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Google Drive Usage Policy and Support Agreement

About This Policy

Responsible Office
Information Technology

The University has a contractual agreement with Google, Inc. to provide the Google Workspace for Education, including the components of GMail, Calendar, and Drive with Docs, Sheets, and Slides, for use by the campus community. As such, the Google Drive service is available to all MSU employees to provide file storage, sharing, and collaboration capabilities to complement the existing campus MSUFILES service. (MSUFILES provides a more traditional on premise file storage and sharing service in the form of a home directory for all users logged into the campus Microsoft Active Directory domain as well as departmental based sharing directories.)

Usage Policy

Google Drive use was previously permitted with a restriction on data classified as Private in the University’s Data Classification and Handling Policy. With the revision to this policy in May 2020, that restriction has been lifted and Google Drive with Docs, Sheets, and Slides may be used to collect, store, or share files that contain sensitive data. This includes data classified as Private with the exception of healthcare related data as managed by a Board of Trustees defined component area under the campus’ hybrid HIPAA designation. (Defined HIPAA component areas should consult the Healthcare Compliance Committee in regards to special BAA covered instances of Google Drive for this purpose.) However, it is critically important that all users working with sensitive (confidential or private) data take additional steps to ensure the proper protection of this data on Google Drive. Detailed guidance on how to properly do so can be found in the document, “Using Google Drive with Sensitive Data”.

One of the additional benefits of Google Drive is the ability to share and collaborate on documents with entities external to the University such as research colleagues or third party vendors who would not normally have access to the campus MSUFILES service. As related to this benefit, MSU employees sharing files via Google Drive that contain sensitive information are responsible for ensuring that the files are shared only to appropriate and authorized internal and external recipients.

Support Agreement

Support for the Google Drive service is being offered through the IT Service Desk and will include basic end-user documentation and troubleshooting assistance. When using this service, users will be expected to leverage the online help resources provided by Google wherever possible. For online help and documentation please see the following web page:

In addition, Information Technology can make no guarantees of the stability or availability of the Google Drive service beyond the Terms of Service that are provided by Google as part of their Workspace for Education offering. Please see the following web page for additional detail:

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