Download the Agency Privacy Commitment Pamphlet (Pdf 678 Kb)
Why we collect and use personal information
Collecting personal information about you is essential to our being able to provide services and/or to match you to volunteer opportunities that best meet the needs of both yourself and/or authorized third parties. While the personal information we collect may come directly from you, it may also be provided by a third party (such as employers, other service agencies, etc).
Personal information may be used for:
- To determine eligibility for services or suitability for volunteer or staff positions;
- To process applications for services or volunteer/staff positions;
- To understand and assess Consumers’ ongoing needs and offer services to meet those needs;
- For billing and accounting services relating to our services;
- For Consumer communication, service and administration
- For internal, external and regulatory audit purposes;
- Comply with legal and regulatory requirement;
- For accountability of program delivery and monitoring of goals and outcomes.
Keeping information accurate
It is important that your personal information is accurate and complete. Having accurate information about you enables us to give you the best possible service. You have the right to access, verify and amend the information we have about you. We rely on you to keep us informed of any changes, such as a change of address, telephone number or any other circumstances—simply contact our Privacy Officer.
Consent to use personal information
Consent may be obtained in various ways. We may obtain your express consent or we may determine that consent has been implied by the circumstances. Express consent could by in writing (for example, in a signed consent or e-mail) or verbally in person or over the telephone. When we receive personal information from you that enables us to provide you with a requested service, your consent allows us to deal with that personal information in a reasonable manner would be implied. If you need to provide personal information about other individuals (such as employees, dependents, etc) you must obtain their consent for these purposes prior to your disclosure to us.
Providing us with your personal information is always your choice. When you request services from us, we ask that you provide information that enables us to respond to your request. In doing so, you consent to our collection, use and disclosure to appropriate third parties of such personal information for these purposes. You also authorize us to use and retain this personal information for as long as may be required for the purpose described. Your consent remains valid even after the termination of our relationship with you, unless you provide us with written notice that such consent is withdrawn. By withdrawing your consent, or not providing it in the first place, you may limit or even prevent us from being able to provide you or an authorized third party (such as an employer) with the service you desire.
In certain circumstances, consent cannot be withdrawn, or there are legal exceptions where we will not need to obtain consent or explain the purpose for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information. For example, this exception would apply if there was an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual, or if we must comply with a court order.
Sharing personal information with others.
We are not in the business of selling client lists or personal information to others. In providing our services, we may need to disclose the personal information we collect to affiliates and other service providers. In certain circumstances, we may be required to provide personal information to third parties for legal or regulatory purposes. We may also use this personal information to assess your future needs and to offer services that may best meet those needs, from ourselves, affiliates or other providers selected by us.
About your privacy
On January 1, 2004, the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) came into effect. PIPA ensures that organizations that hold information about individuals handles that personal information responsibly. It also gives individual control over the way information about them is handled and a right to request access to and correction of their personal information. As a non-profit charity CMHA—SOS Branch has always been concerned about protecting the privacy of consumers, Unity House members, volunteers and staff. The PIPA formalizes and holds Agencies such as ours accountable with regard to the handling of personal information.
- Accountability—CMHA –SOS Branch is responsible for maintaining and protecting the personal information under its control and shall designate one or more individuals to be accountable for our Agency’s compliance under the PIPA Act.
- Identifying the purpose for which personal information is collected shall be identified before or at the time the personal information is collected.
- Consent—Individual’s consent will be obtained for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information, except where law provides for an exemption.
- Limiting collection—The personal information collected shall be limited only to that which is necessary or the purposes identified.
- Limiting use, disclosure and retention—Personal information shall only be used for the purposes for which it was collected, unless an individual has other wise consented when it is required or permitted by law. Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes. Personal information will be collected directly from the individual it is about unless the Act or the individual authorizes the collection pf personal information from another source.
- Accuracy—We shall keep personal information as accurate, complete and up-to-date as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes for which is to be used.
- Safeguards—Appropriate security arrangements will be made to protect personal information in our custody or under our control regardless of what format in which it is held (e.g. paper, electronic, audio, video)
- Openness—CMHA-SOS Branch will provide information to individuals about our policies and procedures relating to the management of personal information that is under our control.
- Individual’s access—On written request to our Privacy Officer, an individual will be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of their personal information that is under our control, and may be given access to that personal information as required and permitted by law. Individuals are entitled to challenge the accuracy and completeness of that personal information and request that it be amended, if appropriate.
How we safeguard personal information
At CMHA—SOS Branch, we employ physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect our systems and all personal information under our control against unauthorized access and use. All safety and security measures are appropriate to the sensitivity level of the information collected.
Our affiliates and outside service providers that we share information with are required to maintain Client confidentially, and may not use the information for any unauthorized purpose.
Employees are governed by strict standards and policies to ensure that personal information is secure and treated with the utmost care and respect.
Please contact our Privacy Office (Mary Ferrier) to obtain further information about our policies and procedures or if you have any unresolved enquiries or concerns. We will respond to you promptly and do our utmost to resolve your concerns. Our Privacy Officer can be contacted as follows2852 Skaha Lake Road
Penticton, B.C. V2A 6G1
Tel: (250) 493-8999
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