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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Business

B-09 Privacy Management

Date Nov 2021
Review Nov 2026

It is the policy of District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to collect, access, use, retain, correct and disclose personal information in the course of meeting its statutory duties and responsibilities. The DSBN is committed to the protection of privacy for DSBN students and staff and complies with all applicable provisions in the Education Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), and any other applicable legislation.

The protection of personal information held by the DSBN is guided by the principles contained in the Ontario School Board Privacy Standard. These principles include accountability and responsibility; specified purpose; consent; limiting collection; limiting use, retention and disclosure, accuracy of information collection; safeguards; openness and transparency; access and correction; and compliance.

In accordance with MFIPPA, the DSBN designates the Director of Education as head for the purposes of MFIPPA. The Director of Education will delegate the duties under MFIPPA to the Board Lawyer as the Freedom of Information Coordinator, including to:

  1. Receive all formal requests for information under MFIPPA;
  2. Retrieve and review DSBN records in response to formal requests and/or delegate responses as appropriate:
  3. Prepare correspondence related to notification and access, including tracking of requests, and an estimate of costs to access information;
  4. Prepare DSBN records for access, including severing of personal information where required under MFIPPA:
  5. Oversee the administration of fees made under MFIPPA, in cooperation with the Finance Department;
  6. Prepare the DSBN’s annual MFIPPA and PHIPA Statistical Reports to the Information and Privacy Commissioner, in cooperation with other DSBN staff as appropriate; and
  7. Assist with staff training related to implementation of the legislation.


“Personal Information”, as defined in MFIPPA (s. 2), means recorded information about an identifiable individual, including,

  • information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual,
  • information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved,
  • any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual,
  • the address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the individual,
  • the personal opinions or views of the individual except if they relate to another individual,
  • correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence,
  • the views or opinions of another individual about the individual, and
  • the individual’s name if it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

“Personal Health Information”, as defined in PHIPA (s. 4), means identifying information about an individual in oral or recorded form, if the information,

  1. relates to the physical or mental health of the individual, including information that consists of the health history of the individual’s family,
  2. relates to the providing of health care to the individual, including the identification of a person as a provider of health care to the individual,
  3. is a plan of service within the meaning of the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 for the individual,
  4. relates to payments or eligibility for health care, or eligibility for coverage for health care, in respect of the individual,
  5. relates to the donation by the individual of any body part or bodily substance of the individual or is derived from the testing or examination of any such body part or bodily substance,
  6. is the individual’s health number, or,
  7. identifies an individual’s substitute decision-maker.

“Health Information Custodian” (HIC) is defined in PHIPA (s.3), as a person or organization who has custody or control of personal health information as a result of or in connection with performing the person’s or organization’s powers or duties.

“Health Care Practitioner” as defined in PHIPA (s.2), includes a person who is:

  1. a member of a health profession within the meaning of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and who provides health care; or,
  2. a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and who provides health care.

All records created by DSBN staff in the course of business or related to DSBN business are the property of the DSBN. Under PHIPA (s. 8), this equally applies to the records of DSBN employees who are also HICs under PHIPA as the records in the custody or under the control of HIC employed by the DSBN are subject to the access and correction provisions of MFIPPA.