Privacy & Recording Virtual Lectures

In light of the significant increase in the use of videoconference platforms to facilitate synchronous learning, many instructors have sought guidance relative to recording virtual lectures. Instructors considering recording synchronous videoconference-based lectures must consider the statutory obligations of the University of Guelph related to the collection of personal information. 

The University of Guelph is obligated to collect, use, disclose, store and dispose of personal information in accordance with Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Collection of Personal Information

Instructors who choose to record a virtual lecture may be capturing the personal information of students including names, images, opinions, and coursework. For this reason, instructors recording virtual lectures must provide students a collection notice clearly stipulating the purpose of the collection of their personal information, the legal authority for the collection, how the information may be used, and whom they can direct questions to about the collection. The following is a recommended template:

Notice of Collection
Lectures delivered via videoconferencing-based software (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Zoom) may be recorded by your instructor. As a result, the University of Guelph may collect your image, voice, name, personal views and opinions, and course work under the legal authority of the University of Guelph Act and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The recording will capture material shared on screen, participant audio and participant video. The recording will be used to facilitate asynchronous learning by other students registered in the course.  If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information, please contact your instructor. 

To limit the amount of student personal information captured in a recording, instructors should inform students that they may choose to avoid using the audio and/or video function on their computers, use the chat function to ask questions and engage (if chat function is not captured in recording), and in the case of Zoom, use pseudonyms (e.g. first name only or a nickname).

Access & Use

Access to recorded lectures should be limited to the instructor, teaching assistants, and the students enrolled in the course and should only be used for the purposes stipulated in the collection notice provided to students.

Disclosure & Storage

Recordings must be posted and stored according to University of Guelph data storage guidelines. Lecture recordings should be posted and stored on CourseLink or, where this is not feasible, on another university-controlled platform where access can be restricted to registered students and secured by Single Sign-On (e.g. OneDrive, Microsoft Stream). Instructors are responsible for ensuring the personal information of their students collected through their courses is not disclosed to individuals who are not authorized to access this information. 

Retention & Disposal

Unless lecture recordings are used for the purposes of assessment, they can be considered transient records and should be deleted following the conclusion of the course. 

If a recording is used to facilitate student assessment this triggers a one-year retention requirement under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The recording must be retained for one year following the conclusion of the course to facilitate access by students. 


If you have questions regarding student privacy or the retention and disposal of course material please contact the University Secretariat at