Frequently Asked Questions - Privacy

Who owns the information you create?

As an employee of UC Berkeley, any information you create or receive during your employment that has anything to do with the business of UC or the Campus belongs to the Regents.  Whether it is information stored in your paper files, on your computer, voice messages, portable media, home laptop, or another account or device used by you,  the information is Regential property and must be created and managed according to policy.

Any personal information you may accumulate during your employment belongs to you.  You are responsible for the management of your own information.  This means at a minimum that if you move location, transfer to a new position, or separate from University employment you must take your personal information with you.  Any personal information left behind will be treated in the same manner as any tangible personal property.  It will be disposed of according to the campus procedure. 

What is FERPA?

FERPA, shorthand for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, was enacted by Congress in 1974 [20 U.S.C. 1232g].   This legislation gives parents of minor students, and students who are over 18, the right to inspect, correct, amend, and control the disclosure of information in education records. It obliges educational institutions to inform parents and students of their rights and to establish policies and procedures through which their rights can be exercised. 

FERPA gives students of any age enrolled in a university or college the right to give or withhold consent for the educational institution to use or disclose personal information about them.  There are a number of exceptions to this general right. The main one is that institutions may use student information for legitimate business purposes. Requests to use or disclose UC Berkeley student information are approved by the Registrar who is the authorized data steward for all student information.

FERPA training:

https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/request-ptac-training-or-technical-assistance(link is external)

https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/content/online-training-modules

Can I access a former employee's email or files?

Access to former employee email or files is coordinated through the Campus Privacy Officer, Office of Ethics, Risk and Compliance Services:

How do I get approval to examine or disclose electronic communications records?

Authorization to access electronic communications, with or without consent, is coordinated through the the Campus Privacy Officer, Office of Ethics, Risk and Compliance Services:

How do I request early disabling of CalNet ID or Berkeley email (bMail) accounts?
How do I request early termination of the CalNet or bMail accounts for an ex-employee before the end of the standard 90-day grace period?

Employees have a standard 90-day grace period after they have separated from UC Berkeley, during which they can access limited campus services, such as bMail. In rare cases, a department may want to request early termination of a former employee’s CalNet or Berkeley email (bMail) account before the end of the standard 90-day grace period.

Departments can contact itpolicy@berkeley.edu to discuss how to deactivate employee (including volunteer and affiliate) CalNet or bMail accounts immediately or otherwise earlier than the normal grace period. 

Forms and Process:

  • For early disabling of a separated employee’s access, download the Request for Exceptional Disabling of CalNet Account form below for information and instructions. This form is intended to be used for emergency early CalNet account termination. Signed approval by an authorized departmental official is required.
  • If the account suspension is temporary and the employee may eventually return to their position, download the Request for TEMPORARY Disabling of CalNet ID or bMail Account form below for information and instructions. This action is for exceptional circumstances only and must be approved by the employee's Department, Human Resources, and Campus Counsel. 
  • A scanned image of the printed form (with signature) may be submitted by email in lieu of a hard-copy.