Online Privacy Policy |

Online privacy policy

  1. General principles
  2. Guiding principles
  3. Payment
  4. Use of cookies
  5. Third-party social media
  6. Web analytics
  7. Responding to your concerns

1. General principles

The Business Development Bank of Canada ("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 in accordance with applicable privacy legislation and best industry practices.

The Online Privacy Policy (the "Policy") helps you understand the guiding principles applied by BDC to the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and disposal of and access to Personal Information on this site.

Because privacy concerns and legal and business requirements evolve continually, BDC may have to change its Policy at any time without advance notice and therefore you are invited to review it regularly. Access to and use of this site are also governed by BDC's site terms of use that you should review.

By using the BDC website and providing us with your Personal Information, you agree that BDC use the latter in accordance with the Privacy Act and this Policy. For purposes of this Policy, "Personal Information" means any information about an identifiable individual within the meaning of section 3 of the Privacy Act.

Top of page

2. Guiding principles

Our Policy rests on the following seven guiding principles:

2.1 Identifying the purposes of use

The nature and scope of the Personal Information we need depends to a great extent on which products, solutions or services are of interest to you. BDC will collect Personal Information only in relation to its operating programs or activities for business purposes in order to:

Identify you

Personal Information such as your name, telephone number, personal address, date of birth, gender, and password helps us to identify you.

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 an application for financing.

Offer products, solutions and services that meet your needs

BDC delivers custom-made services. Personal Information enables our specialists to respond to your requests for such services and to assess, plan, and implement integrated management solutions at every stage of your business development.

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 best 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.

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.

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.

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.

Promote our products, solutions and services to you

When you specify your consent on any online BDC subscription or registration form, BDC may, from time to time, use your email or regular mailing address to send you information on BDC's products, solutions and services, 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, address, telephone and fax numbers, and your language of preference.

Comply with legal, security, processing, and regulatory requirements
Allow you to apply for jobs online

2.2 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.

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/she is providing Personal Information and is seeking financing online from BDC on your behalf.

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 2.1.

In some circumstances, BDC may 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.

2.3 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. With your Consent, BDC may obtain Personal Information from third parties, including through credit checks, other lenders, or credit bureaus.

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 emails. 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. 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.

2.4 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 that 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.

2.5 Responding to your privacy concerns

BDC will respond to your questions and investigate diligently any complaints with respect to your Personal Information.

2.6 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.

Top of page

3. Payment

When paying online for any of our services, you will be using the credit card facilities of an online payment provider. Any confirmation given during the payment process will be received on the payment provider server and will be governed by its privacy policy.

Top of page

4. Use of cookies

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 (maximum two years). 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. Users can disable the use of third party cookies when using BDC website by visiting: Please note that if you opt-out, you may still see our ads at other websites, but the ads will not be tailored using third party technologies associated with BDC website. Remarketing cookies can also be deactivated by modifying your browser's parameters.

The cookies used by BDC are designed so they do not reveal any Personal Information on their own.

By accessing our site, you consent to the use of cookies and agree to have your browser set to accept cookies. If you want to access our site but don't agree to receive cookies, you can do so by modifying the preferences of your browser. However, note that by not accepting cookies, you may not be able to use all the features of our site.

Top of page

5. Third-party social media

The use of social media by BDC is an extension of its Web presence. Social media accounts are public and not hosted on BDC servers. Users who decide to interact with BDC through these media must read the conditions of service and privacy policies of these third-party providers of services and applications used in order to access them.

Top of page

6. Web analytics

6.1 Analytics

Web analytics involves the collection, analysis, measurement and presentation of data on website traffic and on visits, for the purpose of understanding and optimizing Web use. The information collected by the cookies may be used by Web analytics to keep your interactions with in memory.

Information used for the purpose of web analytics is collected pursuant to the Financial Administration Act. BDC uses the information for its own internal statistical and analytical purposes, to evaluate and enhance users' experience of the website by identifying customer preferences and trends that we may use for marketing purposes and to further develop our business and operations.

When your computer requests a BDC Web page, BDC collects the following types of information, for web analytics, such as:

  • the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your computer;
  • the date and time of your request;
  • the pages viewed and downloaded;
  • the identifier attributed to registered users accessing restricted areas on the site;
  • the type of operating system; and
  • the type of browser & browser settings used.

Data collected for web analytics purposes will sometimes go outside of Canada to the United States of America and may be subject to the governing legislation of that country, such as the USA Patriot Act.

BDC uses Google Analytics, and the data gathered are sent to Google, an external service provider. Your IP address is anonymized before being saved on the Google server, in order to safeguard your Personal Information. The data gathered are anonymized by truncating your computer's IP address. No Personal Information identifying you is saved or provided to Google.

Google Analytics uses temporary and permanents cookies; permanent cookies are stored on your computer and expire two years after your last visit to the website. For more information, consult the Google Analytics website and its privacy policy.

You can refuse to install the cookies used by Google Analytics by modifying your browser parameters to activate or deactivate cookies, by deactivating JavaScript in your browser or by going to the following website: Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. If you deactivate Google Analytics or JavaScript, you will still have access to the same information and services from our websites. To deactivate cookies or JavaScript, consult your browser provider's instruction guide.

6.2 Security

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.

Top of page

7. Responding to your 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, Montreal, Quebec 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.

Top of page