What is Personal Information?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. It does not include the name or business address or telephone number of an employee or an organization.
Why Do We Obtain Personal Information?
As a law firm, we obtain, use, and disclose personal information in the course of providing legal services. We require personal information so that we can contact our clients, obtain information about their legal concerns, and develop and implement effective strategies to address those concerns. On occasion, we need to obtain personal information from third parties, such as health care providers or insurers, to endure that we have all necessary information. Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP recognizes that personal information is sensitive. We endeavor to collect only that personal information necessary to represent our clients in a thorough and responsible fashion.
How Do We Collect Personal Information?
For the most part, we obtain personal information either directly from our clients or with their consent. There are some limited instances where we obtain personal information without obtaining consent. For example, in representing a union in a labour arbitration, we may receive personal information regarding a grievor from his or her trade union. We take careful steps to ensure that grievors have consented to the collection, disclosure and use of their personal information.
Who Has Access to Personal Information?
Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP is a law firm in which a variety of people work may work together on a legal concern, including lawyers, articling students and administrative assistants, and they have access to personal information. We take steps to ensure that personal information is used and disclosed appropriately, including: ensuring lawyers and staff understand the importance of maintaining the security and confidentiality of personal information;developing and implementing policies for the collection, use, and protecting personal information against loss or theft; safeguarding personal information from unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification by restricting access to the office and files, using technological tools such as passwords to limit access to computer data, and ensuring that third parties who may have access to personal information in the course of services they provide to us follow proper privacy principles.
Can I Access My Personal Information From Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP?
Yes. For the most part, you have a right to access your personal information and to know how it is or has been used. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, requires that we refuse to provide personal information in some circumstances, and allows us to protect privileged or confidential information if it falls into certain categories. For example, if personal information was collected in the course of investigating a legal concern for one of our clients, we have a legal duty to maintain the confidentiality of the information, unless our client consents to its release. As well, if personal information is incorrect, you have a right to correct or amend the information, or to have a statement of your disagreement appended to the file.
How Do I Access My Personal Information?
Just ask us. If we need further information to ensure that we are fulfilling our obligations, we may ask that you provide us with a written request or further information. We will respond to any request promptly. There may be a modest cost to cover copying or other expenses, and if that is the case, we will advise you of the cost in advance. There may be some circumstances we are unable to provide the information because of our legal obligations, and if that is the case, we will provide an explanation for the refusal.
Who Should I Contact at Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP?
If you want to access personal information, or have questions about our personal information policy, please contact our Privacy Officer, Simon Blackstone.