The questions and answer below respond to the most frequently asked questions concerning privacy and York University's move to Google Apps. If you have additional questions regarding the Google Apps move and privacy, please see the University's Policy on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy or contact the Information and Privacy Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 736-2100 x20359.
Google does not own student data. Data in @my.yorku.ca accounts is the property of York University and/or the student, the end user. The agreement that York University has entered into with Google has no impact on the intellectual property rights or ownership of student data.
We have taken the appropriate steps to ensure that your privacy rights, as outlined in the University's policy on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy, are respected. Passport York passwords are not shared with Google. Our contract with Google prohibits Google’s access to email content, except to exercise rights and fulfill its obligations under our Agreement, including situations of services abuse or technical threat.
Google is also committed to your privacy and to protecting the confidentiality and security of your personal information. Google's security policies include provisions on the protection of your data against threats and unauthorized access.
A limited amount of student information is shared with Google in order to create a Google-powered student email account. The following personal information is provided: first name, last name, username, and email address to validate against our authentication services.
Google has some access to your account as explained in the Google Apps Terms of Service. Google has agreed that the University is not granting Google any rights, implied or otherwise, to content. Google is not permitted to conduct data mining. Google has also agreed that Google is not permitted to include advertising in our student accounts.
No. Our agreement with Google states that Google is not allowed to share students' personal information, unless required to do so by law.
Students continue to be responsible for how they use their University-provided email accounts in accordance with the University’s computing policies. Students have an obligation to promote responsible, ethical and secure use of services. Google is responsible for protecting and maintaining the security standards of the facilities it uses to store and process end-user data.
Student account data is stored at one of Google's global facilities; access to these facilities is governed by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the data is stored, including the USA PATRIOT Act. Note that both Canada’s Privacy Commissioner and Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (pdf) have stated that privacy risks from the USA PATRIOT Act are no greater than the risks from domestic or other foreign law enforcement bodies.
Email, by its very nature, is neither completely private nor secure, regardless of the type of system being used or where the server is located. Any email may be the target of Internet predators, which is why it is important to have a strong password and not to share your confidential information with others. Never provide your password or other personal, secure information via email.
Google offers a number of security features, and also offers tips on keeping your account secure.
Read more about choosing secure passwords on the Computing website.
Google does not retain your information permanently. Information such as email messages that the user deletes, and information in any closed user accounts, is permanently removed by Google from its systems as soon as reasonably practicable and within a maximum period of 180 days.
Google includes spam protection with their service. Spam is automatically directed to a spam folder and purged after 30 days. The service also includes safeguards for virus checks and verifications before downloading data. However, not all spam protection is 100% effective. It is still up to you to exercise some caution when communicating with unfamiliar sources or downloading attachments.
If you have questions about the functionality of your @my.yorku.ca email account, contact the Computing Help Desk. For general questions related to your personal information, see the University's Policy on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy or contact the Information and Privacy Office at email@example.com or (416)736-2100 x20359.