Access to Electronic Communications

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The University recognizes that principles of academic freedom and shared governance, freedom of speech, and privacy hold important implications for the use of electronic communications - which includes email, network activity, and messaging systems. The UC Electronic Communications Policy - ECP (pdf) affirms that the University does not examine or disclose electronic communications records without the holder's consent, with few exceptions under very limited circumstances as described in ECP section IV.B, "Access Without Consent".

Access Without Consent. An electronic communication holder's consent must be obtained by the University prior to any access for the purpose of examination or disclosure of the contents of University electronic communications records in the holder's possession, with few exceptions as described in ECP section IV. "Access Without Consent".

When the contents of electronic communications must be inspected, monitored, or disclosed WITHOUT the holder's consent, such actions must be first be authorized.

At UCI, Access Without Consent must be approved by one of these authorized administrators (See UCI Implementation Guidelines.) This authority cannot be delegated.

  • Faculty and Librarian records - Executive Vice Chancellor
  • Staff records - Vice Chancellor - Administrative Business Services
  • Student records Vice Chancellor-Student Affairs
  • Medical Center records - Chief Executive Officer, UCI Medical Center

Individuals who have been granted access to electronic communications records:

  • Must not use the grant of access to obtain records other than those required to continue University business in the holder's absence.
  • Must limit their inspection of records to the least perusal of contents and the least action necessary to obtain the needed records.
  • Must not seek out, use, or disclose personal information contained in the records except for University business purposes.
  • Must not violate the UCI Computer and Network Use Policy regarding use of false identity.
  • Must take all necessary steps to protect the access and/or account from unauthorized use.

For questions regarding access to electronic communications (which include email, network activity and messaging systems), please contact Information Security Officer Isaac Straley (straley@uci.edu) or Campus Privacy Official Tawny Luu (tyluu@uci.edu).