Expanded Use of Institutional Data during COVID-19 Pandemic

Statment on Expanded Use of Institutional Data during COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted August 30, 2020

The University endeavors to afford reasonable privacy to members of its community, and does not access personal information collected and maintained by the University except when it determines that it has a legitimate operational need to do so.  Under the Communicable Disease Policy, the University has the authority to implement a range of policies, guidelines and protocols to address communicable diseases in a responsible and timely way, consistent with applicable public health guidance and legal requirements, taking into account factors such as the nature of the condition, the severity of the condition, the health and well-being of our campus community, and privacy considerations of our campus community.  In light of the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, the University has determined that a temporary, expanded use of personally identifiable electronic information and other institutional data is necessary as part of its pandemic response. 

This data includes the following:

  • Responses to symptom monitoring tools
  • Information collected about University online COVID-19 training
  • University card swipe information, including for access to campus buildings
  • Seat and space reservation data, including at the University Library
  • Home and/or current mailing address
  • Enrolled travel information for University-sponsored travel and personal travel

This data may be used to support, and monitor compliance with University requirements relating to, the following activities:

  • Symptom monitoring
  • COVID-19 testing (see also below)
  • COVID-19 training
  • Restricting access to campus buildings
  • Limiting the spread of COVID-19

In addition, metadata generated by the campus wireless network system may be used for public health purposes or on an exceptional,  case-by-case basis to investigate potential violations of COVID-19 policies.

COVID-19 Tests: For individuals taking COVID-19 tests provided by the University, certain personal information will be used to provide the tests and for mandatory government reporting purposes.  Information about how COVID-19 test saliva specimen, test results and related personal information may be used is available on the COVID-19 testing app.

The expanded use of this data is temporary during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be safeguarded consistent with the University’s Information Security Policy.

This statement may be updated, as needed, in response to developments relating to the pandemic.