Information Technology Acceptable Use
This Policy outlines the underlying principles and rules that govern the use of Seneca Information Technology (IT) Resources.
“It is the Policy of Seneca College that all members of the Seneca Community are responsible for obeying provincial and federal laws and regulations and College Policy in using the College’s IT Resources. The College’s IT Resources are the sole property of Seneca College. Seneca College grants students, clients and employees the privilege to use its IT Resources to further learning, teaching and working.
In general, any use of Seneca’s IT Resources for personal benefit or political causes or for personal commercial gain is considered to be a conflict of interest and in violation of this Policy and Seneca’s Conflict of Interest Policy, unless the employee/student making such use has filed a disclosure of conflict statement to the College as per the procedure listed in Seneca’s Conflict of Interest Policy and received formal approval from the College to engage in such use.
The use of Seneca’s IT Resources to engage in activities that violate the Copyright Act and the College’s Copyright Policy is strictly prohibited. Further, any use of Seneca’s IT Resources which may violate a person’s right to work and study in an environment free from discrimination/ harassment is strictly prohibited. However, Seneca College recognizes academic freedom. As such, it is not considered an offense to seek out information that may be considered offensive or sexually explicit, provided it is done for specific academic purposes and is a legitimate exercise of academic freedom, freedom of thought and inquiry, and expression in teaching and research.
As a user of Seneca’s IT Resources, you are responsible for abiding by the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy (ITAUP) and the Protocol for Dealing with Information Technology Abuse.”
This policy governs the use of “IT Resources”, which include IT services, facilities and equipment the College owns or operates for the use of employees, students and others. All information stored in any form on IT Resources (e.g., in documents, video streams, audio recordings, etc.) and all communications transmitted in any manner using IT Resources (e.g., via e-mail, text-message and voice mail) are governed by this Policy.
This Policy also governs the use of social networking sites by employees and students whether or not such use relies upon IT Resources.
The content controller of this Policy will conduct a review of this Policy at least once per year or when significant business process changes occur, to ensure the information contained herein is current and applicable.
This document is classified Seneca Public, and is made freely available for public viewing. There are no special requirements on how the document shall be disposed of.
Anyone using Seneca IT Resources must comply with all applicable federal and provincial laws, the specific rules set out in this Policy and all other College policies as they apply. Please refer to Appendix A for a non-exhaustive list of applicable laws and College policies that may govern the use of IT Resources.
Use of IT Resources is primarily for academic learning, teaching or working purposes. The College permits limited personal use of IT Resources on the conditions listed below in the “Acceptable” section. Please note that personal use is subject to the College right of access that is described in section 2.5 below. Individuals who wish to engage in personal use with an expectation of privacy should not use the College’s IT Resources.
- Use of IT Resources for academic learning, teaching or working purposes on behalf of the College
- Limited use of College IT Resources for personal use is permitted provided that such use
- does not adversely impact the daily work/learning outcomes of College employees and students
- does not cause IT service issues of any magnitude
- does not violate any other provisions of this Policy
It’s a violation of College policy to:
- access College equipment, facilities, networks, information or accounts without authorization
- use another individual’s information technology account with or without the individual’s permission unless it is carried out by the College for legitimate purposes as described in section 2.5
- grant another individual access to one’s own information technology account by sharing a password or by any other means unless it is carried out by the College for legitimate purposes as described in section 2.5
- use IT Resources to intentionally interfere with the work of other students, faculty members or college officials
- access, create, publish or communicate information that is obscene, pornographic, abusive, defamatory, derogatory, threatening, violent or harassing, including material that may interfere with other individuals’ rights under the Human Rights Code or the Occupational Health and Safety Act (subject only to the limited exception in Section 1.2)
- display, transmit, distribute or make available information that expresses or implies discrimination or an intention to discriminate
- use IT Resources to intentionally interfere with the normal operation of IT Resources including, but not limited to, flooding the network with messages, sending chain letters or pyramid solicitations, spreading viruses, etc.
- use, disclose, copy, modify or delete information stored on IT Resources without authorization
- use IT Resources for personal or political causes or for personal commercial gain without filing a disclosure of conflict statement and receiving authorization under Seneca’s Conflict of Interest Policy
- gather other individuals’ personal information under false pretences or for unlawful gain
- create and/or use world-wide web information pages or links to point to offending materials that conflict with rights and interests protected by Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Human Rights Code or the Criminal Code
- use IT Resources for any purpose that could be seen as a violation of the Criminal Code
- use IT Resources for any purpose (e.g. upload material) that is not in accordance with the Copyright Act and the College’s Copyright Policy
- send bulk commercial electronic messages without authorization from the College
- engage in personal use that breaches the conditions set out in the Acceptable section above
All E-mails created or transmitted on IT Resources must comply with the rules for use of College IT Resources set out above.
Social networking sites
Social networking sites are any forms of online presences or publications including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, etc. that provide a platform for individuals to engage in networking activities, or publish information on the Internet. As an academic institution, the College fully endorses academic freedom of speech on social networking sites. However, the use of IT Resources to engage in social networking and publish information on the internet is subject to all the rules set out above. In addition, the College prohibits the following activities whether or not it is facilitated by the use of College IT Resources:
- Publishing any College information on social networking sites or the Internet that is confidential and has not been approved for public disclosure
- Using social networking sites or publishing comments, opinions or statements for work-related purposes without College authorization
- Implicitly or explicitly giving the impression that comments, opinions, statements made on social networking sites or the Internet represent the views/beliefs/stance of the College without prior approval from the College
- Publishing comments, opinions or statements that are likely to interfere with employees’ or students’ rights under the Human Rights Code or the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Publishing comments, opinions or statements that are likely to adversely affect the College’s reputation or otherwise affect its ability to achieve its mandate
Note that publishing information on a social networking site that can only be accessed by a limited number of people is still “publishing” under this Policy.
Personal Computing Devices
Students, employees and others may connect personal computing devices (e.g., laptops, handheld devices, tablet computers or similar devices) to the College network. However, use of personal computing devices on the College network is subject to all the rules for use of College IT Resources set out above and is subject to the College right of access that is described in section 2.5 below. Individuals who wish to send private communications and data to and from their personal computing devices should not use the College’s IT Resources. The College may, when necessary to an ongoing investigation, ask to examine a personal device and make copies of relevant information. Individuals who deny the College access may face consequences (section 2.5) for failing to cooperate.
Furthermore, individuals must ensure that every mobile device connected to the College network satisfies the following security requirements:
- A password of at least 6 characters long is required to log into the device and the password must have at least 1 upper case letter, 1 lower case letter and at least 1 digit included in it.
- Password enabled screen saver must be activated such that the screen will be locked after a period of inactivity and a re-enter of password is required to unlock the device screen
- Automatic operating system (O/S) patching is enabled if supported by the device
- Installation of firewall and anti-virus software if supported by the device
Enforcement, Privacy and Consequences of Policy Violations
Employees, students and clients are responsible for reporting all suspected infractions of this Policy to the IT Security Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Student Conduct Office at email@example.com.
The College may access and use all information and data stored on and communicated through its IT Resources for its legitimate purposes, including to facilitate work in an employee’s absence, to conduct routine technical administration, to routinely audit system use, to investigate suspicions of improper system use and to comply with legal obligations. Individuals who engage in personal use of College IT Resources are deemed to accept that the College has this right of access and may raise no expectation of privacy that prevents the College from accessing and using information and data for its legitimate purposes.
When it suspects a Policy violation, the College may restrict access to IT Resources pending completion of an investigation. When it finds a Policy violation, the College will exercise its rights to take appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to,
- verbal/written warnings,
- rescinding of e-mail or Internet accounts,
- removal of materials from College computer equipment facilities and networks,
- restricted access to IT resources,
- behavioural contract, suspension and/or expulsion from the College for students,
- disciplinary action and/or termination of employment for employees
In addition to internal College sanctions that can impact on a student’s academic performance or employee’s employment, the College may report suspected violations of the law to law enforcement and will cooperate with all local, national and international law enforcement agencies. The College is not responsible for sanctions taken by these agencies for violations of this Policy that are against local and international laws and/or criminal codes.
Information Technology Acceptable Use
Federal/Provincial Laws and College Policies Governing Use of IT resources
Legislation and College policy which affects the use of IT resources include, but are not limited to:
- the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- the Human Rights Code
- the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- the Criminal Code
- the Copyright Act
- the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- the Personal Health Information Protection Act
- Internet Service Provider Acceptable Use Policy
- Seneca’s Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy
- Seneca’s Discrimination & Harassment Policy
- Seneca’s Student Code of Conduct
- Seneca’s Personal Safety/Security Threats Policy
- Seneca’s Conflict of Interest Policy
- Seneca’s Copyright Policy