Privacy of personal information is extremely important. Blowes Travel and Cruise Centres Inc. will collect, use and disclose personal information responsibly, and only to the extent necessary for the travel products and services we provide.
What is personal information?
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to your personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, ethnic background), income, home address or phone number, email address, family status, next-of-kin, health, religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual. Personal information is to be contrasted with business information (e.g. an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation. In addition, due to the nature of the travel agency business, we also include in our policies and staunchly protect therein, an individual's financial information including checking account information and credit card information.
Who we are?
Our travel agency, Blowes Travel and Cruise Centres Inc., is a full service agency, and we arrange travel products and services for our clients with a wide spectrum of industry suppliers. Accordingly, we deal with a number of consultants and third parties that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include airlines, railroads, cruise lines, tour operators, computer reservations system providers, and other travel-related vendors. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles in accordance with their own policies under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
We collect personal information for the following purposes
Like all travel agencies, we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. For our clients, the primary purposes for collecting personal information are as follows: to make and secure reservations, to issue transportation documents and vouchers, and to provide travel suppliers with information to complete the necessary purchasing arrangements for a wide array of travel and tourism products. Examples of the type of personal information we collect for the aforementioned purposes include: name, address, telephone, age, credit card information, passport or visa information, Social Insurance Number, website cookies*, and similar personal information necessary to properly identify our clients and their entitlement to the services we provide. We also collect personal information from our employees and contractors to assure our proper compliance with employment laws, remuneration, tax payments, and other employee/contractor functions.
* In some cases cookies will be used to extend the functionality of the website. A cookie is an element of data that a website sends to your browser, which may then be stored on your computer.
Protecting personal information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
- Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a restricted area.
- Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on computers.
- Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies.
- External consultants and agencies with access to personal information enter into privacy agreements with us or acknowledge that they abide by PIPEDA.
Retention and destruction of personal information
We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided, and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, in order to protect your privacy, it is not our desire to keep personal information for long periods of time. We retain our client files for about two years. Our client and contact directories are much more difficult to systematically destroy, therefore, we remove such information when possible, if it does not appear that we will be contacting you again. However, if you ask, we will remove such contact information right away. We destroy electronic information by deleting it.
You can view your information
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not (e.g., various industry forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. If there is a problem, we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access to your information, we will inform you within 30 days if at all possible, and explain the reason as best we can as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected.
This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are incorrect. Where we agree that we made a error, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include, in our file, a brief statement from you on the point, and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
Do you have a concern?
For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
Phone: 613- 995-8210
Toll Free: 1-800-282-1376