Privacy Notice

Who are we?

Universities Canada is a membership organization providing universities with a unified voice for higher education, research and innovation.

This Privacy Notice (“Notice”) outlines how we collect, use, share and protect the information used in our work, through our website and through your dealings with us. The protection and security of your Personal Information is a responsibility we take very seriously.

What is Personal Information?

Personal Information is information that on its own or combined with other data, can be used to identify you as a person. Personal Information includes information collected from you directly or from a third party.

Who does this Notice apply to?

This Notice applies to Universities Canada’s website and primary work as a national member association.

This Notice does not apply to several of our specialized programs, which have their own notices. These programs include:

  • All scholarship programs administered by Scholarship Partners Canada and partnership programs administered by Universities Canada. The Privacy Notice for these programs can be found here.

What Personal Information do we collect and how?

The Personal Information collected depends on your interaction(s) with us. We make every effort to limit the amount of Personal Information we collect, relying where possible on business information. Any Personal Information collected by Universities Canada is done for the purposes set out in this Notice, unless we obtain your express consent.

We may collect your personal information as follows:

(a) Directly from you:

  • When making inquiries to Universities Canada, we may collect contact information such as a phone number or email.
  • When registering for an event, we may request specific details regarding dietary preferences or personal contact information.
  • When attending a Universities Canada event, your photo may be taken.

(b) Indirectly from you:

  • When administering programs, we may receive financial information such as your bank account number from the programs team.
  • For our communications materials, we may receive photos of you from your university.

(c) Automatically from your interactions with our website:

When you visit our website we may send your browser one or more cookies, which are small files containing a string of characters that is sent to your web browser and uniquely identifies your browser. Cookies help us collect information so that we can better understand how users access and navigate our website. We use necessary and session cookies to make our site function. These cookies enable core functionality such as security, session management, and accessibility. They do not collect personally identifiable information.

Please indicate your preference on the cookie banner upon landing on our website. Alternatively, you can reset your browser to reject cookies. You can manage cookies via your browser under settings. If you choose to decline cookies on your browser, you will reject cookies from all websites, not just ours. You may also lose some functionalities on websites if your browser blocks all cookies.

How do we use your Personal Information?

We process your Personal Information for the following purposes:

  • To communicate with you: We communicate with you by email and by telephone. We initiate these communications either in response to an inquiry from you or to conduct business on behalf of Universities Canada. You can opt out of these communications at any time as indicated below under What are your rights and choices.
  • To manage events: Information collected on registration for an event is used to help efficiently run our events and ensure dietary and accessibility needs are met.
  • For promotion: We use photos from our events and those received from our members to help promote universities in Canada and to support our advocacy work.
  • To disburse payments: Where applicable, we use your financial and other necessary information to process your payment and issue necessary tax forms.
  • To (i) comply with legal obligations; (ii) respond to requests from competent authorities; (iii) protect your interests; (iv) protect your rights, safety or property and/or that of our partners or others; and (v) enforce or defend our legal rights.

We process your Personal Information for the following legal bases:

  • Contract: We will use your Personal Information to fulfill payment obligations.
  • Consent: We rely on your consent to use your images and occasionally communicate with you based on your preferences.
  • Legitimate Interest: We use your Personal Information to confirm your identity, detect and prevent fraud and verify tax information.
  • Legal Obligations: We use your Personal Information to comply with our legal obligations, including responding to lawful requests, court orders, and legal processes.

We may aggregate and de-identify your Personal Information so that the data will in no way identify you or any other individual. We may use this aggregated and de-identified data to assist us to better understand how users are accessing and benefiting from our services and otherwise, improve our services.

Who do we share your Personal Information with?

We do not sell your Personal Information to a third party. We also do not share your information with others for their direct marketing use.

We share your Personal Information with your consent or for a legitimate interest, such as completing a transaction. We limit who we share your Personal Information with and what we share with them to only what is necessary. We do not allow third-party service providers to use your Personal Information for their own purposes.

We share your Personal Information with the following parties:

  • Service Providers: To help us perform functions related to our programs. For example, we may use service providers to provide us with administrative, financial or quality assurance services. These parties are bound by confidentiality and are limited in the way in which they can process, access or store Personal Information based on our instructions.
  • Legal Requirement: We may also disclose Personal Information (to the extent that we have it) if we are required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to (i) comply with a legal obligation, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements; (ii) protect and defend our rights or property; (iii) prevent fraud; (iv) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of individuals; or (v) protect against legal liability.

Where is your Personal Information processed?

All information collected by Universities Canada is processed on Canadian servers, located in both Ontario and Quebec, which means your Personal Information may be stored, shared or processed in a jurisdiction outside of where you reside. For example, if you reside in Quebec or the European Economic Area (EEA), you information may be stored, shared or processed in a different jurisdiction. By accessing and participating in our programs, you acknowledge that your information will be stored or processed in a country or province outside of where you reside.

While we take appropriate safeguards to protect your personal data, when your data is stored or processed in a different jurisdiction, it is subject to the laws of the foreign jurisdiction including foreign governments, courts, law enforcement and regulatory agencies. These jurisdictions may not have the same information protection laws as the country in which your personal data was collected.

When transferring Personal Information outside of the EEA, we enter into contractual arrangements (such as Standard Contractual Clauses) with service providers that offer you a similar degree of protection you would get in the jurisdiction your personal data was collected.

How is the information you collect protected?

We protect your Personal Information with technical, organizational and physical safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of your Personal Information. These safeguards include, but are not limited to:

  • ensuring staff receive mandatory Privacy training and sign confidentiality agreements;
  • limiting access to information through the use of role-based permissions in our systems;
  • undertaking Privacy Impact Assessments to evaluate Privacy risks, data needs and designing activities to incorporate the protection of Personal Information wherever possible; and
  • regular review of our own safeguards and those of our service providers.

It is important to understand that no online platform is perfectly secure. We encourage you to also play a role in protecting your Personal Information by limiting what is sent to Universities Canada via email or other means.

How long do we keep Personal Information?

We retain your Personal Information as long as it is needed to fulfill both the requirement(s) identified above and Universities Canada’s legal obligations. Emails, financial records and specific event data are deleted after seven years.

Photos may be kept indefinitely as part of our bank of promotional resources.

What are your rights and choices?

Your Choices:

Where we process your Personal Information based on consent, you may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting [email protected].

To manage your cookies on your browser, please see this Notice above under What Personal Information We Collect (c) Automatically from your interactions with our website for instructions on how to make choices.

Your Rights:

Depending on where you reside, applicable privacy laws may give you certain rights relating to your Personal Information and our processing of it.

    • Your right of access and rectification: You have the right to access and correct the Personal Information we have on file for you. To the extent we can fulfill your request to rectify your information, we may need to verify the accuracy of the new information you provide to us.
    • Your right of deletion: You have the right to request deletion of the Personal Information we have on file for you. In some instances, such as legal reasons, we will not be able to fulfill your deletion request. If we cannot fulfill your request, we will notify you of the reason.
    • Your right to data portability: You have the right to ask us to transfer your Personal Information to another organization in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
    • Your right not to be subject to automated decision-making: You have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning you or significantly affects you.
    • Your right to restriction/objection of processing: You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your Personal Information in certain circumstances, such as if the processing of your Personal Information is unlawful, if you contest its accuracy or if we no longer need your Personal Information for processing however it has been retained as permitted by law.

To exercise your rights, please contact us at [email protected]. We will respond to any request within 30 days. If we need more time to fulfill your request, we will let you know.

You may be required to prove your identity so that we can authenticate that the person making the request is you. If you designated an authorized agent to submit a request to exercise your rights, we will require verification that you provided the authorized agent permission to request on your behalf.

Please note that your rights are not absolute as there may be exceptions that exist in the applicable law. If there are legal reasons why we cannot fulfill your request, we will inform you in our response, including the reason why we cannot fulfill the request.

While we make efforts to always maintain the accuracy of your Personal Information, we rely on you to provide us with up-to-date contact information.

Reporting a privacy complaint

You have a right to lodge a complaint about our processing with a supervisory authority or regulator in the jurisdiction where you believe your rights have been violated. If you are concerned about our Personal Information practices, we would appreciate hearing about it first to try to resolve your concerns. You can contact us through the methods listed above.

If Universities Canada has not responded satisfactorily to your complaint or inquiry and you want to notify the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, you may do so at:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1H3

Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376
Phone: (819) 994-5444
TTY: 819-994-6591

Other links

Our website may contain links to other third-party sites. When you click on one of those links, you are visiting a website operated by someone other than us, and the operator of that website has a different privacy policy. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of those sites. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of these third-party operators.

Contact us

Universities Canada has appointed a privacy officer who is accountable for the organization’s privacy program and for compliance with this Notice. For any questions or concerns, please contact:

Privacy officer:
Heather Cayouette, CIPP/C, CIPT
[email protected]
350 Albert St., suite 1710
Ottawa, ONK1R 1B1
Phone: (613) 563-1236

Universities Canada