FERPA and Privacy in Zoom


What is Zoom?

Zoom is a web conferencing system that offers a variety of interactive features to help you collaborate and connect online. Zoom can be used to host an unlimited number of classes, office hours and meetings online that can last up to 24 hours.  It is available at https://umd.zoom.us and as an integration in ELMS-Canvas. 

Your University of Maryland Zoom account supports meetings with up to 300 participants. You can increase your participant limit to 1000 by contacting the Service Desk.

Support articles covering features such as polling, chat, file sharing and desktop sharing support engagement and collaboration are available. Sessions can be scheduled on the fly or in advance. Sessions can be recorded and will be saved locally when you end the meeting. 

IMPORTANT: Certain student, faculty and staff information and privacy are protected by federal, state and other laws. Be sure you are meeting legal standards when using UMD audiovisual recording systems. Learn how to protect yourself and other UMD community members by reading this article on how to protect student privacy and personally-Identifiable Information in UMD audiovisual recording systems.

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FERPA and privacy in Zoom

All meetings held in Zoom that include course content or student information are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Generally, student meetings and classes should NOT be recorded unless necessary.

When recording class sessions or meetings in Zoom follow the steps below to protect student privacy.

  1. Don't share recordings that include personally identifiable student information with anyone that is not enrolled in your course.
    • Consider recording an asynchronous lecture to share with all class sections.
    • If you plan to share a recording for educational use beyond your course, ensure student video is not visible on screen, students' mics are muted and the chat is hidden.
    • Include language in your syllabus about the purpose of Zoom recordings and the protection of student information. Here is an example that can be used: "Our class sessions will all be recorded for use by enrolled students, including those who are unable to attend live. Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are consenting to have their video or image recorded. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are consenting to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.”
  2. Tell students that you will be recording. This notice is required by law. By default, Zoom notifies meeting participants that a meeting is being recorded, but it is best to have an acknowledgment from you. Here is an example that can be used at the start of the session: “This class session is being recorded. By joining today’s class session, you consent to being recorded.”
  3. Allow students to turn off their camera and microphone using Stop Video and Mute in Zoom and participate via Chat if they prefer.
  4. Although you cannot stop students from using local or personal technology to record a meeting, you can disable cloud recording settings.