3. PRINCIPLE THREE: CONSENT
The knowledge and consent of the Customer are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information, except where inappropriate.
3.1 The Customer's “knowledge and consent” are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information. Accordingly, Wawanesa will make a reasonable effort to ensure that the Customer is advised of the purposes for which the information will be used. The purposes will be stated in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the Customer.
3.2 Consent is required for the collection of personal information and the subsequent use or disclosure of this information. In certain circumstances, consent with respect to use or disclosure may be sought after the information has been collected but before use.
3.3 Wawanesa will not, as a condition of the supply of a product or service, require a Customer to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of information beyond that required to fulfill the explicitly specified and legitimate purposes. Wawanesa may refuse to deal with a Customer who will not consent to the collection, use and disclosure of the information for the explicitly specified and legitimate purposes. For example, Wawanesa provides insurance at specified rates and on certain terms and conditions based on, among other things, analysis of an individual's personal information, including date of birth, address and claims history. If this information is not obtained, Wawanesa cannot determine the basis for insurance coverage and, therefore, cannot provide insurance to the Customer. Consent will not be obtained through deception.
3.4 A Customer can reasonably expect that Wawanesa will use personal information in determining the Customer's insurability and in adjusting the Customer's claim. On the other hand, a Customer would not reasonably expect Wawanesa to give accident information to car sales companies to solicit new car purchases if the Customer's car had incurred extensive damage in an accident.
3.5 Where Wawanesa seeks express consent, it can be given in many ways. For example,
- an application form may be used to seek consent, collect information and inform the Customer of the use that will be made of the information. By completing and signing the form, the Customer is giving consent to the collection and the specified uses;
- a checkbox on a form may be used to allow Customers to request that their names and addresses not be given to other organizations for marketing purposes. Customers who do not place a mark in the checkbox are assumed to consent to the transfer of this information to third parties;
- consent may be given orally when information is collected over the telephone;
- consent may be given by agreement; and
- consent may be given by action on the part of the Customer (for instance, by using, acquiring or accepting a product or service).
3.6 Consent can be given by an authorized representative (such as a person having a power of attorney, or a legal guardian). Consent can also be given by an individual on behalf of another individual. For example, where individuals apply for automobile insurance for themselves as well as for their family members, such applicants are giving consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information both for themselves and for their family members, even though their family members are not present during the application process. A similar situation arises where an employer, on behalf of its employees, applies for or renews a group or fleet insurance policy which provides insurance benefits to the employees. The employer is giving consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information for the employees, even though the employees are not present during the application or renewal process.
3.7 Wawanesa's business has certain unique features which make express consent impossible to obtain in some circumstances. For instance,
- as a convenience to its Customers, Wawanesa often provides insurance or amendments to existing policies over the telephone, on short notice and with little written documentation. In these circumstances, it is impossible for Wawanesa to obtain express written consent from Customers;
- Wawanesa, when it operates through independent brokers, does not have a direct relationship with its Customers and therefore is not able to obtain their express consent; and
- Wawanesa has a legal duty to defend its policyholders against claims made by third party claimants. In such situations, Wawanesa and the third party claimants are adverse parties. In order to fulfill its obligations to its policyholders, Wawanesa must collect, use and disclose personal information about such third party claimants that is relevant to the claim, even if the third party claimants have not given their consent.
Given these constraints, it is reasonable for Wawanesa to infer that by dealing with it on insurance related matters (e.g. by using, acquiring or accepting a product), Customers have given implied consent for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information necessary for the identified purposes (see principle 2.1).
3.8 In limited circumstances, personal information can be collected, used or disclosed without the knowledge and consent of the Customer. For example, legal, medical or security reasons may make it impossible or impractical to seek consent. When information is being collected for the detection and prevention of fraud or for law enforcement, seeking the consent of the Customer might defeat the purpose of collecting the information. Seeking consent may be impossible or inappropriate when the Customer is a minor, seriously ill, or mentally incapacitated. In addition, where there is no direct relationship with the Customer, Wawanesa may not always be able to seek consent. However, when certain types of information are being collected, such as medical or hospital records, employment records or income tax records, Wawanesa will obtain express consent from the Customer.
The following are situations specific to Wawanesa's business where consent is not required for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information:
- collection of personal information for the detection and prevention of fraud; and
- compliance with subpoenas, search warrants, and other court or government orders.
In either of these situations, obtaining consent might defeat the purpose of collecting the information.
Wawanesa will transfer the personal information of Customers to lawyers retained by Wawanesa pursuant to the contractual obligation in the insurance policy to defend legal actions against its insureds.
In exceptional circumstances, Wawanesa may, under a public duty, disclose personal information to appropriate authorities in matters of significant public interest.
Where the Customer is a minor, seriously ill, or mentally incapacitated, seeking consent may be impossible or inappropriate.
3.9 In certain situations, the express written consent of the Customer will be obtained for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information (e.g. medical or hospital records, employment records or income tax returns).
3.10 Consent is valid for the length of time needed to achieve the identified purposes. The Customer may withdraw consent on reasonable notice, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and the requirement that Wawanesa maintain the integrity of the statistics and data necessary to carry on its business.
3.11 Any restriction or withdrawal of the Customer's consent may result in Wawanesa being unable to provide the Customer with the product or service being applied for, or having to terminate the policy.