The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) is a not-for-profit charity that provides Nova Scotians with information and resources about the law.
Privacy and sensitivity of personal information is important to the LISNS. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy and trained our staff about our policies and practices, in accordance with applicable privacy laws, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in so far as it relates to our activities as a not-for-profit organization.
Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. Personal information does not include job title, telephone number, address or other information that appears on a business card or information that is publicly available such as information in a telephone book.
Collection of Personal Information
LISNS collects different kinds of information which may include personal information in the course of providing its various programs and managing the organization. Some of the information we collect is used to help us evaluate our current programs or to develop new programs to meet the needs of the public who use these programs. The type of information collected is set out below.
Most of the information we collect from program users is statistical non-identifying information, not personal information.
How We Use Your Personal Information
LISNS collects personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide services or products to you, such as sending you updates about our legal information resources and services that you have requested, or to send you LISNS publications that you have requested or may be of interest to you
- to respond to any correspondence from you or inquiries you ask us
- to understand, research, and improve our services, including understanding survey data and user feedback
- to satisfy legal, government, and regulatory obligations
- for any other reasonable purposes for which you may have provided your express consent or in which your consent can be reasonably implied.
|Program/activity||Type of information collected|
Legal Information Line
Names and addresses (mailing or email) are collected only from service users who request information be mailed to them by regular letter mail or electronically. We do not keep copies of legal information provided by letter mail or email.
For statistical purposes we periodically ask legal information service users to participate in a more in-depth survey. If they agree, we collect non-identifying demographic information such as family income range, age range, first language, household size. We do not ask for or collect names of those surveyed, or any identifying information.
|When we get e-mails we have the sender's e-mail address. Sometimes the e-mailer will provide identifying information of their own volition such as a mailing address, name, or phone number. We do not retain that information once we have responded to the email and provided legal information. Safeguards are in place to make sure that the information is not disclosed or shared for any other purposes. We collect and retain non-identifying statistical information about service users, for the purpose of providing aggregate anonymized data about the program to our funders. For statistical purposes we provide a link in email replies to a voluntary user feedback survey. If they agree to complete the survey, we collect demographic information such as family income range, age range, level of education. We do not ask for or collect names of those surveyed, or any identifying information.|
|Live Chat||Non-identifying. |
We collect and retain non-identifying statistical information about service users, for the purpose of providing aggregate anonymized data about the program to our funders.
Lawyer and Mediator Referral Services
Lawyers and Mediators who register with the Services complete a registration form that includes their name and business address and contact information along with their practice areas. It may include other non-identifying information about the lawyer or law firm, such as whether remote services are available to clients, languages spoken, interest in pro bono work, general fee options, and whether notary services are offered.
We only record information on Lawyer or Mediator service users where there is a concern that they may be harassing or abusive to our volunteers or staff, or are abusing the system by receiving more than two referrals (serial referrals) for the same matter.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Legal Advice Program and Medical Legal Partnerships
Medical Legal Partnerships
With express permission from patient-clients (obtained by IWK or NS Health Authority staff as applicable) we collect contact information and information about the area of legal need and program eligibility on an Intake Form from individuals requesting free legal help through one of the Medical Legal Partnerships. Information is collected only so that the LISNS coordinator for those programs can assess program eligibility, provide legal information, and connect them with legal help resources, including to one of the partnering law firms or volunteer lawyers if appropriate. We do not retain identifying information about referrals. We collect and retain non-identifying statistical information about the partnerships, for the purpose of providing aggregate anonymized data about the program to our funders.
|We collect names and addresses of those requesting written materials be sent by regular letter mail. We also keep a record of the sector they represent for example, government, court, non-profit, individual, etc. Where there is a need to generate an invoice for materials or to issue a receipt that information is stored on computer.|
|Information collected and maintained includes name, address (usually firm, but occasionally home), e-mail address, history of giving, and other relevant material such as their preference for how and when they wish to be contacted or acknowledged (if they have indicated such a preference).|
|We maintain names and addresses and other contact information for Board members and other volunteers. If the volunteer provides a resume, we keep that on file also. We are required by the Canada Revenue Agency to provide information on the Board of Directors including date of birth when submitting the annual Charities Return. Names, addresses, phone, fax, e-mail of Board members is shared with other members of the Board and funders.|
|Personal information is maintained on staff including home address, next of kin, home phone number and email address, resume, SIN number and information related to their history of employment.|
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting the confidentiality and security of personal information.
- We do not sell, trade, lease or barter any of the information collected.
- We will not disclose your personal information to anyone else without your prior knowledge or consent, except when required by a government body or agency, or as permitted by law. We will not use, disclose, or transfer your personal information for any purpose other than those described above without first obtaining your consent, where such consent is not reasonably implied.
LISNS maintains physical, electronic, and administrative safeguards that are appropriate to the type of personal information we obtain from you. Only LISNS staff, volunteers, or third party suppliers, contractors, or agents with a business need to know, or whose duties reasonably so require, are granted access to personal information. All such staff and volunteers will be required as a condition of employment to contractually respect the confidentiality of your personal information and handle it responsibly.
We respect your privacy and, unless otherwise required by law, we will not collect, use, or disclose your personal information without your prior consent. Your consent may be expressed or implied. You may expressly give your consent in writing, verbally, or through any electronic means. In certain circumstances, your consent may be implied by your actions. For example, providing us with your email address to request legal information is implied consent to use your information to send you the requested legal information.
Where appropriate, LISNS will generally seek your consent to use or disclose the information when we collect it. In certain circumstances, consent with respect to use or disclosure may be sought after the information has been collected but before use. For example, when LISNS wants to use information for a purpose other than those identified above. When getting your consent, LISNS will use reasonable efforts to ensure that you are advised of the identified purposes for which your personal information will be used or disclosed.
The form of consent sought by LISNS may vary, depending upon the circumstances and type of information disclosed. In determining the appropriate form of consent, LISNS shall take into account the sensitivity of the personal information and the reasonable expectations of service users. LISNS will seek your express consent when the information is likely to be considered sensitive. Implied consent will generally be appropriate where the information is less sensitive.
You may withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice. If you withdraw your consent, this will result in our being unable to give you certain services. In order to withdraw consent, you must provide notice to LISNS in writing, including through the unsubscribe link in our emails.
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
LISNS will retain Personal Information for only as long as required to fulfill the identified purposes or as required by law. Personal Information that is no longer required to fulfill the identified purposes will be destroyed, erased, or made anonymous according to the guidelines and procedures established by LISNS.
The steps we take with respect to retention and destruction of personal information are:
- Financial information such as invoicing and VISA and MasterCard numbers are maintained for at least seven years.
- All files are kept for at least seven years. After that time they may be destoyed/shredded.
Information We Collect That Does Not Identify You
LISNS also collects information from you that is aggregated and/or anonymized in such a way that it cannot be connected to you or any individual, and therefore is not considered personal information. This includes the following data we collect through our website:
- device and browser type
- operating system
- the pages or features of the website that a visitor browsed
- the time spent on those pages or features
- the frequency with which the website is used by a visitor
- search terms used by a visitor
- the links on the website that the user clicked on or used; and
- other statistics.
This information by itself or together cannot be tracked to a specific individual’s personally identifiable information.
How We Use Aggregated or Anonymized Information
In an ongoing effort to better understand the needs of visitors to our website, we may use aggregated or anonymized information to analyze user demographics and website usage behaviour. This analysis may be used by LISNS for statistical purposes and to develop and enhance LISNS activities and services.
A cookie is a small text file containing a unique identification number that is transferred from any website you are on to the hard drive of your computer so that the website may identify separate visitors to the site and track users' activities on the website. A cookie will not give a website any personally identifiable information about you, such as your name and address.
- preserve and expire visitor sessions on the site (keeping visitors signed in after authenticating or saving data; and ending the session after a period of inactivity)
- store font size preferences on the site
- enable web analytic tools
Visitors who wish to opt out of cookies should review the help documentation for their browser software to decline or selectively decline cookies. Visitors can also regularly delete their browser and cookie history. Note that declining cookies may adversely impact site performance for you.
The LISNS website uses Google Analytics to track website performance. Google Analytics uses persistent cookies to track things like visitor sessions, visitors across multiple sessions, and referral sources to the website. We also track the performance of promotional links to our website.
The information generated by the cookie about your use of the legalinfo.org website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. In compliance with the Google Analytics Terms of Service, at no time is personally identifiable information passed to Google Analytics.
Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the legalinfo.org website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators, and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.
If you want to opt out of Google Analytics data collection, you should use the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. However please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of the LISNS website. By using the website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.
Olark Live Chat
The LISNS website uses Olark, an online customer service application, to operate the Live Chat function on the site. Information submitted through the live chat interface is stored by www.olark.com/ (link is external). For more information on how this information is stored and kept private see: https://www.olark.com/privacy-policy (link is external)
Upon written request sent to the LISNS Privacy Officer at the address below, we will inform the individual of the existence (if any), use and disclosure of their personal information, and we will give the individual access to that information. The information will be provided within a reasonable time frame, generally within 30 days of receipt of the written request.
An individual can challenge the accuracy and completeness of their personal information and have it amended as appropriate.
NOTE: In certain circumstances, LISNS may not be able to provide access to all the personal information it holds about a person. Exceptions may include information that is prohibitively costly to provide, information that contains references to 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. LISNS will provide the reasons for denying access upon request.
Our Privacy Officer is:
Heather de Berdt Romilly
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia
Email: [email protected]
For more information on privacy issues visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's website:
Last updated: January 2023.