Faculty and staff who wish to use commercial online cloud service providers, such as Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Sky Drive, or Box.net, should have a full understanding of related legal and data security issues before proceeding. To learn more about using cloud services and/or social media in the classroom, please see the Related Pages section links.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs student educational records, which are broadly defined by the University of Puget Sound as “any record maintained by the university which is directly related to a student.” According to the Office of Academic Advising’s tutorial on FERPA, “Almost any student-related piece of paper is part of the student’s educational record. Information displayed on a computer screen is also considered part of the student’s educational record.” Examples include but are not limited to:
To ensure compliance with FERPA, student-related files should NEVER be stored with a commercial cloud service.
Technology Services is unable to assist faculty and staff using cloud services in the event of data loss or other issues (e.g., loss of username or password, compromised access) associated with such an account. Users are personally responsible for backup of files stored with such services.
Many cloud services have the ability to locate and remotely wipe associated devices, including phones, tablets, and computers. It is very important to use a strong password to prevent harm to your account, your data, and your devices.