Personal Information Policy
As of January 1, 2004, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) becomes law. This act applies to all businesses operating in Canada regardless of size or profitability. Abbey Animal Hospital complies with PIPEDA and is committed to respecting the privacy rights of all individuals, including clients and employees, by ensuring their personal information is collected, used and disclosed in an appropriate manner.
The purpose of the Act is to establish a balance between an individual’s right to privacy of personal information with the need of organizations to collect, use or disclose personal information for legitimate business purposes. The foundations of the Act are its ten principles. Organizations must demonstrate compliance with each of these principles when dealing with personally identifiable information.
PIPEDA PRIVACY PRINCIPLES
- Accountability: Organizations must appoint an individual (the management) responsible for maintaining compliance with the Act. Any questions and concerns can be directed to the management. Abbey Animal Hospital will ensure that its clients, employees and other interested individuals have the opportunity to review and update their personal information on file with this veterinary facility.
- Identifying Purposes: Organizations must disclose why personal information is collected, how it will be used, and whether such information will be shared with third parties. The primary purposes for such collection, use or disclosure of personal information will relate to the delivery of quality veterinary medical services to our clients.
Common Purposes for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information include:
- To maintain complete and accurate client files, and to comply with all requirements of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and the Veterinarians Act and regulations thereto;
- To provide goods and services to our clients, to communicate and work with third parties providing medical or other services to our clients (including insurance companies, referral clinics, collection agencies)
- To bill for goods and services and to collect unpaid accounts
- To comply with lawful requests from governmental agencies such as Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and the Ontario Human Rights commission
- To maintain complete and accurate personnel files
Abbey Animal Hospital may identify additional purposes that arise for the collection, use of disclosure of personal information. Abbey Animal hospital will communicate such additional purposes to its clients and interested individuals, if it is practical or appropriate in the circumstances to do so.
- Consent: Organizations need to obtain an individual’s consent at the time personal information is collected and whenever a new use for the previously collected information is identified, except where exempted by law.
Abbey Animal Hospital will make every effort to obtain the express consent from an individual in writing through the use of a written document. There may be situations where implied consent is given to an individual. Implied consent will not be in writing, but the circumstances relating to the provision of implied consent shall be such that a reasonable person would conclude that the individual has consented or would consent, if asked, to the collection, use or disclosure or his/her personal information. There may be situations where consent is given verbally, either in person or over the telephone.
- Limiting Collection: Only necessary personal information will be collected, for the purposes that have been identified. Personal information shall be collected by fair and lawful means, and will not be collected for unspecified or improper purposes.
- Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: Personal information will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected, unless consent is received from the individual or the new use is specifically permitted by the Act. This veterinary facility will establish appropriate criteria for the retention of personal information.
- Accuracy: Abbey Animal Hospital will make every reasonable effort to ensure that personal information collected by us will be as accurate, complete and up-to-date as possible for the purposes for which the information is to be used.
- Safeguards: Organizations must protect personal information, regardless of format, against unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. The degree of protection should be commensurate with the sensitivity of the information.
Abbey Animal Hospital shall ensure that its employees keep all personal information confidential and comply with the security standards established.
- Openness: Organizations must inform customers and employees of policies and practices relating to the management of personal information. These policies must be easily understandable and readily accessible.
Abbey Animal Hospital will make available to any interested individual specific information about our policies and procedures relating to personal information, which is under the control of Abbey Animal Hospital.
- Individual Access: Upon request, organizations are required to inform individuals of the existence, use and disclosure of personal information pertaining to that individual. Individuals should be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information, and have it amended as appropriate.
An individual providing personal information to Abbey Animal Hospital will be informed about the existence of this personal information policy, and the use and disclosure of his/her personal information, and will be given the right to ensure the accuracy and completeness of such information. An individual will be able to have his/her personal information amended, if inaccurate or incomplete.
Abbey Animal Hospital will respond promptly to any request by an individual for access to his/her personal information. We will maintain a complete record of third parties to which personal information has been disclosed.
- Questions and Concerns regarding Compliance with this Policy: An individual providing personal information to Abbey Animal Hospital may address any question, concern or complaint regarding this veterinary facility’s compliance with this personal information policy to the privacy officer. All complaints are dealt with in an objective, fair and expeditious manner.
Dated the eighth day of January 2004.