THE UWF COMPUTING RESOURCES AGREEMENT
As part of activating their ArgoNet Account, every UWF employee agrees to the UWF Computing Resources Agreement. This agreement governs the use of UWF technology. University resources are intended to support the University’s mission and strategic priorities by enabling faculty, staff, and students to more effectively conduct their work, scholarship, and research. It is important that every employee be familiar with this agreement and understand the appropriate use and inappropriate use of IT resources.
CLICKING "I AGREE"
You know about computer viruses, phishing scams, and identity theft. Your computer has virus protection, and you are careful about sharing personal information on the Internet. You’re doing a good job with security related issues. BUT, there’s one minor, sometimes annoying, little detail that if you are not careful could undo all your good efforts. That detail is end user license agreements (EULAs).
What is a EULA and why is it important?
You have seen a EULA – the window that pops up before you install a new piece of software, full of legal words and terms. Sometimes referred to as “click-wrap” or “click-through” agreements, EULAs ask you to click “I agree” before the software can be installed. If truth be told, most of us don’t read this information, but EULAs are important to understand for several reasons:
How EULAs impact security and privacy
EULAs can require terms and conditions that include such things as monitoring your internet activity, collecting personal information, using your computing resources, and holding you to terms of third party software agreements. All these scenarios pose a risk to the security and privacy of your personal information. In addition, because your UWF computer is connected to the University network, this risk extends to other University computers and to the University as a whole.
In addition to the hidden dangers for privacy and information security that may be obscured in the text of a click-through software license, there may also be great personal legal liability for you. When you click "I agree" on an EULA, you are executing a legally-binding contract. However, since most employees do not have the authority to execute contracts on behalf of the university (see General Counsel's statement below), you are obligating yourself, not the university, to the terms of the contract. Should you incur any liability for breach of the license terms, you will be personally responsible for the consequences. This is an important distinction between software licensed by the university in a university contract versus software you purchase in shrink-wrap fashion or download over the Internet. If you have any questions about whether or not a software package is covered by a university contract, you can email the Office of the General Counsel or contact them @ 474-3420.
Statement from the Office of General Counsel
Unauthorized Purchases/Contractual Obligations:
"The UWF President has delegated full authority to Procurement and Contracts (P&C) to commit UWF to purchases and contractual arrangements. Contractual obligations (including free software licenses)without the approval of P&C or Office of General Counsel may be considered the responsibility of the employee and not UWF."
There are several things you can do to protect yourself and your computer when it comes to EULAs.
For more information about EULAs, see “Software License Agreements: Ignore at Your Own Risk” by Edward Desautels.