Our duties as legal professionals are governed in part by the Code of Professional Conduct which requires a high level of confidentiality with respect to our clients’ information. Other applicable laws also govern the protection of personal information provided to Kanuka Thuringer, however, the Code of Professional Conduct often requires a level of confidentiality higher than the duties imposed by other legislation such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
What Personal Information Does Kanuka Thuringer Collect?
Under Canadian privacy legislation, personal information is defined broadly as information about an identifiable individual. Personal information would include information that relates to a person’s personal characteristics, their health or their activities. Generally speaking, personal information does not include general business contact information such as the name, title and business telephone numbers of employees of an organization.
The extent and type of personal information collected from you depends on the nature of your dealings with us. The type of personal information that we may collect includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, billing and account information, information about a client’s legal issues and other information which is incidental in providing legal advice and services to a client, such as personal information about witnesses and advisors.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Kanuka Thuringer will not disclose your personal information to any third party without your consent unless we are required or permitted to do so by law. Kanuka Thuringer does not share, sell or transfer your personal information which we collect (including our contact mailing lists) to any third parties for their own marketing efforts.
Internally, we limit access to your personal information to those of our employees who need to have access to it for the performance of their duties. We do use a number of independent contractors that, in the course of their duties, may have limited physical access to the personal information which we hold. These individuals include computer consultants and technicians, office maintenance, a file storage company, cleaners, our landlord and other lawyers. Their access is restricted to any personal information we hold as much as reasonably possible. In addition, where applicable, we also have their assurances that they follow appropriate privacy and security measures.
Generally speaking, we do not collect, use or disclose your personal information without your knowledge and consent. Despite this general rule, there are certain circumstances where the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information without your consent may occur. For example, these circumstances would include:
(a) collection, use or disclosure where it is clearly in the best interest of the client and his/her consent cannot be obtained in a timely way (for example, in the case of a medical emergency);
(b) disclosure for the purpose of establishing or collecting fees or a debt owed to us;
(c) collection and use in investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of law;
(d) disclosure to expert witnesses if we engage the same on your behalf;
(e) disclosure to other law firms in other jurisdictions, if we retain the same on your behalf;
(f) disclosure to comply with a subpoena or warrant; and
(g) collection, use or disclosure where we are required or permitted by law or court order to do so.
Subject to applicable legal or contractual restrictions, you also have the right to withdraw your consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information on reasonable notice. In certain situations, withdrawing your consent could mean that we would not be able to provide you with the legal services you have requested. In some cases, you can choose to opt out of receiving certain communications upon request. For example if you do not wish to receive any of our publications or information bulletins on areas or developments in the law which may be of interest to you we will comply with your request. To be removed from our publications or legal information bulletins lists, please contact our privacy compliance officer indicated below for further information.
Accuracy of Personal Information
Kanuka Thuringer takes reasonable efforts to maintain the accuracy and completeness of personal information in our possession on active matters, however, we rely on our clients to provide us with accurate personal information and advise us of any changes to the same. If any of your personal information changes, please notify us so we can make the necessary changes. Personal information maintained in inactive matters or where a file has been closed, is not actively updated or maintained.
Retention of Personal Information
In order to ensure that we can answer any inquiries you might have about the services provided, to deal with potential disputes, for our own accountability to our clients and other regulatory bodies and to comply with applicable laws, we retain collected personal information for some time after a matter becomes inactive.
Normally, we keep our closed client files for a minimum of ten years. Information contained in our client contact directory is removed periodically.
We destroy paper files containing personal information by secure shredding. Electronic information is destroyed by deleting it and when hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is over-written. Alternatively, some or all of the client file may be forwarded directly to the client.
How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?
Kanuka Thuringer endeavours to provide adequate physical, procedural and technological security with respect to collected personal information to prevent unauthorized access, copying, use, theft or modification. For example, we operate a secure data network protected by “firewalls” and password protected systems. With respect to communicating with us by email, please be advised that e-mail is not a fully secure medium and accordingly, your information may be intercepted without our consent by unscrupulous members of the public and, consequently, can be collected and used by others without your consent.
Access to Your Personal Information
In the event you have any questions concerning the management of your personal information, clients should first address their questions to the lawyer responsible for their file. Subject to certain exceptions, (as permitted or required by law), you have the right to access, verify and amend your personal information collected by us. Upon your written request, subject to certain exceptions ( as permitted or required by law), we will advise you of the existence, use and disclosure of your personal information and will provide you with access to the information. Examples of when we would not be able to provide you with access to your personal information include when the information is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the information would reveal confidential commercial information, the information contains personal information about a third party which cannot be severed, and where the information has been collected in the course of investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of law.
Depending upon the volume of the personal information requested, we may charge a reasonable fee for the provision of the same. Formal access or correction requests should be forwarded in writing to our Privacy Compliance Officer as described below.
Internet users can visit our website without telling us who they are or revealing any personal information about themselves. Kanuka Thuringer does not collect information through our website that personally identifies individuals except when individuals provide such specific information voluntarily by e-mail. In such cases, we may collect, store and use such information in the same manner as we do other correspondence sent to us.
When you use the Internet, your web browser or client software may transmit certain information to the servers that host the web sites you visit (“Technical Information”). This Technical Information may include the unique number assigned to your server or Internet connection, the capabilities and features of your computer, your geographic location, and your movement within and interaction with the website, including what pages you look at and what information you download. When you visit our website, our servers collect such information. We use this information to generate aggregate statistics about visitors to our web site and to optimize our web service.
We will not attempt to link or match the anonymous Technical Information we collect with any personal information unless:
(a) we have your consent;
(b) we are investigating detected or suspected security breaches, and need to do so in order to carry out the investigation; or
(c) we are required by law to do so.
If you have any questions, concerns or complaints regarding Kanuka Thuringer LLP’s privacy policies, please contact Kirk Nordick, our Privacy Compliance Officer, at:
1400 – 2500 Victoria AVE
Regina SK S4P 3X2
For more general inquiries regarding the administration of privacy legislation in the private sector, you may also wish to contact the information and privacy comissioner of Canada at the following address:
112 Kent ST
Ottawa ON K1A 1H3
Toll Free: 800.282.1376