Global Notices for Government of Canada Departments
Table of Contents
- Privacy Notice
- Sample Privacy Notice for Government of Canada Institutions
- Official Notices for Government of Canada Departments
- [Third-Party Server Notice] Using Files Located on Non-Government of Canada Servers
- [Official Languages Notice] Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages
- [Hyperlinking Notice] Linking to Non-Government of Canada Websites
- [Copyright / Permission to Reproduce Notices] Ownership and Usage of Content Provided on This Site
- [Accessibility Notice] Our Commitment to Accessibility
- [Sample Social Media Notice] Interacting With Us on Social Media
A Privacy Notice is mandatory for all institutions to which the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics applies. The Privacy Notice appears in the “Terms and Conditions” section of Government of Canada websites as per Appendix C of the Standard on Web Usability.
This sample privacy notice can be modified as needed. At minimum, the italicized text inside square brackets should be replaced with the appropriate information.
Sample Privacy Notice for Government of Canada Institutions
The Government of Canada and [institution] are committed to providing websites that respect the privacy of visitors. This privacy notice summarizes the privacy practices for the [institution]'s online activities.
All personal information collected by this institution is governed by the Privacy Act. This means that you will be informed of the purpose for which your personal information is being collected and how to exercise your right of access to that information.
Your Privacy and the Internet
The nature of the Internet is such that Web servers automatically collect certain information about a visit to a website, including the visitor’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are unique numbers assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to all devices used to access the Internet. Web servers automatically log the IP addresses of visitors to their sites. The IP address, on its own, does not identify an individual. However, in certain circumstances, such as with the co-operation of an ISP for example, it could be used to identify an individual using the site. For this reason, the Government of Canada considers the IP address to be personal information, particularly when combined with other data automatically collected when visitor requests a Web page such as the page or pages visited, date and time of the visit.
Unless otherwise noted, [institution] does not automatically gather any specific information from you, such as your name, telephone number or email address. [institution] would obtain this type of information only if you supply it to us, for example, by email or by filling in a contact form. In such cases, how your personal information is handled will be provided in a Personal Information Collection Statement.
In cases where services are provided by organizations outside of the Government of Canada, such as social media platforms or mobile applications, IP addresses may be recorded by the Web server of the third-party service provider.
Communicating with the Government of Canada
If you choose to send [institution] an email or complete a feedback form online, your personal information is used by [institution] in order to respond to your inquiry. The information you provide will only be shared with another government institution if your inquiry relates to that institution. [institution] does not use the information to create individual profiles nor does it disclose the information to anyone other than to those in the federal government who need to provide you with a response. Any disclosure of your personal information is in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Emails and other electronic methods used to communicate with the Government of Canada are not secure unless it is specifically stated on a Web page. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not send sensitive personal information, such as your Social Insurance Number or your date of birth, through non-secure electronic means.
Personal information from emails or completed feedback forms is collected pursuant to the [appropriate provision in institution’s enabling statute or other appropriate collection authority]. Such information may be used for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes and is included in Personal Information Bank [PIB Number (PIB Title) – e.g. Public Communications (PSU 914)].
Third-Party Social Media
[Institution]’s use of social media serves as an extension of its presence on the Web. Social media account(s) are public and are not hosted on Government of Canada servers. Users who choose to interact with us via social media should read the terms of service and privacy policies of these third-party service providers and those of any applications you use to access them. [Institution] uses [insert platforms used here with hyperlinks to the relevant privacy policies: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube].
Personal information that you provide to the Government of Canada via social media account(s) is collected under the authority of the [appropriate provision in institution’s enabling statute or other appropriate collection authority]. This information is collected to capture conversations (e.g. questions and answers, comments, “likes”, retweets) between you and [institution]. It may be used to respond to inquiries, or for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes. Comments posted that violate Canadian law will be deleted and disclosed to law enforcement authorities. Comments that violate our rules of engagement will also be deleted. The personal information is included in Personal Information Bank [PIB Number (PIB Title) – e.g. Outreach Activities (PSU 938)].
Improving your Experience on Government of Canada Websites
Digital Markers (including cookies)
A digital marker is a resource created by the visitors’ browser in order to remember certain pieces of information for the Web server to reference during the same or subsequent visit to the website. Examples of digital markers are “cookies” or HTML5 web storage. Some examples of what digital markers do are as follows:
- they allow a website to recognize a previous visit each time the visitor accesses the site;
- they track what information is viewed on a site which helps website administrators ensure visitors find what they are looking for.
[Institution] uses [sessional or persistent] digital markers on some portions of its website. During your on-line visit, your browser exchanges data with [institution]’s Web server. The digital markers used do not allow [institution] to identify individuals.
You may adjust your browser settings to reject digital markers, including cookies, if you so choose. However, it may affect your ability to interact with [institution]’s website.
Web analytics is the collection, analysis, measurement, and reporting of data about Web traffic and visits for purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage. Information in digital markers may be used for the purpose of web analytics to remember your online interactions with [institution]’s website.
[Institution] uses [Web analytics tool name] to improve its web site. When your computer requests a [institution] Web page, our institution collects the following types of information for Web analytics:
- the originating IP address
- the date and time of the request
- the type of browser used
- the page(s) visited
[If Internally Deployed]
[Institution] uses [Web analytics tool name] internally and retains information collected for Web analytics for a maximum period of 18 months. After this period, the information must be disposed of in accordance with the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics and as authorized by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. The information is not disclosed to an external third party service provider.
[If Externally Deployed]
[Institution] uses [Web analytics tool name] and the information collected is disclosed to [external service provider], an external third party service provider. Your IP address is anonymized prior to being stored on the service provider's servers in order to help safeguard your privacy. The information collected is de-personalized by [describe how the information is de-personalized with the Web analytics tool used].
[If data for analytics is going outside Canada]
Data collected for Web analytics purposes goes outside of Canada to [country] and may be subject to the governing legislation of that country, [for example the USA Patriot Act.]
Information used for the purpose of Web analytics is collected pursuant to the [appropriate provision in institution’s enabling statute or other appropriate collection authority]. Such data may be used for communications and information technology statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting. For more information on how your privacy is safeguarded in relation to web analytics, see the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics.
Protecting the Security of Government of Canada Websites
[Institution] employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. This software receives and records the IP address of the computer that has contacted our website, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. We make no attempt to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our site unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.
This information is collected pursuant to section 161 of the Financial Administration Act. The information may be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities if suspected criminal activities are detected. Such information may be used for network security related statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting and is included in Personal Information Bank [PIB Number (PIB Title) – e.g. Security Incidents (PSU 939)].
Inquiring about these Practices
Any questions, comments, concerns or complaints you may have regarding the administration of the Privacy Act and privacy policies regarding [institution]’s Web presence may be directed to our Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator by email to [Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator email], by calling [Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator phone number] or writing to [Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator mailing address].
If you are not satisfied with [institution]’s response to your privacy concern, you may wish to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner by telephone at 1-800-282-1376.
Official Notices for Government of Canada Departments
The following notices appear in the “Terms and Conditions” section of websites and Web applications to which the Standard on Web Usability applies.
[Third-Party Server Notice]
Using Files Located on Non-Government of Canada Servers
To improve the functionality of Government of Canada websites, certain files (such as open source libraries, images and scripts) may be delivered automatically to your browser via a trusted third-party server or content delivery network. The delivery of these files is intended to provide a seamless user experience by speeding response times and avoiding the need for each visitor to download these files. Where applicable, specific privacy statements covering these files are included in our Privacy Notice.
[Official Languages Notice]
Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages
The Official Languages Act, the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations and Treasury Board policy requirements establish when we use both English and French to provide services to or communicate with members of the public. When there is no obligation to provide information in both official languages, content may be available in one official language only. Information provided by organizations not subject to the Official Languages Act is in the language(s) provided. Information provided in a language other than English or French is only for the convenience of our visitors.
Linking to Non-Government of Canada Websites
Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Canada, including those to our social media accounts, are provided solely for the convenience of our website visitors. We are not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content of such websites. The Government of Canada does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.
Visitors should also be aware that information offered by non-Government of Canada sites to which this website links is not subject to the Privacy Act or the Official Languages Act and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. The information offered may be available only in the language(s) used by the sites in question. With respect to privacy, visitors should research the privacy policies of these non-government websites before providing personal information.
[Copyright / Permission to Reproduce Notices]
Ownership and Usage of Content Provided on This Site
Materials on this website were produced and/or compiled by [Applied Title of the Department] for the purpose of providing Canadians with access to information about the programs and services offered by the Government of Canada. You may use and reproduce the materials as follows:
Unless otherwise specified you may reproduce the materials in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes, and in any format, without charge or further permission, provided you do the following:
- Exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced;
- Indicate both the complete title of the materials reproduced, as well as the author (where available); and
- Indicate that the reproduction is a copy of the version available at [URL where original document is available].
Unless otherwise specified, you may not reproduce materials on this site, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution without prior written permission from [Applied Title of the Department].
Some of the content on this site may be subject to the copyright of another party. Where information has been produced or copyright is not held by Government of Canada, the materials are protected under the Copyright Act, and international agreements. Details concerning copyright ownership are indicated on the relevant page(s).
To obtain permission to reproduce Government of Canada materials on this site for commercial purposes or to obtain additional information concerning copyright ownership and restrictions, please contact:
[Applied Title of the Department]
The official symbols of the Government of Canada, including the Canada Wordmark, the Arms of Canada, and the flag symbol may not be reproduced, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes, without prior written authorization.
Our Commitment to Accessibility
The Government of Canada is committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. In the event of difficulty using our Web pages, applications or device-based mobile applications, please contact us for assistance or to obtain alternative formats such as regular print, Braille or another appropriate format.
[Sample Social Media Notice]
Interacting With Us on Social Media
This notice has been written to explain how [Applied Title of the Department] interacts with the public on social media platforms.
Content and Frequency
We use our social media accounts as an alternative method of sharing the content posted on our website and interacting with our stakeholders. By following our social media accounts (by “following,” “liking” or “subscribing”), you can expect to see information about the programs and services we provide.
We understand that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. You should expect to see new content posted [Department’s hours of availability, e.g. Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST/EDT]. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and responded to as soon as possible.
Because the servers of social media platforms are managed by a third party, our social media accounts are subject to downtime that may be out of our control. As such, we accept no responsibility for platforms becoming unresponsive or unavailable.
Links to Other Websites and Ads
Our social media accounts may post or display links or ads for websites that are not under our control. These links are provided solely for the convenience of users. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the information found through these links or ads, nor does it endorse the sites or their content.
Following, “Favouriting” and Subscribing
Our decision to “follow,” “favourite” or “subscribe” to another social media account does not imply an endorsement of that account, channel, page or site, and neither does sharing (re-tweeting, reposting or linking to) content from another user.
Comments and Interaction
We will read comments and participate in discussions when appropriate. We ask that your comments be relevant and respectful. We reserve the right to delete comments that violate this notice, and the user may be blocked and reported to prevent further inappropriate comments.
We cannot engage in issues of party politics or answer questions that break the rules of this notice.
We reserve the right to edit or remove comments that:
- Contain personal information;
- Are contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- Express racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting or life-threatening messages;
- Put forward serious, unproven or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations;
- Are aggressive, coarse, violent, obscene or pornographic;
- Are offensive, rude or abusive to an individual or an organization;
- Are not sent by the author or are put forward for advertising purposes;
- Encourage illegal activity;
- Contain announcements from labour or political organizations;
- Are written in a language other than English or French;
- Are unintelligible or irrelevant;
- Are repetitive or spam; and
- Do not, in our opinion, add to the normal flow of the discussion.
In short, please be respectful and make sure that your comments are relevant to where they are posted. The views of users commenting on our social media accounts do not necessarily represent the views of [Applied Title of the Department] or the Government of Canada.
Accessibility of Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms are third-party service providers and are not bound by Government of Canada standards for Web accessibility.
If you have difficulty accessing content on our social media accounts, please contact us and we will try to solve the problem or provide you with the information in a different format.
Information that we post is subject to the Copyright Act.
Our social media accounts are not Government of Canada websites and represent only our presence on third-party service providers.
For more information, please refer to our Privacy Notice regarding third-party social media.
Many social media platforms have multiple language options and provide instructions on how to set your preferences. The Government of Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that our information of is available in both French and English and that both versions are equal quality.
We reply to comments in the official language in which they are posted. If we think the response is a question of general public interest, we may respond in both official languages.
We may share links that direct users to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act and available only in the language(s) in which they are written. When content is available in only one language, we make an effort to provide similar content in the other official language.
Questions and Media Requests
Reporters are asked to send questions to [Link to contact info on website, e.g. the Media Relations Unit].
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