Our commitment

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is committed to respecting the privacy of individuals who visit our website. When you visit our website, we will not collect your personal information unless you choose to use and receive online products and services that require it.

This page sets out our privacy policy and describes why and how we collect, use and disclose personal information which you choose to provide to us on our website. This policy doesn't apply to anyone who isn't under our control or management, such as the operators of other websites that you might link to from our website. Such operators may have their own privacy policies, which might differ from ours.

What is "personal information"?

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is governed by the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, which defines "personal information" to mean recorded information about any identifiable individual, including his or her name, address, telephone number, email address, age, gender, marital status, personal views, preferences and opinions.

What is MTO's authority to collect personal information?

The collection of personal information is necessary for the administration of the Ontario My511 Services. The personal information will be used to assist with password resets, saving of preferences and routes, and for personalized alerts you set up through the My511 Services.

How will we collect personal information?

You are under no obligation to disclose any personal information to us at any time. But if you want to take advantage of all of the website's features, such as My511 Services, we will ask you to sign up to become a registered user. In the process you may be asked to give your name, e-mail address, and phone number. There is no charge for you to sign up or to use the website.

When you browse or download information from the Ministry of Transportation's Ontario 511 Service, our third party vendor's servers automatically collects limited amounts of standard information for traffic monitoring and statistical purposes. The information is analyzed for operational trends, performance, and for ways to improve our sites. Ontario 511 and our third party vendor cannot identify you from this information.

We collect the following standard types of information:

  • Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers being used to access our sites
  • Operating systems and the types and versions of browsers used to access our sites
  • Internet Service Providers used by visitors to our sites
  • Dates and times users access our sites
  • Pages visited
  • Names and sizes of files requested

As a general practice, we make no attempt to link this information with the identity of individuals visiting our sites. If an attempt to damage our site has been detected, we can take further actions.

How do we use and disclose personal information?

If you choose to sign up for My511 Services, we will keep track only of the information and preferences that you choose to provide to us. Ontario 511's vendor will keep that information stored securely on their system and will not release it to any third party without your prior consent. You will be asked to create a user name and a password which you will need to access your personal information on all visits to the website.

Once your personal information reaches us, it will be stored off-line on a system not accessible on the internet. Any personal information you give us will only be used for the purpose of administering My511 Services; for program, publication, and web site evaluation and improvement; for questionnaires; and for responding to your comments or inquiries. Except for the foregoing, you will not be placed on any mailing lists. None of your personal information will ever be shared, rented, sold or otherwise released to any third party, except where you have consented.

What happens when you send us personal information online?

You may choose to provide us with personal information such as your phone number and e-mail address and, if you wish to:

  • Submit a comment, question or request or subscribe for information online
  • Provide feedback, participate in consultations or surveys online

When you visit the Ontario 511 website, any personal information you provide will be used to respond to your message and/or provide you with the requested service or product. The collection of personal information by government organizations must be in accordance with section 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This section of the Act requires government organizations to collect only the personal information that is necessary for the administration of a government program. At the time the information is collected, you will be informed of the specific purpose for which it is being collected.

How do we use cookies?

The Ontario 511 websites uses cookies. 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 websites.

Cookies used by Ontario 511, do not give us access to anything on your hard drive and cannot do anything to your computer. Cookies used by the Government are encrypted for security purposes to make any information in the cookie unreadable to anyone except the government organization with which you are dealing. Ontario government organizations use 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 our Web sites 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 (e.g. large font) and passwords for automatic log-in purposes

This site uses a number of third party products. Read their privacy statements to find out how they track and use your information:

Google Analytics privacy statement

How long will Ontario 511 retain my information?

Ontario 511 retains the personal information that you provide for as long as necessary to fulfil the administration of My 511 Services. If you decide to delete your My511 account, Ontario 511 will no longer retain your information.

How can I access and correct or delete my personal information?

Ontario 511 provides the ability for Internet users to correct and/or delete their own information online through the Manage Account tool within My 511 Services. Individuals also have a right to access their personal information that is held Ontario 511 by making an access request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Access is subject to limits and exceptions outlined in FIPPA.

What steps can I take to protect my online activities?

Users are encouraged to learn about protecting their own computers to ensure that their online activities remain private. One place to start for tips on home network security is a Question and Answer sheet produced by the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute - CERT Coordination Center.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any questions please contact MTOInfo Ontario Ministry of Transportation, 301 St. Paul Street, Ground Floor, St. Catharines, Ontario L7R 7R4, or call (905) 322-2802.

What if you change this Privacy Policy?

We will use personal information in accordance with the Privacy Policy in effect at the time the information was collected. If we decide to change our Privacy Policy, we will post a notice on our website so that you can view it. If at some point we would like to start using your personal information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will first ask for your approval by e-mail.