Terms and conditions

Disclaimer

This website provides information to help inform users on the types of risks that can exist online, and steps that can be taken to make personal internet and technology use safer. Information on this website is believed to be accurate, but is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Public Safety Canada is not responsible for any loss of data or damage to a computer system, software, hardware or other equipment resulting from the use of the information on this website.

Cyber security is a constantly-evolving topic; technology, and the risks associated with their use, can change rapidly. The advice contained in this website will therefore not always reflect the most recent advancements in software, hardware, and general online environments.  Users are encouraged to follow official security advice from manufacturers and developers.

Public Safety Canada (PS) is committed to providing websites that respect the privacy of visitors. This privacy notice summarizes the privacy practices for PS's online activities.

All personal information collected by this department is governed by the Privacy Act. This means that you will be informed of the purpose for which your personal information is being collected and how to exercise your right of access to that information.

Your Privacy and the Internet

The nature of the Internet is such that Web servers automatically collect certain information about a visit to a website, including the visitor's Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are unique numbers assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to all devices used to access the Internet. Web servers automatically log the IP addresses of visitors to their sites. The IP address, on its own, does not identify an individual. However, in certain circumstances, such as with the co-operation of an ISP for example, it could be used to identify an individual using the site. For this reason, Public Safety Canada considers the IP address to be personal information, particularly when combined with other data automatically collected when visitor requests a Web page such as the page or pages visited, date and time of the visit.

Unless otherwise noted, PS does not automatically gather any specific information from you, such as your name, telephone number or email address. PS would obtain this type of information only if you supply it to us, for example, by email or by filling in a contact form. In such cases, how your personal information is handled will be provided in a Personal Information Collection Statement.

In cases where services are provided by organizations outside of Public Safety Canada, such as social media platforms or mobile applications, IP addresses may be recorded by the Web server of the third-party service provider.

Communicating with Public Safety Canada

If you choose to send PS an email or complete a feedback form online, your personal information is used by PS in order to respond to your inquiry. The information you provide will only be shared with another government institution if your inquiry relates to that institution. PS does not use the information to create individual profiles nor does it disclose the information to anyone other than to those in the federal government who need to provide you with a response. Any disclosure of your personal information is in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Emails and other electronic methods used to communicate with Public Safety Canada are not secure unless it is specifically stated on a Web page. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not send sensitive personal information, such as your Social Insurance Number or your date of birth, through non-secure electronic means.

Personal information from emails or completed feedback forms is collected pursuant to the Privacy Act. Such information may be used for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes and is included in Personal Information Bank Public Communications (PSU 914).

Third-Party Social Media

Public Safety Canada's use of social media serves as an extension of its presence on the Web. Social media accounts are public and are not hosted on Public Safety Canada servers. Users who choose to interact with us via social media should read the terms of service and privacy policies of these third-party service providers and those of any applications you use to access them. PS uses Twitter.

Personal information that you provide to Public Safety Canada via social media accounts is collected under the authority of the Privacy Act. This information is collected to capture conversations (e.g. questions and answers, comments, “likes”, retweets) between you and PS. It may be used to respond to inquiries, or for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes. Comments posted that violate Canadian law will be deleted and disclosed to law enforcement authorities. Comments that violate our rules of engagement will also be deleted. The personal information is included in Personal Information Bank Outreach Activities (PSU 938).

Improving your Experience on Public Safety Canada Websites

Digital Markers (including cookies)

A digital marker is a resource created by the visitors' browser in order to remember certain pieces of information for the Web server to reference during the same or subsequent visit to the website. Examples of digital markers are “cookies” or HTML5 web storage. Some examples of what digital markers do are as follows:

  • they allow a website to recognize a previous visit each time the visitor accesses the site;
  • they track what information is viewed on a site which helps website administrators ensure visitors find what they are looking for.

PS uses sessional and persistent digital markers on some portions of its website. During your on-line visit, your browser exchanges data with PS's Web server. The digital markers used do not allow PS to identify individuals.

You may adjust your browser settings to reject digital markers, including cookies, if you so choose. However, it may affect your ability to interact with PS's website.

Web Analytics

Web analytics is the collection, analysis, measurement, and reporting of data about Web traffic and visits for purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage. Information in digital markers may be used for the purpose of web analytics to remember your online interactions with PS's website.

PS uses WebLog Expert to improve its web site. When your computer requests a PS Web page, our department collects the following types of information for Web analytics:

  • the originating IP address
  • the date and time of the request
  • the type of browser used
  • the page(s) visited

PS uses WebLog Expert internally and retains information collected for Web analytics for a maximum period of 18 months. After this period, the information must be disposed of in accordance with the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics and as authorized by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. The information is not disclosed to an external third party service provider.

Protecting the Security of Public Safety Canada Websites

PS employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. This software receives and records the IP address of the computer that has contacted our website, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. We make no attempt to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our site unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.

This information is collected pursuant to section 161 of the Financial Administration Act. The information may be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities if suspected criminal activities are detected. Such information may be used for network security related statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting and is included in Personal Information Bank Security Incidents (PSU 939).

Inquiring about these Practices

Any questions, comments, concerns or complaints you may have regarding the administration of the Privacy Act and privacy policies regarding PS's Web presence may be directed to our Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator by email to atip-aiprp@ps-sp.gc.ca by calling 613-991-2929 or writing to ATIP Coordinator, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, ON K1A 0P8.

If you are not satisfied with PS's response to your privacy concern, you may wish to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner by telephone at 1-800-282-1376.

Official Notices for Public Safety Canada

The following notices appear in the “Terms and Conditions” section of websites and Web applications to which the Standard on Web Usability applies.

Using Files Located on Non-Public Safety Canada Servers

To improve the functionality of Public Safety Canada websites, certain files (such as open source libraries, images and scripts) may be delivered automatically to your browser via a trusted third-party server or content delivery network. The delivery of these files is intended to provide a seamless user experience by speeding response times and avoiding the need for each visitor to download these files. Where applicable, specific privacy statements covering these files are included in our Privacy Notice.


Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages

The Official Languages Act, the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations and Treasury Board policy requirements establish when we use both English and French to provide services to or communicate with members of the public. When there is no obligation to provide information in both official languages, content may be available in one official language only. Information provided by organizations not subject to the Official Languages Act is in the language(s) provided. Information provided in a language other than English or French is only for the convenience of our visitors.

Linking to Non-Government of Canada Websites

Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Canada, are provided solely for the convenience of our website visitors. We are not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content of such websites. The Government of Canada does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.

Visitors should also be aware that information offered by non-Government of Canada sites to which this website links is not subject to the Privacy Act or the Official Languages Act and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. The information offered may be available only in the language(s) used by the sites in question. With respect to privacy, visitors should research the privacy policies of these non-government websites before providing personal information.

Ownership and Usage of Content Provided on This Site

Materials on this website were produced and/or compiled by Public Safety Canada for the purpose of providing Canadians with access to information about the programs and services offered by Public Safety Canada. You may use and reproduce the materials as follows:

Non-Commercial Reproduction

Unless otherwise specified you may reproduce the materials in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes, and in any format, without charge or further permission, provided you do the following:

  • Exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced;
  • Indicate both the complete title of the materials reproduced, as well as the author (where available); and
  • Indicate that the reproduction is a copy of the version available at [URL where original document is available].

Commercial Reproduction

Unless otherwise specified, you may not reproduce materials on this site, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution without prior written permission from the Government of Canada's copyright administrator, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). To obtain permission to reproduce Government of Canada materials on this site for commercial purposes, Apply for Crown Copyright Clearance or write to:

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Publishing and Depository Services
350 Albert Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON
Canada
K1A 0S5
copyright.droitdauteur@pwgsc.gc.ca

Some of the content on this site may be subject to the copyright of another party. Where information has been produced or copyright is not held by Government of Canada, the materials are protected under the Copyright Act, and international agreements. Details concerning copyright ownership are indicated on the relevant page(s). To obtain additional information concerning copyright ownership and restrictions, please contact:

Public Safety Canada
Communications
269 Laurier Ave,
Ottawa, Canada
K1A OP8
1-800-830-3118

Third-party materials

Some of the materials and graphical elements found on Government of Canada websites are subject to copyrights held by other organizations. This is particularly true of sites that are jointly operated by a Government of Canada institution and an external organization as part of a collaborative arrangement. In such cases, some restrictions on the reproduction of materials or graphical elements may apply and it may be necessary to seek permission from the rights holder prior to reproducing the material.

To obtain information concerning copyright ownership and restrictions on reproduction on this site, please contact Public Safety Canada Communications by email at communications@ps.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-830-3118.

Trademark Notice

The official symbols of the Government of Canada, including the Canada Wordmark, the Arms of Canada, and the flag symbol may not be reproduced, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes, without prior written authorization.

Our Commitment to Accessibility

The Government of Canada is  committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. In the event of difficulty using our Web pages, applications or device-based mobile applications, please contact us for assistance or to obtain alternative formats such as regular print, Braille or another appropriate format.

Interacting With Us on Social Media

This notice has been written to explain how PS interacts with the public on social media platforms.

Content and Frequency

We use PS social media accounts as an alternative method of sharing the content posted on our website and interacting with our stakeholders. By following PS social media accounts (by “following,” “liking” or “subscribing”), you can expect to see information about the programs and services we provide.

We understand that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. You should expect to see new content posted Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST/EDT. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and responded to as soon as possible.

Because the servers of social media platforms are managed by a third party, PS social media accounts are subject to downtime that may be out of our control. As such, we accept no responsibility for platforms becoming unresponsive or unavailable.

Links to Other Websites and Ads

Public Safety Canada social media accounts may post or display links or ads for websites that are not under our control. These links are provided solely for the convenience of users. Public Safety Canada is not responsible for the information found through these links or ads, nor does it endorse the sites or their content.

Following, “Favouriting” and Subscribing

Our decision to “follow,” “favourite” or “subscribe” to another social media account does not imply an endorsement of that account, channel, page or site, and neither does sharing (re-tweeting, reposting or linking to) content from another user.

Comments and Interaction

We will read comments and participate in discussions when appropriate. We ask that your comments be relevant and respectful. We reserve the right to delete comments that violate this notice, and the user may be blocked and reported to prevent further inappropriate comments.

We cannot engage in issues of party politics or answer questions that break the rules of this notice.

We reserve the right to edit or remove comments that:

  • Contain personal information;
  • Are contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  • Express racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting or life-threatening messages;
  • Put forward serious, unproven or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations;
  • Are aggressive, coarse, violent, obscene or pornographic;
  • Are offensive, rude or abusive to an individual or an organization;
  • Are not sent by the author or are put forward for advertising purposes;
  • Encourage illegal activity;
  • Contain announcements from labour or political organizations;
  • Are written in a language other than English or French;
  • Are unintelligible or irrelevant;
  • Are repetitive or spam; and
  • Do not, in our opinion, add to the normal flow of the discussion.

In short, please be respectful and make sure that your comments are relevant to where they are posted. The views of users commenting on PS social media accounts do not necessarily represent the views of PS  or the Government of Canada.

Accessibility of Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are third-party service providers and are not bound by Government of Canada standards for Web accessibility.
If you have difficulty accessing content on PS social media accounts, please contact us and we will try to solve the problem or provide you with the information in a different format.

Copyright

Information that we post is subject to the Copyright Act.

Privacy

Public Safety Canada social media accounts are not Government of Canada websites and represent only our presence on third-party service providers.
For more information, please refer to our Privacy Notice regarding third-party social media.

Official Languages

Many social media platforms have multiple language options and provide instructions on how to set your preferences. The Government of Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that our information is available in both French and English and that both versions are equal quality.

We reply to comments in the official language in which they are posted. If we think the response is a question of general public interest, we may respond in both official languages.

We may share links that direct users to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act and available only in the language(s) in which they are written. When content is available in only one language, we make an effort to provide similar content in the other official language.

Questions and Media Requests

Reporters are asked to send questions to PS's Media Relations.