Commitment to privacy of personal information
COS is committed to protecting the privacy of its members and others who use COS services. This personal information protection policy statement describes the policies and practices of the COS with respect to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. The COS collects, uses and discloses personal information only with the consent of the individual, except as otherwise permitted or required by law. The COS collection, use and disclosure of personal information will abide by Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and will be governed by the version of this Policy in effect at the time.
Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. This Policy applies to personal information of members and prospective members, others who have expressed an interest in the COS or have participated in an event sponsored or organized by the COS. The personal information that the COS generally collects and uses include: name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, banking or credit card information (card number, type and expiry date). From members, the COS also collects information related to the member’s involvement in the COS, such as subspecialty, certification, medical school affiliation, major interests and interest in serving the COS.
The COS is responsible for all personal information under its custody or control, including information which it may transfer to a third party for processing. The Executive Director/CEO of the COS has been appointed as Privacy Officer for the COS. The Privacy Officer may delegate day-to-day responsibility for administration of this Policy to other employees but the Privacy Officer remains accountable for the COS’ handling of personal information. The Privacy Officer may be contacted at: 2733 Lancaster Road, Unit 110, Ottawa, ON, K1B 0A9, 613.729.6779 extension 225. COS is responsible for personal information sent to third parties who provide services to COS. COS requires any such third parties to use personal information only for the purposes for which it is provided to them, and to protect the privacy of the personal information in a manner that is consistent with this Policy and in accordance with CASL legislation and all privacy laws. The COS stores and processes personal information in Ottawa, Canada.
Purposes for collecting, using and disclosing personal information
Membership information: COS collects and uses personal information from members and individuals who are applying to become members of COS for the following purposes:
– to process a membership application or renewal
– to collect and process membership dues
– to keep members informed about the activities of the COS by sending them information on COS and the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology
– to keep members informed about information, activities and events of other organizations on topics related to the aims of the COS
– to respond to members’ questions and communications
– to advise members about meetings, conferences, workshops and seminars made available by other reputable organizations that may be of interest to members
– to analyze the demographics of the membership for future planning purposes
– to contact members to request their input on membership surveys; the information gathered will help shape the future direction of the COS
Disclosure of personal information
To streamline the membership application and renewal process for members of provincial associations or subspecialty societies affiliated with the COS, the COS collects membership dues on behalf of these organizations (for example the Canadian Retina Society and the Atlantic Provinces Ophthalmological Society). The COS then passes on the dues and the member’s contact information to the other organization. Once information has been passed to the other organization, it is no longer in the control of COS and becomes subject to the privacy practices and procedures of the recipient organization.
For the convenience of members, the COS prepares and makes available a directory of members. The online membership directory is available to members only and can be accessed in the members only section on the COS website. A member may request not to have their name included in the directory. Other than as outlined here, and as permitted or required by law, the COS does not disclose personal information unless it has obtained the individual’s consent.
The COS uses personal information only with the consent of the individual, except as otherwise permitted or required by law. When an individual submits a membership application or membership renewal, or registers for an event, the individual will be given an opportunity to opt out of receiving further information from the COS or from any third parties. In addition, an individual may withdraw his or her consent to the use of personal information for any purpose at any time by contacting the COS at the address above. The COS will explain the consequences of withdrawing consent.
The COS provides information and some member services via its website. By using the website, users agree that information may be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with this Policy.
Links: The website contains links to other third party websites, such as those of COS Affiliates. These links are provided for the convenience of users. The COS has no responsibility or liability for, or control over, those websites or their collection, use and disclosure of an individual’s personal information.
The COS seeks to ensure that the personal information it uses is accurate and up to date. Please assist the office by advising staff of any inaccuracies so that appropriate corrections can be made.
Limiting retention of personal information
The COS retains personal information as long as it is needed for the purpose for which it was collected and in order to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
The COS protects personal information against such risks as loss or theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, modification and destruction by using appropriate security measures. Membership files are password-protected to ensure that personal information is kept confidential. COS employees with access to personal information are required to respect the confidentiality of that information pursuant to their employment agreement with COS. The COS implements methods of protecting personal information that include limiting access to the information, restricting access to offices where information is held and technological measures such as passwords.
An individual may request access to the information held about him or her at any time by contacting the Privacy Officer at 613.729.6779 extension 225. The COS will endeavour to respond to any such request as quickly as possible and, in any event, within the legally required time periods. Subject to certain exceptions and limitations prescribed by law, an individual will be given access to any personal information held by the COS. The COS will correct or amend personal information that is shown to be incomplete or inaccurate.
Questions and complaints
For further information about this Policy or the practices of the COS related to personal information, or to make a complaint, please contact the COS Privacy Officer at 613.729.6779 extension 225. The COS will investigate all complaints and take appropriate action as a result of such investigation.
Canadian vision care by the numbers
$15.8 billion: Cost of vision loss in Canada annually
$8.6 billion: Direct health care costs annually
$7.2 billion: Indirect costs (lost earnings, care & rehabilitation, special equipment, etc.)
$30.3 billion: Annual cost of vision loss in Canada by 2032
Source: Vision Loss in Canada 2011