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Privacy and the University Directory

In March 2012 the University Lookup directory received a major upgrade, including some changes to privacy options.

Much of the information displayed in the Lookup Directory is considered personal data within the meaning of the Data Protection Act
(1998). You can choose the level of privacy associated with your personal data displayed in the Lookup Directory. The
privacy levels are:
  • Private:  This information is visible only to you, members of your Lookup institutional editors group(s) and the managers of the Lookup system.
  • Institution: This information is visible only to you, other members of your institution(s) in Lookup and the managers of the Lookup system.
  • University: This information is visible only to current staff and students of the University (alumni and others who have left retain their Raven passwords, but do not have access to University-only information).
  • World: This information can be read by anyone. It is not restricted to the CUDN or to people with Raven accounts.

You can use the privacy settings to control access to your data (as a whole or selectively). Note that private data is visible (though labelled as private) to members of the editing group for your institution (typically departmental administrators). They also have the ability to edit your data so that, for example, they can update Departmental telephone numbers. Managers of groups of which you are a member can see your membership of those groups even if you have made it private, but they cannot see the rest of your private data or edit any of it.

Data items which you remove entirely will cease to be visible to anybody.

By default your information is seeded in the Directory with a privacy setting of either 'University' or 'Private'. Information transferred from the previous version of Lookup retains the corresponding privacy settings applied there, although the names for these settings have been changed. Any data that was previously 'Suppressed' is now stored as 'Private'. Any data that was previously  'unsuppressed' is now stored as 'University'.

You control the visibility of your personal data. No personal data defaults to World visibility.

Information is currently made available in two ways:

  • for the web interface, at
  • for the LDAP interface, to systems within the Cambridge University Data Network (CUDN)

This means in effect that nobody outside the University community and affiliated institutions should be able to see your data unless you choose to make it world visible.

In accordance with JISC guidelines (see, staff and students have the right to object to the use of their personal data where it would cause them significant damage or distress. It is expected that the majority of staff and students will not need to object to use of their directory data, which facilitates the normal functioning and management of the University and Colleges. You can set any or all of this information about you to 'Private'.

Any User abusing the LDAP directory to send bulk emails may be subject to disciplinary action by the Computing Service (see