April 14th, 2008

water contains hydrogen

Evaluation of student computers...wtf?

So apparently there's some evaluation of student computers going on. Everyone in my building received this email today:

Dear Inman Students,

ITS is doing an inventory evaluation of all student computers. Me and Tiye Glover are going to be expecting your computers and recording general information about them. If you could be so kind as to be in your rooms this week around 9ish so we can come around collecting that information. If you can not be there please leave us permission with your roommate or a note. If you feel you can't do this then please email me with this concern and I will ask you to retrieve the information yourself or to tell me a time when we can retrieve this information.


Now, I don't like people invading my privacy, nor did I have any idea of what 'general information' entailed. So I replied with this, making sure to copy the email to ITS.


Before deciding whether to give you permission to invade my privacy, I have some concerns about this evaluation of student computers. My idea of general information may be very different from yours, so what exactly do you consider to be 'general' information? Are you gathering information on the operating system of the computer ot the programs installed or the programs frequently used or what, exactly?

Also, why and how does ITS plan to use this information? I understand that you may not be able to answer on behalf of ITS, so I'm copying this email to ITS in the hopes of an explanation. Gathering information of public computers on campus could certainly be used to improve the technological services on campus. Student computers, though? I'd really like to know the purpose of gathering this information before releasing it to you.

I await your reply.



So we'll see what happens. Either way, I'm the only one who pokes on my computer. Agnes people who don't live in my building, they'll probably come by eventually. I'll keep you posted.

Edited to Add 428pm: I received a reply from Tamara at ITS.

Sujin,

The information Jessica is trying to gather is as follows

Manufacturer
Model
Operating System
Does the computer have Wireless
How old
Desktop
Laptop

This information is being gathered in order for the ITS department to make future technology plans.

If you have any further questions or comments please email me directly.


Yeah, I think I'll just email them directly with that.
dumb ideas

And the whole fiasco just gets better. I need some popcorn.

My building just received this email:

Dear Inman Students,

Because of the response certain residents have had about the "general information" stated I would like to clarify what I mean.
The information that I need, as well as ITS, is:

Manufacturer
Model
Operating System
Does the computer have Wireless
How old
Desktop
Laptop

We know most students do not know what an OS is or other pieces of information that we may have needed so, therefore, I did not include it and only passified you with the words "general information". I'm truly sorry for not explaining completely to you so that you didn't have to feel like you needed to defend your privacy and property. There is no investigation into your software or programs. Matter of fact, I won't even need to look at the computer if you already know the information. You could just email me this if you are sure you know what that information is. Please do not become alarmed because we want to know this information. We would just like to know certain bits of information that can be gathered from knowing the inventory on campus. (For example, knowing what kind of OS is perferable amongst students.) Thank you for your time and those of you who were not worried at all and took the email at facevalue I am sorry to flood your inbox with emails. I hope you all have a good day.

*
You know, if you don't treat us like we're ignorant, maybe we can Google 'operating system' and figure out what the damn thing is. Honestly, with a CS person for a boyfriend, I hear enough about operating systems to make my head go asplode, and I love every minute of it. I can still tell you what I'm running on, though.

Must...resist...urge...to...hit...forward.

*makes mini-poll to do over next few days*

I still say SurveyMonkey would be easier.