The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) is committed to protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information.
Declaration and Notice of Collection, Use, Disclosure and Treatment of Your Personal Information (Division-specific)
- 101 (Current Ontario High School Students )
- 105 (All Other Undergraduate Applicants )
- OLSAS (Ontario Law School Application Service)
- OMSAS (Ontario Medical School Application Service)
- ORPAS (Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs Application Service)
- TEAS (Teacher Education Application Service)
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, visit: www.cou.on.ca.
The OUAC’s mandate is to process applications for admission to university programs in Ontario, on behalf of Ontario’s universities, and to engage in other work related 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 your personal information and that of others in the course of rendering application processing services for Ontario universities and other services on behalf of, or related to, the university sector.
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 high school and are eligible to apply to university;
- begin the university application process by creating your personal account on the OUAC online application;
- 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
You must create an OUAC account to apply for a university program through any of the OUAC’s online applications. However, for some part-time applications, you will be directed to specific university websites to apply.
When you create your account, the OUAC collects personal information, such as your name, email address, password and, if applicable, secondary school number.
The Application Process
Many Ontario universities require you to apply through the OUAC’s online application. The OUAC charges a fee for processing the application. Certain university programs also accept paper applications. To obtain a paper application, contact the OUAC directly as there may be an additional processing fee.
When you apply to a university program, the OUAC requires you to 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 high schools or other academic institutions you have attended, and third party test score providers. For example, the OUAC collects Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores directly from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and it collects Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
Information About Other Individuals
The OUAC may collect personal information about other individuals on your behalf to process the application payment for admission to a university. The OUAC uses that information only for payment purposes and to respond to any inquiries about payment.
Sometimes the OUAC conducts a survey of university graduates, students or applicants. Your personal information is used 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 you may provide if you wish. For example, we may request certain personal information that allows you to take advantage of special programs, such as scholarships or other forms of financial assistance. You are not required to provide this personal information to apply for admission to a university or to complete a survey. We explain why we request this optional personal information in privacy notices for the applicable university programs. These notices also explain how your personal information 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. 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 online application account, any information you provide will be logged. You are assigned a user ID and are required to set up a password. During the application process, cookies must be enabled on your computer. Cookies are small text files that contain a generated alphanumeric string. These files allow the OUAC to track your navigation through the application site. 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, performance management and tracking your navigation paths. These cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
During the application process, personal information that you submit 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 the government, COU, universities, Ontario colleges (for joint college-university programs), the Ontario College Application Services (OCAS), Ontario secondary school boards and academic researchers (at the OUAC’s discretion) for research with respect to admissions, enrollment 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 Ontario universities and some Ontario secondary school boards for admissions, enrollment 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
The OUAC may transfer certain personal information to third parties in order to process 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 your identifying information to OCAS. 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 your identifying information to the test score providers (for example AAMC, LSAC) to obtain your test score. These test score providers may be situated in jurisdictions outside Ontario.
The OUAC may also make your personal information available, as required, to third parties who provide services on our behalf, such as auditors who analyse our systems to ensure that your personal information is protected. 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 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 to authorities 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 is detected.
Third Party Websites
Our websites provide links to third party websites that may be relevant 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, OCAS and admission test score providers (e.g., AAMC, LSAC).
The inclusion of a link does not imply that we endorse the 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 that requires a password to transfer the file and encrypts the file as it is being sent through the internet. Files that contain personal information have an additional layer of encryption called Pretty Good Protection (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. 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 your university(ies) of choice during the application process as described in the application instructions. The OUAC collects paper documents on the universities’ behalf as specified in the application instructions. The OUAC transfers digital images of these documents to the university(ies) you select. , Paper documents cannot be returned or maintained in our files for future consideration. 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.
The OUAC will not normally accept unsolicited documents and will return them 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.
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 we collect such information, or as you otherwise consent.
How to Contact Us
Contact our Applicant Services Division 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.
For details about how to contact us, visit: www.ouac.on.ca/contact/.
Last updated: February 1, 2014.