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NET+ and Privacy

Jan 19, 2016, by Nick Lewis
Tags: Internet2 NET+, Privacy

Privacy is a core principal within higher education and at Internet2, we take privacy seriously in all our programs. We encourage everyone to support EDUCAUSE’s privacy efforts and support Data Privacy Day on January 28th to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information.

In addition to our own practices for the Internet2 network and direct services we provide, we work with third party providers in the Internet2 NET+ Cloud portfolio to extend those strong community privacy expectations to our partners. For NET+ contracts, we have implemented the recommendations of some of our member campuses’ leading privacy experts and included strong contractual provisions related to privacy in the standard agreement templates that are meant to bolster and clarify the privacy protections for all participating campuses including:

  • Requiring strong background checks for service provider personnel.
  • Standard provisions for FERPA, GLBA, and HIPAA protections. (Along with the security provisions that support many of the privacy controls).
  • The privacy protections that articulate resolution steps if there a conflict between the service provider’s privacy policy and the NET+ agreement.
  • Inclusion of a standard 60-day advance notice (or longer) if the provider intends any change to its privacy policy.
  • If any campus reasonably believes that such modification will adversely affect the campus, the campus retains the right to terminate their agreement.
  • Privacy improvements to the service provider’s products generally available will be included in the NET+ agreement at no additional cost to campuses.

Like all business agreements and templates, these serve as the baseline expectations for negotiations with any service provider interested in participating with the Internet2 NET+ program. They continue to evolve and improve thanks to member input and are the protections we strive to provide to all our member campuses.

Participating institutions are also open to discuss privacy during the NET+ service validation if there is a specific privacy issue they have identified. This extends to ongoing oversight by NET+ service advisory board where a campus could raise a privacy question with the service provider.   

If you have additional suggestions for privacy protections in the NET+ program or questions about security and privacy in the NET+ program, please contact me.