Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which PIPEDA incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Pinkofskys. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Pinkofskys is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy, and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
Why Does Pinkofskys Need Personal Information?
Pinkofskys is a criminal defence law practice which provides legal services to a wide range of clients. In doing so, it collects information which may be of a personal nature.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. In the course of providing legal services, Pinkofskys collects information such as police records, interview notes, police occurrence reports, witness statements, court transcripts, forensic reports, photographs video and audio tapes and computer data files.
If we did not collect and use your 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. Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources: for example,
● The Crown Attorneys Office providing disclosure on your case;
● Witnesses we interview in the course of representing you;
● Other government agencies or registries with your permission;
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 provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client (time and billing) databases. Pinkofskys 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 other law firms.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Pinkofskys will disclose your personal information:
● 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 give your information
to third parties your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
● where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
● if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us
(like computer back-up services or archival file storage) and the third party is bound
● 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?
Pinkofskys 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 Pinkofskys holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, Pinkofskys 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, for example, when:
● denial of access is required or authorized by law
● information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
● when granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people's
safety or privacy;
● to protect our firm's rights and property;
● where the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.
Pinkofskys does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon 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. 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 disclose information to FINTRAC 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
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact.
David G. Bayliss
481 University Avenue, Suite 510, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E9
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street,
Ottawa Ontario, K1A 1H3
If you apply to Pinkofskys 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. *drafted January 29, 2004