FAQ

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Privacy (11)

Q. Can I decline the UTmail+ service?

A. Yes.  However we strongly recommend you do not choose to decline the service. The University of Toronto has negotiated expanded privacy and security protections for students using UTmail+ than are available by signing up directly with consumer services such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. You will not receive these expanded protections if you decline.

By declining service you acknowledge that:

1.     There are known problems that will occasionally prevent important messages from reaching youunder the University’s “Policy on Official Correspondence with Students” you are still responsible if an important message fails to reach you.

2.     You will not have access to UTmail+ functionality—this may limit your ability to collaborate with other University members.

3.   Declining the UTmail+ service is not the best way to forward your e-mail. If you require a forward service, please create your UTmail+ account and forward your e-mail using built in UTmail+ forward functionality.  Althought forwarding may still result in messages not being delivered, for which are you still responsible, you will have access to the full suite of UTmail+ services.

Q. Will a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on the potential risks of using outsourced email be done?

A. Yes, U of T has elected to complete a full Privacy Impact Statement (PIA) and has made it available for reference to the public under the reports section.

Q. Would the PIA be limited to only email and calendaring, or would it include other outsourced e-communication applications?

A. The PIA considers all information and data flows and therefore includes use of outsource service applications.

Q. The PIA looks at the flow of data happening now, but would it be sustainable over 20 to 30 years?

A. The University will enter into a time constrained contract, estimated 4 years. After four years, both parties can review the partnership. Any major change in information flows triggers revisiting the PIA and conducting any additional assessments, revisions, and updates, as needed in ensuring information privacy and security is upheld.

Q. Does the US Patriot Act allow the US government to access my personal information?*

A. Yes. The Patriot Act allows for the US Government to access personal information that is held or accessible by anyone within the United States or any US citizen by two different methods. The first tool which the US Government possesses is found in Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Under this section the relevant Government agency must apply to a court for an order allowing them to access the personal information in question. The information which can be collected pursuant to this court order is very broad. The second tool which the US Government has is found in Section 505 of the Patriot Act. It is under this section that the Government can issue National Security Letters whereby they can request that personal information be disclosed to them. The information can be accessed where it meets the following criteria: that the information sought is relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. No court order is necessary for a National Security Letter to be issued; however, the type of information that is retrievable is more limited than through that available in a Section 215 (see above) order.

Q. How does the US Government’s ability to access my personal information differ from the Canadian Government’s ability to do so?

A. In Canada, like in the United States, the Government has wide abilities to view personal information that is held in email accounts. The Canadian Government’s ability to do this is found in various pieces of Canadian legislation including the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, the National Defence Act, and others.

The key difference between Canada and the United States is that, in general, the Canadian legislation requires that all warrants for the seizure of personal information must be issued by a judge. However, it still remains that the application to the court for this order/warrant will be made without the knowledge of either the holder of the information or the person who is the subject of the information.

There have been a number of recent bills introduced in the Canadian House of Commons which would increase the scope of information that is available to the Canadian Government and also decrease the number of restraints preventing the Government from accessing that information.

Should you wish to see further information regarding the Canadian system for intelligence gathering you can visit the website for The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and review a Position Statement produced by that office.

Q. Does the US Government have access to intelligence and personal information that has been collected by the Canadian Government?

A. Yes, the US and Canadian governments readily share intelligence of this nature pursuant to bilateral agreements which have been entered into and pursuant to existing legislation which permits the sharing of information.

Q. If I use outsourced e-mail will my personal information be more readily available to the US Government?

A. The information may be physically located in the United States, which would allow the US Government to obtain direct access to that information. Where the information is located in Canada, the US Government would have to approach the Canadian Government to obtain that same information.

Also, information which is held in an email account has no guaranteed privacy. Any email exists not only in the account it has been sent to, but also in the account it was sent from, in any accounts to which it was forwarded, and likely on many servers which are situated in the United States. If an email user wanted to ensure that their account was not subject to US Government surveillance they would also need to ensure that those with whom they are corresponding have also ensured that their own accounts have no US exposure.

Q. Is the outsourcing company able to provide assurances to the University of Toronto and all of the potential users that they will not release personal information to the US Government?

A. The outsourced companies have provided the University with assurances that it will not release any personal information unless it is required to do so by law. They have also assured the University that where possible they will notify the University of any requests/demands for personal information. Requests/demands for personal information will often include a requirement that the holder of the information not advise any other party, other than their own legal counsel, that such a request/demand has been made. The effect of this is that the University would have no notice of its information being accessed by the US Government.

Q. Will the use of outsourced email increase the probability that my name will be added to a no fly list?

A. It is not clear how the so-called no fly list is composed and therefore the University is unable to provide any comment on how or why anyone person is added to this list.

Q. Does the University’s change to outsourced email infringe on my privacy rights?

A. No. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has reviewed similar scenarios where email is provided to an organization by a US based companies and has determined that there is not an automatic infringement of privacy rights. The Commissioner’s findings provide a useful overview of the privacy implications where email is provided by a US based company and the University encourages any interested person to review those findings.

Enrolment - before (7)

Q: I am a student employee. Can I switch to UTmail+?

If you are a student employee, you may enrol for UTmail+, however, email messages sent to your @utoronto.ca will not be automatically forwarded to your new @mail.utoronto.ca. See the article “UTmail+ for Students with Staff Status” for more details about how the transtion to UTmail+ will differ from standard enrolment.

Q: Will I lose my @utoronto.ca email address?

No.  We will preserve this email address for you.

Q: If I’m getting a new email address, what will it be?

Your new email address will end in @mail.utoronto.ca. For example: If your current @utoronto.ca email address is terry.lee@utoronto.ca, your new email address will be terry.lee@mail.utoronto.ca.

Q: What happens if I decline the service at the time of enrolment?

If you choose to decline the UTmail+ service, you will still get an @mail.utoronto.ca email address but will be required to provide us with a an alternative address to which messages will be rerouted.

By declining service you acknowledge that: 

  1. There are known problems that will occasionally prevent important messages from reaching you—under the University’s “Policy on Official Correspondence with Students”  you are still responsible if an important message fails to reach you.
  2. You will not have access to UTmail+ functionality—this may limit your ability to collaborate with other University members.
  3. Declining UTmail+ service is not the best way to forward your e-mail. If you require a forward service, please create your UTmail+ account and forward your e-mail using built in UTmail+ forward functionality.  Although forwarding may still result in messages not being delivered, for which are you still responsible, you will have access to the full suite of UTmail+ services.

Q: Will mail sent to my @utoronto.ca be automatically forwarded to my new email address?

For the majority of students, yes. For students who are also employed by the University, the forwarding will not be automatic.  You must set your own forwarding preferences.

Q: Will I lose access to my messages on UTORmail via UTORwebmail (webmail.utoronto.ca)?

UTORmail for students will be retiring.  However, you will be able to access your email via UTORwebmail until UTORmail for students is shut down.

Q: I’m a faculty member. Can I get UTmail+?

UTmail+ is currently only available for students, however, please contact us for further details.

Enrolment – after (4)

Q: I’ve enrolled and elected to decline the service but change my mind now. Can I re-enrol?

Yes. Proceed to the enrolment site and go through the steps again, changing your options.

Q: What happens when I graduate?

At the time of your graduation, you will be informed of your service options as a UofT alumnus.  More details coming soon.  Please come back to this website for more information.

Q: How long do I get to keep my @utoronto.ca or @mail.utoronto.ca email address for after I graduate?

We are still working out the details.   More information coming soon!

Enrolment – general (1)

Q: What if I elect to do nothing?

UTORmail for students will be retiring and accounts will be shut down.  Please consider enrolling as soon as possible.

About (13)

Q. Has U of T chosen a vendor for the new e-mail service?

Yes.  University of Toronto chose Microsoft Live@edu as the new e-mail platform for students.

Q. Would email addresses still be @utoronto.ca?

A. No, although the utoronto.ca domain would remain the same, it will now be used only for Faculty and Staff e-mails. Students will be transitioned to a new domain, @mail.utoronto.ca.

Q. How is outsourced e-mail managed, by the school or by the vendor?

A. The new e-mail service is controlled by the University although it is operated by the outsourcing company. UofT contracts with the provider on your behalf and your relationship is with UofT. We will continue to create and delete accounts, managing the service with a vendor-provided portal. At the same time, the vendors manages the hosting, including server uptime, spam- and virus-filtering, and data integrity. So the vendors helps reduce both the school’s infrastructure cost and frees the IT department to take on other strategic initiatives.

Q. What is outsourced e-mail?

A. Outsourced e-mail is a service such as  Microsoft’s Live@EDU (UTmail+ for U of T) or Google Apps for Education. These e-mail services are hosted by companies that deal in e-mail on a large scale for general public consumption.

Q. Is outsourced e-mail intended for all students, faculty, and staff?

A. No. The Outsourced e-mail service is intended for students only.

Q. Where are Outsourced e-mail servers located?

A. Servers hosting the University of Toronto’s student outsourced service would be located worldwide.

Q. Would outsourced e-mail be the only email option available at the University of Toronto?

A. No. Students will have the option to opt out of the U of T outsourced service and receive U of T domain address with a forwarding service only (more details to come). Faculty and Staff will remain on the U of T’s Microsoft Exchange service and UTORmail respectively.

Q. Why is the University considering this change?

A. University of Toronto would like to move away from providing services that are considered ‘utility’ and reallocate those resources to projects that are more innovative and distinguish our core offering from other Universities. Second, we want to expose our students to a rich set of leading-edge tools and applications that can be used to enhance communication and also provide students with a viable calendaring option, which at this time they do not have access to.

Q. Why is outsource in particular being proposed?

A. Several options were considered, some free and some not free. While outsourcing is not the only option, we consider it the best option overall. Please refer to the reports for more information on this decision.

Q. Are other institutions doing this?

A. Many universities and colleges recognize that email and calendaring are utility services and are getting out of directly supporting these services. Approximately 28% of the post-secondary institutions in the United States now use external services for their email (a rise from 5% just two years ago).

Q. Would anyone lose their job?

A. The intent is that no one would lose their job. The project would free up people resources (by relieving them of a mundane task) to be redeployed to do other important tasks for their Faculty/Department/Unit.

Q. What would the University do with the money it would save by switching to outsourced email service?

A. Money saved by Faculties/Departments/Units would stay in the Faculty/Department/Unit. Central savings for email/webmail would be redeployed. Energy savings from reducing computing infrastructure would result in a lowered power bill, an indirect cost saving to the University.

Q. Will I see corporate advertising?

A. Student outsourced emails accounts will not display corporate advertising. Note that this is different to public free accounts, as we will be part of an Education Edition agreement.

End-User (14)

Q. Can I decline the UTmail+ service?

A. Yes.  However we strongly recommend you do not choose to decline the service. The University of Toronto has negotiated expanded privacy and security protections for students using UTmail+ than are available by signing up directly with consumer services such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. You will not receive these expanded protections if you decline.

By declining service you acknowledge that:

1.     There are known problems that will occasionally prevent important messages from reaching youunder the University’s “Policy on Official Correspondence with Students” you are still responsible if an important message fails to reach you.

2.     You will not have access to UTmail+ functionality—this may limit your ability to collaborate with other University members.

3.   Declining the UTmail+ service is not the best way to forward your e-mail. If you require a forward service, please create your UTmail+ account and forward your e-mail using built in UTmail+ forward functionality.  Althought forwarding may still result in messages not being delivered, for which are you still responsible, you will have access to the full suite of UTmail+ services.

Q. When will this change take place?

A. UTmail+ is currently available to most new incoming students as of July 13, 2011.   Current students will see a migration schedule tentatively set for late October 2011.  A detailed timeline will be provided in the near future. Your e-mail will not change without sufficient notice.

Q. Would email addresses still be @utoronto.ca?

A. No, although the utoronto.ca domain would remain the same, it will now be used only for Faculty and Staff e-mails. Students will be transitioned to a new domain, @mail.utoronto.ca.

Q. What happens to my old email?

A. Your UTORmail account e-mail content located on the server will be migrated to UTmail+ according to a migration schedule that will be published in the early Fall 2011.  Local folders that are not stored on the server will be up to you to migrate as well as your contacts.   Following migration, your UTORmail account will continue to be forwarded to the new UTmail+ service for a period of two (2) years, with a possible extension.

Q. Will I have more email space?

A. Yes!  Your new UTmail+ account will have a 10GB inbox.  This includes your e-mail, contacts and calendar.

Q. Is outsourced email secure?

A. Email is, by nature, insecure. Outsourced e-mail is at least as secure as the current campus email service, and arguably more secure. While in transit, email is often unencrypted and could be intercepted. You should always assume email is not private. This is true for all email services.
When you check your email, the outsourced e-mail services provides a secure connection from your web browser and/or email client. This encrypts the data between you and the email servers while you view it or collect mail. This is the same system that banks use to secure your connection for online banking.

Q. Is my email encrypted on the outsourced email servers?

A. No. This is the case for almost all email, regardless of the provider. Just as is true today, if private communication is desired over email you should use PGP encryption with your email program, or a plugin in Firefox. Alternatively, put the document somewhere in a secure web site and send a link in the email rather than the document itself.

Q. Why are we considering this change to email?

A. Email is considered “utility” computing. It is a mature, well-established essential service. It is regarded as a utility in the IT industry, just as we regard water and power as utilities. E-mail is no longer considered a ‘core’ IT service, and so it is best to outsource it to providers that deal with email exclusively so they can provide the ultimate up-to-the-date standard of service, versus U of T having to spend much needed resources to compete with big providers.

Q. Why is the University considering this change?

A. University of Toronto would like to move away from providing services that are considered ‘utility’ and reallocate those resources to projects that are more innovative and distinguish our core offering from other Universities. Second, we want to expose our students to a rich set of leading-edge tools and applications that can be used to enhance communication and also provide students with a viable calendaring option, which at this time they do not have access to.

Q. Why is outsource in particular being proposed?

A. Several options were considered, some free and some not free. While outsourcing is not the only option, we consider it the best option overall. Please refer to the reports for more information on this decision.

Q. Are other institutions doing this?

A. Many universities and colleges recognize that email and calendaring are utility services and are getting out of directly supporting these services. Approximately 28% of the post-secondary institutions in the United States now use external services for their email (a rise from 5% just two years ago).

Q. Would anyone lose their job?

A. The intent is that no one would lose their job. The project would free up people resources (by relieving them of a mundane task) to be redeployed to do other important tasks for their Faculty/Department/Unit.

Q. What would the University do with the money it would save by switching to outsourced email service?

A. Money saved by Faculties/Departments/Units would stay in the Faculty/Department/Unit. Central savings for email/webmail would be redeployed. Energy savings from reducing computing infrastructure would result in a lowered power bill, an indirect cost saving to the University.

Q. Will I see corporate advertising?

A. Student outsourced emails accounts will not display corporate advertising. Note that this is different to public free accounts, as we will be part of an Education Edition agreement.

Technical (4)

Q. How is outsourced e-mail managed, by the school or by the vendor?

A. The new e-mail service is controlled by the University although it is operated by the outsourcing company. UofT contracts with the provider on your behalf and your relationship is with UofT. We will continue to create and delete accounts, managing the service with a vendor-provided portal. At the same time, the vendors manages the hosting, including server uptime, spam- and virus-filtering, and data integrity. So the vendors helps reduce both the school’s infrastructure cost and frees the IT department to take on other strategic initiatives.

Q. Is outsourced email secure?

A. Email is, by nature, insecure. Outsourced e-mail is at least as secure as the current campus email service, and arguably more secure. While in transit, email is often unencrypted and could be intercepted. You should always assume email is not private. This is true for all email services.
When you check your email, the outsourced e-mail services provides a secure connection from your web browser and/or email client. This encrypts the data between you and the email servers while you view it or collect mail. This is the same system that banks use to secure your connection for online banking.

Q. Is my email encrypted on the outsourced email servers?

A. No. This is the case for almost all email, regardless of the provider. Just as is true today, if private communication is desired over email you should use PGP encryption with your email program, or a plugin in Firefox. Alternatively, put the document somewhere in a secure web site and send a link in the email rather than the document itself.

Q. Why are we considering this change to email?

A. Email is considered “utility” computing. It is a mature, well-established essential service. It is regarded as a utility in the IT industry, just as we regard water and power as utilities. E-mail is no longer considered a ‘core’ IT service, and so it is best to outsource it to providers that deal with email exclusively so they can provide the ultimate up-to-the-date standard of service, versus U of T having to spend much needed resources to compete with big providers.

Alumni (6)

Q: Does the two year countdown start again after each time I graduate from U of T?

A: Yes.  The forwarding service will reset for your most recent valid U of T current student e-mail account.

Q: How large is the mailbox and what are its features?

A:  The mailbox for UTMail+ is 10GB. See the UTmail+ Features page for more details about the service features.

Q: I’m having trouble switching from utormail to mail.utoronto (or am told I’m not eligible) can I call someone to help me? – “Your UTORid is not currently eligible for enrolment in UTmail+. Please continue using UTORmail/UTORexchange”

This message was generated for students who were also flagged as staff in the University’s system. As of early 2012, this limitation was removed.  If you are encountering difficulties, please contact your campus helpdesk or e-mail help.desk@utoronto.ca

Q: I am a staff member at U of T, will this having an additional UTmail+ account issued to me for my student activities affect my staff account?

A: No.  Your staff account will remain intact as long as you retain staff status at the University.

Q: How do I enrol in UTMail+?

A: Go to http://email.utoronto.ca

 

Q: Will all my contacts and stored messages still be accessible to me after I change to UTMail+?

A: If you are switching from UTORmail to UTmail+ for the first time, you may use the Connect feature in UTmail+ to move all your UTORmail email contents to your new account. Contacts will not be moved. We recommend you download and save those before you switch.

Once you migrate your UTORmail contents to UTmail+ and obtain your @alum.utoronto.ca account upon graduation, your e-mail contents and contacts will stay in tact.  No action is required.   The transition of contents and contacts only affects users who are going from the old e-mail system to the new.  Once you are on UTmail+ your experience will remain consistent regardless of e-mail address domain changes.


*Thank you to the University of Alberta for sharing FAQ content.