Rev. January 26, 2022
Columbus State University's website is an interactive communication and publishing medium through which CSU distributes valuable information about its programs and activities and collects information from various constituencies pursuing the university's services. The web also serves as a medium for educational activities and other instructional roles. All its content should be accurate, fair, legal, up-to-date, practical, and reflective of the university's vision, mission, and policies.
The following policies have been adopted to facilitate clear, consistent, and legal electronic publishing.
1.0 Policy Applicability
2.1 Site Definitions
CSU's web space includes hundreds of sites with varying levels of university involvement and commitment, as outlined below.
2.1.1 Official University Websites
2.1.2 Unofficial Websites
Within the CSU domain, signified by the address "columbusstate.edu" or the range of Internet Protocol addresses assigned to CSU, visitors may find websites over which the university has no editorial responsibility. Such sites are considered unofficial and include, but are not limited to, the web pages of individual faculty members or students, the web pages of student organizations and other entities not formally a part of the university, and course material available online.
2.1.3 Third-Party Websites
CSU contracts with external service providers to deliver services for its user community. All such requests should be made through the University Information Technology Services (UITS) - Web Services to ensure university security, privacy, and accessibility protocols are met. No externally created website will be developed on CSU servers without advance approval from the UITS Web Services and the Office of Strategic Communication + Marketing.
3.0 Collection of Information
3.1 Information CSU Gathers
3.1.1 Access Information (automatically collected)
The following types of information are automatically collected whenever you accessing a page on the CSU website:
- Client information: user's domain name and Internet address.
- Essential technical information: identification of the page or service being requested, type of browser and operating system of user, and the date and time of access.
- Nonessential technical information: non-personally identifiable aggregated tracking information derived mainly by tallying page views throughout our sites.
3.1.2 Optional information (deliberately sent)
CSU also collects information that is submitted by website users. This includes:
- Email: Name, Email Address, and the content of the email.
- Online forms: All the data filled in or confirm. This may include credit or debit card information when ordering a product or making a payment, as well as information about other people if provided for delivery purposes, etc.
- Surveys: We may occasionally conduct user surveys to target web content to our audience better. We never share any personally identifiable survey information with any third party.
- Searches: We sometimes track and catalog the search terms visitors enter in our search function. This tracking is never associated with individual visitors. CSU uses this information to improve our website.
Important things to know about our tracking cookies:
- No personal information is collected through these cookies.
- All tracking data collected through these cookies is viewable in aggregate form only and does not disclose any personal information.
- A cookie can't read data off a hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Users may opt-out of these tracking cookies by turning cookies off in the browser. Cookies do not have to be turned on to use most areas of this website.
- The content of cookies may be viewed on a PC at any time via the browser's developer tools.
- Tracking cookies can be deleted at any time.
3.2 Use of Information
CSU uses tracking information to determine which areas of our sites visitors prefer, based on traffic. We do not track what individual visitors read, rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build better services. We track search terms entered in the search function. We do not track which terms a particular user enters. Optional information submitted through forms are used to provide assistance and services to website users. Email addresses may be used to contact individuals concerning questions or deliver newsletters and other informative publications. Users may opt out of receiving newsletters using the "unsubscribe" links provided at the bottom of all such emails.
3.3 Sharing of Information
Columbus State University does not divulge any information about an individual website user to a third party, except to comply with applicable law or valid legal process or to protect the personal safety of our visitors or the public. Users should be aware that some information collected from CSU websites may be subject to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A § 50-18-70 through 50-18-76, available through the Official Code of Georgia Annotated website). This means that while we do not actively share information, in some cases, we may be compelled by law to release information gathered from one of our sites. CSU also complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits releasing education records without student permission. For more details on FERPA, please see the current student handbook. Certain optional information submitted by website users may be considered health information. CSU complies with HIPAA regulations.
4.0 Procedures and Responsibilities
CSU operates secure data networks protected by industry-standard firewall and password protection systems. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary, and only authorized individuals have access to the information provided by our customers.
4.2 Opt-Out Policy
We give visitors opt-out options wherever necessary and practical. Such choices include:
- Opting not to submit information through online forms.
- Turning off cookies.
- Installing the Google Analytics Opt-out browser add-on.
Columbus State University offers the ability to opt-out of analytics tracking or opt-in to analytics tracking at any time by using the button below.
To fully opt-out of marketing analytics, users will also need to install the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on in addition to the above opt-out button.
4.3 Changes to the policy
This policy may be changed from time to time and without further notice. The continued use of the site after any such changes constitutes acceptance of the new terms.
Third-Party Scripts and Applications
The UITS web team must evaluate third-party scripts before they are utilized on the CSU web presence. Before purchasing any software that requires scripts or applications to run within the CSU web presence, or any integration with the University's website, please contact the web team.
Third-Party Marketing and Retargeting Campaigns
All marketing and retargeting campaigns must be approved by the Office of Strategic Communication + Marketing.