COGECO is a diversified holding corporation with operations in cable television, telecommunications and radio broadcasting, through which it provides leading edge communications services.
Cogeco Cable Inc., the cable subsidiary, provides a range of broadcasting and telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers in Québec and Ontario, over state-of-the-art broadband network facilities. Through its subsidiary, Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions Inc., COGECO wholly-owns and operates thirteen (13) radio stations across most of Québec with complementary radio formats serving a wide range of audiences, as well as Cogeco News, its news agency broadcast in close to 30 independent radio stations across Québec.
At COGECO, we know that the protection of your privacy is important to you. For this reason, we have taken steps to ensure that any personal information that you provide to COGECO is protected by a range of robust business procedures and rigorous security safeguards to ensure that your information is kept confidential and used only for the purposes for which it was collected.
COGECO will review and update its privacy documents as required to keep current with rules and regulations, new technologies, standards and customer concerns.
Application and Scope
This Policy applies to the COGECO family of companies in Canada, including the Canadian operations of COGECO Inc. and its subsidiaries, including COGECO Cable Inc., COGECO Diffusion Acquisitions Inc. and COGECO Data Services Inc., as well as their affiliates and direct and indirect operating subsidiaries (collectively, “COGECO”).
This Policy generally applies to any personal information (as defined hereafter) collected or generated by COGECO, in any form; however, the Policy does not impose any limits on the collection, use or disclosure of:
- Publicly available information, as defined in PIPEDA and associated regulations, such as a person’s name, address, telephone number and electronic address, when listed in a public directory
- Business contact information, including the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization
The application of this Policy is also subject to the requirements of any applicable legislation, regulations, or agreements (such as collective agreements) or the orders of any court or public authority.
At any time that you do business with, or participate in a contest or promotion run by one of the COGECO companies, or with anyone acting as an agent on our behalf, you are protected by the rights and safeguards contained in these documents and you explicitly agree to their terms.
Definition of Personal information
When used in this Policy, and consistent with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, personal information means any information about an identifiable individual. This would include information respecting your account with us, including your identity and the services you use and subscribe to, as well as credit information, billing records and any complaints documented in a file. Personal information that is aggregated and cannot be associated with an identifiable individual is not considered to be personal information.
PRINCIPLE 1 – ACCOUNTABILITY
COGECO is responsible for personal information under its control and has designated its Chief Privacy Officer as the person accountable for compliance with this Policy:
Chief Privacy Officer
5 Place Ville-Marie, Suite 1700
By phone: 514-764-4700
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
COGECO is responsible for personal information in its possession or control, including information that has been transferred to a third party for processing. COGECO uses contractual and other means to provide a comparable level of protection while the information is being processed by a third party.
COGECO has implemented policies and procedures to give effect to this Policy, including:
- Implementing procedures and business rules to protect personal information and to oversee COGECO’s compliance with this Policy and applicable privacy laws
- Training staff and communicating to employees information about the organization’s policies and practices
- Developing information to explain the organization’s policies and procedures, including this Policy, the COGECO Privacy Commitment, the Cogeco Privacy FAQs and other material that may be made available from time to time
- Establishing procedures to receive and respond to complaints and inquiries.
PRINCIPLE 2 – IDENTIFYING PURPOSES
COGECO identifies the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time the information is collected.
COGECO collects personal information only for the following purposes:
- to establish, develop and preserve its business relationship respectively with its customers and other individuals with whom it deals
- to understand and assess the interests, wants and needs of customers with a view to improving products and services already offered, or to offer new products and services
- to provide the products or services that it offers, or receive the products or services that it requests, and ensure that all related transactions are supported and implemented
- to authenticate the identity and preserve the privacy of customers contacting the company by telephone, electronic means or otherwise
- as necessary, to establish or verify the credit of persons that use, or intend to use, one or more of the products or services offered by COGECO
- to manage its businesses and ensure the efficiency, reliability and security of its systems
- to meet legal and regulatory requirements
When asked to do so, COGECO employees or agents who are collecting personal information shall explain the purposes for doing so or transfer the customer to, or provide contact information for, another employee or agent who can provide further information.
Unless required by law, COGECO will not use or disclose personal information for any new purpose without obtaining further consent.
PRINCIPLE 3 – CONSENT
The knowledge and prior consent of a customer is required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information, except where inappropriate.
In certain circumstances, personal information may be collected, used or disclosed without consent. These exceptional circumstances include:
- where it is clearly in the interest of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way, such as in emergencies, where the life, health or safety of the individual is threatened
- where legal, medical or security reasons make it impossible or impractical to obtain consent
- when information is being collected for the detection or prevention of the breach of an agreement, fraud or other illegal activity, and the collection of consent might defeat the purpose of collecting the information
- to collect a debt
- to comply with a subpoena, warrant or other court order, or as may be otherwise required by law.
COGECO obtains consent of the individuals concerned for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information through various means, orally, or through written documents, including individual or collective agreements, forms, welcome kits or printed or electronic communications.
The form of consent sought by COGECO will vary according to the sensitivity of the personal information, the reasonable expectations of the individual and any requirements or standards established by law. In general, the use of COGECO products and services constitutes implied consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information as set out in this Policy and in the COGECO Terms and Conditions.
We will not require a customer to consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information as a condition of the supply of a product or service, unless such collection, use or disclosure is required to meet the purposes stated in this Policy. Consent may be withdrawn at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice; however, without such consent, COGECO may no longer be able to provide the customer with all products and services. Customers may contact COGECO for information on the implications of withdrawing consent.
COGECO must obtain consent with respect to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information of an individual for any purpose other than the purposes identified in this Policy.
PRINCIPLE 4 – LIMITING COLLECTION
COGECO will limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary to fulfill the purposes identified.
Personal information shall at all times be collected by fair and lawful means, and will generally be collected directly from the individual concerned. COGECO may also obtain credit information on a confidential basis from credit evaluation organizations; however, prior consent will be obtained from customers before performing a credit evaluation.
PRINCIPLE 5 – LIMITING USE, DISCLOSURE AND RETENTION
COGECO will not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. As noted in Principle 3, in certain circumstances, personal information may be collected, used or disclosed without the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned. In addition, COGECO may disclose a customer’s information to:
- another company in the COGECO family of companies (subject to CRTC requirements)
- an individual who, in the reasonable judgement of COGECO, is acting on behalf of the individual in question, such as through a power of attorney
- a person retained by COGECO to perform work on its behalf, including the collection of customer accounts and customer credit verification and assessment
- another communication service provider, or a company involved in supplying customers with communications or directory-related services
- another communications company for the efficient and effective provision of communications services
- credit grantors and reporting agencies
- a company to which COGECO may want to sell parts of its business or assets, or to a company seeking to lend money that is secured by the assets of COGECO
- law enforcement and emergency services providers, in an emergency or where required or permitted by law.
Any such disclosures are made on a confidential basis, with the information to be used only for the intended purpose. Only those employees of COGECO or trusted third party contractors, who need access for business reasons, or whose duties reasonably so require, will be granted access to personal information about customers.
In some cases, personal information may be stored or processed outside Canada, where it will be subject to the legal jurisdiction of those countries.
No other disclosures will be made without customer consent, except in emergency circumstances or as required by law. Personal information will be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfilment of the purposes for which it was collected and for which consent was received, unless otherwise required by law.
Personal information that has been used to make a decision about an individual will be retained long enough to allow that individual to have reasonable access to the information after the decision has been made.
Personal information that is no longer required to fulfil the identified purposes will be destroyed, erased or made anonymous. COGECO has developed and implemented detailed and systemic retention guidelines and destruction procedures for this purpose.
PRINCIPLE 6 – ACCURACY
Personal information shall be as accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used. Personal information shall be sufficiently accurate, complete and up-to-date to minimize the possibility that inappropriate information may be used to make a decision about an individual.
COGECO will update personal information as and when necessary to fulfil the identified purposes, or when requested by the individual in question.
PRINCIPLE 7 – SAFEGUARDS
Personal information held or retained by COGECO will be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.
COGECO will protect personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification, regardless of the format in which it is held. Methods of protection include physical, operational and technical measures, as required and appropriate. All employees of COGECO with access to personal information are trained with respect to the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of personal information, and adherence to the company’s privacy principles and security standards is required.
COGECO will protect personal information disclosed to third parties by contractual agreements requiring that those third parties adhere to confidentiality and security procedures and protections that are, at a minimum, equivalent to those employed by COGECO itself.
PRINCIPLE 8 – OPENNESS
COGECO makes available to customers specific information about its policies relating to the management of personal information.
Information is made available through this Policy, the COGECO Privacy Commitment, the Cogeco Privacy FAQs and other sources, including directly from the Chief Privacy Officer and other COGECO personnel.
PRINCIPLE 9 – INDIVIDUAL ACCESS
COGECO will inform a customer of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall generally give them access to that information upon request, except as proscribed by law.
In exceptional and limited circumstances, such as where information contains references to other individuals or cannot be disclosed for legal, security or commercial proprietary reasons, customers may not be provided with full access to their personal information.
Personal information shall be provided in understandable form, conveniently and within a reasonable time and at little or no cost to the customer. Upon request, COGECO will provide an account of the use that has been made or is being made of this information. A customer may challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended, as and where appropriate.
A customer may obtain access to his or her personal information by contacting COGECO’s Chief Privacy Officer, using the contact information provided in this Policy.
PRINCIPLE 10 – CHALLENGING COMPLIANCE
A customer is able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the designated individual or individuals accountable for COGECO’s compliance with this Policy: the Chief Privacy Officer.
COGECO has procedures in place to receive and respond to complaints or inquiries about our policies and practices relating to the handling of personal information, and will inform individuals who make inquiries or complaints about the relevant complaint procedures.
The company shall investigate all complaints. If a complaint is found to be justified, COGECO will take appropriate measures, including, if necessary, amending its policies and practices.
Revised February, 2012