Privacy Statement

Privacy Policy

Prairie Diagnostic Services (PDS) recognizes that an individual's right to privacy is an essential right to be protected. PDS understands the importance in maintaining client confidentiality and protecting personal information in our care and control. Our relationships with those that participate in the services offered by PDS are founded on trust and PDS is committed to maintaining that trust. For these reasons, the PDS Privacy Policy provides safeguards for the protection of the personal information its care, as standardized in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, (PIPEDA). This Privacy Policy confirms our dedication to protecting privacy and maintaining the trust that individuals have placed in PDS.

An Overview

What This Policy Covers

This Privacy Policy applies to personal information about identifiable owners, clients, customers, collaborators, members, applicants and stakeholders of PDS (collectively referred to as "stakeholder" or "stakeholders") that is collected, used or disclosed by PDS.

This Privacy Policy will not apply to the collection, use or disclosure of the following information:

  • Personal information that is aggregated in such a manner that it cannot be connected to a person; therefore any personal information that has been anonymized will not fall under the protection of this policy.
  • The name, title, business address, e-mail address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
  • Information that is publicly available.

Collection of Personal Information

Personal information that may be collected, used or disclosed by PDS includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone/Fax number(s)
  • E-Mail addresses
  • Credit Card Information
  • Name of Employer or Business
  • Particulars (including opinions, evaluations, disciplinary actions)
  • Payment and Banking Information

Guidelines for Internet/Website Users

PDS does not collect identifying information about visitors to our website. We may collect non-identifying information about our visitors in order to create summary statistics and to determine the level of interest in information available on our site. PDS will not collect personal information from cookies. Collected information may include such items as the date and time our site was accessed and the web browser used. PDS may collect information about user's site usage through our server log files, including IP Addresses. Our website does not link IP Addresses to any personally identifiable information.

Please be advised that information voluntarily disclosed in electronic (email) discussions with PDS employees can be intercepted collected, used and disclosed by third parties. Personal information conveyed to PDS using email is done at the user's risk and on the understanding that such information may be accessible to third parties. PDS will not be liable or held responsible for any damages that may result from such user activity.

How Personal Information is Maintained

PDS does not sell barter, trade or give away personal information to third parties. For example, PDS does not provide our mailing lists to other organizations.

PDS stores, maintains and discloses personal information in conformity with the requirements of PIPEDA as described below.

Definitions

To assist in understanding this Privacy Policy, PDS has set out some basic definitions to use when reading and interpreting the principles below:

Collection: obtaining personal information from any source, including third parties, by any means.

Consent: the granting of voluntary permission regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information for defined purposes. Consent can be either express or implied.

Disclosure: to make known personal information to a third party.

Personal Information: information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title, or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.

Use: the treatment, handling and management of personal information by and within PDS.

Application of the Code

The PIPEDA describes ten principles for protecting personal information. The PDS Privacy Policy has been constructed to ensure that these principles are upheld in all our dealings with stakeholders. These principles are interrelated and PDS shall adhere to them as a whole. As permitted by PIPEDA and its regulations, the commentary in this Privacy Policy has been tailored to reflect personal information issues specific to PDS.

PDS applies the ten principles of PIPEDA as follows:

  1. Accountability

    PDS is fully responsible for the maintenance and protection of any information received from a stakeholder. To that end, PDS has a designated individual - the Privacy Officer- who is accountable for PDS's compliance with respect to the ten privacy principles. PDS has also taken the following measures to ensure compliance with this Privacy Policy:

    • Developed procedures to protect personal information.
    • Developed procedures to receive and respond to complaints and inquiries
    • Trained our staff about our policies and practices respecting personal information; and
    • Developed and distributed information to our staff and others explaining our policies and procedures respecting personal information.

    PDS will only transfer personal information to third parties with the express consent of the stakeholders or where required by law. PDS ensures that all personal information that is transferred is protected by entering into legal agreements with such third parties. These legal agreements seek to ensure that the third parties employ comparable levels of control over the transferred personal information.

  2. Identifying Purposes

    PDS is always clear and open with stakeholders regarding the intended purpose and use of collected information, whether at the time of collection or any time afterwards. PDS will specify, either orally, electronically or in writing, the identified purposes to stakeholders, at or before the time personal information is collected. Upon request, persons collecting personal information will explain these identified purposes or refer the individuals to PDS's Privacy Officer who will explain the purposes.

    PDS will typically only collect personal information for the following limited purposes:

    • To effectively provide laboratory test results in support of veterinary diagnoses to our stakeholders. In order to assure the identity of test results and meet our reporting requirements under the Health of Animals Act PDS must be able to identify the person who “owns or has possession, care or control of the animal or thing.” This allows PDS to obtain the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the animal or portion submitted for analysis and where different from the latter, information regarding the current location of the animal or portion.
    • In return for Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture financial support, PDS shares case data with SMA for the purpose of disease surveillance in Saskatchewan. Data shared for this purpose will be anonymized such that only the postal code or equivalent location identifier of the owner or animal location, where significantly different from the owners residence and the relevant animal disease information (includes but not limited to: species, breed, age, sex, weight, number affected, number at risk, history, body systems affected and test results) are provided.
    • In return for Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN) membership, PDS shares case data with CAHSN for the purpose of disease surveillance in Canada. Data shared for this purpose will be anonymized such that only the postal code or equivalent location identifier of the owner or animal location, where significantly different from the owners residence and the relevant animal disease information (includes but not limited to: species, breed, age, sex, weight, number affected, number at risk, history, body systems affected and test results) are provided.
    • In return for Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) financial support, PDS supplies case data to support the teaching of veterinary professionals. Data shared for this purpose will be anonymized such that only the relevant animal disease information (includes but not limited to: species, breed, age, sex, weight, number affected, number at risk, history, body systems affected and test results) are provided. In addition WCVM personnel provided access to the PDS database for teaching or research purposes will be required to sign confidentiality agreements with Prairie Diagnostic Services.
    • PDS will use personal information in order to create mailing lists for information and services PDS provides to its stakeholders. PDS obtains and maintains sufficient personal information in order to provide these services. PDS's mailing lists are used to keep the individuals listed on them advised of corporate changes, opportunities and upcoming events such as training or conferences in which they may be interested. At any time, stakeholders are free to request that their information not be used for such marketing by providing written instruction to PDS's Privacy Officer.
    • In addition, from time to time, PDS may contact stakeholders to request additional personal information. However, if a stakeholder does not wish to provide such information, there is no obligation to do so and this will not affect their relationship with PDS.
    • PDS collects relevant personal information as may be required to carry out its normal business activities.

    PDS shall not use or disclose for any new purposes, personal information that has been collected from stakeholders without first identifying and documenting the new purposes and obtaining the prior consent of the stakeholder, unless required by law.

    Furthermore, if a stakeholder wishes to be advised of the personal information we have related to them, they can contact PDS at the address set out below.

  3. Consent

    PDS will only collect, use or disclose information for the purposes listed above with the full knowledge and consent of our stakeholders, or as otherwise permitted by PIPEDA. Consent may be given verbally, in writing or electronically, depending on the nature of the product or service. PDS will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the stakeholders understand how their information will be used. It is understood that personal information regarding animal owners may be provided by veterinarians or agents of the owners submitting samples to PDS. It is understood that veterinarians making referrals of patients to specialists are consenting to the disclosure of personal information associated with the referral. PDS assures veterinarians that it has procedures in place to protect this transfer of personal information.

    • In obtaining consent, PDS will use reasonable efforts to ensure that a stakeholder is advised of the identified purposes for which personal information collected, will be used or disclosed. PDS will state the identified purposes in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the stakeholder.
    • PDS will seek consent to use and disclose personal information, as outlined above at the same time it collects the information. However, if PDS decides to use personal information of a stakeholder for a new purpose, PDS will obtain consent from the stakeholder before the personal information is used or disclosed for a new purpose, except as exempted by statute.
    • PDS will require stakeholders to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information as a condition to PDS providing service to stakeholders, if such collection, use or disclosure is required in order to fulfill the identified purposes.
    • As well, PDS may periodically request written confirmation from stakeholders to ensure that the personal information collected and maintained by us is up-to-date and accurate. We also may ensure that we have our stakeholders continuing consent to the use and retention of their personal information.
    • PDS may collect personal information without the knowledge and consent of a stakeholder under the following limited circumstances:
      • Where such collection is clearly in the interests of an individual, and consent cannot be obtained in a timely manner.
      • Where it is reasonable to expect that collection of the personal information with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information, and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province.
      • Where such personal information being collected is publicly available.
    • PDS may use personal information without the knowledge and consent of stakeholders under the following limited circumstances:
      • Where in the course of its activities, PDS becomes aware of information that it has reasonable grounds to believe could be useful in the investigation of a contravention of the laws of Canada, a province or a foreign jurisdiction that has been, is being or is about to be committed, and the information is used for the purpose of investigating that contravention.
      • Where the personal information is used for the purpose of acting in respect of an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual or animal.
      • Where the personal information is used for historical statistical or scholarly study or research purposes that cannot be achieved without using the information and when the information is used in a manner that will ensure its confidentiality and it is impracticable to obtain consent.
      • Where the personal information being collected is publicly available.
      • Where the personal information was collected under 1) or 2) of the paragraph relating to collection without consent.
    • PDS may disclose personal information without the knowledge and consent of stakeholders under the following circumstances:
      • Where the disclosure is being made to a barrister or solicitor who is representing PDS.
      • For the purpose of collecting a debt owed by the individual to PDS.
      • Where the disclosure is required to comply with a subpoena or warrant issued or an order made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel production of information, or where the disclosure is required to comply with rules of court relating to the production of records;
      • Where the disclosure is being made to a government institution or part of a government institution that has made a request for the information and identified its lawful authority to obtain the information.

    A stakeholder may withdraw consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice. Stakeholders may contact PDS at the address below for more information.

  4. Limiting Collection

    PDS stakeholders can be assured that the information PDS collects will be limited to the details necessary for the purposes identified. Our standardized forms ensure that only information that is required is collected.

  5. Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention

    PDS does not use personal information for purposes other than those for which it was originally collected, unless it has first obtained the consent of the person from whom such information was received or as required by law. PDS will only retain such information for as long as it is required and only for the fulfillment of the purposes for which it was originally collected or as required by law. PDS does not sell or share mailing lists or other personal information with third parties. The following policies shall apply:

    • Only those PDS staff and employees whose duties reasonably so require, are granted access to personal information about stakeholders.
    • PDS will only keep personal information as long as it remains necessary or relevant for the identified purposes or as required by law. Depending on the circumstances where personal information has been used to make a decision about a stakeholder, PDS shall retain, for a period of time that is reasonably sufficient to allow for access by the stakeholder, either the actual information or the rationale for making the decision.
    • PDS will destroy, erase or make anonymous any personal information that is no longer necessary or relevant for the identified purposes or required to be retained by law. Nevertheless, PDS will maintain reasonable and systematic controls, schedules and practices for the retention and destruction of personal information. Typically, paper records are maintained for up to7 years. Electronic diagnostic records which include some personal information, are maintained indefinitely as part of the surveillance and teaching database.
  6. Accuracy

    PDS will make reasonable efforts to ensure that a stakeholder's information is kept accurate, current and complete, updating it as necessary for the information's original purpose. In the case of a discrepancy, we will respect a stakeholder's right to provide us with the most current information. It is, however, the stakeholder's responsibility to promptly inform PDS of any changes to their personal information. Stakeholders may check and correct their personal information by contacting the Privacy Officer at the address below.

  7. Safeguarding Stakeholder Information

    At PDS, we take the confidentiality and security of stakeholder information seriously, and make reasonable efforts to safeguard personal information:

    • PDS has security safeguards to protect personal information against such risks as theft or loss, unauthorized access, copying, use, modification or destruction.
    • PDS protects personal information with physical security measures, such as locked cabinet storage and restricted access to areas where personal information is stored.
    • PDS will protect personal information with internal employee security measures, including restricted computer access, employee confidentiality agreements, and limiting access to areas where personal information is stored. PDS will also ensure that employees who deal with personal information are properly trained and are aware of the necessary and appropriate measures required to protect personal information.
    • PDS uses security safeguards, including password and access control measures, to prevent unauthorized access to personal information stored on computer systems.
    • PDS protects personal information when undertaking consented disclosure of personal information to third parties by stipulating the confidentiality of the information and the purposes for which it may be used in contractual agreements. In entering into these legal agreements, PDS does not transfer any interest in our stakeholder’s personal information to third parties. Rather, the purpose of these legal agreements is to ensure that the personal information delivered to third parties is maintained at a level of security equal to that provided by PDS under this Privacy Policy.
    • Any personal information kept by PDS is disposed of or destroyed once it is no longer needed to meet the purposes for which it was collected. PDS will ensure appropriate measures regarding the destruction or disposal of personal information are used so as to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to the personal information.
  8. Openness

    PDS stakeholders can be assured that information about our policies and practices with the respect to the management of information is readily available. If you have any concerns, please contact PDS’s Privacy Officer, to address the issue or explain the policies in further detail.

  9. Individual Access

    At any time, PDS stakeholders can request to be informed of the existence, use, disclosure of their personal information, and, subject to applicable prohibitions or exemptions stipulated by PIPEDA, will be given access to their information.

    • When an individual has inquired as to whether personal information concerning him or her has been collected, used or disclosed, PDS may require that the individual provide sufficient information to allow PDS to provide an account of the existence, use and disclosure of personal information. However, the information provided in response to PDS's request shall only be used for the purpose of providing the account. Requests must be made in writing to PDS's Privacy Officer at the address below.
    • Upon written request, PDS will inform the individual of the existance of any personal information in our care and control, as well as providing the details of such personal information. In responding to such requests, PDS may charge a nominal fee. If we are unable to provide an individual with access to all of their personal information, then the reasons for the denial of access will be provided.
    • Upon request, PDS will provide an account of the use and disclosure of personal information and, where reasonably possible, shall state the source of the information. In providing an account of disclosure, PDS will provide a list of organizations to which it may have disclosed personal information.
    • PDS is committed to ensuring that the personal information that is collected and maintained by us is correct, accurate and complete.
    • In certain situations, PDS may not be able to provide access to all of the personal information that it holds of a stakeholder. Exceptions include but are not limited to personal information that is prohibitively costly to provide, information that contains references or identifies the personal information of other individuals, information that cannot be disclosed for legal, security or commercial proprietary reasons or information that is subject to solicitor-client or litigation privilege. PDS will provide the reasons for denying access upon request.
    • As well, stakeholders can challenge the completeness of their personal information under PDS care and control. Where a stakeholder can successfully demonstrate that an error in the accuracy or completeness of their personal information exists, PDS will amend their personal information appropriately. Any unresolved differences to accuracy or completeness shall be noted in their file. Where appropriate, PDS will transmit to third parties having access to the personal information in question any amended information or the existence of any unresolved differences.
  10. Challenging Compliance

    As noted above, PDS has designated its Privacy Officer as the person responsible for the day-to-day care and control of personal information. The Privacy Officer will receive and respond to all information requests regarding PDS privacy policy, procedures and stakeholder inquiries regarding their personal information under our care and control. Equally, if a stakeholder wishes their personal information to be added or removed from any of the lists or databases that PDS maintains, they may request this via written submission to the Privacy Officer.

    • An individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the PDS Privacy Officer.
    • PDS has procedures in place to receive and respond to complaints or inquiries about its policies and practices relating to the handling of personal information.
    • PDS will inform individuals about the existence of these procedures as well as the existence of relevant complaint procedures.
    • The Privacy Officer accountable for compliance with PDS's Privacy Policy reserves the right to seek legal advice where appropriate before providing a final response to individual complaints.
    • PDS will investigate all complaints received and will respond in writing in a timely manner. If a complaint is found to be justified, PDS will take appropriate measures to resolve the matter including, if necessary, amending our policies and procedures.

HOW TO ADD, REMOVE OR AMEND PERSONAL INFORMATION

If, at any time, stakeholders wish to amend their personal information with us or have their information removed from our records, simply inform PDS in writing at:

Privacy Officer
Prairie Diagnostic Services
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK. S7N 5B4

Please note that further information can be obtained as well as a copy of the PIPEDA through the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's web site at www.privcom.gc.ca

Changes to Privacy Policy

PDS reserves the right to modify or remove this Privacy Policy at its discretion and without notice.