Student privacy in Zoom

How can I best manage student privacy when recording online teaching sessions?

  1. Prior to recording online teaching sessions, adequately notify students that the sessions will be recorded and provide details about how the recordings will be handled by the University (refer to point A).
  2. Students should be provided with the option NOT to turn on their audio and/or video functions if they prefer not to be recorded. Students may only be reasonably required to turn on their audio and/or video function when the recording of a student’s voice or image is required for a necessary purpose (refer to point B).
  3. Limit the collection of student information. Only record online teaching sessions when required (refer to point C). If recording sessions is required, limit the collection or recording of student information (voice and/or image) where appropriate (e.g. disable participants’ video and/or audio functionality if not required).

Steps you need to undertake

A. Notify students that online teaching sessions will be recorded

In accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), the University must notify students (usually through a Privacy Collection Notice) that online teaching sessions, which may capture their voice or image, will be recorded. Students should be notified prior to recording the session (e.g. displayed to students prior to joining an online session).

Notification to students should clearly explain:

  • The subject session will be recorded, and if students choose to turn on their audio or video functions to participate in the session, their audio and/or video image will be recorded;
  • The primary purpose for recording the sessions and how they will be used (e.g. the recording will be made available to other students in the subject via LMS Lecture Capture until the end of semester, or accessed by relevant academics to assess their work);
  • That students can choose not to turn on their audio or video function if they prefer not to be recorded (except in circumstances where it may be mandatory for a specific purpose);
  • Any consequences if students choose not to turn on their audio or video function (e.g. it may limit their ability to participate, or may affect their assessment outcomes); and
  • That further information about how the University handles student information can be found in the Student Privacy Statement.

Additionally, students should be advised that in accordance with the University’s Student Conduct Policy (Section 4.2), students may not take photographs, video or audio recordings of lectures, tutorials, rehearsals, performances or practical classes without the express permission of the staff member supervising the activity (or the subject coordinator) and the written permission of any identifiable individuals, or their legal guardians.

Recording online teaching and student privacy

Recordings that contain the personal information of students can only be used for:

  • The primary purpose for which the information was collected (as described in the Privacy Collection Notice); or
  • For a secondary purpose that would be reasonably expected by students; or
  • With valid student consent.

Recordings should not be uploaded to public video-sharing platforms (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo) without valid student consent. Note there may also be copyright implications when sharing recordings publicly.

B. Provide students with the option not to be recorded

In accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), students should only be required to provide the University with personal information, such as the recording of their voice or image, if it is necessary to fulfil a function of the University.

Example of when it may be reasonable to require a student’s voice or image to be recorded:

Recording of students may be necessary to administer aspects of their subject requirements. For example, a student’s online live performance examination or oral language assessment may reasonably need to be recorded for assessors to effectively assess the student’s work. In this case, students should be adequately informed that aspects of the subject require that they be recorded.

Example of when students should have the option NOT to be recorded:

Students should have the option not to be recorded (i.e. turn their audio and/or video function off) if the collection and use of the personal information (i.e. their voice or image) is not required to fulfill a necessary function. For example, lectures / tutorials may be recorded for the purpose of making  subject content available to all students in a subject throughout the semester. If students choose to participate, their voice and/or image will be incidentally captured in the recording. However, the recording of a student’s voice or image is not required to provide students with access to subjec content.

In this case, students must be adequately informed that an online teaching session will be recorded, and that students can choose not to turn on their audio or video functions if they prefer not to be recorded. Students can be encouraged to participate by turning on their audio and/or video functions to maximise their learning experience.

Background - legislative context

C. What are our privacy obligations?

The University is subject to the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic). Accordingly:

  • Personal information (i.e. recordings of students’ voice or image) should only be collected by the University:
    • If it is necessary to fulfil one or more of its functions,
    • By lawful and fair means, and
    • Not in an unreasonably intrusive way.
  • The University must provide notice of the collection (usually through a Privacy Collection Notice), outlining matters such as the purpose of collection and how the information will be used.
  • Personal information can only be used for the primary purpose for which it was collected (as described in the Privacy Collection Notice), or for a secondary purpose that would be reasonably expected.

The University is also subject to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in certain circumstances (which relates to the personal information of individuals located in the European Economic Area):

  • Personal data collected and processed should be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed.
  • The University must have a lawful basis for processing personal data (e.g. legitimate interest, consent).

Additional information

For additional privacy information or assistance, including requests to review draft privacy collection notices, please contact privacy-officer@unimelb.edu.au.

This guide is duplicate of a Service Now knowledge base article

This guide was last updated 23 Feb 2021.
Please report any errors or omissions in this guide by submitting an LMS support request.

Print this guide