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Updated 10:00 AM April 10, 2006




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Revised SPG clarifies use of Mcard photos

Faculty, staff and student Mcard photos may be used by the University only for approved business purposes—such as identification, security and building access validation, class rosters and seating charts—as part of U-M's ongoing efforts to address the security of personal identification data.
(Photo courtesy Treasurer's Office)

Future business uses of the images must be approved and communicated to campus prior to use, according to revisions made to the Standard Practice Guide (SPG) March 17.

Prior to the revision, Mcard photos could be used only for security and identification purposes, unless individuals granted permission for other uses. The change allows the University to receive photos for approved business purposes, but also provides employees and students a process to withdraw consent or reinstate it anytime.

If employees or students on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, and within the U-M Health System, do not want their photo used for internal purposes, they can request it be removed from the ID card database by filling out a "Request for Deletion of Mcard Digitized Photograph Form." Individuals also can reinstate their consent for internal use by completing a "Request for Restoration of Mcard Digitized Photograph Form."

Once a photo has been deleted, however, people who wish to give consent for its use must present documentation and have another picture taken.

Forms are available at and at any ID issuing station. The main Mcard Center is in Room 1000 of the Student Activities Building on the Ann Arbor campus. Other locations for all three campuses and the Health System can be found at

The expanded SPG provides additional guidelines for Mcard use. Units must obtain explicit written or electronic consent from employees each time they want to use Mcard photos for unit-specific purposes such as internal Web sites, Facebooks or department rosters. In addition, units that photograph their own identification images must obtain the subject's explicit written or electronic consent for each specific use and also must provide a mechanism for consent to be withdrawn or reinstated.

"The revised policy clearly specifies which business uses are approved. It also provides schools, departments and units with guidelines for taking their own photos and when and how units must obtain consent," wrote Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs; Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources; and Gregory Tewksbury, treasurer, in a memo to deans, directors and department heads. "The revised policy is part of the continuing efforts by the University to work towards safeguarding personal identification data for those affiliated with the University."

The Policy on Release of Mcard Digitized Photographs is available at The SPG can be viewed at

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