Policy on E-mail Privacy

AS-2263-95/FA - March 9-10, 1995

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University urge the Chancellor and the individual campuses to support privacy in the use of e-mail to the maximum extent possible under state and federal laws, consistent with computer system maintenance demands; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor and the individual campuses to institute policy to implement this goal in keeping with the following principles:

1. All authorized e-mail accounts stored on the CSU telecommunications network shall be considered to be confidential.

2. Requests for access to these accounts or disclosure of confidential information, for any purpose other than technical problem resolution will be reviewed by the senior Academic Affairs Officer, and honored only when required by state or federal law, or when there is probable cause to suspect illegal activity.

3. Inspections solely for the purpose of technical problem resolution must be approved by the appropriate computer affairs administrator and only for the resolution of a specific technical problem.

4. Except when under extraordinary circumstances or when prohibited by law, computer users will receive notice prior to such inspections, access, or disclosure.

5. Except where prohibited by law users not notified prior to inspection, access or disclosure will receive notice after the fact within three working days; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor and individual campuses to adopt policies in a timely fashion; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor's Office and the individual campuses to inform all authorized accounts of their e-mail privacy policy and of the limitations of privacy on e-mail. E-mail is subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, and when relevant, to discovery in civil litigation.

RATIONALE: Chancellor' Office Interim Counsel has circulated a memo describing the limits of e-mail privacy and noting that "in limited and appropriate circumstances...e-mail messages may become subject to internal monitoring by an employment supervisor." This resolution attempts to limit e-mail access to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the law and technical problem resolution.

APPROVED -- May 4-5, 1995



 
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