Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. The Federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes or to carry out surveys. Statistics Canada conducts hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education. In order to conduct such surveys, Statistics Canada asks colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions provide to Statistics Canada student identification information (student’s name, student ID number, Social Insurance Number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, enrollment information, previous education and labour force activity. The confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.
Under the Federal Privacy Act, individuals can request access to their information that is held in federal information banks, including information held by Statistics Canada. Students who do not wish to have their information used can ask Statistics Canada to remove their identification and contact information from the national database. Further information on the use of this information can be obtained from Statistics Canada’s website:
The Postsecondary Section,
Centre for Education Statistics
17th Floor, R.H. Coats Building