(en) Bill 160 info

ACT for Disarmament (act@web.net)
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:54:21 -0500 (EST)

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

> This is a really scary e-mail received from the Con-Ed assistant at
> Queen's Faculty of Education. This is one of the most insidious and
> under-publicized problems with the bill. Please forward this to as many
> people as you can. People should know about this.
> Rick Jones, a graduate of Queen's Con Ed, has done this important
> sleuthing:
> For students of Ontario, Bill 160, if passed in its present form, cancels
> all privacy safeguards enshrined in Ontario Human Rights Legislation. The
> bill will allow the Ministry of Education to investigate, record and
> disclose every aspect of a student's identity including, race, religion,
> sexual preferences and political opinions. This unprecedented violation of
> human rights begins in a deceptively innocuous manner - the assignment of
> an education number to each student in the province.
> First we are given a series of definitions:
> Bill 160, Division F. section 266.2 (1) states: "The Minister may assign an
> Ontario education number to a person who is enrolled or who seeks admission
> to be enrolled in a prescribed educational or training institution."
> Section 266.2 (2) states: "For the purpose of assigning an Ontario
> education number, the Minister and prescribed educational and training
> institutions are authorized to collect, directly or indirectly, personal
> information."
> Directly obtained personal information refers to information that is given
> by the individual; indirectly obtained information is information obtained
> by any other means.
> Naturally we need to know exactly what type of information the Minister
> wants to collect and we would expect to find this clearly stated in the
> bill. Instead we get a curious run around, with definitions referenced and
> cross-referenced to other bills. Here is the trail we must follow:
> What is the nature of this personal information that is to be encoded into
> an Ontario student's identification number? If you back up to section
> 266.1 you will find it defined as follows: "In sections 266.2 to 266.5,
> "personal information" means personal information within the meaning of
> section 38 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and
> section 28 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of
> Privacy Act."
> If you look up these Acts, you will find that the specified sections are
> identical, and state (section 38 (1), Freedom of Information and
> Protection of Privacy Act) "In this section and section 39, "personal
> information" includes information that is not recorded and that is
> otherwise defined as "personal information" under this Act."
> Finally we come to it. Here is the list of characteristics which the
> Minister feels he/she must have the power to collect on our children in
> order to have quality education. Notice that the list even includes
> hearsay comments (gossip).
> Now, if you go to the definitions section of the Freedom of Information and
> Protection of Privacy Act, you finally can see the nature of the personal
> information that is to be encoded into the student's identification number.
> The Act states: ""personal information" means recorded information about an
> identifiable individual, including,
> (a) information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour,
> religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the
> individual,
> (b) information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric,
> psychological, criminal or employment history of the individual or
> information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has
> been involved,
> (c) any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the
> individual,
> (d) the address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the
> individual,
> (e) the personal opinions or views of the individual except where they
> relate to another individual,
> (f) correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is
> implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies
> to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original
> correspondence,
> (g) the views or opinions of another individual about the individual, and
> (h) the individual's name where it appears with other personal information
> relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal
> other personal information about the individual."
> The terrible irony here, is that this list is given in a document whose
> purpose is to protect the privacy of Ontario citizens. This list was
> compiled for the "Protection of Privacy." Now we have bill 160 which
> perversely inverts the intention and uses the list to invade the privacy of
> our children.
> I'm sure that you'll be relieved to know that "Personal information does
> not include information about an individual who has been dead for more
than > 30 years." However, any (or all) of the above information could be
encoded > into a student's number.
> Now, if you go back to Bill 160 and continue reading, you will see that
> (section 266.2 (3)): "Subsection 39 (2) of the Freedom of Information and
> Protection of Privacy Act and subsection 29 (2) of the Municipal Freedom
of > Information and Protection of Privacy Act do not apply to a collection
> under subsection (2)."
> The authors of the Privacy legislation also wanted to guarantee that when
a > government agency collects information about its citizens, that the
citizen > must be told about that process and given access to the data. Bill 160
> takes great care to specifically remove this basic right from our
children. >
> Note that Bill 160 is now saying that the relevant subsections of these
> protection Acts do NOT apply to subsection 266.2 (2) of Bill 160.
> Again the specified subsections of the two protection Acts are almost
> identical. (Subsection 39 (2) is slightly more detailed.) It states
> (under the heading of "Notice to Individual"): "Where personal
information > is collected on behalf of an institution, the head shall, unless notice
is > waived by the responsible minister, inform the individual to whom the
> information relates of,
> (a) the legal authority for the collection;
> (b) the principal purpose or purposes for which the personal information
is > intended to be used; and
> (c) the title, business address and business telephone number of a public
> official who can answer the individual's questions about the collection."
> It appears that this information can be accumulated secretly, without
> telling the student involved. However, the Minister can disclose the
> information.
> One of the fundamental safeguards in our society is that information
> collected about an individual by the government may not be revealed to
> anyone, without that individual's permission. This fundamental safeguard
is > also denied to our children.
> Bill 160, Subsection 266.2 (4) states: "For the purpose of assigning an
> Ontario education number, the Minister and prescribed educational and
> training institutions may use or disclose personal information and the
> disclosure shall be deemed to be for the purposes of complying with this
> Act."
> When can the Minister disclose this information? If you go on to read
> Subsections 266.3 (3) and 266.5 (1) (b), you will find that the Minister
> and a person to be named by the Lieutenant Governor in Council
(Provincial > Cabinet) may disclose a student's personal Ontario education number "for
> purposes related to education administration, funding, planning or
> research."
> Now, I ask you, when was the last time that a group of people could be
> identified based on their religion, and the information disclosed for
> "research purposes"?
> This government has effectively turned the provincial Freedom of
> Information and Protection of Privacy Act upside down, giving the
Minister > access to the types of personal information that were meant (by the Act)
to > be kept confidential, denying the individual the right to know that
> personal information is being accumulated about them, and worst of all,
> they're doing it to our children.
> When are we (teachers, and the people in the province of Ontario), going
to > wake up and see what's going on here?
> Rick Jones
> Teacher
> Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute
> Kitchener
> Please feel free to copy, e-mail, and/or fax this letter province-wide.
> Get it to the media, parents, human rights organizations, community
groups, > and the various Faith communities. The TRUTH needs to get out there. We
> are staring into the face of Fascism.
> A legal counsel in the education ministry has confirmed that Bill 160
will > give the government the power to delve into private information about our
> children.

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