Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("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 Minden Gross LLP. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Minden Gross LLP is responsible and accountable for the personal information we collect and hold. To meet our obligations to our clients, we have developed this policy, and informed our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
Why Does Minden Gross LLP Need Personal Information?
Minden Gross LLP 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. We will not, as a condition of providing you with legal services and products, require you to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information beyond which is absolutely necessary.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. Examples of the information we collect include:
- phone number
- the nature of client or the potential client’s legal issue
- financial, credit, billing and account information to determine credit worthiness
- other personal information material to your legal issue and any other personal information provided by you to us when you ask or instruct us to act for you
If we did not collect and use this personal information we could not provide you with legal services.
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 an engagement 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.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to assess whether we can act for you (including to avoid conflicts of interest), 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 to you.
Minden Gross LLP 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 accounting firms.
Information about Guests and Visitors
Minden Gross LLP collects information about its guests and visitors. Specifically, visitors/guests are/may be asked to provide their name, telephone number and organization name. Minden Gross LLP also has video cameras in public-access areas on its premises. We use information we collect about guests of and visitors to Minden Gross LLP to enable us to act responsibly in the event of a health or other crisis or emergency and to enhance workplace security. The information collected is retained by Minden Gross LLP as long as necessary for security or emergency preparedness purposes. In most cases, the video information we collect is deleted within 15 days following its receipt.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Minden Gross LLP will disclose your personal information. These circumstances include:
- 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 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 in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;
- if the information is already publicly known.
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.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
Minden Gross LLP 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.
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 Minden Gross LLP holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, please contact our Chief Privacy Officer at the address below and Minden Gross LLP 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:
- 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 by one of our clients);
- 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.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.
Minden Gross LLP does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold about you.
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 Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us to disclose information 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
It is important to remember that whatever you transmit or disclose online can be collected and used by others or unlawfully intercepted by third parties. No data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. While we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot warrant the security of any information you transmit to us over the Internet.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access, add, amend or remove your personal information, or if you no longer wish to receive any information about our services, please inform us in writing at:
Minden Gross LLP
Barristers and Solicitors
2200-145 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 4G2
Attention: Chief Privacy Officer
(Tel: 416-369-4120 or Fax: 416-864-9223) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If for any reason you are not satisfied with the results of our investigation of in response to your complaint, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner at:
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
If you apply to Minden Gross LLP 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 optimise our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.