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Privacy Policy

A.                 Introduction

The purpose of this Privacy Policy (the “Policy”) is to outline my obligations with respect to the proper collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information (as defined below) of clients and third parties in compliance with British Columbia’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”).  I recognize and respect the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of my clients’ Personal Information. 

I will continue to review this Policy to make sure that it is relevant and remains current with changing standards in the legal profession and the law.

B.                 Definitions

Business Contact Information” means information that enables an individual to be contacted at work, including his/her name, title, business address, business telephone number, fax number and e-mail address;

Personal Information” means personally identifiable information about clients and third parties, but does not include Business Contact Information or Work Product Information;

Work Product Information” means information prepared or collected by an individual or group of individuals as part of their employment or business responsibilities or activities related to their employment or business.

C.                 Scope and Application of this Policy

This Policy applies to all Personal Information of clients, employees, suppliers, agents, contractors, partners and affiliated entities and other third parties that is collected, used or disclosed by me.

This Policy does not, however, impose any limits on the collection, use and disclosure of:

(a)                information that is not personally identifiable;

(b)                Business Contact Information; and

(c)                information that is publicly available or is required or authorized by law to be collected, used or disclosed.

D.                 Purpose for Collection

I collect Personal Information for the following purposes:

(a)                to provide legal services to my clients;

(b)                to develop, enhance and market legal services and products to my clients and third parties;

(c)                to better understand the needs and preferences of my clients and third parties;

(d)                to establish and maintain relations with my clients, employees and third parties;

(e)                to meet legal and regulatory requirements; and

(f)                 such additional purposes that are identified.

E.                 Consent

I require your informed consent to collect, use or disclose any Personal Information, subject to certain exceptions discussed below.  Consent can be express, implied or given through an authorized representative and may be given orally, in writing or electronically depending on such factors as the sensitivity of the Personal Information, applicable time limitations and the reasonable expectations of the client or third party.

By retaining me to provide legal services, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information by me in order to properly advise you.

If possible, I will seek consent to use and disclose the Personal Information at the same time as I collect Personal Information.

After the Personal Information has been collected, I may want to use the Personal Information for a new purpose.  In such circumstances, I will not use or disclose Personal Information for the new purpose without obtaining your consent unless permitted or authorized by law.

Subject to contractual or legal arrangements, you may withdraw or refuse consent.  In such circumstances, I will stop collecting, using and disclosing your Personal Information.  I will inform you of the likely consequences of withdrawing your consent, if any.

I can collect, use or disclose Personal Information without your knowledge or consent in the following circumstances:

(a)                when such collection, use or disclosure is clearly in your best interests and consent cannot be obtained  in a timely way;

(b)                when such collection, use or disclosure is for your medical treatment and you are unable or do not have the legal capacity to give consent;

(c)                when the information is publicly available;

(d)                when such collection or use is on behalf of another organization and you have consented to the collection of Personal Information by that other organization, as long as the Personal Information is collected and used by me for the purposes for which it was previously collected and the Personal Information assists me in carrying out work on behalf of the other organization; and

(e)                when such collection, use or disclosure is required or authorized by law.

F.                  Limiting Collection of Personal Information

I will only collect Personal Information that is necessary for purposes disclosed above or disclosed at or before the time of collection or as permitted by law.  I will collect Personal Information only by fair and lawful means.

Where practical, I will collect Personal Information directly from you.  When necessary or as otherwise permitted by PIPA, I may collect Personal Information from other sources.

G.                 Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention of Personal Information

I will only use or disclose Personal Information for the purpose for which it was collected, subject to your consent or as permitted or required by law.  Under some circumstances, I may have a legal obligation or right to disclose Personal Information without your consent.

I may disclose your Personal Information:

(a)                to a third party who in my reasonable judgment is seeking the information as your agent;

(b)                to a third party that I engage to perform functions on its behalf, including research or data processing;

(c)                to collect fees or other amounts owed to me;

(d)                to a public authority or agent of a public authority if, in my reasonable judgement, it appears that there is imminent danger to life or property which could be avoided or minimized by disclosure of the information; or

 

(e)                 as required or authorized by law.

I will retain Personal Information for only as long as is necessary for the purposes for which it was collected, for legal or business purposes or as required by law.  Subsequently, such information will be destroyed, erased or made anonymous in accordance with established procedures.

H.                Accuracy of Personal Information

I will make reasonable efforts to ensure that Personal Information in its control is as accurate, complete and current as required for the purposes for which it was collected and will minimize the possibility that incorrect Personal Information may be used to make a decision about a client or third party or may be disclosed to a third party.  However, I will not routinely update other Personal Information unless it is necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected.

I.                   Safeguarding Personal Information

I will protect Personal Information in my control against risks of loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, modification or destruction by security safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

I will use appropriate security measures when destroying or disposing of Personal Information to prevent unauthorized access, use and disclosure of such information.

J.                  Access and Correction

You have a right to make a written request for access to your Personal Information in my control.

I will, within 30 days, or such other time period if I have obtained an extension under PIPA, inform you about your Personal Information in my posession, what it is being used for, and where reasonably possible, to whom it has been disclosed.

If I am granted an extension under PIPA to respond to a request to view Personal Information, I will notify you of the reason for the extension, the time when a response can be expected and your right to complain about the extension to British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The reasons for not providing access to Personal Information may include that the Personal Information:

(a)                contains references to other individuals;

(b)                cannot be disclosed for legal, security or commercial reasons;

(c)                would threaten the life or security of another individual;

(d)                is necessary to protect my rights and property;

(e)                relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you; or

(f)                 was collected as part of an investigation (as defined in PIPA).

If I reject your request for access to Personal Information, I will:

(a)                inform you of the reasons for the rejection and the applicable provision of PIPA on which the rejection is based; and 

(b)                inform you that you are entitled to request a review of the decision.

I reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee for access to Personal Information that will vary with the type and amount of information requested. Where a cost will be incurred, I will inform you of the cost and request further direction from you on whether or not I should proceed with the request.  In some circumstances, I will require a deposit for all or part of the fee.

You may request corrections to your Personal Information in my control.  If I reject your request for correction, I will make a notation of such request and rejection on your file or Personal Information.

K.                Questions and Complaints

Questions and complaints relating to this Policy and my handling of your Personal Information should be directed in writing to mmacpherson@vancouverbusinesslaw.ca

If I do not address your concerns to your satisfaction, you may make a complaint to the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner.

L.                 Address of British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner

British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner may be contacted at:

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
P.O. Box 9038, Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC V8W 9A4
Tel: in Vancouver: 604-660-2421
in Victoria: 250-387-5629
rest of BC: 1-800-663-7867
Fax: 250-387-1696


* Denotes a Professional Law Corporation



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