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Author Topic: Universities might have to limit monitoring, set social media policies in stone  (Read 6305 times)
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« on: February 11, 2013, 10:00:27 AM »
Universities might have to limit monitoring, set social media policies in stone under proposal

February 10, 2013

In an age when voluntarily sharing one’s intimate information on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites is common, a proposal to limit what content universities have access to seems out of step.
But state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, said there should be a limit to the power university administrators have over students in Texas, where there is no law to prevent schools from requiring individuals to give up their personal social media login and password information.
Duke’s proposal also addresses employer monitoring. Under it, universities and employers would have to make social media rules and consequences clear. Those found in violation would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and could be fined up to $1,000. Michigan, Maryland and California have similar laws.
An in-depth look into how Texas campuses keep tabs on students’ virtual musings finds no consistent policy, but did find a common subject: student-athletes. In general, universities say such monitoring is needed to protect their reputations and to protect high-profile students from themselves.
In Central Texas, only the University of Texas and Texas State University actively monitor student-athletes on social media. Texas A&M University does not currently have any employees monitoring athletes, Associate Athletic Director Alan Cannon said.


Texas Tech University in Lubbock requires some student-athletes to install the UDiligence, a program that sends players and coaches notifications when questionable language is used on social networks, said UDiligence founder Kevin Long.
Long said his company only monitors public posts, not private messages.
Dukes said monitoring public pages is fine but said asking for access to private information is a violation of First Amendment rights.
“If it is the public post, read the public information,” Dukes said. “But when you start going into private, you are really prying down. One could equate it to requiring a student or employee to provide their diary.”

None of nine colleges or universities the American-Statesman looked into for this story require such disclosures.

Watching students online
These schools don’t monitor students’ online activities but have codes of conduct.
Texas A&M University
Austin Community College
Blinn College in Brenham
Central Texas College in Killeen
Texas State Technical College in Waco

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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