The WOCRC is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of the personal information of its clients, volunteers, employees, student placements, donors, members and any other stakeholders.
Personal information is given in trust and must remain confidential. It is important that personal information does not circulate outside of the WOCRC in an unauthorized manner, or within the WOCRC among staff for reasons other than appropriate consultations in the normal course of business.
The WOCRC collects personal information to provide quality community, health and social services, as well as, during the course of various projects and activities.
Any individual who provides personal information can expect the information to be carefully protected and used only for the purpose(s) for which it was collected. Any other use of an individual’s personal information is subject to that individual’s consent.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that personal information is appropriately collected, used and disclosed both within and outside of the WOCRC. The purpose is not to prohibit the discussion of personal information by staff for legitimate reasons.
Personal information is defined as any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual.
Examples are age, name, height, weight, medical records, information relating to physical or mental state (including family health history), name of health care provider, plans of service for provision of community services, ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, blood type, opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, disciplinary action, employee files, credit records, loan records, intentions (e.g., to change jobs).
Personal information does not include a job title, telephone number or address, anything that might appear on a business card, or can be found through publicly available information such as a telephone book.
The WOCRC’s procedures are guided by 10 principles derived from the Canadian Standards Association’s ‘Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information’.
Both the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) are based upon this code. These guiding principles are listed and defined as follows:
The WOCRC is responsible for protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of all personal information under its control at all times. Staff, volunteers and students with access to records that contain personal information are expected to comply with the Privacy and Confidentiality policy. This responsibility includes ensuring that third parties with whom information is shared take steps to ensure the same levels of privacy as the WOCRC.
- Purposes of Information Collection
Personal information will be gathered for specific purposes. The WOCRC is required to document the specific purpose(s) before it can collect and use personal information.
- Obtain Consent
The valid and informed consent of the individual is required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information, except as identified in the WOCRC’s Policies and Procedures.
- Limit collection
The amount and type of information is limited to what is necessary for the identified purpose(s).
- Limit use, disclosure and retention of personal information
The WOCRC will:
- Use or disclose personal information only for the purpose(s) for which it was collected, except with the informed consent of the individual or as required by law
- Keep personal information only as long as necessary to satisfy the purposes
- Keep personal information used to make a decision about a person for a reasonable time period. This should allow the person to obtain the information about the decision and pursue redress, if the person so desires
- Document any new purpose(s) for the use of personal information and obtain necessary consents.
- Be Accurate
Personal information must be accurate, complete and as up to date as necessary for the purpose(s) for which is was collected.
- Use Appropriate Safeguards
The WOCRC must protect personal information from theft and loss, as well as, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or use.
- Be Open
The WOCRC must have readily available specific information relating to the management of personal information and make it easy for interested individuals to contact the person accountable for WOCRC’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy and Procedures.
- Give Individuals Access
Upon request, individuals must be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of all of their personal information and given access to that information.
- Challenging Compliance
Any individual (client, employee, etc.) can launch a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), or to the Ontario Information & Privacy Commissioner.
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Questions, concerns or complaints relating to the WOCRC’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy and Procedures should be addressed to the Chief Privacy Officer.
Mail: Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre
MacNeil Court, Kanata, ON K2L 4H7
Phone: (613) 591-3686
Fax: (613) 591-2501