PRIVACY & SECURITY
There are things that need to be kept private – especially in the benefits world. Specifically, your information needs to be kept private.
An important series of steps we’ve taken to protect the privacy of our clients and ourselves relates to our technology, and the Patriot Act in the United States. We asked our technology team to weigh in on this and here’s what they shared:
“Since 2005, Canada has enacted rigid privacy laws that are compliant with the privacy laws in the European Union. Canadian and European companies, which host in the United States, may be breaking the law if private information is not adequately protected.
The same is true if private information is made subject to American laws like the Patriot Act by hosting this information in the U.S. As a result, hosting in Canada means private information is more effectively and consistently safeguarded legally than if it would be in the United States and potentially beyond the reach of American authorities.”
You may or may not know this, but information that is stored on servers in the U.S. can be accessed by government agencies if they deem it necessary in their steps to protect their nation. That makes sense on the surface, but with cloud-based storage, we run the risk that our data could be on the same disk drive as a terror cell. When that data is accessed, yours can be accessed as well and becomes a government record. They’re not always the best at keeping their own secrets (let alone yours) and so we believe it’s not appropriate for Canadian firms to store private information on U.S. servers.
Interestingly, this can also apply to websites with a .com suffix.
What we’ve chosen to do is some homework. And our homework connected us to a cloud-based storage service that is hosted in Canada – entirely. It is encrypted, distributed and reliable. Our website sports a .ca domain and we are vigilant to the best of our abilities and the advice we get on keeping our information, and in turn your information, safe.
Most firms don’t look closely enough at issues like this, but as you may be starting to know, we’re a bit obsessive about things (including our clients).