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Privacy Regulations

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Privacy Regulations

Preservice teachers must be aware of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOIP) because they fall under this regulation during their field experiences. Understanding the significance and implications of FOIP in a school setting will help the student teacher avoid potentially adverse situations. Equally important is understanding the Personal Information and Protection Act (PIPA), parallel legislation to FOIP that applies to the private sector. Teachers who perform volunteer duties for the Association and preservice teachers involved in their ATA student local must adhere to PIPA.

Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOIP)

FOIP protects an individual's privacy by setting out rules for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies. It also provides a method of requesting access to information that is not available by other means.

FOIP became effective in September 1998. This legislation significantly affects the ways in which organizations in the public sector, such as schools and post-secondary institutions, keep student records, communicate with students and parents, and give and withhold information. Therefore, it is important for all student teachers to communicate with their faculty advisors about the correct procedures to be followed in schools.

Read the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act

Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)

PIPA is the private sector act that governs the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

The Association requires consent to publish personal information about an individual. Personal information is defined as anything that identifies an individual in the context of the collection: for example, a photograph and/or captions, an audio or video file, and artwork.

If you can use the image or information to identify a person in context (for example, a specific school or a specific event), then it is personal information and you need consent to collect, use or disclose (publish) it. Minors cannot provide consent and must have a parent or guardian sign a consent form on their behalf.

Some schools obtain blanket consent under FOIP. However, PIPA and FOIP are not interchangeable. They fulfill different legislative goals, so FOIP consent will not apply to documents published by the Association.

Read the Personal Information Protection Act