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Appendix A: General Use Cautions

Users should be aware of the following:

  1. Both the nature of e-mail and the public character of the University's business make e-mail less private than users may anticipate. For example, e-mail intended for one person sometimes may be widely distributed because of the ease with which recipients can forward it to others. A reply to an e-mail message posted on an electronic bulletin board or "listserver" intended only for the originator of the message may be distributed to all subscribers to the listserv. Furthermore, even after a user deletes an e-mail record from a computer or e-mail account it may persist in whole or in part in system logs, in the directories of the person who received the message, or on system backup servers, where they may be retained for long periods of time. All these items may be subject to disclosure under applicable law and this Policy. The University cannot routinely protect users against such eventualities.
  2. E-mail, regardless whether created, received, or stored on University equipment, may constitute an "Official Record" (as defined by A.R.S. § 41-1350); may be a "Public Record" subject to disclosure under the Arizona Public Records Law (A.R.S. § 39-121); or may also be subject to disclosure or access under other laws or as a result of litigation. See Common Retention Schedule for state-mandated guidelines on the storage and disposal of e-mail records, or contact the University's Records Management and Archives Department for instructions.
  3. The University does not automatically comply with all requests for disclosure, but attempts to evaluate such requests against the precise provisions of the Public Records Law or other applicable law concerning disclosure and privacy.
  4. The University, in general, cannot and does not wish to be the arbiter of the contents of e-mail. Neither can the University, in general, protect users from receiving e-mail they may find offensive. Members of the University community, however, are strongly urged to use the same personal and professional courtesies and considerations in e-mail as they would in other forms of communication, and particularly those applicable to written communications since e-mail creates a tangible record of that communication.
  5. There is no guarantee, unless "authenticated" mail systems are in use, that e-mail received was in fact sent by the purported sender, since it is relatively easy, although a violation of this Policy, for senders to disguise their identity. Furthermore, e-mail that is forwarded may also be modified. Authentication technology is not widely and systematically in use at the University as of the date of this Policy. As with print documents, in case of doubt, receivers of e-mail messages should check with the purported sender to validate authorship or authenticity.
  6. Encryption of e-mail is another emerging technology that is not in widespread use as of the date of this Policy. This technology permits the encoding of e-mail so that for all practical purposes it cannot be read by anyone who does not possess the right key. Because of federal regulations (36 CFR 1234) and State of Arizona directives for the maintenance of e-mail public records, encryption should not be used for storage of University e-mail.
  7. Inappropriate e-mail use may expose the University and individual users to claims for damages through copyright infringement, libel, breach of privacy, or other personal or proprietary rights.
  8. Federal law and University policies regarding copyright and intellectual property apply to e-mail. Do not violate the copyright of others. Unless the material is legally established as being in the public domain or unless there is explicit release by the copyright owner, you may not copy e-mail information. Under ABOR rules or copyright law, you may or may not have copyright in e-mail material which you create. Check with the appropriate authority before assuming that you have copyright in such material.
  9. Even though an e-mail sender and recipient have deleted their e-mail, backup copies may exist for periods of time and in locations unknown to the originator or recipient. These copies may be accessed or disclosed consistent with applicable policy or law.