Protection of Privacy
- Disclosure of Personal Information to the BC University Student Outcomes Project
- Disclosure of Personal Information to Student Societies
- Photography on Campus
- Notification of Disclosure of Personal Information to Statistics Canada
- Turnitin: Collection of Personal Information and Protection of Privacy Advisory
- Learning Management System Canvas@SFU
- Microsoft 365: Disclosure of Student Contact Information Advisory
Simon Fraser University collects and retains student and alumni personal information under the authority of the University Act [R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468, s. 27(4)(a)]. The information is related directly to and needed by the University for the purposes of admission, enrollment, graduation and other activities related to its programs, being a member of the Simon Fraser University community and attending a public post-secondary institution in the Province of British Columbia.
The information will be used to admit, enrol and graduate students, record academic achievement, issue library cards and transit passes and administer and operate academic, athletic, recreational, residences, alumni and other University programs.
Information on admission, enrollment and academic achievement may also be disclosed and used for statistical and research purposes by the University, other post-secondary educational institutions and the provincial government.
Disclosure of Personal Information to the BC University Student Outcomes Project
Each year, the BC University Student Outcomes Project gathers student outcomes information from graduates of BC’s universities in collaboration with The University Presidents Council (TUPC) and the Ministry of Advanced Education. Each BC university provides to the University Student Outcomes Project student identification information (student's name, student ID number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics and academic program information. The information is used by the project to contact BC university graduates to conduct voluntary telephone surveys two and five years after graduation.
Survey participants are asked to report their level of program satisfaction, degree of skill development, education financing and debt load, participation in further education, and employment outcomes. The information gathered by the survey is summarized in aggregate form without identifying individual students. The data is used to meet the demand for university accountability at the system level in BC; to gather timely and relevant data for use in program evaluation and planning processes; and to ensure that new, continuing and prospective students are provided with information they can use to help them make informed career decisions.
Personal information provided for admission and enrollment and any other information placed into the student record will be collected, protected, used, disclosed and retained in compliance with British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165).
In addition to collecting personal information for its own purposes, the University collects specific and limited personal information on behalf of the Simon Fraser Student Society and the Graduate Student Society. The societies use this information for the purpose of membership administration, elections, annual general meetings, special general meetings and its health plans. The University discloses the personal information to the student society only for those purposes. Please contact the student society general office if you have any questions about its collection, use and disclosure of the information.
If you have any questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information by the University, please contact the Registrar, MBC 3300, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6; 778.782.3111.
From time to time students, staff, faculty and guests at Simon Fraser University may be photographed in non-public areas (i.e. classrooms, private offices, in studio, meeting rooms, etc.) by University photographers. In this notice ‘photography’ includes still, video and film photography. The University has the authority under the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468, s. 27(4)(a)), to collect personal information in the form of photographs. Such photographs are related directly to and needed by the University for educational, recruitment and promotional purposes. The photographs may be used and disclosed at the University’s discretion and included in the University Calendar, websites, newsletters, bulletins, brochures, advertisements, annual reports, supplements, displays, reports and other publications including off-campus news media. In addition, the photograph may be placed in the University’s Image Library which is a collection of photographs available for sale (http://www.sfu.ca/image-library/index.html). If you do not wish to be photographed in a non-public area, please inform the photographer before he/she begins taking photographs. If you allow yourself to be photographed in a non-public area you are giving the University your consent regarding its collection, use and disclosure of the photograph.
The above notice does not apply to individuals photographed in open, public areas where there is no expectation of privacy (i.e. Convocation Mall, cafeterias, public walkways, concourses, etc.). Photographs taken in public areas may be used and disclosed at the University’s discretion.
If you have any questions about photography on campus or the University’s collection, use and disclosure of photographs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education.
It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrollment demand at postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand 'outcomes'. In order to conduct such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada student identification information (student's name, student ID number, Social Insurance Number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, and enrollment information.
The federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes only, and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.
Students may contact Statistics Canada via e-mail if they have any questions:
It is with the goodwill and collaboration of postsecondary institutions that we will reach our goal of providing reliable postsecondary education information required to plan for our future.
Some instructors at Simon Fraser University use Turnitin.com in their courses as a tool to help detect possible plagiarized academic assignments. Enrollment in a course that requires use of Turnitin.com means you give your consent for the University to collect and use limited and specific personal information about you through its service provider Turnitin.com. Notice of an instructor’s intent to use Turnitin.com must be given in the course outline.
The information is collected and used by SFU for plagiarism detection purposes. University instructors using the service receive “originality reports” from Turnitin.com which rate the overall originality of academic assignments that you submit to Turnitin.com. This information relates directly to and is needed by the University to help verify academic honesty and protect the integrity of SFU’s academic programs and the credentials awarded to graduates. Your personal information in originality reports is collected under the authority of the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 468, s. 27(4)(a)) and University Policy S10.01 – Code of Academic Integrity and Good Conduct.
If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information by the University, please contact the Associate Vice-President, Academic’s office at 778-782-4636.
SFU advises that students provide only the minimum personal information required to use the Turnitin service. Do not provide the personal information that Turnitin.com may designate as optional unless you wish to do so. The minimum personal information required is:
- first and last name
- email address
- country of origin
- user type (ie, student)
- course ID number and password (provided by course instructor)
- user password
- secret question and answer
Students may, if they prefer, use a pseudo name associated with an e-mail address created expressly and solely for interacting with Turnitin.com, in order to remain anonymous. A student who chooses this approach is responsible for ensuring the instructor is informed and able to match up the pseudo name with the student’s real name.
Before uploading your assignment to Turnitin.com, remove any personal identifiers from the assignment (ie, your name and student ID number on a title page, etc.). Please be advised that Turnitin.com uses the information it collects for its own internal business and statistical purposes. Also be advised that Turnitin.com is an American company with head offices in California. Turnitin.com and the personal information it retains on its servers located in the USA are subject to American state and federal law. When registering with Turnitin.com read the Privacy Pledge, Terms of Service and the Canadian Legal Document on the Turnitin.com website.
If you have any questions about Turnitin.com’s use and disclosure of the information or Turnitin.com’s privacy protection measures, please contact Turnitin.com directly. Contact information is available on the Turnitin.com website.
Last updated November 27, 2014
Privacy Protection Notice
Protection of privacy rights and responsibilities at SFU is administered according to the provisions of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) and the University’s Information Policies, published in its Policy Gazette.
SFU must comply with protection of privacy requirements under the Act, which specifies when and how the University, its employees, service providers and volunteers are permitted to collect, access, use, disclose, store and retain personal information.
By using the learning management system, you acknowledge that you read, understand and agree to the notifications and policies that are displayed or linked to on this page.
1. Why and how does SFU collect your personal information using Canvas?
The personal information obtained through Canvas@SFU, the University’s learning management system, and external learning tools, is collected under the general authority of the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468). It is related directly to and needed by the University to operate its academic programs and provide instruction. The information will be used for teaching, learning, assessing student academic performance and assigning grades. If students have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact the instructor for your course. If employees have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact the head of your department.
IT Services integrate learning tools within Canvas@SFU at the full system level that collect and store student and instructor personal data at SFU, inside Canada or outside Canada (e.g. Google Docs) only when the tool passes the External Learning Tool Privacy Assessment Checklist.
Instructors and the Centre for Online and Distance Education use external learning tools that may or may not be integrated with their Canvas@SFU courses, which collect and store student and instructor personal data at SFU, inside Canada or outside Canada only when the tool passes the External Learning Tool Privacy Assessment Checklist.
Students are not permitted to integrate external learning tools within their Canvas@SFU courses.
2. Are you permitted to access personal information when using Canvas outside Canada?
Authorized end users (i.e., instructors, students and administrators) can access the personal information within Canvas@SFU worldwide over the Internet.
SFU employees: Disclosure to you outside Canada is authorized only if necessary to perform employment duties when you are temporarily travelling outside Canada. In all other situations, access must be in Canada only.
Students: By voluntarily accessing the learning management system from outside Canada, you are deemed to give SFU your consent to disclose your personal information to you when outside Canada.
3. Where is personal information disclosed and stored when using Canvas?
The Act establishes protection of privacy rules with which the University and its employees must comply as well as the companies we retain under contract to handle personal information on our behalf.
Personal information is to be stored and accessed only in Canada unless students and instructors know and give prior written permission to disclose and store their personal data outside Canada.
Personal information may be disclosed and stored elsewhere inside Canada by a supplier of educational technology and services only when: 1) SFU, through Procurement Services, retains the service provider under a contract that includes the University’s protection of privacy agreement (also referred to as a Privacy Protection Schedule) or 2) students and instructors know and give prior written permission.
3.1. Where is Canvas@SFU data stored?
Student and instructor personal information is communicated using encrypted network transmission when users connect to the learning management system over the University’s information technology network. Personal data is stored on SFU servers located at the Burnaby campus except when using External Learning Tools (also referred to as external apps) that collect and store the data on servers controlled by the company supplying the educational technology and services.
3.2. When may an instructor use an external app in a course (including those listed in the Canvas App Centre)?
Many external learning tools collect, use and disclose student and instructor personal information. An instructor may use an external app that is privacy compliant. Before using any external app, instructors must contact email@example.com. The Learning Technology Specialists in the Teaching and Learning Centre help the instructor complete the required privacy assessment using an External Learning Tool Privacy Assessment Checklist. The Checklist confirms if an app complies with protection of privacy requirements.
Instructors may use a supplier of educational technology and services when the app passes the External Learning Tool Privacy Assessment Checklist. If the tool fails the Checklist, the Learning Technology Specialists in the Teaching and Learning Centre helps assess and advise instructors on possible solutions.
SFU is only permitted to disclose and store personal information elsewhere, inside or outside Canada, under specific and limited circumstances prescribed by law. Some apps disclose and store personal information with the service provider supplying the external learning tool. In this situation, student and instructor personal information is not in University custody but is under SFU’s control and remains our responsibility with respect to privacy compliance.
Note that a SFU employee with access to personal information in the custody or control of SFU may only disclose that information as authorized by law. Disclosing and storing personal information elsewhere, inside or outside Canada, using an external app that is not privacy compliant or without students’ consent is an unauthorized disclosure and a privacy protection offence. Employees and SFU are liable to investigation and possible fines for such an offence.
3.3. When may an instructor integrate and use Google Docs in a course?
Google Docs is a collaboration tool that allows one to create and share documents with other people. When an instructor uses Google Docs as a teaching and learning tool in a SFU course, the University collects, uses and discloses students’ personal information for an academic program. SFU is required by law to store and access personal information only in Canada.
Google processes personal information on its servers in many countries around the world. Consequently, students’ and the instructor’s personal information may be disclosed and stored on a server located outside Canada. Therefore, before using Google Docs, the instructor must obtain students’ consent in the manner prescribed by law. Students’ consent must be given voluntarily.
Instructors must contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Learning Technology Specialists in the Teaching and Learning Centre help the instructor with the consent procedure.
Note that a SFU employee with access to personal information in the control of SFU may only disclose that information as authorized by law. Disclosing and storing personal information outside Canada using Google Docs without students’ consent is an unauthorized disclosure and a privacy protection offence. Employees and SFU are liable to investigation and possible fines for such an offence.
3.4. When may a student use Google Docs for a course?
Google Docs is a collaboration tool that allows one to create and share documents with other people. SFU makes it available in SFU Canvas for your personal convenience and use. Before using Google Docs, understand the personal privacy implications for yourself as well as your responsibilities to other persons and their information.
Google Docs’ computer servers are not located in Canada. You understand that by using this tool you are disclosing and storing your personal information in another jurisdiction. Your use is voluntary and at your sole discretion. You should not disclose another person’s information without their prior permission. When you use this service, no personal information about you is collected by or for SFU except when an instructor makes using Google Docs a course requirement and she or he obtains your prior written permission. Canadian privacy laws do not apply to personal information you choose to provide directly to Google Docs. You should review Google Docs’ “Terms of Service” and “Privacy” policies before using the service.
3.5. Where is personal information disclosed/stored when you use your social media identity with Canvas?
The University is permitted and exercises its right under Part 3 of the Act to disclose the personal data obtained about students and instructors, who voluntarily use a social media identity and choose to use social media to be notified about events in a course. In this situation, your personal data is disclosed to the social media service provider (e.g., Facebook) and is stored wherever that service provider locates its storage servers.
3.6. Where is personal information disclosed/stored when you opt to use the Canvas mobile app?
Students may choose to submit assignments using the file upload feature in the Canvas mobile app.
The Canvas mobile app is configured to use the file-sharing feature on iPhone and Android devices. The help pages within the Canvas mobile app uses Google Drive and Dropbox as the examples for file sharing. However, every mobile app that supports sharing files is compatible, including email, web browser, instant messaging, photo and other file viewing apps.
Students may upload their assignments using alternative methods or storage services located inside Canada.
Alternative methods include: 1) using a mobile app that stores the files directly on the device or on a storage service located inside Canada, 2) using a desktop or notebook computer to connect directly to the canvas.sfu.ca website and 3) instructors giving students the option to hand in a physical copy of their assignment.
4. How can you protect your personal information when using a mobile digital device to access Canvas?
Students and instructors may voluntarily access the learning management system using the Canvas mobile app on a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet. Student and instructor personal information is encrypted when communicating between your mobile digital device and Canvas@SFU over Internet or cell phone service provider networks.
Before using the Canvas mobile app, users are reminded to: 1) secure their cell phone or tablet using a PIN, 2) protect and not disclose their PIN and login password and 3) if you lose your mobile device, immediately delete the device’s authentication token from your Canvas@SFU webpage account.
As an SFU student you are eligible for access to Microsoft 365 services. The following notice applies to all Microsoft 365 services offered by SFU.
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based service that includes communication and collaboration tools such as persistent chat, file storage, video conferencing capabilities, productivity apps and much more.
Disclosure of personal information to vendors, systems or services storing or accessing that information outside of Canada without consent is restricted by s.30.1 of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). SFU students are required to provide their consent to disclose their student contact information for the purpose of enabling the student to access and be contacted on an electronic system. "Student contact information" may include your name, SFU computing ID, SFU email address, SFU affiliation, and device information, if used solely for the purpose of providing access to or use of an electronic system.
Enrollment at SFU means you give your consent for the University to disclose your student contact information to Microsoft as an SFU service provider. Specific notice will be given when you sign up for a Microsoft 365 service through SFU.
All user-created content (files, messages and site content) related to Microsoft 365 services is stored in Canada. However, your student contact information may be stored outside Canada in Microsoft’s global network. Microsoft employees and subcontractors will have access to this information for the purposes of operating the service. Complete information on Microsoft’s use, protection, and access to personal data can be found on their website:
Users logged into SFU's Microsoft 365 service will be able to search for and collaborate with you using your SFU email address. Other users will be able to see your name, SFU computing ID, and SFU email address.
If you wish to anonymize your identity, please visit this webpage for more information:
By using Microsoft 365 at SFU, your information is made available to SFU service administrators who are located in Canada and Microsoft service administrators who are located worldwide for the purpose of support and system administration.
For further information about this notice, please contact Eric Leung, Service Owner for Microsoft 365, at email@example.com.