Starting January 1, 2004, all business in Canada must obey the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which describes individuals rights to privacy of their personal information.
In addition, as a law firm, Alla Kikinova Law Professional Corporation is under a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we received within a lawyer-client relationship.
What personal information?
Personal information is any information about an individual. This could include information such as home address, date of birth, SIN number, income, employee or medical records, ethnic origin, credit or banking information, any information relevant to the issue for which you retained our services. This information may be about you, our client, or may be about individuals who are not our clients, but are involved in matters or disputes with our clients.
Why do we need personal information?
We might need to gather your personal information for various reasons including: understanding your needs, preparing your legal documents, representing your matter at the court, regulatory and contractual requirements, and simply maintaining contact with you during our relationship. .
How do we collect personal information?
We collect personal information in the normal course of client representation and only by lawful and reasonable means. We might collect personal information directly from you, or, with your expressed permissions, from other sources such as government agencies, employers, accountants, doctors, insurance companies, and other parties involved in a matter or dispute.
In most cases, we ask for your permission, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Consent may be expressed in writing or be implied and may be given to us verbally, electronically, or through an authorized representative. You have right to withdraw permission to collect, use and disclose your personal information at any time, subject to legal and contractual restrictions and reasonable notice.
Use and disclosure of your personal information
We use personal information to provide legal advice and services to you.
In certain situations we might disclose a personal information collected from other client. For example we might be required or authorized by law or ethical reasons to do so, such as by court order or pursuant to exemptions to consents provided in applicable privacy legislation; when you provide informed consent to such disclosure; when the legal services we are providing requires us to give information to third parties; where it is necessary to establish or collect fees; if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer services, accounting or archival file storage companies); if we retain expert witnesses on a your behalf; if we involve other law firms in other jurisdictions on a your behalf; and similar situations.
Updating personal information
It is important that the information is accurate and up-to-date. If during the course of the retainer, any personal information changes, you should inform us so we can make any necessary changes.
Is my personal information secure?
We take all reasonable precautions to safeguard your personal information and to endure that it is kept safe from destruction, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect personal information are: restricted access to our office, arranging technological safeguards like security software and firewalls; and internal password and security rules.
Access to personal information
You have rights to request any information we hold about you. Summary information is available on demand. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
Can I be denied access to my personal information?
Your right to access your personal information is not absolute. We may not be able to fulfill your request when it is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients, or is allowed under relevant privacy legislation); information related to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against the individual; granting access would have an unreasonable impact on other people's privacy; to do so would prejudice negotiations; to protect our firm's rights and property; or the request is frivolous or vexatious. If we deny a request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we will explain why.
Communicating with us
In order to provide time sufficient and convenient access to our services, our office uses modern forms of communications such as internet and e-mail services. We recognize that some view Internet e-mail as less confidential than other more traditional forms of communication. If you do not wish us to use Internet e-mail, please advise us in writing.