The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act sets out rules and principles for the protection of personal information. The information we collect will be used only to the extent necessary for the legal services we provide. If at any time you wish to have us seal your file, simply notify us in writing and we will do whatever is possible to accommodate your request.
WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION
Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to a person's personal characteristics (such as gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), their health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or their activities and views (such as, religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information is to be contrasted with business information (such as an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.
WHO WE ARE
Ramsay Law Office Professional Corporation has two lawyers and a number of support staff. . We use a number of agencies that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include computer consultants, bookkeepers and accountants, process servers, credit card companies and many agencies that are relevant and important in providing our legal services, such as Hydro One, Union Gas and similar agencies, court and land registry offices, and other lawyers. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold to what is necessary to serve our clients.
WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION: PRIMARY PURPOSES
We collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients by providing legal advice and services. We collect information about the client's legal issue so that we can advise the client as to their legal rights and responsibilities and to carry out their instructions.
We do not use or share information for purposes beyond those for which it was collected, namely the service we are providing to our client.
On our website, we do not collect personal information.
WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION: RELATED AND SECONDARY PURPOSES
We also collect, use and disclose information:
To invoice clients, to process credit card payments or to collect unpaid accounts.
Lawyers are regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada which may inspect our records and interview our staff as a part of its regulatory activities in the public interest
Various government agencies (e.g., Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission etc.) have the authority to review our files and interview our staff as part of their mandates (although, the solicitor and client privilege restricts their access to much of this information). In these circumstances, we may consult with professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants) who will investigate the matter and report back to us.
Clients or other individuals we deal with may have questions about our services after they have been received. We also provide ongoing services for many of our clients over a period of months or years for which previous records are helpful.
You can choose not to be part of some of these related or secondary purposes. We do not, however, have much choice about some of these related or secondary purposes.
PROTECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a restricted area.
Computers are either under supervision or secured in a restricted area. In addition, passwords are used on computers.
Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies.
External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy agreements with us.
RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We retain all our files and records, which of course contain personal information for as long as possible so that they will be available to serve our clients in the future. After a number of years files are destroyed by shredding, in order to permit space for storage.
Other documents, such as Wills, and their records, are kept until we become aware they have been revoked or superseded.
YOU CAN LOOK AT YOUR INFORMATION
You may have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. We will need to confirm your identity before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.
We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If we collected personal information about you for a client, the information may be protected by solicitor and client privilege and you will not be given access without the client's consent.
If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and where applicable we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?
Our Information Officer, Peter R. Ramsay, can be reached at:
PETER R. RAMSAY/ RAMSAY LAW OFFICE/ BARRISTERS & SOLICITORS
18 ARMSTRONG STREET/ BOX 160/ NEW LISKEARD ON/ P0J 1P0
PHONE: 705-647-4010/ TOLL FREE: 1-800-837-6648/ FAX: 705-647-4341
He will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Information Officer. He will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.
This policy is made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It is a complex Act and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles.
For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
112 KENT STREET/ OTTAWA, ONTARIO/ K1A 1H3
PHONE (613) 995-8210/ TOLL FREE 1-800-282-1376/ FAX (613) 947-6850/ TTY (613) 992-9190