Creating a Privacy Brochure for Your Customers

A good privacy statement tells your customers:

  • what personal information you collect
  • how you use that personal information
  • when you assume an individual has consented and when you ask for consent
  • when and how an individual can opt out of collection
  • who to talk to in your organization if they have questions or complaints

A good privacy statement also makes it much easier to provide your staff with the information they need to answer any customer questions about your privacy practices.

The following is a sample Privacy Statement that you can use to help create your own brochure.

Sample Privacy Statement

We collect personal information from our customers in the regular course of doing business. This brochure answers some of your most frequently asked questions, and lets you know exactly how were protecting the information you entrust to us.

What personal information do you collect about me?

We collect the following information about you:

[Include a bulleted list of all the personal information you collect. Remember that personal information is information about an identifiable person, so it includes much more than name and contact information. It also includes:

  • postal codes and telephone numbers
  • drivers licence and social insurance numbers
  • customer demographics (age, gender, household income)
  • customer financial information (including payment card and credit card numbers)
  • purchase history and product preferences
  • customer opinions, interests and hobbies]

When you visit our web site, we also collect:

[Include computer information (from user statistics, cookies, web beacons, etc.) you collect, such as:

  • information about your computer, including your IP address, the type of operating system and browser you use, and your computers location
  • what pages you visit on our site and what links you click on
  • what other sites youve visited recently

How do you use this information?

The main reasons we collect personal information from you are:

  • to complete a sale or transaction with you
  • to verify your credit, if necessary
  • to place special orders on your behalf
  • to deliver products directly to you
  • to limit the possibility of fraud when we process your returns

If its a necessary part of any of these transactions, we may disclose your information to another company. For eg., when you apply for credit, we pass on your personal information to a credit reporting agency so we can complete a credit check. We also pass on your name and address to a courier company to complete a delivery.

We also use your personal information for other, secondary reasons, including:

  • customer service
  • marketing
  • to administer a loyalty program
  • as part of a warranty program

[If you share information with third parties for secondary purposes, include the following:

Sometimes, we also share your personal information with other companies, including:

  • advertisers
  • product suppliers
  • market research firms]

We will also disclose your personal information if we are required by law to do so.

How do you get my consent?

When you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, verify your credit, place an order, arrange for a delivery or return a purchase, we assume you consent to our collecting it and using it for that specific reason only.

If we ask you for personal information for a secondary reason, like marketing, we will either ask you directly for your consent or provide you with an opportunity to say no. Saying no is called opting out. By opting out, you can tell us not to collect the information and/or not to share it with other companies.

How do I opt out?

[Describe exactly what a customer has to do to opt out. Give concrete examples. For e.g.:

If you choose to fill out a warranty card, you provide us with information about your preferences and opinions. At the bottom of the card, there are boxes you can check off if you do not want that information to be used for marketing purposes or to be shared with other companies.]

How do I get more information?

Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your personal information. If you would like more information about our policies, or you would like to see exactly what personal information we have about you in our records, or you wish to register a complaint, please contact:

[Insert the following information about the person in your organization who is responsible for privacy matters:

  • Name
  • Business Telephone
  • Business Email Address
  • Business Address]

You can also contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada for assistance between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, at:

Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376
Phone: (819) 994-5444
Fax: (819) 994-5424
TTY: (819) 994-6591

or by mail at:

30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1H3

or on the Web at:

http://www.priv.gc.ca