“Personal Information” is defined in PIPEDA to mean all information about an identifiable individual, excluding the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of the organization.
Consent and Collection of Personal Information
We typically obtain a client’s consent to collect, use and disclose their personal information. Consent may be express (i.e. we ask for your specific consent either verbally or in writing) or implied by the fact that the client has engaged us to provide legal services and the collection, use and disclosure of personal information relates to the performance of those services. If you choose to retain OWZW and provide your personal information to us, we accept that you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information as outlined in this policy.
There are occasions when OWZW will collect personal information from other sources, such as from:
- a government agency or registry;
- third parties such as your realtor, financial institution, accountant or other financial advisor, insurance company or employer; and other professional advisors or
- agents who have acted for you in the past.
PIPEDA also permits us to collect, use or disclose personal information in some circumstances without the individual’s consent, including (but not limited to) the following:
- where the collection, use or disclosure is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
- where it is reasonable to expect that the collection or use of personal information with the consent of the individual would compromise the availability or accuracy of the information, and the collection or use of the information is necessary for an investigation or proceeding;
- where it is reasonable to expect that the disclosure of personal information with the consent of the individual would compromise an investigation or proceeding, and the disclosure of the information is necessary for an investigation or proceeding;
- where the personal information is available to the public from a prescribed source;
- where the personal information is necessary to collect a debt you owe to us;
- to comply with the applicable Rules of Court regarding the production of records;
- to comply with a subpoena or court order; or
- where the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is required or authorized by law.
Subject to legal and contractual requirements and reasonable notice, you may refuse to consent to OWZW’s collection, use and disclosure or your personal information, or you may withdraw your previous consent, by contacting our Privacy Officer at the address set out in the “Contact Us” section below. Note that if you withdraw your consent to all or certain uses of your personal information, OWZW may not be able to provide any or all of our legal services to you.
Our Use of Personal Information
OWZW collects personal information in order to provide legal services and products to our clients. We use a client’s personal information for such things as:
- assessing whether we can act for you, including completing required conflict checks for potential clients prior to opening a new file;
- complying with client identification and verification requirements in relation to clients, as prescribed by the Law Society of Saskatchewan;
- providing legal information, advice and services to our clients;
- communicating with you regarding the services you request and to respond to your requests and inquiries;
- managing and administering our business, including client time and billing databases and issuing and collecting accounts;
- notifying clients about OWZW news and inviting clients to firm events from time to time.
OWZW only retains your personal information for as long as is necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected and to comply with applicable laws.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Generally we do not disclose a client’s personal information to third-parties without our client’s consent, unless permitted or required by applicable laws or court order. For example, we may disclose your personal information:
- where the legal services OWZW is providing to you require us to give your personal information to third parties (such as a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction);
- where we engage an expert or consultant on your behalf;
- where we retain another professional advisor or agent to act or assist us in acting on your behalf;
- where it is necessary to collect fees you owe to us;
- where required by a regulatory or governmental authority (for example disclosure of personal information reasonably requested or required by our governing body, the Law Society of Saskatchewan, in the course of its oversight of our practice); or
- where we are required or authorized by law to do so.
Security of Personal Information
OWZW recognizes our professional and legal obligations to protect the confidential information of our clients. We recognize as well our legal obligations to protect the personal information we have gathered about our clients and about other individuals during the course of our practice of law.
OWZW has implemented reasonable physical, organizational and technological security measures to safeguard the personal information in our custody or control to protect personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. These safeguards include: security of our physical office premises, security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access and internal passwords that restrict access to our electronic files.
Please note that no method of transmitting or storing information is completely secure. While we take appropriate measures to protect your personal information, there is always a risk that it may be lost, intercepted or misused. We may exchange electronic versions of documents and e-mails with you using commercially available software that is vulnerable to attack by viruses and other destructive electronic programs. We cannot guarantee that all communications and documents sent via e-mail will always be received, or that such communications will always be virus free. We make no warranty with respect to the integrity or any electronic communications between OWZW and you or with respect to the security of any such communication, and you consent to our exchange of electronic communications, including confidential documents, unencrypted.
Client Requests for Access or Correction of Personal Information
Individuals can submit written requests to OWZW to provide them with information about: the existence of their personal information under our custody or control, how their personal information is being used by us and the names of the individuals and organizations to whom their personal information has been disclosed. The law also permits individuals to submit written requests to correct errors or omissions in their personal information.
An individual’s ability to access their personal information under our control is not absolute. PIPEDA states that we are not required to disclose personal information when:
- it is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
- the disclosure of the personal information would reveal confidential commercial information;
- it was collected without the knowledge or consent of the individual in the course of an investigation into the breach of an agreement or of a law of Canada or of a province;
- the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process; or
- it is not otherwise the subject of a proper access request by law.
If you wish to request access to, or correction of, your personal information in our custody or control please make your request in writing to the OWZW lawyer with whom you normally correspond or to our Privacy Officer at the address provided in the “Contact Us” section below. We will respond to requests within 30 days of receipt of your written request. All such requests may be subject to your payment of any fees and disbursements the law permits us to charge.
For your convenience we may offer links from our website to other third-party websites. OWZW is not responsible for, nor do we accept any liability for, the privacy practices or content of such third-party websites.
If you have any questions with respect to OWZW’s policies or practices concerning the handling of your personal information, or if you wish to request access to, or correction of, your personal information under our care and control, please contact our Privacy Officer at:
Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller LLP
#1000 – 2002 Victoria Avenue Regina, SK S4P 0R7
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your personal information, we invite you to contact our Privacy Officer in writing, setting out the reasons for your concern. If, after our Privacy Officer has reviewed and responded to your concern, you remain dissatisfied, you may wish to contact the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner at:
503 – 1801 Hamilton Street
Regina SK S4P 4B4
Toll Free Telephone (within Saskatchewan): 1-877-748-2298
Effective Date of Policy: October 19, 2015