PRIVACY AND PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION POLICY FOR ECOJUSTICE CANADA – DONORS, SUPPORTERS AND NEW CASE INQUIRIES OUR COMMITMENT TO PRIVACY.
PRIVACY AND PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION POLICY FOR
ECOJUSTICE CANADA – DONORS, SUPPORTERS AND NEW CASE INQUIRIES
WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Personal information is any information about you as an identifiable individual and includes information with respect to your name, address, age, gender, income, marital status, finances, employment, donation history, together with any bank account and/or credit card information and identification number (such as a social insurance number). Personal information does not include your workplace contact information.
IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES FOR YOUR PROTECTION
- Collecting and Using Personal Information - Either before or when we collect personal information about you, we will explain how we intend to use it unless the intended use is obvious.
- We will limit the personal information we collect to what we need for those purposes, and we will use it only for those purposes.
- Unless we are required or permitted to do so by law, we will also obtain your consent before collecting personal information regarding you from parties other than Ecojustice.
Disclosing Personal Information
We may provide your personal information to other persons, but only where we have your consent or where we are required or permitted to do so by law.
Protecting Personal Information
We will protect the personal information we obtain about you with appropriate safeguards and security measures. We will retain your personal information only for the time it is required for the purposes we explain or as otherwise required by law.
Access to and Accuracy of Your Personal Information
We will give you access to the personal information we retain about you. We will make every reasonable effort to keep your personal information accurate and up-to-date.
Accountability and Openness to your Privacy Concerns
We will explain your options of refusing or withdrawing consent to the collection, use and release of your choices. We will investigate and respond to your concerns about any aspect of our handling of your personal information. And we will provide you with access to a designated Ecojustice staff member to deal with any of your personal information concerns and inquiries.
Suite 214 – 131 Water Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 4M3
The following sections will answer most of the important questions that you may have about how we fulfill each of these important principles, and how we will hold ourselves accessible and accountable to you.
WHY ECOJUSTICE GATHERS PERSONAL INFORMATION
Ecojustice gathers, obtains and uses personal information for three main reasons:
1) To provide newsletters, tax receipts and other information about our work to people who donate to or otherwise support Ecojustice. This is necessary to keep our supporters informed and updated on our work, as well as to provide supporters with the benefit of our charitable tax status.
2) To solicit donations and support for our work. This is necessary to ensure that we can continue to do our important environmental protection work.
3) To provide advice and assistance to individuals and/or organizations who contact us regarding environmental matters (what we call “new case inquiries” or NCI’s). This is necessary to serve the environmental and broader community by providing our specialized legal and scientific advice.
HOW ECOJUSTICE PROTECTS PERSONAL INFORMATION
Ecojustice takes the issue of protecting your personal information very seriously. Personal information regarding donors and supporters is kept in an electronic database with controlled access limited to authorized staff, or individuals under their direct supervision. Paper copies of that information are kept either in a separate office with a door that is locked when the office is not occupied by authorized staff, or in a locked filing cabinet or storage facility if that information includes financial details such as bank account or credit card numbers.
Personal information provided by individuals or organizations seeking our assistance is kept in a central electronic database accessible to and managed by our program staff. Paper records are also kept in separate files, as required by the circumstances of each inquiry. If an Ecojustice lawyer is retained to provide legal advice, or to act in his or her capacity as legal counsel, the communications between that Ecojustice lawyer and the client become subject to solicitor-client privilege. This protects those communications from disclosure, unless the client chooses to disclose
the communications, or the law requires those communications to be disclosed.
We retain your personal information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected or as required by law. The length of time we retain information varies depending on the service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of your relationship with us but only for so long as it is legally necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issue that may arise at a later date. When your personal information is no longer needed or required, we have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert it to an anonymous form.
HOW WE OBTAIN YOUR CONSENT FOR USING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Ecojustice obtains consent to use personal information in two ways: Implied Consent, and Negative/Opt-out consent.
Implied consent occurs when the way we use personal information is an obvious consequence of how the information was provided in the first place. For example, if a person gives us a donation, we will use their personal information to send them a thank you letter and tax receipt, as well as our newsletters and annual reports. The person making the donation can be reasonably assumed to understand that we will make use of his or her information in this way. Similarly, when someone contacts us with an environmental concern, we will use that person’s personal information to communicate with them and prepare research or work on their behalf. Again, it is reasonable to assume that someone contacting us for assistance consents to this use of their personal information.
Negative/Opt-out consent is required where the purposes for which we may use the information are not assumed to be obvious to the person providing the information. For our purposes, this is primarily when we make personal information regarding our donors and supporters available to other non-profit organizations. Before we do that, we obtain your consent by stating in our correspondence with you (annually through our annual renewal solicitation, or through our “welcome” survey, which is sent out in response to your first gift to Ecojustice) that you may decline to have your personal information shared for those purposes, and by providing you with an accessible means of indicating that decision in the form of an “opt out” check off box in the correspondence. When a donor or supporter indicates that he or she does not want his or her personal information shared, Ecojustice respects that wish and does not share the information outside our organizations. You can withdraw or change your consent at any time, by informing either our Donor Relations staff directly at 604-685-5618 (ext. 295), or our Privacy Coordinator (see below).
KEEPING YOUR INFORMATION ACCURATE
We will make every reasonable effort to keep your personal information accurate and up-to-date.
Having accurate information about you enables us to give you the best possible service. You can help by keeping us informed of any changes such as if you move or change telephone numbers. If you find any errors in our information about you, let us know and we will make the corrections as soon as reasonably possible and make sure they are conveyed to anyone we may have misinformed.
Each mailing or communication that you receive from Ecojustice provides you with an opportunity to advise us of any inaccuracies in your personal information. If mail that we send to you is returned as “no longer at this address,” we will try and contact you to obtain updated contact information.
Ecojustice has a designated Privacy Coordinator in our Vancouver office. That person is:
Toll-free: 1-800-926-7744 ext 249
Local: 604-685-5618 ext 249
Email: cacuna [at] ecojustice.ca
WHAT IF YOU STILL HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING HOW ECOJUSTICE MANAGES YOUR INFORMATION?
If you have questions or concerns regarding how Ecojustice is managing or using your personal information, please contact our Privacy Coordinator and provide your concerns in writing by email, mail or fax. She will respond to your concerns in writing within 30 days.
If you continue to have concerns after receiving our response, under the BC Personal Information Protection Act, you can ask for a review by or file a complaint with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioner. More information is available at the Commissioner’s website: