East Tennessee State University

Web Privacy Statement

A Note to Children and Parents

East Tennessee State University websites are intended for use by adults, unless they are specifically labeled for children.


Children:   Some internet sites may ask you to share information about yourself.  Before sending any information about yourself over the Internet to us or anyone else, be sure to ask your parents for permission.


Parents:  East Tennessee State University recommends that parents take an active role in their children's use of the Internet.  We encourage you to talk to your children about safe and responsible use of their personal information while using the Internet.


Commitment to Privacy

East Tennessee State University values individuals' privacy and actively seeks to preserve the privacy rights of those who share information with us.  Your trust is important to us, and we believe you have the right to know how information submitted through a university Web site is handled.


ETSU understands the importance of protecting the privacy of personal information, especially in today’s electronic environment.  This privacy policy covers the Web Pages belonging to ETSU in the United States.  The ETSU privacy policy on the internet means that:

·                     We inform you how we use any personally identifiable information that we gather on our Web Pages.

·         We maintain security and safeguards for any information that we gather on our Web Pages. 

·                     You have control over the information you decide to submit to us. 

We provide the following privacy notice to define ETSU's web-based information policies and practices and to assist you in protecting your privacy.


Privacy Notice

The following information explains the Internet privacy policy and practices the University has adopted for its official Web sites.  However, in legal terms, it shall not be construed as a contractual promise, and the University reserves the right to amend it at any time without notice.  Privacy and public records obligations of the University are governed by applicable Tennessee statutes and U.S. federal laws.


The Web Privacy Statement speaks generally to the information collected by or submitted to official ETSU Web sites.  Still the amount and type of information collected may vary somewhat from site to site.  Therefore, in addition to this general explanation of policy and practice, the University encourages colleges, schools, departments, divisions and other units contributing to its official Web pages to post, as necessary, more specific approved privacy notices pertaining to the collection and use of any personal information associated exclusively with those pages. Thus it is wise for users to read page-specific notices to better understand the privacy policies and practices applicable to a particular site.


Providing information is your choice.  There is no legal requirement for you to provide any information at our Web site.  However, our Web site will not work without routing information and the essential technical information.  Failure of your browser to provide nonessential technical information will not prevent your use of our Web site but may prevent certain features from working.  For any optional information that is requested at the Web site, failure to provide the requested information will mean that the particular feature or service associated with that part of the Web page may not be available to you.


What information is covered by this notice?  This notice applies to non-public personal information we collect about individuals who obtain products or services from us.  We call this information "Customer Information".


Do we share customer information with outside companies?  We do not share Customer Information with outside companies to use for their own marketing purposes.  Outside companies that help us provide services you request (such as clearing house or transaction hosting) may receive Customer Information to help us provide these services.  They are obligated to keep Customer Information confidential.  We will share Customer Information with others when it is required or permitted by law, such as credit bureaus, or to comply with subpoenas and summonses.


How do we protect customer information?  Our employees have limited access to Customer Information.  They have access only when the information is used to facilitate business purposes.  We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable laws and regulations to protect Customer Information.


What if your information is not correct? We have procedures in place to maintain accurate Customer Information.  These procedures include responding to requests to correct inaccurate Customer Information.  If you believe our customer records contain incorrect information about you, call or write to us at webmaster@etsu.edu.



What if you suspect identity theft?  If you are concerned that someone has unauthorized access to your personal information, please call us immediately at webmaster@etsu.edu

so we steps to help you. 


Site Definitions

University Web space includes hundreds of sites with varying levels of University involvement and commitment as outlined below.


Official University Web Sites

Except as noted, the information in this privacy notice applies to all official ETSU Web sites which are 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. 


Unofficial Web Sites

Within the East Tennessee State University domain - signified by the address "etsu.edu" or within the range of Internet protocol addresses assigned to ETSU - you may find Web sites over which the University has no editorial responsibility or control.  Such sites are considered unofficial and include, but are not limited to, the Web pages of individual faculty members or students and the Web pages of student organizations and other entities not formally a part of the University.  While ETSU encourages compliance with this Web Privacy Statement at such sites, in order to better understand the policies and practices under which they operate, please consult the privacy statements of individual sites or seek information directly from the persons responsible for those sites.


The Information We Collect

When you access official ETSU Web pages, certain client information and essential and nonessential technical information (collectively referred to as access information) listed below is automatically collected.  No other information is collected through our official Web sites 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."


Access Information (automatically collected)

When you browse our Web Pages, certain statistics are automatically collected for marketing and research.  This information is housed outside of the University on web servers.  This information could include but is not limited to:

·        IP address

·        Referring site

·        Date and time

·        Operating System

·        Screen Resolution

·        Browser Type

·        Length of stay

·        Hostname

·        Connection Speed

·        Web pages visited

·        Network location

·         Client information: the Internet domain and Internet address of the computer you are using.

·         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: the Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our Web site, and the "cookie information" used to direct and tailor information based on your entry path to the site. 


Client information is used to route the requested Web page to your computer for viewing.  In theory, the requested Web page and the routing information could be discerned by other entities involved in transmitting the requested page to you. We do not control the privacy practices of those entities.


We may keep client information from our systems indefinitely after the Web page is transmitted, but we do not cross-reference it to the individuals who browse our Web site.  However, on rare occasions when a "hacker" attempts to breach computer security, logs of access information are retained to permit a security investigation.  In such cases the logs may be further analyzed or forwarded together with any other relevant information in our possession to law enforcement agencies.


Optional information (deliberately sent)

When you send us an email:  your name, e-mail address, and the content of your e-mail.


When you complete 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.


The Way We Use Information

Client information is used to route the requested Web page to your computer for viewing.  In theory, the requested Web page and the routing information could be discerned by other entities involved in transmitting the requested page to you.  We do not control the privacy practices of those entities.  Essential and nonessential technical information helps us respond to your request in an appropriate format [or in a personalized manner] and helps us plan Web site improvements.  Optional information enables us to provide services or information tailored more specifically to your needs or to forward your message or inquiry to another entity that is better able to do so, and also allows us to plan Web site improvements.

We may use non-identifying and aggregate information to better design our Web site.  For example, we may report that X number of individuals visited a certain area on our Web site, or that Y number of men and Z number of women filled out our registration form, but we would not disclose anything that could be used to identify those individuals.

We may keep client information from our systems indefinitely after the Web page is transmitted, but we do not try to obtain any information to link it to the individuals who browse our Web site.  However, on rare occasions when a "hacker" attempts to breach computer security, logs of access information are retained to permit a security investigation and in such cases may be forwarded together with any other relevant information in our possession to law enforcement agencies.

We use the information you provide about yourself or about someone else when placing a request for service only to complete that order or request.  We do not share this information with outside parties, except to the extent necessary to complete that order or request.


Similarly, we use the information you provide about someone else when placing an order or request only to complete that order or request.  Again, we do not share this information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to complete that order or request.

We generally use return e-mail addresses only to answer the e-mail we receive.  Such addresses are generally not used for any other purpose and by university and state policy are not shared with outside parties.


Under the Tennessee Public Records Act, certain records in our possession are subject to inspection by or disclosure to members of the public.  As indicated above, client information retained after transmission of the requested Web page will be available for inspection.

Optional information enables us to provide services or information tailored more specifically to your needs, to forward your message or inquiry to another entity that is better able to do so, and to plan Web site improvements.


ETSU reserves the right to use log detail to investigate resource management or security concerns.


Rule on Sharing of Information

East Tennessee State University uses the University Web for business purposes and is committed to ensuring the privacy of personal information.  Use of the University Web is subject to all applicable state and federal laws as well as general University and campus policies.  It is the University’s usual practice not to share any personal information with those outside the University.  We never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the purpose described without a clear notice on the particular site and without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.  However, when circumstances arise for the need to share information gathered from its University Web servers, the University may share as:


·         authorized by law,

·         permitted under University and campus policies,

·         authorized by an approved ETSU contract,

·         clearly stated at a University Web site that such information will be shared and the user indicates consent by providing the information,

·         consent is otherwise given,

·         available certain student and employee demographic information with the ETSU Alumni Association, the ETSU Foundation, applicant students’ high schools and other educational institutions with questions about students who have been admitted or earned a degree from the University, or

·         authorized for good cause by the President or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of ETSU. 


Use and Sharing Restrictions

The data is only used for University-related outreach, service, and development programs. 

The data will be shared only with University staff and student workers that directly need access to the information for University purposes, with authorized users for directory information, and with approved partners for the purposes of advancing university programs.   

The University will not share personal information with third parties for their use independent of authorized programs. 

The University may disclose your personal information as required by law in connection with judicial or administrative proceedings or if the information is necessary to protect the institution. 

The University may disclose your personal information if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of any person. 

External Links

External links are provided as a courtesy online.  The University, in most cases, does not endorse or sponsor these third parties.  Any information collected by these third parties is by your discretion, as the University does not have control over third party information.


Online Surveys and Other Information Provided by the User

In the course of using University Web sites, a user may choose to provide information to help ETSU serve that user’s needs or conduct research.  At any time there are numerous online surveys being conducted on University Web sites.  Person(s) responsible for conducting online surveys that collect personally-identifiable information should clearly state at the survey site the extent to which any information provided will be shared.  Aggregate data from surveys may be shared with external third parties in ways that do not compromise privacy.


Public Forums

Many units of ETSU provide chat rooms, forums, message boards, and news groups for their users.  Any information that is disclosed in these areas may become public information, and a user should therefore exercise caution when deciding to disclose one’s personal information in such places.  Chat sessions and discussion forums may be logged.



Several sites within ETSU enable one to pay for products or services online with a credit card.   These transactions are commercially secure and utilize a centralized process. 


Rules for Individuals under Thirteen Years of Age

East Tennessee State University is committed to complying fully with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.  Accordingly, if a user of the University Web is under the age of thirteen, such user is not authorized to provide ETSU with personally identifying information, and the University will not use any such information in its database or other data collection activities.  The University appreciates cooperation with this federally mandated requirement.  Users under the age of thirteen and their parents or guardians are cautioned that the collection of personal information volunteered by unauthorized children online or by e-mail will be treated the same as information given by an adult until the University becomes aware that the user is under the age of thirteen and such information may be subject to public access. 


Tennessee Open Records Act

As a state institution, the University may be legally required under the Tennessee Public Records Act or other laws to provide specific information, such as some electronic correspondence sent via the University Web.  More information about the University’s compliance with the Open Records Act, which provides for public access to certain documents and records of public bodies, can be obtained at:





ETSU also complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which generally prohibits the release of student education records without student permission.  For more details on FERPA, see the explanation at:




However, FERPA does permit the release of public or “directory” information about students.  Information about suppressing the release of “directory” information can be obtained at:


Use of Cookies

Essential and nonessential technical information lets us respond to your request in an appropriate format [or in a personalized manner] and helps us plan Web site improvements.  To expedite this process, some official ETSU Web sites use "cookies." Usually a cookie enables the university Web site to tailor what you see according to the way you entered the site (i.e., if you entered by pushing a button identifying yourself as a student, your subsequent views of information might be tailored for student audiences).


We also use non-identifying and aggregate information to better design our Web site.  For example, we may determine that X number of individuals visited a certain area on our Web site, or that Y number of men and Z number of women filled out a particular registration form.  But we do not disclose information that could identify those specific individuals.


Our Commitment to Data Security

East Tennessee State University is dedicated to preventing unauthorized data access, maintaining data accuracy, and ensuring the appropriate use of information.  We strive to put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial safeguards to secure the information we collect online.  These security practices are consistent with the policies of the university and with the laws and regulatory practices of the State of Tennessee.


Legal Notices of Terms and Conditions

Access to the University Web is provided subject to the following terms and conditions.  Please read these terms carefully as use of the University Web constitutes acceptance of all of the following terms and conditions:


Disclaimer of Liability

Neither ETSU, nor any of its units, programs, employees, agents or individual trustees, shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information described and/or contained in the University Web and assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information.  In no event shall the University Web, East Tennessee State University or its units, programs, employees, agents or individual trustees be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement or substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this system, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.  This disclaimer of liability applies to any damages or injury, including but is not limited to those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer virus, communication line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, alteration of, or use of record, whether for breach of contract, tortious behavior, negligence or under any other cause of action.


Disclaimer of Warranties and Accuracy of Data

Although the data found using the University of Illinois’ access systems have been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information.  This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of the information.  East Tennessee State University provides this information on an “as is” basis.  All warranties of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, freedom from contamination by computer viruses and non-infringement of proprietary rights are disclaimed.  Changes may be periodically made to the information herein; these changes may or may not be incorporated in any new version of the publication.  If a user has obtained information from any of the University Web pages via a source other than the ETSU pages, be aware that electronic data can be altered subsequent to original distribution.  Data can also quickly become out of date.  It is recommended that careful attention be paid to the contents of any data associated with a file, and that the originator of the data or information be contacted with any questions regarding appropriate use.  If a user finds any errors or omissions, please report them to:


Disclaimer of Endorsement

East Tennessee State University is a distributor of content sometimes supplied by third parties and users.  Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of ETSU and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.  Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by ETSU.


Disclaimer for External Links

The University Web has links to other Web sites.  These include links to Web sites operated by Tennessee agencies and officials, other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses.  When a user leaves the University Web and visits another site, the user is subject to the privacy policy of that new site.  ETSU is not responsible for the contents of any off-site pages referenced.  The user specifically acknowledges that ETSU is not liable for the defamatory, negligent, inaccurate, offensive, or illegal conduct of other users, links, or third parties and that the risk of injury from the foregoing rests entirely with the user.  Links from University Web pages on the World Wide Web to other sites do not constitute an endorsement from ETSU.  These links are provided as an information service only.  It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from other sites.  The University Web contains links to other related World Wide Web sites and resources.  Since ETSU and its Web site is not responsible for the availability of these outside resources or their contents, the user should direct any concerns regarding any external link to its site administrator or webmaster.


Disclaimer of Duty to Continue Provision of Data

Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, resources that are free and publicly available one day may require a fee or restricted access the next, and the location of items may change as menus, pages, and files are reorganized.  The user expressly agrees that use of the University Web is at the user’s sole risk.  East Tennessee State University does not warrant that the service will be uninterrupted or error free.  The documents and related graphics published on this Web or server could contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors.  Changes are periodically added to the information herein.   ETSU and/or its respective units and programs may make improvements and/or changes in the information and/or programs described herein at any time.



The technology management teams of the University and its campuses have taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its communications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption.  Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire University operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.


This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via University supported Web sites.


Choice of Law

Construction of the disclaimers above and resolution of disputes thereof are governed by the laws of the State of Tennessee.  The laws of the State of Tennessee, U.S.A., shall apply to all uses of this data and this system.  By use of this system and any data contained therein, the user agrees that use shall conform to all applicable laws and regulations and user shall not violate the rights of any third parties.



If a user has questions about this privacy notice or believes that the user’s personal information has been released without consent, please send e-mail to:  webmaster@etsu.edu


How to Contact Us

Questions or concerns about the University’s privacy policy in part or full should be directed to webmaster@etsu.edu.



The University has the right to change this policy at any time.  Changes will be posted via the website.  This statement is effective as of February 17, 2009.

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