Privacy and Access Office

Working Remotely and Securely

Welcome to the Privacy and Access Office website. This website has been designed as a resource to provide general information regarding Access to Information, Protection of Privacy, and Records Management. We hope you find these pages useful. Please feel free to send in your comments for suggested improvements to these webpages.

The Privacy and Access Office will guide the University in implementing best practices within the areas of its responsibilities.


Information for employees - online FIPPA course

TRU employees and service providers are encouraged to work through the Privacy and Access to Information learning tool that can be accessed at Freedom Of Information and Protection of Privacy Course.  There are two modules, and it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete both.

You may contact the Privacy Office at 250-828-5012, privacy@tru.ca or by post to 805 TRU Way, Kamloops, BC, V2C 0C8.

Read TRU's current Privacy Statement


Annual reports

2017 Annual Report of the Privacy and Access Office (55 KB)


FAQ for faculty on recording lectures

TRU is a public body under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). There are thus requirements any time we collect/record information about an identifiable individual. TRU strives to follow all applicable laws, including FIPPA. The following FAQs are intended to assist faculty members in ensuring we respect and protect the privacy rights of our students.

Are there privacy law issues associated with a faculty member recording a lecture or discussion period?

Under FIPPA, the recording of the class or lecture is permitted subject to comments (below) about giving students notice. However, the later use of that recording must respect the privacy rights of all those in the class or discussion period.

What are the basic privacy rights my students have?

Under FIPPA TRU cannot disclose “personal information” about students without their written consent. This includes disclosing personal information about one student in a class to another student in the same class. Personal information is defined to be recorded information about an identifiable individual. Recorded information includes photographs, videos and audio recordings where students are identifiable.

When do I need consent to record my lecture?

You don’t need consent to record, but you will need consent to disclose the recording if it contains information about identifiable students. Making the recording available to students constitutes disclosure under FIPPA. Thus, you need consent from all students who are identifiable in the recording before you can share it with other students.

If my recording does not contain information about identifiable students, can I share it freely?

Yes (at least there are no privacy law reasons why you cannot share it freely).

If I edit a recording of a lecture or discussion period to eliminate information about identifiable students can I then use the recording freely?

Yes (at least there are no privacy law reasons why you cannot share it freely).

If I wish to be able to use a recording that includes information about identifiable students, how should I obtain their consent?

The consent must be in writing (which can include a “click-through”) from the student. Such consent can be obtained before or after the lecture or discussion period is recorded, but must be obtained before the recording is shared with others (including the class).

What does “identifiable” mean?

It means that a person could be identified by another (including a classmate) based on any information about them, including their appearance, their voice, or even the nature/substance of their comment or question they ask.

Can I post a notice stating that by participating, the student consents to the sharing of the personal information about them that is on the recording?

No. Under FIPPA, consent must be in writing (which includes a “click-through”) to be valid. This means that posting a notice will not count as valid consent.

Can I have students sign a consent form at the beginning of semester that will cover all lectures?

Yes. To be valid, consent must be in writing. Under FIPPA, a written consent must include: (i) to whom the personal information may be disclosed; and (ii) the purposes for the disclosure. It would be adequate for a consent to indicate, for example, that the recording would be posted on Moodle for the course and, if it will be used in future semesters, a statement to that effect. The consent should be dated.

What if a student doesn’t consent to their personal information being disclosed?

If a student does not consent to the disclosure of their personal information, you cannot share that information with others, including classmates. This may mean that you will need to edit the recording to remove their personal information. The Privacy Office cannot comment on whether you could decline to allow the student to take the course.

What if participation is mandatory/graded for this class and students don’t consent?

This depends on: (i) whether you intend to share the recording with others and; (ii) whether the information recorded is about the student who declined to consent, and that student could be identified in that recording. If both of these conditions are met, you will not be able to share the recording without first removing the personal information about the student from the recording.

Are there other steps I must take pursuant to privacy law before I record a lecture or discussion period?

If you expect to record information about identifiable students, you must notify them of that before the recording commences. Such notice must state:

  • The purpose for the recording (a short explanation of the reason the lecture is being recorded, e.g. “This lecture is being recorded to allow people who cannot attend to access the lecture.”)
  • The “legal authority” to make the recording.
    • Faculty members may cite “section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act” which states that TRU may collect personal information that relates directly to, and is necessary for, a program or activity of TRU.
  • The title, business address and business telephone number of an officer or employee of TRU who can answer the individual’s questions about the collection of their personal information. Such a notice can be given at the beginning of a semester for the whole semester. Faculty may use: Privacy and Access Officer, 805 TRU Way, Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8, Cell: 778-694-2424.

Note: While beyond the scope of this FAQ, faculty members should be aware of copyright issues when recording lectures, as students may have a copyright in statements made during lectures or discussion periods.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Marina Sparks at privacy@tru.ca.

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