© Uni MS IT

Terms of Use for the Chat Service "Mattermost

Date: 13.06.2024
Note: These terms of use apply at Münster University in addition to the Conditions of Use of Mattermost Inc..

1. General

The "Mattermost" chat system is used for direct communication between two or more people within Münster University. Every member of the university can register for the service and establish 1-to-1 communication with all registered participants, as well as independently create teams or open their own channels to which participants can be invited as desired. Teams and also channels can be private or public within Münster University, as required. Advanced features - such as integration into other IT services or automation with chat bots - are possible, but may be subject to restrictions or are only permitted to a limited number of people or can be activated on request.

Mattermost is usually accessed via a web browser or a Mattermost client app. All communication data is stored on the server side, web browser and client app are only used to access the communication stored there. Participants have full control over the communications stored there and can edit or remove them.

2. Terms of Use

User Group
The service is open to all members of the Münster University who have a regular user account. It may only be used for purposes directly related to work, research or study at Münster University. Every Mattermost user is responsible for his Mattermost account, his teams, if applicable, and the communication stored there. In case of misuse, individual messages can be edited or removed by team or system administrators, participation in teams or channels can be restricted, or the entire account can be administratively blocked or deactivated.

Conditions of Participation
In order to participate in Mattermost, a valid user account assigned by CIT is sufficient. Logging on to the system is done with an Münster University ID and password. 

3. Data Management

All communication data is stored on the server and kept available for viewing. When accessed via web browser or client app, no data is stored locally at the user's location. However, the participant has the possibility to change or delete the chat messages on the server via browser and app.

As soon as chat messages are sent to the Mattermost chat system, they are considered published.

All message threads, both in 1-to-1 communication, but especially those in chat channels (with potentially several participants), are stored and archived for an unlimited period of time for the time being. However, deletion of messages after certain periods of time may be necessary for technical reasons. Therefore no long-term availability of chat histories is guaranteed.

Data Backup
The databases belonging to the chat system are backed up daily.

Since a chat message always involves at least two people and the Mattermost chat system stores all communication in one central location only, a chat message cannot easily be deprovisioned or deleted as this would have a disruptive effect on the conversations being held.

If a member leaves Münster University, the Mattermost account is only deactivated and personal data is only partially removed. Account name, display name and the associated chat messages are retained. Only if none of the participant's chat messages can be accessed by other communication partners, i.e. if deletion no longer destroys active communication lines, the account and its associated data will be removed from the system.

If a participant has the explicit wish to have his data removed from the chat system when he leaves Münster University, this is possible. However, it should be noted that communication lines which may still be needed will be destroyed and rendered unusable. It may be necessary to consider whether there are any official concerns about maintaining these lines of communication.

If the amount of data (also per team or per channel) should affect the operation or performance of the service in the future, we reserve the right to intervene administratively and, if necessary, set appropriate limits, such as limiting the maximum number of messages per channel or deleting old messages after a certain period of time.