Email and Collaboration Tools Privacy Impact Assessment

The following documents comprise Ryerson University’s Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) of Google Apps for Education.

Ryerson began a community consultation process in January of 2011 regarding the future of email and collaboration systems at the university. A full description of the goals of the consultation are available in the introduction page of this site.

The first major event of the consultation was the February 24, 2011 symposium on Exploring the Future of E-mail, Privacy, and Cloud Computing at Ryerson. Video of the entire symposium is available online as are the presentation materials. The symposium – including the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario’s presentation – had a significant impact on how we approached assessing the risks of cloud-based and locally hosted email and collaboration systems. Dan Michaluk, a partner at Hicks Morley, posted this article about the IPC’s presentation: Commissioner Cavoukian Says the Patriot Act Is “Nothing”. Shortly afterwards Ryerson began to develop, with the assistance of the IPC, its own PIA methodology based on the principles of Privacy by Design.

In March of 2011 we began collecting detailed requirements for email and collaboration tools from the Ryerson community that resulted in a Request for Proposals (RFP). Significant sections of the RFP were devoted to accessibility, security, privacy, ownership of data, mail opt out options, legal jurisdictions, and the Patriot Act. The RFP was posted on August 22, 2011 and closed on October 3rd.

Following a lengthy and detailed evaluation of the proposals, the Advisory Committee on Academic Computing (ACAC) voted unanimously to recommend that Ryerson adopt Google Apps for Education for use by students, faculty and staff. The recommendation was accepted in January of 2012 and Ryerson began the process of negotiating an agreement with Google as well as assessing more deeply the impact on privacy, financial risk, integration and security of Google Apps for Education.

The following documents comprise the Privacy Impact Assessment that resulted from this process.

Google Apps for Education became available at Ryerson in October of 2012. Support and other information related to Google Apps are available online at



-Brian Lesser

Director, Computing and Communications Services


Google Admin Settings – PIA 2014 – Sheet1

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