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Technology Resources - Acceptable Use Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
63.01 Vice President, College Services and Strategy Chief Information Officer Executive Council 2019 Feb. 19, 2019 Feb. 19, 2019 Feb. 2024
  1. Purpose
    1. The dynamic growth of internet-connected devices and services, both on campus and around the world, creates specific requirements regarding how we use College Technology Resources for both College business and personal use. The intent of this policy is to promote responsible and ethical behaviour in an environment that is productive and safe for all users of Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Technology Resources.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy, and related policies and procedures, apply to all faculty, staff and students of NSCC, as well as visitors and guests of the College who use the College's Technology Resources no matter where physically located.
    2. This policy is intended to complement, not detract, from:
      1. The laws of Canada, Nova Scotia and local governments.
      2. other applicable policies, agreements and/or codes of conduct in place within the College.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Technology Resources Includes but is not limited to College-owned Desktop and Laptop computers, Wi-Fi services, Network Access, Internet Access, Audio Visual Technologies, Communication and Collaboration Services.
NSCC Wi-Fi Network Includes the “eduroam” Wi-Fi network available for student and staff mobile devices and the “NSCCGuest” Wi-Fi network for guest mobile devices.
Recording Means a video or audio replication or photographic image recorded on devices including, but not limited to, audio recorders, video recorders, cell phones, smartphones, digital cameras, computers, media players or other devices which record images or sound. This includes recording as a form of digital note taking.
  1. Policy
    1. Terms of Access
      Technology Resources are valuable tools to support the College's mission and conduct College business:
      1. NSCC reserves the right to actively monitor and record the usage of all Technology Resources.
      2. NSCC does not guarantee the privacy of any user engaged in Internet or computer related activities including, but not limited to, the sending and receiving of email, browsing the internet, and streaming video. This extends to the personal devices of students and employees connected to an NSCC Wi-Fi network.
      3. All users must ensure that NSCC Technology Resources are used in an appropriate, ethical, and lawful manner.
      4. Existing NSCC policies, which apply to employee and student conduct in other circumstances, also apply to conduct in relation to Technology Resources.
      5. NSCC reserves the right to limit, restrict or extend computing privileges and access to its Technology Resources, including all information stored therein.
    2. As a condition of access to Technology Resources, users agree to use the resources solely for authorized academic, administrative purposes, and/or reasonable personal use (adhering to this and related policies) and agree to assume responsibility for any unauthorized use, misuse or illegal use of these Technology Resources.
    3. Responsible Uses
      Below are examples intended to clarify what constitutes both proper and improper use of Technology Resources. If you have any questions about appropriate use or behaviour please contact your Human Resources Consultant in the case of staff or, in the case of students, a representative from Student Services.
      1. Users of the Internet should identify themselves honestly, accurately, and completely, including NSCC affiliation and function when required.
      2. Users shall use their own account, email, and user id. NSCC Computer user ids and passwords must not be shared with another person.
      3. Users will respect others while in the computer labs and keep the noise level down.
      4. Authorized use includes but is not limited to: College purposes associated with teaching and learning support; college approved research; community service(s) related to the College; administration of the College; outside professional activities tied to positions or NSCC's mission.
      5. The Technology Resources may be used to share information, collaborate with colleagues both at the College and other institutions, support the accessibility needs of students and staff, and extend communications into the business community to assist in meeting College objectives.
    4. All users must ensure that NSCC Technology Resources are used in an effective, lawful manner and must conduct themselves according to the high standard of professional ethics and behaviour consistent with NSCC values, policies and practices. In addition, it is expected that users shall not aid or abet any other person's violation of the same.
    5. Illegal Uses
      Including but not limited to:
      1. Uttering threats (by mobile device, computer, online service or telephone).
      2. Child pornography.
      3. Distribution of pornographic materials to minors.
      4. Copyright infringement.
    6. Examples of Unacceptable Use
      1. Use of derogatory or inflammatory messages about a person's race, colour, age, sex, disability, religion, national origin, physical attributes, or sexual orientation. Such activity may also constitute a violation of the Criminal Code and/or Human Rights Act and NSCC's Respectful Community policy.
      2. Use of NSCC Technology Resources to access, create, send, intentionally receive, download, archive, store, distribute, edit, or record materials that may be considered:
        1. Offensive, obscene, sexually explicit or pornographic.
        2. Harassing, abusive, libelous, slanderous, fraudulent, defamatory or otherwise toxic.
        3. Violent, or promoting violence against persons.
      3. Use of NSCC Technology Resources to:
        1. Download or distribute pirated software or data.
        2. Download or distribute pirated versions of copyright protected materials. For example, pirated versions of books, textbooks, music and films.
        3. Copy, download, or distribute copyrighted materials except when the use is permissible under exceptions in the Copyright Act of Canada or licenses that cover access and use.
        4. Intentionally propagate any virus, or other malicious code.
        5. Play computer games or use the system for recreational or non-college use during class time and/or when computer labs, library and learning commons computers are in use; or in a way that has an adverse impact on job performance or time allotted to performance of work.
        6. Knowingly disable or overload any computer system or network.
        7. Circumvent any system intended to protect the privacy or security of another user.
        8. Install unauthorized software on any workstation or computer network.
        9. Use NSCC's email system for mass mailings unless authorized by a Systems Administrator or senior College management.
        10. Use NSCC computer systems for personal financial benefit.
      4. Use of third-party hardware, software or services to record virtual meetings or classes conducted on College-approved platforms, unless specified in an approved academic accommodation. If recording is required in the absence of an approved academic accommodation, the built-in recording functionality is to be used, as it allows for clear disclosure to all participants that the meeting or class is being recorded. This presents an opportunity for a participant to opt-out creating an environment of informed consent.
    7. Consequences of Policy Violation
      1. Limitations and/or restrictions imposed by the College on the use of Technology Resources are designed to ensure that they are used for legal purposes, that they are employed only for uses that are acceptable to the College, and to protect their availability, security, and integrity.
      2. Any attempt to violate the provisions of this policy or related policies, regardless of the success or failure of the attempt, may result in disciplinary action. Such actions may include the full range of disciplinary action available to the College. Penalties may be carried forward for students returning the following year.
      3. Furthermore, any attempt to circumvent local, provincial, federal or international laws through the use of College owned computing resources may result in litigation against the offender by the appropriate authorities. If such an event should occur, the College will fully comply with the authorities to provide any information necessary for the litigation process
    8. Monitoring
      1. Although most users strive for acceptable and responsible use of computer resources, inexperienced users may unintentionally engage in behaviours that violate the principles and/or guidelines of responsible and acceptable use. Questions regarding the appropriateness of specific behaviours should be directed to: your Human Resources Consultant in the case of staff or persons engaged in work on behalf of NSCC or, in the case of students, a representative from Student Services.
      2. The College may authorize access to monitor the activity and accounts of individual users of College Technology Resources, including individual login sessions and communications, without notice, when:
        1. The user has given permission or has voluntarily made them accessible to the public, for example by posting to a publicly accessible web page or providing publicly- accessible network services.
        2. It reasonably appears necessary to do so to protect the integrity, security, or functionality of the College or other Technology Resources or to protect the college from liability, which includes random audits/monitoring of College systems and accounts.
        3. There is reasonable cause to believe that the user has violated, or is violating, this (or a related) policy.
        4. An account appears to be engaged in unusual or unusually excessive activity, as indicated by the monitoring of general activity, usage patterns and/or loss of productivity or
        5. It is otherwise required or permitted by law.
      3. If there is reasonable cause to believe any of the above is occurring, a Human Resources Consultant (for staff) or a representative from Student Services (for students), working with the area manager and Digital Innovation & Technology, will determine the appropriate course of action and whether it will include monitoring the activity and accounts of an individual user.
  1. Policy Supports

Relevant Policies and Procedures

63.31 Communication Devices- Acceptable Use policy 
42.01 Employee Code of Conduct 
33.01 Student Community Standards Policy
41.01 Respectful Community policy 
71.01 Use of Copyright Materials policy 
34.03 Recording Procedure (login required)
Recording and Viewing Virtual Meetings and Classes: Q & A (login required)