Using our website
When you visit our website, we will not collect your personal information unless you choose to use and receive online products and services that require it. For transactions with government organizations involving credit cards, government systems use up-to-date security protocols to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of information and systems.
If you choose not to use the Internet to provide personal information to a government ministry or agency, you can contact the ministry or agency by telephone, fax, mail, kiosk or in person. (Not all options may be available in every situation.)
We are committed to protecting your privacy whether you are browsing for information or conducting business with the government electronically.
What kind of information is collected when you visit our web sites?
When you browse or download information from Government of Ontario Web sites, our servers automatically collect limited amounts of standard information for traffic monitoring and statistical purposes. The information is analyzed for operational trends, performance, and for ways to improve our sites. The government cannot identify you from this information. We collect the following standard types of information:
- Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers being used to access our sites;
- the operating systems and the types and versions of browsers used to access our sites;
- the Internet Service Providers used by visitors to our sites;
- the dates and times users access our sites;
- the pages visited;
- the key words users enter into our search engine; and
- the names and sizes of files requested.
The Government of Ontario's computer systems use hardware and software to anonymously monitor unauthorized attempts to upload or change information at government Web sites, disrupt service, or otherwise cause damage. As a general practice, we make no attempt to link this information with the identity of individuals visiting our sites. If an attempt to damage our site has been detected, we can take further actions.
What happens when you send us personal information online?
You may choose to provide us with personal information such as your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and credit card number, if you wish to:
- submit an e-mail, comment, question or request or subscribe for information online;
- request a service, product, or fill out a registration or licence form online;
- provide feedback, participate in consultations or surveys online; or,
- conduct e-commerce transactions with a ministry or agency.
When you visit a government organization's Web site, any personal information you provide will be used to respond to your message and/or provide you with the requested service or product. The collection of personal information by government organizations is in accordance with section 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This section of the Act authorizes government organizations to collect only the personal information that is necessary for the administration of a government program. At the time the information is collected, you will be informed of the specific purpose for which it is being collected.
Who is accountable for the protection of privacy?
The ministers of government ministries and agencies are responsible for the administration of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The Act requires government organizations to protect the personal information in their possession. The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) oversees whether government organizations comply with the access and privacy provisions of the Act by investigating privacy complaints and hearing appeals regarding access decisions made by ministers.
The government's security practices are continually evolving to ensure that the integrity and confidentiality of information and systems are maintained. The government uses up-to-date security safeguards to protect its networks and Web sites from misuse, alteration, copying, disclosure, destruction, monitoring or unauthorized sharing of information and damage. The government's safeguards include the use of security software and encryption protocols and involve physical, technical and procedural controls to protect information behind the government firewall.