- General Principles
- Our guiding privacy principles
- Identifying the purpose of personal information
- Obtaining your consent
- Limiting collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
- Providing access and accuracy
- Responding to your privacy concerns
1. General Principles
The Business Development Bank of Canada, with its virtual business centre BDC Connex, (collectively "BDC") is Canada's small business bank and may be involved in special initiatives (e.g. E-Spirit Aboriginal Youth Business Plan Competition). BDC offers financing, venture capital and consulting services. We focus on small and medium-sized businesses.
Technology is changing the way we do business, increasing the circulation and exchange of information; therefore it has become essential to establish clear rules in the management of Personal Information that recognizes individuals' right to privacy.
BDC is aware of your legitimate concerns about privacy and is fully committed to maintaining the integrity, confidentiality, security, and accuracy of your Personal Information. To this end, we will continuously deploy all reasonable physical, technological, and administrative measures to protect your privacy in accordance with applicable privacy legislation and best industry practices.
If you have any questions concerning BDC's Policy, please feel free to contact us by email.
2. Our guiding privacy principles
Our Policy rests on the following 7 key privacy principles:
- Identifying the purposes of Personal Information
BDC will identify and inform you of the purposes for which the Personal Information is being collected.
- Obtaining your Consent
BDC will obtain your Consent before or when it collects, uses, or discloses Personal Information, and will give effect to your withdrawal of consent.
- Limiting collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
BDC will not, without your Consent, collect, use, or disclose Personal Information except for the purposes identified or for a use consistent with those purposes or as otherwise required or permitted by applicable law.
- Safeguarding personal information
BDC will implement appropriate physical, technological, and administrative measures to safeguard your Personal Information.
- Providing access and accuracy
BDC will respect your right of access to your Personal Information and take all reasonable steps to ensure the Personal Information used is accurate and complete for the purposes identified.
- Responding to your privacy concerns
BDC will respond to your questions and investigate diligently any complaints with respect to your Personal Information.
- Complying with applicable privacy legislation
Your and BDC's rights and obligations regarding privacy are governed by applicable privacy legislation in Canada. The application and interpretation of this Policy and of our guiding privacy principles are subject to and will comply with such legislation, including the requirements, procedures, exemptions, and exclusions contained therein.
For purposes of this Policy, "Personal Information" means any information about an identifiable individual within the meaning of section 3 of the Privacy Act. Personal Information includes, without limitation, information relating to identity (including the name or other identifier assigned by BDC to an individual), nationality, age, gender, address, passwords, telephone number, e-mail addresses, marital status, education, employment and health history, assets, liabilities, payment records, income and information relating to financial transactions as well as certain personal opinions or views of an individual.
3. Identifying the purposes of personal information
The nature and scope of the Personal Information we need depends to a great extent on which products or services are of interest to you. BDC will collect Personal Information only in relation to its operating programs or activities for business purposes, and will take special care to explain these purposes clearly. Below, we provide concrete examples of Personal Information associated with these purposes and explain why such information is necessary:
- To identify you
Personal Information such as your name, telephone number, personal address, date of birth, gender, and password helps us to identify and contact you, and to prevent impersonation.
- To determine your eligibility for products, solutions or services you request and their suitability
Personal Information such as information relating to assets, liabilities, financial transactions, income, education, employment, etc. is needed to evaluate your creditworthiness, assess your eligibility, and to make decisions in the context of any loan application or credit facility.
- To offer products, solutions and services that meet your needs
- To advise on our products, solutions and services
BDC will try to satisfy your request for advice on various matters and direct you towards appropriate products, solutions and services whenever possible. Personal information ensures the advice we give you is better suited to your financial profile. It allows us to recommend features and tools such as our ratio calculators and online benchmarking tools, designed to provide automated feedback on business opportunities based on your input.
- To provide ongoing services
Personal Information about you and your business allows us to communicate with you and respond adequately and promptly to your enquiries about applications, accounts, or other online services.
- To recognize your achievements
BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards and other competitions are held annually across Canada in recognition of entrepreneurship. To select and contact the winners for these prestigious awards, the judges require certain Personal and financial Information concerning, for instance, your financial statements, your business plans, and your community involvement.
- To protect you and us against errors and fraud
All your activities are electronically logged, so that BDC can review them in case of any suspicious activity. BDC uses software to monitor site traffic and to detect unauthorized attempts to upload, change information, or otherwise cause damage. The software receives and records the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers that have visited this site, including the date and time of visits, the pages that were viewed and downloaded, and the identifier attributed to any registered user who accesses restricted areas on this site. The software also captures information regarding the type of browser and operating system. BDC does not attempt to link the IP addresses and the identifiers with the identity of users visiting this site unless there is an attempt to damage the site.
- To promote our products, solutions and services to you
When you complete any online BDC subscription or registration form and indicate that you wish your name to be added to BDC's mailing list, BDC may, from time to time, use your e-mail or regular mailing address to send you information on BDC's products, solutions and services, changing trends, business opportunities, or other topics and events of current interest. In order to do so, BDC may also collect the information that you provided on the subscription or registration form, such as your name and name of your company (if applicable), your address, telephone and fax numbers, and your language of preference.
- To comply with legal, security, processing, and regulatory requirements
In situations where BDC may credit you with interest income, your social insurance number is required to comply with current tax laws.
4. Obtaining your consent
Your Consent can be express or implied ("Consent"). It can be expressed in writing, or electronically when, for example, you authorize us to check your employment, to obtain a credit report, or to exchange Personal Information with credit bureaus or other financial institutions in the context of an application for financing, a loan, or credit facility. Your Consent can be implied through your action or inaction. For instance, when you file an application, we conclude that you have Consented to the collection, use, and disclosure of the Personal Information it contains for the intended purposes. The same conclusion may be drawn when you use one of our products, solutions or services. Your Consent can also be given by your authorized representative, for instance, if he or she is providing Personal Information and is seeking financing online from BDC Connex on your behalf.
BDC will make all reasonable efforts to ensure you understand the purposes for collecting Personal Information, and to obtain your Consent in a timely manner, given the nature and sensitivity of the information. Your Personal Information will be viewed by BDC employees or representatives for the purposes of their work or for which it was given, as outlined in section 3.
In some circumstances, BDC will have to collect, use, or disclose Personal Information without your Consent for legal, security, or processing reasons, or when it is impossible to obtain your Consent in cases contemplated by applicable privacy legislation. Examples of such circumstances include compliance with applicable laws or court orders, the protection of the public interest, BDC's rights, fraud detection and prevention, the use of Personal Information emanating from a third party, and the collection of overdue accounts.
You can withdraw your Consent at any time, provided BDC is given reasonable notice and there are no legal or contractual requirements preventing this i.e. BDC will comply with your request to be removed from their mailing list.
A cookie is a small text file containing certain pieces of information that a website server creates and puts on your computer. BDC uses persistent cookies to enable us to better serve you when you visit our site.
Persistent cookies are written or stored on your hard drive until the expiry date. BDC's persistent cookies are used, for example, to retain information that you provided so that the BDC website can be personalized accordingly, or to determine if a certain user has previously completed one of our surveys, so that he/she will not be surveyed again.
BDC also uses DoubleClick cookies for remarketing purposes. Whenever a user browses the pages or sections of the site where a tag has been inserted, the cookie identifier is added to a list created based on categories of interest. Different lists may be created in this way and users can find themselves on several of them.
BDC uses remarketing for its online advertising, with Google as a third-party provider. This allows BDC to improve the ads presented to its clientele, proposing services, tools and solutions based on users' actual needs.
Remarketing cookies can also be deactivated by adding a deactivation cookie to your Web browser.
The cookies used by BDC are designed so they do not reveal any personal information on their own.
6. Limiting collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
BDC will generally collect Personal Information about you directly from you. With your Consent, BDC may obtain Personal Information from third parties, including through credit checks, other lenders, or credit bureaus. We may also contact your employer or other personal references to verify information you have provided for identified purposes.
BDC will limit the type and scope of Personal Information it collects for use and disclosure according to the identified purposes. Except as outlined above, BDC will not disclose your Personal Information to anyone outside BDC without your Consent except as required or permitted by applicable law. BDC will exchange Personal Information with reputable reference sources and clearinghouse services for purposes of credit reporting, verification, and risk management. BDC will act in a fair and lawful manner with respect to your Personal Information.
BDC may transfer (or otherwise make available) Personal Information to third parties who provide services on our behalf. For example, we may use service providers to process Personal Information, authorize and process payments, or host our website. Personal Information may be stored and processed outside of Canada, including the United States, by our third party service providers. Our service providers are not authorized to use or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than providing the services on our behalf or as otherwise required by applicable law.
BDC is subject to various legal and business requirements in dealing with document retention, including electronic documents such as e-mails. BDC will retain the Personal Information only for such periods of time as may be prescribed by applicable laws and regulations, as deemed necessary for the identified purposes, or to ensure you have a reasonable opportunity to obtain access. In accordance with legal requirements and applicable guidelines, BDC will destroy, erase, render anonymous, or otherwise dispose of Personal Information after such period of time.
7. Providing access and accuracy
Subject to legal requirements provided by the Privacy Act or the Access to Information Act, BDC will respect your right of access to your Personal Information by informing you of its procedures and requirements for responding to your request for access. BDC will act diligently to give you access, at minimal or no cost wherever possible. In certain exceptional circumstances, BDC may not be able to give you access to your Personal Information. For example, some Personal Information banks may contain references to other persons or to BDC's proprietary information, or be covered by solicitor-client privilege.
You can challenge the accuracy of your Personal Information and request corrections if you believe there are errors or omissions. You may also require in certain circumstances an annotation be attached to your Personal Information reflecting any correction requested but not made, or that such annotation or correction be notified to certain individuals.
BDC will take all reasonable steps to ensure Personal Information used on an ongoing basis is as accurate, up-to-date, and complete for the purposes in which it was collected; BDC will rely on you to inform it of any required corrections.
8. Responding to your privacy concerns
For questions or comments regarding this Policy, for additional information about the management of Personal Information at BDC, or to consult or modify your Personal Information, contact us by email, by phone at 1 877 BDC-BANX (232-2269), or by mail to Business Development Bank of Canada, 5 Place Ville Marie, suite 400 Montréal (Québec) H3B 5E7.
To file a privacy complaint concerning the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and disposal of or access to Personal Information, please contact our Privacy Coordinator by email. Should we fail to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction, you or your authorized representative may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.