The Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region (DCOR) is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to us by our service users, volunteers, employees, members and donors. DCOR manages personal information in accordance with relevant legislative obligations.
DCOR is committed to providing the best possible service at all times. Calls, Chats and Texts to DCOR services and partnerships may be monitored for training and quality assurance purposes. In the course of providing services to individuals, DCOR acquires and stores certain personal information for the purposes of providing services to clients. In addition, we collect and store unattributed, non-identifying demographic content of interactions, which we use to create aggregate statistical information for quality assurance, data and trend analysis as well as research aimed at contributing to the advancement of the non-profit sector and crisis intervention services.
DCOR will collect, use or disclose personal information with permission which may be expressed verbally, in writing or may be implied, and such permission may be given verbally, electronically or in writing.
Permission may be withdrawn for DCOR to collect, use and disclose personal information at any time, subject to legal and contractual restrictions and reasonable notice.
DCOR will not share or disclose personally identifiable information about use of DCOR services unless:
- Explicit agreement and consent is provided to have personal information shared for specific reasons and to specific agencies or people involved in providing assistance.
- DCOR believes that the person is at serious risk of harm to themselves or someone else (as determined by our risk assessment procedures), in which case we are ethically obligated to use any and all reasonable steps to prevent that serious harm. Those steps may include contacting law enforcement, medical services or other authorities to initiate emergency services or a safety check when necessary.
- Information is shared that indicates a child is at risk of abuse or neglect.
- We are required by law, such as a valid court order, legal subpoena or government investigation, to report information about the use of DCOR services.
DCOR is committed to privacy rights and obligations. It takes the privacy and security of its stakeholders very seriously. Appropriate technical and organizational safeguards are maintained, as well as security controls to protect personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
Access to personal information is restricted to DCOR employees, volunteers and authorized service providers require it for carrying out DCOR services. DCOR will retain personal information only as long as it is necessary to satisfy the purposes for which it was obtained or as required by law.
When personal information is no longer required, DCOR destroys paper files containing personal information through the services of a third-party contractor. DCOR destroys electronic information, including all associated copies and backup files, by deleting it in a manner that it cannot be restored. When hardware is discarded or replaced, DCOR ensures that the hardware is physically destroyed, or the data is erased or overwritten in a manner that the information cannot be recovered.
DCOR does not rent, sell or trade our mailing lists. The information provided is used to deliver services and to keep designated contacts informed and updated on DCOR activities, including programs, special events, fundraising activities, opportunities to volunteer or to donate and more, through periodic contacts. All clients have the option to “opt out” from receiving any communication not directly related to service delivery, by contacting the Executive Director.
Privacy-related complaints may be registered by contacting DCOR. DCOR will investigate all complaints as per the Complaints Policy. If an objection is justified, it will take all appropriate steps to repair the situation, including changing policies and practices, if necessary. Personal information relating to volunteers, job applicants and employees is subject to similar protocols.
A copy of this policy is available upon request.
Written: May 27, 2021
Reviewed: September 24, 2021