Watson Family Law recognizes the importance of privacy of information. As lawyers, we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive within a lawyer/client relationship. Our relationship with you is founded on trust, and we are committed to maintaining that trust. We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.
Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “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 Watson Family Law. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Watson Family Law 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.
Purposes for Collection of Personal Information
Our firm collects personal information for the following limited purposes:
- to establish and maintain client lists;
- to represent you as our client; and
- for internal purposes, including the professional development of firm lawyers and law clerks.
What Personal Information Do We Collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you or by which your identity could be deduced. We collect and use your personal information in order to provide you with legal services. Our firm restricts the collection of personal information only to that information that is necessary for the purposes noted above. We are committed to collecting personal information in a fair, open, and lawful manner. Wherever possible, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of a retainer, as well in the course of our representation.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Use of Your Information
By retaining our firm, you have confirmed your trust in us. We are honoured by this trust and take pride in serving you.
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client (time and billing) databases. We are obliged for legal purposes to retain our client files after the end of the retainer.
Watson Family Law 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.
Our firm stores and maintains personal information in conformity with the requirements of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the model code for the protection of personal information created and approved by the Canadian Standards Association.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Watson Family Law will disclose your personal information:
- 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 require us to give your information to third parties (for example, a professional retained to conduct a custody/access assessment or a mediation), your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- When it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- If we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- If the information is already publicly known.
- As required by law, in a matter of public safety or policy, as needed in connection with the transfer of our business assets (for example, if we are acquired by another firm or if we are liquidated during bankruptcy proceedings), or if we believe in good faith that sharing the data is necessary to protect our rights or property.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
Our firm has developed and implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information kept by us. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure. However, we cannot guarantee that unauthorized persons will always be unable to defeat our security measures. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:
- Premises security;
- Restricted file access to personal information;
- Deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- 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.
Our firm makes information about its policies and practices respecting the collection and maintenance of personal information available to all interested parties.
We are pleased to answer any questions that you may have regarding the collection and maintenance of personal information. You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you.
Our firm is committed to maintaining accurate, complete, and up-to-date personal information. If you are aware of changes to the personal information you have given to us, simply inform us of the changes, and we will update our records accordingly.
Communicating With Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium. Please ensure you are confident of your own privacy and security measures prior to sending personal and confidential information.
Requests For Access
If you have any questions or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact at Watson Family Law, 1255 Bay Street, Suite 402, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2A9, attention: Ruth Thomas
On our website, like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage, and related site information in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.
User-supplied information: If you fill out a contact form on this website, we will ask you to provide some personal information (such as e-mail address, name, phone number, and state). We only require that you provide an e-mail address on the contact form. Please do not submit any confidential, proprietary or sensitive personally identifiable information (e.g., Social Insurance Number; date of birth; drivers license number; or credit card, bank account, or other financial information) (collectively, “Sensitive Information”). If you submit any Sensitive Information, you do so at your own risk, and we will not be liable to you or responsible for consequences of your submission.
Information that you provide to us through the contact form or an online chat will be used so that we may respond to your inquiry. We may also use information you provide to us to communicate with you in the future if retained.
Web server logs: When you visit a website, it may track information about your visit and store that information in web server logs, which are records of the activities on our sites. The servers automatically capture and save the information electronically. Examples of the information we may collect include:
- your unique Internet protocol address;
- the name of your unique Internet service provider;
- the town/city, county/state, and country from which you access our website;
- the kind of browser or computer you use;
- the number of links you click within the site;
- the date and time of your visit;
- the web page from which you arrived to our site;
- the pages you viewed on the site; and
- certain searches/queries that you conducted via our website(s).
The information we collect in web server logs helps us administer the site, analyze its usage, protect the website and its content from inappropriate use and improve the user’s experience.
Google Analytics: Our website uses Google Analytics. To see how Google Analytics collects and processes data, please see www.google.com/policies/
The Google Analytics service captures data such as:
URL – the URL of the page the user is viewing
Title – the title of the page the user is viewing
Browser name – the browser the user is using
Viewport or Viewing pane – the size of the browser window
Screen resolution – the resolution of the user’s screen
Java enabled – whether or not the user has Java enabled
Flash version – what version of Flash the user is using
Location – this is derived from the IP address where browsing originated. The IP address itself is not available in GA as it is personally identifiable information (PII) which violates the terms: https://marketingplatform.
google.com/about/analytics/ terms/us/ of Google Analytics.
Language – derived from the language settings of the browser
Our website is not currently collecting any personal information and sharing it with any third-party vendors. We do not merge information we collect with Google Analytics to any third-party programs which might identify personal information.
Most web browsers are set to accept cookies. However, on most web browsers, you may change this setting to have your web browser either:
- Notify you prior to a website placing a cookie on your hard drive so that you can decide whether or not to accept the cookie;
- Automatically prevent the placing of a cookie on your hard drive; or
- Install the Google Analytics Opt Out Plugin: https://tools.google.com/