Privacy Incidents and Complaints

The University of Guelph institutes measures to protect the personal privacy of those who work, study and have studied here. The regulation of the collection, storage, utilization, and dissemination of personal information regarding its members is part of the University’s ongoing effort to ensure that decisions concerning individuals are based on accurate information, that information gathered for one purpose is not used inappropriately for another, and that the privacy of individuals is not invaded through disclosure of sensitive information to third parties without the necessary approvals.

In the cases where personal information security has been breached or misuse of personal information has occurred, the University Secretariat is committed to investigating and rectifying these situations promptly.

Privacy Incidents

A privacy incident occurs when the security of personal information is compromised. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Loss or theft of a mobile device such as a laptop or flash drive – containing personally identifiable information
  • Loss or theft of a key or code to filing cabinets or drawers with files containing personal information; or disclosure of a password for authentication to access personal information on a drive
  • Emailing personal information to a non email address
  • Disclosure of personal information to persons who are not authorized for access

All units must ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to prevent privacy breaches.  

If you think a privacy incident or breach may have occurred, contact the Privacy Officer immediately. In circumstances where the incident is IT-related, also contact the IT Security Office. Once the Privacy Officer has been informed of the incident, download and complete a Privacy Incident Report Form to be submitted to the Privacy Office. 

Making a Privacy Complaint

When you provide personal information to the University of Guelph, you are agreeing to that information being used for the purpose(s) specified in the Notice of Collection. A description of the uses of your information can also be found in the Personal Information Bank Directory.

If you have reasonable grounds to believe that your personal information has been collected, disclosed, used, or disposed of in a manner inconsistent with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), please contact the Privacy Officer immediately and complete the Privacy Complaint Form to provide details including the department the complaint relates to, a description of the complain, and how it can be resolved.

The Privacy Officer will investigate your complaint to ensure the immediate requirements of containment and notification have been addressed, to review the circumstances surrounding the breach, and to review the adequacy of existing policies, procedures, and training in protecting personal information.

A clearly defined complaint will greatly assist the University to answer your concerns quickly. Please note that the University may contact you about the facts and circumstances of the situation to clarify the privacy issue.