Virtual Learning Environment – Privacy, Security, and Intellectual Property

The need to move into a Virtual Learning Environment for instructional continuity has required us to utilize a range of digital tools. These tools enable us to interact with our students, to deliver content, and share materials in ways far more extensive than we have ever done. This document addresses some of the more common questions associated with the use of these tools related to privacy, security, and intellectual property.

Unless otherwise noted, use of digital tools designated by the University for teaching and learning is governed by Georgetown University’s existing Acceptable Use and Privacy policies.

Streaming and Recording of Audio and Video in Online Courses

The creation of audio and video recordings for online instructional use during this period of instructional continuity is covered under the Audio and Video Class Recordings policy outlined here. This policy should guide the expectations of faculty and students with regard to streaming and recording of courses. As the statement makes clear:

  • Authorized recordings may be used by students for individual private study only. Any other use or dissemination requires written approval from the instructor.
  • Students are not permitted to make personal audio or video recordings of classes or presentations, unless authorized by the faculty member.

Intellectual Property and Privacy

Course materials and other content created and used by faculty in online courses continue to be subject to and governed by the University’s Intellectual Property policy (see Section 8b). The digital applications we employ for the purpose of instructional continuity operate in a manner that is consistent with the University’s Intellectual Privacy policy.

The digital tools and applications designated for use by the University are subject to terms and conditions that address the privacy concerns of users. Those terms and conditions are consistent with the University’s Privacy policy and policy on Audio and Video Class Recordings. In particular, they provide that personally identifiable content and data gathered and/or stored by the applications generally may be used solely for the purpose of delivering or improving the services provided by the application, and will not be made available to third parties for advertising or marketing purposes.

For specific privacy, intellectual property and related policies, please see below.


Zoom provides assurances that it does not sell your data, monitor your meetings, or claim any sort of ownership of content. Relevant statements from Zoom include:

We do not sell your personal data. Whether you are a business or a school or an individual user, we do not sell your data.

Your meetings are yours. We do not monitor them or even store them after your meeting is done unless we are requested to record and store them by the meeting host.


Much like Zoom, Canvas provides assurances about its use of content gathered in the normal operation of its service. The following passage from the Acceptable Use policy is particularly relevant:

When you use our Service, you provide us with things like your files, content, messages, etc. (“Your Content”). Your Content is yours. You represent that you have all necessary right, power, and authority to use the Service and share Your Content and will comply with all applicable laws when doing so. These AUP Guidelines don’t give us any rights to Your Content except for the limited rights that enable us to offer the Service. We need your permission to do things like host Your Content, back it up, or share it when you ask us to. This permission extends to our trusted third parties we work with. You therefore give us, and third parties (with whom we work) permission to use, display, host, share, and back up Your Content. By submitting Your Content, you also permit us to identify you by your username and as the contributor of Your Content.


Proctorio’s terms of service address content rights and responsibilities:

All Content, however transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such Content. We may not monitor or control all Content posted via the Services and we cannot take responsibility for such Content. Your use or reliance on any Content or materials posted on the Services is at your own risk.