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Notes on Cloud Services for MU Faculty

Modified on: Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 3:30 PM

At this time, the University does not condone placing data containing FERPA, HIPAA, or other protected information on any cloud servers.

Faculty using cloud-based services (including, but not limited to, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Box) should pay close attention to what apps and data are allowed to sync with the cloud. This is particularly significant for grant-funded projects, information covered under FERPA, and HIPAA data. Any files covered by DoIT’s Data Classification Levels 3 & 4 should not be uploaded to the cloud—see https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/is/infosec/classification-definitions.


No materials containing personally identifiable student or patient data should be uploaded to any cloud services. Students cannot be required to use cloud services in connection with course work. Alternative means should be provided to complete the course work or alternative assignments should be made available. Please note that this restriction does not apply to the School of Journalism or a few other entities that have waivers regarding posting of student work publicly or in less-secure spaces.

Note: Grade information should never be posted to a cloud server.


Additional restrictions may apply to the use of cloud services for some grant projects, as cloud servers are not necessarily hosted in the US and may not meet Federal requirements for those grants. Be sure to consult the terms of your grant before putting any data into the cloud as restrictions may apply to the use of cloud services. Some grants require data to be kept on U.S. servers. Many cloud servers are not necessarily hosted in the US and may not meet Federal requirements for those grants.

Mobile Devices

Because of the nature of mobile devices, not using the cloud may be challenging. If it is only a question of having access to your own files, consider using a file server or setting up a connection to your office computer with File Browser or Good Reader (on iOS) or AntTek Explorer (Android). These give you many options for uploading and downloading files from your computer or file server. If using these on public networks, please consider using the AnyConnect VPN client.

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