The Niagara Escarpment Commission is committed to respecting your privacy and protecting your personal information. This Privacy Statement explains the current information management practices on our website.

Our commitment

We are committed to protecting your privacy whether you are browsing for information or conducting business with the Niagara Escarpment Commission through electronic channels. The handling of all personal information by the Niagara Escarpment Commission is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

When you visit our website, we will not collect your personal information unless you choose to use and receive online products and services that require it.

You have a choice

If you choose not to use the Internet to provide personal information to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, you can contact us by telephone, fax, mail or in person.

Cookies

Some sections of our website use cookies. Cookies are generally used to make it more convenient for users to move around our websites.  These types of cookies need to be stored on your computer’s hard drive. Cookies used by the Niagara Escarpment Commission are encrypted to make the information in cookies unreadable to anyone except us.

Web analytics

In order to serve you better, we use web analytics services including Google Analytics and Webtrends to help analyse the use of our websites. These tools use cookies to collect and generate information about your visits to our sites (including your IPaddress) that is transmitted to their servers in an anonymous form for processing. We study patterns of website activity so we can improve the experience of visitors to our site.

The use of these tools does not allow us or our analytics service providers to identify individuals.

You can opt-out of analytics activity by setting your browser to notify you when a cookie is sent and block analytics cookies if desired. Please consult your browser’s Help Menu for instructions. Visiting our website with analytics cookies disabled will have no significant impact on your browsing experience.

Google currently offers a free Google Analytics opt-out tool for Internet Explorer (versions 7 and 8), Google Chrome (4.x and higher), and Mozilla Firefox (3.5 and higher).

Privacy statement details

Respecting your privacy and protecting your personal information in an online environment is a priority for us. The Niagara Escarpment Commission’s management of personal information is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Service providers under contract to provide online services on behalf of the Niagara Escarpment Commission must follow the practices required by us.

This Privacy Statement explains our current practices regarding what information we may collect, use, and secure when you visit our website. In addition, some NEC online forms may post further detailed statements related to their specific programs. Those statements supplement this Privacy Statement.

What kind of information is collected when you visit our websites?

When you browse or download information from the Niagara Escarpment Commission website, our servers automatically collect limited amounts of standard information for traffic monitoring and statistical purposes. The information is analyzed for operational trends, performance, and for ways to improve our sites. We cannot identify you from this information.

We collect the following standard types of information:

  • Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers being used to access our sites
  • operating systems and the types and versions of browsers used to access our sites
  • Internet Service Providers used by visitors to our sites
  • dates and times users access our sites
  • pages visited
  • keywords users enter into our search engine
  • names and sizes of files requested

Government websites collect the above noted information to provide citizens with access to information and services available on our websites.

What happens when you send us personal information online?

You may choose to provide us with personal information such as your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, if you wish to:

  • submit an e-mail, comment, question or request or subscribe for information online
  • request a service, product, or fill out a registration or application form online
  • provide feedback, participate in consultations or surveys online

When you visit our website, any personal information you provide will be used to respond to your message and/or provide you with the requested service or product. The collection of personal information by government organizations must be in accordance with section 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This section of the Act requires government agencies to collect only the personal information that is necessary for the administration of a government program. At the time the information is collected, you will be informed of the specific purpose for which it is being collected.

How do we use cookies?

 A cookie is a small text file sent from a Web server and placed on your computer’s hard drive. A cookie is generally used to enhance your browsing experience. You can choose to set your browser to detect and reject cookies, to accept cookies from all sites, or to prompt you whenever a site wants to send you a cookie. Check your browser’s “Help” files to learn how to do this. If you choose to refuse cookies, you may not be able to access some of the interactive features on our websites.

Cookies used by the Niagara Escarpment Commission, do not give us access to anything on your hard drive and cannot do anything to your computer. Cookies used by the Niagara Escarpment Commission are encrypted for security purposes to make any information in the cookie unreadable to anyone except the government organization with which you are dealing. Ontario government organizations use two types of cookies: session cookies (temporary) or persistent cookies (longer-term continuing use).

  • session cookies may be used to support on-line feedback/discussion, forms and registration and ‘e-commerce/shopping cart’ transactions – they are used only during your online session and expire when you close your browser. Without session cookies, moving around our Web sites could be much slower
  • persistent cookies are different from session cookies because they are stored on your computer’s hard drive for some length of time – they are usually used if you want us to remember information about your Web preferences (e.g.large font) and passwords for automatic log-in purposes

Further information on ‘cookies’ is at the website of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario: If you wanted to know…What to do about Cookies.

Who is accountable for the protection of privacy?

The ministers of government ministries and agencies are responsible for the administration of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The Act requires government organizations to protect the personal information in their possession. The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) oversees whether government organizations comply with the access and privacy provisions of the Act by investigating privacy complaints and hearing appeals regarding access decisions made by ministries.

Security

The Niagara Escarpment Commission’s security practices are continually evolving to ensure that the integrity and confidentiality of information and systems are maintained. We use up-to-date security safeguards to protect its networks and websites from misuse, alteration, copying, disclosure, destruction, monitoring or unauthorized sharing of information and damage. Our safeguards include the use of security software and encryption protocols and involve physical, technical and procedural controls to protect information behind the government firewall.

What steps can I take to protect my online activities?

Users are encouraged to learn about protecting their own computers to ensure that their online activities remain private. One place to start for tips on home network security is a Question and Answer sheet produced by the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute – CERT Coordination Center.

Who can I contact for further information?

Questions or comments regarding these practices or the administration of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) for the Niagara Escarpment Commission, may be directed to:

Niagara Escarpment Commission

232 Guelph Street

Georgetown, Ontario

L7G 4B1

905-877-5191