Privacy

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.

Accountability

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.

Security

EQAO’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.

Web Analytics

In order to serve you better, EQAO uses Google Analytics and other tools to help analyze the use of our website. These tools use cookies to collect and generate information about your visits to our website, which is then collected and used in an anonymous form for processing. EQAO also uses server logging for web requests (server logs trace the number and source of incoming web requests in a given period of time, mainly for security purposes, e.g., to trace likely viruses, and to determine traffic patterns). EQAO studies patterns of website activity to improve the experience of visitors to its website. The use of these tools does not allow EQAO or analytics service providers to identify individuals.

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 Feedback

You 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

The EQAO directly collects personal information from students, parents and educators in a variety of ways, including large-scale assessments and questionnaires. EQAO also indirectly obtains information about individual students from schools, school boards and the Ministry of Education. EQAO collects this information to support its mandate to enhance the quality and accountability of the education system by:

  • Developing and administering large-scale assessments and questionnaires;
  • Providing individual results to a student, the student’s parents or guardians, school and school board;
  • Summarizing student results in a way that can help the student, parents and educators plan for academic improvement;
  • Providing information to the Minister of Education as required under the Education Act and Education Quality and Accountability Office Act; and
  • Conducting education research to make recommendations to improve the quality and effectiveness of education in Ontario.

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. For public reporting of student achievement results, EQAO uses depersonalized and aggregated information.

EQAO does not release information to the public about test results if the number of students involved is so small that the individual might be identifiable, even though individual results don’t include student names. EQAO uses depersonalized student responses as examples for the scoring of assessments and for public resources and reports.

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, ON M5B 2M9 1-888-327-7377.

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