Gwaii Animal Helpline Society Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

Gwaii Animal Helpline Society (GAHS is committed to adhering to the principles of PIPA (Personal Information and Privacy Act) and to the protection of the privacy and confidentiality of the personal information of its donors, members, staff, directors, volunteers, clients and other stakeholders. GAHS values the trust of those we deal with, and of the public, and recognizes that maintaining this trust requires that we be transparent and accountable in how we treat the personal information individuals choose to entrust with us.

Definition of Personal Information:
Personal information includes any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual or animal. This includes information in any form, such as:

  • age, name, ID numbers, income, or ethnic origin;
  • opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, or disciplinary actions; and
  • personnel files, donation details, criminal record checks, reference information and medical records.

All volunteers, contractors and staff have a legal obligation to protect personal information obtained in the course of duties with the GAHS. All reasonable measures must be taken to ensure that personal information is collected, used, and disclosed only in circumstances necessary to conduct the business of the Society. Any confidential materials and personal information should be maintained under lock and key and appropriately discarded. Breaches of confidentiality include intentional and unauthorized access to, use and/or disclosure of, confidential information. Intentionally viewing confidential information that is not necessary to perform an individual’s role is considered a breach of confidentiality even if that information is not disclosed to another party. Confidential information must not be discussed in any physical location where others, not entitled to receive that information, are present and likely to overhear, unless required in order to fulfill one’s professional role, by law or with permission from an authorized individual.

Examples of possible breaches include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unauthorized viewing or modifying of an adoption application or animal’s file
  • Telling friends or family identifiable information about a potential adopter, donor, or person of interest in a cruelty investigation
  • Leaving file storage areas unlocked when they should be locked
  • Sharing a password with a co-worker so that she can log into a computer system

All GAHS volunteers, contractors and staff are required to be familiar and abide by the GAHS’ Privacy & Confidentiality Policy.