The community legal clinics participating in this project are committed to the privacy and confidentiality provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and governed by the Legal Aid Services Act, the Law Society of Upper Canada's Rules of Professional Conduct, and by their own Confidentiality and Complaints Policies. All of these have provisions limiting the participating clinics can collect and disclose information, including the personal information collected from or on behalf of past clients or present clients or potential clients.
The participating clinics collect and use personal information as required for statistical and financial reporting requirements mandated by Legal Aid Ontario, and use the same information for their own business analyses.
Personal information provided through the Legal Heath Check-Up and in any follow-up contact with the participating clinics will be used to assess the legal and related aspects of the problems users of the website have identified and to determine how best to assist the user. Further, as The Legal Health Check-Up is a new approach the participating clinics are developing to better identify problems and provide people with the legal help they need, the information that is collected through the check-ups information will also be used for research purposes to help evaluate how well this approach is working and how to improve it. Reports based on the information may be made public. No identifying information will be disclosed and the information will not be used in a way that would allow an individual to be identified in any public document.
Personal information collected directly or indirectly on our website is never sold to third parties. It is disclosed only as authorized by law. In some cases, disclosure will be permitted because the person from whom the information came has consented to its disclosure. Disclosure may also take place where it is necessary for the performance of the duties of a participating clinic employee. Limited disclosures to third parties may be made to fulfill funding or other legal obligations which are necessary for participating clinics to conduct business. Some information may be privileged and exempt from disclosure under the law.
Staff of the participating clinics, volunteers and contractors are trained in issues of confidentiality and privacy and have signed a binding confidentiality agreement which applies indefinitely even after employment has ceased. The participating clinics also have physical, technological and procedural safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to the information they hold.
It is important that the personal information the participating clinics have about former or present clients or potential clients be correct. If you wish to view or correct your own personal information, you may contact our office to make a request to do so.
Individuals have the right to request access to information which participating clinics hold. Where a request is denied, a written decision is provided, setting out the reasons for the denial. The Clinic Complaint Policy applies.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
From time to time, under certain circumstances, participating clinics disclose your personal information:
- When we are required or authorized by law to do so (e.g., if a court or tribunal etc issues a subpoena or a summons);
- When you have consented to the disclosure;
- When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to a third party (for example, to a court or tribunal etc or to a lawyer or agent related to your case), your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- Where it is necessary to establish or collect any charges, costs or fees;
- If we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- If a lawyer or a person who, in the reasonable judgment of participating clinic, is providing or seeking the information as your agent.