Virtual Instruction: Privacy and Ethics

Student Privacy and Recording Course Sessions

In line with FERPA requirements, when recording a session, the disclosure of the recording, which is only accessible by the members of the course, is permitted (without obtaining the students’ consent) under the “legitimate educational interest” exception. 

1. Permission and Notice:  Only the host (or meeting chair) is permitted to record meetings.   If the host decides to record a meeting, participants should be notified that the meeting will be recorded prior to the start of the meeting and given the opportunity to opt out of the recorded session.   This notification shall be provided to any new participants who join the meeting, at the point when they join the meeting.  

Sample Notification:  This meeting is being conducted over Zoom.  As the host, I will be recording this session.  The recording feature for others is disabled so that no one else will be able to record this session through Zoom. No recording by other means is permitted.

To ensure notice, instructors should:

  • Notify the students via the syllabus/course materials that the sessions will be recorded and only shared with other students in the course;
  • verbally inform them at the start of each session that it will be recorded;
  • permit students to mute their audio during the recordings;
  • permit students to not use the video functionality; and
  • disable cloud recording functionality

2. Automatic Notification:  When a meeting is being recorded, Zoom will automatically inform all participants that the session is being recorded. It is also possible to configure Zoom’s settings to notify new participants when they join the meeting. Be aware not all participants may be running the latest version of Zoom that implements these features.

3. Recordings and transcripts of recordings should be retained in accordance with applicable retention schedules, no longer than necessary, and should only be retained on approved University devices, platforms or networks.

  • Video or audio recording (including taping, recording, photographing, screen capture and other methods of capture) by participants for purposes other than instruction is prohibited absent a strong rationale and only if the host provides advance notice and opportunity to opt out of video/audio participation.

4. Chat Function: During video conferencing, there is a chat function that permits participants to ask questions and engage in dialogue with the class or meeting proceeding. Recording, including photographing, screen capture, or other copying methods, of chat exchanges is also prohibited, except by the instructor or host or meeting chair.

5. Attention Tracking:  Managers should inform Zoom meeting attendees in advance if they are going to use the attention tracking function.

If a student expresses discomfort with being recorded during a session, invite them to use the private chat function to ask questions of the instructor. The chat transcripts are separate from the audio/video recording. The instructor can also stop the recording if a student expresses the desire to communicate confidentially, and then restart it when that communication is completed.

For more information, visit:

Privacy Considerations When Using Zoom

Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services

Berkeley Honor Code

Even off-campus, the Berkeley Honor Code is still expected of all students. Students should review the Honor Code before participating in their virtual courses.