Reminder of the requirement to use UBC email systems

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.

At UBC, we all have a shared responsibility to protect the personal information of our students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community.

Over the last year, many faculty and staff have transitioned to remote working, which has resulted in an increased reliance on email and other means of electronic communication. As UBC plans for a return to campus, we would now like to remind you of the requirement to keep data safe by using 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, Information Security Standard U3 (Transmission and Sharing of UBC Electronic Information) restricts the use of email accounts hosted outside Canada (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, iCloud) for work purposes, as many work emails contain personal information, such as information about students or personnel information about UBC faculty and staff.

While use of a Canadian-hosted email account (e.g. Shaw) does not contravene the data residency requirements of the FIPPA, such non-UBC email systems must not be used because they do not comply with UBC’s security and records management standards. Also, the use of external email accounts is not consistent with the security measures we have in place to protect students, faculty, staff and our computer systems.

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.

For more information

  • Access a fact sheet to learn more about the privacy of our email systems at hxxps://
  • Visit hxxps://

Please note: For added security, we have changed the above links 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.

We appreciate your support in sharing the responsibility of protecting the data of our community and our UBC systems.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

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

This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

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