Stevens Virgin commits to protecting the confidentiality and security of your personal information. The way law firms and other private sector organizations in British Columbia collect, keep, use, secure and disclose any information you provide to us through our website is regulated by the Personal Information Protection Act, (the “Act”). The Act defines personal information as “information about an identifiable individual.”
We also have a separate, professional obligation under the Code of Professional Conduct to keep our clients’ information confidential and to protect the privacy and personal information of all users of this web site.
This Policy describes our information collection and management practices and how we protect the personal information we receive from you when you access our website or sign up to receive information from us.
Why and how we collect your information
Stevens Virgin collects, uses and discloses personal information for several reasons. The information allows us to have access to all the relevant information that will allow us to:
- provide you with legal advice;
- comply with our professional obligations, including Law Society Rules regarding client verification and identification; and
- manage and administer our business, including issuing invoices.
When we collect, use or disclose personal information, we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that it is accurate and complete.
If you contact us through our website and provide personal information to us, we use that information only to respond to you.
By using our web site, you have agreed that we can collect, use and disclose your information in the ways described in this Policy. If you do not agree to with the terms set out in the Policy, please do not provide any information to Stevens Virgin. Instead, contact us using another method, such as regular mail.
Protecting your information from disclosure
Stevens does not sell, rent or trade your personally identifiable information to any third parties. We will only share your information if we are required to do so to comply with the law, by an order of a court or administrative agency, or when we believe disclosure is necessary to protect your safety or the safety of other users of the website, employees of Stevens Virgin and members of the public.
Securing your information
The Stevens Virgin web site employs security measures to protect any of your personal information that it has collected. We limit access to restricted areas of the website through the use of passwords.
Disclosure of your information
There are some circumstances under which the Act allows us to collect, use, or disclose personal information about an individual without their consent. They include (but are not limited to):
- the collection, use or disclosure is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
- it is reasonable to expect that the collection or use of personal information with the consent of the individual would compromise the availability or accuracy of the information, and the collection or use of the information is necessary for an investigation or proceeding;
- it is reasonable to expect that the disclosure of personal information with the consent of the individual would compromise an investigation or proceeding, and the disclosure of the information is necessary for an investigation or proceeding;
- the personal information is available to the public from a prescribed source;
- the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is required or authorized by law.
Requests for access to your personal information
The Act permits individuals to submit written requests to us to provide them with:
- their personal information under our custody or control;
- information about how their personal information under our control has been and is being used by us; and
- the names of individuals and organizations to whom their personal information under our control has been disclosed by us.
If you make a request to us, we will respond within the time allowed under the Act, and will make a reasonable effort to assist you and respond as accurately and completely as possible. Requests may be subject to the fees and disbursements permitted by law.
The Act sets out certain circumstances in which we must not disclose personal information after a request for disclosure. They include when the disclosure:
- could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or physical or mental health of an individual other than the individual who made the request;
- can reasonably be expected to cause immediate or grave harm to the safety or physical or mental health of the individual who made the request;
- of the personal information would reveal personal information about another individual; and
- would reveal the identity of an individual who has provided personal information about another individual and the individual providing the personal information does not consent to the disclosure of his or her identity.
The Act also provides that we are not required to disclose personal information when:
- the personal information is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
- the disclosure of the personal information would reveal confidential commercial information that, if disclosed, could, in the opinion of a reasonable person, harm the competitive position of an organization;
- the personal information was collected without consent for the purposes of an investigation, and the investigation and associated proceedings and appeals have not been completed;
- the personal information was collected or created by a mediator or arbitrator in the conduct of a mediation or arbitration for which he or she was appointed to act:
1. under a collective agreement,
2. under an enactment, or
3. by a court.
Requests for Correction of Personal Information
The Act permits you to submit a written request to us asking that we correct errors or omissions in your personal information that is in our custody or control. Upon receiving a request, we will:
- correct the personal information and, if reasonable to do so, send correction notifications to any other organizations to whom we disclosed the incorrect information; or
- decide not to correct the personal information, but annotate the personal information that a correction was requested but not made.
Changes to Web Privacy Statement
If we make changes to this privacy statement, we will post the changes version on the website so that you will always be aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we will disclose it.