The Personal Information Protection Act (“the Act”) regulates the way private sector organizations within Alberta collect, use, and disclose personal information. “Personal Information” means information about an identifiable individual. Rod Gregory and all staff who work for him recognize the importance of privacy and recognize the sensitivity of personal information received by us in the course of our criminal law practice.
Collection of Personal Information
To be able to give the best legal advice to our clients, we need to collect all relevant facts and information that relate your case. The Law Society of Alberta requires that we verify the identity of all potential clients. We must obtain complete name and contact information and verify same with two pieces of identification. This also assists us in processing our conflict check to ensure we are able to represent you.
From time to time, we may also be required to obtain limited financial information to ensure that we will be compensated for our services. This information will necessarily include personal information about our clients and about individuals other than our clients.
Where practical, we will try to collect personal information directly from the person to whom the information pertains. Where necessary, we will collect personal information from other sources. We will collect only the personal information necessary for the purposes stated in the previous paragraph.
The Act provides that an individual is deemed to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information about that individual for a particular purpose if the individual voluntarily provides the information for that purpose, and it is reasonable that a person would voluntarily provide that information.
Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
By retaining Rod Gregory for legal advice or representation, we consider that an individual consents to our collection, use or disclosure of the individual’s personal information as necessary to properly advise and represent the individual to obtain the optimal result on your case.
It is our policy to collect personal information about individuals other than our clients only in accordance with the provisions of the Act. When we collect personal information about individuals directly from them, except when their consent to the collection is deemed, we will tell them the purpose for which the information is collected, and the name of a person who can answer questions about the collection.
We are also bound by solicitor client privilege. This means that information provided to us by our client remains confidential and privileged unless our client specifically waives this privilege. We are governed by the Law Society of Alberta and the Code of Conduct in relation to privacy and solicitor client privilege.
Collecting Information Without Consent
The Act also permits us to collect, use or disclose personal information about an individual without the individual’s consent under limited circumstances.
Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) situations in which:
- the collection, use or disclosure is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
- collection, use, or disclosure is reasonable for the purposes of an investigation or proceeding;
- the personal information is available to the public from a prescribed source; or
- the collection, use, or disclosure is required or authorized by a statute or regulation of Alberta or Canada.
When we collect, use or disclose personal information, we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that it is accurate and complete. The Act also allows us, for legal or business purposes, to retain personal information for as long as is reasonable.
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the private nature of the personal information we receive in our practice. That is why he have undertaken measures to secure against unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or destruction of personal information.
We also note that you may withdraw consent to the use and disclosure of personal information at any time, unless the personal information is necessary for us to fulfill our legal obligations. Please be aware that this may mean that we are unable to provide you with services if we do not have the necessary personal information or your consent to continue to have it to properly defend you.