Category Archives: Privacy Online

“Why I’m Quitting Facebook” by Douglas Rushkoff

Somewhat ironically, I came across this article via a Facebook friend. It raises very important questions about our data and what we share online – but not in the usual ‘be careful of your private data’ kind of way. Rushkoff tackles the policies of Facebook itself – the ones we agree to when we sign up to use it and what that means in a wider sense.

Take a read. It’s definitely thought-provoking. And more than a little scary.



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Filed under Content Development, Copyright & the Web, Digital Consumption, Privacy Online, Social Media

Cloud Computing: A Risk?

The following email was sent out to BCIT employees today. What are your thoughts on the safety of cloud computing/storage? What about privacy online?

“Cloud computing is use of information technology resources outside
of those provided by BCIT. Examples are: Google docs, gmail, Survey Monkey, etc.
Many of the cloud computing services are based in the US. While cloud computing
provides services and methods of sharing documents with individuals who are not
a part of BCIT’s computing resources, BCIT employees need to be aware of
situations where use of cloud computing creates risks for BCIT.

BCIT employees often liaise with colleagues in their discipline
who work within and outside of the Institute. In this situation, the employee
and the colleague may be sharing documents that are related to the subject
discipline and professional association activities. As long as the documents
being shared in the cloud computing environment are not official records,
contain no BCIT confidential information, and contain no personal information of
third parties, use of cloud computing may be useful and imposes no risk to

On the other hand, BCIT records should not be placed in a cloud
computing environment. Cloud computing service providers are most often based in
the US where they are subject to the
. Storing BCIT business emails that contain personal
information in the US creates privacy risks for those individuals about whom the
information relates and contravenes the BC
Freedom of
Information and Privacy Act
. An individual must be
notified and agree to storage of his or her personal information outside of
Canada. BCIT may receive and must investigate a privacy complaint if an
individual determines that an employee stored, used, or distributed personal
information inappropriately.

The service providers are not bound by the privacy provisions
necessary for BCIT. The BCIT retention and destruction schedules cannot be met
by a service provider. Often the cloud computing service provider has the right
of ownership to the electronic information that users place in the system. When
BCIT records are stored in a service provider’s cloud, BCIT may not be able to
access the information should there be a legal matter, FOI request, or in the
time required.
All business conducted by email and
electronic records should be maintained within BCIT’s custody and control in
order to comply with BCIT policies 6500, Freedom of Information and Protection
of Privacy, 6701, Records Management, and 3502, Information Security. ”


Filed under BCIT, Privacy Online, Technical Writing Tools