Freedom of information and protection of privacy

About FIPPA

FIPPA and its application to Durham college

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 is provincial legislation that applies to Ontario colleges.

Some key purposes of the Act are:

  1. To provide the public a right of access to college information subject to limited exemptions; and,
  2. To protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by the college and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

What is covered by the Act?

Most records in the custody or control of the college are subject to the Act and a majority of these records will be available if requested; however certain records are excluded from FIPPA’s application, such as:

  1. Most college labour relations or employment records;
  2. Records respecting college research, except the subject matter and the amount of funding related to research;
  3. Records available to the public or expected to be published within 90 days;
  4. College teaching materials.

Resources/links

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990 Chapter F. 31
Regulation 459 (FIPPA, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 459 – “Disposal of Personal Information”)

Regulation 460 (FIPPA, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 460 – “General”)

Information and Privacy Commissioner (Ontario)

Collection, Use and Disposal of Personal Information

Notice of collection

In accordance with Section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990, the personal information collected by Durham College is collected under the legal authority of the Ontario colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002 and may be used and/or disclosed for various administrative, statistical and/or research purposes of the college and/or ministries and agencies of the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.   If you have any questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information by the college, please contact the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Coordinator, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON, L1G 0C5, 905.721.2000 ext. 3292.

Use of personal information

By applying for admission to the college and by enrolling in a program at Durham College, students consent to the collection of their personal information by the college for educational, administrative and statistical purposes.  The information is needed to process admission applications and enrolment and registration in academic programs; to record and track academic progress; to provide the basis for awards and government funding, and for related recordkeeping purposes.

By applying for admission to the college through the Ontario college Application Service (OCAS) and enrolling in a program, the college has consent to use a student’s personal information for communication of information relating to events, activities, fee payment reminders and other commercial messaging specific to the college.

Disclosure of personal information to other parties

Personal information may be shared with the following parties to facilitate fundamental activities:

  • Other post-secondary institutions to verify any information provided as part of an application for admission;
  • Other universities and colleges to share incidences of falsified documents or credentials, or to share information regarding fraudulent applications for admission
  • Government offices to verify information regarding an application for admission and to support processes for government financial aid;
  • Other universities and colleges with which Durham College maintains a collaborative program partnership;
  • Service providers contracted by Durham college to support business processes;
  • Government agencies federal and provincial, and law enforcement agencies relating to international student programs, study visas and other immigration matters, or for matters of national security or non-compliance with federal and provincial regulations.

Disclosure of personal information to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities 

Durham College is required to report student-level enrolment-related data to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities as a condition of its receipt of operating funding.  The Ministry collects this enrolment data, which includes limited personal information such as Ontario Education Numbers, student characteristics and education outcomes, in order to administer government post-secondary funding, policies and programs, including planning, evaluation and monitoring activities.

Further information on the collection and use of student-level enrolment-related data can be obtained from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website or by writing to the Director, Postsecondary Finance Branch, Postsecondary Education Division, 7th Floor, Mowat Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M7A 1L2.

Disclosure of personal information to Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency, which carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education. It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrolment demand at post-secondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand outcomes.

In order to carry out such studies, Statistics Canada requires all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada student identification information (student’s name, student ID number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, enrolment information, previous education, and labour activity.

Canada’s Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used only for statistical purposes and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.

Students who do not wish to have their information used may ask Statistics Canada to remove their identification and contact information from the national database.

Further information on the use of this information can be obtained from Statistics Canada’s website or by writing to the Postsecondary Section, Centre for Education Statistics, 17th floor, R.H. Coats Building, Holland Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0T6.

Disposal of Personal Information

The Office of Strategic Enrolment Services keeps a students’ permanent academic record electronically.   Other transitory records contained in a student’s file by the relevant academic school is destroyed in a secure manner in accordance with the college’s common records schedule, typically one year after graduation or withdrawal.

Records related to students who were provided medical/dental services, accommodation supports and/or counselling services concerning health, personal or academic concerns by clinicians are typically kept for 10 years.

Privacy at Durham College

Durham College respects the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information, and adheres to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and our internal privacy breach protocol.

If you have any questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information by the college, please contact the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Coordinator, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON, L1G 0C5, 905.721.2000 ext. 3292 or email infoandprivacy@durhamcollege.ca.

Resources/links

Durham College Privacy Breach Protocol