AQ GROUP SOLUTIONS
Last revised: March 10, 2009
At AQ Group Solutions ("AQ"), respecting privacy is an integral part of our business. That is why AQ has adopted this AQ Group Solutions Privacy Code (this "Privacy Code"), which explains our privacy protection practices in accordance with applicable privacy laws, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA").
The ten principles that form the basis of this Privacy Code are inter-related and AQ adheres to the ten principles as a whole. Each principle should be read in conjunction with the accompanying commentary. The commentary in this Privacy Code has been drafted to reflect privacy issues specific to AQ.
AQ will continue to review and revise this Privacy Code to make sure that it remains current with changing industry standards, technologies and applicable laws.
Scope and Application
This Privacy Code applies to Personal Information (as hereinafter defined), in any form, collected, used, retained or disclosed by AQ in the course of our commercial activities. For the purposes of this Privacy Code "Personal Information" means information about an identifiable individual, whether living or deceased, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. Personal Information includes, but is not limited to, the personal health and financial information of an identifiable individual.
This Privacy Code does not impose any limits on the collection, use, retention or disclosure of the following information by AQ:
aggregate information that cannot be associated with a specific individual;
personal information including the name, title, address and telephone number of an individual that appears in a professional or business directory that is available to the public;
the personal information of employees of AQ, which may be managed by internal AQ policies and procedures; and
other publicly available information as exempted by applicable privacy laws, including PIPEDA.
For the purposes of this Privacy Code, an "employee" means an employee of or independent contractor to AQ. The inclusion of independent contractors within the definition of an "employee" is for convenience of reference only, and should in no manner imply that such independent contractors are employees of AQ within the meaning of employment legislation or are in an employee/employer relationship with AQ. AQ Group Solutions includes any subsidiaries, successor company or companies thereof as a result of a corporate reorganization, merger or amalgamation with another entity.
The application of this Privacy Code is subject to the requirements and provisions of PIPEDA, an order of any court, and any other applicable legislation or regulation.
Principle 1 - Accountability
AQ is responsible for Personal Information under its control. In order to affirm our accountability, AQ has undertaken the following:
AQ's management has developed and adopted this Privacy Code;
AQ has designated the AQ Group Solutions Privacy Officer ("AQ's Privacy Officer") to oversee its privacy complainants including its adherence to this Privacy Code;
AQ has implemented privacy policies and procedures to protect Personal Information and to oversee compliance with this Privacy Code;
AQ has established privacy policies and procedures to receive and respond to inquiries, access to information requests and complaints;
AQ has trained employees about AQ's privacy policies and procedures; and
AQ has developed publicly available information to explain AQ's privacy policies and procedures
As appropriate, other individuals within AQ may be delegated to act on behalf of AQ's Privacy Officer or to take responsibility for the day-to-day management of Personal Information. AQ uses contractual or other means to provide a comparable level of privacy protection while personal information is being processed or used by a third party or agent of AQ.
Principle 2 - Identify the purpose
AQ has collected and collects Personal Information from individuals for the following purposes:
To provide administration and consulting for employer provided life and health benefit plans;
To provide integrated health and disability management services;
To provide individual claim assessments and facilitate claim payments;
To provide employer provided pension plan administration, pension calculations and payments;
To provide group and personal life insurance consulting;
To provide financial planning consulting;
To develop, enhance, market and provide services to AQ's clients;
To meet legal and regulatory requirements, including to protect or defend legal interests, and in connection with an actual or possible AQ corporate reorganization, merger or amalgamation with another entity, or an actual or possible sale of all or a substantial portion of the assets of AQ, provided that any Personal Information disclosed continues to be used by the entity acquiring the Personal Information either for the evaluation of the possible transaction or, on completion of any transaction, for the purposes permitted in this Privacy Code; or
To carry out any other purpose that an individual has authorized or is otherwise required or permitted by law.
Further reference in this Privacy Code to "identified purposes" means the purposes identified in this Principle.
Principle 3 - Obtain consent
The knowledge and consent of an individual are required for the collection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, except where inappropriate. In certain circumstances Personal Information can be collected, used or disclosed without the knowledge and consent of the individual. AQ generally collects, uses, retains and discloses Personal Information only with an individual's knowledge and consent. AQ may depart from this general consent principle only in accordance with the limited exceptions set forth in applicable laws such as PIPEDA.
In obtaining an individual's consent, whether expressed or implied, AQ will explain the purposes for which AQ will manage Personal Information. AQ will not depart from these original and stated purposes unless an individual provides further consent or unless otherwise required or permitted by law.
Individuals may withdraw consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice. An individual may contact AQ for more information regarding the implications of withdrawing consent.
Principle 4 - Limit collection
AQ limits its collection of Personal Information to that which is necessary for the identified purposes by AQ. AQ may collect Personal Information from other sources that represent that they have the right to disclose such information.
Principle 5 - Limit use, disclosure and retention
AQ shall 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 or permitted by law. AQ shall retain Personal Information only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.
AQ may disclose Personal Information:
When we have an individual's consent, whether expressed or implied;
To third party agents or suppliers engaged by AQ to perform functions on our behalf;
To meet legal and regulatory requirements, including to protect or defend a legal interest, in connection with an actual or possible AQ corporate reorganization, merger or amalgamation with another entity, or an actual or possible sale of all or a substantial portion of the assets of AQ, provided that any Personal Information disclosed continues to be used by the entity acquiring the Personal Information either for evaluation of the possible transaction or, on completion of any transaction, for the purposes permitted in this Privacy Code; and
Where required or permitted by law.
In such circumstances, AQ will not disclose more Personal Information than is required for the identified purposes. AQ will also, wherever it is reasonable and practical to do so, enter privacy agreements with third parties with whom AQ discloses Personal Information.
AQ will retain Personal Information for a period of time only as long as it remains necessary or relevant for the identified purposes or is required or permitted by law. Depending on the circumstances, where Personal Information has been used to make a decision about an individual, AQ shall retain for a period of time that is reasonably sufficient to allow for access by the individual, either the actual Personal Information or the rationale for making the decision.
Only those employees of AQ who require access for legitimate business reasons, or whose duties reasonably so require, are granted access to Personal Information.
AQ maintains reasonable and systemic controls, schedules and practices for Personal Information retention and destruction which apply to Personal Information that is no longer necessary or relevant for the identified purposes or required or permitted by law to be retained. Such Personal Information is destroyed, erased or made anonymous as appropriate.
Principle 6 - Be accurate
AQ makes reasonable efforts to ensure that Personal Information is as accurate, complete and up-to-date for the purposes for which it is to be used. If an individual finds any errors in AQ's Personal Information holdings, AQ should be informed and will make the appropriate corrections. AQ will convey these corrections to anyone that AQ may have misinformed. In circumstances where the accuracy or the completeness of Personal Information remains in dispute, however, AQ will make a note in its records of the individual's opinion as to the accuracy or completeness of the relevant Personal Information.
Principle 7 - Use appropriate safeguards
AQ protects Personal Information against such risks as loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, modification or destruction, through appropriate security measures. AQ protects Personal Information regardless of the format in which it is held. All employees of AQ with access to Personal Information are required as a condition of employment or engagement to respect the confidentiality of Personal Information and the obligations set forth in this Privacy Code.
Principle 8 - Be open
AQ's Privacy Officer is mandated to ensure that this Privacy Code is properly enforced and is available to respond to any privacy related questions or concerns.
Principle 9 - Give individual access
It is extremely important for clients to know that they can generally obtain access to their Personal Information. Requests for Personal Information held by AQ or corrections to such information can be made by contacting the sponsoring employer or, in the case of direct client relationships, Personal Information can be requested or corrected by contacting AQ's Privacy Officer by email, phone or fax. In response to such requests, AQ will correct or provide that Personal Information which can be corrected or retrieved at a reasonable cost to AQ or the sponsoring employer, and will do so in a timely manner. In order to guard against fraudulent requests for access, AQ will require sufficient information to allow us to confirm the identity of the person making the request before granting access or making corrections.
Note: As is the case with all Canadian companies, AQ may be lawfully bound or permitted in some limited circumstances to deny access to Personal Information. Reasons for such a denial are described in detail in applicable privacy legislation.
Principle 10 - Provide recourse
Questions or concerns regarding AQ's privacy practices should be directed to AQ's Privacy Officer, who can respond to such questions and concerns as well as act as a contact for regulatory authorities, as appropriate. AQ's Privacy Officer will consider such questions or concerns in measuring the effectiveness of this Privacy Code, as well as our business practices.
AQ will investigate all complaints concerning compliance with this Privacy Code and if a complaint is found to be justified, AQ shall take the appropriate measures to resolve the complaint including, if necessary, amending its privacy policies and procedures. AQ shall inform an individual the outcome of an investigation regarding his or her complaint.
Amendments to this Privacy Code will be described on our website, alongside the updated privacy code.
Concerns, inquiries or requests
Concerns, inquiries or requests related to this Privacy Code should be made in writing and directed to AQ's Privacy Officer at:
AQ Group Solutions
Attention: Privacy Officer
Unit 202, 226 Osborne St. N
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 1V4
Phone: (204) 989-2006
Fax: (204) 989-2009
For additional information about your privacy rights, please visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's website at privcom.gc.ca.