Data Privacy

As part of RIT’s reopen plan, the university is required to adhere to the guidelines put forth by New York state, including contact tracing efforts in the event of potential or actual COVID-19 exposures. To comply with the state guidelines, RIT has implemented a number of new technology-based solutions.

Daily Health Screen

The Daily Health Screen was a web-based application consisting of one question regarding potential COVID-19 symptoms that all RIT faculty, staff, students, and visitors were required to answer every day. (The Daily Health Screen was discontinued in July 2021.) The only data collected from this application was your response to the question; no health information was stored.

The Daily Health Screen application, developed in partnership with Rochester Regional Health (RRH), and its associated data reside in a fully secured cloud-based environment. Detailed data collected by this application is available only to health care professionals at RIT and RRH in the event of a potential COVID-19 exposure. Aggregated de-identified data was used by RIT for monitoring the status of COVID-19 on the campus and formulating appropriate responses to that information.

Location Check-In

The Location Check-In is a web-based application that allows all RIT faculty, staff, and students to record their presence in designated spaces across the campus, such as classrooms, lecture halls, frequently used offices, RIT shuttles, etc. Community members will be required to record this information by either scanning a QR code using their phone or entering the appropriate location data into the application directly.

The Location Check-In application and its associated data reside in a fully secured cloud-based environment. The data collected by this application will only be used for contact tracing purposes in the event of a potential COVID-19 exposure.

Wireless Access Data

As a matter of course, RIT does not generally capture or retain wireless access point data except to the extent required to provide such access to the RIT network. This data shows roughly where a person may be on campus as a result of their device(s) connecting to wireless access points on the RIT network. The wireless access data retained by RIT is securely stored in the University’s secure and FERPA-compliant on-campus data center. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of contact tracing requirements, this data may be used by the Monroe County Department of Health contact tracers for contact tracing efforts to help identify members of the RIT community who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms as a result of being in proximity to that person during potential exposure periods.

Datos Remote Care Platform

RIT has partnered with Rochester-based Strategic Interests to make the Datos Remote Care Platform available to provide RIT’s student community who have been infected with COVID-19 with safe, comprehensive, effective, and efficient health care support in a remote fashion.

Datos is a cloud-based HIPAA-compliant solution that will be made available only to RIT health care professionals and the patients that they are monitoring and treating for COVID-19 infections.

Frequently Asked Questions

The contact tracing data being acquired and stored by RIT through applications such as wireless monitoring will be used solely for the purpose of supporting required contact tracing activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The applications used by RIT all meet or exceed industry requirements for securely collecting, storing, and using contact tracing data during the COVID-19 pandemic including those defined by FERPA and New York state. At the present time, RIT is retaining all contract tracing data as prescribed by New York state.

An individual’s contact tracing data will only be used, at the request of designated contact tracers, to determine whether or not they have been in recent contact with an individual who may potentially have or has been confirmed as having the COVID-19 virus and only upon the request of the Monroe County Department of Health contact tracers.

The data being collected for contact tracing is related to the location of an individual. Location information is not health information. As a result, the contact tracing data is not considered Protected Health Information and, therefore, does not need to be managed to HIPAA standards. 

No. RIT’s contact tracing systems have been developed specifically to meet the regulatory requirements associated with contact tracing and the opening of the university, which do not include making contact tracing data available to individuals.

No. The contact tracing processes and controls implemented at RIT are in direct support of New York state requirements for the re-opening of the university.

RIT has partnered with Rochester Regional Health for support of RIT employees in the event they may be exposed to or contract the COVID-19 virus.  New York State and Monroe Country require RIT to work with the Monroe Country Department of Health on its contact tracing efforts.