Credit Counselling Service Sault Ste. Marie
Privacy Statement

Preamble:

This statement applies to the collection, use, disclosure and management of the personal information of clients of Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie and District, (herein referred to as “the Agency”.

1. Accountability

The Executive Director is appointed as the Privacy Officer of the Agency, and is accountable for compliance with these policies and procedures regarding the manner in which the Agency collects, uses, discloses and otherwise manages personal information.
Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District is responsible for personal information in its custody and control.

2. Identifying the Purposes for Collecting and Using Personal Information

Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District collects and uses personal information to provide advice and information on personal money management issues and to provide advice, information and options for debt repayment to our clients by dealing with their various creditors. The personal information collected by the Agency includes information on clients' debts, income, assets, living expenses, employment situation, general financial status and their relationships with various creditors.

The Agency also uses the aggregate demographic information from the personal information collected to identify services and programs that may benefit the communities we serve; to target our marketing and awareness programs; and to maintain the ongoing financial support and cooperation of our stakeholders. No individual can be identified through this information.
Agency personnel are trained to explain the purposes of collecting the information to any client who asks for an explanation. The purpose for which personal information is collected and used by Agency personnel is communicated to each client at or prior to the time of collection.

3. Getting the Client's Consent

Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District will not collect, use or disclose a client's personal information without the express consent of the client.

4. Limits for Collecting Personal Information

Agency personnel collect personal information about individuals only where such individual is a client or potential client of the Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District. Our clients' personal information is not used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the client or as required by law.

5. Limits for Disclosing and Retaining Personal Information

Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District discloses personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected. It keeps information for as long as it is required for the stated purposes. Your information may be viewed by other authorized persons in the Agency other than your counsellor, for service provision purposes, for routine management and professional supervision, and/or for quality assurance purposes including accreditation. The above noted authorized persons must sign an affidavit that they will uphold the Agency’s Confidentiality Policy.

Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District retains counselling files for 24 months after closing, upon which time all documents are shredded and electronic files deleted. Debt management program file documentation is retained for a period of seven years from the date the debt management program is successfully completed and or closed, after which the files are shredded in the same manner as the counselling files.

Personal information that is no longer required to fulfill the identified purposes or that is not required to be retained pursuant to any applicable law is destroyed, erased or made anonymous. Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District reviews the personal information in its custody and control on a periodic basis in order to ensure that personal information no longer required to be retained has been destroyed, erased or made anonymous.

6. Keeping Personal Information Accurate

Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District ensures, to the best of its ability, that the information it holds is accurate, complete, current and relevant to the identified purposes.

The Agency maintains strict confidentiality agreement with those who have access to the personal information being held by the Agency. Any corrections to the information can be given to those parties.

7. Safeguarding Personal Information

The Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District ensures that personal information is stored in electronic and physical files that are physically secure. Security measures include storage of files in locked filing facilities when not in use; secure locks and alarm systems for the office.

Distribution of personal information regarding clients is only provided upon the signed consent of the client and only includes information the client has specifically approved for release.
The employees of Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District sign a Confidentiality Agreement and will abide by these privacy policies and procedures.

8. Individual Access to Personal Information

Upon written request, Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District will provide an individual with confirmation as to whether the Agency has personal information about them, what the information is, what it is being used for and to whom the information has been disclosed.

Individuals should send their written request for access, with contact information and enough information about themselves to identify them to the Executive Director of Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District.

Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District will respond within thirty (30) days of receiving any access request at no cost to the individual.

If the individual can provide proof of an error in the personal information held by Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District, then the Agency will amend the information and where appropriate, send the corrected information to others who have used the incorrect information.

If the Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District denies the individual's request for access, it will state the reasons for denial.

9. Handling Individual Complaints and Questions

Individuals may direct any questions comments or complaints regarding Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District’s compliance with its own privacy policies and procedures to the Executive Director of the Agency c/o

Executive Director
Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie and District
298 Queen St. East
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 5Z1
(705) 254-1424
greg@creditcounsellingssm.ca

The Executive Director or designate will investigate the complaint and respond to the individual.

If the individual's complaint is justified, Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie & District will change its policies and procedures related to the matter so that other individuals will not experience the same problem.

 

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