Privacy Statement

Last updated: July 1, 2020

The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (“OUAC”, “we” or “us”), a division of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), is committed to respecting your privacy. We process applications for admission to Ontario university programs on behalf of the Ontario universities. To apply for admission to an undergraduate university program in Ontario, or to an Ontario medical school, law school, teacher education program, or rehabilitation sciences program, your application is processed through the OUAC. We also process applications for other graduate and professional programs offered by the Ontario universities. The purpose of this Privacy Statement is to inform you about our privacy practices, including how we collect, use and disclose your personal information.

Application-specific Notice and Declaration of Collection, Use and Disclosure of Your Personal Information

Please read the notice and declaration below that applies to your application. These notices provide additional information on our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information, specific to the type of application you prepare and submit.

By applying through the OUAC, you authorize us to collect your personal information directly from you and from other organizations, as necessary, to complete and process your application. You also agree that we will disclose to the universities you apply to (the “Chosen Universities”) the personal information you provide to us and other personal information we collect in connection with your application. The Chosen Universities collect your personal information through the OUAC in accordance with their enabling legislation for the purposes of recruitment, admission and registration. Universities may use and disclose your personal information for other purposes in accordance with their own admission and personal information policies and practices. The notices of collection of personal information for each Ontario university can be found on their websites. Please review the policies of your Chosen Universities for further information.

What Information Do We Collect?

We collect personal information about you in the following ways:

Information You Provide to Us

  • We collect the personal information you provide in your application, or in reference to your application.
  • We may ask for personal information that you are not required to provide to complete your application. E.g., You may provide personal information in connection with special programs or surveys.
  • We collect payment information when you pay (or someone else pays) for your application, except for payment card information.
  • We may ask for your personal information when you contact us with a comment or question.

We do not collect payment card information. If you make an online payment using a payment card, such as a credit card or debit card, you are connected directly to our online payment processing service provider and your payment card information is collected and processed by that service provider.

Information We Collect from Third Parties

  • We collect personal information about you from other sources, as required, such as your high school, other academic institutions you attended, third-party test score providers and references.

Information We Collect Automatically

  • We collect the following information when you visit the OUAC website:
    • your device’s Internet Protocol address (e.g., IP 324.45.123.11);
    • your device’s operating system and the web browser you use to view the OUAC website;
    • the referring site, if applicable;
    • the pages you visit on the OUAC website; and
    • the date, time and duration of your visit.
  • We track your online application activity on the OUAC website using cookies and varied web analytics.

How Do We Use Your Information?

We use your personal information to:

  • process your application to Ontario universities and provide other services to you.
  • verify and confirm the information in your application.
  • maintain and improve the OUAC’s application system.
  • contact you regarding your application and other services, including by email.
  • respond to your inquiries and requests.
  • process electronic transcript and test score requests.
  • process and respond to any inquiries about your payment.
  • create data and aggregated data and reports to be used by us, educational and governmental institutions and researchers.
  • conduct research and analysis and to assist others with research.
  • protect our systems and the integrity of our auditing process.
  • investigate legal claims and enforce our rights and those of the Ontario universities.

We may use your personal information for other purposes we have obtained your consent for and for other purposes as may be permitted or required by applicable law.

Except as otherwise described in this paragraph, we keep current year and historic electronic versions of your application for 7 years, after which it will be destroyed in accordance with our Data Retention and Disposal Policy. At the end of each application cycle, we destroy any supplementary materials (e.g., personal statements, references, etc.) you submit in support of your application. Your information will not be returned, forwarded or copied to you before it is destroyed. If you create an OUAC account but do not submit an application, we will destroy your account and all related personal information (paper or electronic) at the end of the annual application cycle.

How Do We Share Your Information?

We keep your personal information confidential and disclose it only for the purposes described in this Privacy Statement. We share your personal information with the following third parties:

Universities

  • We disclose your application information to the Chosen Universities you apply to. The Chosen Universities collect your personal information through the OUAC in accordance with their enabling legislation for the purposes of recruitment, admission and registration. The notices of collection of personal information for each Ontario university can be found on their websites.
  • We disclose electronic copies of paper documents to your Chosen Universities, as specified in the application instructions.
  • If you apply to a Canadian university outside of Ontario, we disclose your Ontario high school academic data to that university, upon your request.
  • We provide your Chosen Universities access to correspondence about your application.
  • If you apply to a joint or collaborative university/university or university/college program, we and/or the Chosen Universities you apply to, will disclose your application information to the relevant partner Ontario colleges or universities.

Service Providers

  • We may transfer your personal information to third parties in order to process electronic transcript requests and to retrieve test scores. E.g., if you request an Ontario college transcript in support of a university application, we send your personal information to OCAS, which requests Ontario college transcripts on your behalf. We may also request transcripts and test scores on your behalf from other organizations in other jurisdictions in Canada and other countries.
  • Where an admission test score is required for your application, we provide your personal information to the test score providers to obtain your test score. These test score providers may be situated in jurisdictions outside of Canada.
  • We may transfer your personal information, as required, to third parties who provide services on our behalf, such as hosting, data storage and processing service providers, research and analytics providers and auditors who analyze our systems to ensure that your personal information is protected.
  • We share your personal information (or the personal 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.

Note: Your personal information may be stored and processed in any country where we engage third-party service providers. As a result, your personal information may be transferred outside of Canada to jurisdictions that may have different data protection rules than Canada. While such information is outside of Canada, it is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located, and may be subject to disclosure to the governments, courts or law enforcement or regulatory agencies of said country, pursuant to the laws of such country.

Educational and Governmental Institutions and Researchers

  • We may disclose your personal, academic, application, offer, confirmation and registration information to the Ontario universities and to Ontario high school boards for admission, enrollment and other academic policy development and research purposes. The notices of collection can be found on the websites of those institutions.
  • We may disclose personal information to the Ministry of Education and/or the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for policy development and research purposes, as outlined in and authorized by the Education Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act.
  • We may disclose your demographic, academic, application, offer, confirmation and registration information to researchers (at the OUAC’s discretion) for admission, enrollment and other academic policy development and research purposes.

Additionally, we may use and disclose your information when we believe such use or disclosure is permitted, necessary or appropriate:

  • under applicable law;
  • to comply with the legal process or other legal obligations, including our obligations under contracts;
  • to respond to requests from governmental authorities;
  • to protect our operations or those of the universities or other third parties;
  • to protect our rights, privacy, safety and property, and those of our affiliates, you and others; and
  • to allow us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain, including the collection of debts you may owe us.

We may transfer your personal information and other information to a third party in the event of any reorganization, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of our operations or assets.

How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?

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

  • 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.
  • We store electronic records off-site as part of our disaster recovery procedures. These records remain in Canada.
  • We use industry standard security during the transfer of 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.
  • 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 and no method of transmission or storage of information is 100% secure or error-free, so we cannot guarantee absolute security.  If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (e.g., if you feel that the security of any information you provided to us has been compromised), please contact us immediately.

How Can You Access or Correct Your Personal Information?

During an application cycle, you can access your personal information online and, in most cases, make updates. In cases where you are not able to access your personal information online or make updates, you may submit a written request to review any such personal information about you that we hold and we will provide you with any such personal information to the extent required by law. You may also challenge the accuracy or completeness of your personal information in our records. If you successfully demonstrate that your personal information in our records is inaccurate or incomplete, we will amend the personal information as required.

Third-Party Websites and Services

Our websites provide links to third-party websites relevant to the university application process. This Privacy Statement does not extend to any websites, products or services provided by third parties. 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 process your personal information.

Changes to This Privacy Statement

This Privacy Statement is current as of the “Last updated” date at the top of this page. We may update this Privacy Statement periodically to reflect changes to our personal information practices. We will post the revised privacy statement on this 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 Privacy Officer at any time if you:

  • have any questions or comments about this Privacy Statement, or about your personal information or our privacy practices;
  • wish to access and/or correct the personal information we have in our custody or control; or
  • have a complaint about the manner in which we treat your personal information.

Contact the OUAC Privacy Officer: