COLUMBIA RESPIRATORY recognizes the importance of protecting information collected about our clients. It is our commitment to provide the highest level of professional and confidential client service in a timely manner.
What personal information does COLUMBIA RESPIRATORY collect?
Personal information is anything that identifies you or allows you to be identified including:
• your home address, home phone number or personal email address;
• billing information including credit card information; and
• personal financial information.
Personal information usually does not include your name, title, organization name, business address, business phone number, fax number, business email address and website information. The firm does consider this confidential information.
We are committed to collecting personal information in a fair, open and lawful manner. Wherever possible, we collect personal information directly from the client at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation. In most cases, we will ask the client to consent specifically if we disclose personal information. Sometimes, this consent may be implied through the client’s conduct.
Why is personal information collected?
We use personal information to provide legal advice and services to the client and to administer our internal client (financial and marketing) databases. To do so, our firm collects personal information from our clients for the following limited purposes:
• to represent the client;
• to communicate with the client and provide the client with information about the firm;
• to establish and maintain client lists;
• for internal purposes including the professional development of firm members; and
• to obtain credit and other financial information about the client at our discretion;
Our firm restricts the collection of personal information only to the information necessary for the purposes noted above.
Under certain circumstances, we will disclose personal information:
• when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena;
• when the client has consented to the disclosure;
• when the legal services we are providing require us to give personal information to third parties (for example, to file a patent application in a foreign country), the client’s consent will be implied, unless the client tells us otherwise;
• when it is necessary to establish or collect fees, or to determine the client’s credit rating for our own internal purposes;
• if we engage expert witnesses on the client’s behalf; and
• if the information is already known or publicly available.
We do not disclose confidential information to any third party to enable it to market its products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other COLUMBIA RESPIRATORYs.
How long is information kept?
We are obliged for legal purposes to retain our client files, which likely include personal information, after the end of the retainer.
We store and maintain personal information in conformity with the requirements of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Canadian Standards Association’s Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information.
What safeguards have been developed and implemented to protect information?
We have developed and implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information kept by us. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect personal information are:
• security on the premises;
• restricted access to our offices;
• restricted file access to personal information;
• credit card information stored by our Credit & Collections department with restricted access;
• deploying technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
• confidentiality agreements signed by all employees outlining their duty to keep confidential all client information during and after employment,
• training all staff who deal with personal information to ensure necessary and appropriate measures to protect personal information are adhered to at all times; and
• internal password and security policies.
We are committed to maintaining accurate, complete and up-to-date personal information. If clients are aware of any changes to the personal information they have given to us, our clients can simply inform us of the changes and we will update our records accordingly.
What if a client has questions about my information collected?
COLUMBIA RESPIRATORY is pleased to answer any questions clients may have regarding the collection and maintenance of their personal information. Clients may request access to any personal information we hold about them. Summary information is available on request by contacting us.