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Privacy

The Privacy Office seeks to foster a culture of privacy that supports responsible use of information to further the College’s mission, while simultaneously protecting individual privacy. We help units of the College manage the security and privacy of personal information collected from and about users. We also serve as a resource to the campus on privacy topics. Here, you will find information about how the College collects, uses and manages information, including the Privacy Policy and Guidance as well as selected Privacy Laws and Resources.  In addition, you will find resources to help you control your personal information.

Please note: As a state agency, information collected by any unit of the College may be subject to disclosure under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. However, this law includes exemptions that allow the College to withhold certain personal information from disclosure to protect individual privacy. The College also may be required to disclose data without consent and/or notice by law or legal process, such as a subpoena, court order or search warrant.

Ways to Control Your Privacy

There are multiple steps you can take to reduce the amount of your personal information that is shared with others:

For Students: 

FERPA:  Student education records held at the College are governed by a federal law called FERPA. The Office of the Registrar protects student rights under FERPA. For information on your rights, including ways to protect your information, please visit:  http://registrar.cofc.edu/ferpa/index.php

For Everyone: 

Opt Out: Data brokers can pose a threat to your personal privacy by collecting and publishing information about you on their websites. However, some data brokers will allow you to opt out if you make a request. The World Privacy Forum has compiled a list of data brokers and opt out links here:  https://www.worldprivacyforum.org/2013/12/data-brokers-opt-out/

Search Engines:  Most search engines track your searches and target you with ads based on that information. However, if you're interested in reducing this collection and targeting, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that will not collect or share your personal information.

Social Media:  Regularly review the privacy settings on all social media accounts. Privacy policies and settings change regularly, so review them and make changes on a regular basis to secure your information. Think twice before you share - what may seem relevant to post in what you perceive to be a conversation with your friends and family, immediately becomes available for people across the globe to use as they wish.

Other Helpful Tips and Websites

Federal Trade Commission – Tips and Advice - https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice

NOVA LABS Cybersecurity Lab – Training Videos, Quizzes and Games - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/labs/lab/cyber/

IRS Disclosure Awareness Videos - https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-disclosure-awareness-videos

To contact us, please email: privacy@cofc.edu.

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