Teaching students about privacy

While this guide focuses on the privacy obligations of schools and school boards, readers may be wondering about the role that students themselves play in protecting their own privacy, and that of their peers, in an increasingly complex digital environment.

In learning to navigate the online world both safely and responsibly, students contend with issues that range from cyberbullying to child luring to identity theft. They need help in developing the skills to navigate around these threats, understanding who is processing their personal information for what purpose, and weighing the risks and benefits of sharing personal information online.

Educators have an important role to play in increasing digital privacy awareness among students. They also have an opportunity to introduce students to important public values like access to information and the protection of privacy.

The heads of all federal, provincial and territorial privacy protection authorities in Canada, including the IPC, have called for privacy education to become a greater priority by including it as a clear and concrete component in digital literacy curricula across the country. Federal, provincial and territorial privacy commissioners have also collaborated to develop lesson plans to support education about digital privacy.121

The IPC has created resource guides for teachers that may assist them in meeting existing Ministry of Education curriculum expectations.122

For more information on access and privacy in the school system, IPC appeals and complaints processes, and to read IPC decisions, here on our website or contact us.


121. The lesson plans, tailored for grades five, ten, and 11 and 12  are available on the IPC’s website: www.ipc.on.ca/new-lesson-plans-for-educators-privacy-rights-digital-literacy-and-online-safety/

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