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Privacy

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1.   Objective & Scope of Policy

Tarion recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information.  Tarion is committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary to carry out its regulatory activities and to meet its consumer protection mandate.  This Privacy Policy outlines how Tarion safeguards privacy and manages personal information about prospective new home buyers and new home owners, and existing and prospective new home builders and vendors.

2.   Personal Information

Personal information is any information that identifies an individual, or by which an individual’s identity can be deduced.  Personal information may include, for example, an individual’s gender, home address, telephone number, marital status and income.  Business information, such as an individual’s business address and telephone number, and information that is publicly available are not personal information to which this Privacy Policy applies.

3.   Purposes of Collecting Personal Information

Tarion is the organization mandated by the Ontario Government to administer the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (the “ONHWP Act”).
 
Tarion has the authority to collect, use and disclose personal information for the purposes of carrying out its regulatory activities and fulfilling its consumer protection mandate under the ONHWP Act.  Tarion does not collect, use or disclose more personal information than is reasonably necessary to carry out its mandate. 

Tarion collects personal information by lawful means.  Whenever possible, such information is collected directly from the individual to whom it relates.  Tarion may collect personal information in a number of ways including, but not limited to, the completion of forms, calls to its Customer Service Centre, correspondence, credit reports and home inspections.

Information about New Home Buyers and Owners

Tarion may collect personal information from prospective new home buyers and new home owners when they request Tarion’s assistance with disputes with builders or vendors or when they make warranty claims under the ONHWP Act.  The primary purposes of collecting this information are to assess whether an individual has a valid warranty claim or complaint, to provide information regarding the individual’s rights and responsibilities, to investigate and conciliate disputes between the individual and the builder or vendor, and to process payments to or from the individual.  


Information about New Home Builders and Vendors

Tarion may collect personal information from existing and prospective new home builders and vendors who apply for registration or renewal of registration under the ONHWP Act, as well as associated individuals such as indemnitors.  The primary purposes of collecting this information are to determine if the applicant is qualified for registration under the ONHWP Act, to process payments to and from an individual, and to ensure that the legislation is being complied with.

4.   Accuracy

Tarion will, as necessary, keep information accurate and complete based on the information provided to it.  However, information contained in files that are dormant or have been closed will not be actively updated or maintained by Tarion.
If an individual believes that any of his or her personal information held by Tarion is not correct, that individual may request an update of that information by sending a written request to Tarion’s Privacy Officer.

5.   Use and Disclosure

Tarion will not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it is collected, except with the consent of the individual to whom the information relates or as required or permitted by law. For example, under certain circumstances, Tarion may use, disclose or transfer personal information without consent:
  • As may be required in connection with an investigation or a  proceeding under the ONHWP Act;
  • As may be required in connection with the administration of the ONHWP Act;
  • To government or law enforcement agencies;
  • To third party consultants and service providers (e.g. auditors, lawyers, information technology, building contractors);
  • Where required or permitted by law (e.g. warrant, court order, court or tribunal rules);
  • Where it is necessary to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of an individual or group;
  • For the purpose of establishing or collecting a debt owed to Tarion; or
  • When the information is publicly available.
Where required or permitted to disclose information without consent, Tarion will not disclose more personal information than is required.

6.  Consent

By providing Tarion with personal information (e.g. discussing matters with a Tarion employee by telephone or at a conciliation, submitting warranty claim forms), an individual is consenting to its use and disclosure in accordance with this Privacy Policy.  As well, such consent may be implied through the individual’s conduct with Tarion. 

Any individual providing or proposing to provide personal information to Tarion who does not agree with the terms of this Policy may contact Tarion’s Privacy Officer in order to discuss available options.  However, please note that some services can only be offered if personal information is provided to Tarion. Accordingly, the election by an individual not to provide necessary personal information may mean that certain services may not be available to that individual.

7.   Retention

Tarion retains personal information as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected and as required to comply with business and legal requirements.  The length of time Tarion retains personal information varies and may extend beyond the end of the individual’s relationship with Tarion.

8.  Security

Tarion maintains appropriate physical, procedural and technical security in its offices and storage facilities in order to prevent any loss or unauthorized use, access, disclosure or modification of personal information.  As well, Tarion’s employees and third party service providers are committed to the protection of personal information.

9.   Access

An individual may request access to any personal information Tarion holds about that individual subject to certain limitations. For example, Tarion may deny access or limit access to personal information when:
  • Granting access would disclose personal information about another individual;
  • The requested information is subject to solicitor-client privilege or litigation privilege;
  • Granting access may compromise or interfere with law enforcement, investigative or regulatory activities;
  • The requested information is prohibitively costly to provide;
  • The requested information does not exist, is not held by Tarion, or cannot be located by Tarion; or
  • The request is frivolous or vexatious.
If Tarion denies or limits access to information, Tarion will provide the requesting individual with reasons for non-disclosure.

To guard against fraudulent requests for access to information, Tarion will require sufficient information from the individual making the request to allow it to confirm the identity of that individual before granting access or making corrections.
 

10.   Amendment of Tarion’s Practices and This Policy

Tarion will from time to time review and revise its privacy practices and this Privacy Policy.  Policy changes will apply to the information collected from the date of the revised Privacy Policy as well as to existing information held by Tarion.  Please refer to Tarion’s website for the most current version of its Privacy Policy.


11.   Accountability

Tarion has appointed a Privacy Officer to investigate and respond to privacy issues and to be accountable for Tarion’s compliance with this Privacy Policy.  If you have questions about access to your personal information held by Tarion or about Tarion’s collection, use or disclosure of your personal information, or  if you wish to make a privacy-related complaint, you may contact Tarion’s Privacy Officer by e-mail at privacyofficer@tarion.com or by mail at:

          Privacy Officer
          Tarion Warranty Corporation
          5160 Yonge Street, 12th Floor
          Toronto, Ontario
          M2N 6L9