By collaborating with the Research Computing Center (RCC), you may have access to various RCC computer systems, networks, applications, data, and/or other technology assets. By using any RCC resource, you are agreeing to abide by the following usage policy, and to use RCC resources in a responsible and ethical manner. Please read the information below carefully. Violations of the RCC usage policy can result in removal of access to RCC resources and the reporting of suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities.

General usage policy

The following principles govern the usage of all RCC resources. You are required to abide by these principles.

  • You are responsible for the proper use of the tools each computer system provides and for the confidentiality of any sensitive information entrusted to you.
  • You must not use RCC resources for illegal or malicious purposes such as harassment, disrupting communications or services, or unauthorized monitoring of communications.
  • You must refrain from unethical usage of RCC resources, including unauthorized use of computer accounts and resources assigned to others, use of computing facilities for private business or political purposes or private gain, academic or scientific dishonesty, or violation of software license agreements.
  • You will respect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals to whose records you may have access to in accordance with RCC policy, University of Chicago ethical standards, and state and federal laws.
  • You should immediately report any suspected breach of security, policy violation, or suspicious activity to help@rcc.uchicago.edu and your supervisor, PI, or sponsor.
  • You will not attempt to subvert or circumvent any system security features.
  • You will not attempt to subvert or circumvent any system that allocates resources.
  • You should be aware that all computer activity and files on these systems may be monitored by RCC system administrators and appropriate authorities.
  • Your account may be terminated by RCC staff for failure to follow these principles.

The RCC provides computational and data storage resources for the sole purpose of supporting legitimate research activities at the University of Chicago. A user must refrain from using RCC resources for any task other than that which was described on their account application form. RCC users are also required to familiarize themselves with the University of Chicago’s Eligibility and Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology.

User accounts and passwords

Your account credentials are assigned to you alone and should not be shared with anyone, including coworkers, trainers, or computer support staff. If you believe your account password has been compromised, report the incident to RCC support staff immediately and change your password through the University of Chicago’s CNetID password service.

Many mechanisms exist for sharing data and working collaboratively with your colleagues; RCC will assist you with these tools as necessary. There is never a reason to share account and/or password information.

Data policy and security

The RCC maintains an open research network that provides shared computing and data management resources to a large number of University of Chicago researchers and their collaborators. Therefore, RCC cannot guarantee the complete security of data stored on any RCC system. While information security is a primary concern of the RCC, neither the RCC nor the University of Chicago shall be held liable for any breach of security resulting in the compromise of sensitive or confidential data. It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure proper measures have been taken to protect sensitive or confidential information.

RCC system administrators and support staff that have super-user privileges are able to view any and all data on RCC systems unless it is encrypted. RCC system administrators will only look at user data to provide assistance to the owner, or if there is sufficient reason to believe a serious problem or security threat exists that could disrupt the work of others.

Protected Health Information

Currently, the RCC does not provide any file systems or compute resources compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations for the storage or processing of Protected Health Information (PHI).

Warning: Do not store or process PHI data on any RCC system.

If your project necessitates the use of PHI data, please inform RCC staff of your requirements and we will work to determine if your data/project can be accommodated.

Data Encryption

The RCC does not provide any encrypted file systems. Users can, however, use software-based file encryption to secure individual files and directories.

Data Integrity and Retention Policy

RCC strives to maintain robust filesystems and archival storage facilities with the highest levels of performance and reliability. However, neither the RCC nor the University of Chicago shall be held liable for any loss of data. The RCC provides an archival tape backup system in a separate location from the main disk array for use in recovering data in the event of corruption, deletion, or machine failure.

Note: Not all filesystems and machines are backed up. Due to limited space in the archival storage system, only /home and /project directories are backed up to archival tape. If your project has special data retention requirements, please alert RCC support staff so appropriate actions can be taken to help ensure the protection and recoverability of your data.