askON Privacy

Information Gathering

Protection of your personal information is of prime importance to askON. We collect only the minimum amount of information necessary to provide effective and efficient service. We will not disclose any of the information we collect from you to any party, in any manner that would identify you, except in order to fulfill your information request. Here is the kind of information we may ask for when you request a chat:


Are you a student? From where are you accessing the service? This information provides useful context in answering your question.


Indicate the library with which you are associated.


Tell us how we can help you. askON staff will never ask you to provide personal information (phone, email, address, library/student card number etc.) during a chat session and we strongly discourage you from offering it.

As with other web-based services and sites, askON logs the IP address and browser type of each visitor. This information is also kept strictly confidential. It may be used to assess trends in service usage by geographic location. If necessary, askON administrators can block individual IP addresses to prevent inappropriate behaviour on the service.

Data Transmission and Storage

All personal data gathered during an askON chat transaction is encrypted using a Triple DES algorithm prior to transmittal and storage. The Triple DES algorithm is a well-accepted encryption method used by leading companies, including financial institutions. Chat transaction data from askON is stored on a LibraryH3lp server in Canada.

Transcripts and Exit Surveys


Chat transaction transcripts are only used for service evaluation and analysis and are retained for a period of no longer than three years. Transcripts can be:

  • E-mailed to you as a record of the session and a reminder of resources consulted only if you choose to provide us with your email address, which is never stored
  • Used to monitor and improve the overall quality of service
  • Mined for aggregated statistical data such as the number of questions received or the average length of sessions
  • Referred to in research papers, articles, and presentations (in which cases, any personal information inadvertently contained will be stripped from the transcripts before use)

If you do not wish to provide an email address you can choose to print your transcript before you exit your session by selecting the ‘print’ option in your browser window. askON does not store your email address.

Exit Surveys

In order to improve the service and better understand your needs and experience we conclude each session with a voluntary exit survey. You may choose to ignore the survey. As with the transcript data, exit survey information is encrypted for transmission and storage and is used only by the Ask Ontario project team to review service quality and identify training needs. Exit survey data is also encrypted and stored and subject to the same deletion schedule as other chat transaction data.

Read more about LibraryH3lp’s privacy policy.

© OCLS acknowledges the leadership and support that askON and Knowledge Ontario provided from 2006-2012.