This Privacy Code informs you of the Community Futures (CF) commitment to and policy on privacy. It tells you the ways a CF ensures that your privacy and the confidentiality of your information are protected.
The objective of CFDCs' Privacy Code is to promote responsible and transparent personal information management practices in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) and other applicable privacy legislation.
Community Futures Manitoba ("CFM"), the Provincial Association acting on behalf of the CFs, will conduct periodic reviews of this Privacy Code to make sure that it remains current with changing standards, technologies and laws.
Table of Contents
Compliance with Legal and Industry Standards
Each CF will make every reasonable effort to comply with industry standards and applicable federal and provincial laws in Canada, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
CF Privacy Code
CF Privacy Code only applies to identifiable individuals whose personal information a CF collects, uses, retains and discloses in the course of commercial activities. When we use the words "personal information" or "information" in this Privacy Code, we mean information about an identifiable individual, with the exception of the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. Further, these terms do not include information that does not identify particular individuals, like aggregate statistics or anonymous data, or information which is publicly available, as specified in applicable laws.
Purposes for the Collection, Use, Retention and Disclosure of Information About You
The following are the purposes for the collection, use, retention and disclosure of personal information by a CF:
- To establish and maintain a relationship with you as a client and to provide services to you;
- To provide you with information about products, programs, services, conferences, training resources and upcoming events that may interest you;
- To administer the CF services, to assess the quality and quantity of CF services, to maintain adequate accounting and tax records, and to have information in such form as the CF may reasonably require for its business needs;
To meet legal, regulatory and governmental requirements (including the requirements of Western Economic Diversification Canada ("WD") as the funding source of the CF and CFM), to detect and prevent fraud and to protect the interests of you, the CF and WD; and
- To achieve any other purpose to which you have given your consent.
For clients who have not obtained a loan from a CF, the above-noted purposes differ in that the applicable CF is not required to maintain accounting and tax records related to such individuals. For loan clients, further details regarding a CF purposes for the collection, use, retention and disclosure of personal information are outlined in your Loan Application Form with the CF.
CF Privacy Code consists of the following key principles, which apply to all aspects of a CF handling of an individual's personal information in the context of a commercial activity, including the collection, use, retention and disclosure of such information.
A. Collecting and Using Information
CFs collect and use information to establish and serve you as a client.
CFs gather and use your personal information to provide you with the services you have requested. CFs collect, use, retain and disclose information about you only with your consent, except as outlined in this Privacy Code. In obtaining your consent, whether express or implied, the purposes for which a CF requires your information are outlined above. If a CF purposes differ from those outlined above, the applicable CF will advise you of its new purposes at the time of collection of your information.
A CF may depart from this consent principle in accordance with the limited exceptions described in this Privacy Code, when permitted by other written and posted policies established by the applicable CF, or where required or permitted by applicable laws (for instance, a CF may disclose personal information in an emergency to protect human life or safety).
The information a CF collects depends on the service you have requested. For every client, a CF needs your contact information (your name, address and some identification). Here is why a CF needs some of the other information it asks you to provide.
- Birth Date
This helps a CF identify you and ensure that no one is trying to impersonate you.
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
A CF uses your SIN to keep your information separate from that of other clients with a similar name. For loan applicants, CFs use your SIN to obtain information with your consent, through the credit approval process.
- Financial Information
For loan applicants, your financial information is used to assess your eligibility for a business loan.
- Health Information
For loan applicants, a CF requires your health information if you wish to apply for group creditor life insurance, as an insurance company will not provide such coverage unless you are eligible based on your health information.
A CF only collects the information it needs and only uses it for the purposes explained to you.
A CF will only ask for the information it needs for the particular service you have requested and will only use it for the purposes outlined in this Privacy Code or, if applicable, outlined to you at the time of collection of your information, such as in the case of a loan applicant. When you apply for a new service, a CF will indicate how it intends to use your information if its purposes differ from those already outlined. A CF will advise which information would help it to serve you but is optional for you to provide.
With your consent, a CF may obtain information about you from third parties.
Obtaining additional information about you from trustworthy third parties helps a CF assess your eligibility for its loans and services. For example, for loan applicants a CF needs to know your credit history. For this reason, a CF may contact other lenders or credit bureaus to give it information on your credit history. A CF may also contact employers or other personal references to verify information that you have given it. CFs will not do this without your consent, but please remember that if you do not give your consent a CF will not be able to process your loan application and extend credit services to you.
B. Releasing Information
Under no circumstances do CFs sell client lists or information to others. CFs release your information to outside parties only under the following circumstances:
- Where a CF has your consent, whether express or implied.
For example, for loan applicants, a CF will disclose your credit history with such CF to other lenders or credit bureaus in order to support the credit approval process. In such cases, the CF will release the information required to identify you, as well as facts from its credit records about your repayment history.
- For business clients, a CF may disclose your contact information to Western Economic Diversification Canada and other related organizations, such as the Manitoba Women's Enterprise Centre or the Canada/Manitoba Business Service Centre, whose programs, services and/or products also may interest you. If you do not want a CF to provide your contact information to those other related organizations, please advise the CF.
- To suppliers and agents who assist the CF in servicing you and whom the CF can reasonably trust to respect your privacy.
For example, a CF will disclose your name and address to a courier company making a delivery to you at its request. In such cases, a CF will only make disclosure to the extent necessary and whenever possible, require that the party receiving this information provides reasonable assurances that they will respect the privacy of your information in accordance with applicable laws.
- When required or permitted by law to do so.
For example, a CF must give information in response to a valid demand, search warrant or other legally valid enquiry or order. A CF may disclose information to the authorities to serve a clear public interest and fulfill its public duty - such as to protect against fraud or other criminal activity. A CF may take action to protect its interests which may result in disclosing information to parties outside the CF, such as using agents to collect overdue accounts. A CF may also disclose information under an exception to the requirement for consent expressly set out in applicable laws, such as the exception for disclosures necessary to protect human life or safety in an emergency.
- When a CF needs to do so to protect its interests in the context of an existing or potential legal or administrative proceeding.
For example, in the event of a proceeding commenced by or against a CF in connection with you, a CF may disclose your information to its lawyers and to the court or administrative body involved.
- When required by Western Economic Diversification Canada ("WD"), as a partial funder of CFs and the source of CF investment funds.
For example, a CF must prepare reports for distribution to WD in order to receive funding. Although the information contained in such reports is often de-identified data, such reports may contain personal information of loan applicants and other clients.
C. Protecting Information
CFs will protect your information with appropriate safeguards and security measures.
Each CF has reasonable security standards to protect its systems and your information against unauthorized access and use. All employees of the CFs are familiar with the procedures that must be taken to safeguard client information.
A CF will retain your information only as long as it is legally or reasonably required by it.
The length of time a CF retains information varies depending on the service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of your relationship with the CF but only for so long as it is legally or reasonably required by it. When your information is no longer needed, CFs have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert it to an anonymous form.
D. Providing Information Access and Accuracy
A CF will give you access to the information it has about you.
Most of your information is kept in a CF's client file about you. Please contact the CF that serves you if you wish to access any information the CF may have about you. Each CF will advise you in advance if a minimal charge will be required for conducting a search, and will do its utmost to respond to your request within 30 days. Please note that a CF may not be able to provide information about you from its records if it contains references to other persons, is subject to legal privilege, contains information proprietary to the CF, is too costly to retrieve, or cannot be disclosed for other legal reasons.
CFs will make every reasonable effort to keep your information accurate and up-to-date.
Having accurate information about you enables a CF to give you the best possible service. You can help by keeping the CF that serves you informed of any changes, for instance if you move or change telephone numbers. If you find any errors in a CF's information about you, please send the CF the correction in writing by mail, fax or e-mail. The CF will make appropriate corrections and make sure that such corrections are conveyed to anyone it may have misinformed. For information that remains in dispute, a CF will note your opinion in its file.
E. Respecting and Responding to Your Privacy Concerns
CFs will explain your options of refusing or withdrawing consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your information, and will record and respect your choices subject to any legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice.
Please contact the CF that serves you and ask to speak to the CF's Privacy Officer if you have any questions related to your options. For example, you may refuse consent for a CF to do a credit check, but the CF will not be able to extend credit services to you. Once you have a credit product, you will not be able to withdraw your consent to share your credit experience with other lenders and credit bureaus, as this is necessary to support the credit approval process.
A CF will investigate and respond to your concerns about any aspect of its handling your information.
If you have any concerns or questions about privacy and confidentiality - or any concerns about the way a request for information was handled - you can take the following action. Contact the CF that serves you and ask to speak to its Privacy Officer. Log on to http://www.cfpm.mb.ca/to find contact information for the CF that serves you.
The Privacy Officer appointed for each CF has the decision-making authority to resolve most concerns. However, if you are unsatisfied with the way your complaint or request was addressed, you may contact the Federal Privacy Commissioner:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner
112 Kent Street
Information Regarding Web Site Practices
The principles outlined in this Privacy Code apply to information collected through each CF's and CFM's Web site, with the following qualifications.
A CF and CFM collects and stores your e-mail address from any communications that you may send to it by clicking on any of its e-mail links. A CF and CFM may use your e-mail address to communicate with you, if you are registering for a program, conference, training resource or upcoming event, your e-mail indicates that a response to your inquiry is requested or if CF or CFM wishes to address a concern or complaint you may have.
Updating This Code
Any changes to this Privacy Code or to a CF's information handling practices will be recorded in a timely manner.
We may add, modify or remove portions of this Privacy Code when we feel it is appropriate to do so. However, a CF will not use any information collected prior to such changes for any new purposes without first obtaining your consent.
Who to Ask about Privacy
If you have questions about Privacy, please contact us at 1-800-378-5106.