From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/p-8.6/ 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 Turkstra Mazza Associates. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Turkstra Mazza Associates is 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.
USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
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 legal services.
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing databases) and to include you in any direct marketing activities. If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.
COLLECTION OF 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, both 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;
- your accountant.
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.
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 Turkstra Mazza Associates holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, please inform us so that we can take reasonable steps to make any necessary changes.
DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Under certain circumstances, Turkstra Mazza Associates 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 give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage 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 on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms at your request, and on your behalf;
- if the information is Publicly Available Personal Information, as it is defined under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
Turkstra Mazza Associates provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. In doing so, it produces direct marketing materials concerning its services and developments in the law. Turkstra Mazza Associates 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 other law firms.
Turkstra Mazza Associates 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;
- deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- internal password and security policies.
You should be aware that e-mail is not an entirely secure medium, and you should be mindful of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
ACCESS TO 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 and other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
DENIAL OF ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute and may be denied for a number of reasons.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why. Turkstra Mazza Associates does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.
REQUESTS FOR 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).
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may – with your consent – request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please contact your retained counsel directly.
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Toll free: 1-800-282-1376
If you apply to Turkstra Mazza Associates 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 website, like most other commercial websites, 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.