Your Privacy Rights
Commencing 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 Frederikse Law. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Why does Frederikse Law need personal information?
Frederikse Law provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client databases and to respond to your requests.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. This information may include your name, address, social insurance number or employer.
How do we collect your personal information?
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 a retainer and in the course of our representation.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources: for example,
- your insurance company;
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request; and
- your accountant or financial advisors.
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. In other situations your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
If you wish to withdraw consent to your personal information being collected, used and disclosed, please contact us at the address listed below. Please note that in some circumstances the withdrawal of your consent may limit the services we are able to provide to you.
Use of Your Information
Frederikse Law does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to anyone.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Frederikse Law 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 legal services we are providing to you requires us to provide your information to third parties, (for example, a lender in a mortgage or secured transaction), your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we engage expert witnesses or special counsel on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known.
Is my personal information secure?
Frederikse Law takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:
- premises security;
- restricted file access to personal information;
- use of technological safeguards like security software, virus software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- internal password and security policies.
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. We will promptly correct the information and address any inquiries you may have in connection with your personal information.
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.
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);
- 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 firm’s 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.
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). Under certain circumstances, 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 disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may, on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with Us
E-mail is not a 100% secure medium. You should be aware of this if you request us to send personal or confidential information by e-mail.
If you apply to Frederikse Law for a job, we need to consider your personal information, as part of our review process. We normally retain information from candidates after a decision has been made, unless you ask us not to retain the information. If we offer you a job, which you accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.
On our web site, like most other commercial web sites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to us at:
4391 Harvester Road, Unit 5A
Burlington, ON L7L 4X1
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street,
Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3