Privacy of Personally Created Content
Policy: Privacy of Personally Created
Dept. Responsible: Information Technology
Effective Date: March 1, 2010
Revised Date: December 20, 2009
Butler University cherishes the freedom of expression, the
diversity of values and perspectives inherent in an academic
institution, and the value of privacy for all members of its
community. We do not condone censorship nor do we routinely access
or inspect data stored on Butler systems and devices. However,
these values and rights must be balanced against the legal
obligations of the University, as well as with the needs of the
At times, legitimate reasons exist for persons other than the
account holder to access computers, computer files, or network
traffic stored on or passing through Butler Systems. This policy
endeavors to balance the privacy of the individual while protecting
the University and the community it serves.
This policy applies to all users of Butler University's computer
and voice systems (hereafter referred to as "Butler Systems"): This
includes all computer systems, Butler provided devices, data
storage, related communication technologies, and information
transmitted or maintained on these technologies. It also
applies to personal content created by faculty, staff, and students
using Butler's Systems.
1) Data stored on Butler Systems will not be accessed by
anyone other than:
- The account holder;
- The originator or recipient of a communication; or
- The person assigned a computer system or technology on which
data is stored EXCEPT in the specific circumstances outlined in
2) What is covered:
- Data and other files, including electronic mail and voicemail,
stored on, encrypted on, or in transit to or from individual
computer or voicemail accounts;
- University owned or managed systems;
- University owned computers and related technologies assigned to
individuals or groups; and
- University data and files on personally owned and other
3) Reasons to access user data or systems by University
personnel other than the account holder
- Situations that require written authorization of account holder
or applicable VP (or President), Executive Director or College
- Critical operational necessity - information needed for
critical operation and the person is unavailable (terminated,
incapacitated, unreachable, unwilling, or deceased).
- Reasonable cause for investigation - evidence that reasonably
causes the University to conclude that the user may be engaging in
or may be planning to engage in a violation of law or University
- Response to lawful demand - subpoena, warrant or legal
- Request on behalf of parents or the estate of a deceased
- Substantial University risk of harm or liability.
- When permission is given by account holder.
- Situations that do not require written authorization:
- Emergency problem resolution - when an Information Technology
(IT) technician has reasonable belief that a program/process will
cause significant system or network degradation, or could cause
loss/damage to data.
- Collaborative information or resources - systems/data that by
their nature are not private - e.g. shared computers, documents,
- Content neutral system generated information - information
generated by systems that helps maintain storage, performance and
security of systems.
- Network communications - IT staff may observe, capture and
analyze network communication to ensure security and reliability of
- Implied consent - situation where user has requested assistance
in diagnosing or solving a technical problem.
- System administrative need - normal data backup, upgrade, or
4) Procedure for accessing and reviewing personal
- Accessing data - Procedure for accessing data or systems
requiring written permission:
- Request: Appropriate party as designated in section 3 a above
will make request in writing outlining the scope of the information
needed along with rationale for accessing system/data, and will
present that to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the
Information Technology department.
- CIO will carefully review the request to access or review
personal data and validate that the request meets the criteria
outlined in section 3 a above.
- CIO will consult with and obtain approval from a third party
senior leader outside the area initiating the request (e.g.,
Executive Director of HR, Provost, VP Student Affairs, College
Dean, President). However, in the case of a request to access
the account of a Butler staff member under section 3 a i above, no
third party approval will be required.
- In the CIO's absence, the Information Technology director
designated as the acting CIO will handle the request on behalf of
the CIO; the CIO will then be informed and consulted as soon as
- If there is disagreement between requestor, CIO and the third
party, the President will act as the final arbiter.
- Access: CIO will always go through a system administrator to
gain access to data.
- Notification: CIO or designee will make a reasonable effort to
report access of data to account holder prior to access
When prior notice is not appropriate or practical, reasonable
efforts will be made to notify affected individual as soon as
practical following access unless other circumstances make follow
- When doing so may result in the destruction, removal or
alteration of data;
- When prior notice is not practical due to urgency; or
- When other circumstances make prior notice inappropriate or
- Reviewing data - Procedure for reviewing data or systems
requiring written permission:
- Review: Data obtained for a request will be reviewed by
the fewest individuals practical in order to meet the required
need. This will generally be the requesting VP or Executive
Director or College Dean or a third party (e.g., HR, BUPD, Provost
Office, Student Affairs, Legal Counsel).
- Share findings: The person whose files or systems were accessed
may request to have the findings shared with them.
- Information Technology will maintain a confidential record of
all requests for access to data or systems under section 3 a of
- In the spirit of disclosure, the CIO will make an annual
report, in the fall, to the Information Management Council (IMC) of
any requests to access data or systems under the provisions of
section 3a of this policy.
- The report will cover any and all investigations which have
been closed since the previous report.
- This information will be provided to the IMC on a confidential
basis and members agree to maintain confidentiality of such
- The events will be in a redacted format to protect the privacy
of individuals; however, for each account accessed under this
policy, the report will include at a minimum:
- General classification of the account holder(s): faculty,
staff, student, affiliate.
- Incident timeframe as defined by: fall semester, spring
- Section(s) of this policy which allowed the access and thus a
broad sense of reasons.
- Name of third party who reviewed the request pursuant to
section 4.1.2 of this policy.
- Disposition of request: completed or rejected.
- The report will not include: specific account names,
specific reasons, or the specific person making the request.
- Accounts that are involved in an ongoing investigation will be
reported to the IMC in the reporting cycle immediately
following the close of the investigation.
- IMC meeting minutes will reflect the production of the report
and whether the committee feels that the reported actions appear to
be in compliance with this policy.
- In the interest of maintaining confidentiality, should any
member of the IMC have questions regarding specific incidents in
the CIO's report, he/she will need to follow up solely with the
CIO, the reviewer of the request or the University President.
A committee member may also communicate a concern through the
University's EthicsPoint Fraud and Improper Conduct telephone
hotline or on the My.Butler EthicsPoint Reporting website, both of
which are monitored by the Board of Trustees.
The oversight of this policy is the responsibility of the
President and CIO, and should be reviewed annually.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, February 26, 2010
Approved by Sr. Administrative Group: January 19, 2010
Approved by the Information Management Council: December 20,
Created: 12/20/2009 as complete rewrite from Computer Use Policy,