Got spam? Make your school records private

By David Cohen U-WIRE

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Public records laws may add to the University of Florida’s spam woes, but the University’s dilemma isn’t unique.

State and federal laws require any public university in Florida to release its students’ contact information, which can include e-mail addresses, if requested.

About 80 percent of e-mail received at UF is spam. That overwhelming majority is on par with other major universities.

At the University of Georgia, about 75 percent of e-mail received is seen as unwanted, which spam blockers try to delete.

UGA administrators agree that Georgia’s open records law may contribute to the spam count.

UGA Open Records Manager Bob Taylor said the University gives out student and faculty information on a compact disc – purchasable by anyone for $100.

UF, on the other hand, tells anyone who wants a comprehensive list to go to its online directory.

Federal law says university students can make their “directory information” – including name, phone number, address and e-mail address – private.

Taylor said he sometimes disagrees with the accessibility of student information.