Personal Information Protection Policy
Bert Mulder PC is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to us by our clients. We manage your personal information in accordance with Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act and other applicable laws. This policy outlines the principles and practices we follow in protecting your personal information.
This policy applies to Bert Mulder PC. The policy also applies to any person providing services on our behalf.
A copy of this policy is provided to any client on request.
What is personal information?
Personal information means information about an identifiable individual. This includes an individual’s name, home address and phone number, age, sex, marital or family status, an identifying number, financial information, educational history, etc.
What personal information do we collect?
We collect only the personal information that we need for the purposes of providing services to our clients, including personal information needed to complete what you engage us to do. Typically we will always collect your name, home and business address, phone numbers and email addresses, marital or family status, social insurance and business number and such financial information as required to complete our engagement.
We normally collect client information directly from our clients. We may collect your information from other persons with your consent or as authorized by law.
We inform our clients, before or at the time of collecting personal information, of the purposes for which we are collecting the information. However, we don’t provide this notification when a client volunteers information for an obvious purpose (for example, producing a credit card for an in-store purchase when the information will be used only to process the payment).
Typically, all documents you provide us with are returned to you. We retain on file copies of documents in digital form as we need in connection with our engagement.
Use of Service Providers outside Canada
If the services you engage us for include preparation of US tax and other form, we will correspond with the I.R.S. and the Department of Treasury on your behalf.
We ask for consent to collect, use or disclose client personal information, except in specific circumstances where collection, use or disclosure without consent is authorized or required by law. We may assume your consent in cases where you volunteer information for an obvious purpose.
In cases where we collected personal information before January 1, 2004, we assume your consent to our use and, where applicable, disclosure for the purpose for which the information was collected.
We ask for your express consent for some purposes and may not be able to provide certain services if you are unwilling to provide consent to the collection, use or disclosure of certain personal information. Where express consent is needed, we will normally ask clients to provide their consent orally (in person, by telephone), in writing (by signing a consent form, or electronically, such as by email.
A client may withdraw consent to the use and disclosure of personal information at any time, unless the personal information is necessary for us to fulfil our legal obligations. We will respect your decision, but we may not be able to provide you with certain products and services if we do not have the necessary personal information.
We may collect, use or disclose client personal information without consent only as authorized by law. For example, we may not request consent when the collection, use or disclosure is reasonable for an investigation or legal proceeding, to collect a debt owed to our organization, in an emergency that threatens life, health or safety, or when the personal information is from a public telephone directory.
Security of information
It is important to us for you to know that you can rely on us to keep your data secure. To accomplish that, your records are stored securely in our computer system, which are securely passworded. The only time we use offsite data storage, such storage is done either at premises completely within our control, or on the servers by e-Courier.
e-Courier is a Canadian email service secured by encryption, which we use in the conveyance of data between us and you as our client.
Our office is locked when we are not physically present and monitored by way of an alarm system with a commercial security firm.
Like virtually all businesses, we employ the use of email and fax to communicate with you and those you require us to communicate with in the completion of our engagement. Although we take care to ensure the the confidentiality of email and fax communication, we cannot guarantee that personal information contained in such communication will remain solely within the control of the person to whom it was forwarded. And also we cannot guarantee that email or other communication will not be intercepted by someone else. To minimize any risk in this regard, any sensitive personal and financial information will only be transmitted by us using our secure e-Courier email service.
At times we will convey information to you by way of a flashdrive. Any time this is done, this will be encrypted by means of your identification number.
Release of Personal Information
In the performance of our engagement we correspond with the Canada Revenue Agency and other government department and agencies. We will release only such information as is required by our engagement and such as is authorized by you.
In addition, at your specific request we will provide information to banks or other persons and businesses, such information only as you specifically request to be conveyed.
Length of time we keep your records
We will maintain our files as long as we deem necessary. In practice, that means that we do not destroy files ever.