Web Privacy Policies
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is committed to ensuring the privacy and accuracy of your confidential information. UTEP does not actively share personal information gathered from its Web servers. However, because UTEP is a public institution, some information collected from UTEP Web sites, including the summary server log information, e-mails sent to Web sites, and information collected from Web-based forms, may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act. This means that while UTEP does not actively share information, in some cases may be compelled by law to release information gathered from its Web servers.
As part of its commitment to maintain the privacy of its Web users, UTEP has developed this privacy statement. The statement has two purposes:
1. To educate users about privacy issues
2. To inform users about specific privacy policies and guidelines employed at UTEP
UTEP also complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the release of education records without student permission. Although FERPA regulations apply only to UTEP students, the university is equally committed to protecting the privacy of all visitors to our Web site.
Technical terms referred to in this document are defined in the Information Security Policies - Definitions.
The UTEP Web consists of hundreds of Web servers. Some servers hosted by UTEP may adopt different privacy statements as their specific needs require. If a UTEP department has a privacy statement that is different from this statement, that policy must be approved by the Information Security Office, and it must be posted on this site. However, those sites cannot adopt a privacy statement that in any way supersedes federal or state regulations.
The UTEP Web site contains links to hundreds of external Web sites. The university is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of the external Web sites we link to.
Information Gathered by UTEP UTEP Web servers generate temporary logs that may contain, but not limited to, the following information:
- Internet address (IP address) of computer being used
- Web pages requested
- Referring Web page
- Browser used
- Date and Time
- UIN (unique person identifier for EID-based services only)
The data is used in aggregate by IT custodians of an information resource to tune the Web site for its efficiency and is not ordinarily associated with specific individuals. Raw data from the Web server logs is only shared with the custodian of each Web site. Summary reports produced from the logs help Web publishers determine what Web browsers and pages are most popular. For example, if the aggregate reports show a particular Web page is very popular or used more by freshmen than by seniors, publishers might use this information to customize the content of that page and make it easier to find.
Email and Form Information
If a member of the general public sends an e-mail message to the University of Texas at El Paso or fills out a web-based form with a question or comment that contains personally identifying information, that information will only be used to respond to the request and analyze trends. The message may be redirected to another government agency or person who is better able to answer your question. Such information is not used in any way that would reveal personally identifying information to outside parties unless the University of Texas at El Paso is legally required to do so in connection with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings.
*Special note on Social Security Number Collection
Some pages within the utep.edu domain may contain content that is served from external third parties. For example, a utep.edu Web site might include a graphic logo or a script from a third party. Specifically, the following code within a utep.edu page would represent an example of third party content:
"<img alt="Sample" src="http://www.other-org.com/logo.gif" />"
In this example, logo.gif would be third party content served from a Web server outside the utep.edu domain (www.other-org.com in this case). Third party content in utep.edu is not limited to graphics, but this is the most frequent use.
UTEP does not transmit any information to these third parties as part of such requests. However, when you visit utep.edu pages that contain third party content, information such as your IP address, date, browser, and requested page are transmitted from your computer to that third party. UTEP is not responsible for the privacy practices of these external third parties.
Cookies are small pieces of data stored by the Web browser. Cookies are often used to remember information about preferences and pages you have visited. For example, when you visit some sites on the Web you might see a "Welcome Back" message. The first time you visited the site a cookie was probably set on your computer; when you return, the cookie is read again. You can configure your Web browser to refuse to accept cookies, to disable cookies, and to remove cookies from your hard drive as needed.
Security and Accuracy of Confidential Information
UTEP does its best to ensure that the personal information we have about you is accurate. Users with a UT EID can check and update personal information such as their address and e-mail address at UT Direct.
Although no computer system is 100% secure, UTEP has deployed extensive security measures to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. These security measures and our systems are audited by the Information Security Office.
Several sites within UTEP enable you to pay for products or services online with a credit card. Unless otherwise noted, these transactions are encrypted. It is university policy that confidential information you enter in the transaction is used only for the purposes described in that transaction, unless an additional use is specifically stated on that site.
Sharing of Information
UTEP does, upon explicit request of users, share information with other parties and gather information from other private data providers. For example, the university receives test scores from testing agencies and will send transcripts to other schools. This is accomplished only at the request of users (persons to whom the information applies). Unless specifically required under public information requests filed under the Texas Public Information Act, it is against university policy to release confidential information gathered through the Web, such as pages visited, or personalized preferences. For example, the University's portal enables users to customize the content they see on their personal page. This information cannot be shared with external third parties.
Consistent with FERPA, we do not release personal student information, other than public directory information, to other parties unless we receive explicit written authorization to do so. Examples of directory information include first and last name, address, and date of birth. Enrolled students can restrict release of their directory information by contacting the Office of the Registrar.
UTEP makes some public chat rooms, forums, message boards, and news groups available to its users. The university does not ordinarily log public chat sessions, however, any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should therefore exercise caution when deciding to disclose your confidential information in such places.
Academic chat sessions and discussion forums, such as those in WebCT, may be logged. However, these educational records are protected from disclosure by FERPA.
UTEP is a research institution. At any time there are numerous online surveys being conducted on the university’s Web site. It is University policy that confidential information gathered in these online surveys is used only for the research purposes indicated in the survey. Unless otherwise noted on the specified survey, your answers are confidential and individual responses will not be shared with other parties unless required by the Texas Public Information Act. Aggregate data from surveys may be shared with external third parties.
Open Records Requests
Except for educational records governed by FERPA, all information collected from the UTEP Web site, including the summary server log information, e-mails sent to the Web site, and information collected from Web-based forms, may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act.
Texas Public Information Act
The Texas Public Information Act, with a few exceptions, gives you the right to be informed about the information that UTEP collects about you. It also gives you the right to request a copy of that information, and to have the university correct any of that information that is wrong. You may request to receive and review any of that information, or request corrections to it, by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Business Affiars, Open Records, 500 W. University Ave., Suite 301, El Paso, Texas 79968 (e-mail: email@example.com). To request transcripts please refer to the Registration & Records Office.
If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authoritative source on this policy and responsibility for its implementation rests with the Chief Information Security Officer.