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WebTools Information

Webtools Privacy

8/24/2011  8:00 am

What is the Toolbox?

The Toolbox is a continually developing suite of online tools designed to help University of Illinois faculty and staff accomplish their web and communication responsibilities quickly and easily. The Toolbox allows university professionals to focus on the information they are gathering or sharing and not on the technology needed to accomplish the task. The Toolbox is currently comprised of the Blog, Discussion Board, Calendar, Form Builder, Survey Builder, Send To Friend, Group Manager, List Builder, Emailer, Skin Designer, and Short URL with several more web tools in development.

Where is the data stored?

All data gathered using the Toolbox is stored on servers owned by the Office of Web Services (OWS) at Public Affairs. Database and application servers are managed by CITES, the web server is managed by Web Services. Only OWS staff have access to those servers and everyone with access has signed non-disclosure forms. Physical locations of the servers are not made public and backup servers are housed at a different location than the primary servers. All servers are state of the art with the latest in anti-virus software. All data passing between servers and browsers is encrypted and secure. The application and database architecture follow industry standards and best practices ensuring data will never be accessed by someone other than those authorized to that data.

Who has access to the responses once a survey is submitted?

Data collected using the Survey or Form Builder is accessible only by the owner of the Survey or Form. Owners may assign privileges to others who may then access the data also. No one besides the owner or owner's delegates has access to any data.

How are backups handled?

OWS uses a mirrored server solution for backing up data. This includes a production DB server and a backup server that mirrors production. Full backups of our database are done every 30 minutes to a system in a remote location. 30 minute backups are maintained for 2 days while nightly backups are retained for 30 days.

At what point is the data removed from the servers?

Only owners and delegates have access to the data. The data will remain on the OWS server until it is deleted by the owner or delegates. No data will ever be removed by OWS.

How is anonymity maintained?

ALL responses in the Survey tool are ANONYMOUS. There is no link between a user and a response. For surveys that allow "only one response per person", information is stored about who took the survey. The Survey software stores this "person" information separately from the survey response information. Thus allowing a person to take a survey only once, yet having no way to link a user to a response (guaranteeing complete anonymity). User submission information is not accessible by anyone but OWS staff and will NOT be provided upon request.

How is the data accessed?

Data is accessed thru the Toolbox via the web by the owner or delegates. Data is presented in either Microsoft Excel (CSV) or a PDF. Data can be accessed only by authorized users (bluestem ID and password) and all data accessed through the Toolbox is secure using the encryption of the https protocol. Surveys also have the option of sending an email when a subject submits a response. OWS cannot guarantee the security of a response being emailed since email is sometimes transferred using the unsecured http protocol.

How is the data collected?

All data collected using the Toolbox is through a web interface. All communication between the web browser and server is encrypted using the https protocol.