Privacy of personal information is an important principle to SWAP Working Holidays and Merit Travel. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the travel products and services we provide. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to their personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), their health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or their activities and views (e.g., 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 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.
SWAP Working Holidays, formerly the Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP), is an activity of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and is administered through an agreement by Merit Travel. SWAP 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 our overseas partners, airlines, railroads, 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).
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:
Please note that all airlines are required by security laws in the USA and other countries to give security, customs, and immigration authorities access to passenger data. Accordingly, any information we hold about you and your travel arrangements may be disclosed to the concerning authorities of these countries in your itinerary. The data will only be used for security purposes. Examples of the type of personal information we collect for those purposes include the following: name, address, telephone, age, credit card information, passport or visa information, Social Insurance Number, web site cookies, and similar personal information necessary to properly identify our clients and their entitlement to the services we arrange. 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.
SWAP Working Holidays and Merit Travel understand the importance of protecting your personal information in its possession or custody, including personal information that has been transferred to, or received from, a third party in the course of commercial activities for processing or other purposes for which you have consented. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:
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, we do not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy. We keep our client files for two years. We will remove client information at that time if it does not appear that we will be contacting you again. However, if you ask, we will remove such contact information immediately. We keep any personal information relating to our general correspondence with people who are not our clients, newsletters, seminars and marketing activities for about 6 months after the newsletter, seminar or marketing activity is over. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed. Alternatively, we may send some or all of the client file to our client.
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 understand (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, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you 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 wrong.
We need to get your express or implied consent before obtaining or using information about you, or disclosing this information to anyone. You may withdraw this consent at any time upon reasonable notice, subject to legal or contractual restrictions. To withdraw your consent, you should contact our Privacy Officer at the address or telephone listed. Unless we hear otherwise from you, you are giving to us your consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information as provided in this Policy for the Identified purpose.
SWAP Working Holidays
187 College Street, Level 3
Telephone: 416-966-2887 x 266
Email: kabong [at] swap.ca
112 Kent Street
Phone: 613-995-8210 Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376
Fax: 613-947-6850 TTY: 613-992-9190
We appreciate and value your patronage. At SWAP Working Holidays and Merit Travel, privacy is not a privilege, it's a right.
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