UW Privacy Office

Privacy FAQs

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General Privacy FAQs

What is the definition of Personal Data?

See Glossary of Privacy Terms for all definitions.

What is Data Processing?

See Glossary of Privacy Terms for all definitions.

Where is the online list of information security and privacy laws?

They can be found on the Privacy Laws webpage.

What are the University-wide Rules/Policy Statements that apply to Institutional Information?

They can be found on the Privacy Policies webpage.

How do I determine the Subject Matter Expert(s) for an information security or privacy law?

Go to the Privacy Laws webpage and click on the link for a specific law. Each Laws webpage has the Subject Matter Expert(s) listed by name and title. As an example, review the COPPA webpage.

Where are the UW Web Site Terms and Conditions of Use?

They can be found on the UW Website Terms and Conditions of Use webpage.

Where is the UW Online Privacy Statement?

It can be found on the UW Online Privacy Statement webpage.

May I republish the UW Web Site Terms and Conditions of Use and the UW Online Privacy Statement to my unit’s specific website (e.g. collegename.uw.edu)

No. Given the importance of the information being communicated in the Website Terms and Conditions of Use (Terms) and Online Privacy Statement (Privacy Statement), it was decided that the documents should always have the UW institutional brand, look, feel, and format. For this reason, the University Privacy Policy requires that University websites, including, but not limited to, websites for education, research, patient care, and service areas (internal and external to the University), have clearly visible links on the Terms and Privacy Statement.

May I replace the name University of Washington with my college, school, department, or unit’s name?

No. In the event that the Online Privacy Statement or Website Terms and Conditions of Use need to be revised or updated by the UW, linking to one source will eliminate your need to update the webpages for your college, school, department, or unit’s name.

How do I determine if an email is unsolicited under the University Privacy Policy?

Many UW units depend daily on email as a source of communication. When creating communications there are four key questions you should consider to determine if the communication is unsolicited:

  • Do you and your unit have a pre-established relationship with the individuals you are contacting?
  • Can the individuals you are contacting reasonably be expected to understand and know the pre-established relationship?
  • Is the communication from a trusted address and crafted to help individuals understand their relationship and why they are receiving the message?
  • Is the context of the communication in line with the pre-existing relationship?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” the email is unsolicited.
Depending on the content and type of communication there may be other questions you should consider as well.

May I send individuals an email that requires them to log into a webpage (e.g. to take a survey, join a collaborative working group, or access a system/application) with a username and password?

If the email is deemed to be unsolicited, as described in question 9 directly above, the email would violate section 7 of Administrative Policy Statement 2.2, University Privacy Policy.

The link to such a webpage would ask users to enter a password, which is considered Confidential Information.

Website Terms of Use and Online Privacy Statement FAQs

Which websites or webpages are required to link to the Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement?

The requirement applies to University education, research, patient care, and service areas (internal and external to the University).

Are the Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement required or recommended?

The Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement serve a variety of important functions, including informing visitors to University websites about the potential uses of information, defining expected support behavior, and limiting University liability. Administrative Policy Statement 2.2, University Privacy Policy, makes such links a requirement.

What if I already have my own privacy statement?

The Online Privacy Statement and Website Terms and Conditions of Use best represent the University’s position regarding information privacy. The University will only recognize the statements contained within the Online Privacy Statement and Website Terms and Conditions of Use.

Are the Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement required on websites that are part of the uw.edu or washington.edu domain and involve other organizations or higher education institutions, such as research consortiums?

Yes. If either of the University Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement contradict the collection and use of information by such a group, it is your responsibility to identify the particular language creating the concern and present your findings to the Executive Head of the Major Organization to which the consortium members from the University report. The Executive Head is then responsible for presenting suggested language to the UW Privacy Office at uwprivacy@uw.edu.

How should I format my webpage with a clearly visible link to the Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement?

Please see the footer on the University homepage for an example of how to link to the Online Privacy Statement and Website Terms and Conditions of Use.

Can I copy rather than link to the Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement?

No. In the event that the Online Privacy Statement or Website Terms and Conditions of Use need to be revised or updated by the University, linking to one source keeps your department or unit’s webpages up-to-date with the most recent version.

What if my webpage links to an external social media or networking site, such as Flickr, YouTube, or Facebook?

A clearly visible link to the Online Privacy Statement and Website Terms and Conditions of Use should be present on the webpage the user will leave to visit the external site. Please see the footer of the University homepage for an example of how to link to the documents.

Are the Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Online Privacy Statement required on my department’s social networking webpage, such as Facebook or Twitter?

External social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, are subject the Terms of Use and Privacy Policies of each hosting company. In such cases, it is important to follow the suggestions in the answer to question 7 above.

Youth Privacy FAQs

Please refer to the Youth Programs and Youth Programs FAQs webpages for an expanded list of Youth Privacy FAQs.