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Disclaimer Web Standard

Standard

Purpose

Scope

Responsibilities

Definitions

Application of the standard

Disclaimers on the UTSWeb

Requirements by category of information


The Disclaimer Web Standard has been created to give effect to sections of the Publishing on the UTSWeb Policy that focus on disclaimers and the inclusion of links to external websites (see the Compliance section at right for links to the particular sections and to related Web Standards). The Publishing on the UTSWeb Policy should be consulted in full for a broader understanding of the conditions that regulate publishing on the UTSWeb.

Standard

Appropriate disclaimers must accompany all information published on the UTSWeb. Disclaimers on the UTSWeb must, as a minimum, address liability, currency and accuracy of information, and links to external information, and must provide contact details to which any concerns about published material may be addressed.

Disclaimers published with Category 4, 5 and 6 information must also include a statement to the effect that the views expressed in the information do not reflect the views of UTS.

Purpose

The purpose of the Disclaimer Web Standard is to ensure that:

  • all information published on the UTSWeb is accompanied by appropriate disclaimers
  • the risk to the University of publishing or hosting information on the World Wide Web is mitigated through the use of appropriate disclaimers
  • Owners of Information for different categories of information understand that it is their responsibility to publish their information with an appropriate disclaimer, and
  • Owners of Information understand when additional or alternative disclaimers should be used.

Scope

The Disclaimer Web Standard applies to all categories of information published on the UTSWeb.

Responsibilities

Owners of Information for all categories of information are responsible for ensuring that an appropriate disclaimer statement is provided for inclusion in the footer of their website.

Where a website has more than one Owner of Information, the person with overall responsibility for that website is responsible for devising or identifying the appropriate disclaimer (and sub-disclaimer, where relevant) to be used.

Owners of Information for Category 1, 2 or 3 information are also responsible for ensuring that an appropriate sub-disclaimer is included where required (see Requirements by category of information below for more information).

Authorising Officers are responsible for ensuring that all webpages they publish include a link in the footer to a disclaimer statement appropriate for that category of information. Authorising Officers must refer any concerns regarding the appropriateness of the disclaimer to the Owner of Information.

Definitions

The following definitions include those listed in the Publishing on the UTSWeb Policy, as well as additional definitions relevant to this web standard.

Authorising Officer refers to all persons who have delegated authority to publish pre-approved information on a webpage or website housed within the UTSWeb.

Categories of information refers to the Publishing on the UTSWeb Policy category system that enables a clear distinction to be made between different types of information to be published on the UTSWeb. The categories of information are:

  • Category 1 — Core UTS information refers to the official authoritative source of UTS information regarding the UTS Act, By-law, Rules, Policies and Directives, Delegations, legislative compliance, UTS Council and its committees, and courses and subjects.
  • Category 2 — UTS business information refers to all information relating to the official business of UTS's executive, divisions, units, faculties, institutes and centres.
  • Category 3 — UTS teaching and research information refers to all materials that have been recorded on the UTS Digital Resource Register, which UTS staff are authorised to use for teaching purposes.
  • Category 4 — UTS staff and student information refers to all information published on websites or webpages by UTS staff and students that relates to their role and /or area of teaching, research or study at UTS.
  • Category 5 — UTS controlled entities information refers to all information associated with the official business activities of UTS controlled entities that is published on websites of controlled UTS entities or within Category 2 information.
  • Category 6 — other organisations associated with UTS information refers to all information on any of the organisations that the University has agreed to host their websites or webpages on the UTSWeb.

Disclaimer refers to a legal statement which generally warns users of the potential risks associated with using the attached information, and states that the author of the disclaimer denies legal responsibility for any adverse consequence resulting resulting from the use of the information to which the disclaimer is attached. This is generally done as a measure of legal protection.

Information means the content of webpages; parts of webpages; files such as PDF, Excel and images; or any other files that can be downloaded or viewed from the UTSWeb.

Owners of Information refers to all persons who have delegated authority to both author and approve the content of information that is to be published on the UTSWeb.

Sub-disclaimer refers to a specific additional disclaimer or user agreement required for particular information on the UTSWeb that has been devised especially to suit the particular information that it covers. Sub-disclaimers must appear at the point where the information is first encountered or where a login or submission of data is required. An example of a sub-disclaimer in use on the UTSWeb is the "My Student Admin" User Agreement Declaration.

UTSWeb includes all websites that contain the domain name uts.edu.au, or other names as registered by UTS from time to time.

UTS Web Standards refers to the agreed standards that ensure the practices associated with the publication and management of information on the UTSWeb are undertaken in a consistent and standardised way to enable compliance with legal requirements and UTS policies. The standards will be used as a single reference point to check compliance.

Application of the standard

Before the standard can be applied, it is necessary to identify the category of information being published, and who occupies the roles of Authorising Officer and Owner of Information (see above for definitions).

Development of disclaimers for the UTSWeb

All webpages on the UTSWeb must be accompanied by an appropriate disclaimer. The disclaimer must mitigate the key risks associated with publishing information on the World Wide Web, such as those relating to the currency and accuracy of information, liabilities associated with the use of the information, and the risks associated with linking to external websites that contain information managed by others. This list of risks is not exhaustive, and sub-disclaimers should accompany information where particular, additional risks can be identified in relation to the information being published.

All disclaimers on the UTSWeb must specify a responsible party as a contact to whom concerns about information may be addressed.

Disclaimers on the UTSWeb must be appropriate to the category of information with which they are published. The UTSWeb disclaimer matrix below defines what type of disclaimers are required for different categories of information.

Requirements by category of information

Category of information Disclaimers required
UTS Disclaimer Additional sub-disclaimer for UTS e-business or e-learning services or online transactions Disclaimers by individuals or groups publishing Category 4 information Disclaimers by UTS controlled entities and other organisations publishing Category 5 or 6 information
Category 1 — core UTS information Must include a link to the UTS Disclaimer in footers Information that involves a UTS service or transaction must include an additional sub-disclaimer.
Category 2 — UTS business information Must include a link to the UTS Disclaimer in footers. Information regarding a UTS e-business service or transaction must include an additional sub-disclaimer. Examples include My Student Admin, CASS, and restricted-access websites such as the GSU business papers website.
Category 3 — UTS teaching and research information Must include a link to the UTS Disclaimer in footers. Information regarding a UTS e-learning service or requiring a user to log in must include an additional sub-disclaimer. An example is UTSOnline.
Category 4 — UTS staff and student information Staff and students publishing Category 4 information must include their own appropriate disclaimer or link to one in the footer of all webpages they publish. In addition to the statements required by the section on disclaimers above, a Category 4 information disclaimer must also include a statement that declares that the views expressed do not reflect the views of UTS.
Category 5 — UTS controlled entities information UTS controlled entities must include their own appropriate disclaimer or link to one in the footer of all webpages they publish. In addition to the statements required by the section on disclaimers above, a Category 5 information disclaimer must also include a statement declaring that the views expressed do not reflect the views of UTS.
Category 6 — Other organisations associated with UTS information Other organisations publishing Category 6 information must include their own appropriate disclaimer (or link to one) in the footer of all webpages they publish. In addition to the statements required by the section on disclaimers above, a Category 6 information disclaimer must also include a statement declaring that the views expressed do not reflect the views of UTS.

The specific requirements for each category of information are given below.

Category 1, 2 and 3 information

All webpages classified as Category 1, 2 or 3 information must incorporate a footer that includes a link to the UTS Disclaimer (http://www.uts.edu.au/disclaimer.html). The link must be labelled 'Disclaimer'. This Disclaimer covers the general risks associated with publishing UTS information on the World Wide Web under the regulated environment of the Publishing on the UTSWeb Policy.

If an additional sub-disclaimer is required for Category 1, 2 or 3 information (as specified in the table above), the sub-disclaimer must be tailored to mitigate the risks associated with the particular information it covers. This sub-disclaimer must be displayed at the point where the information is first encountered or where a login or submission of data is required. It can be written in the form of an additional disclaimer or as a user agreement. An example of a user agreement can be seen at "My Student Admin" User Agreement.

For assistance with devising an appropriate sub-disclaimer for Category 1, 2 or 3 information, contact the UTS Legal Office (telephone 9514 1286).

Category 4, 5 or 6 information

Disclaimers for webpages classified as Category 4, 5 or 6 information must be formulated to mitigate the key risks associated with publishing on the World Wide Web, and must include a statement declaring that the views expressed in the information are not the views of UTS.

Disclaimers for these categories of information must be included as a link in the footer. The label of the link must include the word 'disclaimer'.

Webpages classified as Category 4, 5 or 6 information are not permitted to link to the UTS Disclaimer.

UTS recommends that advice be sought from a suitably qualified person wherever there is any uncertainty as to whether the disclaimer will provide sufficient protection in the event of a legal claim against the owner of the information.