Privacy and security



Depending on how you run your lectures and the steps students take to anonymize their identities, it is possible that student's personal information (e.g., name, image, voice, personal views and opinions, course work) may be captured in Zoom or classroom recordings. Use a collection notice so that your students are aware of the purpose for the collection of their personal information, the legal authority for the collection, and to whom they can direct questions about the collection. 

Lectures and labs may be recorded by instructors whether delivered in classrooms or virtually. As a result, Simon Fraser University may collect your image, voice, name, personal views and opinions, and course work under the legal authority of the University Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy. This information is related directly to and needed by the University to support student learning only (i.e., posting in the Learning Management System for students to review). If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact your instructor.

Best practice is to limit the amount of student personal information captured in a recording. In the case of display names, we recommend you inform your students to use first names or initials only or pseudonyms at your discretion. You should also inform your students that they have the option to anonymize themselves further by not using the audio and/or video function on their computers, and by not revealing any personal information about themselves or third parties during discussions (i.e., for classes with an interactive discussion component). We recommend giving students within the classroom setting the option to sit outside the camera view during interactive discussion recordings.

SFU’s Intellectual Property Policy (R30.03) restates the fact that students own the copyright in their work made as part of their course of studies at SFU. A recorded lecture that includes student responses, student presentations, or elements of student work will engage with the student’s copyright since their copyrighted work or performance is being copied (recorded). Therefore, students must be informed the lecture is being recorded and that their contributions are being copied and made available to all those in the class. This notification could be added to the collection notice above. 

Access and Use

Access to recorded lectures should be limited to the instructor, the TA(s), and the students enrolled in the course.

The recorded lectures should be used to support student learning only (i.e., posted in the Learning Management System for students to review). Do not use the recordings to retroactively assess student participation and assign grades. Instead, assess participation during live sessions or from your own note-taking. Relying on the recordings as a means to assess performance and assign grades triggers a 1 year retention period under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (s. 31). This means the University must keep the recordings for a minimum of one year so that students are given a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to them and file a grade appeal.

Recording lectures for students with perceptual disabilities is also allowed under s. 32 of the Copyright Act. Any lecture recording arrangements for students with perceptual disabilities should be done in conjunction with the Centre for Accessible Learning.


Do not disclose recorded lectures outside the University's Learning Management System. Posting or sharing the lecture outside the LMS may mean the personal information of your students may be disclosed to individuals who are not authorized to access this information.

Retention and Disposal

A recorded lecture containing substantial reproductions of third party copyrighted material will have to comply with s. 30.01, the Copyright Act provision concerning the reproduction of copyrighted works in e-learning. Substantial means reproduction that goes beyond SFU’s Fair Dealing Guidelines or that does not qualify for the Copyright Act’s educational exception for reproducing materials found on the Internet (s. 30.04). An example of substantial copying is playing a music track, or part of a film, in a lecture. When lecture recordings are of this nature, s. 30.01 of the Copyright Act states that all copies of the "lesson" (the recording in this case) must be destroyed within 30 days of when final grades are submitted.

Please note that recorded lectures should not be used retroactively to assess student participation and assign grades. This type of use triggers a 1 year retention period under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (s. 31), giving students a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to the recording and file a grade appeal. This retention obligation would then create a conflict with our retention and disposal obligations under the Copyright Act.


Only store recorded lectures in the University's Learning Management System which is hosted on premise. Do not keep a copy of the lecture on your work or personal computer and do not store a copy in a cloud-based service (e.g. Dropbox, Google Docs). Storage in a cloud-based service could result in the recording being disclosed to a foreign jurisdiction where BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act will not apply. Storage in a cloud-based service could also violate the e-learning provisions of s. 30.01 of the Copyright Act.

Questions about the privacy compliance can be sent to

Questions about the copyright implications of Zoom may be sent to