We provide legal services and products to our clients. If we did not collect and use your personal information we could not provide you with legal services. ("Personal information" is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced.)
Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities, including lawyers and law firms, must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection on Personal Information, which it incorporates. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
How and why do we collect your personal information?
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client database. We also use your personal information to bill Legal Aid Ontario for our services.
Usually we collect your personal information directly from you, when you give it to us. Please make sure your information is accurate and keep us up-dated as necessary.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources: for example, from a government agency such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or Legal Aid Ontario.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. We may ask for your consent in writing, or we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us, for instance when we correspond with Immigration or Legal Aid.
Protecting Your Information
We will not disclose your personal information to any third party without your consent, unless we are legally obliged to do so, or if the information that you have given us is already publicy known.
Is my personal information secure?
We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are: premises security; restricted file access to personal information; deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access; internal password and security policies.
Access to your personal information
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. We may charge you for our retrieval costs if your information is already in storage. Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. For instance, we may deny access when: denial of access is required or authorized by law; the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you; when granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy; when granting you access would prejudice negotiations with you; to protect our firm’s rights and property; where the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.
Can I request anonymity
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name. The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients for our own records. It may also require us to disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Requests for Access
You may contact us at the address above. If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street, Ottawa,
ON, K1A 1H3