The County of Stettler No. 6 is a local public body therefore operates under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and is committed to protect the personal information that you share with us. The Privacy and Security Statement has been provided to outline how the County of Stettler No. 6 protects and ensures that your privacy is protected.

Normally, you may visit our website without giving us any information about yourself. Should you request access to online services, or provide us with your personal information in an email, the information below describes how and when we collect and use your personal information.

Visiting our Website

As you visit the information portion of the County of Stettler No. 6 website and move from page to page, read pages or download content onto your computer, we capture which pages are visited, what content has been downloaded and the address of websites that you visited immediately before coming to our website. This information is measured only in aggregate and none is associated with you as an individual.

This information is used to monitor the number of people visiting our website and determine the most popular sections viewed in order for us to recognize which sections interest our audience and allow us to improve our website by expanding or making areas easier to access. Again, we record the number of visitors to our website, but no information about individual visitors is kept or used.

Cookies

Cookies are files that contain text that instructs your computer how to view the web page. They are placed on your computer when you visit a website. There are two common types of cookies: "session cookies" and "persistent cookies". Session cookies store information only as long as you are connected to a website, therefore, are not written onto your hard drive. Once you leave the website, the originator of the cookie no longer has the information that was contained on it.

County of Stettler No. 6 uses session cookies as an additional security feature for its web online services. For example when you log in a cookie will store the identification number of your browser. Throughout your session, the session cookie acts as a type of digital signature to identify your current session to the web server. These session cookies are used to track your visits within our site.

"Persistent cookie" information is written onto your hard drive and remains there until the expiry date of the cookie.

Currently, most browsers do not distinguish between session cookies and persistent cookies. For web services to operate, your browser must be set to accept cookies. If you are concerned about having your browser enabled to accept cookies while you are surfing other websites, you have the ability to enable your browser to notify you when it is receiving a cookie. This gives you the ability to accept or reject any cookie presented by the web server you are visiting.

Collecting and Using Personal Information

Either prior to or when we collect personal information about you, we will explain how we intend to use it. We will limit the information we collect to what we need for those purposes, and will use it only for those purposes. Your consent will be obtained if we wish to use your information for any other purpose that is not consistent with the purpose for which it was collected. Information collected for the creation of an online user account is for the customization of your account and is collected under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, section 33 – "No personal information may be collected by or for a public body unless" (c) "that information relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the public body."

Should you choose to provide us with personal information in an email or by filing out a form and submitting it to us through our website, we will use that information to respond to your message and to assist us in collecting the information you have requested.

Release of Your Information

The County of Stettler No. 6 will only release your personal information in limited circumstances authorized under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIOP) under section 17(2) and 40 such as:

  • Where we have your written consent, or
  • To those departments within the County of Stettler No. 6 who assist us in serving you, or
  • When required or permitted to do so by law.

How We Protect Your Information

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regulates the collection, retention and protection of personal information. Personal information will only be retained for as long as it is required for the purpose that it was collected for. The length of time we retain information varies. This period may extend beyond the end of your relationship with us but only for so long as it is legally necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issue that may arise at a later date. Then your information is no longer required for the purposes of collecting, we have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert it to an anonymous form.

The County of Stettler No. 6 has implemented security standards to protect our systems and your information against unauthorized access and use. When we provide information in response to a legal inquiry or order, we ensure that the order is valid and we disclose only the information that is legally required. All employees of the County of Stettler No. 6 are familiar with the procedures that must be taken to safeguard customer information.

Right to Review Your Information

Upon receiving a written request, the County of Stettler No. 6 will provide you with access to information that we retain about you. Should you require information, simply contact the department or office holding your information. You will be asked specific details such as your name, address and account number in order to assist with your request. (Please refer to "Accessing Information Under the FOIP Act" above.)

Keeping Your Information Accurate

We make every reasonable effort to keep your information accurate and up-to-date in order to give you the best possible service. Should you discover errors in your information, let us know in writing and we will correct them immediately. Please keep us informed of any changes in addresses or phone numbers.

Email Comments, Questions or Responses

Upon sending us an email or requesting a response to an email, we learn your exact email address and any information you have included in the email. Your email address is used to acknowledge your comments or reply to your questions, and we will store your message and our reply in case we correspond further. We may also use your email address to send you information about other services of the County of Stettler that we believe may be of interest to you. If you don't want us to contact you with other service information by email, you may tell us so at any time.

Remember that email over the Internet is generally unencrypted. We recommend that you use caution when forwarding free-format email messages to us and that you do not include confidential information on those messages as they are not encrypted.

Newsletters

Personal information is being collected in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, Section 3 and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Section 33. It is used to distribute the County of Stettler No. 6 County Connections Newsletter.

Online Questionnaires

County of Stettler No. 6 occasionally invites public comment through questionnaires for the purpose of program evaluation, program planning and/or public input. Participation in questionnaires is done on a voluntary basis and in most cases, no personal information is required. In some instances we utilize the services of a third party service provider. Information from these questionnaires may be stored electronically on the third party service's Canadian-based servers.

 

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy

On October 1, 1995 the County of Stettler No. 6 came under the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act which aims to strike a balance between the public's right to know and the individual's right to privacy with regard to records held by the County.

Summary of FOIP Act

You have the right to request access to records held by the County of Stettler No. 6, subject to narrow and specific exceptions. You have the right to access personal information that the County has about you. You have the right to request correction of personal information that the County has about you. The Act controls the way in which the County may collect personal information from you, controls the use that the County may make of your personal information and controls how the County can disclose information about you. You have the right to request independent review of any issue related to FOIP by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

You do not need to use the process provided under the FOIP Act to obtain access to the vast majority of information held by public bodies in Alberta. Information is often made routinely available by placing a simple phone call to the proper department or through official publications and websites. Also, public bodies have policies that allow staff to provide certain categories of information on request.

Before making a FOIP request, it may be helpful to contact the public body concerned for advice on the most appropriate method of obtaining access to the information you need. If other methods do not satisfy your needs, a formal request for access to information under the FOIP Act ("a FOIP request") may be the best way to proceed.

Accessing Information Under the FOIP Act

If you would like to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you may complete the Access to Information Formand return it by mail or fax to the address below.  The following fees apply:

  • An initial fee of $25.
  • Additional fees may be charged for processing costs in excess of $150.
  • There is no fee for a request for personal information unless the cost of producing copies exceeds $10.

If you are not sure if your request falls under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, please do not hesitate to contact the FOIP Coordinator.

Accessing Information Outside of the FOIP Act

There are a number of records that can be released under certain circumstances. Examples include:

Building Permit Information and Related Documentation

The records requested would be reviewed to determine whether any of the exceptions to disclosure in the FOIP Act apply and then all or part of the records would be released on the basis of this review.

Drawings and Plans

These documents can be viewed but are copyrighted and cannot be copied unless you have written permission from the company/person that created them. If the drawings are hand drawn and do not have a copyright, the document belongs to the person who created the drawings and their written permission is required.  While the County can advise you of the name of the company you need to contact, it is the requestor's responsibility to obtain the required permission.

Please note that the County is unable to copy oversized drawings. These will be sent for commercial reproduction at the expense of the requestor or you may contact the creator of the drawings/plans directly.

Real Property Reports

The records requested would be reviewed to determine whether any of the exceptions to disclosure in the FOIP Act would apply and then all or part of the records would be released based upon the application of the Act. It is unlikely that the report on a residential property would contain personal information or commercial or technical information under section 16 of the Act.

Assessment Roll Information

The assessment roll is made available for inspection at County of Stettler No. 6.  Please note that it can be viewed only.

Tax and Utility Account Information

If you are not the registered owner of the subject property, or named on the account, written permission is required from the registered owner or the individual named on the account.

Contact Information for Residents

Under the Act, this information can only be disclosed if another piece of legislation provides for it. The County of Stettler is only permitted to release information for the purpose for which it was collected (ie. purposes of administering utility accounts or licensing program). The information is not collected for the examples given and, therefore, the County is prohibited by the Act in providing information to requestors. Under certain circumstances, address information may be obtained through the Land Titles Office.

* Examples of legislation include Maintenance Enforcement Act, Income Tax Act.

Release of Cemetery Records

Under the Act, disclosure of personal information is an unreasonable invasion of privacy if the individual has been deceased for less than 25 years. Although this can be considered on a case by case basis, the County's practice is not to release personal information until the 25 year requirement is met.

Information regarding a Complainant

The County's practice is to not release the personal information of an individual who files a complaint against another individual unless this information is necessary to resolving the issue (eg. required at trial). If the name of the complainant is to be released, the individual will be advised prior to having their name disclosed.

Information regarding Bylaw Infractions

The County is unable to advise whether or not an individual or business has been issued a notice or offence ticket regarding the violation of a bylaw.  The County can only confirm that bylaws are enforced when individuals and businesses are found to be in non-compliance.

Contract Information

Contract information can be released to the public but may be released in a severed form.  Under the Act, disclosure harmful to business interests of a third party must be protected.

Contact information

FOIP Coordinator
County of Stettler No. 6
Box 1270
Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0

Phone: 403-742-4441 ext. 108
Fax: 403-742-1277

Office hours:  Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The FOIP Act requires public bodies to respond within 30 calendar days upon receiving your request. The response will either provide the requested information or explain why the information is not being disclosed. In the case of a request for correction of personal information, the response will either state that the correction has been made or advise that the record has not been corrected but it has been annotated. The 30-day deadline may be extended if, for example, large volumes of records are involved or if third parties need to be consulted. 

Related Legislation

FOIP - Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIP Act) was passed by the Alberta Legislature in June 1994. It came into effect on October 1, 1995.

The FOIP Act provides individuals with the right to request access to information in the custody or control of public bodies while providing public bodies with a framework within which they must conduct the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Public bodies are defined in section 1(p) of the FOIP Act and include:

a department, branch or office of the government of Alberta an agency, board, commission, corporation , office or other body designated as a public body in the regulations of the Act educational bodies (universities, technical institutes, colleges, school boards and charter schools) health care bodies (provincial health boards, nursing home operators, hospital boards and subsidiary health corporations) local government bodies (municipalities, Metis settlements, police services and commissions, libraries, etc)

PIPA - Personal Information Protection Act

In force as of January 2004.

The purpose of PIPA is to govern the means by which private sector organizations handle personal information in a manner that recognizes both the right of an individual to have his or her personal information protected and the need of organizations to collect, use or disclose personal information for purposes that are reasonable.

PIPA will provide individuals the opportunity to request access to their own personal information, and will include provisions regarding the correction and care of personal information by organizations. PIPA will also apply to personal employee information.

Some examples of the organizations to which PIPA is expected to apply to include:

  • non-profit organizations
  • trade unions
  • private schools
  • partnerships
  • corporations
  • unincorporated associations
  • professional regulatory associations
  • any individual acting in a commercial capacity
  • any individual acting on behalf of a corporation, unincorporated association, trade union or partnership

PIPEDA - Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

When you do business with a company, you do more than simply exchange money for a product or service: Unless you pay in cash, you also leave behind a trail of personal information about yourself. Your name, address, credit card number and spending habits are all information of great value to somebody, whether that's a legitimate marketer or an identity thief.

Without question, many organizations need to collect personal information about you for their legitimate business purposes.

Your personal information includes your name, race, ethnic origin, religion, marital status, educational levele-mail address and messages, IP (Internet protocol) addressage, height, weight, medical records, blood type, DNA code, fingerprints, voiceprint, income, purchases, spending habits, banking information, credit/debit card data, loan or credit reports, tax returns, Social Insurance Number (SIN) or other identification numbers.

However, there are rules to ensure that they advise you about their intent to collect and use your personal information, and obtain your consent. They must also manage your information in a way that safeguards your privacy and lessens the chances that your personal information will fall into the wrong hands.

Those rules are set out in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, usually referred to as PIPEDA.

PIPEDA is designed to help you find out, and thus to maintain a measure of control over your personal information.

After all, control over your personal information is key to preserving your privacy, an important right that is tied to personal autonomy, freedom of thought and speech, and liberty of movement and assembly.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has prepared this overview of PIPEDA, and how it can help protect your privacy.

HIA - Health Information Act

The Health Information Act (HIA) was passed by the Alberta Legislature in 1999 and came into effect on April 25, 2001.

The HIA provides individuals with the right to request access to health records in the custody or under the control of custodians, while providing custodians with a framework within which they must conduct the collection, use and disclosure of health information. Custodians are defined in section 1(1)(f) of the HIA and include The Minister and Department of Alberta Health and Wellness, a health service provider designated as a custodian under the Health Information Amendment Regulation, pharmacies, Regional Health Authorities and provincial health boards (Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health and Health Quality Council of Alberta). and nursing home operators.

In addition to regulating information access, collection, use and disclosure practices of custodians, the HIA also covers the actions of affiliates. Affiliates include employees, volunteers, contractors and agencies under contract to the custodian. Some examples of affiliates can include reception and nursing staff at a doctors' office, pharmacy technicians or information desk and food service workers in a hospital.

Ultimately, custodians are responsible for the information collected, used and disclosed by their affiliates.

Links

FOIP Act

FOIP Forms

Government of Alberta FOIP

Municipal Government Act (MGA)

Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta

Protect your Privacy