RRC Polytech privacy FAQ
This page provides important privacy information that applies to all staff and students using cloud‑based storage and other web‑based software and services. It is important that you read and understand all the information on this page before using any cloud‑based services.
Although there are a number of cloud‑storage services, OneDrive is the College’s preferred cloud‑storage platform because it provides the College with data management capabilities and stores your files in Canada. (You can access your free 1 TB OneDrive account through the Office 365 app in HUB.)
What is the cloud?
The cloud is a network of servers that allows you to store and access files and programs using the Internet rather than your computer’s hard drive. Cloud computing allows you to access your information from virtually anywhere there is an Internet connection and from practically any device. Operating in the cloud means that the College can implement web‑based software and services that are hosted online rather than in its own data centre.
Why is storing my files in Canada important?
Storing files in Canada means that only the provincial and federal laws of Canada apply to your files. It also means that the College can provide the expected protections described in the IT2 and G3 policies above.
By contrast, storing files in the U.S. means that the applicable U.S. state and federal laws apply to your files. The protections the College normally offers to staff and students (described in the IT2 and G3 policies above) will NOT apply in the United States.
What effect does the U.S. Patriot Act have on the privacy of my files?
No file is 100% secure, regardless of where it is stored. Canada has laws similar to the U.S. Patriot Act, and Canada has international agreements with the United States that allow the transmission of information about Canadians (including data) and people in Canada to American authorities. In other words, regardless of whether your files are stored on a local server in Winnipeg or in the cloud, Canadian and American authorities could potentially gain access to your files without your consent or knowledge.
When files are stored in Canada, however, you have the benefit of Canadian laws and courts to provide you with protections and enforce your rights in Canada. You would encounter a different situation when U.S. law applies as described above.
Where will my files be stored in the cloud?
The College currently uses the following cloud‑based services (click the links or see the headings below for more privacy information about each service):
Your files will be stored in the cloud, which means that they may pass through, or be stored in, any location in the world. Since Adobe, LinkedIn, and Microsoft are U.S. companies, however, the expectation is that your files will be stored in the United States. This means that your files will be subject to the search and monitoring provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act (should authorities decide to use them). Other U.S. state and federal laws also may apply.
Additionally, your files may travel through, or be stored in, other countries that may have different (and potentially less stringent) privacy laws than Canada or the United States.
Adobe Document Cloud
Red River College Polytechnic provides all staff (and students in specific Creative Arts programs) with access to the Adobe Document Cloud service as part of their Adobe CC subscription. Although you are welcome to use this service, OneDrive is the College’s preferred cloud‑storage platform because it provides the College with data management capabilities and stores your files in Canada. (You can access your free 1 TB OneDrive account through the Office 365 app in HUB.)
LinkedIn Learning (LiL) includes the option to connect your existing personal LinkedIn account. It is never mandatory to have a LinkedIn account as staff or student, nor is one necessary to access LiL. For more information regarding LinkedIn, and LiL please see our LinkedIn Learning FAQ.
Office 365 (OneDrive & Student Email)
Red River College Polytechnic provides students with Microsoft’s Office 365 for education, which includes OneDrive and student email. Files stored in the cloud and emails sent through any email provider are never 100% secure. The privacy of your emails can be compromised in many different ways, including the following: (1) if an email is unencrypted, it can be intercepted while en route to its intended recipients; (2) the recipients of your email may not store their emails in a secure manner; or (3) the recipients of your email can forward your email to others.
Before sending any email, you should consider whether the contents are confidential. Refer to the following guidelines to improve the security of your emails while using the student email system:
- Treat your email as confidential and never share your password with anyone.
- If you think your log on credentials have been compromised, immediately access the RRC Polytech Change your password page, and reset your password.
- Never assume that any email is private, and never send confidential, personal, or health‑related information using the student email system.
What if I do not want my files or emails stored in the cloud?
You are under no obligation to store your files in OneDrive or the Adobe Document Cloud and can choose an alternative storage location.
If you do not want to use Office 365 for your student email account, you must submit an IT support request using the ITS Service Desk webpage and request an on‑premise (on‑prem) mailbox for use while you are a student at Red River College Polytechnic. An on‑prem mailbox is fully functional and allows you to communicate with the College and your Instructors, but it will not have the same features or mailbox size limits as the Office 365 student email service.