- Download the guide
- Ontario’s access and privacy legislation
Collecting personal information
- Are school boards limited in the amount or kind of personal information they may collect?
- Does a school board need consent to collect personal information about a student?
- When can a school board collect personal information indirectly?
- Does a school board need to give notice that it is collecting personal information?
- What are the rules for collecting, using, disclosing and requiring the production of Ontario Education Numbers?
- Using and disclosing personal information
- Consent to collect, use and disclose personal information
- Safeguarding and retaining information
Access to information
- How do students and parents access personal information?
- Do individuals have a right to access general records from a school board?
- Do students need to reach a certain age before they can exercise their access rights?
- How does a child’s age affect the parent’s right of access to personal information?
- Do non-custodial parents have a right to access a child’s school records?
- Correction of personal information
- Special topics
Ontario schools collect, use and disclose a large amount of personal information about students. Understanding how to provide appropriate access to this information and protect personal privacy is not always straightforward, especially in a complex legal environment and era of technological change.
This guide provides answers to common questions about privacy and access to information in the school system. The goal is to provide Ontario’s school board officials and education professionals with an understanding of their rights and obligations in relation to the privacy of, and access to, students’ personal information.
Role of the IPC
The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) is appointed by and reports to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and is independent of the government of the day. The IPC upholds and promotes open government and the protection of personal privacy.
The mandate of the IPC is set out in Ontario’s privacy and access to information laws. The IPC oversees these acts and serves both the government and public through:
- resolving appeals when there is a refusal to grant access to information
- investigating privacy complaints related to personal information
- ensuring compliance with the laws
- reviewing privacy policies and information practices
- conducting research on access and privacy issues and commenting on proposed government legislation and programs
- educating the public, media and other stakeholders about Ontario’s access to information and privacy laws and issues affecting access and privacy