Compass Card and Privacy Protection

UBC has taken substantial measures to protect the privacy of students using the U-Pass BC program with TransLink’s new Compass Card system.

No personally identifiable information is provided to TransLink as part of linking a Compass Card to a U-Pass BC account, or requesting U-Pass BC benefits for the current or future months.  UBC has worked with the Office of the University Counsel, the AMS, and the Provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner to ensure the program protects student privacy.

Your username and password are not disclosed

In order to access the U-Pass BC website, you are asked to select your academic institution from a drop-down list which, in the case of UBC, redirects you to the CWL “log in” page.  Your username and password are never processed or viewed by TransLink, only by the University.

Your name and student number are not disclosed

If your student CWL login is valid, you are redirected back to the U-Pass BC website.  TransLink will be told that the person visiting their website is a verified student of that institution and will be given a unique reference number for you.  This unique reference number is not a student number and is only used by TransLink to track eligibility.  At no time does UBC provide TransLink with your name or student number during the authentication process.

Communicates eligibility, without disclosing your identity

On a daily basis, UBC provides TransLink with data regarding student eligibility for a U-Pass BC for the current and future months.  Without disclosing your name or your full student number, UBC informs TransLink that a student with a given unique reference number is/is not eligible for the U-Pass BC program for each of the current and upcoming months.

Allows for fare enforcement

The U-Pass BC benefit is non-transferable, and can only be used by eligible students.  To prevent the unauthorized sharing of cards, UBC provides a partial student number to TransLink.  TransLink cannot use this partial number to determine your name or full student number, but TransLink Fare Inspectors can use this partial student number to determine if someone other than the authorized student is using a U-Pass BC enabled Compass Card by comparing it with the full number on your UBC Student Card.  You are required to carry your UBC Student Card when travelling using the U-Pass BC.

Important things to know

While no part of the system automatically communicates personal information about you, there are some instances where TransLink will be able to link your identity to information about your U-Pass BC account, and the majority of these occasions are under your control.

  • Personal information will be disclosed if you voluntarily register your Compass Card with TransLink via the Compass Card website, or you sign up for alerts and reminders at the U-Pass BC website
  • Personal information will be disclosed to Transit Police or Fare Inspectors who ask to see your UBC Student Card.
  • Personal information may be disclosed if you purchase your Compass Card online, or with a credit / debit card.
  • Personal information may be disclosed if you purchase stored value or other fare products such as a monthly pass online or with a credit / debit card.
  • Personal information may be disclosed if you request a refund of the stored value or deposit on a Compass Card.