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OSU to use employee and student location data for contact tracing

  • Updated
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Horse statues outside the Student Union on Friday, May 1, 2020.

According to Oklahoma State University’s reopening plan, student and employee location data will be kept by the university for up to 30 days to aid in contact tracing efforts.

The reopening plan was announced on June 4, 2020, and is publicly available online.

“Leveraging existing campus technology, OSU has developed analytics to identify employee and student movement across the OSU campus via WiFi access points,” the website reads.

In addition to using data from WiFi access points, the plan also specifies class schedules, ID card transactions, and housing and office assignments as data that will be leveraged to aid in contact tracing.

Also of importance is the data that will not be stored. According to the university’s website, no content data is, or will be collected from individual devices. The plan limits the distribution of this location data to University Health Services.

“This location data will be held in extreme confidence and shared only with leadership of University Health Services (UHS) when cases arise for which location information is useful,” the website reads.

According to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Stillwater had 61 active COVID-19 cases as of August 7. The same data reports a cumulative total of 569 known cases and 3 deaths in Stillwater so far.

The O’Colly will continue to look into this policy and surrounding issues, and this story will be updated as more information becomes available.