Say hello to Dropbox

Dropbox cloud storage

Information and Technology Services (ITS) recently announced an agreement to offer Dropbox, a cloud file storage option that provides automatic back-up and is readily accessible from any device, to all faculty, staff and students on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses as well as Michigan Medicine.

U-M’s agreement with Dropbox includes a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which means you may use it to maintain Protected Health Information (PHI) regulated by HIPAA. HIPAA compliance is a shared responsibility. You are expected to comply with HIPAA requirements in your use of Dropbox at U-M. For details and a list of sensitive data types permitted for use with Dropbox, see Sensitive Data Guide: Dropbox at U-M.

Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, announced that “In response to increased interest by the U-M community, ITS has responded with a campus-wide service agreement, making Dropbox at U-M an official, supported service at the University of Michigan. 

Faculty, students, and staff can visit Getting Started with Dropbox at U-M to gain access to the tool immediately. You can also find training opportunities, FAQs, and information for individuals who have already created personal Dropbox accounts. 

Our teams are taking an iterative approach to this announcement. In this initial phase, ITS will be offering only individual Dropbox accounts, which include 5 terabytes for data storage. This will cover close to 100 percent (to be exact 99.97 percent) of the storage needs of our current users when compared with what is stored in Box at U-M. In the second phase, we’ll integrate Dropbox with our MCommunity groups so that one can quickly share files and folders with colleagues across U-M.

U-M faculty, staff and students already using Dropbox can visit the website to get information on how to convert their personal Dropbox account to the U-M instance and how paid accounts will be refunded. 

Like other UM-provided services, Dropbox will be easy to access via single sign-on and secured by Duo two-factor authentication. Dropbox should be used for collaborative data storage, and should not be used for long-term data archival use or to back up other systems or services.

Dropbox at U-M will eventually replace Box as the university’s primary storage service, but not for some time. Box users do not need to take any action at this time. 

“We anticipate at least a year until we make this change, and we will be working with all appropriate stakeholders to provide plenty of time and support for migration of data” said Pendse.