Online Privacy Statement
Thank you for visiting EQAO’s website. Respecting your privacy and protecting your personal information in an online environment is a priority for EQAO.
This Online Privacy Statement explains EQAO’s current practices regarding the information we may collect, use and secure when you visit our website. This statement supplements the Government of Ontario’s Privacy Statement.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) governs EQAO’s management of personal information. FIPPA requires the agency to protect the personal information in its possession.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner oversees government organizations’ compliance with the access and privacy provisions of FIPPA by investigating privacy complaints and hearing appeals regarding access decisions made by ministries or agencies.
SecurityEQAO’s security practices are continually evolving to ensure that the integrity and confidentiality of its online information and systems are maintained. The government uses up-to-date security safeguards to protect its networks and websites from misuse, alteration, copying, disclosure, damage, destruction, monitoring or unauthorized sharing of information. The government’s safeguards include the use of security software and encryption protocols and involve physical, technical and procedural controls to protect information behind our firewalls.
You can opt out of analytics activity by setting your browser to notify you when a cookie is sent and block analytics cookies if desired. Please consult your browser’s help menu for instructions. Visiting our website with analytics cookies disabled will have no significant impact on your browsing experience. You may also use a VPN to access our site anonymously.
Google currently offers a free Google Analytics opt-out tool for Internet Explorer (versions 7 and 8), Google Chrome (4.x and higher) and Mozilla Firefox (3.5 and higher). Please note that deleting or disabling cookies may have consequences (e.g., deleting browser history).
Information that the EQAO collects via web analytics includes
- IP address of the electronic device used to access our website;
- the city and country where the IP address is based;
- the address of the website from which visitors came;
- the date and time of a visit to our website;
- the type and version of browser used to access our website;
- the name and size of files on our website opened or downloaded;
- keywords entered in our search engine; and
- pages of our website visited.
When you browse our website or download from it, our servers automatically collect limited amounts of information for traffic, monitoring and statistical purposes. The information is analyzed for operational trends, performance and for ways to improve our website. EQAO cannot identify you from this information.
Personal Information Provided for FeedbackYou may choose to provide us with personal information such as your name, address, phone number or e-mail address if you wish to submit an e-mail message, comment, question or request. When you visit EQAO’s website, any personal information you provide will be used to respond to your message and/or provide you with the requested information. EQAO collects your personal information in this regard in accordance with section 38(2) of FIPPA. This section requires EQAO to collect only the personal information that is necessary for the proper administration of EQAO’s authorized business activities. All personal information that is collected, used or handled will be treated in accordance with FIPPA and any other applicable law at all times.
Questions?Questions or comments regarding these practices can be directed to the Director of Corporate and Public Affairs, EQAO, 2 Carlton Street, Suite 1200, Toronto, ON M5B 2M9 1-888-327-7377.
Notice of Collection
EQAO collects personal information directly from students and educators in a variety of ways, including through large-scale assessments and questionnaires. EQAO also obtains information about individual students directly from schools and school boards. EQAO collects this information for the purpose of carrying out its mandate as stated in the objects of the Education Quality and Accountability Office Act (EQAO Act):
- Evaluating the quality and effectiveness of elementary- and secondary-school education
- Developing tests and requiring or undertaking the administration and marking of tests of pupils in elementary and secondary schools
- Developing systems for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of elementary- and secondary-school education
- Researching and collecting information on assessing academic achievement
- Evaluating the public accountability of boards and collecting information on strategies for improving that accountability
- Reporting to the public and to the Minister on the results of tests and generally on the quality and effectiveness of elementary- and secondary-school education and on the public accountability of boards
- Making recommendations, in its reports to the public and to the Minister, on any matter related to the quality or effectiveness of elementary- and secondary-school education or to the public accountability of boards
- Developing examinations related to proficiency in mathematics for the purposes of those specified in clause 18(1)(c) of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996, and marking completed examinations
- Conducting research and collecting information in order to assess the ability and confidence of individuals writing the mathematics proficiency test
In carrying out its objects to enhance the quality and accountability of the education system, the agency
- develops and administers large-scale assessments and questionnaires;
- provides individual results to each student, the student’s parents or guardians, and the school and school board;
- aggregates student results in a way that can help the student, parents and educators plan for academic improvement;
- provides information to the Minister of Education as required under the Education Act and the EQAO Act;
- conducts education research to make recommendations to improve the quality and effectiveness of education in Ontario; and
- develops a Mathematics Proficiency Test for teacher candidates and conducts research to evaluate the test outcomes.
EQAO collects information under the authority of the EQAO Act, clause 4(1)(b) and subsection 9(6), and the Education Act, section 266.3. This collection complies with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. EQAO takes all necessary precautions to safeguard personal information. EQAO also collects test process data (e.g., click-stream data) for the purposes of research and informing improvements in EQAO assessments.
EQAO discloses students’ personal information, including name and assessment results, to the Ministry of Education.
When evaluating student responses to assessments, EQAO will disclose to the principal of the student’s school any content that it considers to be offensive, along with the student’s name; EQAO will not score the offensive content.
Note: Offensive content is obscene, racist, violent or otherwise seriously inappropriate content that expresses hate, discriminates or leads to discrimination toward others based on (but not limited to) any of the following grounds: age; ancestry, colour, race; citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin; occupation, type of work, employment status (including unemployment); language, mother tongue, accent; creed; disability; family status; marital status (including single status); gender identity, gender expression; receipt of public assistance; income; place of residence; record of offences; sex (including pregnancy); and sexual orientation.
For public reporting of student achievement results, EQAO uses depersonalized and aggregated information. EQAO does not disclose information to the public about test results if the number of students involved is so small (less than 10) that an individual might be identifiable, even though individual results do not include student names. EQAO uses depersonalized student responses as examples for the scoring of assessments and for public resources and reports.
EQAO may disclose personal information to organizations or individuals for the specific purpose of conducting research, and in such circumstances, EQAO will enter into an agreement with the researcher to ensure protection of the personal information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Inquiries regarding the collection of personal information or how information is being used or disclosed should be directed to the Director of Corporate and Public Affairs, EQAO, 2 Carlton Street, Suite 1200, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2M9, 1-888-327-7377.
EQAO General Data Protection Notice
1.0 Application of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Legal Basis for Processing
- This notice applies to all Personal Data of European Union (EU) data subjects processed by EQAO when assessments are conducted of students attending Ontario schools located in the EU or of students attending Ontario schools but residing in the EU at the time that they undergo an assessment.
- EQAO is the data controller, within the meaning of the EU Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (hereinafter referred to as the “General Data Protection Regulation” or the “GDPR”), responsible for the processing of your Personal Data.
- EQAO has appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO), who takes responsibility for Office’s ongoing compliance with this notice and Office’s privacy practices. EQAO’s Chair of the Board (or delegate) acts as the DPO and can be contacted at 1-888-327-7377 or [email protected] if you have any privacy-related questions or concerns regarding your Personal Data.
2.0 Lawful Processing and Data Subject Rights
- EQAO’s legal basis for processing Personal Data is to meet its legal obligations as set out under the Office’s objects outlined in clause 3 of the EQAO Act.
- Vretta Inc. is EQAO’s data processor for digital assessments, administering tests and compiling test results on behalf of EQAO. Information about Vretta’s GDPR-compliance initiatives and how to exercise your data subject rights, such as gaining access to your Personal Data, can be found on Vretta’s website. Any such requests shall be dealt with in a timely manner.
- All Personal Data collected in the context of student assessments administered in the EU by EQAO is transferred internationally and stored on Canadian data servers.
- EQAO shall ensure that Personal Data is accurate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed, as outlined in EQAO’s Notice of Collection.
- Since EQAO requires Ontario schools to provide Personal Data to EQAO, administer tests and report on test results to the Office and to the general public, as outlined in s. 4(1) of the EQAO Act, automated decision making undertaken in the scoring process is authorized by law. EQAO does not engage in profiling of data subjects and has suitable measures in place to safeguard data subjects’ rights, freedoms and legitimate interests. For example, all research is undertaken on de-identified data and reported to the Ministry of Education as aggregate data for statistical purposes.
- EQAO may issue directives regarding the circumstances in which a student need not take a test as set out in s. 4(3) of the EQAO Act. Accommodation and accessibility options are outlined in the User Guides for the OSSLT and Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics, or by contacting [email protected].
3.0 Privacy Complaints and Breaches
- In the event of a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, personal data, EQAO shall promptly assess the risk to data subjects’ rights and freedoms and if appropriate report the breach to the relevant EU Member State data protection regulator
If you are an EU data subject and believe EQAO is not in compliance with the GDPR, you may lodge a complaint with your national Data Protection Authority. The authority will investigate and inform you of the progress or outcome of your complaint within 3 months.