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University Information & Technology Services

Web Privacy Policy

Rev. August 9th, 2016

Columbus State University's website is an interactive communication and publishing medium through which CSU can distribute valuable information about its programs and activities, and collect information from various constituencies who are in pursuit of the university's services. The web also serves as a medium for educational activities and other instructional roles. All its content should be accurate, fair, legal, up-to-date, useful and reflective of the university's vision, mission and policies.

The following policies have been adopted to facilitate clear, consistent and legal electronic publishing.

Web Publishing

Campus departments are responsible for their own pages. Each department must designate a CMS Admin, who must undergo CMS training for their website before the web Team will take a request to activate the page and link it to the university's web system. (UITS provides and supports the web's framework, not the content.) The CMS Admin, and ultimately the department chair or director, is responsible for developing and maintaining unit-level pages, checking the factual accuracy of all materials, spell-checking and proofreading content, reviewing links to other pages, and periodically updating materials and links to other pages. University Relations reserves the right to amend all pages within the University web presence to ensure content is reflective of the university's vision, mission, and policies.

Just as any publication of the university, CSU's web pages should be accurate, informative, up-to-date and reflective of the university's mission. Columbus State University resources may be used only to create and support web pages related to professional, school- related endeavors, except as permitted by other college policies.

Links to outside web pages should be limited. Any perception of endorsement of a product, company or other commercial website is prohibited. No top level CSU web page can link directly to any personal pages. With the approval of the unit director, unit pages may link to faculty, staff, and student personal pages, as long as listed as such.

The web and the resources that support it should be used responsibly. Any activity will be ceased if it is determined to be:

  • irresponsible and/or in conflict with the university's mission, and/or
  • wastes the university's limited resources, and/or
  • prevents others from using these resources, and/or
  • includes conduct that is reasonably calculated to obstruct or disrupt the use of any system or network by others.


All web pages must be consistent with University System of Georgia and Columbus State University policies and local, state and federal laws. Pages in violation of any university policy will be disconnected from the university server. Since copyright laws and university publication policies apply to electronic publishing, publishers must have permission to use the information, graphics, music, video or photographs on their pages if the publisher is not the author or creator. The CSU Web Team reserves the right to take down all material that is in violation of copyright infringement laws.

Columbus State University disclaims all responsibility for servers other than Columbus State University web servers. Without written permission, non-CSU servers may not use the Columbus State University name, logo, or other symbol identified with the university; purport to speak for the university or any of its units; or imply an association with or sponsorship by the university. All student organization and personal pages must contain the following statement: "The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author and are not necessarily endorsed by Columbus State University."

Although a reasonable and conscientious effort is made to back up critical data on university resources for disaster recovery purposes, each user is ultimately responsible for backing up data stored in personal web pages. A reasonable and conscientious effort is made to provide a secure environment, but no guarantee of absolute privacy is made. Any data may be subject to examination in the course of routine systems administration, by public records law or through legally required disclosure.

Privacy Policy

1.0 Background

Because Columbus State University gathers certain types of information about our visitors, we feel you should fully understand the terms and conditions surrounding the gathering and use of that information. This privacy policy discloses what information we gather and how we use it.

1.1 Site Definitions

CSU's web space includes hundreds of sites with varying levels of University involvement and commitment as outlined below.

1.1.1 Official University Websites

Except as noted, the information in this privacy policy applies to all official Columbus State University websites, defined as the web pages of University colleges, schools, departments, divisions or other units and any other sites specifically designated as official by a vice president, dean, department head or director. Official pages are generally recognizable by a standard page header and/or footer carrying the University logo, contact information and reference to this privacy statement.

1.1.2 Unofficial Websites

Within the CSU domain, signified by the address "" or the range of Internet protocol addresses assigned to CSU, you may find websites over which the University has no editorial responsibility. Such sites are considered unofficial and include, but are not limited to, the web pages of individual faculty members or students, the web pages of student organizations and other entities not formally a part of the University, and course material available online.

While CSU encourages compliance with this web Privacy Policy at such sites, please consult the privacy statements of individual sites or contact the persons responsible for those sites if you have questions about their privacy policies.

1.1.3 Third Party Websites

CSU contracts with some External Service Providers to provide services for its user community. All such requests should be done through UITS and managed by the Web Team to ensure university security, privacy and accessibility protocols are met. No externally created website should be developed on the university's server without advance approval from UITS and the Web Team.

1.1.4 Policy Applicability

The web Privacy Policy applies generally to the information collected by or submitted to official Columbus State University websites. However, as the amount and type of information collected may vary somewhat from site to site, campus units contributing to the official web pages may, if necessary, post more specific privacy notices pertaining to the collection and use of any personal information associated exclusively with web pages the unit controls.

2.0 Purpose

When you access official CSU web pages, certain essential and nonessential technical information (collectively referred to as access information) is automatically collected. No other information is collected through our official websites except when you deliberately send it to us (for example, by clicking a link to send us an e-mail). Examples of the information you might choose to send us are listed below as "optional information." (see section 3.1.2) This policy describes the information we gather, the uses to which it is put, and how the information may be shared with other parties.

3.0 Policy

3.1 Information CSU Gathers

3.1.1 Access Information (automatically collected)

The following types of information are automatically collected whenever you access a page on the CSU website.

  • Client information: user's domain name and Internet address.
  • Essential technical information: identification of the page or service you are requesting, type of browser and operating system you are using; and the date and time of access.
  • Nonessential technical information: non-personally identifiable aggregated tracking information derived mainly by tallying page views throughout our sites.

3.1.2 Optional information (deliberately sent)

CSU also collects information that is submitted by website users. This includes:

  • E-mail: your name, e-mail address, and the content of your e-mail.
  • Online forms: all the data you choose to fill in or confirm. This may include credit or debit card information if you are ordering a product or making a payment, as well as information about other people if you are providing it for delivery purposes, etc.
  • Surveys: We may occasionally conduct user surveys to better target web content to our audience. We never share any personally identifiable survey information with any third party.
  • Searches: We sometimes track and catalog the search terms that visitors enter in our search function, but this tracking is never associated with individual visitors. We use this information to improve our website.

3.1.3 Cookies

Some CSU websites use cookies to track certain information such as pages viewed during a single visit to our websites, how many visitors we receive daily, and how long visitors stay on each page.

Important things to know about our tracking cookies:

  • No personal information is collected through these cookies.
  • All tracking data collected through these cookies is viewable in aggregate form only and does not disclose any personal information.
  • A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites.
  • You may opt out of these tracking cookies by turning cookies off in your browser. You do not need to have cookies turned on to use most areas of this website.
  • You may view the content of cookies on your PC at any time using the browser's developer tools.
  • You may delete tracking cookies at any time

3.2 Use of Information

We use tracking information to determine which areas of our sites visitors like and don't like based on traffic to those areas. We do not track what individual visitors read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build a better service for you. We track search terms entered in the search function, but we don't track which terms a particular user enters. Optional information submitted through forms will be used to provide assistance and services to website users. E-mail addresses may be used to contact individuals concerning questions or for the delivery of newsletters and other informative publications. Users may always opt-out of receiving newsletters using the "unsubscribe" links provided at the bottom of all such e-mails.

3.3 Sharing of Information

Columbus State University does not divulge any information about an individual website user to a third party except to comply with applicable law or valid legal process or to protect the personal safety of our visitors or the public. Users should be aware that some information collected from CSU websites may be subject to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A § 50-18-70 through 50-18-76, available through the Official Code of Georgia Annotated website).This means that while we do not actively share information, in some cases we may be compelled by law to release information gathered from one of our sites. CSU also complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the release of education records without student permission. For more details on FERPA please see the current student handbook. Certain optional information submitted by website users may be considered health information. CSU complies with HIPAA regulations.

4.0 Procedures and Responsibilities

4.1 Security

CSU operates secure data networks protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorized individuals have access to the information provided by our customers.

4.2 Opt-Out Policy

We give visitors opt-out options wherever necessary and practical. Such choices include:

  • Opting not to submit information through online forms.
  • Turning off cookies.
  • Installing the Google Analytics Opt-out browser add-on.

4.3 Changes to the policy

This policy may be changed from time to time and without further notice. Your continued use of the site after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new terms.

4.4 Questions

If you have questions about this Privacy Policy or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent contact the Information Security Officer.

Third Party Scripts and Applications

Third party scripts must be evaluated by the Web Team before they will be utilized on the CSU web presence. Please contact the web team before purchasing any software that requires scripts or applications to run within the CSU web presence.

Third Party Marketing and Retargeting Campaigns

All Marketing and Retargeting Campaigns must be approved by Strategic Communication + Marketing.

Virtual Advisor