At Magna Carta Legal Services, we are committed to providing our clients with exceptional service. As providing this service involves the collection, use and disclosure of some personal information about our Clients protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities.
While we have always respected our clients’ privacy and safeguarded their personal information, we have strengthened our commitment to protecting personal information as a result of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, PIPEDA, which came into effect on January 1, 2001, sets out the ground rules for how Canadian businesses and not-for-profit organizations may collect, use and disclose personal information.
We will inform our clients why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.
Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, PIPEDA, which outlines the principles and practices we will follow in protecting clients’/customers’ personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of our clients’/customers’ personal information and allowing our clients/customers to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.
Scope of this Policy:
This Personal Information Protection Policy applies to Magna Carta Legal Services.
This policy also applies to any service providers collecting, using or disclosing personal information on behalf of Magna Carta Legal Services.
Personal Information –means information about an identifiable individual E.g., including name, age, home address and phone number, social insurance number, marital status, religion, income, credit history, medical information, education, employment information. Personal information does not include contact information (described below).
Contact Information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at a place of business and includes name, position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email or business fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy or PIPEDA.
Privacy Officer – means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that Magna Carta Legal Services complies with this policy and PIPEDA.
Collecting Personal Information
1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the client and/or customer voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, we will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.
1.2 We will only collect client information that is necessary to fulfill the following purposes:
To ensure a high standard of service to our clients
To understand the needs of our clients
To contact our clients for marketing purposes
To obtain payments
To meet regulatory requirements
To protect internal employees personal information
2.1 We will obtain client consent to collect, use or disclose personal information (except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent).
2.2 Consent can be provided e.g., orally, in writing, electronically, through an authorized representative or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the client/customer voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.
2.3 Consent may also be implied where a client is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out of his or her personal information being used for mail-outs, the marketing of new services or products and the client/customer does not opt-out.
2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation), clients can withhold or withdraw their consent for tMagna Carta Legal Services to use their personal information in certain ways. A client’s/customer’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict our ability to provide a particular service or product. If so, we will explain the situation to assist the client/customer in making the decision.
2.5 We may collect, use or disclose personal information without the client’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:
A full listing of such circumstances can be found in section 7 of PIPEDA. Some examples include:
When the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is permitted or required by law
In an emergency that threatens an individual's life, health, or personal security;
When we require legal advice from a lawyer;
For the purposes of collecting a debt;
To investigate an anticipated breach of an agreement or a contravention of law
Using and Disclosing Personal Information
3.1 We will only use or disclose client personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for a purpose reasonably related to those purposes such as:
To conduct consultations to determine if the case has merit
To obtain a retainer or obtain payment
To contact our clients with marketing or promotional information i.e. workshops
To contact our clients directly about products and services that may be of interest;
3.2 We will not use or disclose client personal information for any additional purpose unless we obtain consent to do so.
3.3 We will not sell client lists or personal information to other parties [unless we have consent to do so].
Retaining Personal Information
4.1 If we use client personal information to make a decision that directly affects the client/customer we will retain that personal information for at least one year so that the client/customer has a reasonable opportunity to request access to it.
4.2 Subject to policy 4.1, we will retain client personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal or business purpose.
Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information
5.1 We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that client personal information is accurate and complete where it may be used to make a decision about the client/customer or disclosed to another organization.
5.2 Clients may request correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought.
A request to correct personal information should be forwarded to the Privacy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
5.3 If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, we will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year. If the correction is not made, we will note the clients’ correction request in the file.
Securing Personal Information
6.1 We are committed to ensuring the security of client personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.
6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that client/customer personal information is appropriately protected:
Restricting employee access to personal information as appropriate (i.e., only those that need to know will have access.
With regards to paper files, a locked filing cabinet will be utilized, in a restricted area with an alarm system activated.
With regards to electronic files the following security measures will be followed to ensure that clients’ personal information is appropriately protected:
Computer passwords will be utilized on each computer/workstation/device containing personal information
Encrypted data files
Encrypted personal information that is sent or received over the Internet (by email or through web forms)
Electronic audit trails that identify who has access information
Keeping backup files in a locked cabinet, in a restricted area with an active alarm system.
6.3 We will use appropriate security measures when destroying clients’ personal information such as:
shredding paper documents
deleting electronically stored information
6.4 We will continually review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.
Providing Clients/Customers Access to Personal Information
7.1 Clients have a right to access their personal information, subject to limited exceptions.
A full listing of the exceptions to access can be found in section 9 of PIPEDA. Some examples include:
disclosure would reveal personal information about another individual
health and safety concerns.
7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought. A request to access personal information should be forwarded to the Privacy Officer at email@example.com
7.3 Upon request, we will also tell clients how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.
7.4 We will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.
7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, we will inform the client of the cost and request further direction from the client on whether or not we should proceed with the request.
7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, we will notify the client in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the client.
Questions and Complaints: The Role of the Privacy Officer or Designated Individual
8.1 The Privacy Officer is responsible for ensuring Magna Carta Legal Service’s compliance with this policy and the Personal Information
Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
8.2 Clients/customers should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding Magna Carta Legal Service’s compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the client may also write to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Contact information for Magna Carta Legal Service’s Privacy Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org