GoogleApps Security and Privacy

The GoogleApps@UIC service is being provided by the University as a primary email and collaboration system. University policies apply to the service.

GoogleApps@UIC has been customized for optimal educational collaboration. UIC has taken steps to ensure that your data and information is protected above and beyond a publicly available account.

Your GoogleApps@UIC account is configured so that all your Google Docs, Sites, and so on are default set as private. You have to option to grant wider access to anything that you create, either to individual people in the GoogleApps@UIC domain, to the entire GoogleApps@UIC domain, or to everyone. Google will ensure that everyone accessing it has shown proper credentials.

Google has promised to uphold a strict privacy policy and to always treat your personal information with the utmost care and security. Read more about Google's policy at Google Privacy & Security.

It is important for you to realize that your GoogleApps@UIC account is a UIC/ACCC account, just like an ACCC mailserv or Exchange email account is. Your GoogleApps@UIC account should not be confused with any commercial Google accounts (that you would go to or to log into) that you might already have. While the GoogleApps@UIC services are provided by Google, it is completely controlledby the ACCC. The ACCC provisions, suspends, and deletes GoogleApps@UIC accounts;  the ACCC handles authentication for Web access; UIC owns and controls access to the data.

So, if someone sues Google to see your GoogleApps@UIC email, UIC will be notified, UIC will have legal standing, and UIC will handle the situation the same way it does today for ACCC mailserv accounts.   

Usage of Personal Data

Google's computers process the information in your account for the purpose of providing an effective service (e.g. putting mail into folders, maintaining contact lists, etc.). 

By default GoogleApps@UIC services are not publicly available. You can personally configure each tool to meet your specific needs. Information can be protected by only granting access to trusted individuals. Please exercise caution when sharing information with others for added protection.

Using a shared or public computer?

Make sure you totally log out of GoogleApps@UIC when you are finished using it. See How do I log out of GoogleApps@UIC?

IMPORTANT WARNING: Just closing the Web browser (e.g. Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) or clicking the Sign Out button will not end your session. The next user who comes along will have full access to your GoogleApps@UIC account. Always do both when you are using GoogleApps@UIC on a shared computer.

Google Hangouts and 911 Calls

The Google Hangouts service facilitates Google to Google voice over Internet calls and should not be used for emergency communication. Use another telephone mechanism in the event of an emergency.

Accessing GoogleApps@UIC services from networks in countries that support censorship

It has been reported that people located in countries that support censorship sometimes experience difficulty viewing or receiving information from UIC systems. This challenge exists regardless of the service provider. Using the University-provided Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection may, in some cases, lessen the difficulty. UIC will continue to address specific issues as they arise.

Restrictions on the use of GoogleApps@UIC accounts for persons involved in sensitive data or research, FERPA, or HIPAA

Members of the UIC community who participate in programs that involve sensitive data including that covered by HIPAA must use an ACCC mailserv or other UIC email account for those activities. A GoogleApps@UIC account cannot be used as the primary email account if sensitive data needs to be transmitted.

It is the strong recommendation of the University that all members of the community who work closely with proprietary research data exercise vigilance when transmitting primary or analyzed data via email.

Student data that is protected by FERPA is permitted in the GoogleApps@UIC services, however, provided that it is shared only with the student involved and is never made publicly accessible. 

IMPORTANT: Members of the UIC community who handle sensitive data and who create a GoogleApps@UIC account should make sure that their email is being forwarded to their mailserv or UIC Exchange email account and not their GoogleApps@UIC account after they open their GoogleApps@UIC account. Remember that you can receive email at your GoogleApps@UIC account at the email address, even if you don't have your email sent there. 

Last updated: 

March 28, 2017