Privacy and Confidentiality
As amended August 2010
The College provides electronic mail, Internet access, and other computing resources to students and employees for College-related activities. Accordingly, except as limited by the College’s Intellectual Property policy and relevant federal and state laws, the College retains the right to copy, store, and access any materials created, stored, or transferred using the College’s computing resources. Employees can expect all files to be handled in a confidential and professional manner. Employees should have no expectation of absolute privacy for documents, web sites, and/or messages sent, received, transmitted or stored on the College-owned or contracted network, services, or equipment. In particular, the College retains the right to access the content of such employee files for legitimate College business and when explicitly authorized to do so by the appropriate member(s) of the College’s Administrative Executive Committee. Users should be aware that even when a file, message, or bookmark is erased, it may still be archived in the College’s backup systems and may still be retrievable.
Access to Files by Computing Services
Users should be aware that because of ordinary and necessary procedures, the absolute privacy of individual personal accounts on the network cannot be guaranteed. As part of the normal and routine operations necessary to maintain the computer network, the staff of Technical and Network Services find it necessary from time to time to determine the characteristics (size, type, etc.) of the files of network users. These operations do not involve examining the contents of any file. They are designed, for example, to determine if some users have exceeded their allotted disk space or to ascertain if accounts should be moved from one part of the system to another to equitably distribute the load. Just as with the ordinary and necessary examination of personal data in other parts of the campus (e.g.., grades by the Registrar, family income by the Financial Aid Office, etc.) all information gathered by such routine work is treated in a confidential and professional manner. If, under system critical circumstances, it becomes necessary to examine the contents of the files of a particular user in order to protect the integrity of the network, such action will be undertaken in consultation with the appropriate members of the College’s Administrative Executive Committee.
Troubleshooting, managing, and developing the campus network requires the collection of detailed data on network traffic. Computing Services staff regularly run monitoring software that records and reports on the data that is transported across the campus networks. The reports include the origin and destination addresses, and other characteristics of files, including the URLs of the World Wide Web sites that are accessed. This data is accessed and used only by authorized staff members responsible for network performance, operations, and planning and is handled confidentially and professionally. You should also be aware that many sites on the Internet collect and log information about you and your identity when you visit their sites. This information may include, but is not limited to, information about the computer you are using, its address, and other information you may provide.