Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Is university faculty e-mail subject to access and privacy laws?

Dan Michaluk has just blogged about an interesting case out of Alberta (University of Alberta v. Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2011 ABQB 100) that may have a significant impact on freedom of information law, particularly in universities. It will also have an impact on cloud computing decisions by universities. The Canadian Association of University Teachers takes the position that faculty e-mail are not under the "custody and control" of the educational institution. If this is found to be the case, faculty e-mail is not within the ambit of access to information laws at all and the privacy protection provisions of those laws. And, if that's the case, such e-mails are not covered by laws that are meant to regulate the export of personal information (out of fear of the USA Patriot Act). Stay tuned ....

See Dan's post: Alberta Court set to Hear Faculty E-mail Case « All About Information

1 comment:

John said...

I'm all for academic freedom, but academic staff are employees or contractors at public institutions. A blanket exemption from FOI, especially given the kind of grant money that some researchers deal with seems counter to the intent of FOI laws.

Or is that just me?