The University Record, March 5, 2001

Assembly Roundup

By Theresa Maddix

Civil Liberties Board Chair Philip Margolis proposed the endorsement of the Civil Liberties Board Report of Privacy and Confidentiality by the Senate Assembly at the Assembly meeting Feb. 19. Margolis, professor emeritus of psychiatry, said the report by the board’s Privacy Sub-Committee is an “electronically oriented privacy and confidentiality document, covering practically everything including paper.”

The Civil Liberties Board, said Margolis, is interested in finding a balance between “the benefits to society and the University and individual rights to privacy.” Though, he said “lots of committees and groups at the University are working on this,” the committee members have taken it as their purpose to “consolidate, focus and coordinate all these ideas and groups.”

Ann Larimore, professor emerita of geography and of women’s studies, read the committee’s recommendations and fielded questions.

The recommendations of the report ask for the creation of a Privacy Oversight Committee and a Complaint Resolution Committee. The Privacy Oversight Committee would “include review of enterprise resource planning and policy decisions, administrative design decisions and policy implementation. It should have the capability to monitor operation of M-Pathways and other data systems, as well as to gather evidence in respect to compliance in implementing policies and potential or actual conflicts of interest,” the report states. “The Complaint Resolution Committee would provide a forum for the investigation and resolution of complaints brought by any member of the University community who has reasonable cause to believe that his or her privacy has been violated using an electronic or other mechanism.”

The Assembly voted to endorse the report, available on the Web, www.umich.edu/~sacua/clbprivacy.htm.