Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Smugler. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information. Smugler is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy.
Why Do We Need Personal Information? How Do We Collect It?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. If we did not collect and use your personal information we could not provide you with our services. We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, at the start of and in the course of performing our services on your behalf.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide advice and services to you and to administer our client databases. We do not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, we will disclose your personal information:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena;
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the services we are providing to you requires us give your information to third parties your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we retain other law firms or professionals in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known.
Updating Your Information
Since we use your personal information to provide services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date. If during the course of our work, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure.
Access to Your Personal Information
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
If we hold information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, we will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can I Be Denied Access to My Personal Information?
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when:
- denial of access is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients) ;
- information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
- when granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
- when to do so would prejudice negotiations with you;
- to protect our rights and property;
- where the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why. We do not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.
Can I Request Anonymity?
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us to disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.
Communicating with Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact, Jack Smugler. If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at 112 Kent Street, Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3 1.800.282.1376.