2 Alberta policy requirements
The Alberta government passed laws giving you certain rights concerning the collection, storage, and use of your personal information by private sector businesses like Ratzlaff Law and setting certain standards in how private sector businesses manage and safeguard personal information. These laws are found in a particular statute called the Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) of Alberta which you can read at http://canlii.ca/t/52d5r.
3 What is personal information
Personal information means information that can identify an individual (for example, name, home address, home phone number, e-mail address, ID numbers, etc), and information about an individual (for example, medical conditions, relationship status, educational qualifications, financial assets, etc). For PIPA to apply, the personal information in question must be about an individual, identify an individual, or be able to identify an individual.
4 Lawyer-client privilege
Communications between a lawyer and client relating to legal advice or services is protected by lawyer-client privilege. Initial communications to us through our website does not necessarily create a lawyer-client relationship.
5 What personal information do we collect?
The following are the types of personal information that we may collect through our website.
5.1 Information that you provide us
Our website allows you to provide us with personal information including
- your names;
- your city of residence;
- your contact information including phone numbers and email addresses; and
- a description of your legal issues or goals.
You may also provide us with further information if you email, phone, fax, or contact us in a manner not anticipated by our website.
5.2 Analytics and Log Files
As is true of most web sites, our servers gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information may include internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and/or clickstream data.
Some pages on our website may use small files called “cookies” that the website stores on your device for identification purposes. A cookie can contain information such as a user ID to track the pages visited, but the only personal information a cookie contains is information you or your device has supplied us.
Cookies cannot read data off of your hard drive. Your web browser may allow you to be notified when you are receiving a cookie, giving you the choice to accept it or not. If you prefer not to receive cookies while browsing our website, you can set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies and refuse the cookie when your browser alerts you to its presence. You can also refuse all cookies by turning them off in your browser. By not accepting cookies, some pages may not fully function and you may not be able to access certain information on this site.
6 How we collect personal Information
We collect information only by lawful and fair means. Other than personal information that you voluntarily send to us by way of an online contact form, email, phone, or fax we also collect personal information as follows:
6.1 Analytics and Log Files
Our log files are created from personal information provided to our servers in the course of your device establishing a connection with our servers. This information is collected automatically and requires no action on your part.
Cookies are generated from small pieces of data sent from our servers to your device. When you access our website, our servers can retrieve these small pieces of data from your device.
7 Use of your information
7.1 To respond to your requests
We use your personal information that you provide us to respond to your initial inquiries for legal information, advice, or representation.
7.2 To provide you with information about other legal services
If you request, we will use your name and email address to send newsletters to you to help keep you up-to-date about our legal services and about new developments in the law. Out of respect for your privacy, you may choose to stop receiving our newsletters or marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails or contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7.3 Tracking and analytics
We create log files from website visitor requests to enable us to analyze how our visitors use this site. This data enables us to become more familiar with which people visit our site, how often they visit, and what parts of the website they visit most often. Ratzlaff Law uses this information to improve its website offerings and in some cases protect our website from attacks.
7.5 Selling your personal information
We do not disclose or sell your personal information or your business contact information to any third party for their marketing purposes.
9 Who can access your personal information
Upon collection of your personal information, we only provide the following persons access to your personal information, unless you instruct us otherwise:
- our staff and agents;
- professionals working with us, such as associates, consultants, students-at-law and paralegals;
- third parties that we contract with to provide us with administrative services, and who have appropriately strong and compatible security, privacy, and confidentiality policies their own.
10 Sharing and disclosure
Under certain circumstances, we will disclose your personal information without your consent if:
- we are required by law to do so, for example, if a court issues a subpoena;
- when the use of the information is necessary to respond to an emergency that threatens the life, health, or security of an individual or the public;
In any such circumstances, if a lawyer-client relationship has been established, lawyer-client privilege and/or confidentiality will affect and may prevent us from disclosing your personal information without your consent, even in the above circumstances.
We do not disclose your personal information or business contact information to third parties, other than as outlined above. We do not sell your personal information or business contact information to third parties.
11 Protecting your personal information
11.1 Steps we take to protect your personal information
We take data and information protection seriously. The following are some of the ways we protect your personal information:
- we limit the storage of inaccurate personal information: we maintain your personal information in as accurate, complete, and up to date manner as possible by allowing you to request an update to your personal information;
- we physically secure your personal information: we keep your personal information physically secure, for example, by keeping such information in locked or secure offices, rooms and/or filing cabinets;
- we digitally secure your personal information: we use technological safeguards to secure your digital personal information, including encryption of digital personal information at rest; offering encrypted means of transmission of your personal information through our website; and requiring that the policies and procedures of third party contractors are as strong as and compatible with our own.
11.2 Communications by Email
If you initiate communication with us by email, we assume that you authorize us to communicate with you by email.
12 Where we store your personal information
We store your personal information in digital form
- on encrypted devices in the personal position of our staff or agents; and
- encrypted on secured servers located in Canada or the USA.
13 Use of service providers outside of Canada
We use trusted third party service providers from the USA to provide secure methods for you to provide us with your personal information and to securely store and backup your personal information. Our service providers are not permitted to sell or otherwise disclose your personal information to any other party except as authorized by us or the law.
As is the case in Alberta, personal information transferred outside of Alberta may be accessible to regulatory authorities and enforcement agencies in accordance with the laws of the respective jurisdiction(s). We regularly review and evaluate how such laws may affect the security of your personal information.
14 Access to your personal information
14.1 Request Access
You may request access to your personal information that we store. The request must be in writing and be directed to our firm’s privacy officer (identified below). We may charge a reasonable fee for retrieval and copying of your personal information if the retrieval, copying, or request is extensive.
14.2 Denial of access to your personal information
There are exceptions to your right to access your personal information. We must deny access when we are required by law not to grant access to personal information. If we deny a request for access to personal information, we will explain why and attempt to mediate a resolution.
14.3 Accuracy of your personal information
We take steps to ensure that your information is accurate and up to date. You have the right to request a correction of the personal information held by us. You can correct factual errors in your personal information by sending us a request with sufficient detail to enable us to identify the record and error.
16 Contacting Our Privacy Officer
You may contact our Privacy Officer if:
- you wish to access your personal information;
- you have any concerns about our privacy policies or concerns regarding the manner in which we have handled your personal information; or
- you do not wish to have personal information transmitted by email communication.
Our firm’s Privacy Officer is:
1333 8 Street SW
Calgary AB T2R 1M6
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Alberta can be reached at: