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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

The Arthritis Society (the “Society”) respects the privacy of its donors and employees and treats their personal information accordingly. This Privacy Policy explains how the Society collects, uses, and discloses your personal information in compliance with applicable privacy legislation.

The Society takes steps to safeguard all personal information in its possession or custody, including personal information that has been transferred to a third party for processing (e.g. to a service provider or individual who is acting on behalf of the Society). This includes situations where the actions undertaken on The Society's behalf are carried out voluntarily or without charge.

By using the Services, you acknowledge that you have read and understood this Privacy Policy, and you agree and consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, please do not use the Services or supply your personal information to us. This Privacy Policy also forms part of our Terms of Use, which outline the terms and conditions you agree to when using the Symptom Checker. 

  • 1. What Personal Information Do We Collect?

    Personal information means information about an identifiable individual but does not include information such as name, title, business address, business telephone number or email address normally used to contact an individual in relation to their employment or profession . We only collect the personal information that is necessary to fulfill the purposes identified in this Privacy Policy.

    (a) Information you Provide

    Depending upon the nature of your relationship with us, the types of personal information that we may collect include, but are not limited to, your:

    • Name, telephone number, address, email address;
    • date of birth, age, and gender;
    • credit card information if you are making a donation
    • banking information for donors that donate monthly through bank account payments
    • responses to program-specific registration questions;
    • child’s name and age when participating in the backpack or camp programs;
    • medical and lifestyle information, including but not limited to, your age, weight, medical symptoms and conditions, your health screenings, your exercise habits and other health habits, and your family history of chronic illness;
    • Other personal information you may provide us from time to time (such as personal information you voluntarily put into an email to us or in a comments box on our website).

    (b) Usage Information on our website

    As you interact with our website we may collect data that identifies your computer, tracks your use of the website and our online tools, such as Symptom Checker.  We may use cookies or web beacons to enhance your experience at make it easier to for you to use our website.

  • 2. Purposes for Collecting, Using & Disclosing Your Personal Information

    The purposes for which The Society collects, uses and discloses your information depend upon the nature of our relationship with you.

    (a) Managing our relationship with you:

    The Society collects, uses and discloses the personal information that you provide to us for the following purposes: 

    • to provide you with our Services;
    • to manage our relationship with you and provide you with information about our programs and services;
    • to respond to your questions and other communications, including those that you send through our website, by email or by phone;
    • to contact you for fundraising purposes;
    • to facilitate and process your registration for certain events and services;
    • to authenticate you when you sign in to your account and facilitate access to our website.
    • to issue tax receipts where applicable;
    • as otherwise permitted or required by law

    (b) Delivering Personalized Content

    In order to make your experience with The Society and our website as supportive as possible we may use cookies on your computer. We and/or our third party service providers may then use the information collected from the cookies to provide you with suitable Arthritis Society advertisements when you visit our website. If you do not want to receive this type of customized online behavioural advertising, you may set your browser to block third party cookies or clear your cache after each use.

  • 3. Disclosure of Personal Information

    We may share your personal information with or disclose such information to third parties with your consent, or when permitted or required by law, including but not limited to circumstances where disclosure is necessary to comply with a court order or warrant, or to protect the safety, property or other rights of The Society, its representatives, and users of the Services (e.g., including to detect and protect against fraud).

    Please be aware that any information you voluntarily submit such as photographs or other content you post to any public Arthritis Society forums, including our Twitter pages, Facebook pages or other social networking pages or websites may be collected, used and shared by others who use or access those same services.

    Otherwise, we only share your personal information in the following limited circumstances:

    (a) Service Providers

    The Society may use third party service providers that help with our operations and Services including customer service, direct response fundraising, operating and maintaining our website and Symptom Checker, and for processing credit card transactions.

    Where we are using a third party to process your personal information we will enter into contractual arrangements that require them to keep secure your personal information with appropriate security safeguards equal to or higher than our own standards. Some of our service providers may store or process personal information outside of Canada. Your information is protected with appropriate security safeguards, but may be subject to access by foreign governments, courts, or law enforcement in those jurisdictions according to the laws in those jurisdictions.  When we do transfer information outside the country we strive to minimize the amount of personal information we transfer.

    (b) Other Charities

    The Society shares information with other charities, through an exchange list brokerage, unless you have opted-out. Specifically, The Society may trade your name and mailing address, but never your email address, with other charities.  You will always be given the opportunity to opt-out of this sharing.

    (c) Employers

    If you are completing the Arthritis Society part of a wellness program offered by your employer, your data will be de-identified, aggregated and may be shared with your employer to assist them to develop programs to help improve or maintain employees’ health.

    (d) Business Mergers or Transactions

    If the Society sells, transfers, reorganizes or merges all or a portion of our organization or its assets, either to or with a related organization or a third party, personal information may be shared as needed in connection with that transaction.  Your personal information will remain secure and subject to any pre-existing privacy policy, unless you agree to the privacy policy of the organization or third party that acquires your personal information.

    (e) For legal or law enforcement purposes

    We may be required to provide personal information to law enforcement or other government agencies pursuant to legal or regulatory requirements.

  • 4. Retention of Personal Information

    We retain your personal information only for as long as we need it to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected and to comply with our legal obligations. We may retain usage-related information in aggregate or de-identified form indefinitely.

  • 5. Security

    To help protect the confidentiality of your personal information, The Society employs security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. We maintain reasonable technical, physical and administrative security safeguards to protect your personal information against loss, theft, and unauthorized access.

    (a) Credit Card Information

    If you make a credit card payment through The Society, we take steps to reduce risks, including by collecting only the information that is reasonably needed by us to complete the processing of the transaction. For one-time payments by credit card the Society only stores the credit card type, the last four digits of the credit card number and the expiration date in the event an incorrect payment needs to be refunded. 

  • 6. Individual Access and Accuracy of Personal Information

    You may request access to your personal information we hold by contacting us at the contact information below. and we will respond in accordance with any applicable laws. We will need to verify your identity before providing you with the personal information we hold about you. There is no cost for such access request unless you require copies of records.

    There may be limited circumstances where we cannot provide you with access to your personal information. For example if the information cannot be separated from the personal information of others, cannot be disclosed for reasons of security or commercial confidentiality, or is protected by legal privilege. If we do not provide you with access to your personal information, we will generally advise you of the reasons why, unless we are prohibited by law from doing so.

    You may request to update, correct or change your personal information at the contact information below.  We shall endeavor to correct or complete any personal information which you advise us is inaccurate or incomplete. Where appropriate, the amended information will be transmitted to any third parties requiring access to such information.

  • 7. Changes to this Privacy Policy

    This Privacy Policy may be amended by the Society from time to time to reflect changes in the Society’s practices.  The collection, use and disclosure of your personal information by the Society will be governed by the version of this Privacy Policy in effect at that time. We will post the most current version on our Site and will indicate at the top of this page the date this Privacy Policy was last revised.  Please check back from time to time to ensure that you are aware of any updates or changes in this Privacy Policy.  We will also send notice of material changes to individuals who we have a relationship with that will be impacted by the change. Depending upon the nature of the changes, your consent to such changes may be implied through your continued use of our Services.

  • 8. Your Consent to the Terms of this Privacy Policy

    By using our Services and providing us with your personal information, you agree that the Society may collect use and disclose your personal information as indicated above. If you do not agree with any terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use our Services or provide us with any personal information.  If you have questions regarding the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information you may contact us at any time, as set forth below under “How to Contact Us”. 

    Subject to legal and contractual requirements, you may withdraw your consent to certain of the purposes identified in this Privacy Policy at any time by contacting us at the contact information set forth below. If you withdraw your consent, you acknowledge that the Society may not be able to provide you with certain services or information which may be of value to you.

  • 9. How to Contact Us

    We welcome your feedback. You may contact us if you have questions, comments or concerns about this Privacy Policy, or would like to do any of the following:

    • access or review your personal information;
    • to make corrections or amendments to your personal information that is incorrect;
    • if your child under 13 has used this Site and sent us personal information, delete that personal information from our files;
    • to amend your communications preferences, such as opting out of certain emails or direct mail correspondence;

    For any of the above you may contact our Privacy Officer as follows:

    By mail:
    Chief Privacy Officer
    The Arthritis Society
    393 University Avenue, Suite 1700
    Toronto, ON
    M5G 1E6

    By email:

    By telephone:
    Toll-free: 1.800.321.1433

    The Society takes your concerns seriously and will investigate all complaints of non-compliance with this policy. However, if you are not satisfied with our responses to your questions or complaints you may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada as follows:

    Online at:

    By mail to:
    Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada 30, Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3

    By phone:
    Toll-free: 1.800.282.1376