The protection of personal information is important to the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) and we have a policy and procedures dealing with the protection of privacy. The ELC is incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act and this policy is written to comply with the applicable portions of the Alberta Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA) and the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Privacy legislation defines “personal information” broadly as information about an identifiable individual. In other words, it is information that allows an individual to be identified. Personal information does not include business contact information such as a title or position, business address, business telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address.
The ELC collects and uses personal information for the following purposes:
(a) To process applications for search services.
(b) To process applications for publication sales and subscriptions.
(c) To provide educational, research or seminar services on a fee for service basis.
(d) To provide requested information on environmental law.
(e) To provide lawyer referrals.
(f) To subscribe to our contact database.
(g) To solicit and process charitable donations and to issue tax receipts.
(h) To process applications for employment or to volunteer and to manage employment and volunteer relationships.
Whenever possible we collect personal information directly from the person seeking the product or service. We only collect the personal information necessary for the purposes stated in this policy.
Privacy legislation provides that an individual consents to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information about that individual for a particular purpose if (1) the individual voluntarily provides the information for that purpose; and (2) it is reasonable that a person would voluntarily provide that information.
In determining the form of consent, we take into account the sensitivity of the personal information and the reasonable expectations of persons. In most cases, the purpose(s) for the collection, use and disclosure will be obvious by the very nature of the service or transaction or, if not, the purpose will be stated either at the time or before the information is collected. Any further use of this information is subject to consent and the ELC routinely offers individuals the opportunity not to have their information used for purposes beyond those for which it was collected. Upon giving us notice, consent for any collection, use or disclosure of personal information can be withdrawn.
We will not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the person or as permitted or required by law. The ELC does not sell or share personal information, such as donation lists, with other organizations.
The ELC endeavors to maintain physical, technical and procedural safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information in question. These safeguards are designed to prevent personal information from unauthorized access, copying, use, modification, disclosure or loss, and to ensure that the information is not shared or disclosed more widely than is necessary to achieve the purpose(s) for which it was collected. Measures are taken to ensure that the integrity of this information is maintained and that the information is complete and accurate.
Personal information is retained only for as long as is necessary to fulfill the purpose(s) for which it was collected and to meet specific legal obligations. When personal information is no longer needed for the purpose(s) for which it was collected, it will be appropriately destroyed. The legislation also allows us, for legal or business purposes, to retain personal information for as long as is reasonable.
Upon written request, we will inform a person of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information and will give that person reasonable access to that information, except where we are required by law to deny such access. In certain situations, we may not be able to provide access to all the personal information that we hold about a person, for example, if access would reveal personal information about another individual. If access is denied, we will provide the reasons for denying access and the forms of recourse that the person has available to them.
A visitor to the ELC website, is not required to reveal any personal information such as name, address, or telephone number. Nor is such information collected passively by electronic means. Personal information is only collected when a person voluntarily completes an online order form, donation form, subscribes to the contact database, makes a search request, or contacts us with questions or comments. Personal information collected online is conducted in accordance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, is only used to respond to inquiries or requests and is not used for any other purposes.
Please note that e-mail transmission is not always a secure method of communication and that any personal or confidential information sent or received by e-mail cannot be reliably protected.
Privacy legislation defines “personal employee information” as personal information about an individual who is an employee or a prospective employee, that is reasonably required by an organization for the purposes of establishing, managing or terminating an employment relationship or a volunteer work relationship between the organization and the individual. Employee includes volunteers, students and individuals who perform contract or agency work for the ELC.
Privacy legislation permits us to collect, use and disclose personal employee information without consent when it is reasonable for the purpose of administering the employment relationship. We may use this information to perform tasks such as providing benefits, paying wages and generally managing the workplace. We will not disclose personal employee information to any other third party unless we provide our employees with prior notification. Our personal employee information is safeguarded to prevent unauthorized access, use and disclosure.
Résumés of applicants are kept on file for 12 months in paper and/or electronic format. These résumés are not provided to anyone outside of the ELC for review and they are kept on file strictly for purposes of future opportunities within the ELC. If an individual is not hired during a recruitment process, the ELC will destroy this information in a safe manner within 12 months after it was collected or turn it over to the individual unless the individual consents otherwise.
The ELC has a privacy officer available to administer this policy and related procedures and to deal with requests for access to information or complaints. The privacy officer’s contact information is as follows:
Ph: (780) 424-5099 or Toll Free: 1-800-661-4238
Fax: (780) 424-5133
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner can be contacted toll free at 1-888-878-4044. Further information can also be obtained from the Commissioner’s website at http://www.oipc.ab.ca/.