April 28, 2020

Online meeting tools - update

A message to the campus community from Vice President (Finance and Services) Linda Dalgetty

Editor's note: Update on May 4, 2020

A password will be required for all Zoom sessions by default as of May 6

Everyone is responsible for creating a safe and inclusive environment when using Zoom and to help you do this, we have created Zoom Standard Practice Guidelines. These guidelines provide information on how to make your Zoom sessions more secure.

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A few days ago, you received an email outlining the online meeting tools that we, as a campus community, need to use while working from home. Based on further review and community feedback, here are our updated guidelines. Microsoft Teams must be used when making recordings of meetings that involve “Level 4” data.  Microsoft Teams is the preferred and more secure platform for meetings, while Zoom is still preferred for classroom instruction.

What online meeting tools does UCalgary support?

The two online meeting tools that may be utilized for UCalgary activities are Microsoft Teams and Zoom. 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) is more secure than Zoom from a security and privacy perspective. It is the required platform for all recorded meetings that involve Level 4 data. This includes health information that can be linked to an individual, including health status and diagnostic, treatment or care information.

For more information about Level 4 data, please see UCalgary’s Information Security Classification Standard.

When meetings are recorded:

  • Participants must be informed that the meeting will be recorded by the host.
  • Participants must be informed that chats are retained and can be requested under Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests.

MS Teams recording is functional. It is recommended that you save the file to a secure location such as  secure compute or OneDrive.  Dial in numbers for MS Teams meeting participants will be available in the near future.

Additional information on the use of MS Teams can be found here


Zoom is not as secure as MS Teams. However, we recognize that it is a preferred tool for many community members. It is acceptable to use Zoom for your online meetings if you wish to do so, except for recorded sessions that involve Level 4 data where MS Teams is the required platform to use. If you choose to use Zoom for Level 3 or 4 data classification meetings, please follow the best practices document found here.  We are requesting that the host utilizes the waiting room function and uses password protection for all Zoom meetings to limit unwelcome intrusions such as Zoom Bombing.  We have adjusted our settings to ensure the best security possible with this tool and are providing feedback to Zoom to improve security features in future releases.

For guidelines on using Zoom for online teaching and learning, please visit our elearning resource hub.

Which online platforms suit my specific need?

The table below will assist you in making the right choice:

Select your UCalgary online meeting software

Data Classification guidelines for meeting platforms:

UCalgary online meeting data guidelines

1 Teams is the more secure platform and is recommended for sensitive information recording and is required for Level 4 recordings.

2 Please follow the Media Recording of Learning Environments operating standard.

Thank you again for your continued patience and feedback. If you have any questions, please contact our IT Support Centre.


UCalgary resources on COVID-19

For the most up-to-date information about the University of Calgary's response to the spread of COVID-19, visit the UCalgary COVID-19 Response website.