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Privacy Notice

Seneca College is a publicly-funded college with campuses throughout the Greater Toronto Area. This notice describes how we collect, use and disclose personal information. We adhere to applicable privacy laws, including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Collection of Personal Information

Seneca collects personal information of students, alumni and other parties, including but not limited to faculty, staff and private citizens as part of the services Seneca provides.  Personal information collected by Seneca includes certain identifying information, including, but not limited to, names, addresses, dates of birth and certain financial information. 

Consent

Where required, Seneca obtains the consent of individuals before or when it collects, uses or discloses personal information. Seneca may collect, use or disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of individuals but only as specified and permitted by law. Seneca will use reasonable efforts to ensure that an individual is advised of the identified purposes for which personal information will be used or disclosed. Purposes will be stated in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the individual. If Seneca proposes to use or disclose personal information for a purpose not previously identified, the new purpose will be identified and documented prior to the new use, and where necessary, an individual’s consent will be obtained.

Seneca will require individuals to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information as a condition of the supply of information or services to the individual only if such collection, use or disclosure is necessary to provide the information or services. In determining the appropriate form of consent, Seneca will take into account the sensitivity of the personal information and the reasonable expectations of individuals in relation to the purposes for use or disclosure of the information by Seneca.

Manner of Collection of Personal Information

Seneca collects personal information either directly, indirectly and via website technology.

We collect personal information when individuals communicate with us, apply directly to us or fill out our forms.  We also create records of our dealings with individuals that include personal information.  For example, we create and maintain a student record for every Seneca student.

Seneca may also collect personal information from other relevant sources including, without limitation, the Ontario Colleges Application Service, secondary schools, colleges, universities and other institutions previously attended, including third-party services and test score providers where the items collected form a part of the application or admission process to a college program.

Like many organizations, we collect information about our visitors to our website.  Please refer to our section on “Website Privacy” below.

Use of Personal Information

Personal information is collected under the legal authority of The Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002, S.O. 2002. This information is used for the academic, administrative, employment-related, financial, statistical and other appropriate purposes of Seneca.

Student information collected by Seneca may be used, among other things, to admit, register and graduate students, record academic achievement, issue identity cards and, where applicable, facilitate local transit passes, to provide access to information technology systems and to operate academic, financial, athletic, recreational, residence, alumni and other Seneca programs.

The majority of personal information processing happens in Canada, however, if Seneca has a contract with a third party service provider that is based in another country, or if a student is participating in a student exchange program, Seneca may be required to transfer personal data to a third country or international organization.  In transferring personal data, Seneca will employ suitable safeguards to protect the privacy and security of the personal information so that it is only used in a manner consistent with the individual’s relationship with Seneca and this Notice.

Disclosure of Personal Information

(a) Legitimate Purposes Related to College Functions

Information on admissions, registration and academic achievement may also be disclosed as part of day-to-day operations of Seneca, used and/or disclosed for statistical and research purposes by Seneca, where it is necessary and proper in the discharge of Seneca's functions, or as required or permitted under law.

Information is shared with third parties where processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by Seneca (e.g. health insurance plan provider, residence management).  In order to demonstrate that a student has not opted out of a specific student service or program, information confirming their payment of optional term fees may be shared with that respective service provider to ensure the student has unimpeded access to the service or program they have supported.

(b) Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Seneca is required to disclose personal information such as Ontario Education Numbers, student characteristics and educational outcomes to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities under s. 15 of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter M.19, as amended.

The ministry collects this data for purposes such as planning, allocating and administering public funding to colleges, universities and other post-secondary educational and training institutions and to conduct research and analysis, including longitudinal studies, and statistical activities conducted by or on behalf of the ministry for purposes that relate to post-secondary education and training. Further information on how the Ministry of Colleges and Universities uses this personal information is available on the ministry’s website.

Further information on the collection and use of student-level enrolment-related data can be obtained from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities website.

(c) Quality Assurance Agencies

Samples of student work will be made available to subject matter experts periodically in accordance with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements for quality assurance purposes. All names and other identifying information will be removed from the work.

(d) Statistics Canada

Under the authority of section 13 of the Statistics Act (Canada), Statistics Canada requires Ontario colleges and universities to report student-level data to Statistics Canada’s Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) in order to meet policy and planning needs in the field of postsecondary education. The information collected may be used by Statistics Canada for statistical and research purposes, and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student. Further information is available on the Statistics Canada’s Postsecondary Student Information System.

Access and Correction

Individuals have the right to ask for their own personal information and to request a correction of records containing their own personal information. For more information please visit the Freedom of Information webpage.  

Storage and Retention of Personal Information

Seneca takes reasonable steps to protect personal information against loss or theft as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification, regardless of the format in which the information is held, using appropriate administrative and security safeguards. In working with service providers who handle personal information on its behalf, Seneca takes reasonable steps to choose service providers that are capable of protecting personal information as per Seneca security and privacy standards. Service provider privacy and security obligations are documented in contractual agreements.

Record retention is dependent on the type of record. Records are retained as per department/program retention practices, and/or as required by legislated statute. 

Website Privacy

Seneca respects your online privacy.  Personal information is collected and used online in certain circumstances. For instance, we collect and use information you submit while using the online chat “help form” in order to appropriately respond to your inquiries.

(a) Cookies, Beacons and Pixels

A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from our web server and stored on your web browser. Beacons and Pixels are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users. Tracking pixels are embedded invisibly on Web pages. At Seneca, we use the following types of cookies: 

Essential cookies

These are used to authenticate you, prevent fraud and provide you with the services that you have requested. 

Functional cookies

These are used to remember you and recall your settings or preferences (such as language) when you return to our website. These cookies are not used to track you when you visit other websites. 

Performance cookies

These are used to measure the performance of our website and online services. We use the information gathered from these cookies to improve our sites, as well as the products and services we offer. 

(Targeted) Advertising cookies

These are used to record the websites you have visited in order to deliver customized ads to you. 

You have choices with respect to cookies. By modifying your browser preferences, you have the choice to accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is set, or to reject all cookies. Please refer to your browser's help function for further information about your options for controlling or monitoring cookies. 

(b) Google Analytics

In order to ensure that the content from the Seneca website remains up to date, user-oriented and comprehensive, our website employs Google Analytics, a web-analysis tool from Google Inc. (Google) that enables us to optimize your experience.

Google Analytics uses cookies that track your preferences during your visit to our website. This allows us to simplify navigation, for example, thereby helping us to make the site more user friendly. The information that is generated in this process (including the IP address) is anonymized, making personal identification impossible. If you do not want to be tracked by Google Analytics cookies you can opt-out by installing a browser add-on.

Please refer to Google’s terms of use and privacy options for more information.  

(c) Privacy Notice of Other Websites

Seneca may provide links to other websites outside of Seneca. Seneca makes no warranty or endorsement of material contained within such websites, nor does Seneca assume any responsibility for the linked website or its contents.  Our privacy notice only applies to our website.  If you click on a link to another website, you should review their privacy notice. 

Changes to Seneca’s Privacy Notice

Seneca keeps its privacy notice under regular review and places any updates on this web page.  This privacy notice was last updated on November 25, 2019.

Accountability

Seneca is responsible for all personal information under its control, including personal information disclosed to third parties who provide services. The Seneca Privacy Officer is responsible for supporting Seneca's compliance with this Notice, even though other individuals within Seneca may be responsible for the day-to-day collection and processing of personal information.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the collection, use and disclosure of your information, or in regards to the Seneca’s privacy practices, please contact the Seneca Privacy Office:

Seneca Privacy Office

8 The Seneca Way
Markham, ON, L3R 5Y1    

416.491.5050 ext. 77846

privacyoffice@senecacollege.ca

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 

The European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a privacy law that came into force on May 25, 2018. It is designed to give residents in the EU control over how their data is processed and used. Seneca collects personal information for the purposes indicated above, to fulfill Seneca’s legitimate interests, functions and responsibilities as a public, post-secondary educational institution.

EU residents have certain rights under the GDPR. All requests or inquires pertaining to information subject to GDPR, including access and correction of personal information, requests to withdraw consent for continued processing, data portability, or erasure of personal data, can be directed to Seneca's Privacy Office:

Seneca Privacy Office

8 The Seneca Way
Markham, ON,  L3R 5Y1

416.491.5050 ext. 77846

privacyoffice@senecacollege.ca

In addition, EU residents have the right to submit a complaint with an EU supervisory authority, in particular the one in their EU Member State of residence, place of work, or place of the alleged violation, if they believe that Seneca’s processing of Personal Information violates the GDPR.   

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns related to privacy, please contact the Seneca Privacy Office.

The Seneca Privacy Office

8 The Seneca Way
Markham, ON L3R 5Y1

416.491.5050 ext. 77846

privacyoffice@senecacollege.ca