Effective date: December 2020
The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia regulates the practice of the Notaries Public profession in British Columbia. Its authority comes from the Notaries Act and SNPBC Bylaws. Its duty is to protect the public interest in the administration of the profession by setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct for Notary Publics.
The SNPBC is committed to protecting the privacy of information it obtains in the course of carrying out its functions.
The SNPBC’s management and protection of personal information provided to it by applicants, students, Notary Publics, members of the public, employees and volunteers, is guided by the following principles:
- all personal information in our custody and control will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), the Notaries Act (theAct), the SNPBC Rules and other applicable legislation; and
- the SNPBC will embody a culture in which personal information is protected and respected.
All employees, volunteers and service providers working on behalf of the SNPBC are responsible for securing and protecting personal information in the custody and control of the SNPBC.
Management is responsible for overseeing the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and disposal of personal information to ensure compliance with the SNPBC’s policies.
SNPBC management will provide effective leadership on privacy at the SNPBC.
The Information and Privacy Officer has overall responsibility for dealing with requests for access to information under FIPPA and has overall responsibility for:
- ensuring that the SNPBC has appropriate policies and processes in place to safeguard the personal information in its custody and control; and
- monitoring the SNPBC’s compliance with its privacy policies and legislative requirements.
- What is personal information?
Schedule 1 of FIPPA defines “personal information” as recorded information about an identifiable individual other than “contact information”. Examples of personal information include an individual’s name, home address and phone number, age, financial information, and family status.
The definition of “contact information” includes an individual’s name or title, business telephone number, business address, business e-mail and business fax number.
- Purposes for collecting, using, disclosing, and retaining personal information
The SNPBC collects, uses, discloses and retains personal information about applicants, students, Notary Publics, members of the public, employees and volunteers, and third parties in order to perform its duties and functions to regulate Notary Publics who provide legal services in British Columbia, including:
- to assess and administer applications for the enrolment, commissioning, and reinstatement of Notary Publics, including the assessment of good character;
- to the manage the continued membership of Notary Publics, including the payment of fees;
- to receive, investigate and manage complaints and conduct disciplinary investigations and hearings;
- to manage the insurance requirements for the profession and the SNPBC’s staff and volunteers.
- to provide practice advice;
- to audit and investigate a member’s practice books, records and accounts;
- to investigate cases involving the unauthorized practice;
- to manage custodianships, where a Notary Public is deemed unable to continue to practice;
- for policy research and development;
- to enable the Board and its committees to carry out their functions;
- for statistical research and analysis purposes;
- to ensure compliance of members of the SNPBC with continuing education requirements;
- to authenticate or confirm for third parties an individual’s membership in the SNPBC;
- to inform and protect the public in accordance with its duties under the Act;
- to investigate and adjudicate claims for trust money held by the SNPBC under the Act;
- to receive and respond to requests for access to information;
- to assess the competence of Notary Publics and implement practice standards; and
- to establish, manage and terminate the employment and volunteer relationships between the SNPBC and its employees and volunteers.
- Collecting personal information
The SNPBC is authorized under the Act, the SNPBC Bylaws, FIPPA and other applicable law to collect personal information for certain purposes.
When collecting personal information, the SNPBC will:
- limit the collection of personal information to what is necessary to undertake our functions or as permitted by applicable law;
- be open and transparent about the information that is being collected by communicating a clear and lawful purpose for the collection;
- ensure that all individuals have the right to request access to the personal information we hold about them, and the right to seek correction if that personal information is incorrect.
- Collecting personal information over the internet
In some instances, the SNPBC may collect personal information over the internet. The online forms on the SNPBC website use SSL encryption to protect the data stream. Upon its submission to the SNPBC, the personal information is retained in a secure database that is stored in Canada.
- Using or disclosing personal information
The SNPBC will only access, use or disclose personal information for the purposes for which it was collected, or for a use that is consistent with that purpose, unless consent for another access, use or disclosure has been obtained, is permitted by the Act or the SNPBC Bylaws, or is otherwise authorized by law.
Personal information will not be accessed, used, or disclosed by SNPBC employees or volunteers except as authorized in the course of fulfilling their duties and responsibilities.
- Retaining and disposing of personal information
The SNPBC will only retain personal information for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes for which the personal information was collected, including for the purpose of meeting any legal, accounting or other reporting requirements or obligations.
If the SNPBC uses personal information to make a decision that directly affects an individual, we will keep that information for at least one year after using it so that individuals have a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to it.
The SNPBC has specific retention periods for different types of information within the SNPBC’s custody and control. These schedules will be reviewed periodically to ensure that personal information is not kept for longer than necessary to serve the original purpose.
When personal information is no longer required, the SNPBC will dispose of it securely.
- Safeguarding personal information
The SNPBC protects personal information in accordance with applicable law.
The SNPBC has made reasonable security arrangements to secure against the unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal, or destruction of personal information.
All SNPBC employees and volunteers are required to comply with the SNPBC’s policies and procedures, in relation to the security, management and protection of all personal information within the SNPBC’s custody and control. Service providers working on behalf of the SNPBC are required to comply with FIPPA and will be made aware of and reminded as necessary about the SNPBC’s privacy policies.
- Confidential information
In regulating the notarial profession, the SNPBC handles information that may be shared confidentiality between Notary Publics and their clients. When the SNPBC obtains information from a Notary Public relating to a current or former client of that Notary Public, the SNPBC assumes all the Notary Public’s obligations in relation to the protection and disclosure of that information, subject to the Act and SNPBC Bylaws.
- Third parties
The SNPBC will not sell, rent, or otherwise share personal information.
Where the SNPBC is permitted by FIPPA, the Act, the SNPBC Bylaws or is otherwise authorized by law to disclose personal information to a third party, we will inform the third party that it must not disclose the personal information for any purpose other than the purpose for which the SNPBC gave the personal information to the third party.
- Service providers
Privacy protections will be in place for all service providers. All contracts entered into by the SNPBC with service providers that may have access to personal or confidential information will contain specific provisions requiring compliance with FIPPA and applicable law relating to the security and privacy of personal information. Managers may determine it is adequate for service providers to sign a confidentiality agreement if service providers do not have access to personal or confidential information or managers consider it is appropriate in the circumstances.
All service providers that may have access to personal information in the SNPBC’s custody or control will be advised and reminded as necessary of the SNPBC’s privacy policies and our obligations to ensure the security and protection of personal information.
- Right to request access to personal information
Information or records available to the public through routine channels, such as the SNPBC website and publications, may be disclosed to individuals without requiring the submission of a formal request.
Formal requests for access to information are processed under FIPPA. Any individual can formally request access to personal information in the custody or control of the SNPBC by submitting a request in writing to the SNPBC’s Information and Privacy Officer at
Before providing the personal information, we will require individuals to verify their identity.
Under FIPPA, the SNPBC has 30 business days after the information is requested to respond to a request. If we need more time to process the request, we will give an individual written notice before the expiry of the 30 business days.
The SNPBC may refuse access to certain personal information where authorized or required by law to refuse access. In the event that access is refused, we will notify the individual of this decision in writing and outline the reasons for the refusal.
An individual has the right to request a review of the SNPBC’s decision by submitting a request in writing to the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia within 30 days of being notified of the SNPBC’s decision.
- Right to seek correction of personal information
When an individual’s personal information is in the custody and control of the SNPBC and the personal information will be used by the SNPBC to make a decision that directly affects the individual, the SNPBC will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the personal information is accurate and complete.
Individuals may write to the SNPBC and request that any errors or omissions be corrected. If the SNPBC is satisfied that a request for correction is reasonable, we will correct the personal information as soon as reasonably possible. If the SNPBC does not agree with the request, we will advise the requesting party accordingly and note both the request and the SNPBC’s reason for not making the requested change on the SNPBC’s file.
If individuals are dissatisfied with the way the SNPBC has handled their personal information, they are entitled to submit a complaint to the SNPBC.
The SNPBC’s Privacy Compliance Officer will investigate all complaints concerning compliance with the SNPBC’s privacy policies and information and privacy law. The Privacy Compliance Officer will make every reasonable effort to resolve complaints including, if necessary, recommending changes to policies and procedures. The complainant will be informed of the outcome of the investigation regarding his or her complaint.
Any individual may seek advice from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (at 250.387.5629, or oipc.bc.ca) and, if appropriate, file a written complaint with the Commissioner’s office. However, individuals are encouraged to use the SNPBC information and complaints procedures first.
- What information do we collect when you visit the SNPBC website?
When you browse our website, the following information may be collected and stored:
- The IP (Internet Protocol) address of your Internet service provider or your computer which also identifies the domain name (such as shaw.ca or yourcompany.com) of your service;
- The operating system of your computer and the browser you use (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.);
- The time and date that you visited our site;
- The SNPBC web pages or online tools that you used.
We use this information to analyze the use and performance of the SNPBC’s website, using tools, to enable us to improve the website, evaluate our technical infrastructure and to monitor compliance with our terms and conditions of use. We do not use this information to identify website users, unless you choose to provide your identity to us through one of the means provided on the SNPBC website or we are required to do so by law.
- What do we do with information provided directly by you?
In order to access our secure server and use our online tools (such as Member Portal or, Trust Reporting Form), you must be a member of the SNPBC or another authorized user. Personal information will only be used for the purpose provided by the SNPBC, or for a use consistent with that purpose, by persons authorized by the SNPBC. If you believe your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what you intended, please contact the SNPBC’s Privacy Compliance Officer at:
- How do we protect personal information?
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our database to be accessed only by those authorized with special access rights to our systems and required to keep the information confidential.
A cookie is a file that is stored on your computer by your web browser when you use an Internet site. The SNPBC only uses session cookies, which remain in existence only during the course of your session.
In order for authorized users to access the secure section of our website, they must enable their computers to accept cookies.
- Do we disclose any information to third parties?
We do not sell or trade personally identifiable information.
Trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website and conducting our business may have access to personal information if necessary, in the circumstances. Information provided by articled students, Notary Publics, applicants, and members of the public through this website will be used and disclosed as necessary for regulatory and compliance purposes. In some cases, we may be required to disclose information by law.
- Third-party links
We feature links to third-party websites on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore assume no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.
By using our site, you accept the terms of this Privacy Statement.
- Changes to our privacy statement or policy
If we decide to change our privacy statement or policies, we will post those changes to this page.
- Contacting or communicating with us
Any questions about this privacy statement or any of our other privacy documentation should be directed to our Privacy Compliance Officer at:
Privacy Compliance Officer
The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia
Suite 700 P.O Box 44
625 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 4Z9