Since January 1, 2004, all Canadian organizations engaged in commercial activities have been required to comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information incorporated by reference into PIPEDA. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Mietkiewicz Law.
Additionally, as a professional services firm, we have professional and ethical obligations to keep confidential the information we receive in the context of a lawyer-client and agent-client relationship.
Personal information is defined in PIPEDA as information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
In other words, it does not include the information that one expects to find on a business card.
Consent to Our Collection of Personal Information
In most cases, we obtain your consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information.
Usually, if you retain our firm, we assume that we have your implied consent to our collection and use of your personal information, however, at times we may ask for your express consent, either verbally or in writing.
Collection and Use of Personal Information by Mietkiewicz Law
We collect personal information from clients and others for the purposes of providing legal services for and on behalf of our clients. With respect to our clients who are not individuals (i.e. corporations, associations, etc.), we may collect information about your directors, officers, independent contractors and employees.
We may also collect personal information from individuals in order to provide them with educational and marketing information including developments in the law and with respect to the services we offer.
The information we collect includes:
Part III of By-Law 7.1 of the Law Society of Ontario requires us to obtain and keep a record of the identity of our clients, including their:
· full name
· home address and telephone number;
· business address and telephone number;
· email address;
· credit card information; and
· current occupation.
We may sometimes also obtain information about you from other sources including some or all of the following:
· a government agency or registry;
· your website and other public sources of information;
· other professionals who serve you;
· other parties or witnesses in the context of litigation; and
· other parties or participants in a commercial transaction
We may collect personal information from candidates for employment to assess qualifications.
Withdrawal of Consent
You may withdraw your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information at any time, subject to legal and/or contractual restrictions and upon reasonable notice. Your withdrawal of consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information may impact our ability to represent you and provide you with legal advice.
You can ask us not to send you marketing communications by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure of Personal Information
Personal information supplied to us is confidential and generally we do not disclose the information to any third party except with actual or implied consent, or as permitted or required by law. We do not exchange or sell personal information.
Our use and disclosure of all information with respect to client matters (including personal information) is also subject to our professional obligation of confidentiality and to the requirements of solicitor-client privilege.
Mietkiewicz Law uses third party service providers from time to time to carry out certain functions for us such as printing, storage, shredding or document scanning. The agent or sub-contractor in question will be obligated to use that personal information in accordance with the terms of this privacy statement.
The following are some examples where we may disclose your personal information:
· when you have consented to the disclosure;
· when we are required or authorized by law to do so, including, for example, if a court issues a warrant or a subpoena;
· such disclosure is necessary to collect fees or disbursements;
· we engage other law firms on your behalf;
· in order to comply with the requirements of the Law Society of Ontario, the regulatory body that governs the practice of law in Ontario;
· when the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (in which case your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise at the outset of the retainer); or
· if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (such as computer back-up services or insurance) and the third party is bound by obligations regarding privacy that are consistent with this policy.
Accuracy of Your Information
It is important that the information that we have on file 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. We may also ask you from time to time whether your personal information is up-to-date.
Mietkiewicz Law uses various safeguards to ensure that your personal information is protected against loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or alteration. These include: security of our physical premises; our professional obligations; security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access or “hacking”; and internal passwords that restrict access to our electronic files.
Access to your Personal Information
You have a right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of your personal information and to have it amended, as appropriate. You also have a right to request access to your personal information and receive an accounting of how that information has been used and disclosed, subject to certain exceptions prescribed by law. For example, if the requested information would reveal personal information about another individual, your request for access may be limited or denied. If your request for access is denied, we will notify you in writing of the reason for the denial.
To request access or to amend your personal information, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you normally correspond or write to our Privacy Contact at the address below. We will respond within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
Mietkiewicz Law will respond to inquiries about its policies and practices relating to its handling of your personal information. Inquiries should be directed to Mietkiewicz Law’s Privacy Contact using the contact information below. We will investigate all complaints and will respond within 30 days of receipt of a written inquiry. If the complaint is found to be justified, Mietkiewicz Law will take appropriate measures to resolve it, including, if necessary, amending this policy and its procedures.
Like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information to optimize your visit to our website.
If you have any questions or complaints about this Policy or the handling of your personal information, if you wish to withdraw your consent to our use of your personal information, or to request access to or update any information we have on file, please contact the lawyer or agent with whom you are dealing, or contact:
If any complaint or inquiry is not handled to your complete satisfaction, you may contact:
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Toll free: 1.800.282.1376.
Commission d’acces a l’information du Quebec
480 St. Laurent
Toll Free: 1.888.528.7741
Please check from time to time to ensure you are aware of our current policy.