This Policy outlines the underlying principles and rules that govern the use of Seneca’s Information Technology (IT) Resources.
Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy
This policy governs the use of “IT Resources”, which include IT services (e.g. wireless connection, email, voice mail, printing, etc.), facilities and equipment that Seneca owns, operates, or sources from external parties 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 are governed by this Policy.
This Policy also governs the use of social networking by employees, under Seneca’s Social Media Policy for Seneca-Affiliated Accounts (Social Media Policy) and other applicable employee-focused policies, and by students, under Seneca’s Student Code of Conduct.
Facilitates the use of technology, including but not limited to all services provided relating to Internet connection, email, voice mail and printing.
IT services, facilities and equipment Seneca owns, operates, or sources from external parties for the use of employees, students and others.
Personal Computing Device
Any computer device owned by an individual, including a laptop, smartphone, handheld device or tablet computer.
Any forms of online presences or publications including, but not limited to, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, wikis, etc. that provide a platform for individuals to engage in networking activities, or publish information on the Internet.
Social messaging or chat applications including, but not limited to, WhatsApp, iMessage, SMS, MMS, etc. that are built around social networking platforms are within scope.
1.1 Policy Statement
“It is the Policy of Seneca College that all members of the Seneca Community (employees, students and others affiliated with Seneca) are responsible for complying with provincial and federal laws and regulations and Seneca Policy in using Seneca’s IT Resources. Seneca’s IT Resources are the sole property of Seneca College. Seneca College grants students, clients and employees access to its IT Resources to further learning, teaching, research and working.
In general, any use of Seneca’s IT Resources for personal commercial or financial gain or for political causes 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 Seneca as per the procedure listed in Seneca’s Conflict of Interest Policy and received formal approval from Seneca to engage in such use.
The use of Seneca’s IT Resources to engage in activities that violate the Copyright Act, Seneca’s Copyright Policy and Fair Dealing Policy for Copyright-Protected Work 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. There may be circumstances in which it is acceptable for an individual to seek out information that might otherwise be considered offensive, provided it is done in accordance with Seneca’s Academic Freedom Policy and does not contravene applicable federal and provincial laws and all other Seneca policies as they apply.
Users of Seneca’s IT Resources are responsible for abiding by the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy (ITAUP).”
1.2 Document Disposal
This document is made freely available for public viewing. There are no special requirements on how the document shall be disposed of.
2. Policy Requirements
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 Seneca policies as they apply. Please refer to the “Related Policies/Procedures” and “Related Materials” for a non-exhaustive list of applicable laws and Seneca policies that may govern the use of IT Resources.
2.1 General Use
Use of IT Resources is primarily for academic learning, teaching, research or working purposes. Seneca permits limited personal use of IT Resources on the conditions listed below in the “Acceptable” section. Please note that personal use is subject to Seneca’s 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 use a personal computing device without using Seneca’s IT Resources.
- Use of IT Resources for academic learning, teaching, research or working purposes on behalf of Seneca
- Limited use of Seneca IT Resources for personal use is permitted provided that such use
- does not adversely impact the daily work/learning outcomes of Seneca 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 Seneca’s policy to:
- access Seneca 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 Seneca 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 Seneca for legitimate purposes as described in section 2.5
- use IT Resources to intentionally interfere with the work of other students, faculty members or Seneca 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 1.1)
- 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 commercial or financial gain or for political causes 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, Seneca’s Copyright Policy and Fair Dealing Policy for Copyright-Protected Work
- send bulk commercial electronic messages without express authorization from Seneca or not in compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation
- engage in personal use that breaches the conditions set out in the Acceptable section above
2.2 Email Communications
All Emails created or transmitted on IT Resources must comply with the rules for use of Seneca IT Resources set out above.
2.3 Social Networking
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 to the Social Media Policy (that governs the use of social networking by employees) and the Student Code of Conduct (that governs student use of social media), Seneca prohibits the following activities:
- Publishing any Seneca information on social networking or the Internet that is confidential and has not been approved for public disclosure
- Implicitly or explicitly giving the impression that comments, opinions, statements made on social networking or the Internet represent the views/beliefs/stance of Seneca without prior approval from Seneca
- 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 Seneca’s reputation or otherwise affect its ability to achieve its mandate
Note that publishing information on social networking that can only be accessed by a limited number of people is still “publishing” under this Policy.
2.4 Personal Computing Devices
Students, employees and others may connect personal computing devices (e.g., laptops, handheld devices, tablet computers or similar devices) to Seneca’s network. However, use of personal computing devices on Seneca’s network is subject to all the rules for use of Seneca IT Resources set out above and is subject to Seneca’s right of access, described in section 2.5 below. Seneca may, when necessary to an ongoing lawful investigation, ask to examine relevant information in a personal device and make copies of relevant information. Individuals who deny Seneca access may face consequences (section 2.5) for failing to cooperate.
2.5 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 and Compliance Office at email@example.com or the Student Conduct Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seneca may access and use all information and data stored on and communicated through its IT Resources for lawful 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 other misconduct and to comply with legal obligations. Individuals who engage in personal use of Seneca IT Resources are deemed to accept that Seneca has this right of access and may raise no expectation of privacy that prevents Seneca from accessing and using information and data for its legitimate purposes.
When it suspects a Policy violation, Seneca may restrict access to IT Resources pending completion of an investigation. When it finds a Policy violation, Seneca will exercise its rights to take appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to,
- verbal/written warnings,
- rescinding/suspending/restricting access to IT resources,
- removal of materials from Seneca computer equipment facilities and networks,
- behavioural contract, suspension and/or expulsion from Seneca for students,
- educational sanction or undertaking as per the Student Code of Conduct,
- disciplinary action and/or termination of employment for employees
In addition to internal sanctions that may impact on a student's academic eligibility or employee’s employment, Seneca may report suspected violations of the law to law enforcement and will cooperate with any resulting police investigation. Seneca is not responsible for sanctions imposed on individuals by law enforcement pursuant to such reports.
- Seneca’s Academic Policy
- Seneca’s Academic Freedom Policy
- Seneca’s Conflict of Interest Policy
- Seneca’s Copyright Policy
- Seneca’s Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy
- Seneca’s Discrimination & Harassment Policy
- Seneca’s Fair Dealing for Copyright-Protected Work Policy
- Seneca’s Personal Safety/Security Threats Policy
- Seneca’s Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy
- Seneca’s Social Media for Seneca-Affiliated Accounts Policy
- Seneca’s Student Code of Conduct
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Copyright Act
- Criminal Code
- Human Rights Code (Ontario)
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
- Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- Internet Service Provider Acceptable Use Policy
- Personal Health Information Protection Act
- Seneca’s Collective Agreements: Academic and Support Staff