Privacy and Personal Information

Greater Victoria School District 61 believes that the most important element when considering the adoption of any online tool is the implications on student privacy and safety. The use of Google Apps for Education with our students has been carefully reviewed by district management.

Google Apps for Education versus Public Google Accounts

While Google Apps for Education provides staff and students with access to the same tools as a ‘public’ Google account, there are important differences between the two. SD61 provides access to and manages Google Apps for Education accounts for staff and students in schools. These applications block advertisements and block 3rd party scanning of student or staff information for advertising, and allow for more strict filtering and application control by SD61 system administrators.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Student account information (student first and last name, grade level, and last 4 digits of SD61 identification number), as well as any documents uploaded onto the Google Apps platform will be stored on secure Google servers located beyond Canada, and may be subject to the laws of foreign jurisdictions. The use of student information for GAFE is subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Parent and Student Consent Process

Students between Grade K-8,  student and parent consent is required for a SD61 GAFE account. The teacher will initiate the consent process by sending home information about GAFE and a consent form  Consent is required from both student and parent. The teacher will ensure that students are informed about the acceptable uses of GAFE. Once the consent form has been returned, and the student has been informed, the school will initiate the student GAFE account creation.

Student between Grade 9-12, student consent is required for a SD61 GAFE account. Students can initiate the consent process by completing the online request form. The student GAFE account will be automatically created. The school will ensure that students are informed about the acceptable uses of GAFE. The school will also send home an information letter about GAFE to parents.

Access to SD61 GAFE by SD61 System Administrators

SD61 system administrators have full access to content stored within SD61 GAFE however they will only access content from SD61 users’ GAFE email or documents in the event of suspected violations to the terms and conditions outlined in the Student Acceptable Use of Electronic Communications Systems in Schools (Regulation 5131.9), Expectations for Students using School or District Electronic Communications Systems (Regulation 5131.9(a)) and in the Employee Acceptable use of Electronic Communications Systems in School (Regulation 4216.2).

Access to SD61 GAFE by Google Administrators

As per the GAFE terms of service and privacy documents, all information and any content created or uploaded into the SD61 GAFE platform is not owned by Google.

However, as outlined in the Google Apps for Education Privacy Website, Google does maintain the ability to access and share any personal or content data on the SD61 GAFE platform under the following circumstances:

  • If Google has obtained additional consent from the user to share personal information; or
  • meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
  • enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
  • detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
  • protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.

Designated Google employees will only access account data when a SD61 system administrator grants Google explicit permission to do so for troubleshooting purposes. During the course of troubleshooting an issue or other investigation, the Google Support team may ask for the creation of a test administrator account, solely to be used to resolve the particular issue at hand. Google employees or automated systems may also take down any content that violates the Terms of Service.


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