© 2014, Workable Immigration Solutions (‘WIS’). All rights reserved.
WIS recognizes the importance of protecting personal information and an individual’s right to privacy.
In accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, (S.C. 2000, c. 5) and other applicable legislation, and in consistency with professional obligations set out in the Law Society of Upper Canada Rules of Professional Conduct, WIS has developed policies and procedures to comply with and to maintain high standards of confidentiality as regards to the accuracy, security and privacy of personal information that it collects, stores, retains, uses and discloses in the course of providing legal services and operating the law firm.
Unless permitted by law, no personal information is collected about a client without first obtaining her or his express consent for stated purposes to the collection, store, retain, use and disclosure of that information, or implied consent when the purposes are indicated by the relevant circumstances or follow logically from other stated purposes.
WIS will seek clients’ consent before using personal information for any purpose beyond the scope of their original consent.
Clients may withdraw their consent at any time, subject to legal and contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice. However, clients are to notice that withdrawing consent may affect WIS ability to serve them and maintain their relationship. As such, WIS may not be able to continue or to perform its service.
Whenever possible and appropriate, WIS collects personal information about its clients, service providers and other individuals, directly from clients or from persons they have requested to provide WIS with information.
When necessary, and where permitted by the laws governing personal information, WIS may collect personal information from other sources such as, but not limited to:
• financial institutions;
• insurance companies;
• witnesses in litigation matters;
• private investigators;
• other parties involved in client’s transaction or file;
• government agencies or registries;
• accountants or other professional advisors; and,
• credit bureaus.
However, WIS will limit the collection and use of personal information to that required for providing legal services and/or to comply with the applicable legislation, and no personal information will be collected and/or required if not related to providing such services.
WIS does not knowingly collect personal information from anyone under the age of 18, especially children under 13, and does not use such information if it discovers that it is has been provided by a minor, unless in the context of providing legal or other services.
Personal information that WIS collects includes, but it is not limited to:
• contact information;
• financial information;
• information relating to a client’s legal issues;
• information about others collected in the course of representing a client, such as a client’s employees, other parties to a transaction or lawsuit, or witnesses;
• information regarding visitors to our offices;
• information that clients have consented to WIS collecting, or information that WIS is otherwise permitted by law to collect.
Without limitation, WIS collects personal information for the following purposes:
• to fulfill WIS’s member’s professional and legal obligations, including client identification and verification rules and other requirements of applicable Law Society of Upper Canada;
• to determine whether it can enter into a professional relationship with prospective clients in conducting conflict searches;
• with respect to the collection and use of third party personal information, in the course and scope of representing clients, and providing legal advice to such clients;
• with respect to the collection and use of clients’ personal information, to perform legal services or information to them;
• to comply with anti-money laundering regulation applicable to WIS;
• for administration, billing, accounting, auditing and collection purposes in relation to the client or their business and their relationship to WIS;
• to establish and maintain general and clients mailing lists;
• to communicate with clients to inform them of legal developments, new services, or seminars and events put on by WIS;
• through our website, for the purposes of tracking (for internal marketing and security purposes) access to and usage of the WIS’s website;
• to ensure clients’ satisfaction with WIS’s services; and,
• for any other purpose to which clients consent.
As a general rule, all information concerning the business and affairs of a person or organization acquired by WIS is to be held in strict confidence and not revealed to anyone, unless expressly or implicitly authorized by the person or organization concerned, or authorized and/or required by law.
Where obliged or permitted to disclose personal information without consent, WIS will not disclose more information than is required.
WIS makes every reasonable effort to ensure that the personal information it collects stores, retains, uses and discloses is accurate and complete, as necessary for the purposes for which WIS uses that information.
Before submitting any information, clients, service providers and other individuals providing personal information have the opportunity to review and correct their personal information. Also, on written request by clients, service providers and other individuals to whom the information relates, WIS may modify the information as required.
Since WIS may use clients’ information to provide legal services to them, it is important that the information be up to date. Therefore, clients are to inform WIS if any of their information changes so that WIS can make any necessary changes.
Security and storage
WIS maintains adequate physical, procedural and technical security with respect to its office and information storage facilities in such a way as to prevent any theft, loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification of personal information. In addition, WIS operates out of secure premises and has implemented technological safeguards including security software, passwords and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access.
Nonetheless, clients should notice that there is no method of transmitting or storing data that is completely secure. While the physical characteristics of each are different, mail, telephone calls, faxes and transmissions over the internet are all susceptible to possible loss, misrouting, interception and misuse of the information being communicated or transmitted.
WIS may exchange electronic versions of documents with clients using commercially available software that is vulnerable to attack by viruses and other destructive electronic programs. As such, WIS cannot guarantee that all communications and documents sent electronically will always be received, or that such communications and documents will always be virus free. WIS makes no warranty with respect to the integrity of any electronic communications exchanged with its clients or with respect to the security of any such communication and clients consent to its exchange of electronic communications, including confidential documents, unencrypted.
WIS does not use a browser feature called “cookie” to collect information such as the type of internet browser and operating system the visitor uses, the domain name of the website from which the visitor came, date and duration of the visit, number of visits, average time spent on WIS’s website, pages viewed and number of cookies accumulated.
Retention and destruction of information
WIS keeps personal information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected and, therefore, it establishes a retention period for all personal information collected as required by law. This period may be related to legislation other than Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, (S.C. 2000, c. 5), such as legislation enacted by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
When a client’s personal information is no longer required for WIS’s purposes, it has procedures to destroy, delete, erase, or convert such information into an anonymous form.
Subject to its professional obligations of confidentiality, WIS will not disclose collected, stored and retained personal information unnecessarily to employees and/or any third party outside the course of providing legal services and operating the law firm, unless the effected clients, service providers and other individuals consent, or when it is authorized and/or required by law.
WIS restricts access to clients’ personal information to those members and/or third parties who may at some point handle personal information gathered by WIS in the course of their relationship with and service to WIS, in order that those members and/or third parties may provide their services.
By using contractual or other arrangements, WIS ensures that its members and/or third parties will only use clients’ personal information to perform the services WIS has specified.
WIS may disclose clients’ personal information to third parties as an asset if it merges or reorganizes with another law firm. WIS may disclose clients’ personal information before and after a transaction. However, whether the transaction is completed or not, WIS will beforehand require the third party to provide a comparable policy and level of protection for clients’ personal information. If the transaction is not completed, WIS will require the third party to destroy securely or to return any records containing clients’ personal information.
Access of personal information by clients
WIS promotes clients, service providers and other individuals’ right of access to personal information about themselves. Clients also may ask how WIS collected their information, how it is using it, and to whom it disclosed it. As such, WIS provides access concerning any personal information that it holds upon written request, and it will provide the personal information within a reasonable period of time.
WIS may deny access to some or all personal information that it holds about a client, including situations that would infringe another client’s privacy as well as information protected by lawyer-client privilege. If WIS is unable or not permitted by law to provide clients with access to the requested information, it will provide clients with an explanation and indicate further steps which are available to them.
Please note that access will be provided upon request in writing, sent to WIS’s chief privacy officer, and may be subject to the payment of a fee. In such a case, WIS will notify the client in advance of the approximate cost at the time of considering her or his request. WIS may request that clients provide it with information to allow confirmation about their identity before providing the requested information.
Selling, trading, bartering, exchanging or giving away personal information
WIS does not sell, trade, barter, exchange for consideration or give away any personal information it has collected, stored, retained or used, without clients’ consent.
Policy changes will apply to the information collected from the date of posting of the revised policy statement to WIS’s website, as well as to existing information held by WIS.
La présente Politique de confidentialité et tous les documents qui s’y rattachent sont rédigés en anglais seulement.
Chief privacy officer
24 Bayswater Avenue
Ottawa, ON, K1Y 2E4