Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, September 30, 2011

MCommunity users urged to review group membership settings

The recent implementation of MCommunity, the university's new online directory, has raised questions over the way email group membership information can be found, and prompted university officials to suggest users review their group memberships and request changes where they find it necessary.


More information

MCommunity member list visibility
Group Owner responsibilities
Getting out of a group
ITS Service Center

Although group memberships had been readily accessible in the previous directory, they were not as easy to find as they are in the MCommunity system. Some people have voiced concerns that their membership in certain groups may be more visible to the public than they had expected.

Faculty, staff, and students who are members of email groups should contact the owners of groups to which they belong if they are concerned about their membership being open to the public, says Sol Bermann, privacy officer for Information and Technology Services (ITS).

"ITS takes privacy issues very seriously, and will continue to assess user concerns with respect to MCommunity," Bermann says.

Historically, the U-M online directory has left it up to group owners to determine a group's membership visibility, that is, whether the group will be public or private.

Bermann suggests users review the group memberships visible in their MCommunity listing and ask owners to make groups private if they don't want their membership public. If the owner does not choose to make a group's member list private, a member can ask to be removed. To be removed from an elective group (those unrelated to official U-M business), first contact the group owner. If the group owner does not respond, contact the ITS Service Center at or 734-764-HELP.

Bermann said the MCommunity team plans to send an email to group owners about the privacy settings and group management generally. The emails are expected to start going out in mid- to late October.