Electronic Mail and Voice Mail Use and Disclosure

Policy

This document sets forth the University of Detroit Mercy’s policy with regard to access and disclosure of electronic mail or voice mail messages sent or received by university faculty, students, staff, and administrators through Detroit Mercy's electronic and voice mail systems. It also sets forth policies on the proper use of these systems. While other Detroit Mercy policies do address the issues of information privacy and use of university resources, there are aspects of electronic and voice mail which these policies do not address that are addressed in this document.

Permissible Uses of Electronic Mail and Voice Mail

Detroit Mercy provides electronic and voice mail to its faculty, students, staff, and administrators for research and scholarship, teaching, and service and community engagement purposes. Members of the Detroit Mercy community should limit their use to these purposes. Persons outside the Detroit Mercy community may be given access to Detroit Mercy electronic and voice mail on a case-by-case basis by special authorization from Information Technology Services and under certain conditions, including adherence to this and other applicable policies. The use of electronic mail and voice mail at Detroit Mercy should comply with other University policies regarding computing facilities and disclosure of information.

Confidentiality of Electronic Mail

Detroit Mercy cannot guarantee the confidentiality or privacy of electronic or voice mail messages and makes no promises regarding their security. Decisions as to what information to include in such messages should be made with this in mind. The following elements guide the administration of electronic and voice mail at Detroit Mercy as it relates to confidentiality:

  1. Administrative Activities: Detroit Mercy reserves the right to conduct routine maintenance, track problems, and maintain the integrity of its systems. As is the case with all data kept on Detroit Mercy’s computer systems, the contents of electronic or voice mail messages may be revealed by such activities.
  2. Monitoring: Detroit Mercy does not monitor the contents of electronic or voice mail messages as a routine matter. However, such monitoring may be conducted when required to protect the integrity of the systems or to comply with legal obligations.
  3. Directed Access: Detroit Mercy does reserve the right to inspect the contents of electronic and voice mail messages in the course of an investigation triggered by indications of impropriety or as necessary to locate substantive information that is not more readily available by some other less intrusive means. Detroit Mercy will comply with all legal requirements for access to such information.

Limitation on Disclosure

Any third-party disclosure of the contents of electronic or voice mail obtained according to this policy will be limited unless such disclosure is required to protect the integrity of Detroit Mercy’s systems or to comply with a legal obligation.

Violations

The use of electronic mail services is a privilege offered to Detroit Mercy faculty, staff, and students. The University of Detroit Mercy reserves the right to revoke this privilege for violations of this policy.

History:

  • June 1, 2021: Initial Policy