Your Privacy Rights
PBP Lawyers is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold, pursuant to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and otherwise. To ensure this accountability, we have developed and implemented this policy.
Why and what personal information do we collect?
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 may also collect personal information for direct marketing purposes.
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, both at the start of a retainer and in the course of providing our services.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources with your permission, including but not limited to:
- your insurance company;
- another lawyer representing you;
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer;
- your accountant; or
- your doctor or other health professionals or hospitals.
In most cases, we 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 legal advice and services to you, to administer our client management or other software (such as our conflict check database and our billing database) and to include you in any direct marketing activities to which you have agreed.
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, PBP Lawyers will disclose your personal information:
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example, pursuant to Court order;
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the legal 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;
- to defend ourselves against allegations of a criminal offence, of civil liability, of professional negligence, or of processional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a lawyer respecting matters involving a client’s affairs;
- if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer back-up services or archival file storage);
- 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.
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 our retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can update our records.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
PBP Lawyers 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 safety;
- deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access; and
- internal passwords and security.
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 PBP Lawyers holds 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:
- it is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is protected by lawyer-client privilege);
- to do so would reveal confidential information, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;
- to do so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record; or
- the information was generated for the purposes of a dispute resolution process.
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). The Law Society of Ontario requires us to identity clients, including verification of the client’s identity in many circumstances. 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 – with your consent – request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Communicating with Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 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 contact us. If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
Place de Ville
Tower B 112 Kent Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
If you apply to PBP Lawyers for a job, we need to consider your personal information as part of our review process. We may 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 optimise our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.