New answers tagged

-2

Complain to the university. You're paying good money to attend classes, and it wouldn't be ethical for a professor to do something that'd negatively impact your ability to attend your other classes. There's probably a Student Ombudsman, a Dean of Students, or someone with a similar position employed by your university, who might be able to help you make a ...


3

Is it unethical? Yes. Is it worse than the alternative (usually canceling class)? Probably only slightly. Is it worth reporting? Only if it happens repeatedly.


2

In many countries (Germany being a well known example, and I know this is the case in the Netherlands as well) the use of the "Dr." title is protected by law. Using the title without having obtained the appropriate degree is an offense it these jurisdictions and can be prosecuted. In other jurisdictions it can be less spelled out, but generally it would ...


9

Obligatory disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. In Germany, using a Dr. title without having earned it is illegal, and it is punished with imprisonment up to one year or with a monetary fine (this is a link to the relevant law in German). The mechanism available to denounce this is to report the offending person to the police. ...


6

You never give away passwords or private keys. In Germany you cannot be forced by anyone to do so. Look in your contract. Is private use allowed? (email, surfing, etc). Then ask for a server, external drive and store the property of your institute. If not (computer may only be used for working purposes). Well then get your private stuff from the computer, ...


2

There are really two questions here: (1) Is the request ethical/fair? (2) Should you agree to the request? Unfortunately, these two can be quite independent, and we can only honestly answer the first. It is neither ethical nor fair, going by the information you've provided. Its safe to say that this would be a form of exploitation, even if it doesn't add to ...


4

Here is my understanding including the legal situation in Germany. IANAL, but I've had occasion to read up on such issues. First of all, Motivated by a longer absence of a (technical) coworker due to illness, the accessibility of data of the members of my institute has been discussed for such cases. This sounds to me as if your institute is right now in ...


6

This is hard to give good advice about without a lot of context. What is ethical and what is done (in some fields) don't necessarily match up well. In some fields, an advisor is often a co-author - even first author. If the other person has made no contribution to the paper then, ethically, the request is wrong. But you may need to accede to it just out of ...


2

Morally, how would I best act in this situation? Should I hand over a wrong (digital) private key Morally it is not okay to deliberately produce a fraudulent work My computer is owned by the institute, ... and I have completely installed and configured it to my liking. Then you're tech enough for this: Get a low cost cloud computer for your ...


1

It is not 1990's anymore and both Internet access and personal digital devices are not that much scarse. Back then, it was normal or even expected for an employer to allow some personal use of computers and internet access. And the Internet was a lot safer place, back then. Now, there is still some acceptance of this practice and even some expectation of ...


3

Talk to your works committee ("Betriebsrat"). They should know what you are legally obligated to and what not. And they are not the voice of your employer (the university) but the employees. Most of what you ask depends on the IT policy relevant to your institute. In general, if not prohibited by institute policies, you are allowed to have private data on ...


1

You are right to be concerned. Private keys are called private for a reason. The institute also has a legitimate concern, that they won't be able to access the data if you're unavailable. Problem is that when you hand over the key, someone will be able to impersonate you. You don't have to be especially important to be impersonated; if you have a credit ...


1

Since I am no lawyer or remotely active in that space, so I'll refrain from answering the first question. Then in general I am a huge advocate of honesty. It's your best bet, anytime, at least in the long term. Therefore I think that handing over a wrong key is waiting for a conflict to happen. And hiding a container might not even be necessary in the first ...


4

I have helped to manage the IT for an academic group for a while, and students or employees keeping research data only on their individual PCs was a very typical problem. It is important for the university and your PhD supervisor to ensure that they have the data that you produce. This is also a requirement for many grants that actually pay for the research, ...


6

I think you have one core misconception: The machine is a work machine, as such it is not your private encryption key, it is a custom encryption you applied to a company/institute machine. It's the institute's machine and primarily their data and their right to determine how you use that machine. They may allow private use and they may allow you encrypt ...


0

First of all, if IT is correctly managed, your private data may very well already be available because they are backed up. Then, the ability to have private data on your device is dependent on the local law. You can have the case where everything belongs to the company/school, up to the case where you have the right to have personal data and they are ...


3

1) You own only what is in your head. 2) The least secure place you can put things you move out of your head is to a place you do not own (your employer's, for example), followed by one you do own. 3) There are various ways (legal and/or ethical) of compelling you to move things out of your head and into the world, and of compelling you to move things ...


36

Morally, how would I best act in this situation? The moral thing to do is first of all to recalibrate your somewhat immature (in my opinion) attitude towards this question and stop trying to think about dishonest solutions like giving an incorrect password or undoing the system-wide encryption but hiding encrypted content on your system and not telling ...


26

In my field this would certainly be a no go. I work with human subjects and our IRB approval lists who has access to our data. These data management plans outline who, how, and where the data are stored and backed up. This means either encrypted files (typical) or encrypted drives/partitions. I have never seen a data management plan that would give IT ...


101

This seems like an X-Y problem. Why is important work data only kept on a computer on your desk, in the first place? I would expect it to be on a Git repository, or on the shared storage space of a workplace server. Once you fix this problem, the issue you mention becomes irrelevant: your data will not be lost if your disk suddenly becomes inaccessible. ...


52

I am going to (partially) disagree with some of the answers here. I think it really depends on who is asking for your key, and based on what policy. First of, I am more than confused by the many answers here assuring that the university has in general no business accessing information on the computer they provided you - the IT usage policy in all ...


8

In my experience, academic staff (including PhD students) are usually given great latitude about managing their own computer as long as they are able to take care of it themselves. It can be understood as an effect of academic freedom (in the sense that the researcher is free to use the tools they like), but on a more pragmatic level it also saves the ...


2

My computer is owned by the institute Well then, you have to follow the policies of the institute, whatever those might be. If you don't like those policies, then give them back their computer and do all of your work on your own personal device. Think about it from the institute's point of view. You are probably working on a research project that is ...


6

I do not understand why you want to have private data in a company computer. Your claim of not being able to separate professional from private is highly debatable. Only data that has something to do with the job and acquired according to the IT policy of your institute should be on your workspace computer. For other stuff such as music and private emails, ...


1

Since the computer belongs to the university, you will need to think in terms of the following limitations. Even if you bring your own laptop to work to do your private emailing, etc., many work places today, will not allow you to use their network for private matters. I am surprised to read you have configured your computer to your liking. As to why, ...


4

The institution's solution seems unworkable. It is well known that professional resources - e.g., equipment (including computers, photocopiers, and shredders) and the mail room (where personal items may be sent) - are used by employees. It is also well known that personal resources - e.g., equipment (including smartphones and texbooks) and home offices - ...


2

There is no harm in informing the hiring committee that your significant other is applying. Even better if you can do so informally (and it is better coming from you than from your partner). Most academics can relate to the plights of the 2-body problem, and resolving it for its employees benefits the department (e.g. it increases the chances of retaining ...


2

A non-Sweden-specific answer: A post-doctoral researcher is not a student. (That is, except in the sense that all researchers are "students" of the subjects they study.) Thus, what you're asking is: Can a post-doctoral researcher working under the supervision of another, senior researcher switch "bosses"? I believe this clarifies things somewhat, and ...


17

(I'm faculty at Chalmers University of Technology, a well-known private university in Gothenburg, Sweden) The pragmatic question (whether it's a good idea to change supervisors mid-flight) is covered well by posdef, I'll focus on the legal angle here. As you mention, PhD students have quite some rights in Sweden, but this is mostly because they are in a ...


5

Just to add a few things to posdef's great answer. I think it's worth mentioning that a PhD and a postdoc position are very different in terms of work dynamics with the "supervisor", and trying to compare the two is a bit questionable: The primary purpose of a PhD student position is to provide the student with specialized research training under the ...


8

TLDR: It will depend very heavily on the funding situation. A reasonable guess as to why there is a clear remark about the PhD students and not about the postdocs is that how postdocs are employed varies significantly. Without having any proof, I would guess that you can't change your mentor however you like if s/he is paying you. Because why would you ...


0

Almost everywhere the proper response to such a question would be "no comment." It is improper for a potential employer to comment on an applicant to anyone not part of the hiring process. So, I strongly recommend that you don't ask. It will probably be an embarrassment and might be seen as interference. Giving a recommendation, however, is a slightly ...


1

The grant has been awarded to you, so you are responsible for making decisions on how to allocate the funding. If a bad choice results in less success or output, this will reflect badly on you much more than it will on other grant participants. So if you do not consider that adding this person will positively contribute to the results, you should not add ...


11

It is fine. But you seem to have the misconception that education is about answers. It isn't. Instructors don't ask students to do problems because they need the answers. They (the instructors) can probably figure them out on their own. I hope so anyway. The exercises are to get the students to do the mental work that will reinforce anything in the class. ...


3

Some, most, many teachers don’t. I give the worked solutions to all of my problems after a week to give the students time to attempt them. Some solve them all and don’t need to check, others solve some and check some, others do none and look at the solutions, then think it is easy...


2

The law varies widely, but I doubt that there are many places that would have laws against this. But university regulations are a different matter. More, but not all, would have rules, usually to forbid it. It would be, in most of those cases, a violation of the VP, not the student, I think. But the situation can be fine, provided that the VP has no ...


1

This depends on the rules of the university in question (and maybe also on the laws of the country). I've seen universities where relationsships between professors and students are fine and some where they create huge problems. At the very least, one should consider that - like in every company - relations between a "high" and a "low" person (in terms of ...


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