Mason Bennett Johncox Professional Corporation (“MBJ”) recognizes the importance of privacy and the risk of the unauthorized use or disclosure of personal information that comes into the possession or control of MBJ from clients or use of the MBJ Website.
MBJ further recognizes the necessity to design and implement measures for the security of personal information that comes into the possession or control of MBJ from the use by customers of the MBJ Website.
“Personal Information” means all information about an identifiable individual provided or otherwise collected by MBJ. Personal information includes all information about an identifiable person as defined under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act SC 2000, c 5.
“Website” means the set of interconnected web pages designed and developed by MBJ.
Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including MBJ. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information. MBJ is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy, and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
Why Do We Need Personal Information
MBJ provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients. MBJ is governed by the by-laws of the Law Society of Ontario which sets out the professional and ethical obligations of lawyers. By-law 7.1, Operational Obligations and Responsibilities, Part III, Client Identification and Verification outlines our professional obligation to collect personal information. In addition, MBJ produces direct marketing materials concerning its services and developments in the law. Information will only be used for reasonable and bona fide business-related purposes.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. If we did not collect and use your personal information, we could not provide you with legal services.
How do we collect your personal information?
We collect information only by lawful and fair means, and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, both at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.
Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources, for example:
- your insurance company
- your real estate agent in a property transaction;
- from a government agency or registry;
- your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
- your accountant.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client (time and billing databases) and to include you in any direct marketing activities. The collection of Personal Information from customers through the Website will be restricted to that required by the MBJ to undertake the business-related purposes for which it was provided and for MBJ to meet its legal obligations.
Personal Information collected from customers through the Website will be used, disclosed and retained only for undertaking the purchase of products from MBJ and other reasonably expected business-related purposes, or for compliance with any applicable law, regulation, or order of any court or other lawfully constituted authority.
If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services, or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material. MBJ does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, MBJ will disclose your personal information:
Express consent is required for the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information. Customer consent to use Personal Information disclosed through their use of the interactive e-commerce function of the Website is implied for the purposes of undertaking the purchase of products from MBJ and other reasonably expected business-related purposes.
MBJ may use and disclose Personal Information provided by customers through the interactive e-commerce function of the MBJ website, without consent, for compliance with any applicable law, regulation, or the order of any court or other lawfully constituted authority.
- when we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena;
- when you have consented to the disclosure;
- when the legal services we are providing to you requires us give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- if we retain other law firms at your request, and on your behalf;
- if the information is Publicly Available Personal Information, as it is defined under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
MBJ keeps Personal Information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected. The length of time we retain information varies, depending on the product or service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of a person’s relationship with us, but it will be only for so long as it is necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issues that may arise at a later date.
Updating Your Information
Since we use your personal information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up to date. If during the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
MBJ takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification, use or disclosure. Reasonable steps include physical, electronic and procedural measures appropriate to the level of sensitivity of the Personal Information such as:
- premises security;
- restricted file access to personal information;
- deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- Multi-Factor Authentication enabled;
- internal password and security policies.
- We ensure that any of our employees who deal with personal information are properly trained and are aware of the necessary and appropriate measures required to protect personal information.
Access to Your Personal Information
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. Summary information is available upon request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
If MBJ holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up to date, MBJ will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Can I be denied access to my Personal Information?
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. We may deny access when:
- it is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is protected by solicitor-client privilege);
- to do so would reveal confidential commercial information, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record;
- to do so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual, and the personal information cannot be severed from the record; or
- the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why. MBJ does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.
Can I request anonymity?
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us disclose information to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.
To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, we may, with your consent, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
If you apply for employment to Mason Bennett Johncox Professional Corporation, we need to consider your personal information, as part of our review process. We normally retain information from candidates after a decision has been made unless you ask us not to retain the information. If we offer you a position, which you accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.
On our MBJ Website, like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information to optimise our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.
Communicating with Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact at
79 Baldwin Street North
Brooklin, Ontario L1M 1A4
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at
112 Kent Street,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H3