Benard + Associates is committed to maintaining privacy of personal information. We collect, utilize, and disclose personal information in accordance with the legislative parameters we are working within, and only to the extent necessary for the service we provide. Privacy of personal information is an important principle to Benard + Associates. We value the trust of those we deal with, and recognize that maintaining this trust requires that we be transparent and accountable in how we treat the information that we collect. This document describes our privacy policies.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. Personal information includes information that relates to an individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), an individual’s health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them), or their activities and views (e.g., religion, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
Personal information does not include certain publicly available information, such as name, addresses and telephone numbers as published in telephone directories, as these are not protected by the privacy legislation.
Who we are
Our organization is made up of seven professionals who, in the course of their duties, have access to personal information we hold. Their access to any personal information is restricted to that which is necessary for them to fulfill their obligations to Benard + Associates and to our clients. Appropriate privacy principles are followed and maintained at all times. This is a crucial aspect of the work we do.
Benard + Associates believes in maintaining the principles outlined within the federal legislation known as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
Principle 1 – Accountability
Benard + Associates is responsible for all personal information under its control, including personal information transferred to third parties for processing. Benard + Associates has designated an individual who is accountable for the organization’s compliance with this Code.
Principle 2 – Identifying the purposes for personal information collection
Benard + Associates will identify the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time the information is collected.
Principle 3 – Obtaining consent
Benard + Associates will obtain the consent of individuals before or when it collects, uses or discloses personal information, except where authorized by law. Given the nature of investigative work, our purpose for collecting personal information is to gather the necessary information and evidence required by our clients. For example, if we collect information about an allegation of professional misconduct or wrongdoing by a member of a regulated profession, we may obtain information without the consent of the subject of the investigation because to do so might compromise the investigation. In these circumstances, however, we are acting within the parameters of the applicable legislation.
Principle 4 – Limiting the collection of personal information
Benard + Associates will limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by Benard + Associates and its clients. Benard + Associates will collect personal information by fair and lawful means.
Principle 5 – Limiting use, disclosure and retention of personal information
Benard + Associates will not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual, or as required or as authorized by law. Personal information will be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.
Principle 6 – Keeping personal information accurate
Benard + Associates will keep personal information as accurate, complete, and up-to-date as necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.
Principle 7 – Safeguarding personal information
Benard + Associates will protect personal information with security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. This includes appropriate protection of electronic documentation stored at or transmitted from Benard + Associates.
Principle 8 – Being open about policies and procedures
Benard + Associates will make readily available to individuals specific information about its policies and procedures relating to the management of personal information.
Principle 9 – Providing access to personal information
On written request, and subject to exemptions stipulated by law, Benard + Associates will inform an individual of the existence, use and disclosure of their personal information and will provide access to that information. An individual will be entitled to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended where inaccuracies exist.
Principle 10 – Challenging compliance
An individual will be entitled to address and challenge our compliance with the above Principles to the Privacy Officer of Benard + Associates.
Privacy Officer – Dean C. Benard
Benard + Associates
E-mail Dean here.
Individuals also have recourse to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada if they consider that Benard + Associates has not responded satisfactorily to their complaint or inquiry.
For a copy of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, please access the website of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at www.privcom.gc.ca.