FAQs and Tips

NEWprivacy information regarding hosting meetings with students via Cisco WebEx is now available here.

NEW – privacy information pertaining to taking attendance is now available here.

General tips for ensuring compliance with FIPPA include:

  • Collect only the personal information needed to perform your duties;
  • Inform individuals about the collection and the purpose(s) of the collection (what you will use their information for);
  • Only use personal information for the purpose(s) for which it was collected; and
  • Do not disclose personal information to third parties (except in limited circumstances as specified in FIPPA, in consultation with the Privacy Coordinator).

In addition, the Government of Ontario provides the following Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Manual.

What Constitutes Personal Information (PI)?

A name, by itself, is not personal information (PI) by definition. A name is PI when it appears with other personal information relating to an individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

For employees the information must be about the employee in a personal capacity to be considered PI. As a general rule, information associated with an individual in a professional, official or business capacity will not be considered to be “about” the individual unless it reveals something of a personal nature.

The context in which the information appears is important. It is important to examine the context in which information appears to determine whether it constitutes PI or not. Depending on the context, information may not meet the definition of personal information because it is, for example, information about an individual in a business capacity.

What is Personal (Health) Information?

The College may handle your personal health information (“PHI”) when you seek health care from one or more of these College services:

  • Counselling Services;
  • Student Health Services; and/or
  • The Massage Clinic.

IMPORTANT: Personal health information does not include records/identifying information pertaining to an individual that is not maintained primarily for the provision of health care and/or information that is not collected in the context of providing health care.

Personal Health Information, PHI, is defined in PHIPA as “identifying information’ about an individual, in oral or recorded form, that relates to your physical or mental health, family health history, providing you with health care or the identification of one of your health care providers, payments or eligibility for coverage for health care, donation of body parts, your health card number and whether or not you have a substitute decision-maker“. PHI is not disclosed by the College, except as detailed in College Policy 1-111: Access to Information and Protection of Privacy and College Policy 1-112: Information Practices Related to Personal Health Information.

How do I request my personal information at Fleming College?

Please see our “Making a Request” page for more information on how to initiate with a request for information.

Do I have to pay to make a formal FIPPA / PHIPA request?

The College strongly recommends initiating an informal request first and foremost. Informal requests are usually expedited and do not (typically) require a fee for records.

Formal FIPPA and PHIPA request forms must be accompanied by a $5.00 fee payment. Any additional fees that may result from the processing of a formal FIPPA / PHIPA request will be estimated upon receipt of the request – if the estimate is in excess of $100, partial payment will be required in advance of the request being processed.

How do I collect personal information (PI)?

Staff may collect personal information (PI) only for the following purposes:
– administration of the College;
– for purposes authorized by law; and
– for law enforcement.

You must notify of collection, authority for collection and purpose(s) of the collection.
Example: “The information you provide on this form is collected by the College under the authority of the FIPPA and is used by the College to plan and provide College programs, to process admissions and registrations, to conduct administrative activities related to the above and for purposes consistent with the above purposes.

What information can Fleming College release?

Under FIPPA and PHIPA, the College must make records accessible upon request unless the Act provides an exemption. The College Privacy Coordinator assists College departments in determining whether records can be released.

Can Fleming College staff / faculty share students’ academic information with the students’ guardians, parents, family etc.?

Only with the student’s informed and explicit consent. Consent is only considered valid when given in-person and/or when the Consent to Release Information to Third Party Form is completed and submitted by the student.

Can Staff share students’ Personal Information with other employees of the College?

Yes, in some instances: where the other employee’s duties and responsibilities would permit them to have access to that information; and, where the other employee would require that information to carry out their duties. If staff wish to share Personal Information beyond those with authorized/required access, they must obtain the student’s explicit consent.

Are all College records subject to FIPPA?

No. Most employment-related records, research-related records and records of teaching material are excluded from FIPPA. Almost all other records in the Custody or Control of the College, regardless of subject matter, are subject to the Act.

How is email affected by FIPPA?

Staff and faculty email communications on College matters may be required to be disclosed under FIPPA and therefore care and professionalism should always be exercised when communicating electronically.

How should I communicate electronically with my instructor(s)? How should I communicate electronically with students in my course(s)?

Students and Faculty should only communicate electronically using their Fleming College email address. Any email originating from an external email address cannot be confirmed by the College to belong to a student and/or faculty member. As such, external email addresses should not be used for any formal College communications.