The privacy of personal information is important to the OAPA. We make every effort to deal responsibly with personal information, collecting, using and disclosing personal information only to the extent necessary to serve our members and in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). We are open and transparent about how we handle personal information.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is the information that specifically identifies you as an individual. For example, we collect personal information about each of our members on the OAPA Membership Application form, including their name, contact information, and information about their professional practice. As a general rule, personal information cannot be collected, used or disclosed without the knowledge or consent of the individual, unless there is an exemption specifically foreseen in the legislation. Business contact information, licensing information, or other information that is already in the public domain, is not protected as personal information.
Why do we collect and use personal information?
We collect and use personal information, and we may disclose personal information on a limited basis:
- To maintain accurate membership records,
- To invoice and collect fees, and for other administrative purposes;
- For audit or legal purposes;
- For member communication and services;
- To advise members of important notices, special events and job opportunities;
- To answer questions from our members and from the public.
Consent to use personal information
Privacy legislation requires us to obtain the consent of the individual in most circumstances where their personal information is collected, used, or disclosed. We may ask your consent specifically in writing, or verbally in person or over the telephone. There are also some circumstances in which consent is implied and deemed to exist even though we do not inform you each time we use it. For example, when you provide us with your personal information in order to receive services from our association, you imply consent to our using your information in reasonable ways for purposes relating to the association’s work.
You may always choose to provide or not to provide your personal information. When you ask to benefit from our member services, or our services to the public, we ask you for enough personal information to permit us to effectively provide those services. In giving your information to us, you consent to our collecting, using and disclosing it to appropriate third parties for that purpose. You also authorize us to keep this information for as long as it may be required to perform our functions. Your consent is deemed to be valid even after our relationship with you is terminated, unless you provide us with written notice that you are withdrawing your consent. If you provide personal information about other individuals to us, you must obtain their consent prior to doing so.
There are some legal exceptions that permit us to collect, use, or disclose personal information without first obtaining consent. For example, consent is not required in an emergency where the life, health or security of an individual is in danger, or if we must comply with a court order.
If for any reason it becomes necessary for us to use or disclose personal information for a different purpose than that specified when you provided the information, we will make reasonable efforts to contact you in advance, to inform you and to obtain consent.
When and why might we share personal information with third parties?
In order to provide our services, we may need to disclose some of the personal information we collect to other service providers, such as the insurer with whom we have a special agreement covering OAPA members. As part of our agreement with such third parties, they agree to keep all personal information private, confidential and secure, using it only to perform the functions they provide on our behalf.
We may be required to give personal information to third parties for legal or regulatory purposes, in certain circumstances.
How do we safeguard personal information?
We are committed to treating your personal information with care and respect, and to keeping it secure. We protect all the personal information under our control with appropriate safeguards, and limit access to a few authorized individuals who require it in order to perform their duties relating to our services. In the contracts we sign with service providers, we take measures to maintain member confidentiality and to deter any use of information for unauthorized purposes. We do not sell membership lists or personal information to others.
Accuracy is important
It is very important to us and to our work that your personal and professional information be complete and accurate. You can help us ensure that your information is accurate and up to date by keeping us informed of any changes, such as a change of address, phone or e-mail, workplace, practice area, or registration status. You have the right to access, verify and amend (with some exceptions) the personal and professional information we hold about you.
Despite our best efforts, errors may occur. If you become aware that any of your personal or professional information is out-of-date, incorrect or incomplete, please let us know and we will make the corrections promptly. We may verify your professional information to ensure consistency with any information made available to the public by regulators. In case of changes, we will make reasonable attempts to communicate relevant changes to other parties who may have inadvertently received inaccurate or out of date information from us.