvention of the security measures.

Contacting Us

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of the Site, or your dealings with the Site, please contact us at

Changes to This Policy

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time without advance notice. If we change the policy, we will post the modified policy on this page, and will note the date of modification.

This Privacy Policy was last updated May 25, 2018.