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Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy is effective January 29, 2018.

The MissingKids.ca website (the “MK Website”) and the MissingKidsAlert.ca website (the “MKAlert Website”) (collectively referred to as the “Websites”) are owned and operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. (the “Canadian Centre”). The Canadian Centre is a charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children. The goal of the Canadian Centre is to reduce child victimization by providing programs and services to the Canadian public, which include the services offered through the Websites, namely providing information and resources to the Canadian public about the issue of missing children. The Websites also provide parents and guardians of missing children with a way to register information about their missing child and request and receive services through the MissingKids.ca Program designed to help locate their missing child (the “MissingKids.ca Program”). Members of the public are also able to provide tips or sightings related to current missing children cases through the MK Website and can sign up to receive missing child alerts through the MissingKidsALERT notification service.

Federal privacy legislation in Canada, namely the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), applies to personal information that is collected, used and disclosed in the course of commercial activities. With the exception of the collection, use and disclosure of information for the purpose of processing donations made through the MK Website, the Websites are not operated in the course of commercial activities; they are not operated for commercial purposes; and the Canadian Centre does not consider the collection, use and disclosure of personal information obtained through the Websites to be a commercial activity. The Canadian Centre nonetheless believes that maintaining the privacy of your personal information is of the utmost importance and accordingly, it adheres to the spirit of PIPEDA in its operation of the Websites and of the MissingKids.ca Program.

This online Privacy Policy describes how personal information obtained through the Websites and through the MissingKids.ca Program is collected, used and disclosed by the Canadian Centre. This Privacy Policy applies to users of the Websites and to individuals who are receiving services through the MissingKids.ca Program, and it reflects the spirit of PIPEDA. We encourage you to read this Privacy Policy to gain a better understanding of how your personal information will be treated when you visit and use the Websites, or receive services through the MissingKids.ca Program, including receiving missing child alerts through the MissingKidsALERT notification system.

Definition of Personal Information:

Personal information is any identifiable information about an individual, including: name, email address, mailing address, and telephone/fax number. Personal information does not include aggregated information that cannot be associated with a specific individual. Note that PIPEDA does not apply to business contact information such as an employee’s name, title, business address, business telephone number or business email address that is collected, used or disclosed solely for the purpose of communicating or facilitating communication with that person in relation to their employment or profession.

Privacy Policy Applicable to the MissingKids.ca Website, the MissingKidsAlert.ca Website, and the MissingKids.ca Program

We respect your privacy. We developed this Privacy Policy in order to ensure that users of the Websites and recipients of services provided through the MissingKids.ca Program are confident that their personal information will be handled in a reasonable manner. We feel it is important that you understand what information we collect, why we collect it, how we will use and disclose it, and how you can contact us with privacy-related questions or concerns. Whether you are visiting the Websites to obtain access to resources and information, to complete the intake and/or registration process, to submit a tip or sighting, to sign up to receive missing child alerts through the MissingKidsALERT notification system, to make a donation, or to participate in the MissingKids.ca Program, we are committed to respecting your privacy and personal information.

Summary of Privacy Principles

In order to observe the spirit of PIPEDA, the Canadian Centre has adopted the 10 Privacy Principles contained within the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information. A summary of the principles is set out below. An explanation of how these principles are applied to personal information collected through the Websites follows the summary below.

  1. Our responsibility to protect your personal information

    The Canadian Centre is responsible for personal information under its control, and as such has designated an individual who is accountable for our compliance with the following principles.

    Note: See principle 10 for contact information for the Canadian Centre’s Privacy Officer.

  2. Our obligation to identify the purpose for collecting personal information

    The Canadian Centre will identify the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time of collection.

    Note: See the additional information below, under the heading “Application of the Privacy Principles to Information Collected through the MissingKids.ca Website, the MissingKidsAlert.ca Website and operation of the MissingKids.ca Program”, which contains a list of the purposes for which we collect personal information. Generally speaking, we collect personal information primarily to operate the Websites and the MissingKids.ca Program, and to provide assistance to individuals searching for a missing child.

  3. The requirement for knowledge and consent

    The individual's knowledge and consent are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of their personal information, except where inappropriate. In determining the appropriate form of consent, the Canadian Centre shall take into account the sensitivity of the personal information and the reasonable expectations of the individual with respect to that information. An individual may withdraw their consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, and the Canadian Centre shall inform the individual of the implications of such withdrawal.

    By accessing and using the Websites, it is implied that you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information as outlined in this policy. When you provide personal information in the course of: requesting services, participating in the intake and registration process, or while receiving services, you do so on a voluntary basis, and we collect all such information on the understanding that you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information for the purposes and in the manner outlined in this policy.

    Note: The following statement applies to principles 3 and 5:

    In certain circumstances, personal information can be collected, used or disclosed without the knowledge and consent of the individual. For example the Canadian Centre may collect, use or disclose personal information without knowledge and consent if:

    1. it is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way, such as when the individual is a minor, seriously ill or mentally incapacitated; or
    2. it is reasonable to expect that seeking the consent of the individual might defeat the purpose of collecting the information, such as in the investigation of a breach of an agreement or a contravention of federal or provincial law;

    The Canadian Centre may also use or disclose personal information without knowledge and consent in the case of an emergency where the life, health or security of an individual is threatened.

    The Canadian Centre may disclose personal information without knowledge and consent to a lawyer representing the Canadian Centre, to comply with a subpoena, warrant or other court order, or as may be otherwise required by law.

  4. Limiting information collection

    The collection of personal information will be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by Canadian Centre. Information will be collected by fair and lawful means.

  5. Limiting use, disclosure, and retention of your personal information

    Personal information will not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual, to comply with a government request, to protect the operations of the Canadian Centre, or as required by law, or to complete a business transaction (only if necessary and only if contractual and other security safeguards are in place). Personal information will be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes. Only those employees of the Canadian Centre who require access to personal information for business reasons, or whose duties reasonably so require, will be granted access to personal information.

    Note: See the note to principle 3.

  6. Accuracy of your personal information

    Personal information will be as accurate, complete, and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

  7. Our responsibility to safeguard your personal information

    The Canadian Centre has security safeguards in place designed to protect personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. Such safeguarding measures may include but are not limited to alarm systems, locked cabinets, computer passwords, firewalls and encryption.

  8. Our obligation to be open about our Privacy Policy and practices

    Upon written request, individuals shall be provided with additional specific information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

  9. Your ability to access your personal information

    Upon written request, an individual will be informed of the existence and use of his or her personal information, and will be given access to that information. An individual will be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of their personal information and have it amended accordingly. In order to safeguard personal information, access requests must be in writing, and reasonable steps to verify the identity of the requesting individual will be taken before any information will be released.

    In certain situations, however, the Canadian Centre may not be able to provide access to all the personal information it holds about an individual. Circumstances where that could occur include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. where providing the individual with access to his or her personal information would likely reveal personal information about a third party that cannot be severed;
    2. where the individual’s personal information is protected by solicitor-client or litigation privilege;
    3. where providing the individual with access to his or her personal information would reveal confidential information;
    4. where providing the individual with access to his or her personal information could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual;
    5. where the individual’s personal information was collected in the circumstances referred to in the Note to Section 3 of this policy; or
    6. where the individual’s personal information is prohibitively costly to provide.

    For information referred to in paragraphs c) and d) above, if the information is severable from the record containing any other information for which access is requested, the Canadian Centre shall give the individual access after severing.

    The Canadian Centre shall give access to personal information in an alternative format to an individual with a sensory disability who has a right of access to personal information and who requests that it be transmitted in the alternative format if a version of the information already exists in that format.

    Note: See the additional information below, under the heading “Application of the Privacy Principles to Information Collected through the MissingKids.ca Website, the MissingKidsAlert.ca Website and operation of the MissingKids.ca Program”, regarding access to information.

  10. Your ability to challenge the compliance of our Privacy Policy

    If for any reason, you have questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy, please get in touch with us through the Contact Us page accessible from here. You may also contact our Privacy Officer by mailing a letter outlining your question(s) or concern(s) to:

    Privacy Officer
    Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.
    615 Academy Road
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    R3N 0E7

Application of the Privacy Principles to Information Collected through the MissingKids.ca Website, the MissingKidsAlert.ca Website and operation of the MissingKids.ca Program

A. Why Do We Collect, Use and Disclose Personal Information?

On the MissingKids.ca Website and the MissingKidsAlert.ca Website, and through operation of the MissingKids.ca Program, we collect, use and disclose personal information for the following general purposes, as well as any other purposes that may be identified to you at the time of collection:

  1. To provide the public with readily accessible and available:

    1. information and resources on the issue of missing children, including prevention materials and other information to help locate missing children;
    2. information about specific missing children that can assist with efforts to locate them, including through missing child alerts;

    and to honour requests for information, newsletters, and other publications;

  2. To respond to questions from, collaborate with, assist, and provide support to parents, guardians and law enforcement in all aspects related to the search for a missing child;
  3. To collaborate with and obtain the assistance of other missing children organizations in Canada and internationally in the search for a missing child;
  4. To facilitate the receipt of tips and sightings about missing children for forwarding to law enforcement;
  5. To identify trends and perform research regarding the issue of missing children in general, and in Canada specifically;
  6. To provide a positive experience to website users and to those receiving assistance through the MissingKids.ca Program;
  7. To understand requirements of website users and those receiving assistance through the MissingKids.ca Program;
  8. To process donations made online; and
  9. To meet legal and regulatory requirements.

B. What Information Do We Collect and How Do We Use it?

From All Website Users:

All information provided by the computer used to visit the Websites is collected, as set out below. Session cookies are used to gather some of the information below, and some of the information may be delivered automatically by the computer, depending on the settings of the computer. Where a session cookie is used, it only provides information about the visit to the Websites during that session. The information collected is aggregated and non-personally identifying. It includes:

  • The IP address of the computer used to access the Websites**
  • The search terms used during the session
  • The pages accessed on the Websites and the links clicked on
  • The date and time of the visit
  • The referring site (if any) through which a user clicked through to get to the Websites
  • The operating system of the computer used to access the Websites (e.g. Windows XP, Mac OSX)
  • The type of web browser installed on the computer used to access the Websites (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox) and
  • Other incidental matters applicable to the computer used to access the Websites such as: screen resolution; the release of the installed Flash version; and the language setting of the browser.

The above information is collected and used to help us better understand our audience and how our Websites are being used and accessed. It helps ensure content is delivered in the appropriate format during a user’s visit and provides us with information so we can improve the Websites for subsequent users. It is also used to compile statistical information about the use of the Websites.

** IP Addresses:

The Websites are designed to use the IP address provided by a user’s computer to gather broad, aggregated demographic information (such as geographical, domain and ISP information). We may also collect, use, store and disclose an IP address along with other relevant information if we detect an attempt to compromise the security or availability of the Websites or any features thereof, or where we have reason to believe that: any aspect of the Websites may be being abused by a user; a user has attempted to or has circumvented any feature designed to prevent copying or conversion of content or data to other formats; a user has intentionally supplied false or misleading information through the Websites; a user is or may be involved in unlawful activities; or a child or children may be at risk.

From Parents/Guardians and Others During Intake and Registration

When a person contacts us to request assistance or to begin the process of registering the case of a missing child with the MissingKids.ca Program, the person will either submit an online intake form using the online intake process at MissingKids.ca, or will speak with a caseworker over the phone who will collect similar information. We have designed the intake process to collect only information that we consider necessary to help us facilitate identification of the missing child, identify and assess the risks to the missing child, and make an initial determination about whether the case is eligible for assistance under our existing policies and procedures. The information you provide at intake is also verified with the law enforcement agency responsible for investigation of the case.

If a case is accepted after the caseworker has made contact with the parent/guardian, it proceeds to registration. All information already collected is used to help us identify what, if any, additional information will need to be collected during registration. We identify that information by carefully considering what information will be beneficial to collect for the purpose of locating the child and/or any person the child may be with. The information requested at registration will vary depending on the circumstances of the particular case. Generally, the individual registering the case (typically the parent or legal guardian of the missing child) may be asked to provide a variety of information about: the missing child; the circumstances surrounding the child’s disappearance; the alleged abductor (if known) and his/her relationship to the child; the friends, adults and other individuals around the child who may have information that could assist in locating the child; and any other information considered relevant to help locate the missing child and reunite him/her with the searching party. The information provided during the registration process and any additional information provided or otherwise received that relates to the case is used to work with the individual registering the case and law enforcement to facilitate the location and return of the missing child.

We have designed the registration process to limit the information requested to that which we consider necessary to assist you, based on the particular circumstances and our experience in assisting with other missing children cases. If information is requested online, explanations are included to help the person registering their case to better understand why certain information is requested and how such information can be helpful in finding the missing child. If information is being provided over the phone, our caseworkers are able to provide any explanations required.

The individual sharing information during intake and registration is in full control of choosing the information to share with us and is encouraged to ask questions throughout the process.

From Individuals and Businesses Who Sign Up to Receive Missing Child Alerts Through the MissingKidsALERT Notification System

MissingKidsALERT is a public notification service designed to provide critical information in the search for missing children. Through this service, individuals and organizations in Canada can quickly and easily sign up to receive missing child alerts through a variety of electronic platforms (ex. email, Facebook, Twitter). Individuals who sign up will receive emails or notifications regarding missing child cases where there is reason to believe the missing child may be in the individual’s area or community. Individuals may choose to receive alerts for all types of missing children in their area or may opt to receive alerts for only certain types of missing children, such as runaway children. Businesses and organizations who sign up will also receive alerts that are specific to their area or community and can then ensure that the alerts are disseminated to their employees. The involvement of businesses and organizations expands the network of individuals who receive missing child notifications. Personal information provided by individuals, businesses and organizations when they sign up to receive alerts will be used only for that purpose.

From Those Who Apply to Join Our Missing Kids Mailing List

The MK Website allows a user to provide us with an email address and receive MissingKids.ca updates, media releases, etc. If a user chooses to provide their email address, the email address so provided will be used for the purpose of communicating updates to the content posted on MissingKids.ca, media releases of the Canadian Centre or others that are connected to MissingKids.ca, and other information that the Canadian Centre believes may be of interest. An email address collected for such purpose will not be used for any other purpose except with consent, nor will such email address be disclosed outside of our organization. We also will not link your email address to the information we collect from all visitors (described in section B above), except under the circumstances described in the heading “IP Addresses” in section B.

You may request removal from our email mailing list at any time by contacting us through the Contact Us page accessible here with the subject line “Remove from mailing list”. Instructions for removal from the mailing list will also be set out in each email communication you receive from us.

From Individuals Submitting a Tip or Sighting

When a person submits a tip or sighting about a missing child using the tip or sighting form on MissingKids.ca, or calls in to MissingKids.ca to submit a tip or sighting, the person making the submission chooses the information to provide. MissingKids.ca forwards the information contained in the tip or sighting form to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If contact information is included within the tip or sighting form, or if contact information is provided over the phone, the contact information will be forwarded to law enforcement along with the other information provided. The contact information is disclosed so that the person reporting information can be contacted by the appropriate law enforcement agency for more information if needed. A person may also choose not to provide contact information and in that case, only the information the person chose to provide will be turned over to law enforcement.

From Donors

The MK Website contains a link called “Donate”. If you click on that link, you will be redirected to a page where you can obtain information about making a donation, and make an online donation. If you choose to make an online donation, the information supplied to us through the donation process is collected, used and disclosed by us for the purpose of processing the donation and issuing a tax receipt.

Provision of Information Over the Phone After Hours

If MissingKids.ca is contacted via our toll-free line outside of our regular business hours, the call will be routed to a third party answering service who has been instructed to ask certain questions of callers to determine the nature of the call and the appropriate next steps. In most cases, the answering service will collect basic information regarding the purpose of the call and the contact information for the caller, and will then forward such information to MissingKids.ca so that a MissingKids.ca caseworker may respond during regular business hours. The third party answering service collects, uses and discloses such information on behalf of the Canadian Centre under the terms of a written agreement that contains provisions to protect the security and confidentiality of information provided to the answering service by callers.

C. How We Use What We Collect:

In addition to the uses specific to each type of information as set out in B above, we also use information collected through the operation of the Websites, the intake and registration process, and the case work that is conducted, to generate statistical reports to enable us to improve our services, the user experience, the intake and registration process, identify trends, conduct research, and to help us to more effectively target public communication and awareness activities.

D. Knowledge and Consent

When you use the Websites; submit information to us through intake and/or registration; or otherwise request or receive services from us, it is implied that you have consented to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes identified in Section A above, and in accordance with sections B, C and E herein. We also seek written consent from parents/guardians for cases registered with the MissingKids.ca Program and for cases where a missing child will be featured in a missing child alert through the MissingKidsALERT notification system.

However, due to the nature of the services we are able to provide and the time-sensitive nature of some missing child situations, from time to time we may receive personal information about a missing child and any individual the child may be with directly from police rather than from the parent/guardian. In such cases, we may use and disseminate information as directed by police to facilitate the swift identification and return of the missing child. If such a circumstance occurs, the Canadian Centre, either on its own or through the efforts of law enforcement, will make all reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian of the actions taken as soon as practicable.

E. Who We Share Information With

Statistical information about the use of the Websites and the information submitted to the Websites may be aggregated and included in public reports issued by the Canadian Centre. However, personally identifying information will not be shared in such public reports, except with the consent of the parent or guardian of the missing child.

Personal information provided through the intake, registration and case management process is considered sensitive and is not shared with others outside of the organization except to law enforcement or another reputable missing children’s agency, and then only to the extent deemed necessary for the purpose of verification or facilitating the return of the missing child.

We may also provide such information to law enforcement, child welfare and emergency services in emergency situations or where required by statute or court order. In addition, we may disclose information to the appropriate law enforcement or child welfare agency(ies):

  • if we become aware of information that we reasonably believe may lead to the location of a missing child or of the individual who may have material information or knowledge regarding a child’s disappearance;
  • if we detect an attempt to compromise the security or availability of the Websites or any features thereof; or
  • where we have reason to believe that: any aspect of the Websites may be being abused by a user; a user has attempted to or has circumvented any feature designed to prevent copying or conversion of content or data to other formats; a user has intentionally supplied false or misleading information; a user is or may be involved in unlawful activities; or a child or children may be at risk.

In situations where a child or children may be at risk, such information may also be disclosed to child welfare.

We do not sell personal information to others nor do we use the personal information we collect from you during intake or thereafter, or when you sign up for missing child alerts, for commercial purposes.

F. How We Protect Information

All transmitted information is protected using measures that are reasonable given the sensitivity of the information. Physical and technical security measures including firewalls and access lists are employed to protect the computer servers and databases within which information is stored. The computer servers and databases within which information is stored are located within Canada. Physical or digital access to information is restricted to those within the Canadian Centre who have a need to know as well as those members of law enforcement and/or child welfare who are involved in the search for a missing child. While secure sockets layer (SSL) technology is used to encrypt/protect the information in transit, and verify the identity of the MissingKids.ca and MissingKidsAlert.ca webserver(s), users should be aware that the internet is a public network, and as such communications cannot be considered 100% secure.

G. Access to Information

An individual may request access to personal information held about them by submitting a request to the Privacy Officer. Only information that pertains to the individual making the request will be released and the individual’s identity will need to be authenticated before information can be released. Information about third parties will not be released. There are other considerations that may limit access, for example, if there is reason to believe the release of the information could reasonably affect the safety and/or security of any person, it will not be released. Refer to the examples listed in Principle 9 for more information.

Questions and Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about our privacy practices, please get in touch with us through the Contact Us page accessible from here. You may also send a letter outlining your question(s) or concern(s) to:

Privacy Officer
Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.
615 Academy Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3N 0E7

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