The Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) is committed to protecting the privacy of our clients, stakeholders and members of the public who are in contact with us. Our goal is to meet the privacy standards of the Canadian Standards Association: Personal Information Protection Principles, as follows:
At ONCAT, we have put rules in place across the organization to make sure personal information is kept secure, confidential and accurate.
Personal information means any information that would identify an individual: for example, name and address, phone number and email address; financial or banking information; or information about educational or employment history. Personal information does not include information that has been anonymized, aggregated or combined with other details in such a way that it is impossible to identify any individual.
ONCAT is responsible for protecting the personal information that it holds about its clients and stakeholders, or that it may disclose to third parties (i.e. to service providers, post-secondary institutions) for various reasons. ONCAT has a number of contracts and agreements with third parties. Those contracts hold the third party to the same level of privacy protection as ONCAT provides.
ONCAT has trained all staff so they understand the privacy rules and their obligations to protect personal information. There are also policies and procedures in place across the organization to make sure ONCAT complies with the privacy rules noted here.
When we ask you for any personal information, ONCAT will explain the reason for the request: why we are collecting personal information and what we will do with it. We will do this when we ask for the information.
After that point, if we need to use your personal information for any other reason, we will explain the new use and ask for consent before we use it. You may refuse to allow ONCAT to use this personal information for this new purpose, unless the new purpose is required by law. However, if you refuse we may not be able to provide you with some services.
Generally, we will use your personal information for the following reasons:
ONCAT will ask for your consent for the collection, use and/or disclosure of your personal information when we collect it from you. In most cases, your consent will be express. For example, when you complete a profile and establish an account on ONTransfer.ca, you are providing express consent for ONCAT to use your personal information to provide you with information about post-secondary transfers in Ontario.
There are only limited circumstances when ONCAT might collect, use or disclose your personal information without your knowledge or consent. These circumstances are permitted or required by law.
You can refuse or withdraw your consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information at any time. However, ONCAT may require you to give notice of your intent, or may advise that your refusal or withdrawal of consent is not possible for certain reasons. You need to be aware that your refusal to consent, or your withdrawal of consent, may mean that ONCAT cannot provide you with some services. We will explain the effects of your withdrawal or refusal to provide consent.
ONCAT will not ask for any more of your personal information than we need for the reason(s) we have explained.
The kind of information we might ask for includes:
ONCAT will not use your personal information, except for the purposes we explained when we originally collected it from you. We will not disclose any personal information without your written consent except where you might have reasonably expected such a disclosure.
ONCAT will keep your personal information only as long we need it for the reasons we gave you when we collected it in the first place and to meet legal and contractual obligations. We will not trade, rent or sell your personal information to anyone for any reason.
ONCAT will protect your personal information while we have it. We will apply our records retention policies and schedules to your personal information. Once we no longer need to keep your information, we will destroy it in a secure manner so it cannot be reassembled and used by anyone else.
The only employees at ONCAT who will see your personal information are those whose jobs require access to your personal information.
ONCAT makes every effort to keep your personal information as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you feel we may be using information about you that is out-of-date or incorrect, you may ask to see the information we have on file about you and ask for a correction, if that is required. Further details about that process are included in the Individual Access section below.
While we have your personal information, we take great care to protect it from loss or theft or any unauthorized access. This means we have rules in place to make sure your information is not copied or changed in any way, or used or disclosed in a way that is not consistent with the consent you gave us.
The way we protect your personal information depends on the format in which we hold it. Paper files are held in locked filing cabinets and only accessible to employees who need the information to do their jobs.
Electronic files are protected behind firewalls and are password-protected. Only ONCAT employees have password access. All employees at ONCAT are aware of their responsibility to protect personal information.
ONCAT has policies and procedures in place to protect the personal information it holds about clients and stakeholders. If you have any questions about how your personal information is being protected, wish to correct or update your personal information, or wish to see the information we have on file about you, please contact ONCAT’s Privacy Officer.
Anyone can request to see their personal information and request a correction if that information is wrong or out-of-date. There may be some situations where ONCAT may not be able to provide access to all the personal information it holds about an individual. These exceptions are limited and specific. They include situations where one individual’s personal information contains references to other people, where the information was supplied in confidence, or it is information that cannot be disclosed for legal, security or commercial proprietary reasons.
When you make a request to see your own personal information, ONCAT will ask you to provide identifying information so that we can confirm your identity. We do this to confirm your right of access to your own information. We do not use your identifying information for any other purpose.
If a correction or amendment is required, we will correct the personal information as quickly as possible. If there is a difference of opinion as to the need for a correction, a statement of disagreement will be attached to your file. In either event, ONCAT will share the correction or the statement of disagreement with any third parties who have used the personal information within the past year.