Using and disclosing personal information

When can a school board use a student’s personal information?

School boards are not permitted to use a student’s personal information unless certain conditions apply.24 Under MFIPPA, school boards may only use personal information:

  • for the purpose for which it was collected, or for a consistent purpose
    • A consistent purpose is one which the parent or student would reasonably expect, such as using the information for the improvement of instruction of the student
  • with consent
  • for a purpose for which the information may be disclosed to the school board under MFIPPA. For example, if another institution disclosed information to the school board in a situation affecting an individual’s safety, the school board may use the information for this purpose.25

 

In IPC privacy report MI16-3, the IPC considered a teacher’s use of information regarding the identity of students who had Individual Education Plans, to solicit investment business through the sale of Registered Disability Savings Plans.

The information was originally collected by the school board for the purpose of educating students.  The IPC found that the teacher’s use of the information to solicit investment business was not consistent with the purpose of educating students, and did not comply with MFIPPA.

 

The Education Act states that the OSR is available only for the information and use of supervisory officers and for principals, teachers and designated early childhood educators of the school, to improve the instruction and other education of the student. The act sets out a few additional circumstances in which principals and others may use the OSR, which include:

  • to respond to requests from students and parents to correct or remove information from the OSR26 (see Correction of Personal Information)
  • to enable students and parents to examine the student’s OSR (see Access to Information)
  • for disciplinary proceedings27
  • to prepare reports required by the Education Act, or, on request by a student’s parents (or an adult student), a report related to an application for education or employment28

 


24. MFIPPA, s. 31
25 MFIPPA, ss. 31(c) and 32(h)
26 Education Act, ss. 266(4) – 266(5.3)
27 Education Act, s. 266(13)
28 Education Act, s. 266(6)