The privacy of information about an identifiable individual is an important value and is protected in law. EQUS REA LTD. (EQUS) is committed to respecting people’s personal information – keeping it accurate, confidential and secure. EQUS’ purpose is to provide safe and efficient electrical service to its members. To achieve that purpose, it must collect, use and disclose certain personal information. This policy provides an overview of how EQUS treats personal information and complies with the law.
EQUS is committed to meeting its obligations under the Personal Information Protection Act. A copy of the Act is available for reading at any EQUS Are Office and copies can be obtained from the Queen’s Printer (telephone 780.427.4952, internet www.gov.ab.ca/qp).
EQUS has a Privacy Officer, who is responsible for providing information and support about privacy to members, staff, and the public, and compliance with the law. The Privacy Officer has appointed a Deputy Privacy Officer and has delegated the responsibility of compliance with the Personal Information Protection Act to the Deputy Privacy Officer. Any questions or concerns may be directed to the Deputy Privacy Officer.
Why do we collect personal information?
EQUS operates as a member-owned organization and strives to provide safe and efficient electrical distribution service to its members. In order to do so, EQUS collects certain personal information to know who our members and potential members are, keep them in good standing, communicate with them and elect and follow the direction of the Board of Directors. We also collect personal information so that the organization can run operations using staff and contractors. EQUS performs installations, provides electricity, responds to incidents and emergencies, monitors and bills consumption, maintains and upgrades the distribution system, reports as required by law to government and its agencies, lobbies government and works with other electrical distribution companies whose system is joined with EQUS’, obtains services from contractors, detects and prevents illegal activity, and plans for the future.
EQUS uses the personal information it collects for those purposes only. It does not sell, share, or disclose the information for other reasons without your consent unless required or allowed by law.
EQUS aims to obtain clear written consent to collect, use and disclose personal information. EQUS application forms, contracts, and other documents include written consent. Where it is reasonable to do so, consent may be accepted by telephone, verbally in the field or office, or through a third party.
Sometimes the law allows consent to be implied, or does not require consent. Information collected by EQUS prior to January 1, 2004, has consent implied by law.
What personal information is collected?
EQUS collects only the information that it needs for its purposes. That includes the following:
- Identification and contact information for members, co-owners of land, renters;
- Land locations and addresses, uses of land;
- Start and end dates of electrical service, installation and repair information, consumption records, and distribution access information;
- Financial and credit information about members and renters for billings, payments and collections;
- Medical and business information for service restoration priority;
- Consumer relationship information – requests for service, needs, feedback and preferences;
- Business relationship information – contract terms, advisors;
- Digitally recorded telephone communications for quality assurance and government compliance purposes; and
- Employee information, to ensure strong and effective relationships with employees and respect their privacy rights.
Sharing or disclosing personal information
EQUS only discloses personal information for the purposes set out above, unless required or allowed by law. If you want someone else to get information about you from EQUS, they may be asked to provide your consent. The law allows EQUS to disclose personal information in certain emergencies or to collect an outstanding account. The law sometimes requires EQUS to disclose personal information, for example as part of a legal proceeding.
EQUS wants the personal information it holds to be accurate, so it can provide the best service. People have the right to inquire about their information and ensure it is accurate. EQUS encourages its members to keep their personal information up to date with the office – please notify us of any changes of name, address, telephone, or other information.
Access and correction
If people have questions about the personal information EQUS has about them or how it has been used, they can make a request for access to the Privacy Officer. They can also request corrections of their information. EQUS will meet the legal requirements to provide access and correction in a timely and helpful way while protecting the privacy of others.
To keep personal information secure, EQUS uses physical measures such as locked cabinets and doors, and extensive computer security measures. It requires employees and contractors to protect confidentiality, and allows them access to personal information only if they need to know it to do their job.
All members are free to purchase electricity services through EQUS’ regulated rate tariff or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase electricity services from, you will continue receiving electricity from EQUS. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit http://www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310.4822 (toll free in Alberta).