Privacy Statement

The Region of Waterloo's Website Privacy Statement

*If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from a Region of Waterloo employee, please proceed with caution. It's unlikely from @regionofwaterloo.ca. It could mean our address is being spoofed by someone else and is outside our control. No official Region of Waterloo email is ever sent from outside our secure network. Don't open attachments or links from suspicious emails.

Expand the sections below for more information or read the full Website Privacy Policy or Website Terms of Use

 Overview

This privacy statement (“Privacy Statement”) applies to personal information which you (“you”, “your”, “yourself”) may provide by accessing or using any of The Regional of Municipality of Waterloo’s (“Region”, “we”, “us”, “our”) websites we link to this Privacy Statement (“Site”).

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information may include your name, contact information, opinions you provide to us, including opinions about Region of Waterloo (“Region”) services or proposed projects, or other information that you provide about yourself as a result of using a Region Site.

Information that is not about an identifiable individual, including information that is about businesses, professional organizations or associations, is not personal information.

The Region is subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”), 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 Paramedic 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 Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Such services or activities may be subject to additional privacy policies or privacy notices in addition to this one.

 

Other websites, portions of this Site, or certain features or services provided by the Region may collect, use, or disclose personal information in manners different from those described in this Privacy Statement. In such cases, we may provide an additional or supplementary privacy statement. If there is a conflict between this Privacy Statement and the Region’s other privacy policies then except where expressly set out the other privacy policy will govern and control as it relates to such conflict.  We will inform you of the legal authority for our collection of your personal information, the principal purposes for which it is intended to be used, and provide contact information for an officer or employee of the Region who can answer questions.

By using the Site and services and/or providing us with Personal Information you agree that you are at least the age of majority in Ontario or if you are under 18 years old you agree that you have the consent of your parent/legal guardian. This Site and the services are not intended for children under the age of 13.  If you are under the age of 13 years of age, then please do not use the Site or service.

 Collection of Personal Information

This Site 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 Region 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 other legislation that mandates specific services including the Day Nurseries Act, the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Emergency Management & Civil Protection Act, and other laws. The information collected through these channels is limited to that authorized by the applicable legislation, or that is necessary to allow us to properly administer our lawfully authorized activities, such as providing a response or service to you. Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to the Region staff member whose contact information is provided on the webpage you are using. Where that is not clear, you may contact Regional Inquiries.

 

If you choose to use telephone numbers listed in the Site to contact Region staff, then personal information may also be collected during your telephone call. Telephone sets in most Region 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 on one of our voice mail systems, the Region's voice mail system will record the number from which the call is made. In both cases, the information collected will only be used if necessary to provide the service you request or comment on.

 

The Site's operating software may retain the IP address for the device or service that you use to access the Region's Site. 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 Site.

 

The Region may provide you with the ability to submit your name email, and personal and business telephone numbers as part of our emergency alerts system, Alert Waterloo Region. We may also collect similar information from companies providing hydro services within the Region for this purpose (“Emergency Alert Information”).

 

In some cases, the Region's Site 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 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

Region staff may use your personal information for the purpose for which it was collected, for consistent purposes, for other purposes to which you consent, or for other purposes permitted under the MFIPPA. In some cases, the personal 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 Region staff or services unless it is necessary for these purposes. For example, the Regional Clerk's Office may forward inquiries to the responsible department, we may use your personal information to process and respond to your requests for services, products or further information, and we may use information as needed for law enforcement purposes.

We may use Emergency Alert Information to send you email, telephone, or text alerts in the event of an emergency, such as a flood, fire, evacuation notice, gas leak or other emergencies. We may also allow other Cities and Townships within the Region of Waterloo and the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board to send emergency alerts using this system, both to residents of their own municipality and in some cases to persons outside their municipality. In such cases, those other Cities and Townships within the Region of Waterloo and the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board will have access to the Emergency Alert Information of the individuals to whom their alert is sent.

Disclosure of your personal 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, disclosure for the purpose for which the personal information was collected, or consistent purposes, disclosure with your consent, and disclosure in connection with court orders or procedures. We may transfer personal information to third party service providers that assist us with carrying out these purposes.

The Region may use analytical tools that use IP addresses to derive statistics or other information about the use of the Site. This may include the use of "cookies" and/or other similar devices. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your computer's hard drive. We use cookies for a variety of reasons, such as remembering your settings, analyzing web traffic, and improving the Site. Information tracked through these mechanisms may include, but is not limited to: (i) your IP address; (ii) the type of web browser and operating system being used; and (iii) the pages of the Site a user visits. Your browser gives you the option to reject cookies. However, setting your browser to reject cookies generally hinders the browser's performance and will adversely affect your experience while using our Site.

 

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 Services Division uses processes to implement security standards for the operation of the Site that are current and intended to address known security threats. Access controls are applied to files including personal information to help ensure that they are accessible only to Region staff or agents for necessary purposes.

The Region uses Secure Socket Layer encryption software for some applications to better protect your personal 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.

Some third party service providers performing services on our behalf may store, transfer and process personal information at facilities that are located outside of Canada in countries (including the United States) whose data protection laws differ from those of Canada.  In such cases, the information may be subject to requests from governments, courts, or law enforcement in those jurisdictions according to the laws in those jurisdictions.   

Links to External Websites

The Region's website includes links to external websites.  The Region of Waterloo includes these links as a courtesy to you and takes no responsibility whatsoever for the privacy practices of these websites.  You should take steps to ensure you are comfortable with the privacy policies and security of these websites before providing any personal information to them. This Privacy Statement applies solely to personal information collected or handled on this Site or on the subsidiary websites of Region services hosted within this website.

Accessing and Correcting your Personal Information

You may request access to your personal information, and may request that we correct it if you believe it is inaccurate. The Region will comply with the MFIPPA to provide you access to your personal information that we hold; however, there may be circumstances where we are unable to provide all such personal information to you. For example, we may not be able to provide you with information if it: (i) contains the information of other persons; (ii) is subject to legal privilege; (iii) contains confidential information proprietary to the Region or another person; (iv) relates to an investigation regarding a breach of any agreement with us or contravention of laws; or (v) cannot be disclosed for any other legal reason. 

Notice of collection regarding the use of video surveillance systems (cameras)

The Region uses video surveillance cameras to assist in protecting the safety of its employees, visitors, and tenants and to monitor and protect Regional property. The sign below is posted at the entrance of all Region buildings that are under video surveillance to notify you of the collection of your personal information.

The Region operates Corporate Security under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001. The surveillance system is used to deter vandalism, criminal activity, or any actions which could cause damage or injury to Regional property, staff or visitors. The operation of the system is guided by a policy approved by Regional Council. Surveillance images can be used to investigate identified incidents and for auditing purposes related to facility and systems security. Access to system equipment and recorded images is restricted to authorized staff. Surveillance system recordings are deleted 21 days after collection. However, recordings may be retrieved prior to deletion and retained for longer periods of time if required under the policy or by law enforcement for authorized investigations.

Questions about the operation of the system and collection of personal information may be directed to the Director, Facilities Management and Fleet Services:

 

2nd Floor, 150 Frederick Street

Kitchener ON N2G 4J3

519-575-4100 ext. 4711

 

Changes to this Privacy Statement

The Region retains the right, in our sole and absolute discretion, to terminate or modify any of this Privacy Statement at any time, and without further notice or liability to any person or entity.  If we do this, we will post any amended Privacy Statement on our Site. As permitted by applicable law, any amendment will become effective at the time we post the amended Privacy Statement with an indication of the date this Privacy Statement was last revised or as otherwise stated in any notice we choose to provide to you.  It is your responsibility to check our Site periodically for changes.

 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 Manager of Information Management & Archives:


Email: regionalinquiries@regionofwaterloo.ca
Telephone: 519-575-4006
Address:  Regional Clerk's Office, 2nd Floor, 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/.

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