The MS Society bases its privacy practices on the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act (PIPEDA), which it considers to be the standard by which personal and health information should be protected. In addition, the MS Society is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association and abides by its privacy guidelines.
» What is personal information?
Personal information is any information about an identifiable individual, other than an individual’s business title or business contact information. Examples of personal information are: name, home address, age, health and financial information. It does not include information that cannot be tracked back to a specific individual. In addition, information that is publicly available, such as a telephone book listing, is not considered to be personal information.
» Information collected
1) Personally identifying information
The Society only collects personally identifying information about donors, clients, volunteers and event participants for fundraising, public education and advocacy purposes, program and service delivery, as well as to establish, maintain and manage our relationship with you.
The information the MS Society collects is the minimum amount we need to establish and maintain a service, volunteer, participant, donor or program relationship with you. This includes:
contact and identification information, such as your name, address, telephone number and email address;
donation information such as date of gift, amount of gift, the campaign to which you contributed;
financial information such as your payment methods and preferences, billing and banking information (credit card number and expiry date or chequing account transit numbers, in order to process your donation); for online financial transactions such as donations and event registrations, we process standard credit card information (card number, card type and expiration date) via a secure, 128-bit encrypted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) session. SSL is the proven standard for secure web transactions. We may provide restricted information (name, address, partial credit card number) for administrative purposes to vendors that may be located in the United States;
other personal information used for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances (e.g., if you have demonstrated an interest in participating in fundraising events, such as the MS Walk, we may send you information regarding other fundraising programs and services).
Some of the information the MS Society collects is needed to satisfy the requirements of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (e.g., income tax receipts). There are also circumstances where the use and/or disclosure of personal information is justified or permitted without consent. These circumstances may include:
where required by law or by order or requirement of a court administrative agency or other governmental tribunal;
where the MS Society believes, upon reasonable grounds, that it is necessary to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of an identifiable person or group;
where the information is public.
The MS Society generally collects your personal information directly from you and only with your consent. In addition, the MS Society will not collect or use personal information about you from a third party without your express consent. The MS Society will usually obtain your consent at the time that we collect your personal information. If the purpose for using your personal information changes from the time since such consent was obtained, the MS Society will advise you of this purpose before such use or disclosure.
(2) Website generated information: “cookies” and "tags" on mssociety.ca
A cookie is a small amount of data that is transferred to your browser by a web server and can only be read by the website that gave it to you. It functions as your identification card. It is not a program and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. The MS Society does not report on individual user sessions.
Cookies can also customize the site to your particular interests or store your personal information, such as passwords or user IDs. If a site ever greets you with your name, it is probably using a cookie to do so.
Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie – this gives you the chance to decide whether to accept it. To learn more about cookies and how to change your settings, please use the help function in your browser.
The MS Society uses pixels, or transparent GIF files, to help manage online advertising. These GIF files are provided by our ad management vendor. These files enable us to recognize a unique cookie on your Web browser, which in turn enables us to learn which advertisements bring users to our website. The cookie was placed by us or by our advertiser vendor. The information that we collect and share is anonymous and not personally identifiable. It does not contain your name, address, telephone number, or email address.
You can use the Society website without cookies, but you may have to re-enter information each time you visit.
» How does the MS Society use your personal information?
As explained above, the MS Society uses your personal information for fundraising, to process donations, to respond to requests for services and information, and to keep you informed about Society activities.
If you do not wish to receive such mailings, please let us know by emailing email@example.com, by calling us at the telephone numbers below or by writing to us at the address below. Please provide us with your exact name and address. We will then remove your name from our confidential list.
We may also use the information you provide to us in the following ways:
to assist in the development of new programs, events, and services;
to provide donation recipients with summary or aggregate information about our donations, programs and services;
for internal research purposes;
to develop advertising based on donor preferences.
» When does the Society disclose your personal information?
The Society shares your personal information only with employees and/or volunteers who require such information to establish, manage and maintain our relationship with you. We may also disclose your personal information to third party service providers with whom we contract to mail our fundraising material, process your donation, or answer your inquiry. These third party providers only have access to personal information that is needed to perform the related function and may not use it for any other purpose.
» Do not trade request
From time-to-time, we exchange your name and address with other not-for-profit organizations for fundraising purposes. If you do not wish the MS Society to trade your name in this matter, or if you do not wish to receive any marketing or fundraising information from the MS Society, please call us at 1-866-922-6065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Please allow up to 12 weeks for your request to be processed since mail campaigns may already be in progress.
In addition, the MS Society maintains a do-not-call list for individuals who do not wish to be contacted by the MS Society. To be placed on our internal do not call lists please call us at 1-866-922-6065 or e-mail email@example.com.
» Accuracy of information
The Society aims to ensure that any personal information provided is accurate, complete and current as required for the purposes for which the information is used.
» Protection and retention of personal information
The Society keeps personal information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected. The length of time we retain information varies, depending on the program, service or event and the nature of the information, for example we generally keep financial information for 6 years, in accordance with CRA rules and regulations. The retention period may extend beyond your relationship with us. When your personal information is no longer required for Society purposes, the information is either physically destroyed or deleted in a secure manner.
All personal information is kept private and confidential, stored in a secure location and accessible only by authorized staff.
» Links to other websites from mssociety.ca
The MS Society provides links to other websites which the MS Society believes may be of interest to you. As the MS Society has no control over the content of any of these websites, these links may be updated or deleted as the Society deems appropriate.
Please be aware that the MS Society is not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites that we link to. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of each and every website that requests personal information from you.
More information about privacy
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services for people with MS and their families. It is a major source of information about multiple sclerosis, which is based on professional advice, published experience and expert opinion but does not represent therapeutic recommendation or prescription. The opinions do not necessary represent the views of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. For specific information and advice, please consult your personal physician.
The MS Society is an independent, voluntary health agency and does not approve, endorse or recommend any specific product or therapy but provides information to assist individuals in making their own decisions.
Any reference to a commercial or non-commercial product, process, service or company is not an endorsement or recommendation by the MS Society. The MS Society does not endorse or recommend products, services or manufacturers. The MS Society assumes no liability whatsoever for the use or contents of any product or service mentioned.
The MS Society is not responsible for the contents of any "off site" Internet information referenced by or linked to the MS Society’s Internet site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by the MS Society of the site. Use of any such linked website is at the user's own risk.