THE REGION OF WATERLOO'S WEBSITE PRIVACY STATEMENT
This statement applies to personal information which you may provide by accessing or using the Region of Waterloo's website. Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information may include your name, contact information, opinions you provide about Region of Waterloo services or proposed projects, or other information that you provide about yourself as a result of using the Region's website. Information that is not about an individual, including businesses, professional organizations or associations, is not personal information. However, Regional staff may use confidentiality practices for this information where appropriate.
The Region of Waterloo is subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which sets rules for the collection, use, disclosure and handling of personal information. Personal Health Information handled by several Regional programs, including Public Health, Sunnyside Home and Emergency Medical Services, is regulated by the Personal Health Information Protection Act. Personal information held by the Region of Waterloo International Airport is subject to the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. The rules for handling personal information differ between the three laws. Information about these three laws is available via the websites of the provincial and federal governments.
Collection of Personal Information
This website includes various functions that may collect your personal information for a range of purposes. Examples include email links to allow you to ask questions of Regional staff, comment forms for input on specific activities, employment application forms, and web-based discussion forums. In each case, the Region collects the information to support its general authority to provide services under the Municipal Act, or in some cases legislation that mandates specific services including the Day Nurseries Act, the Health Protection and Promotion Act and other laws. The information collected through these channels is limited to the items that are necessary to provide a response or service to you. Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to the Region staff member whose information is associated with the webpage you are using. Where that is not clear, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you choose to use telephone numbers listed in the website to contact Regional staff, then personal information may also be collected through that method. Telephone sets in most Regional offices are equipped with call display technology which will display the number from which you call unless you block the number. If you leave a message at one of the numbers, the Region's voice mail system will record the number from which the call is made. In both cases, the information will only be used if necessary to the service you request or comment on.
The website's operating software may retain the IP address for the device or service that you use to access the Region's website. The Region does not identify you from this information, although the information could be used to investigate malicious or illegal activities affecting the Region's website.
In some cases, the Region's website may be used to obtain your input on services, and staff may offer respondents the opportunity to provide personal information to be used in awarding a draw prize. In these cases, the information provided will be used only to administer the prize award and will not be linked with the comments you submit.
Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
Regional staff may only use your personal information for the purpose of collection. In some cases, the information may be used for associated purposes which you would reasonably expect at the time you provide it. Your personal information will not be shared between Regional staff or services unless it is necessary. For example, the Regional Clerk's office may forward your inquiry to the responsible department.
The Region of Waterloo will not share, sell or rent your information to external persons or organizations. However, disclosure of your information to external organizations may occur where required or allowed by law. Examples include disclosure to support an investigation connected to a violation of law, disclosure to prevent harm to you or to others and disclosure in connection with court orders or procedures.
The Region may use analytical tools that use IP addresses to derive statistics or other information about the use of the website. These tools will not be used to identify you or to report identities in statistical summaries or reports.
Security of Personal Information
The Region's Information Technology and Systems Division uses processes to ensure that security standards for the operation of the website are current and adequate for known security threats. Access controls are applied to data and other files to ensure that they are accessible only to Regional staff or agents for necessary purposes.
The Region uses Secure Socket Layer encryption software for some applications to protect your information during transmission. A security icon will appear in your browser window to indicate that you are using a secure channel. Please note that the Region cannot guarantee the security of email or files sent through unsecured channels. You should take steps to minimize the amount of sensitive information you include in these communications.
Links to External Websites
The Region's website includes links to external websites. The Region of Waterloo includes these links as a courtesy to the user and takes no responsibility whatsoever for the privacy practices of these websites. You should take steps to ensure your comfort with the privacy policies and security of these websites before providing any personal information to them. The Region's privacy statement applies solely to information collected or handled in this website or on the subsidiary websites of Regional services hosted within this website.
Questions, Comments and Complaints
If you have any concerns about the privacy of your information in relation to the Region's website, please contact the Region's Information Access & Privacy Advisor:
Address: Regional Clerk's Office
150 Frederick Street
Kitchener ON N2G 4J3
The Information and Privacy Commission is the oversight body for privacy law compliance by public sector institutions in Ontario. You may find contact and other information about the Commission at http://www.ipc.on.ca/.