McLACHLAN BROWN ANDERSON, the “Firm”
The Personal Information Protection Act (“the Act”) regulates the way private sector organizations within British Columbia collect, use, keep, secure and disclose personal information. “Personal Information” means all information about an identifiable individual. The Firm recognizes the importance of privacy and recognizes the sensitivity of personal information received by us in the course of our legal practice.
We recognize our professional obligation to maintain the confidentiality of our clients’ information, and recognize our obligations concerning the personal information of all individuals that we collect, use or disclose in our practice. This policy has been developed with those obligations in mind.
Our Need for Personal Information
In order to be able to give legal advice to our clients, we need access to all relevant facts and information that relate to our retainer and to the representation of our clients. This information will necessarily include personal information about our clients and about individuals other than our clients.
Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
Where practical, we endeavour to collect personal information directly from the person to whom the information pertains. When necessary, we will collect personal information from other sources.
By retaining this firm for legal advice or representation, an individual consents to our necessary collection, use or disclosure of the individual’s personal information in order to properly advise and represent the individual.
It is our policy to collect personal information about individuals other than our clients in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Information Protection Act.
The Act deems that an individual has consented to our collection, use or disclosure of personal information about that individual if, at the time the consent is deemed to be given, the purpose would be considered obvious to a reasonable person. In such circumstances, we will collect, use or disclose personal information without obtaining a written or verbal consent to do so.
The Act also permits us to collect, use or disclose personal information about an individual in some circumstances without the individual’s consent. Those include (but are not limited to) circumstances in which:
When we collect, use or disclose personal information, we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that it is accurate and complete.
Security of Personal Information
We recognize our professional and legal obligations to protect the confidential information of our clients. We recognize as well our legal obligations to protect the personal information we have gathered about our clients and about other individuals during the course of our practice of law.
We have therefore made arrangements to secure against the unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or destruction of personal information.
Requests for Access to Personal Information
The Act permits individuals to submit written requests to us to provide them with:
We will respond to requests in the time allowed by the Act and will make a reasonable effort to assist applicants and to respond as accurately and completely as reasonably possible. All requests may be subject to any fees and disbursements the law permits us to charge.
An individual’s ability to access his or her personal information under our control is not absolute. The Act provides that we must not disclose personal information when:
The Act further provides that we are not required to disclose personal information when:
Requests for Correction of Personal Information
The law permits individuals to submit written requests to us to correct errors or omissions in their personal information that is in our custody or control. We will:
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
As required by the law, we will retain personal information for such reasonable period of time that our clients have a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to it. The Act requires that we destroy documents containing personal information or remove the means by which the personal information may be associated with a particular individual when the purpose for which the personal information was collected is no longer served by its retention and the retention is no longer required for legal or business purposes.
Contacting or Communicating with Us
If you have any questions with respect to our policies concerning the handling of your personal information, or if you wish to request access to, or correction of, your personal information under our care and control, please contact our Privacy Officer at:
Robert D.J. Brown
10th Floor, 938 Howe Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Telephone (604) 331-6009
Facsimile (604) 331-6008
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your personal information, we invite you to contact our Privacy Officer in writing, setting out the reasons for your concern. If, after our Privacy Officer has reviewed and responded to your concern, you remain dissatisfied, you may wish to contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner at:
P.O. Box 9038, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria; BC V8W 9A4
Telephone (250) 387-5629
Fax (250) 387-1696