Personal Information Protection Policy

I am committed to providing my clients with high-quality genealogy research services.  As providing this service involves the collection, use and disclosure of some personal information about my clients, protecting their personal information is one of my highest priorities.

I am committed to protecting personal information according to PIPA – Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector:

I will inform my clients of why and how I collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

This Personal Information Protection Policy, in compliance with PIPA, outlines the principles and practices I will follow in protecting clients’ personal information. The privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of my clients’ personal information and allowing my clients to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.


Personal Information means information about an identifiable individual (including name, birthdate, home address and phone number, marital status, and family members’ names and their personal information). Personal information does not include contact information (described below).

Contact information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at home or a place of business and includes name, position name or title, telephone number, address, email or fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy or PIPA. 

Policy 1 – Collecting Personal Information

1.1  Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the client voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, I will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.

1.2  I primarily collect your personal information in order to provide you with genealogy relevant services, to let you know of other products and services which may be of interest to you, or to address any servicing requests.  

The following are examples of personal information I may request:

  • Name, birth date, birth place, marital status and contact information;
  • Names of family members, along with relevant information (dates and places of birth, marriage and death, etc.), depending on the nature of the services provided.


Policy 2 – Consent

2.1  I will obtain client consent to collect, use or disclose personal information (except where, as noted below, I am authorized to do so without consent).

2.2  Consent can be provided orally, in writing or electronically or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the client voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.

2.3  Consent may also be implied where a client is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out of his or her personal information being used for the marketing of new services or products and the client does not opt-out.

2.4  Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation), clients can withhold or withdraw their consent for me to use their personal information in certain ways.  A client’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict my ability to provide a particular service or product.  If so, I will explain the situation to assist the client in making the decision.

2.5  I may collect, use or disclose personal information without the client’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:

  • When the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is permitted or required by law;
  • When the personal information is available from a public source (e.g., a telephone directory);
  • When the disclosure is to an archival institution if the collection of the personal information is reasonable for research or archival purposes,
  • When I require legal advice from a lawyer;
  • For the purposes of collecting a debt;
  • To investigate an anticipated breach of an agreement or a contravention of law.

Policy 3 – Using and Disclosing Personal Information

3.1  I will only use or disclose client personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for a purpose reasonably related to those purposes such as:  

  • To conduct client surveys in order to enhance the provision of genealogy related services;
  • To contact my clients directly about products and services that may be of interest.

3.2  I will not use or disclose client personal information for any additional purpose unless I obtain consent to do so.

3.3  I will not sell client lists or personal information to other parties unless I have consent to do so.

3.4  Not presently but in the future, my website may feature ads or links from third parties. If you click on these ads in order to visit the site of any third-party company, advertiser or sponsor, you may be asked for personal information or payment details by these companies in order to purchase their products or services. These third parties have their own privacy statements and data collection practices. I assume no responsibility or liability for these policies.

3.5  I use third parties to undertake certain tasks. For example, I use third parties to process payments and to support my website. I may also request the assistance of researchers in other regions or countries. These third parties are only given access to information needed to perform their specific functions. These service providers may be in Canada, the United States, or in other jurisdictions.

Policy 4 – Retaining Personal Information

4.1  If I use client personal information to make a decision that directly affects the client, I will retain that personal information for at least one year so that the client has a reasonable opportunity to request access to it.

4.2  Subject to policy 4.1, I will retain client personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal or business purpose.

 Policy 5 – Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information

5.1  I will make reasonable efforts to ensure that client personal information is accurate and complete where it may be used to make a decision about the client or disclosed to another organization.

5.2  Clients may request a correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness.  A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought.

5.3  If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, I will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year.  If the correction is not made, I will note the clients’ correction request in the file.

Policy 6 – Securing Personal Information

6.1  I am committed to ensuring the security of client personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.

6.2  The following security measures will be followed to ensure that client personal information is appropriately protected:

  • Physically securing offices where personal information is held;
  • Using usernames and passwords on computers with personal information;
  • Restricting employee access to personal information as appropriate (on a need-to-know basis);
  • Securing all personal information that is stored in computer cloud backup facilities using industry-standard encryption technologies;
  • Accepting requests from clients to have materials containing their personal information be returned to them, at their expense, or destroyed.

6.3  I will use appropriate security measures when destroying clients’ personal information such as shredding documents and deleting electronically stored information.

6.4  I will continually review and update the security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.


Policy 7 – Providing Clients Access to Personal Information

7.1  Clients have a right to access their personal information, subject to limited exceptions.

7.2  A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought.

7.3  Upon request, I will also tell clients how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.

7.4  I will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.

7.5  A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information.  Where a fee may apply, I will inform the client of the cost and request further direction from the client on whether or not we should proceed with the request.

7.6  If a request is refused in full or in part, I will notify the client in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the client.

Policy 8 – Questions and Complaints

8.1  Clients should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding compliance to me in writing. If I am unable to resolve the concern, the client may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner in Quebec.