Privacy and Confidentiality

Users should be aware that files stored on University computers are NOT confidential in all situations.

Depending on type of your account, different policies are in effect within the Computer Sciences Department.

Instructional Accounts

Files contained in instructional accounts (accounts established exclusively for instructional purposes) are NOT confidential in all situations.

The Computer Systems Lab staff will not examine your files except for the following circumstances:

  1. Files that are readable by other users without special privileges
  2. Files related to a problem that you ask us to investigate
  3. Files that we believe are related to a system problem that requires immediate attention
  4. Files that we believe are related to a violation of system security or an attempt to use our facilities to violate the security of another computer system.

The Computer Systems Lab staff will not otherwise examine or release your files to anyone else unless directed to do so by the department Chair or the Chair's designee. Reasons for releasing files from instructional accounts can include, but are not limited to, investigations of academic misconduct and investigations of a violation of the Computer Systems Lab Account Policies.

Access to files contained in other (non-exclusively instructional) accounts are governed by the UW-Madison Electronic Data Access Policy And Procedure.

Faculty, Research Staff and Graduate Student Accounts

The privacy and confidentiality of Graduate Students' files are governed by the UW-Madison Electronic Data Access Policy And Procedure.

The Computer Systems Lab staff will not examine or release your files to others except for the following circumstances:

  1. Files that are readable by other users without special privileges
  2. Files related to a problem that you ask the lab staff to investigate
  3. Files that the staff believes are related to a system problem that requires immediate attention
  4. Files that that the staff believes are related to a violation of system security or an attempt to use our facilities to violate the security of another computer system
  5. As ordered by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as specified in the UW-Madison Electronic Data Access Policy And Procedure.