Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP)
In 1993, the province of Nova Scotia enacted the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Its purpose is to make public bodies more open and accountable to the public in the way they acquire, use and dispose of information.
This is achieved in a number of ways including:
- giving the public a right of access to records in the custody and control of the University, subject only to limited and specific exemptions;
- giving individuals a right of access to personal information held by the University about them and allowing them the opportunity to request a correction to said information;
- specifying limited exemptions to the right of access;
- ensuring appropriate collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
The Act also provides the opportunity for individuals to request information, making public bodies directly accountable to each citizen.
A complete copy of the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is available on the government web site at https://oipc.novascotia.ca/legislation.
Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents (PIPEDA)
PIPEDA, which came into force January 1, 2001, establishes new rules for privacy. The rules recognize the rights of individuals to control the use of their personal information. The rules also impose obligations on organizations to protect personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances. This legislation protects the privacy rights of all Canadians as it applies to every organization that collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of commercial activities.
A complete copy of Bill C-6, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act is available on the Privacy Commissioner’s web site at https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/
Under the federal Privacy Act, individuals can request access to their own individual information held in federal information banks, including those held by Statistics Canada.
NOTIFICATION OF DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION TO STATISTICS CANADA AND THE MARITIME PROVINCES HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION STATISTICS CANADA
Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada 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 postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand ‘outcomes’. In order to conduct such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada, student identification information (student’s name et student ID number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, and enrolment information.
The federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes only, and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.
Students may contact Statistics Canada via e-mail if they have any questions: statcan.PSIS-SIEP.firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARITIME PROVINCES HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION
The MPHEC collects the data described above on behalf of Statistics Canada. In addition, it archives these data and uses them to generate basic statistics, research products, as well as the sampling frame for its university graduate survey. These activities support its mandate, which is to assist institutions and governments in enhancing the post-secondary learning environment. The legal authority for these activities is provided by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission Act. The MPHEC publishes information in aggregate form so that personal information concerning any person is never revealed. The MPHEC may disclose personal information for the purpose of research, in alignment with its mandate, and as authorized the MPHEC Act.
For more information, consult the MPHEC’s Privacy Statement at: www.mphec.ca