Acceptable Use of Technology

Board of Trustees Policy: 5.6

Date: May 2023

Supersedes: December 2016, June 2008, June 2004


This policy preserves the stability and security of the College’s information technology resources, protects the College from inappropriate use, and ensures reasonable accessibility to technology resources for the College’s academic community. The policy also governs the access and use of all College technology and data, including any device that accesses or uses the College’s network or data.


1. Acceptable Use 

a. Institutional Use
Use of all College information technology resources should be for purposes that are consistent with the non-profit educational mission and the policies and legal requirements (including license agreements and terms of service) of the College, and not for commercial purposes.  

b. Personal Use 
Users are solely responsible for their personal use of College technology resources as well as the content of their personal communications. Personal use of the College’s technology resources should be incidental and kept to a minimum.

c. Prohibited Use
Use of the College’s information technology resources should not violate applicable federal, state, and local law, including U. S. copyright law, or College policies, and, if travel is involved, the laws of the relevant nation or state. College resources may not be used to store, transmit, or communicate malicious, harassing, or defamatory content.  

2. Access and Privacy

While the College takes reasonable measures to protect the security of its computing resources, the College cannot guarantee absolute security and privacy. System users should have no expectation of privacy. In cases of Right-to-Know Act requests, administrative or judicial proceedings, law enforcement investigations, or similar inquiries, information stored electronically may be released to outside parties. While the College does not routinely monitor the activity of users for violation of this Policy, situations may arise where the College may have the need to view information or email or monitor user activity on the network. Causes for access may include, but are not limited to the health or safety of individuals or property; violations of College policies, or local, state or federal laws 

3. Protection of College Resources

Users of College information technology resources are responsible for protecting College data, including its confidentiality, integrity, access, retention, and disposal, in accordance with the College’s IT Security Policy, Record Retention Policy, and other applicable College policies.  College technological resources should be used for educational purposes and to carry out the legitimate business of the College, and should not be used in a way that disrupts or otherwise interferes with any College activities or systems, or that are inconsistent with the College’s policies or goals. Users are responsible for following published security guidance to ensure that all their devices that access College technology resources are adequately protected. 

4. Violations and Penalties

Violations of the policy, where applicable, may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal from employment, expulsion from further study and termination, or suspension of network privileges. The College also reserves the right to notify appropriate legal authorities ifits system is used in a manner that constitutes a violation of any local, state, or federal law.

Further Guidance

Details and examples regarding particular aspects of this policy may be found in the document “Guidelines for Compliance with the Acceptable Use of Technology Policy."

Any questions about this policy or its application to a particular situation should be referred to the Vice President for Information Technology and Institutional Effectiveness. 

Related Policies 

Some content used with permission from Princeton University Information Security Office.