Privacy Policy

1. We respect your privacy

Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. (OCE) is committed to protecting your privacy rights. This privacy policy (the “Policy”) describes how and why we collect personal information, how we protect, use and share such information, and how you may contact us should you have questions or concerns about our personal information protection practices.  


This policy is limited to the personal information of individuals who are not employees, officers, directors, members, advisors or volunteers of OCE.  For those persons, other policies apply and are available to such persons on request.  OCE reserves the right to change this Policy at any time, and from time to time.  The current version of this Policy will be clearly posted on our web site at www.oce-ontario.org (the “Site”).  Please check the Site from time to time to obtain our current Policy.

2. What is personal information?

Personal information is information about an identifiable person, such as your name, residential address and e-mail address.  The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) (“PIPEDA”) provides certain exclusions to personal information, such as the business address and phone number of an employee of an organization.  As used herein, personal information has the meaning given by PIPEDA.

3. What personal information does OCE collect and how does OCE use this personal information?

OCE collects various types of personal information.  If you apply to a program offered by OCE, or if you are part of an application made to OCE, the applicant will be asked to provide, through the application forms and related discussion and submissions with OCE, certain information about you pertaining to the application (such as your name, residential address and phone number and email address) and may be asked to provide certain other information about your experience and qualifications (such as educational and work qualifications and experience) and information about you pertaining to your role and activities as part of such project.  OCE uses this information to assess applications and to manage and administer awards, grants, programs and services provided by OCE.  OCE may also use this information to report to the public about applications we have accepted and approvals we have made.

OCE also collects personal information you provide to us when using our Site or contacting us through other means. For example, OCE may collect your first and last name, residential telephone number and address, email address and/or subject of inquiry (e.g. information requests), for the purpose of responding to your specific requests for information.  Information you provide to OCE in these ways will be retained and used for the purposes identified to you at the time of collection and for OCE’s administrative purposes in connection with fulfilling its mandate including offering, managing, administering and communicating with you about services related to the promotion of innovation.

A cookie is a small text file sent from a Web server and placed on your computer's hard drive. A cookie is generally used to enhance your browsing experience. You can choose to set your browser to detect and reject cookies, to accept cookies from all sites, or to prompt you whenever a site wants to send you a cookie. Check your browser's "Help" files to learn how to do this. If you choose to refuse cookies, you may not be able to access some of the interactive features on our Site. Cookies used by OCE do not give us access to anything on your hard drive and cannot do anything to your computer.

Cookies used by OCE are encrypted for security purposes to make any information in the cookie unreadable to anyone outside of OCE. OCE uses two types of cookies: session cookies (temporary) or persistent cookies (longer-term continuing use).

Session cookies may be used to support on–line feedback/discussion, forms and registration and ‘e–commerce/shopping cart’ transactions. They are used only during your online session and expire when you close your browser. Without session cookies, moving around the Site could be much slower.

Persistent cookies are different from session cookies because they are stored on your computer’s hard drive for some length of time. They are usually used if you want us to remember information about your Web preferences and passwords for automatic log–in purposes.

In addition, we use other normal Internet tracking tools associated with standard Internet protocols and web–based systems to collect certain system information. This system information is typically stored in log files and the information is used for aggregate reporting. Aggregate reporting includes total number of visitors, most visited sections, peak traffic times, etc. Log files are simply transaction records web servers maintain.  Those logs are used for recording information, such as:
  • service provider IP addresses; 
  • browser versions; 
  • referring websites; 
  • search terms used; 
  • average number of pages requested; 
  • average duration of visit; 
  • total visitor traffic. 
We use aggregate information gathered from your visit to better design and administer our Site. This information supplies us with a broad picture of how people use our Site in order to help the management of our systems and to better serve our audience.

OCE may have surveillance systems to monitor various areas at our office premises. Video surveillance cameras, if used, are only to protect OCE, its stakeholders, clients and employees against security issues, including potential violations of civil and or criminal laws.

4. Under what circumstance does OCE disclose personal information?

OCE will not disclose such personal information to other persons, other than as follows:
  • to the extent required for the purposes identified above or otherwise described to you at the time of collection; 
  • to other third parties that assist OCE in the course of fulfilling its mandate for administrative or research purposes, provided they agree to safeguard your personal information under terms substantially similar to this Policy and to use it solely for the purposes of providing services to OCE; 
  • as required by a governmental authority or under applicable law or regulation; 
  • to cooperate with law enforcement or to otherwise protect against violations of criminal or civil laws; 
  • where OCE has reason to believe that disclosure is necessary to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of an indentifiable person or group or
  • as otherwise permitted by PIPEDA including without limitation for non-commercial purposes.

5. What is aggregate information?

“Aggregate information” is information that is not specific to identifiable individual. Because this aggregate information does not identify an individual, it does not constitute personal information. OCE reserves the right to use aggregate information in any manner it sees fit in the course of fulfilling OCE's mandate, subject to any obligations that may apply to OCE and the particular information.

6. How do we protect your personal information? Our commitment to data security

In order to prevent unauthorized access to your personal information, maintain the accuracy of your personal information and ensure that your personal information is used and disclosed only pursuant to this Policy, OCE strives to maintain physical, electronic, contractual and administrative safeguards to secure the personal information we collect from the Site with a level of security that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information collected.

OCE endeavours to maintain adequate physical, procedural and technical security with respect to its offices and information storage facilities so as to prevent any loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification of personal information.

OCE further protects personal information by restricting access to personal information to those employees and third-party contractors that the management of OCE has determined need to know that information in order that OCE may provide its services.

In terms of communicating personal information, you may wish to note that there is no method of transmitting or storing data that is completely secure. As do many organizations, OCE attempts to strike a reasonable balance between security and convenience. In communicating with others, OCE reserves the right to use a method of communication that is less secure than some of its less convenient alternatives, such as email, where doing so is not inappropriate.

7. What about practices of linked sites?

OCE is not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites to which it has links. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of each and every website that requests personal information from you.

8. What are OCE's personal information retention practices?

OCE endeavours to ensure that any personal information collected by it and in its possession is as accurate, current and complete as necessary for the purposes for which OCE uses that data. Personal information contained in files that have been closed is not actively updated or maintained.

OCE retains personal information as long as OCE believes it is necessary to fulfil the purpose for which it was collected. Currently, the principal place in which OCE holds Personal Information is in the City of Toronto.

9. Who do I contact with questions or concerns about this privacy policy?

For all inquiries as to your personal information, including requests to access or correct personal information, please send a written request to Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc., 156 Front Street, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2L6 – Attention: Privacy, or send an email inquiry to privacy.officer@oce-ontario.org.



Last updated: September 2012