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Stewardship and Custodianship of Electronic Mail

Cornell University owns and operates its electronic mail (e-mail) infrastructure, which must be managed for the entire university community in a manner that preserves a level of privacy and confidentiality in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and university policy. While the university permits limited personal use of its email infrastructure, those availing themselves of this privilege do not acquire a right of privacy in communications transmitted or stored on university information technology resources.

Email custodians must not inappropriately access or disclose the content of mail transmitted or stored on Cornell-owned or Cornell-controlled information technology resources (e.g., desktop computers, routers, servers, personal digital assistants, etc.), except in the following situations: (1) as a response to a court order or other compulsory legal process, (2) in certain other circumstances only with the permission of authorized individuals (see “Email Steward” in definitions) or the provost, (3) when the correspondent is unavailable and the information is necessary to conduct university business, or (4) in health and safety emergencies.

Policy details

Contact:

Your local college or unit administrative office.

Revision History:

June 21, 2019: Changed “Office of Human Resources (OHR) director of finance and administration” to “…Office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations in the Division of Human Resources.”