The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) is a not-for-profit charity that provides Nova Scotians with information and resources about the law.

Privacy and sensitivity of personal information is important to the LISNS. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy and trained our staff about our policies and practices, in accordance with applicable privacy laws, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in so far as it relates to our activities as a not-for-profit organization.

Personal Information

Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. Personal information does not include job title, telephone number, address or other information that appears on a business card or information that is publicly available such as information in a telephone book.

Collection of Personal Information

The LISNS collects different kinds of information which may include personal information in the courseof providing its various programs and managing the organization. Some of the information we collect is used to assist us in evaluating our current programs or to develop new programs to meet the needs of the public who use these programs. The type of information collected is set out in page two of this document.

Most of the information we collect from program users is statistical non-identifying information, not personal.

Protecting Personal Information

We understand the importance of protecting the confidentiality of personal information. The steps we take to ensure confidentiality are:

  • We do not sell, trade, lease or barter any of the information collected without prior consent of the individual.
  • Paper information, disks, DVDs, CDs are either under supervision or in a locked or restricted area in our office.
  • Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. Passwords are used.
  • Included on our website is the fact the site is not secure.
  • Staff and volunteers must sign a confidentiality agreement related to service user information they may receive at LISNS.

Retention and Destruction of Personal Information

The steps we take with respect to retention and destruction of personal information are:

  • Financial information such as invoicing and VISA and MasterCard numbers are maintained for at least seven years.
  • All files are kept for at least seven years. After that time they may be destoyed/shredded.
Program/activity Type of information collected

Legal Information Line

Non-identifying.

Names and addresses (mailing or email) are collected only from service users who request information be mailed to them by regular letter mail or electronically.  We do not retain copies of legal information provided by letter mail or email.

For statistical purposes we periodically ask legal information service users to participate in a more in-depth survey. If they agree, we collect information about family income range, age range, first language, household size. We do not ask for or collect names of those surveyed, or any identifying information.

E-mails

When we receive e-mails we have the sender’'s e-mail address. Sometimes the e-mailer will provide identifying information of their own volition such as a mailing address, name, phone or fax number.  We do not retain that information once we have responded to the email and provided legal information.  Safeguards are in place to ensure that the information is not disclosed or shared for any other purposes.

Lawyer and Mediator Referral Services

Lawyers and Mediators who register with the Services complete a registration form that includes their name and business address and contact
information along with their practice areas.  It may include other non-identifying information about the lawyer or law firm, such as whether remote services are available to clients, languages spoken, interest in pro bono work, general fee options, and whether notary services are offered.

We only record information on Lawyer or Mediator service users where there is a concern that they may
be abusive to our volunteers or staff, or are abusing the system by receiving more than two referrals (serial referrals) for the same matter.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Legal Advice Program

We collect basic contact information (email and/or phone number)  from individuals requesting a lawyer referral through the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Legal Advice Program. This information is collected so that the project coordinator may provide these individuals with a survey, the purpose of which is so that LISNS and our federal funder may understand how the program may be improved. The survey itself does not ask for identifying information.   We collect and retain non-identifying statistical information about service users, for the purpose of providing aggregate anonymized data about the program to our funders

Publications

We collect names and addresses of those requesting written materials be sent by regular letter mail. We also keep a record of the sector they represent for example, government, court, non-profit, individual, etc. Where there is a need to generate an invoice for materials or to issue a receipt that information is stored on computer.

Donors

Information collected and maintained includes name, address (usually firm, but occasionally home), e-mail address, history of giving, and other relevant material such as their preference for how and when they wish to be contacted or acknowledged (if they have indicated such a preference).

Volunteers

We maintain names and addresses and other contact information for Board members and other volunteers. If the volunteer provides a resume, we keep that on file also. We are required by the Canada Revenue Agency to provide information on the Board of Directors including date of birth when
submitting the annual Charities Return. Names, addresses, phone, fax, e-mail of Board members is shared with other members of the Board and funders.

Staff

Personal information is maintained on staff including home address, next of kin, home phone number and email address, resume, SIN number and information related to their history of employment.


Access

Upon written request sent to the LISNS Privacy Officer at the address below, we will inform the individual of the existence (if any), use and disclosure of his or her personal information, and we will give the individual access to that information. The information will be provided within a reasonable time frame, generally within 30 days of receipt of the written request.

An individual can challenge the accuracy and completeness of their personal information and have it amended as appropriate.

Our Privacy Officer is:
Wendy Turner
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia
1741 Brunswick Street, Suite 150B
Halifax NS B3J 3X8
Phone: 902-454-2198

The Privacy Officer will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have with respect to our Privacy Policy.

For more information on privacy issues visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's website:
www.priv.gc.ca