Consent to collect, use and disclose personal information

At what age can a student provide consent? When can parents consent on behalf of students?

The rules surrounding the age at which a person can provide consent are different under MFIPPA and the Education Act.

Under MFIPPA, an individual having lawful custody (for example, a parent or guardian) of a child under 16 years of age may provide consent on the child’s behalf.47 The child may also provide consent. Once a student turns 16, their parent or guardian may no longer consent on their behalf.

Under the Education Act, the parent or guardian of a student under 18 may provide written consent for the use or disclosure of information from the child’s OSR.48 Once a student is 18 or older, the student alone may provide the consent.

Where school boards are required to seek consent for the use or disclosure of personal information, they should make sure that the person consenting understands what information the school board is seeking consent to use or disclose, and the purposes for the use or disclosure.49


47 MFIPPA, s. 54(c)
48 Education Act, ss. 266(2) and 266(10). Where a 16 or 17 year old child has withdrawn from parental control, the parent’s rights or entitlements under the Education Act, such as the right to provide consent on the student’s behalf, likely would not apply. In such instances the school board may want to consider seeking legal advice.
49 MFIPPA, s. 32(b)

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