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The Alliance Federation has adopted the policies and consents shown in this page, which must be accepted in order to obtain and renew an account.

Terms of Use

My use of the Alliance Federation Systems and Services will be compliant with the Policies, Standards, Terms, and Procedures of the Alliance Federation as posted here:

I understand that these documents are subject to change.

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Policy

1 Objectives

Canada’s national advanced research computing (ARC) platform is delivered through the Federation, which is a partnership of Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance), regional Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI)-serving organizations (BC DRI Group, Prairie DRI, Compute Ontario, Calcul Québec and ACENET), and academic institutions across Canada. Together, Federation partners provide computing infrastructure and services to a wide variety of academic disciplines from virology to astrophysics and literary analysis.

In the course of its operation, the Alliance Federation collects, stores, transmits, and uses Personal Information of Federation account holders. This policy outlines the Alliance Federation’s commitment to protecting this Personal Information, as well as the policies that apply to it.

2 Definitions

  • Account Holder: an individual who has a CCDB account.

  • Academic Principal Investigator: faculty member (full- and part-time), adjunct faculty member, or librarian at a Canadian university, college, or research hospital that is eligible to hold Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grants.

  • Research Institute Principal Investigator: lead researcher at a Canadian research institute that is eligible to hold CFI grants.

  • Non-Academic Principal Investigator: industry, non-profit, and government researcher, who, in specific circumstances, may apply to access Federation resources and services through regional Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI)-serving organizations: BC DRI Group, Prairie DRI, Compute Ontario; Calcul Québec; ACENET.

  • Alliance Federation: a partnership of the Alliance, regional Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI)-serving organizations (BC DRI Group, Prairie DRI, Compute Ontario, Calcul Québec and ACENET), and academic institutions across Canada.

  • Alliance Federation DRI Professional (ADP): any individual employed by or working on behalf of any institution or organization within the Alliance Federation.

  • Funder: an organization or government that provides funding to support Alliance Federation operations.

  • Partner: a member institution or regional DRI-serving organization that is operating infrastructure or providing services as part of Alliance Federation operations.

  • Personal Information: any information about an account holder for which there is a serious possibility that the individual could be personally identified through the use of that information, alone or in combination with other available information.

  • Sponsored User: any individual whom a Principal Investigator has identified and approved for access to resources and services.

3 Scope

The Alliance Federation collects Personal Information about Account Holders that is necessary to operate, maintain, and provide resources and services in the pursuit of its duties, the fulfillment of its mandate, or as part of its obligations to its funders.

Personal Information covered by this policy is Personal Information that is used to:

  1. manage and administer accounts, including tracking system usage and allocations;
  2. manage the Resource Allocation Competition (RAC), Rapid Access Service, and other allocation processes;
  3. communicate with Account Holders, including through the creation of mailing lists; and
  4. comply with funder requests and requirements, including those from the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance).

Account Holders can view their Personal Information by logging into their account. Email addresses and phone numbers can be changed by users directly by logging into their account. Other changes to Personal Information can be requested through

4 Policy Statements

  1. The Alliance Federation collects, stores, transmits, and uses only Personal Information that is essential to the pursuit of its duties, the fulfillment of its mandate, or as part of its obligations to its funders.
  2. Consent related to the collection, storage, transmission, and use of Personal Information will be obtained each time an account is created and from time to time, as policy may change.
  3. For Personal Information that is held on servers, access is shared on an as needed basis to Team Members who require access for the purposes identified above in Section 3 - Scope.
  4. Access to Personal Information for Sponsored Users is shared with anyone who has sponsored, identified, and approved them for access to resources.
  5. The Alliance Federation will not disclose Personal Information to external entities without the prior consent of the individual concerned or as required by law. However, Personal Information may be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities, if suspected criminal activities are detected.
  6. In some circumstances, the Alliance Federation may use a third party that may store data on servers located outside Canada. The use of these third parties will be identified in advance.
  7. The Alliance Federation uses reasonable and appropriate security measures to protect against loss, theft, or unauthorized access, disclosure, use, or modification of the Personal Information that it collects, stores, transmits, and uses. In the event of unauthorized disclosure of Personal Information, the Alliance Federation will notify all affected Account Holders.

Consent to Collect, Use, and Disclose Personal Information

The Alliance Federation may, in the course of its operations, collect, store, transmit, and use Personal Information to operate, maintain, and provide resources and services in the pursuit of its duties, the fulfillment of its mandate, or as part of its obligations to its funders.

This applies to the following Personal Information:

  • identity information (e.g. CCI, CCRI, username, roles, etc)
  • session information (e.g. login IP, geo-localisation, session preference, etc.)
  • contact information (e.g. telephone number, email address)
  • academic information (e.g institution, department, field of research, etc.)
  • Curriculum Vita (CV) information as contained in Canadian Common CV (CCV) or similar
  • Resources Allocation Competition (RAC) information
  • project information (e.g. project identifier, project membership, project title, project description, research area, etc.)
  • usage information (e.g. allocation identifier, allocation membership, resource utilization, service utilization, event attendance, etc.)

The Alliance Federation retains the right to store any of the Personal Information listed above. If you do not consent to this policy, the Alliance Federation will not be able to offer you its services.

There are organizations and individuals with which the Alliance Federation may share your Personal Information. These are:

  • Alliance Federation DRI Professionals (ADPs)
  • Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Regional Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI)-serving organizations (BC DRI Group, Prairie DRI Group, Compute Ontario, Calcul Québec and ACENET)
  • Canadian academic institutions operating a service on behalf of the Federation
  • Institutions with which you are affiliated
  • External reviewers who take part in RAC
  • Funders, to comply with funding requirements, reports, or requests
  • Principal Investigators who require access to verify and approve sponsored users to whom they have provided access to their Alliance Federation resources
  • Law authorities, in cases in which the Alliance Federation or law enforcement suspect or discover a security-related event

The Digital Research Alliance will never disclose any Personal Information to third parties for the purposes of profit or advertisement.

Consent to receive optional news and communications from the Digital Research Alliance of Canada

By signing up for or renewing your Alliance account, you will automatically receive operational notifications like system outages and updates, resource allocation opportunities, and other maintenance activities that affect services.

It is also possible to sign up to receive optional news and communications from the Alliance, about training opportunities, events, surveys and more. You can unsubscribe from these at any time, in which case you will still receive operational notifications like the ones mentioned above.

Consent to Access User Data

When you open a support request, the Alliance Federation DRI Professionals (ADPs) may be able to help you more quickly if they are allowed to access your files. In most cases, read-only access to a limited number of files is all that will be needed. On rare occasions, providing support may require altering some of your files (write access). Such changes will always be limited to what is strictly necessary to resolve the issue. In the case of minor changes, our team will always inform you of any action that they have taken. In the case of more significant changes, they will ask explicitly for your consent before making the change.

Do you agree to allow Alliance Federation DRI Professionals (ADPs) to access the files as described above without explicitly asking for your consent each time the files need to be accessed?

If you have a Principal Investigator role or any other non-sponsored role, please answer “no” to the Optional transfer of file ownership on account deactivation agreement.

Optional transfer of file ownership on account deactivation

Please note that this agreement only applies to users who are sponsored by a PI on Alliance systems. It does not apply to

  • files stored in Nextcloud or one of our clouds
  • files stored in your personal folder (/home)
  • situations in which there is ambiguity as to who should get access to the files, such as when you have multiple sponsors

When you eventually leave your research team and your sponsored role ends, questions may arise about the files that remain in your account. Because intellectual property rules vary from institution to institution, our policy is that the sponsor must obtain your permission in order to access your files. If you have not explicitly shared the files with your sponsor before you leave, and you are no longer in touch with your former sponsor for any reason, obtaining this permission can be difficult or impossible.

To avoid such a problem, we offer you the following declaration. You may change your response at any time by visiting this page.