Personal information means information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
As of January 1, 2004, all Canadian organizations engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information incorporated by reference into PIPEDA. These obligations extend to paralegals and paralegal firms, including PPS.
PERSONAL INFORMATION AT PPS
COLLECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION
We collect personal information fairly and in accordance with the law. Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you. Such collection may be done at the start of our relationship or during the course of our representation or retainer.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources including, for example:
– from a government agency or registry;
– other professionals who serve you, such as your accountant;
– other parties or witnesses in the context of litigation;
– and other parties or participants in a commercial transaction.
In most cases, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information, we will obtain your consent. Sometimes we will ask for your consent in writing, but in some cases, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes your consent may be implied through your conduct with us or the nature of our retainer. Should you withdraw your consent, that may impact on our ability to serve you and to maintain our relationship.
USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing) databases, to build and to maintain the firm’s expertise and knowledge, and to include you in our information distribution and marketing activities. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about developments in the law or our
services, you can ask us not to send any further material.
DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
PPS does not disclose your personal information to third parties to enable them to market their products and services.
Under certain circumstances, PPS may disclose your personal information. Some examples are:
– when you have consented to the disclosure;
– when we are required or authorized by law to do so, including, for example, if a court issues a warrant or a subpoena;
– in order to comply with the requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the regulatory body that governs the practice of law in Ontario;
– when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
– where it is necessary to collect fees or disbursements;
– if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer backup services, archival file storage, or insurance) and the third party is bound by obligations regarding privacy which are consistent with this policy;
– in the event of a merger by or growth of PPS;
– if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
– or if we retain another law firm (such as, for example, law firms in other jurisdictions) on your behalf.
UPDATING YOUR INFORMATION
Since we use your personal information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date. If during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
SECURING PERSONAL INFORMATION
PPS takes precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your personal information are:
– confidentiality policies as part of our professional obligations;
– deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access or “hacking”;
– and internal password and security policies.
You should be aware that e-mail is not an entirely secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
You will not be considered a client of the Firm unless and until we have agreed to act for you according to our usual procedures for accepting clients which includes a signed written retainer agreement.
Do not include any confidential information in your e-mail. Any confidential information will be deleted immediately by our Firm.
ACCESSING PERSONAL INFORMATION
You may ask for access to personal information we hold about you.
Detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. There are a number of situations where we may deny access. If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct personal information, we will provide a reason or reasons for doing so.
REQUESTS FOR ACCESS
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please contact PPS in writing at the following address:
Attention Privacy Officer
Precision Paralegal Legal Services LLP
14-1860 Appleby Line, Suite 122
Burlington, ON L7L 7H7
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached
112 Kent Street
1 (800) 282-1376