Article August 18, 2020

Is my advisor protecting my personal information?

Yes, and it’s even a part of their professional obligations.

Under the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector, all CSF member advisors are required to protect the confidentiality of the personal information that they gather, use or communicate as part of their practice. They must have specific policies in place to prevent data breaches and guarantee that:

• all personal information collected will remain private,

• the personal information will be used solely for its declared purposes, and

• the personal information will not be disclosed to third parties.*

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many professionals to adapt to new technologies like virtual meetings. And while communicating remotely with your financial advisor is relatively simple, this new environment carries a greater risk of online piracy and, particularly, identity theft. By taking the right precautions, you can help keep your personal information secure.

First of all, your advisor knows they’re required to use secure methods when sharing and storing sensitive data, like email encryption, cloud computing, password-protected gateways and highly secure videoconferencing platforms.

On your end, avoid sending personal information to your advisor through unsecured email or uncontrolled environments like WhatsApp or Messenger. Instead, give the information verbally via videoconference or over the phone. Note that your advisor must inform you if you are being recorded.

Whatever your circumstances, don’t hesitate to ask your advisor what security measures they use. Your advisor can also lend you a hand if you’re not comfortable using the new technologies.

What is personal information?

Personal information is data in any format (written, graphic, sound, visual, digitized, etc.) that can be used to identify you personally. This includes:

  • Your name and address
  • Your email address
  • Your national or ethnic origin
  • Your religious affiliation
  • Your age and family status
  • Your medical record and/or criminal record
  • Your financial transactions
  • Photographs or photocopies of your health insurance card, social insurance card or driver’s license

* For the last two points, personal information may be used or disclosed with the client's consent or if mandated by law or by order of a court.