Cougar is committed to meeting its obligations under Canadian federal and provincial privacy laws, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
What is Personal Information?
Personal information refers to information that identifies you or others as an individual. It may include information such as age, gender, marital status, employment history, personal identification numbers such as your social insurance number, credit history, trading history, finances, home address, personal email address, and home telephone number and the name, address and social insurance number of your spouse and any beneficiaries.
Why is Personal Information Collected?
Collecting and retaining personal information about you is essential to our ability to adhere to our industry’s “Know Your Client” rule and for tax reporting purposes. Personal information obtained from you will be used to protect and administer your accounts, records and funds; to comply with certain laws, regulations and regulatory policies; to help us improve our products and services offered to you; and to understand your financial needs. The information we ask for depends on the products or services you request and in most cases are required by laws or regulations of the Canadian regulatory authorities to which we are subject. For example, your social insurance number is required for products that earn investment income, in order to comply with the Canada Revenue Agency’s income reporting requirements.
Our Collection and Use of Your Personal Information
In order to provide our services to you, we will ask you to provide certain personal information, such as your personal contact information, employment information, financial and banking information, legal documents and information regarding your investment knowledge, objectives, strategies, needs and values. We request this information to provide our services to you, and to comply with applicable securities and other laws. We will also collect information pursuant to our Relationship Disclosure Information form, which we are required to provide to clients under securities laws.
Cougar believes in collecting and using personal information responsibly and only for the purpose for which it was collected. We require your personal information in order to establish a relationship with you and provide you with the best possible service. The personal information that we collect, allow us to:
- establish your identity;
- ensure our records are accurate;
- create, establish and administer your account;
- execute your transactions;
- provide you with account statements/information, financial statements, tax receipts, transaction confirmations and other information that may be requested or needed to service your account;
- provide all required tax reporting;
- properly discharge our legal and regulatory responsibilities with respect to suitability assessment and other securities rules, and federal anti-money laundering and suppression of terrorism legislation;
- provide you with quality client service and support on your investment needs;
- provide access to information about Cougar services, investment products and investment funds;
- develop and offer additional products and services that we feel may be of interest to you or that we believe meet your changing needs;
- assess your eligibility for our investment products, services or offerings;
- protect you and us from error and fraud; and
- allow us to meet contractual requirements relating to the products and services provided to you.
We collect most of our information about you directly from you with your consent. With your consent, we may also obtain personal information about you from third parties.
Your Consent and Right to Withdraw Consent
Consent may also be required when clients purchase a product or service subsequent to account opening. An authorized representative of the client (such as a legal guardian or a person having power of attorney) can give consent.
We will also comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) in connection with obtaining any necessary consents from you prior to the sending of any commercial electronic messages to you.
You may withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, by contacting Cougar’s Privacy Officer. Legal and other requirements may prevent you from withdrawing consent and your decision to withdraw personal information may also limit the services or products we are able to provide to you.
Sharing of Personal Information
Your information may be made available to related companies or third-party service providers to fulfill the purposes for which it has been collected. Cougar will not sell your personal information to anyone. However, we may share your personal information as follows:
- Third party service providers or affiliated service providers. We hire service providers, which may be affiliates, to perform services on your behalf. We provide them with a limited amount of information in order that they may provide services including, but not limited to, financial services (such as custodian services), portfolio management, data processing, the preparation and mailing of client statements, document storage, and imaging. They are prohibited from using the information for purposes other than to carry out the services they have been engaged to provide. These service providers are not permitted to disclose this information to others, except as permitted or required by law.
- As permitted or required by law. Cougar is compelled to disclose personal information in response to a law, regulation, court order, subpoena, valid demand, search warrant or other legally valid request or enquiry. We may disclose certain personal information in connection with a power of attorney or in the event of diminished mental capacity or incapacity. We may also disclose information to our accountants, auditors, agents and legal advisors in connection with the enforcement or protection of our legal rights. We also reserve the right to report to law enforcement agencies any activities that we, in good faith, believe to be unlawful. We may release certain personal information when we believe that such release is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property, and safety of others and ourselves and to outside sources to help us collect a debt owed to us by you.
- Securities regulatory authorities. We share your information with securities regulatory authorities or Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs), which may require access to personal information about our current and former clients, employees, agents, directors, officers, partners and others and use the information to review, monitor, audit or investigate Cougar’s compliance with securities rules. The information provided to such authorities or SROs may, in turn, be reported to other securities regulators, regulated marketplaces, other SROs or law enforcement agencies. These regulatory authorities may collect, use or disclose such personal information obtained for regulatory purposes, including:
- surveillance of trading-related activity;
- sales, financial compliance, trade desk review and other regulatory audits;
- investigation of potential regulatory and statutory violations;
- regulatory databases;
- enforcement or disciplinary proceedings;
- reporting to securities regulators or stock exchanges; and
- information-sharing with other similar organizations and law enforcement agencies in any jurisdiction in connection with any of the foregoing.
When you visit our Website, we may collect the following type of information:
- Information that you provide. We may collect your name, contact information, e-mail address and any information when you log-in on our Website, interact with us, make an inquiry through our Website, subscribe to commentaries and newsletters, or when you contact us. We will only use this information to contact you in order to answer your questions and requests, or to manage our everyday business needs.
- Web Beacons. Pages on the Website and content of our emails may contain “web beacons” (also known as internet tags, pixel tags and clear GIFs). The web beacons allow us to obtain information such as the IP address of the computer that downloaded the page on which the beacon appears, the URL of the page on which the beacon appears, the time the page containing the beacon was viewed or the email was opened up, the type of browser used to view the page, and the information in cookies set by us. We use log files to store the data that is collected through web beacons.
- Analytics. The Website uses Google Analytics to collect information, in an anonymous form, about how visitors use the Website, including the number of visitors to the Website and the pages they have visited. We use such information to compile reports and to help us improve the Website. By using the Website, you agree to such use of Google Analytics. Should you wish to opt-out of the use of Google Analytics, please click on the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en
You can contribute to the confidentiality of your personal information by not disclosing your designated username and password to anyone. Remember, email over the Internet is generally unencrypted. Therefore, we recommend that you do not send us sensitive or confidential information by ordinary email.
Commercial Electronic Communications
You can always limit the communications that Cougar sends to you. To opt-out of commercial emails, simply click the link labeled “unsubscribe” at the bottom of any email we send you. Please note that even if you opt-out of promotional emails, we may still need to contact you with important information about your account or our business relationship, in compliance with applicable Canadian anti-spam legislation. If you have any questions about your choices or if you need any assistance with opting-out, please contact us via email to email@example.com. You can also write us at the address in the Inquiries and Complaints section below. If you send us a letter, please provide your name, address, email address, and information about the communications that you do not want to receive.
Upon request, we will provide you with access to your personal information in accordance with applicable privacy laws. Most of your information is in the form of account documentation and transaction records. Although every effort will be made to accommodate your request, please note that we may refuse access in certain circumstances prescribed by law such as: where the information contains the personal information of other persons, where disclosure of your information to you would reveal our confidential commercial information or violate our legal privilege, or where we are otherwise required or permitted by law to refuse access.
Keeping Information Accurate
Having accurate information about you will enable us to give you the best possible service. You can help by keeping us informed of any changes such as if you move, if there is a change in your contact numbers or if there is any other material change in your personal information. If you find any errors in our information about you, let us know and we will make the corrections needed as soon as reasonably possible and make sure they are conveyed to anyone we may have misinformed. For information that remains in dispute, we will note your opinion in the file.
We retain your personal information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected or as required by law. The length of time we retain information varies depending on the product or service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of your relationship with us but only for so long as it is necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issue that may arise at a later date. When your personal information is no longer needed or required, we have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert it to an anonymous form.
Storing and Safeguarding Personal Information
Security safeguards are in place to protect personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification regardless of the format in which it is held. Cougar’s safeguards vary depending on the sensitivity of the personal information. The highest level of protection is given to the most sensitive personal information.
For example, all client information is protected from unauthorized access through the use of secure passwords, user logons, or other security procedures. Within Cougar, we restrict access to information about you to those Cougar employees who need to know the information in order to perform their jobs, such as servicing your accounts or notifying you about new or existing services. To protect information about you, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in keeping with industry standards and practices, and we regularly review and adjust these safeguards (including security and encryption methods) in response to advances in technology. Please be aware that despite our best efforts, no data security measures can guarantee 100% security all of the time.
Cougar Global has international affiliates and operates certain parts of its business in the United States of America. Accordingly, your information may be transferred to, maintained and processed by Cougar Global or its affiliates or service providers in the United States and therefore, this information may be available to government authorities under lawful orders and laws applicable in the U.S. Please note that U.S. privacy laws, regulations, and standards may not be equivalent to the laws in your country of residence and such information may be subject to lawful access by U.S. courts, law enforcement, and governmental authorities. By using our services or by providing us with your information, you consent to this collection, transfer, storage, and processing of information to, in, and out of the United States.
Your personal information may be kept in electronic or paper format at the offices of Cougar, its affiliates or its third-party service providers. Your information may also be kept in secure off-site storage facilities.
Location of Your Personal Information
Policies, procedures, guidelines, and safeguards have been put in place to ensure your personal information is protected. Our employees and service providers have access to your personal information to enable them to perform their duties providing products and services to you. Confidentiality and privacy are important to our business and our internal code of ethics and policies and procedures require all employees of Cougar to maintain client confidentiality. Each year, our employees receive a current copy of our code of ethics and are required to certify in writing that they will comply with it.
Breach of Security Safeguards
Effective November 1 2018, in the event of a Breach of Security Safeguards and it is reasonable to believe that, in the circumstances, the Breach of Security Safeguards creates a real risk of significant harm to you, the firm may be required to report the incident to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the affected individual(s) and other organizations.
A Breach of Security Safeguards is defined as a loss of, unauthorized access to or unauthorized disclosure of personal information resulting from a breach of the firms safeguards or from the failure to establish safeguards. Significant harm can include physical harm, humiliation, damage to reputation or relationships, loss of employment, business or professional opportunities, financial loss, identify theft, loss of property, and negative effects on the credit record.
In determining if a real risk of significant harm has been created, the firm will look at various factors including the sensitivity of the information involved in the breach and the probability that the personal information has been or will be misused.
Notification to the Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada will be made as soon as feasible after the firm has determined that a breach has occurred. The notice to you will contain a description of the circumstances, the date of or the period the breach occurred, a description of the personal information that was subject to the breach, a description of the steps the firm has taken to reduce the risk of harm, a description of the steps that you could take to reduce the risk of harm and the contact information to obtain more facts about the breach. The firm can also provide notification of the breach to other organization’s if it believes that these other organizations will be able to reduce the risk of harm or mitigate that harm.
The firm will keep a record of every breach of security safeguards involving personal information under its control for 24 months after the day on which the firm determines that the breach has occurred.
Inquiries and Complaints
If you have any questions about privacy and confidentiality, or any concerns about the way a request for personal information was handled, you should first our wealth management team. In most cases, the wealth management team will be able to resolve the matter for you. If your concerns remain unresolved, you can contact the Cougar Privacy Officer at the coordinates below:
Cougar Global Investments Limited
200 King Street West, Suite 1901
Phone: 1800 387 3779
In most instances, the Privacy Officer will investigate and reply to inquiries or complaints within 30 days. Where a complaint is found to be justified, Cougar will take appropriate measures, if necessary, including amending our privacy policies or information handling practices. If the Privacy Officer is unable to respond to your inquiry within 30 days, you will be notified in advance of the end of such 30 day period of when you should expect to receive a response. Please be sure to include your name, address, phone number and information relating to the nature of your inquiry or complaint.
If you are not satisfied with Cougar’s response to a privacy-related inquiry, or have any other complaint, you may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada during business hours at 1-800-282-1376 or at https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/.