Skip to main content

You are here

Technology Acceptable Use Policy

Technology Use

Technology resources comprise the assets, computing equipment, network and enterprise computing infrastructure, applications, services, and data, which are owned, leased or operated by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (“the College”), which are provided to users to facilitate timely and efficient conduct of business, teaching, learning, research, and public service. Users comprise the students, faculty and staff (including full-time and part-time staff, contractors), or other authorized affiliates. This acceptable use policy governs all Technology resources, use of those resources, and users.


Access to College telecommunications, computers, networks, systems, and IT services owned, leased, or operated by Massachusetts College of Art and Design are conditional upon appropriate use of those assets. All individuals using College Technology are bound by and subject to College policies, including this one, and are responsible for reading it and adhering to its rules. Appropriate use is always legal, ethical, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources, and demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals’ rights to freedom from intimidation, or harassment. Unacceptable use is any usage that violates these principles


All users of College Technology must observe the following general rules when accessing College resources:

  • respect intellectual property rights by abiding by extant license agreements and copyright-holder rights of any copyright-protected work such as software, digital images, videos, documents, or music;
  • protect confidential and sensitive data under a student’s or employee’s control from unauthorized use, modification, or disclosure as required by state and federal laws and College policies;
  • respect the integrity of Technology and security safeguards: for example, Users shall not use or develop programs that harass individuals, access a computer or network without authorization, or damage or alter the software components of any data or Technology in the College’s control;
  • safeguard assigned accounts and passwords: Accounts and passwords assigned to users are not to be shared with any other person without authorization from the Chief Information Officer; assigned workstations must not be logged into and left unattended.
  • limit personal use of College Technology to usage that does not disrupt other individuals’ use of Technology or College operations;
  • avoid anonymous usage: users must not intentionally conceal or attempt to conceal, change, or obfuscate either their assigned user ID or the network address or machine name of their computing device when using Technology;
  • report any suspected information security policy violations or illegal activity to an appropriate College staff member, such as the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Information Security Officer (ISO), or designated member of the College’s Rapid Response Team (RRT).
  • This policy is intended to be consistent with other Massachusetts College of Art and Design policies, including, but not limited to, the College’s sexual harassment and equal opportunity policies or Community Standards.
  • Users are to use Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s electronic mail, Internet systems, and telecommunications/voicemail systems in a manner that is consistent with these and any related policies.
  • College Technology is College property.
  • All work product created using College Technology is the property of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law. They are not the private property of any employee or student, and users should not consider any email, Internet message, telecommunications/voice mail message or material private or their personal possessions.
  • The College’s ownership of a file, record, or message does not transfer ownership to the College of any intellectual property contained therein that was created by a student or was not created by an employee during time for which they were compensated by the College, such as a work created by an employee on personal time or prior to their employment by the College.
  • Users must not use an authentication code (e.g., a password or PIN) to access a file, record, or data, or retrieve any stored communication using College Technology, other than where authorized.
  • All authentication codes and identifiers, such as passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs), used to access Technology are the property of Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
  • Technology users must never impersonate another College user when using Technology.
  • Technology users are required to either lock their computer with a password-protected screen lock or shut it down before leaving it unattended.
  • Any attempt to defeat, alter, or uninstall College security measures is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, attempting to uninstall College anti-malware programs, deleting system logs and audit trails, bypassing Technology authentication and identification mechanisms, and connecting internal computers directly to the internet.
  • The above prohibited actions may be performed if authorization is provided to a specific employee or employee group by the Chief Information Officer of the College, such as to a designated information security team.
  • Users may not remove from the premises any files, records, data, databases, digital storage media, hardware, software, firmware, or any other devices or Technology, licensed to or owned by the College, without prior management approval.
  • Protected information, particularly personally identifiable information (PII) such as Social Security numbers or credit card information, must never be removed from campus, must never be stored on equipment not owned or managed by the College without appropriate written management approval, and must always be stored on mobile computers or removable media using a current, industry-standard encryption method.
  • In downloading documents from the Internet, Massachusetts College of Art and Design requires that documents downloaded from the Internet must be job- or curriculum-related and constitute a reasonable use of Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s resources. Please refer to MassArt’s Electronic File Sharing Policy for more details.
VIOLATions of policy and criminal use
  • Use of Technology resources which violates the policies or the standards of the institution or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including the College’s Community Standards, the Non-Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy, the MA State Universities Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, or the MA State Universities Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan, or other local, state or federal laws or regulations related to stalking, harrassment, or intimidation, is prohibited.
  • Use of Technology resources for criminal activity is prohibited.


  • Employees of the college are prohibited from using Technology for personal financial gain, such as online gambling or running a personal business, or any other usage that violates State Ethics Law.
  • Technology resources may not be used to solicit or proselytize for outside or personal commercial ventures, religious or political causes, outside organizations, or other solicitations that are not related to job duties and responsibilities, or the curriculum.
  • Users are prohibited from sending anonymous or repeated messages via the email, Internet, or telecommunications/voice mail systems, designed to harass or intimidate any person.
  • Users are prohibited from using Technology resources in a manner which adversely impacts or disrupts the operations of the College, the delivery of the curriculum, or the activities of College community individuals or the community collectively.
  • Users may not use Massachusetts College of Art and Design Technology to develop or distribute any malicious software, such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, phishing emails, or any other software with malicious intent.
  • Users should not open emails or email file attachments unless they are confident of the identity of the sender. If you are in doubt of the legitimacy of an email message and suspect it has malicious intent, contact a Technology staff member for assistance.
  • The electronic mail and Internet systems must not be used to send (upload) or receive (download) copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, or similar materials without prior management authorization.
  • The College expressly incorporates into this policy the “Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia” resulting from the NASAD 1997 Annual Meeting.
  • Refer to the Electronic File Sharing Policy for more information.
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design acknowledges that privacy is an important value for educational institutions.
  • Users should have no expectation, and the College makes no guarantee, express or implied, of privacy of digital content received, transmitted or stored using College Technology. Massachusetts College of Art and Design may access or disclose electronic data which may include, but is not limited to, records, documents, files, electronic or digital communications (including but not limited to email, voicemail, chats, user forums or other electronic discussions) stored or transmitted by any user of College Technology if College policy has been violated, to assist in criminal investigations, or if directed to do so by subpoena from local, state or federal authorities.
  • In these cases, an individual with appropriate administrative responsibility will make the determination.
  • For example, for students, it will be determined by the Dean of Students’ office or that office’s designee; for staff, by the relevant Vice-President or designee; for the faculty, by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee; and, in cases that may be in violation of the College’s Affirmative Action policy, the Director of Civil Rights Compliance and Diversity or designee.
  • Authorized representatives of the College will monitor the use of its systems in its sole discretion, at any time, with or without notice to any employee or student and may bypass, delete, change and/or modify any password or other authentication code. Such monitoring is capable of tracking and recording email messages and telecommunications/voice mail messages sent and received as well as Internet web sites visited by employees.
  • The Technology department of Massachusetts College of Art and Design may routinely monitor Technology resources, and log usage data, which may include, but is not limited to, network session connection times, network bandwidth usage, user log-ins, CPU, memory, and disk utilization for each user, security audit trails, web browser history. Authorized staff may review this data for evidence of violation of law or policy, and other purposes.
  • Notwithstanding Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s right to retrieve and review its electronic and digital communications and data, which may include, but are not limited to, electronic mail, Internet messages, telecommunications/voice mail messages or material, databases, records, files, or documents, electronic and digital communications, data and messages or material should be treated as confidential by other users and accessed only by the intended recipient.
  • At its discretion, and in the conduct of business, administrative or academic operations, the College may disclose or share its electronic and digital communications and data with authorized parties within and external to the College.
  • Users are prohibited from viewing, editing, or deleting data not intended for them.
  • Users are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of electronic and digital communications and data.
  • The use of passwords for security does not guarantee confidentiality.
  • Electronic or digital data which has been erased from a storage device may still be retrieved and reviewed.
  • Electronic or digital data may provide the College with information about the users who have sent, received, created, reviewed or manipulated such data.
  • Confidential, sensitive or privileged information, including personally identifiable information such as a social security number or credit card information, must never be sent over the internet without being encrypted in a current, industry standard encryption method. [Consult the Information Security Officer if you are unsure of whether the proposed encryption method meets this standard.]
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design may impose sanctions on the use of College Technology resources, or take other disciplinary actions, on any user who is found to have violated the policies of the College. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, loss of privileges to access to Technology resources. Disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, counseling, termination or expulsion from the College, or legal action.
  • Violations which constitute criminal offenses may be subject to local, state, or federal prosecution.
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design reserves the right to terminate the network connection of any device, application or service, which inhibits or interferes with the security, performance or usability of the network.
  • Passwords and authentication codes are protected data, and should not be shared with other users. Users are also prohibited from accessing or attempting to retrieve passwords and authentication codes for which they are not authorized. Inappropriate use of passwords or authentication codes may result in disciplinary actions, up to and including termination or expulsion.
  • Users of College Technology may be regarded as representing Massachusetts College of Art and Design while visiting internet web sites, sending, receiving or posting electronic or digital communications via any means, including email, chat, social media, and user forums, using other applications or services.
  • Users should make clear when they are, or are not, representing the College in their email, Internet, telecommunications/voice mail communications, or on social media. Users may not represent that they are conducting business on behalf of the College unless they are authorized to do so by the College.
  • According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Division of Public Records’ A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law (Updated 2017):
    • Every record that is made or received by a government entity or employee is presumed to be a public record unless a specific statutory exemption permits or requires it to be withheld in whole or in part.
  • Accordingly, records gathered, stored, received or transmitted by the College may be considered a public record pursuant to the laws, policies, regulations and guidance from the Commonwealth, or other local, state, or federal authorities.
  • Where Collective Bargaining Agreements are in effect and come into conflict with this Policy, the Collective Bargaining Agreements shall govern.
  • If you are not sure whether an activity you are planning would affect service, you may contact the Information Technology helpdesk (aka Tech Central) using the help desk web customer portal, via email at, or via phone at 617.879.7888.
  • Employees who need help understanding this policy or who discover a violation of this policy should notify the Executive Director of Human Resources at 617. 879.7906 or the Chief Information Officer at 617.879.7878.

All parties placing materials on the College’s email, Internet, website, or any other College network represent and warrant that the submission, installation, copying, distribution, and use of such materials in connection with the College’s systems will not violate any other party’s proprietary rights. The user understands and agrees that Massachusetts College of Art and Design is not responsible for any errors created in or damage to materials as a result of the installation or maintenance on the College’s Network servers, or their use by anyone accessing Massachusetts College of Art and Design servers. All use of the email, Internet, and telecommunications systems must be in accordance with existing Massachusetts College of Art and Design regulations for computer and telecommunications/voice mail use. Official Massachusetts College of Art and Design computer network pages may contain links to other pages not sanc- tioned by the College.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design intends to honor the policies set forth above, but reserves the right to change them as may be required under the circumstances. This Policy is reviewed and updated according to Technology’s established policy review process.

  • This policy is not meant to determine ownership of academic research and work product displayed and/or stored on Massachusetts College of Art and Design systems.
  • Date last reviewed and updated: April 28, 2021.