Social media and project participation

Guidelines for students' conduct on their own social media in connection with project participation at Health

When you are involved in a project, you represent Aarhus University (AU) and the specific workplace. We expect you to act professionally while you are undertaking the project – and this also applies to your own social media.

Social media covers websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Messenger etc., where it sometimes appears to be difficult to distinguish between public and private, and where students sometimes find themselves in a grey area.

Be professional

When you are involved in a project, citizens see you as a professional just like everyone else who works there. AU and the host organisation expect you to behave professionally and communicate respectfully in connection with your project participation – both towards fellow students, colleagues, citizens and the workplace, and also to behave online as you would offline.

Please be aware that postings on social media can be shared, interpreted and forwarded in contexts that you may not have intended, and that you can risk making your host organisation look bad.

You have a duty of confidentiality

Communication about citizens may only take place in relation to the place of work or in classrooms where unauthorised persons are not allowed. Never on social media.

Please be aware that you also breach your duty of confidentiality even if you do not mention the name of the person concerned, because information about time and place may on its own be sufficient for the person to be identified. At the same time, you risk starting rumours about the wrong person, because those who read social media may connect the information with someone they know.

Do not disclose personally-attributable data on social media

You must not disclose citizens’ personally-attributable data on social media – neither in the form of images or written information. Personally-attributable data covers all types of information which makes it possible to identify a person such as e.g. a civil registration number, health data or photos of a recognisable person.

By law, you may use a photo of a person if the person in question has given their consent. The consent must be in writing because you must have documentation, and it can be withdrawn at any time.

In order to avoid situations where people withdraw their consent at a later stage and where your place of study is forced to track down (former) students, Health has decided that you as a student may not post any form of personally-attributable data on social media. Regardless of the form it takes, citizens' data may only be stored at the project location or educational institution.

AU has temporary guidelines that allow students to record video with their own telephone and use this for educational purposes. The recordings must not be stored on your own telephone and must not be communicated on social media.

Be aware of how you use images and videos on social media

There is a difference between you taking photos of people which make the information personally-attributable and using situational images in connection with public events.

You are allowed to take situational images at public events without obtaining consent. Group and portrait images in which individuals are in particular focus require consent. Read the Danish Data Protection Agency's rules on the use of images and videos (in Danish only).