Acceptable Uses of GoogleApps Tools
To protect University resources by promoting safe computing practices, sustain compliance to regulations, and promote user respect of property, Western University Computing Resources (WUCR) requires that users.
- Be responsible for using these computing resources in an effective, ethical and lawful manner.
- Use only those facilities for which they have authorization, whether these facilities are at Western University or at any other location accessible through the network.
- Take all reasonable steps to protect the integrity and privacy of the WUCR including software and data. In particular, users shall not share with others the access codes, account numbers, passwords or other user privileges that have been assigned to them.
- Respect the copyrights of the owners of all software and data they use.
- Respect the privacy of others. This includes, but is not limited to, respecting the confidentiality of email, files, data and transmissions.
- Refrain from using WUCR for any unauthorized or illegal purposes. Such purposes might include destruction or alteration of data owned by others, interference with legitimate access to computing resources or harassment of users of such resources at Western University or elsewhere, unauthorized disruption of WUCR, attempts to discover or alter passwords or to subvert security systems in WUCR or in any other computing or network facility.
- Properly identify themselves in any electronic correspondence and provide valid, traceable identification if required by applications or servers within the WUCR or in establishing connections from the WUCR.
- Be responsible for checking their individual Western University e-mail on a regular basis. Western University may send official University correspondence to employees and students using their Western University e-mail address.
- WesternU confidential data including FERPA protected, HIPPA protected or PCI data should not be stored on Google docs.
Individuals are advised that improper use of University resources, as described in this policy, may violate State and/or Federal regulations and subject the University and the individual to legal action. The University will take appropriate, necessary steps to insure its ongoing compliance with all State and Federal laws and protect the University from any legal actions.
Sharing Personal Information through GoogleApps
The Google tools available through Google Apps Page are for work purposes only. Web sites, documents and message postings written for the sole purpose of disseminating jokes, advertisements, political or religious statements, or solicitations for charities or adoptions, are not allowed. Like e-mail messages sent through the university’s exchange server, all Web sites, documents and message postings are considered official university documents. Even deleted documents and postings are backed up and considered permanent, potentially retrievable, and subject to e-discovery review if legal issues arise.
It is also important to keep in mind that while network security measures can protect our GoogleApps domain from most forms of unauthorized access, the very nature of electronic communication makes it easy for someone to accidentally or deliberately disseminate sensitive information beyond university walls. If you are concerned about your posted messages or documents being displayed on a bulletin board somewhere, it is best not to post them. Never make any libelous, obscene, sexist or racially discriminating comments in your GoogleApps exchanges, even if they are meant to be a joke. Such communications can get you and the institution into serious trouble.
Electronic Storage and Backup of Personal Files
WesternU backs up all data stored on WesternU servers to the Storage Area Network (SAN). Files saved to the SAN are backed up to tape and retained in the University archives. Such archives are retained in the event a file or folders needs to be recovered.
Western University is not responsible for technical problems affecting the availability and use of GoogleApps. In the event Google’s application servers are unavailable, data stored in the SAN may take time to restore to a useable form. All GoogleApps users are responsible for backing up their own data on locally accessible drives in the event of a technical breakdown.
Files that are not critical to the continuation of business of the University are considered personal files, and should be locally stored on the user’s computer unless it adversely impacts the performance of the workstation.
Storage of personal music, photos, or other multimedia files is inappropriate regardless of copyright. Discovery of these files will result in the files being deleted from the server or Storage Area Network (SAN).
Compliance with Copyright Laws
Copyrighted electronic media, not owned or licensed to the University, may not be stored on University systems.
Copyright laws grant the creator/author the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the work publicly as well as to prepare derivative works. “Exclusive” means only the creator/author of such work has the legal right to use the work. Written permission must be obtained from the copyright holder before works may be used. These works must then be appropriately referenced in accordance to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Remember, the terms “Internet” and “public domain” are not synonymous. Works available in the public domain do not have any copyright limitations and may be used freely. However, work published on the Internet does not automatically place it in the public domain. If you have any doubt that a work is copyrighted, get permission or don’t use it
“Fair use” or “fair practice” is the utilization of a portion of a copyrighted work “as is” for purposes of parody, news reporting, research, or education and does not require the permission of the author. Use of copyrighted works, or portions thereof, for any other purpose is not deemed fair use. That includes copying text or scanned images from postcards, magazines, books, newspapers, or other Web sites.
Network User Privacy
The University does not actively monitor specific individual computer activities or non log files stored on Western University Computing Resources (WUCR). Files may be viewed by administrators on an exceptions basis in the course of supporting the WUCR.
The level of privacy granted users does not exceed that of reasonable expectations. The University goal is to protect the privacy of files and communications. Please be aware that there are conditions which may necessitate files or communications to be viewed.
Troubleshooting and Maintenance.
Administrators may in the proper course of their work see information not intended for them. System failures or design faults may compromise privacy. Users should recognize that authorized Western University personnel may have access to data and software stored on WUCR while performing routine operations or investigating computing problems. Western University personnel sign a confidentiality agreement to acknowledge their obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the data. Users and Administrators must also take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of the WUCR, as well as ensure that University policies are observed. Staff can refer to the Employee Handbook, and students can refer to the University Catalog.
Systems/Application Administrators or other personnel charged with the management of computing resources may be required to perform in-depth analysis of computers, networks, files, data, and/or accounts as they seek to resolve issues, support the technology, ensure continuity of operations, or uphold WUCR security. Administrators will avoid viewing information not intended for them, but it should be understood that such information may be visible in their normal course of work. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Troubleshooting files or network activity that is having a negative impact on University IT resources.
- Managing storage or backups.
- Network security audits.
- Investigating aberrant network activity.
In all cases, individuals who have access to electronic media and communications, shall keep all information accessed either intentionally or unintentionally, strictly confidential, with the exception that information which appears to be in clear violation of University policy, state or federal laws may be referred to a supervisor or directly to University Legal Counsel.
Other Digital File Access Possibilities
Western University reserves the right to review digital material and communications when it reasonably appears necessary to do so to preserve the integrity and security of the University resources, or to protect the University from liability.
E-mail accounts and data files of employees who are unavailable in a time frame corresponding with normal business functions (i.e., deceased, lengthy illness, or discontinued employment) may be reviewed by a supervisor to resolve any unfinished University business.
The University takes many measures to secure the WUCR, but as with all computers connected to the Internet there is no absolute guarantee against malicious hacking or illegal access.
System Administrator’s must follow procedures for granting access to files, accounts and data. Requests for permission changes must be received in writing from the named user or user’s supervisor.