admissions@gsw.edu 877-871-4594
Home / Legal & Privacy

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy sets forth Georgia Southwestern State University (“GSW”) policy with respect to the gathering and dissemination of information we obtain from you on the web site for Georgia Southwestern State University located at gsw.edu (“Site”).

Georgia Southwestern State University is the operator of this Site, although software, hosting and other functions may be provided by third parties (“Service Providers”). This Privacy Policy describes the type of information Georgia Southwestern State University and its Service Providers collect from visitors to this Site, what we do with that information, and how visitors can update and control the use of information provided on this Site. This policy does not necessarily describe information collection policies on other sites, such as separate sites operated by our Service Providers that we do not control. Many of the resources linked from this Web site are not maintained by Georgia Southwestern State University. Georgia Southwestern State University cannot monitor all linked resources, only those pages which fall directly within Georgia Southwestern State University world-wide web structure. Georgia Southwestern State University is in no way responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these linked resources and the statements, views, and opinions expressed therein are neither endorsed by nor do they necessarily reflect the opinion of Georgia Southwestern State University.

This policy may be changed from time to time and without further notice. Your continued use of the Site after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new terms. If you do not agree to abide by these new terms or any future terms, please do not use the Site. This site is not directed to children under 13 years of age, and children under 13 years of age shall not use this Site to submit any personal information about themselves.

Information We Gather

When you visit the Site, we may collect certain routing information, including, but not limited to, the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address of your originating Internet Service Provider, and information provided by “cookies” stored on your hard drive. We may also collect aggregate information about the use of the Site, including, but not limited to, which pages are most frequently visited, how many visitors we receive daily, and how long visitors stay on each page. We may disclose and publish aggregate information on an aggregate basis to any party through any means, but such aggregate information will not disclose any personal information. Any information collected through this Site may also be used in aggregate by system administrators in the administration of the Site. You may be required to provide certain personal information in order to access various features and information on the Site. Such information may include, among other things, your name, address, and phone number. If you do not want to provide such information, you may choose not to access those features of the Site. Any personal information that you choose to provide through the Site will be protected in accordance with the provisions of this Privacy Policy.

Cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data that may be stored by a Web browser. Cookies are often used to remember information about preferences and pages you have visited. For example, when you visit some sites on the Web you might see a “Welcome Back” message. The first time you visited the site a cookie may have been set on your computer; when you return, the cookie is read again. You can refuse to accept cookies, can disable cookies, and remove cookies from your hard drive. However, if you do not accept cookies from the Site, you may lose access to the Site or experience decreased performance of the Site.

Security and Accuracy of Confidential Information

Georgia Southwestern State University does its best to ensure that the personal information obtained from you is accurate. You may review the information saved or submitted via the Site at any time up to the point when it is purged from the flat file or database. In the event that there is an error in your personal information, we will correct the information on your request.

We have put in place reasonable physical, technical, and administrative safeguards designed to prevent unauthorized access to our use of the information collected online. While we strive to protect your personal information by encryption and other means, we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of the information you transmit to us, and if you choose to use the Site, you do so at your own risk.

Please keep in mind that the information disclosed by you on our Site in certain forums – for example, information, including personal information, that you may provide to others on bulletin boards, through blogs or in chat rooms that may be available on the Site – can be collected and used by visitors to the Site. If you post any data within a public forum on our Site, that data is now public.

Sharing of Information

Georgia Southwestern State University is committed to maintaining the privacy and accuracy of your personal information. We do not actively share personal information gathered from the Site. However, some information collected from the Site may be subject to the Georgia Open Records Act (“ORA”). This means that while we do not actively share information, in some cases we may be compelled by law to release information gathered from the Site. Georgia public universities also comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), which generally prohibits (with some exceptions) the release of education records without student permission. For more details on FERPA, currently enrolled students should see the catalog.

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics to help analyze how users use the site. The tool uses "cookies," which are text files placed on your computer, to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including IP address) is transmitted to Google. This information is then used to evaluate visitors' use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity for Georgia Southwestern State University.

We will never (and will not allow any third party to) use the statistical analytics tool to track or to collect any Personally Identifiable Information (“PII”) of visitors to our site. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. Neither we nor Google will link, or seek to link, an IP address with the identity of a computer user. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any Personally Identifiable Information from any source, unless you explicitly submit that information via a fill-in form on our website.

You may choose to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically default to accept them, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies. If you reject cookies by changing your browser settings then be aware that this may disable some of the functionality on our Website.

Visitors to our website may be able to register to use our services, attend events, make a purchase, join a community or upload/download information. When you register, you will provide personal information such as name, address, email, telephone number or facsimile number and other relevant information. If you are making a purchase, we will request financial information including your credit card number, expiration date, and security code. Any financial information we collect is used only to bill you for your purchase. This information may be forwarded to your credit card provider. We will not disclose personally identifiable information we collect from you to third parties without your permission except to the extent necessary, including: to fulfill your requests, to protect ourselves from liability, to comply with the terms and conditions of our internet host provider.

Questions

If you have questions about this Privacy Policy or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent or if you wish to correct information held by Georgia Southwestern State University, please contact us at dataprivacy@gsw.edu.

Lawful Basis for Collecting and Processing Personal Data

Georgia Southwestern State University is an institute of higher education involved in education, research, and community development. In order for Georgia Southwestern to educate its students, both in class and online, engage in research, and provide community services, it is essential and necessary for GSW to exercise its lawful basis, to collect, process, use, and/or maintain the personal data of its students, employees, applicants, research subjects, visitors, and others involved in its educational, research, and community programs. These activities include, without limitation, admission, registration, delivery of classroom, online, and study abroad education, grades, communications, employment, applied research, development, program analysis for improvements, and records retention.

The lawful basis for the collection and processing of personal data by Georgia Southwestern State University falls under the following categories: 

  • Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by Georgia Southwestern State University or by a third party in providing education, employment, research and development, and/or community programs
  • Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject (any person whose personal data is being collected, held or processed) is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract
  • Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which Georgia Southwestern State University is subject
  • The data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes

Georgia Southwestern State University will protect all personal data and special categories of sensitive personal data that it collects or processes for a lawful basis. Any personal data and special categories of sensitive personal data collected or processed by GSW shall be:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner
  • Collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes, and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes
  • Limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and processed
  • Accurate and kept up to date
  • Retained only as long as necessary
  • Secure

There will be some instances where the collection and processing of personal data will be pursuant to other lawful bases.

Types of Personal Data Collected

Georgia Southwestern State University receives personal data and special categories of sensitive personal data from multiple sources. Most often, Georgia Southwestern gets this data directly from the data subject or under the direction of the data subject who has provided it to a third party (for example, application for undergraduate admission to Georgia Southwestern through use of a common application).  Examples of data that GSW may need to collect in connection with the lawful basis are: name, email address, IP address, physical/mailing address and other location identifiers, phone number, photos, as well as some sensitive data obtained with prior consent.

Individual Rights of the Data Subject

Individual data subjects can expect the following, if requested:

  • information about how GSW is collecting the data
  • the data protection officer contact information
  • the purposes and legal basis/legitimate interests of the data collection/processing
  • information about recipients of any personal data
  • if Georgia Southwestern State University intends to transfer personal data to another country or international organization
  • the period the personal data will be stored
  • the existence of the right to rectify incorrect data or erase personal data, restrict or object to processing, and the right to data portability
  • the existence of the right to withdraw consent at any time
  • the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority (regulators, etc.)
  • why the personal data are required and possible consequences of the failure to provide the data
  • the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling
  • if the collected data are going to be further processed for a purpose other than that for which it was collected

 

Note: Exercising of these expectations is a guarantee to be afforded a process and not the guarantee of an outcome. Any data subject who wishes to exercise any of the above-mentioned rights may do so by submitting such request at dataprivacy@gsw.edu.

Security of Personal Data

All personal data and special categories of sensitive personal data collected or processed by Georgia Southwestern State University must comply with University System of Georgia’s (“USG”) Cybersecurity Plan, as authorized by the Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 10.4 Cybersecurity: https://www.usg.edu/policies. Anyone suspecting that his or her sensitive personal data has been exposed to unauthorized access, report your suspicion to techsupp@gsw.edu. Otherwise, questions concerning more general data privacy can be sent to dataprivacy@gsw.edu.

Georgia Southwestern State University takes seriously its duty to protect the personal data it collects or processes. In addition to GSW’s overall data protection program, Georgia Southwestern must make sure it complies with federal, state, and other applicable regulations.

In support of data protection, GSW, appropriately secures personal data, is transparent about the personal data it collects or processes and the uses it makes of any personal data, and keeps tracks of all uses and disclosures it makes of personal data.

Georgia Open Records Act

As a state university, GSW is subject to the provisions of the Georgia Open Records Act. Except for those records that are exempt from disclosure under the ORA, the ORA provides that all citizens are entitled to view the records of state agencies on request and to make copies for a fee. The ORA requires that Georgia Southwestern produce public documents within three business days. For more information on GSW’s ORA compliance, please visit the Open Records Act page on the Human Resources website. 

Data Retention

Georgia Southwestern State University keeps the data it collects for the time periods specified in the University System of Georgia Records Retention Schedules.