DFA Actions re. TALX
Recent actions by the campus to provide your personal tax information to a private company without your consent have raised concern that has resulted in some attempts by our Administration to mollify the faculty. The Board of the DFA believes that larger questions of privacy are involved. Consequently, the Chair of the DFA wrote to Judy Boyette, Vice President of Human Resources at UCOP about this issue.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Ian Kennedy
Date: February 7, 2007
To: Judy Boyette @ UCOP
Subject: Inquiry from the Davis Faculty Association re TALX
Dear Judy: Our recent meeting with you and your associates at Oakland was very informative and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us.
I have some questions that you might be able to help us with, or perhaps you could forward this to the most appropriate person at HR.
The recent action by the Davis campus to transfer employees financial information (W2 forms) to a private company (TALX) by default, without the opt-in provision that should be required for this action, has generated considerable concern. The faculty that we represent are alarmed at the prospect of compromised privacy and the potential for personal information such as SSN to be transmitted beyond TALX to other unknown entities without our express permission. Because similar actions have apparently taken place on other campuses, this seems to reflect a general UC policy to outsource handling of financial data. Hence, the Davis Faculty Association has addressed this inquiry to your attention. We have several specific questions for you or an associate who can help us:
Do the draft successor policies to the Records Management & Privacy series of Business & Finance Bulletins: RMP-7 (Privacy and Access to Information Responsibilities), RMP-8 (Legal Requirements on Privacy of and Access to Information), and RMP-12 Guidelines for Assuring Privacy of Personal Information in Mailing Lists and Telephone Directories) change in any way the protections afforded to UC employees under the California Information Protection Act?
What is the nature of the financial arrangement between TALX and the University?
What campuses are participating with TALX, and for how long? Are they using an opt-in, or opt-out arrangement?
The privacy statement with TALX says that they will not release our information further unless UC allows them to. Under what circumstances will UC give them that permission?
Does TALX outsource any of its operations either within the US or overseas? And if so, what is to prevent it from transmitting our information to third parties without our consent?
Is the UC contract with TALX available for perusal by our members?
Given the level of concern at Davis that this action has generated, we would appreciate a response within the next week if possible so that we can inform our members of developments. Some changes have already been implemented by our local administration and our Davis senate has voted to ask that the TALX initiative be rescinded and records expunged. While constructive, these changes do not allay the concerns that are expressed in the questions listed above, especially regarding the general issue of individual acquiescence in the transfer of personal information.
In anticipation, thank you for your help.
Chair, Davis Faculty Association
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