Privacy in online...

Privacy when recording online teaching sessions with students present

Here you will find what you need to know to safeguard students' privacy when recording your teaching.

If you record a video with students present, you become the data controller on behalf of NTNU, which means there are some rules for privacy you must follow.

Topic page: Online teaching | Pages tagged: privacy

Norsk versjon: Personvern i opptak av nettbasert undervisning med studenter

When recording teaching, these are the three things to keep in mind:

  1. Inform the students that the teaching is being recorded - and why.
  2. Obtain consent if individual students give presentations or are the main focus of part of the recording. You do not need the consent of the students if it is you as a teacher who is the main focus in the video.
  3. Save the recording on an approved system.

Below you will find more information about each of the three points.

Also note: It is nice to see the students during the teaching, but students may have their cameras turned off because they are afraid that other students will photograph or film them and then spread this on social media. Feel free to remind students that it is not allowed to publish photos or video of students or lecturers without their permission.

1. Inform students that you are making a recording - and why.

Before teaching session, you must always tell the students that you will be recording and tell them where they can find information about privacy.

Explain why you are recording the session: that it is done to improve their learning, that those who cannot participate can view the teaching, and so that the students can watch and revise the subject matter again afterwards. Thus, you remove any uncertainty the student may have that the recording could be used for another purpose.

2. When do you have to obtain consent?

You do not need to obtain consent when the students are not the main focus of the recording, for example when they are just sitting in the room as an audience. You also do not need to obtain the consent of people asking questions. Some students will probably refuse to ask questions during the recording, and these students should be given the opportunity to ask questions or discuss the subject in alternative ways. You can set aside time for discussion and questions after the recording has been turned off or use the chat function.

You also do not need to obtain consent when video recording is a compulsory part of the teaching in order for the learning objectives to be achieved, in this case this must be stated in the study plan.

In teaching situations where the students are more involved and active than in a "normal" lecturing, if they will be recognizable in the video, you must obtain consent. This applies if the recording is not only of the educator, but where the students give presentations or are otherwise in focus.

How to obtain consent

  1. Tell your students to read this website 
  2. Document consent from the students, for example by creating a document where the students themselves sign / register, or by asking them to send you an e-mail with consent.

3. Save the recording in an approved system

When you save a video recording, you must use a system that NTNU has support for and a data processor agreement with.

Recommended systems for recording teaching

How long should the recording be stored?

A recording must be deleted from all storage media when the purpose of the recording is fulfilled.

Recordings with recognisable students: If the recording is features students presenting, the video must be deleted no later than when the teaching in the relevant course has been completed or the exam in the course has been completed. This applies until postponed exams are also completed.

Recordings of only you: Recordings of teaching where only you as a lecturer actively participate with sound and / or on images, can be saved for as long as they are academically valid and relevant.

Make the recording available for viewing outside of NTNU

If you want to make the recording available to external users outside NTNU - for example on YouTube - you must carry out a new assessment of privacy rules. You must obtain new consents from students who are recognisable in the recording, if you did not make it clear from the beginning that the recording would be published externally.

You must also assess the rights as regards to your teaching material. Here you will find more information: Copyright for lecturers.

If NTNU wishes to make the recording of your teaching externally available, you as a educator must always approve this. NTNU's agreement form will be used.

In some cases, the teaching must be streamed or recorded

It is not always necessary to obtain consent from you as a teacher to stream or record teaching. This applies when the teaching is deemed necessary to fulfil NTNU's duty to provide students with teaching, and if the live stream or recording requires NTNU-login in order to be veiwed. This means that NTNU can insist that you teach a session where the teaching is streamed/recorded.

This applies, for example, to teaching that must be available to students on several campuses, and it may also be the case that recordings must be available to students who are in quarantine. Privacy is in principle considered ensured when a login is required to view the recording.

If students want to record teaching

According to NTNU's guidelines, students who wish to record teaching must have the consent of the lecturer, if the student has not been granted rights to record through a decision in regards to special educational needs from the faculty. The student can only use the recordings for their own studies and may not publish or use the recording in any other way without the teacher's approval.

Guidelines and legislation

NTNU's guideline for the processing of personal data (in Norwegian)

Online teaching is considered a task in the public interest, so that GDPR art. 6 no. 1 letter e provides a basis for processing the personal data of the participants in the teaching. The legal basis for processing personal data is supplemented with reference to the Universities and University Colleges Act § 4-15 (1). (in Norwegian)


If you have questions about privacy in online teaching, contact NTNU Help.