Digital Security

Teams often collect personal information as part of their recruitment and financial operation. It is important that teams abide by the relevant privacy standards as groups hosted within a public Canadian institution.

The following information has been sourced from the University Counsel Privacy Fact Sheet.

Public bodies in British Columbia, including UBC, are subject to restrictions on the storage or access to personal information from outside Canada. These restrictions, which are contained in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), require all personal information in UBC’s custody or control to be stored only in Canada and accessed only in Canada, with a few narrowly defined exceptions.

Many computing services are offered through the Internet, and may be hosted in the United States or other foreign jurisdictions. Using these services to collect, store, transmit or access personal information is a violation of the restrictions against storage or access outside Canada.

Here are some examples of commonly used cloud services, with Canadian-based alternatives:

Cloud ServicesCanadian Based Alternatives
DropboxMicrosoft Teams
Gmail, HotmailFASmail, Outlook
Survey MonkeyQualtrics
Google DocsMicrosoft Word and Excel

Student Teams that use non-Canadian services to host private information, including Student Emails and Student Numbers, are required to acquire student consent before doing so.


It is acceptable to store or access an individual’s personal information outside Canada if you have the consent of the individual. This consent must be in writing and must specify:

  • who may store or access the personal information;
  • if practicable, the jurisdiction in which the personal information may be stored or from which the personal information may be accessed; and
  • the purpose of the storage of or access to the personal information.

Since it may not be practical to secure written consent from every student, it is acceptable for teams to secure the consent as follows:

  • in the team documents, or in a written communication to the students, describe the cloud-based service and the information that it will be storing or accessing, and explain that if the students choose not to provide their consent to this storage or access, they must see the team lead to make alternate arrangements; and
  • make alternate arrangements for students who refuse to provide their consent, such as allowing them to sign in to the service using a false name and non-identifying email address.

Teams should note that the restriction on storing personal information on outside servers also applies to sponsors. “Personal information” is defined as “recorded information about an identifiable individual.” Work contact information is not considered personal information. However, student teams should still consider this information “sensitive,” because it is not always publicly posted and it is important to consider whether or not the individual would want their information made public (i.e. through a Freedom of Information request). Financial information, including sponsorship amounts, should also be considered sensitive.

Workspace 2.0 has been decommissioned. It was formerly a service alternative to Dropbox which has been discontinued after the full deployment of SharePoint and Teams for all UBC staff and students. Microsoft Teams is the recommended Canadian file-storage system. UBC provides 25.6 TB of storage through Teams to all teams who have a UBC-authorized workspace.

Additionally, teams are encouraged to use their official UBC FASmail as their team’s email accounts, rather than using Gmail or Hotmail. For more information and how to sign up, visit UBC IT.

For team-related merchandise, visit UBC Brand as a guide for your designs that involve any UBC branding. This includes your team’s logo, the usage of the UBC Crest, and so on.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Communication skills Pencil with speech cloud Chats Two speech clouds. Emotional Intelligence Left-side half heart and right-side half brain shape representation Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Leadership User icons presented as a pyramid hierarchy Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Networking Network of nodes Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Professionalism Hands shaking Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Teamwork Three user icons with overlap Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Eye A logo representing an eye Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.