Hello Canvas Community,
We have recently received a few tickets regarding private files in their course that instructors have seen in Google Search results. Instructors, for specific reasons, have made these files private to the general public, but wants them available for the students registered in the course. As an example, this could be a course summary that lists academic work by an instructor,
Currently, any private file can be put into a public page. By doing so, the file will be available to the public to download and to view, regardless of the visibility set in the "Files" section. After escalating this to Canvas Support, they have stated that this is intentional. While we understand that this is intended behavior, some of our clients were not aware of this interaction between files and public pages.
We are worried about what this could do if this is intended behavior, especially for a large research institution and are not sure about what rationale this policy stems from.
What we would like to see is a clarification in the documentation and (hopefully) a warning/pop-up when an instructor does put a file listed as private onto a public page.
Any questions or concerns? Reply in this topic and we'd be happy to provide our perspective and additional information for this issue.
All the best,
UW Learning Technologies