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)

Ontario Universities’ Application Centre Privacy Statement

The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) is a division of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). We process applications for admission to Ontario university programs on behalf of the Ontario universities.

We are committed to protecting and respecting your personal information. This Privacy Statement explains how we will collect, use, disclose and otherwise manage your personal information.

We do not use or share your personal information without your consent, except as set out in this Privacy Statement.

What Information Do We Collect?

Personal Information

  • We collect the personal information you provide in your application, or in reference to your application, to process your application to your chosen universities.
  • We sometimes ask for personal information that you are not required to provide, but you may provide if you wish. For example, we may request personal information that allows you to take advantage of special programs.
  • We collect personal information about you from other sources, as required, such as your secondary school, other academic institutions you have attended, and third-party test score providers. We forward this information to your chosen universities so they can evaluate your application.
  • We collect payment information when you pay (or someone else pays) for your application. We use this information to process your payment and to respond to any inquiries about payment.
  • We may ask for your personal information when you call with a comment or question, so that we can respond to your question effectively. We may retain this personal information to assist you in the future or to monitor or improve our services.

Technical Information

  • We record technical data when you visit the OUAC website so that we can monitor site usage and identify potential improvements. We collect
    • your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g., IP 324.45.123.11) and domain name;
    • your computer’s operating system and web browser;
    • the referring site, if applicable;
    • the pages visited; and
    • the date, time and duration of your visit.
  • We track your online application activity using cookies and varied web analytics. We and/or the universities may use this data in non-personally identifiable reports to track navigation paths, maintain and improve the application system and for other purposes in accordance with our/their policies and practices.

How Do We Use and Share Your Data?

We keep your personal information confidential and disclose it only for the purposes described in this Privacy Statement.

Data Transfer to Universities

  • We disclose your application information to the universities you apply to.
  • We transfer electronic copies of paper documents to your chosen universities, as specified in the application instructions.

Data Transfer to Third-Party Service Providers

  • We 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, we send your identifying information to OCAS, which requests Ontario college transcripts on your behalf. Some electronic transcripts may be obtained from other jurisdictions in Canada or the United States.
  • Where an admission test score is required for an application, we provide your identifying information to the test score providers to obtain your test score. These test score providers may be situated in jurisdictions outside Ontario.
  • We may share your personal information, as required, with third parties who provide services on our behalf, such as auditors who analyze our systems to ensure that your personal information is protected.

We share your personal and payment information (or the personal and payment information of the person who pays for your application) with your credit card company, if applicable, in order to obtain payment authorization. We do not retain any credit card information on our systems.

Statistics for Research and Policy Development

  • We 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, enrollment and other academic policy development and research purposes.
  • We may disclose your personal, application, academic, confirmation and registration information (excluding name and email address) to third-party researchers (e.g., OCAS) to assist with research about postsecondary trends.
  • We disclose your information in aggregate, non-personally identifiable statistical reports. This information may be used by the following groups:
    • The public, via the OUAC website
    • Ontario universities and colleges
    • OCAS
    • Ontario school boards
    • Ontario government ministries (Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Ministry of Education)
    • COU
    • Third-party researchers (at the OUAC’s discretion) for admissions, enrollment and other academic policy development and research purposes
  • We may use your personal information to contact you for surveys. If you agree to complete the survey, we may link the information provided in your application to your survey responses. The results of the survey analysis will be used in aggregate, non-personally identifiable reports.

Transfer of Operations

  • We reserve the right to transfer any of your personal information in the event of a corporate reorganization or upon a transfer of all or a portion of our operations or assets to a new owner.

Legal Requirements

  • We may disclose your personal information to an investigative body in the case of a breach of an agreement, contravention of law, search warrant or other legally valid inquiry or order, or as otherwise required by law.
  • We may disclose personal information to assist us in collecting a debt you owe us, or otherwise where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
  • We may disclose your information, including your personal information, to comply with contractual or other legal obligations in relation to the services we provide to universities and others.
  • We and/or the universities may disclose some or all of your personal information with universities and colleges across Canada and/or other regulatory authorities (e.g., Canadian Border Services Agency), when we detect application fraud, as specified in the privacy notice of each individual application.

How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?

We maintain administrative, technical and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorized access, use, modification or disclosure of your personal information.

  • We restrict access to personal information only to employees and authorized service providers who require the information for the purposes described in this Privacy Statement.
  • At the end of each application cycle, we destroy any supplementary material you submit in support of your application. This material will not be returned, forwarded or copied to you, and will not be forwarded to third parties, prior to being destroyed.
  • We store electronic records off-site as part of our disaster recovery procedures. These records remain in Canada.
  • We do not collect, transmit or store any credit cardholder data. All credit card processing is done by a third party.
  • We use 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. Files containing personal information have an additional layer of encryption called Pretty Good Protection (PGP) to ensure that an unauthorized third party cannot decrypt the file.
  • Our third-party 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.

Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard the personal information in our custody and control, we cannot guarantee that your personal information will always be used in ways that are consistent with this Privacy Statement.

How Can You Access or Correct 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. These records also remain in Canada. During an application cycle, you can access your personal information online and, in most cases, make corrections online.

Third-Party Websites: Disclaimer

Our websites provide links to third-party websites relevant to the university application process. Inclusion of a hyperlink does not imply that we endorse the 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.

Changes to This Privacy Statement

We may update this privacy statement periodically to reflect changes to our personal information practices. We will post the revised privacy statement on our website. We 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

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.

Contact us for more information.

Last updated: August 22, 2019