FIPPA and its Application to the University of Toronto

Beginning June 10, 2006 Ontario universities, including the University of Toronto, are covered by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act), which supports access to University records and protection of privacy.

Some key purposes of the Act are:

  1. To provide the public a right of access to university information subject to limited exemptions; and
  2. To protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by universities and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

As a publicly funded institution, the University of Toronto has upheld these principles in its operations for many years. University Statement.

What information is covered by the Act?

Most records in the custody or under the control of the University are subject to the Act and the great majority of these will be available if requested. A few types of records, however are specifically excluded so the Act does not apply to them. A few other types are covered by the Act but exempt from disclosure to protect public concerns, privacy, University operations or other important interests.

Some records which will generally be accessible under the Act include:

  1. those containing your own personal information;
  2. most university administrative records;
  3. records about the subject matter or amount of funding of University research;
  4. records of University staff employment expenses.

Examples of records which may not be accessible under the Act include:

  1. those that are neither in the custody nor under the control of the University;
  2. records donated to the University Archives by a private individual or corporation;
  3. most University labour relations or employment records;
  4. records respecting University research, except the subject matter and the amount of funding related to research;
  5. records available to the public or expected to be published within ninety days;
  6. University teaching materials.