If your public/govt. employer gives you a company google drive or onedrive...

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  • May 5th, 2018 10:37 am
Jr. Member
Sep 16, 2008
175 posts

If your public/govt. employer gives you a company google drive or onedrive...

How safe is it from snooping eyes? Can a freedom of information request permit the employer to dig through your cloud storage to fulfill a FOI?

These business cloud drives offer unlimited storage but I'm afraid to migrate files if my employer can access what I don't want shared or if some group wants to look through my files through a FOI.
7 replies
Jr. Member
Nov 20, 2016
169 posts
I would not store anything personal on government-provided drives. Since this was given to you for work purposes, they will be subject to FOI/ATIP requests, so it's content may be made known not just to your employer/manager, but also members of the general public as well.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 15, 2004
20585 posts
Treat anything provided to you by your job as if your entire IT department is standing there behind you using it at all times. That means you don't use your company phone to meet up with your mistress, you don't put anything personal on company equipment, nothing at all that you wouldn't want brought up in a meeting with HR and read to you by a lawyer.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2007
1687 posts
Anything that is a government or employer provided asset is for work related purposes, so don't treat it as though it is a personal asset. Any employer has the right to see anything on their assets included emails, texts, etc. With government assets, it is even worse as Canadians can file for Access to Information. When you work for government, you are working in a fishbowl where any Canadian can ask to see what you have been doing.

If you want to maintain privacy, why use employer provided assets to do it. I just don't understand why people think otherwise.
Deal Fanatic
May 4, 2014
5170 posts
Toronto, ON
So let me get this straight... you are asking if you can store your stash of pr0n on a taxpayer-paid cloud storage service... and your only concern is whether your boss will see what you stored on your drive, not whether it is ethical in the first place to use it for personal purposes on taxpayer's dime?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 31, 2005
3354 posts
FOIP doesn't apply here. They don't need a request or you to give it to them. The rule for work is that everything is logged and accessible to your employer even if you think it isn't. Don't assume that your password prevents them from getting in, as if they gave it to you they probably have a level of admin access that you may/may not know about. Even if you use your own cloud storage, it's possible for them to monitor what goes out over their network.

Your ignorance of the laws, technology and company IT policies and general shadiness should be a concern to you as you've probably already done things (I.e. stored anything personal in that account) that could get you fired or worse. You're what they call a "single point of failure", also known as a "headline waiting to happen".

Assume that they also have logs of what you've already stored meaning they can find out even if you delete the files. (you know that deleting doesn't actually get rid of anything, right?)


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