2. Personal Information
All personal information provided to and collected by the Office of the Merit Commissioner via this website, is confidential and protected in accordance with the Public Service Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Personal information means information about an identifiable individual. Examples of personal information include: name, age, home address, phone number, email address, and education.
3. Collection and Uses of Personal Information
Personal Information Directly Provided by Visitors
The identifiable personal information collected from our website is what an individual chooses to give us via email—their email address, contents of their message, and any attachments. In order for the Merit Commissioner to fulfill her mandate under the Public Service Act, authorized individuals working on behalf of the Merit Commissioner have access to the personal information sent by an individual. The information sent will only be used to reply to that individual, and to fulfill the purpose for which it was provided to the Office of the Merit Commissioner.
An individual’s personal information will not be shared with government agencies or other organizations without that specific individual’s permission unless:
- it is necessary to provide a service that has been requested;
- it is required or authorized by law; or
- compelling circumstances exist that affect any individual’s health or safety.
Personal Information Automatically Transmitted
Each time the Office of the Merit Commissioner website is accessed, the web server (located in British Columbia) automatically collects the following information for statistical purposes and to optimize how the website is displayed to users:
- domain name (e.g., shaw.ca) and IP (internet protocol) address (e.g., 184.108.40.206);
- type of browser (e.g., google chrome, internet explorer, safari) and operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac OS);
- pages visited and documents downloaded;
- address of referencing site (e.g., bookmark, search engine, link through another website); and
- search terms.
Used alone, an IP address cannot identify a particular individual. However, with a court order, individuals can be identified with the combination of cooperation of an ISP (Internet Service Provider), an IP address, and data automatically transmitted to a website. As described above, all personal information provided to and collected by the Office of the Merit Commissioner via this website, is confidential and protected in accordance with the Public Service Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and will only be used to fulfill the purpose for which it was obtained.
4. Web Analytics
In order to better understand and optimize how the website is used, the Office of the Merit Commissioner uses Google Analytics to analyze website traffic. Reports on website activity include aggregated data to ensure individuals are not personally identifiable. The following data is collected and stored by Google Analytics:
- number of visitors to the website;
- domain name and IP address;
- browser and operating system;
- date, time and length of visits;
- pages visited; and
- websites that linked to the Office of the Merit Commissioner website.
Use of IP Addresses and Cookies by Google Analytics
Google Analytics stores information obtained from cookies as well as a visitor’s IP address to collect the information it needs for its statistical reports. An IP address is a numerical identifier assigned to each computer and other device on the internet, but cannot be used on its own to identify individuals. Cookies are very small files that are installed by a website’s web server on a visitor’s computer. Once installed, cookies exchange information during visits to the website between the visitor’s computer and website’s web server to increase website responsiveness. The Office of the Merit Commissioner website uses session cookies, which are stored in the visitor’s computer’s temporary memory and are erased once the browser has been closed. In contrast, persistent cookies remain in one of the browser’s subfolders until they are manually deleted or expire, based on the duration period contained within the persistent cookie’s file. Persistent cookies are not used on the Office of the Merit Commissioner website.
Opt Out of Being Tracked by Google Analytics
Website visitors can choose to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics by:
- disabling or refusing the cookies by choosing that browser option;
- using the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On.
Although the Office of the Merit Commissioner tries to ensure that all information posted on its website is accurate and complete, the Office does not represent that it is so, or guarantee it, and accepts no liability or obligation for accuracy or completeness. If there is any discrepancy between information posted on the Office of the Merit Commissioner website and the original paper version, the paper original is the authoritative version. The Office of the Merit Commissioner provides links to other sites for reference, and is not responsible or liable for any of the content or the operation of the linked websites.
7. How to Contact Us
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-953-4208 about any of your privacy concerns or to suggest further improvements to this website.
Alternatively, you can write to us at:
Office of the Merit Commissioner
Suite 502 – 947 Fort Street
PO Box 9037 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 9A3