The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG) is committed to providing a website that respects the privacy of visitors. This notice summarizes the privacy practices for the OSGG’s online activities. This means that you will be informed of the purpose for which your personal information is being collected and of 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 OSGG 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, the OSGG does not automatically gather any specific information from you, such as your name, telephone number or email address. The Office 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 OSGG, 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 Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
If you choose to send the OSGG an email or complete a feedback form online, your personal information is used by the OSGG 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. The OSGG 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.
Emails and other electronic methods used to communicate with the OSGG 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.
Third-Party Social Media
The OSGG’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 the OSGG 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. The OSGG uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Personal information that you provide to the OSGG via social media account(s) is collected to capture conversations (e.g. questions and answers, comments, “likes,” retweets) between you and the OSGG. 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.
Cookies are used to track how our visitors use this site, to determine sites previously visited or to facilitate the use of secure portions of this site. A cookie is a file that may be placed on your hard drive without your knowledge by a website to monitor your use of the site. The cookies we use do not allow us to identify individuals. They are compiled into statistical information on traffic patterns and are used to assess and improve the efficiency of the site.
We use two types of cookies:
- Session cookies - These are used as an integral part of the identification process for some of our online applications. This is for security purposes to determine that you are who you say you are and to provide you with your confidential account information during an online session. No personal information is kept in session cookies and they are stored only in your browser’s temporary (cache) memory. When you log out of your session, the cookie is no longer valid and is discarded when you close your browser.
- Persistent cookies - These are more permanent and can be re-read when you return to the site that placed them on your computer. The information in them is written onto your hard drive and remains there until the expiry date of the cookie. They are used to identify and provide personalized features (for example, to help us remember which official language you prefer) and for tracking traffic patterns to and from our site. For more information on the tracking we use, refer to the Google Analytics section below.
You may adjust your browser settings to reject cookies, if you so choose. However, it may affect your ability to interact with the OSGG’s website.
Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google Inc., helps to measure traffic patterns to, from and within our public website. This analytics measurement tool uses “session” and “persistent” cookies to collect standard Internet log information and to track visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer and expire two years after your last visit to our website. The information generated by the cookies about your use of the website (including your IP address, truncated to ensure your anonymity) is transmitted to Google. No personal, identifying information is recorded or provided to Google. This anonymous information is used to evaluate visitors’ use of the website and to compile statistical reports on the OSGG’s site activity. The aggregate data and statistical reports are used only to help us make our site more useful to visitors and are made available only to web managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.
We DO NOT include this Google Analytics measurement tool on any secure sites.
Protecting the Security of the OSGG’s Website
The OSGG 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.
Inquiring about these Practices
Any questions, comments, concerns or complaints you may have regarding the administration of privacy policies regarding the OSGG’s web presence may be directed to our Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON, K1A 0A1.
If you are not satisfied with the OSGG’s response to your privacy concern, you may wish to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner by telephone at 1-800-282-1376.
Providing Content in Our Official Languages
The Official Languages Act, the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations and Treasury Board policy requirements establish when the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General uses both English and French to provide services to or communicate with members of the public. When there is no obligation to provide these in both official languages, content may be available in one official language only. Information provided by entities 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 website visitors.
Linking to External Websites
Links to websites not under the control of the OSGG are provided solely for the convenience of our website visitors. The OSGG is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content. The OSGG 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 other sites to which this website links is not subject to 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 other websites before providing personal information.