Privacy, FERPA and Public Records Considerations Related to Zoom
Zoom has the ability to record meetings. This feature can be activated/deactivated and managed by the meeting host. For further information on this feature, please visit the Zoom recording page.
Zoom recordings, including video/audio/text of courses or chat sessions, that include personally identifiable student information should be considered education records that are FERPA protected and thus not subject to public disclosure. While there is older U.S. Department of Education guidance concerning class recordings in the traditional in-person classroom setting that suggests such recording are not FERPA protected, we believe Zoom class recordings and student chat sessions likely do identify individual students names and faces, students speaking or typing questions and thus are personally identifiable. As a result, best practice would be to treat these recordings as any other confidential education record under FERPA.
Zoom recordings, including video/audio/text of faculty/staff meetings or chats, that don’t include personally identifiable student information should be considered public records subject to disclosure, if requested. Although those meetings are not open to the public and are not required to be recorded or have minutes taken, once a recording is made, a public record is created that UNF will need to retain pursuant to the appropriate public records retention schedule. How long we have to retain depends on the content of the record and can vary from “retain until obsolete” to permanent retention and everything in between.
It is important to point out that while we are working under unique circumstances, the same laws and considerations apply. In the FERPA context, a record created and/or maintained by UNF with personally identifiable information related to a student would have protection from disclosure. In the public records context, any record created by a UNF employee, regardless of format, that concerns official university business will be subject to disclosure unless an exemption applies.