Office of Information Technology
Effective Date August 15, 2013
All OIT Policies

Voicemail Policy


The purpose of this policy is to promote the appropriate, effective and safe use of Brown’s voicemail system.

All members of the Brown community, including staff, faculty, students, affiliates, volunteers, and third party vendors or contractors shall comply with this policy.

The Acceptable Use Policy serves as the foundation for this policy and addresses issues related to privacy and disclosure.

3.1 Permissible Uses of Voicemail

The University provides voicemail messaging to its faculty, students and staff for educational, research, and internal business purposes. Members of Brown’s community should limit their use of the system to these purposes. The rules governing the use of Voicemail are consistent with the University’s other policies regarding computing facilities and disclosure of information. In particular, this includes the University’s policies on acceptable use, ethical conduct, and the handling of restricted, confidential or sensitive information.

3.2 Confidentiality of Voicemail

Although every effort is made to safeguard the voicemail system, Brown cannot guarantee the confidentiality or privacy of voicemail messages and makes no promises regarding their security. Decisions as to what information to include in such messages should be made with this in mind. The University reserves the right to conduct routine maintenance, track problems, and maintain the integrity of its systems. As is the case with all data kept on the University’s voicemail system, the content of voicemail messages may be revealed by such activities.

3.3 Monitoring/Management

Brown does not monitor the contents of voicemail messages as a routine matter. However, such monitoring may be conducted when required to protect the integrity of the system or to comply with legal obligations. Individuals planning a sabbatical or having other special needs may make arrangements for extended message storage. Voice mail system users who fail to manage the messages in their voicemail boxes in an appropriate manner may have those privileges suspended.

3.4 Emergency Access

Brown reserves the right to inspect the contents of voicemail messages in the course of an investigation triggered by indications of impropriety or as necessary to locate substantive information that is not more readily available by some other less intrusive means. Brown will comply with all legal requirements for access to such information.

  • Three personal greeting(s) are allowed:& Extended absence, do not answer and busy.
  • Maximum length of greetings is sixty (60) seconds long.
  • Maximum voicemail box storage capacity is up to thirty-six (36) minutes.
  • Maximum voicemail message length is two minutes.

Brown has implemented a Unified messaging system, allowing the retrieval and notification of voicemail messages in a variety of formats, including direct from the voicemail system, outcalling to another device, SMS text message to a mobile device and email with a .wav file attachment.

Because voicemail is now available in multiple formats, and can be stored and read in multiple locations, the Brown community must be aware of the following policy for the protection of voicemail contents:

  • Voice mail, like all electronic communications, are discoverable for legal and investigative purposes. All access to voicemail will fall under the Emergency Access to Accounts and Information Policy.
  • Due to regulations concerning personal information, Personally Identifiable Information ("PII"), and in particular electronic personal health information ("ePHI") should never be left on a voicemail message that has the ability to be forwarded to a mobile device or email account.
  • Voicemail to email forwarding can be disabled by the individual user via user preferences page or by the Telecommunications Group by request.

Questions or comments to:

Last Reviewed Date: February, 2015