File Sharing and Storage


The BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires that any files containing Personal Information (PI), be kept on Canadian owned systems.  That rules out Box, Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud and Google Docs, among others.

Here are some suggested methods, in order of preference:

Departmental File Server

Computers users on the Psychiatry network have access to UBC Storage Area Network, which is paid for by the department.  If you use a supported Windows computer you see this as N, M, P, U, V, X or other drive letters, with a descriptive name to the left of the drive letter.  If you use a supported macOS computer, it will only have the descriptive name and will show in the list of Shared drives, in finder.  There is no access to this storage space, from non-Psychiatry computers or computers that aren't on the Psychiatry network, however you may be able to remotely control your office computer.  Access to this space and the amount available to you, is controlled by your computer logon account.  Additional space is available for a small fee.  Click here for more details.

UBC TeamShare

Files are stored and shared directly on the UBC TeamShare server, so there is no risk of two people editing the file at once and creating two versions.  Access control uses Campus Wide Login accounts and access through CWL Guest accounts is also possible.  Space used is invoiced annually, for a small fee.  Users who are not on a UBC network must login with the UBC VPN (Cisco AnyConnect), software first.

To access your groups UBC TeamShare folder, follow the instructions at  The server address/folder is:

  • Mac = smb://
  • Windows = \\\team\PSYT\Programs\program-name

If you are using a student CWL, you may need to suffix it with ".stu".  Please contact Psychiatry IT for more information.

UBC Workspace

In order to make collaboration easier while meeting UBC policy and Provincial law, UBC is now offering Workspace file storage.  Workspace servers are owned by UBC and allow file sharing with UBC and non-UBC people.  It works via the web browsers on most computers, smartphones and tablets.  Every UBC faculty and staff member has 20Gb available to them, for free.

The downside to Workspace is that if the account owner (e.g. Jo Doe), is terminated, it may take a week to make the files available through another account, but that is better that losing the information completely, as with commercial cloud storage solutions.

Workspace has two components:

  • Web interface - This allows you to control who your Workspace files are shared with, upload, download or delete files.
  • Desktop software (AirWatch CLS) = Once installed on your computer, this allows you to drag and drop files, to your Workspace.  It is not necessary, but makes using Workspace more convenient.  If your computer is supported by Psychiatry IT, please send your computer's  asset number to and we will install it for you.  Note: Using the desktop software, will result in a copy of your Workspace files residing on your computer, which may not (e.g. no encryption) be FiPPA compliant.

Which of these services should I use?

File storage location selection flowchart.

File storage location selection flowchart.


You may find the following services useful, but they may not be used for files containing any Personal Information or Personal Health Information.

Faculty of Medicine - Large File Transfer

Members of the UBC Faculty of Medicine can use the large file transfer tool at  The recipient will receive an e-mail with a link, to download the file.  This service is foreign (USA) owned.

Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, iCloud and Google Docs etc.

These services are all foreign owned.