OUAC Privacy Statement
The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) is committed to protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information.
Division-specific Declaration and Notice of Collection, Use, Disclosure and Treatment of Your Personal Information
- OMSAS (Ontario Medical School Application Service)
- OLSAS (Ontario Law School Application Service)
- TEAS (Ontario Faculties of Education)
- ORPAS (Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs Application Service)
- OUAC 105 (Ontario University[ies] Undergraduate Program[s] )
- OUAC 101 (Ontario University[ies] Undergraduate Program[s] )
Ontario Universities’ Application Centre Privacy Statement
The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) is a division of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). For more information about the COU, click here www.cou.on.ca.
The OUAC’s mandate is to process applications for admission to university programs in Ontario, on behalf of the universities in Ontario, and to engage in other work in relation to the university sector.
Your privacy is important to us and we are committed to ensuring your privacy is respected and protected. As part of this commitment, we have prepared this Privacy Statement to explain the manner in which we collect, use, disclose and otherwise treat the personal information of university applicants and others in the course of rendering application processing services for Ontario universities and other services on behalf of, or related to, the university sector.
Please be aware that in the course of applying to a university program you will receive additional information about how your personal information will be collected, used, disclosed and otherwise treated in connection with that program.
Collection and Use of Personal Information
The OUAC collects personal information when you:
- are in your final academic year at an Ontario secondary school and are eligible to apply to university;
- begin the university application process by creating your personal account on the OUAC online application websites;
- apply for admission to a university program;
- pay for your application for admission to a university program or for the admission of your child or another individual;
- respond to a survey; or
- contact the OUAC with an inquiry, comment or suggestion.
Creating your Personal Account:
To apply for a university program through any of the OUAC’s online application processes, you must create the required OUAC online application account, some using specific university websites, to direct you to the graduate and undergraduate part-time applications. When you create your account, the OUAC collects personal information, such as your name, email address, password and, if applicable, secondary school number.
Applications to many programs at Ontario universities must be processed through the OUAC’s online application processes. A fee is charged for the processing. We note, however, that a paper application process remains an option for certain university programs. To obtain a paper application you must contact the OUAC directly and there may be an additional processing charge.
When you apply to a university program, the OUAC requires that you provide all of the personal information necessary to process your application.
As part of the application process, the OUAC may also collect personal information about you from other sources such as secondary schools or other academic institutions you have attended, and third party test score providers. For example, Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores are collected directly from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC); and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores are collected directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
Information about other individuals:
The OUAC may collect personal information about other individuals that is required in order to process payment for the application for admission to a university on behalf of the applicant. The OUAC uses that information only for payment purposes and to respond to any inquiries regarding payment.
Sometimes the OUAC undertakes a survey of university graduates, students or applicants. Your personal information is used to contact you to advise you of the survey. If you agree to complete the survey, your personal information is used only to process the survey responses. The information obtained from the survey is used only in aggregate and non-identifiable form.
Sometimes the OUAC asks for personal information that you are not required to provide, but may provide if you wish. For example, we may request certain personal information for the purposes of allowing you to take advantage of special programs, such as scholarships or other forms of financial assistance that may be available. You are not required to provide this personal information in order to apply for admission to a university or to complete a survey. We explain the reason for requesting this optional personal information in specific notices for the applicable university programs. These notices also explain how the personal information you provide will be used.
When you call or email our applicant service representatives with a comment or question you may be asked for personal information to enable the OUAC to respond to your comment or inquiry. We may retain this personal information to assist you in the future or to monitor or improve our services.
You may visit our website anonymously to obtain general information about the OUAC. When you access the website in this manner the OUAC will log technical information about your visit. This information allows the OUAC to monitor site usage and identify where improvements can be made. The information collected will include:
- the computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g., IP 3188.8.131.52) and its corresponding domain name;
- the computer’s operating system and the web browser used;
- the referring site address, if the OUAC was accessed from another site;
- the addresses of the pages visited; and
- the date, time and duration of the visit.
When you create an account online, any information you provide will be logged. You will also be assigned a login ID and will be required to set up a password. During the application process, cookies must be enabled on your computer to allow the creation of pre-session cookies. Although these cookies are maintained only during the current visit, they allow the OUAC to log all of your activity during the application process. These logs are used for site maintenance and performance management as well as for tracking your navigation paths.
Cookies are small text files that contain a generated alphanumeric string. These files are offered to your computer to enable the tracking of your navigation through the application site. If this option were not available to the OUAC, you would not be able to use the online application. These cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
During the application process, personal information submitted over the internet is kept secure through a data encryption process known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
The OUAC may use applicant information in aggregate, non-personally identifiable form for research purposes. Statistical information is available to the public via the OUAC website for general information and research purposes. On request, the OUAC may provide aggregate, non-personally identifiable information, where appropriate, to government, the COU, the universities, Ontario colleges (for joint college-university programs), the Ontario College Application Services (OCAS), Ontario secondary school boards and academic researchers (at the discretion of the OUAC) for research with respect to admissions, enrolment and other academic policy development, resource allocation and related purposes.
The OUAC may disclose your academic, application, confirmation and registration information in non-identifiable form to the Ontario universities and some Ontario secondary school boards for admissions, enrolment and other academic policy development and research purposes.
Disclosure of Personal Information
The OUAC does not disclose, rent, loan, sell or otherwise transfer your personal information without your consent, except as otherwise set out in this Privacy Statement.
Release to Universities:
The OUAC discloses your application information to the university(ies) of your choice.
Third party processors, service providers and entities that provide information to the OUAC:
Certain personal information may be transferred to third parties for the purposes of processing electronic transcript requests, test scores or credit card authorizations. For example, if you request an Ontario college transcript in support of a university application, the OUAC sends the information necessary to identify you to the OCAS. The OCAS is responsible for managing and requesting Ontario college transcripts on your behalf. Some electronic transcripts may be obtained from other jurisdictions in Canada or the United States. In addition, where an admission test score is required for an application, the OUAC may provide the information necessary to identify you to the test score providers (for example AAMC, LSAC) in order to obtain your test result. These test score providers may be situated in other jurisdictions outside Ontario.
The OUAC may also make available your personal information, as required, to third parties who provide services on our behalf, such as audits to protect our systems and your personal information. In addition, you will be required to directly provide credit card companies with the personal information of those who are paying for applications to university programs, as required, in order to obtain payment authorizations. The OUAC does not retain any credit card information on its systems.
The OUAC’s service providers are required to maintain the confidentiality and security of your personal information and to use it only in compliance with applicable privacy laws, and are prohibited from using or disclosing your personal information for any purpose other than providing the services on our behalf or as otherwise required by applicable law.
Transfer of Operations:
The OUAC reserves the right to transfer any of your personal information collected in the event of a corporate reorganization or merger with a third party, or upon a transfer of all or a portion of our operations or assets to a third party acquirer.
The OUAC may provide your personal information in response to a search warrant or other legally valid inquiry or order, or to an investigative body in the case of a breach of an agreement or contravention of law, or as otherwise required by law. We may also disclose personal information to assist us in collecting a debt owed by you, or otherwise where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. We may disclose information, including personal information, to comply with contractual or other legal obligations in relation to the services we provide to universities and others.
In addition, as specified in the privacy notices accompanying each application, the OUAC or the universities may share some or all of your personal information with universities and colleges across Canada when application fraud has been detected.
Our websites may provide links to third-party websites that may be of relevance to the university application process. These third-party websites could include the websites for Ontario universities; the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP); the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU); and in the case of application to joint college/university programs, the Ontario College Application Services (OCAS) and admission test score providers (e.g., AAMC, LSAC).
The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply our endorsement of any other organization, its website, or its services. These linked websites have separate and independent privacy policies, which we recommend you read carefully. We have no control over such websites and therefore have no responsibility or liability for the manner in which the organizations that operate such linked websites may collect, use, disclose or otherwise treat your personal information.
Security of Personal Information
Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard the personal information in our custody and control, we are unable to guarantee that your personal information will never be disclosed or accessed in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Statement. We maintain administrative, technical and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorized access, use, modification and disclosure of personal information in our custody and control. These measures include restricting access to personal information in our custody and control only to employees and authorized service providers who require such information for the purposes described in this Privacy Statement.
To provide you with an increased level of security online, access to your personal information on our website will be protected with a password you select. We strongly recommend that you do not disclose your password to anyone. We will never ask you for your password in any unsolicited communication.
The OUAC is dedicated to using a high level of security during the transfer of application data. All files transferred to or from the OUAC use a Secure Socket Shell (SSH) protocol which requires a password to transfer the file and encrypts the file as it is being sent through the internet. Files containing personal information have an additional layer of encryption called Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). To use PGP, the sender and recipient must use public and private “keys”. These keys are an enhanced form of password protection in which the sender and recipient share public keys with each other but they keep their private keys to themselves. The sender encrypts a file with the sender’s private key and the recipient’s public key. The recipient will decrypt that file with the recipient’s private key and the sender’s public key. Therefore the OUAC has taken steps to ensure that an unauthorized third party cannot decrypt the file.
Accessing and Correcting Your Personal Information
We will keep your personal information as accurate and up-to-date as reasonably possible. We retain your electronically stored personal information in identifiable form until all processing and reporting has been completed. During an application cycle, you are able to access your personal information online and, in most cases, make corrections online where required. In some circumstances (e.g., after deadlines have passed for medical school, law school or rehabilitation sciences applications) changes to your personal information must be done by electronic notification via secure applicant messaging for the appropriate OUAC application.
To protect your privacy, we will take reasonable steps to help verify your identity before granting access or making corrections to your personal information.
Retention and Disposal of Personal Information
All information collected by the OUAC, as part of the application processing services provided for the universities, will be transferred to the applicants’ selected universities of choice during the application process as described in the application instructions. Copies of paper documents collected on behalf of the universities, as specified in the application instructions, will be transferred as digital images to the universities selected by the applicant. Unsolicited documents will normally not be accepted by the OUAC and will be returned to the sender.
We retain your electronically stored personal application information (demographic, academic and choice data) in identifiable form for the current application cycle plus seven additional annual application cycles. Following this period, we maintain information related to your application(s) in non-identifiable form for research purposes in accordance with each application’s published Declaration and Notice of Collection, Use, Disclosure and Treatment of Personal Information for your application types.
Paper documents collected on behalf of the universities and as specified in the application instructions will be forwarded to the university at which you register, at their request. As stipulated in the application instructions, paper documents cannot be returned or maintained in our files for future consideration. Also, paper documents, autobiographic submissions and supplementary material not required by the OUAC for the application process (or in the event that you do not register at an Ontario university) will be destroyed prior to the beginning of the next year’s application cycle.
Changes to This Privacy Statement
This Privacy Statement may be updated periodically to reflect changes to our personal information practices. The revised Privacy Statement will be posted on the OUAC website at www.ouac.on.ca/privacy/. We will treat your personal information in accordance with the privacy statement in place at the time of collection of such information, or as you otherwise consent.
How to Contact Us
Feel free to contact our Applicant Services department at any time if:
- you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Statement,
- you wish to access and/or correct the personal information we have in our custody or control; or
- you have a complaint about the manner in which we treat your personal information.
Visit www.ouac.on.ca/contact/ for details about how to contact us.
Last updated: December 1, 2012