Computing & Information Services

Cloud Computing Policy

Guidelines for the Use of Cloud Computing Services at Reed College

Cloud Computing

The Internet is sometimes referred to as the “cloud” and “cloud computing” is the array of Internet-based services, often available to the public, for gathering, storing, processing and sharing information.  Some cloud services, such as those offered by Apple or Google, may be free to end-users. For the general user who wants a convenient, Internet-based solution for storing or sharing personal information, cloud computing may provide a reasonable option.

Dangers

While cloud computing services, especially free ones, may mention computer security and confidentiality standards, they tend not to guarantee that the data you place there will be secure or treated confidentially in order to shield themselves from liability should your data be misused, stolen, or otherwise inappropriately accessed.

Storing College Information

Confidential or otherwise sensitive College information must not be stored, shared, or otherwise processed by a cloud computing service unless the service enters into a legally binding agreement with Reed to protect and manage the data according to standards and procedures acceptable to the College.

Should you ever need to store or share Reed information in a manner not currently provided within the College's secure computing environment, please contact CIS and we will work with you to identify and provide a solution that meets your needs.

Examples

Their are numerous types of cloud computing services available on the Internet that may be appropriate for personal use, though they do not meet the security and confidentiality standards required for official College use.  Some examples are:

  • External Email Services (e.g., Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.)
  • Chat & Instant Messaging Services (e.g., Yahoo, AIM, MSN, IRC, Twitter, etc.)
  • Social Networking Services (e.g., MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, Friendster, etc.)
  • Hosted Application Services (e.g., Amazon Web Services, etc. )
  • Peer to Peer File Sharing (e.g., Kazaa, Gnutella, Bit Torrent, LimeWire, Morpheus, etc.)
  • Virtual Machines (e.g., GoGrid and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud are commercial web services that allow customers to rent any number of virtual computers upon which they can load and run their own software applications.)

Approved by CPC at the 11/21/2008 meeting, revised 10/10/11.