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Guidelines Disclosing Personal Information to a Student that the Personal Information is about over the Telephone

Guidelines – Disclosing Personal Information to a Student that the Personal Information is about over the Telephone

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. F-25 provides students with a right to access personal information about themselves held by Athabasca University (AU). This right is limited by specific exceptions.

The FOIP Act also requires AU to protect personal information against risks of unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or destruction.

Many AU employees disclose a student's personal information to the student over the telephone when conducting AU business. When disclosing a student's personal information over the telephone, the employee must be reasonably certain that the person they are talking to is the student. It is recommended that employees complete the following steps to verify the identity of the student before disclosing the personal information the student is requesting:

  • Ask for the student's name
  • Ask for the student's ID#
  • Ask for their mailing/home address
  • Ask for their telephone number (work and/or business)
  • Ask for the course name and number they are registered in.


Once you are reasonably satisfied that the individual you are talking to is in fact that individual, then proceed with handling their request for information following established procedures regarding disclosing personal information to a student. If the request is for information that is not normally disclosed, inform them that you cannot release that information right now, and you will call them back. If the information can not be released, inform them that they may make a request under the FOIP Act for access to the information.


Office of the University Secretariat, February 2006

Updated May 30 2014 by Office of the University Secretariat

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