INTRODUCTION – The Public Affairs Association of Canada (PAAC) provides a vital forum for public affairs practitioners throughout Canada to network, share experiences and improve their professional skills.
COLLECTING INFORMATION – PAAC ordinarily collects the name, title, business address, business telephone/fax number or business e-mail address of an employee of an organization, i.e., the identifying information normally conveyed on a business card. Such so-called business information is not defined as personal information subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the federal statute which has governed collection and use of personal information since it took effect January 1, 2004. If PAAC were to begin collecting personal information, it would become subject to PIPEDA. The association would then adopt measures required by that law to ensure complete protection of personal information.
PURPOSE OF COLLECTING INFORMATION – PAAC’s primary objectives are to promote the advancement of the public affairs field and facilitate the professional betterment of those working within it. A key means to those ends is fostering interaction and networking among public affairs professionals. Business information is collected from members to facilitate their interaction as well as from non-members who participate in PAAC events. Information collected respecting members is recorded in the password-protected, searchable membership database on the PAAC web-site (www.publicaffairs.ca), which members are actively encouraged to use for networking purposes.
CONSENT TO COLLECTION OF INFORMATION – Standard wording consenting to PAAC’s collection and use of information to facilitate networking is used on the membership application form, event and conference registration forms and records compiled in connection with other ongoing or occasional PAAC activities. This wording consents to the distribution of lists of conference or event registrants, including names and organizational affiliations of both members and non-members. To foster networking, registration lists are supplied as a courtesy to event presenters and provided upon request to any member.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF MEMBERSHIP LIST – The PAAC membership list is never shared with, rented by or sold to any person or organization for any purpose. From time to time, PAAC members receive notices of events held by other organizations operating in the public affairs field, e.g., advising that PAAC has negotiated discounted registration fees for another organization’s conference or similar event. Such notices are invariably transmitted by PAAC itself, not by the originating organization. Moreover, it is PAAC policy not to accept and distribute commercial solicitations to its own members – though members are themselves free to use their access to the membership database to promote their own services to fellow members.
HANDLING OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION – PAAC currently records financial information, e.g., credit card charge authorizations, used in processing payment of membership dues and event fees, but card numbers, etc., are in due time shredded so that no permanent record of such information is kept on file.
INQUIRIES AND COMPLAINTS – PAAC has established a procedure to receive and respond to inquiries and complaints respecting the association’s handling of information about members and other persons. Complaints of inaccuracy, which are solicited in writing, will be investigated promptly and action will be taken to correct any breaches of privacy. If the complainant is not satisfied by the action taken, the complaint will be referred for consideration by the board.