Privacy of personal information is an important principle to E Se Studios. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the goods 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.
What is Personal Information?
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., disabilities affecting mobility) or their activities and views (e.g., residential building plans and preferences, 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 policies.
Like most architects, we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. For our clients, the primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide architectural advice and services. Where our client is an individual, we collect information about the client’s building or renovation desires and intended uses, financial situation and, for residential services, family circumstances so that we can advise the client as to their options. We then carry out their instructions.
A second primary purpose might be to collect personal information from third parties (e.g., neighbours) about a client’s architectural plans so that we can ascertain how the third party’s views affect our client’s architectural situation.
A third primary purpose is to obtain home contact information so that we can contact the client in private or in an emergency. It would be rare for us to collect any personal information without the client’s express consent, but this might occur in a case of urgency (e.g., the client is unavailable) or where we believe the client would consent if asked and it is impractical to obtain consent (e.g., a family member who appears to be aware of the project contacts us to provide additional information).
Protecting Personal Information
When we are retained to provide an opinion about the work of another architect or a related professional, our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to gather the necessary information to express a sound opinion on the issue for our client. In such circumstances, we often act without the consent of the subject of the third party opinion because we are inquiring into an apparent breach of law or an agreement and obtaining consent would compromise the investigation. We Collect Personal Information: Related and
Secondary Purposes Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
- To invoice clients for goods or services that are not paid for at the time, to process credit card payments or to collect unpaid accounts.
- To advise clients and others of new developments in architecture (e.g., a newsletter sent to a home e-mail of a client).
- To advise clients and others of our newsletters, courses we provide, special offers and promotions that we have available.
- Our firm reviews client and other files for the purpose of ensuring that we provide high quality services, including assessing the performance of our partners and staff. In addition, external consultants (e.g., auditors, lawyers, information technologists) may on our behalf do audits and continuing quality improvement reviews of our firm, including reviewing client files and interviewing our staff.
Clients or other individuals we deal with may have questions about the services they received. We also provide ongoing services for many of our clients over a period of months or years for which previous records are helpful. We retain our client information for a minimum of tweleve years after the last contact to enable us to respond to questions and provide these services.