New IPC report on online teaching tools & best practices for protecting student privacy

Oct 24 2017

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) today released a review of online educational services used by educators and students in Ontario classrooms. The review includes best practices for protecting student privacy and ensuring compliance with Ontario privacy laws.

When signing up on behalf of their students, classroom educators may be agreeing to information management practices by educational service providers that are inconsistent with their school boards’ policies and not compliant with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The report recommends that educators read privacy policies and terms of service carefully to understand how students’ information may be collected, used and disclosed, and to consult with school officials before selecting online educational services. Educators should also provide students with ongoing guidance on how to configure and use the educational services in privacy-enhancing ways.

The IPC worked with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) to design and carry out the review. The OPC has released a separate report summarising their findings.

The review was part of a larger international “Sweep” effort coordinated by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), a group of over 60 privacy enforcement authorities working together to strengthen privacy protections in an increasingly global context.

Read the report.