Ethical and Responsible Use of WSC Technology Resources
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In recognition of the integral role that technology plays in the educational process, this policy is intended to promote the responsible and ethical use of WSC technology resources. It is in the best interests of the campus community that these resources be used in accordance with practices that ensure that the rights of all users are protected and the mission of WSC is achieved.
Use of technology resources is a privilege that should be respected and used wisely. Failure to do so may result in Disciplinary Action.
The guidelines below provide a summary of this policy:
- Keep your identity (username, password, etc.) private; use by anyone other than yourself is a security violation and creates significant risk, both to your own data and to the technology resources in use.
- Always log out of or lock your computer or device when not in active use.
- Messages, statements, declarations or databases sent or received via computers must meet the same standards as tangible documents or instruments with regard to laws governing privacy, copyright, sexual harassment, plagiarism or forgery.
- Academic use and technology support for academic use take priority over personal or recreational use.
- Be mindful of others’ access to technology, particularly in cases where technology resources are limited.
WSC seeks to protect the confidentiality of WSC data, as well as the civil, personal, and property rights of others.
Ethical and responsible behavior is expected of all users. If you have questions about what constitutes ethical and responsible behavior not addressed by this document, please direct those questions to WSC Network and Technology Services Help Desk at 402-375-7107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Users should be aware that there are federal, state, local, and Nebraska State College System laws and policies that govern certain aspects of computer and telecommunications use. Members of the WSC community are expected to respect these, as well as observe and respect WSC policies.
When Was This Policy Updated?
Originally written 1994.
Revised June 22, 2012.
Who Should Read This Policy?
This policy applies to all WSC admitted applicants, students, alumni, faculty, staff, administration, and former faculty/staff/administration with Emeritus type status, as well as campus guests who are granted access to WSC technology resources.
What Does This Policy Apply To?
This policy applies to all technology resources owned, leased, operated, or contracted by WSC. This includes, but is not limited to:
- computers (i.e. desktop, virtual, notebook, mobile, tablet)
- telephones (i.e. desktop, mobile)
- servers (physical and virtual)
- communications resources
- data storage
- audio/video source, display, and transmission systems (i.e. cameras, projectors, video conferencing units)
- systems designed to transfer data to and from physical media (i.e. printers, scanners, copiers, burners)
- data in any format, regardless of intended use
Disciplinary Action – Action taken by WSC in accordance with other pertinent policy, such as the WSC student handbook or the WSC employee handbook. Disciplinary Action on the part of WSC does not preclude legal action in cases where State or Federal law has also been violated.
WSC technology resources are made available to individuals associated with WSC to assist in activities that contribute to the WSC mission.
WSC technology resources may not be used for personal financial gain.
Acceptance of any identity (username/password) that provides access to WSC technology resources shall constitute an agreement on behalf of the user to abide and be bound by the provisions of this policy.
WSC disclaims responsibility for loss of data or interference with data resulting from events beyond WSC's control or from efforts to maintain the privacy, security, and integrity of WSC's technology resources.
In the interest of system security and integrity, WSC reserves the right, with reasonable cause, to inspect all data files without specific, prior permission.
In order to promote the most effective use of technology resources, it is expected that users will cooperate with each other and respect the ownership of work and information. Individuals and organizations will be held accountable for their use of technology resources. Though some WSC technology resources are intangible, they are property of WSC. Rules prohibiting theft or vandalism apply to all technology resources, tangible and intangible. Conduct that violates property rights with respect to technology resources is subject to Disciplinary Action. Such conduct includes but is not limited to:
- Violating copyright or licensing agreements and statements of intended use.
- Browsing to data, viewing data, or using software not owned by or licensed to the user without prior approval.
- Note: If an individual or organization has explicitly and intentionally placed data in a public space or clearly indicated data or software as being for public use, others may assume authorization to browse and view. In all cases copyright, trademark, license agreements, and statements of intended use should be honored.
- Copying software or data not owned by or licensed to the user without prior approval.
- Attempting to modify software or data not owned by or licensed to the user for such purpose.
- Attempting to damage or to disrupt operation of technology resources.
- Knowingly accepting or using software or data that has been obtained by illegal means.
Conduct that involves use of WSC technology resources to violate WSC’s privacy rights, others’ privacy rights, and/or the law is subject to Disciplinary Action. This conduct includes but is not limited to:
- Gaining unauthorized access to the private data of an individual or organization, even if an individual or organization inadvertently allows access to such information.
- Gaining unauthorized access to non-public technology resources.
- Gaining access to technology resources for any purpose, including the purpose of remote support, without first obtaining approval from the person to whom those resources are assigned.
The normal faculty/staff/student relationship regarding the evaluation of student data does not constitute a breach of confidentiality. For further information regarding student confidentiality rights, please see the guidelines regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Identity and Authorization
Many of WSC's technology resources require that each user have a unique identity, specified and protected by one or more authentication tokens (i.e. username, password, biometric data). This identity is used to authenticate to, and authorize appropriate levels of access to, technology resources. Misuse of identity constitutes forgery or misrepresentation. Conduct that involves misuse of identity is subject to Disciplinary Action. This conduct includes but is not limited to:
- Using an unauthorized identity.
- Allowing an unauthorized individual to use an identity you are authorized to use.
- Allowing unauthorized access to technology resources.
- Failing to report a security vulnerability or unauthorized level of access.
- Exploiting any such vulnerability or level of access.
- Interfering with the security and/or auditing functions of technology resources or engaging in actions that are likely to have such effects.
Note: In some cases, systems may allow certain authorized users to “impersonate” another user for the purpose of troubleshooting problems or assisting the other user with a process. This is considered to be part of normal business process and is not a violation of this policy. All such impersonations must be audited and logged by the system in question.
Appropriate Use of Shared Technology Resources
When using technology resources in any shared environment, users should be mindful of the impact of their behavior on others. Users should not:
- Display content or play media that could reasonably be considered to create an atmosphere of discomfort or harassment for others.
- Transmit content that might reasonably be considered harassing.
- Create excessive paper copies of documents.
- Use unwarranted or excessive amounts of storage.
- Leave a utilized, shared technology resource unattended for an unreasonable period of time.
- Initiate an unattended process that consumes shared systems resources without being mindful of the impact of that process on other users.
- Alter or attempt to alter any attribution of origin or authorship in electronic communication.
- Knowingly create, alter, or delete any electronic information contained in or posted to any system under any name other than one the user is authorized to use.
WSC reserves the right to amend this policy at any time with or without notice.
For WSC employees, a number of related policies should also be reviewed:
- Nebraska State College System Employee Computer Use Policy
- State of Nebraska Acceptable Use Policy
- WSC Mobile Device Policy (to be written)
- WSC Technology Resource Purchasing and Maintenance Policy (to be written)
- WSC Identity Provisioning and De-provisioning Policy (to be written)
- WSC Data Classification Guidelines (to be written)
- WSC Data Handling Policy (to be written