Handling of Digital Resources

ITS Department Policy for the Handling of Digital Resources

All information stored on Augustana’s computers, digital media, or electronic mail, is considered private. While Information Technology Services (ITS) makes every reasonable effort to ensure the privacy and security of electronic files. Users should know the following:

  1. Some employees of ITS (including certain student workers; for example, those having responsibilities associated with the servers maintained by ITS) have access to all information stored on Augustana’s computers and servers. Such access is necessary in order for ITS employees to perform their duties, and is normally exercised only if the account owner specifically requests that the employee access the account or if such access is required to maintain system performance or security.
  2. Electronic files and e-mail messages are backed up regularly. This means that a message you have deleted may exist in a back up archive. These messages could then be subpoenaed.
  3. Employees of ITS will not search a user's account for information or open files without the users permission.

    1. Exceptions to this would include issues involving system performance or security, a court order, or at the request of two executive officers of the university (e.g. President's Cabinet members; President, Executive Vice President, and non-subordinate Vice Presidents).

  4. E-mail correspondence is not necessarily totally and completely private. The individual to whom one sends an e-mail message may allow another person to access the mail message or may forward it to others. While Augustana makes every effort to ensure the security and privacy of e-mail messages routed on the University network, e-mail messages sent via the Internet are not guaranteed that same level of security and privacy.
  5. Information posted to the World Wide Web is not private and in most cases is readable by other individuals around the world. While it is possible to restrict direct access to on-campus users only, this does not preclude wider distribution of materials. Users should consider carefully the content and nature of materials posted to the Web in light of these realities.

Entering computer accounts or reading electronic files without proper authorization is considered misuse of computers. The Augustana University policy on Computer Use: Responsible Use of Technology Resources (Computing, Networking, and Electronic Communications) states that:

The University strives to direct its efforts to the enhancement of technology resources and not the policing of the use of those resources. Engaging in any activity that violates the intended use of campus technology may result in the loss of technology privileges. Student violations will be reported to the University's judicial system through the Dean of Students office, Faculty and Staff violations will be reported to Human Resources. Violations of state or federal law may be reported to the appropriate authorities.