Protecting Privacy in Ontario Schools

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) has developed A Guide to Privacy and Assess to Information in Ontario Schools. This guide describes the obligations and rights that school boards, principals, teachers and administrators have under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

They have also developed a series of fact sheets to provide teachers with general information about popular subjects such as protecting students’ privacy online, privacy in the school and a more detailed fact sheet on privacy and access to information in Ontario’s schools. For parents we developed a fact sheet and brochure about children’s privacy in schools.

A guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools

Education Fact Sheets:

Protecting Your Students' Privacy Online

Privacy in the School

Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools: A Guide for Educations

Your Child's Privacy in School: A Guide for Parents

Using Digital Tools with Students

Deciding which web apps to use is a widely discussed topic in education today. Educators are responsible for both supporting the effective use of student information and securing that information in order to protect student privacy. That’s a daunting task in a “buyer beware” world where web app privacy policies and Terms & Conditions or Terms of Use are as lengthy and convoluted as they come. Yes, apps can provide outlets for creativity and engaging education opportunities but if the terms and conditions are not seriously considered, they can also invade the privacy of your students.

What can apps do without your knowledge?

  • Collect, use, share and save personal (student and/ or educator) information for other purposes or outsource to a 3rd party.
  • Use, share or sell information for behavioural targeted advertising.
  • Keep personal information after you are no longer using the app.
  • Access your contact list, device activity, browsing history and bookmarks.
  • Access location.

Protect Yourself and your Students

Recommendations:

  • Use Board approved applications.
    • Windows devices, use the Software Center
    • Apple devices, use the Application Catalog.
  • Limit what your apps can access when you install them by not agreeing to all their terms. If an app is too nosy, find a different one.
  • Recognize that Grand Erie imaged devices provide plenty of anti-virus and anti-malware software. The firewall helps to make sure no apps or software are sending or receiving information you’re not aware of.
  • Use Grand Erie devices to store and document learning.
  • Know the difference between internal Board apps and external apps that ask you to log in with your board credentials.
  • Read the privacy policy and Terms and Conditions for an app before using it.

Digital Tool Checklist

This tool was designed to help educators make informed decisions when choosing digital tools to use in their classrooms.

Professional Resources