1. INTRODUCTION

The Canadian Tourism Commission ("CTC") is a Crown corporation of the Canadian government which was established to sustain a vibrant and profitable Canadian tourism industry; to market Canada as a desirable tourist destination; to support a cooperative relationship between the private sector and the governments of Canada, the province and the territories with respect to Canadian tourism; and to provide information about Canadian tourism to the private sector and to the governments of Canada, the provinces and territories.

To meet these goals, the CTC collects, uses, and discloses personal information from individuals such as our business partners, travel agents, and individual travellers. The CTC is committed to respecting the privacy of all individuals who entrust us with their personal information.

In Canada, the CTC is regulated by the federal Privacy Act and this Policy either meets or exceeds the requirements of that law. If you have any questions about this Policy or about the personal information handling practices and safeguards of the CTC, please contact our Chief Privacy Officer:

Canadian Tourism Commission
Suite 1400, 4 Bentall Centre, P.O. Box 49230
1055 Dunsmuir St.,
VAncouver, B.C.
V7X 1L2

Phone: 604.638.8300

2. DEFINITIONS

Personal Information

Personal information is defined as any information, recorded or not, that is about an identifiable individual. Anonymous or aggregate information is not considered personal information and does not fall under the scope of this Policy.

Personal information can be objective information such as your e-mail address or your country of residence, or it can be subjective information such whether you have plans to fly to Canada in the next six months or whether you enjoy skiing.

The following is a list of the most common types of personal information which the CTC collects, uses and discloses:

  • Name
  • Mailing and e-mail addresses
  • Other contact information such as telephone and fax numbers
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language preference
  • Opinions and suggestions
  • Travel preferences, intentions and/or practices
  • Travel activity interests
  • Future travel plans
  • Business title and contact information
  • Organizational memberships and certifications (i.e. the Canada Specialist Program or Meeting Planners International)
  • Passport numbers and visas (i.e. for contest winners)
  • Food allergies, shirt sizes, and special travel requirements (i.e. when planning a trade show).

Sensitive Personal Information

While all personal information that the CTC collects, uses, and discloses under this Policy is protected as confidential information, it is recognized that certain information is more highly sensitive and the CTC is committed to an even higher level of privacy protection for this category of information.

For the purposes of this Policy, "sensitive personal information" is defined as information pertaining to the following:

  • Union membership
  • Political opinions
  • Religious and/or philosophical beliefs
  • Racial and ethnic background
  • Medical, health and/or disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Criminal offences/convictions

Disclosure

A disclosure occurs when the CTC makes your personal information available to others outside of the CTC. For example, you may consent to have the CTC disclose your personal information to one of our partners so that you can receive information on whale watching from a tour operator.

Transfer

A transfer occurs when the CTC provides your personal information to a third party in order for them to provide the CTC with a service. For example, if you request a copy of the CTC's PURECanada magazine, your address will be transferred to the printing company we will use for the mailing.

When the CTC transfers your personal information to its service providers, it remains accountable to you for the protection of that information. Rest assured that the CTC includes a privacy protection clause in our contracts with these providers in order to guarantee that they will provide the same level of privacy protection to you as we do.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY

The CTC's Chief Privacy Officer ("CPO") is the Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Secretary. The CPO is accountable to the Chief Executive Officer and has been delegated the responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Privacy Act and with this Privacy Policy. The CPO may, from time to time, delegate particular responsibilities to other individuals within the CTC in order to implement this Policy.

The CTC has offices in various countries around the world and it has appointed a Data Protection Officer ("DPO") for each office. These DPOs will be responsible for ensuring compliance with their local privacy statutes, if any, as well as with this Policy within their own offices and jurisdictions.

4. PURPOSES

The CTC will collect, use and disclose personal information for the following purposes:

  • To advertise and market Canada around the world
  • To empower individuals so they will receive targeted information based on their particularized interests
  • To personalize our web sites
  • To conduct industry research and studies
  • To promote product and industry development
  • To validate marketing strategies
  • To validate eligibility to enter one of the CTC's contests or sweepstakes
  • To contact winners of contests or sweepstakes
  • To e-mail newsletters
  • To mail magazines and catalogues
  • To create a "community of users" amongst potential travellers to Canada
  • To authenticate users of CTC's web sites
  • To announce upcoming events and to send invitations
  • To publish directories for tradeshows and other business events
  • To ensure the security of the CTC's computer systems
  • To meet government reporting requirements

5. CONSENT

The CTC will always obtain your consent to collect, use or disclose your personal information. This consent can be express such as when you specifically request to be added to a mailing list for one of our electronic newsletters or your consent can be implied such as when you complete a registration form on a CTC web site, enter one of our sweepstakes, or answer one of our surveys. By your actions, you are consenting to the CTC's collection of the information you are providing.

The majority of the personal information that the CTC retains is stored in Canada. The information can be stored in a variety of formats including paper files and electronic databases. Consent to the transfer of your personal information to Canada will be mandatory in most cases and you will be asked for your express consent at the time of collection.

You are free to withdraw your consent at any time or to opt-out of any of the purposes for which the CTC uses or discloses your information. For example, the CTC always enables you to "unsubscribe" to an electronic newsletter by following the simple instructions it provides when the newsletter is e-mailed to you.

The majority of the time the CTC collects personal information directly from the individual about whom the information relates. If the CTC collects your personal information indirectly through a third party, rest assured that it will ensure that you have consented to this indirect collection before it retains your personal information in its files or on its databases. The CTC further commits to contacting you directly to confirm with you that you wish to receive communications from us.

6. LIMITING COLLECTION

The CTC will limit its collection of your personal information to only that which is necessary to meet the purposes identified above. In addition, the CTC will clearly indicate whether the collection is mandatory to meet these purposes, or whether it is optional or voluntary.

If the CTC intends to use your personal information for a new purpose not included in the list above, it will notify you first to seek your consent.

COLLECTION OF NON-IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

As it is typical of many web sites, CTC web sites automatically collect certain anonymous and non-identifiable information regarding its users, such as the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your computer, the IP address of your Internet Service Provider, the date and time you access the Web Sites, the Internet address of the web site from which you linked directly to the Web Sites, the operating system you are using, the sections of the Web Site you visit, the Web Site pages read and images viewed, and any content you download.

This anonymous/non-personal information which is gathered may be used for research and analytical purposes and we may provide this information to the operators of sites that link to and from our Web Sites to verify the effectiveness of such linkages or consumer travel preferences. We also use this non-identifiable information for Web Site and system administration purposes and to improve the Web Sites.

We may disclose the non-identifiable information to others and permanently archive it for future use.

The Canadian Tourism Commission also employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. This software receives and records the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer that has contacted our Web Sites, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. The CTC makes no attempts to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our Web Sites unless an attempt to damage the CTC Web Sites has been detected.

7. COOKIES

CTC web sites use "cookies", a technology that installs information on a web site user's computer to permit the Web Sites to recognize future visits by that computer. Cookies enhance the convenience and use of the Web Sites. For example, the CTC uses the information provided through cookies to recognize you as a previous user of the Web Sites (so you do not have to enter your personal information every time), offer personalized Web page content and information for your use, track your activity at the Web Sites to respond to your needs, and otherwise facilitate your Web Site experience.

Cookies do not contain any personally identifying information. They cannot view or retrieve data from other cookies, nor can they capture files and data stored on your computer. Browsers may allow you to disable cookie collection if you wish, but doing so may affect your use of the CTC's Web Sites and/or your ability to access certain features of the CTC's Web Sites.

Advertisements displayed on our Web Sites may also contain cookies. Those advertisements may be provided by third party advertising companies, and we do not have any control over, or any responsibility or liability for, the cookies used in the advertisements or for the use and disclosure of information collected through advertisement cookies.

8. LIMITING DISCLOSURE

The CTC will only disclose your personal information with your consent and only to meet the purpose for which it was originally collected. For example, you may want to consent to the disclosure of your personal information to an airline so that you can receive information about their seat sales to Canada over the summer months. When the CTC fulfills your request and sends your information to this CTC partner, it will ensure that the airline only uses your information for that specific purpose and that it will seek your consent for any new purposes.

Similarly, if the CTC intends to disclose your personal information for a new purpose, it will notify you first and seek your consent.

In order to meet the purposes outlined above, the CTC discloses personal information to the following categories of recipients.

Business partners, suppliers, and potential business leads;
Travel agencies and travel insurance companies;
Tour Operators
The Library and Archives Canada;
Event planners and/or specific venues;
Provincial, territorial or destination tourism marketing agencies, and
Conference or training organizers or providers.

9. LIMITING RETENTION

The CTC will only retain your personal information for as long as it has a purpose to do so and/or as is required by all the applicable legislation that governs its operations.

If you withdraw your consent for the CTC to use your personal information, it will be required to retain enough of your data in order to continue accommodating that request.

10. ACCURACY

The CTC will make every effort to keep your personal information accurate and up to date. We rely on you to keep us updated of any changes so that the personal information we have is accurate at all times.

You may correct or amend any of your personal information held by the CTC by contacting the CPO at any time to request a correction or amendment. If you have provided your information via an online sign-up, you may be able to correct or amend your information by amending your ‘profile'.

With your consent, the CTC will also forward any corrections or amendments of your personal information to the appropriate third parties to whom the original data had been disclosed, if any.

Please be advised that the CTC reserves the right to refuse to amend any information where, in its opinion, the information we have on file is accurate. In such a circumstance, you will have the right to log your disagreement with us and have it recorded.

11. SECURITY SAFEGUARDS

The CTC will protect your personal information against loss or theft, as well as from unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. The CTC will protect your personal information regardless of the format in which it is held.

The CTC will use appropriate security safeguards to provide necessary protection such as:

Physical measures (locked filing cabinets, restricting access to offices, alarm systems);

  • Technological tools (passwords, encryption, firewalls);
  • Organizational controls (security clearances, limiting access on a "need-to-know" basis, staff training, and confidentiality agreements);
  • Policy measures (IT policy, security policy).

The CTC will consider the following factors in selecting appropriate safeguards:

  • The sensitivity of the information;
  • The amount of information;
  • The extent of distribution;
  • The format of the information (electronic, paper, etc.); and
  • The type of storage.

12. OPENNESS

This Privacy Policy may be changed from time to time. Revised Privacy Policies will be posted on our web site and are also available by contacting the CPO.

When visiting CTC web sites, you are encouraged to check the date of the Privacy Policy and to review any changes since the last version you may have read. You could also bookmark the Policy and periodically review it to ensure that you are familiar with its most current terms.

13. RIGHT OF ACCESS

Subject to some exceptions, you have the right to access your own personal information, wherever it is stored, which is in the possession and control of the CTC. You also have the right to know if your personal information has been disclosed to any third parties and, if so, which ones. The CTC will ensure that the requested information is understandable and will explain any acronyms, abbreviations and/or codes.

Access requests must be in writing and signed. Please forward all requests to the CPO.

The CTC will acknowledge any request for access within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date upon which it receives the request. It will provide your access within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the request unless an extension of time is required and you have been notified of the reasons for the extension and the estimated timeframe to meet your request.

Paper copies of the information will be provided to you upon request but the CTC asks that you consider the environment before making such a request.

The CTC does have the right to deny your request under certain circumstances. Those circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • Information which is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
  • Information which reveals personal information about another individual;
  • Personal information which was collected for an investigation or legal proceeding that has not yet concluded;
  • If providing access to particular personal information could jeopardize an individual's life or security; or
  • If access to the personal information could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or physical or mental health of another individual.

For your own security, acceptable proof of identification may be required before access to personal information will be granted.

14. CHALLENGES AND CONCERNS

Should you have any questions or concerns related to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information, please put your concerns in writing and send them to the CPO.

All individuals have the right to contact the appropriate Privacy Commissioner or authority in their own jurisdiction. In Canada, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be contacted at:

112 Kent Street
Place de Ville
Tower B, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H3

Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376
Phone: (613) 995-8210
Fax: (613) 947-6850
TTY: (613) 992-9190