Seminary of the Southwest (SSW) is committed to ensuring the privacy and accuracy of your confidential information. SSW does not actively share personal information gathered from its Web servers. However, some information collected from SSW websites, including the summary server log information, e-mails sent to websites, and information collected from Web-based forms, may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act. This means that while SSW does not actively share information, in some cases may be compelled by law to release information gathered from its Web servers.
As part of its commitment to maintain the privacy of its Web users, SSW has developed this privacy statement. The statement has two purposes:
- To educate users about privacy issues
- To inform users about specific privacy policies and guidelines employed at Seminary of the Southwest.
SSW also complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the release of education records without student permission. Although FERPA regulations apply only to SSW students, the university is equally committed to protecting the privacy of all visitors to our Web site.
The SSW site contains links to external Web sites. SSW is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of the external Web sites we link to.
Information Gathered by SSW
SSW Web servers generate temporary logs that may contain the following information:
- Internet address (IP address) of computer being used
- Web pages requested
- Referring Web page
- Browser used
- Date and Time
- UIN (unique person identifier for EID-based services only)
The data is used in aggregate by SSW computer department to tune the website for its efficiency and is not ordinarily associated with specific individuals. Raw data from the Web server logs is only shared with the custodian of each website. Summary reports produced from the logs help Web publishers determine what Web browsers and pages are most popular.
Some pages within the ssw.edu domain may contain content that is served from external third parties. For example, a ssw.edu website might include a graphic logo or a script from a third party. Specifically, the following code within a ssw.edu page would represent an example of third party content:
<img src=”http://www.other-org.com/logo.gif” alt=”Sample” />
In this example, logo.gif would be third party content served from a Web server outside the ssw.edu domain (www.other-org.com in this case). Third party content in ssws.edu is not limited to graphics, but this is the most frequent use.
SSW does not transmit any information to these third parties as part of such requests. However, when you visit ssw.edu pages that contain third party content, information such as your IP address, date, browser, and requested page are transmitted from your computer to that third party. SSW is not responsible for the privacy practices of these external third parties.
Cookies are small pieces of data stored by the Web browser. Cookies are often used to remember information about preferences and pages you have visited. For example, when you visit some sites on the Web you might see a “Welcome Back” message. The first time you visited the site a cookie was probably set on your computer; when you return, the cookie is read again. You can configure your Web browser to refuse to accept cookies, to disable cookies, and to remove cookies from your hard drive as needed.
Security and Accuracy of Confidential Information
SSW does its best to ensure that the personal information we have about you is accurate. Users with an EID can check and update personal information such as their address and e-mail address by contacting the SSW computer department.
Although no computer system is 100% secure, SSW has deployed security measures to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control.
Several sites within SSW may enable you to pay for products or services online with a credit card. Unless otherwise noted, these transactions are encrypted. It is the school’s policy that confidential information you enter in the transaction is used only for the purposes described in that transaction, unless an additional use is specifically stated on that site.
Sharing of Information
SSW does, upon explicit request of users, share information with other parties and gather information from other private data providers. This is done only at the request of users (persons to whom the information applies). Unless specifically required under public information requests filed under the Texas Public Information Act, it is against school policy to release confidential information gathered through the Web, such as pages visited, or personalized preferences. For example, the school’s portal, moodle.ssw.edu, enables users to customize the content they see on their personal page. This information cannot be shared with external third parties.
Consistent with FERPA, we do not release personal student information, other than public directory information, to other parties unless we receive explicit written authorization to do so. Examples of directory information include first and last name, address, and date of birth. Enrolled students can restrict release of their directory information by contacting the Office of the Registrar.
SSW makes some public chat rooms, forums, message boards, and news groups available to its users. The school does not ordinarily log public chat sessions, however, any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should therefore exercise caution when deciding to disclose your confidential information in such places.
Academic chat sessions and discussion forums, such as those in Moodle, may be logged. However, these educational records are protected from disclosure by FERPA.
SSW is an educational institution. At any time there may be online surveys being conducted on the school’s Web site. It is SSW policy that confidential information gathered in these online surveys is used only for the purposes indicated in the survey. Unless otherwise noted on the specified survey, your answers are confidential and individual responses will not be shared with other parties unless required by the Texas Public Information Act. Aggregate data from surveys may be shared with external third parties.
Open Records Requests
Except for educational records governed by FERPA, all information collected from the SSW website, including the summary server log information, e-mails sent to the Web site, and information collected from Web-based forms, may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act.
Texas Public Information Act
The Texas Public Information Act, with a few exceptions, gives you the right to be informed about the information that SSW collects about you. It also gives you the right to request a copy of that information, and to have the school correct any of that information that is wrong. You may request to receive and review any of that information, or request corrections to it, by contacting the university’s Public Information Officer.
If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The authoritative source on this policy and responsibility for its implementation rests with the Director of Instructional Technology.