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Queen's University

Security of Student Grades


Student grades form part of the student's educational history and are considered the student's personal information. In cases where a student is identifiable from a posting despite attempts to anonymize the list, this identification is a disclosure of the student's personal information without consent and a breach under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). In an effort to provide more concrete guidance, we offer following recommended practice for posting student grades:

  • If posting or circulating grades, the student's name and the first three digits of the student number should be stripped from the list of marks. The marks should then be sorted and presented in numeric sequence using the last five digits of the student number. An explanation of what has been done should accompany the posting. In some cases it may not be possible to protect the identity of student when posting grades. In these cases, grades should not be posted. For example, if a class is so small that students could easily be identified in spite of a process to conceal identities, or if there are extreme outliers in the data such that a particular student could be identified.
  • An exception to this practice is possible only if each student gives her or his prior written consent to disclose their grades in identifiable form. A method of collecting and administering consent would also be needed.


Encryption Policy


Disposal of Personal and Confidential Information Policy


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000