Since January 1, 2004, all businesses 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, which it incorporates. The Act makes Elstons, Barristers & Solicitors, responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy, and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
What Personal Information Do We Collect and How Do We Collect It?
Personal information means any information about or that can be used to identify an individual. This does not include the name, title, business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. In other words, it does not include the information that one expects to find on a business card.
We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. When possible, we will collect personal information from you directly.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources such as credit bureaus, government agencies or registry, your employer, your accountant, or other professionals who serve you.
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of that information as described in this Policy, however, at times we may ask for your express consent verbally, electronically or in writing.
You may refuse to give personal information and may withdraw your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information at any time, subject to legal and/or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice, by contacting our Privacy Officer using the contact information set out below. Your withdrawal of consent may impact our ability to represent you and provide you with legal advice.
Use of Personal Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services, to fulfill our legal and professional obligations, to administer our client records and to bill for our services, to identify conflicts of interest, and protecting against fraud, illegal activities or error. We may also use your personal information to send you newsletters about our services or about legal developments that we think you would be interested in.
If you send personal information through our Website, we will use it to assess website use and traffic, and to respond to your feedback, questions and comments.
Elstons will retain information, including personal information, for as long as it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Elstons will disclose your personal information:
• when we are required or authorized by law to do so;
• when you have consented to the disclosure;
• when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties – for example, when we engage an expert or consultant on your behalf in a matter or when we retain another law firm or agent to act or assist us on your behalf;
• where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
Accuracy of Your Information
It is important that the information that we have on file 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.
Protection of Personal Information
We use the standard safeguards of the legal profession to protect the security of personal information in our possession, including physical, organizational and technological measures.
Access to Your Personal Information
You can ask to see the personal information that we hold about you by writing to the Compliance Officer at the address below. You can request that corrections be made where you can show that the information we possess is inaccurate. Please note that under certain circumstances, you may not be permitted to view your records for example, where the disclosure of your records would cause security, legal or confidentiality concerns.
Can a Client Request Anonymity?
The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and our Rules of Professional conduct may require us to confirm the identity of new clients. It may also require us to disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.
Non-personal information, such as name of the domain from which you access the Internet, the dates and times you access our website and the Internet address of the website from which you may be linking directly to our website, is collected and used to determine the volume of traffic on our website. This information also enables us to identify ways in which our website can be improved to serve you better.
Unfortunately, no data transmitted over the Internet is ever 100% secure. As a result, Elstons does not represent, warrant or guarantee that personal information will be protected against loss, misuse, interception or alteration and does not accept any liability for personal information submitted to us via the Internet, nor for your or any third parties’ use or misuse of personal information.
Changes to This Policy
Privacy Compliance Officer
The Admiral Building
One First Street, Suite 224
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1A1