Use of personal email accounts

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan

At a time of increased awareness around data security, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the requirement to use UBC email systems for work purposes.

Under the “data residency requirements” of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), UBC is required to ensure that personal information in its custody or under its control is stored and accessed in Canada.

For this reason, email accounts hosted outside Canada (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, iCloud) cannot be used for work purposes. This is due to the fact that many work emails contain personal information, such as information about students or personnel information about UBC employees.

While use of a Canadian-hosted email account (e.g. Shaw or Telus) does not contravene the data residency requirements of the FIPPA, non-UBC email systems may not comply with our security and records management standards. Therefore, you should always use UBC email accounts, such as FASmail, for work purposes.

UBC makes an exception for faculty or staff members who also work at another Canadian public sector institution, such as a university or health authority. If you fall into this category, it is acceptable for you to use your other account for UBC work purposes, as long as doing so is consistent with the other institution’s email policy. Please also note that you can set up your UBC email account to automatically forward your emails to the other account.

You can find more information at hxxps://

Please Note: For added security, we have changed the above link to include an hxxps:// prefix. Simply copy and paste the URL into a web browser and replace hxxps:// with https://. Together we can keep our information secure.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

Jennifer Burns
Associate Vice-President, Information Technology
Chief Information Officer