Health TALK
USF Health

Acceptable Use Guidelines


This document is intended as a guideline, and does not possess the standing of official policy. It is expected to evolve over time, and is expected to become policy at a later date.

USF Health IT often receives complaints about inappropriate use of the electronic mail system. We've all seen the "come to my barbeque, bowling team, car wash" event and the "I am selling Cub Scout popcorn, Girl Scouts cookies, my car, my guitar" type emails. In the past USF health did not have a secondary email system that could accommodate these types of non or quasi business related emails, but clearly a segment of the user population wanted the ability to send these type emails even if they violated acceptable use policies.

With the advent of USF Health TALK, we now have a place that these emails can go to...providing a new venue for those that have a need to send them, and preventing them from spamming the users that don't want to receive them. Because we have a second system to go to, we can even dedicate space for specific business needs, for example Research discussions. We expect these specific topic-driven lists to grow in number over time.

The best part is that you can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time, and USF Health IT can monitor the lists in a more granular manner. In the past a serious spam violation got the entire email account shut we can fine-tune the ramifications of "spam" violations along the guidelines show below. In each case IT will act if there is a complaint from another user. The overall guidelines for mail remain in effect for USF Health TALK, meaning the following are prohibited:
  • Any illegal activity that violates federal, state or local statutes
  • Any activity that constitutes personal harrassment, intimidation or bias
  • Any activity involving threats or actual violence, gambling, hate crimes or pornography

Graduated Violation Repercussions

  1. For first verified violation (subsequent to a complaint) there will be a two week suspension imposed from all "USF Health Lists". There will be an email follow-up from I.T.'s Information Security group to the user's main email account.
  2. For second violation a four week suspension from all "USF Health Lists". Email follow-up from Information Security group with warning that email itself could be shut off, on the next complaint and violation
  3. For the third violation, if deemed necessary, a two week shut off of the entire email account. There will be an email describing the issue from Information Security group to the user's supervisor, department chair or student affairs.
  4. For fourth violation, if deemed necessary, there will be a four week suspension of entire email account. A formal memo will be sent by I.T.'s Information security group as a follow-up with department chair, supervisor or Student affairs office and potentially a notification to HR.
We don't think there will ever be a case that goes beyond the second stage, but we have run the guidelines by our LRISC group as a precaution. We'll fine-tune these guidelines as necessary and hope they never have to be implemented.