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Disclosure Notice of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Disclosure of organizational information by the trade commissioner service

This Disclosure Notice (DN) outlines the practices of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) as they relate to organizational information collected when assisting Canadian companies. By providing information about your organization, you are agreeing to the terms of this Disclosure Notice as it relates to your organization, and you are consenting to our collection, use, disclosure, retention and protection of your organization’s information for the purposes explained in this document. 

Why do we collect organizational information?

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) provides its clients with practical advice on foreign markets and on-the-ground intelligence to help them make better, timely and cost-effective decisions to achieve their goals abroad. The TCS does this by helping companies prepare for international markets, assessing market potential, finding qualified contacts and resolving business problems. The TCS also promotes Canada as an investment destination for foreign companies and as a partner for innovation. When your organization makes a request for TCS services, we will collect a limited amount of information on your organization including but not limited to the company name, business sector, general product or service descriptions, publicly available data and target markets. This information is collected to know your organization and better serve your needs.

In addition, we collect personal information such as names, position titles and contact information of company representatives. Please see our Privacy Notice Statement (PNS) – Electronic Client Relationship Management System (TRIO2) for details on the collection and treatment of personal information.

Both organizational and personal information are stored in Global Affairs Canada TRIO2 database.

How does the TCS use and share your organizational information?

The TCS uses your information to promote Canada's economic interests in global markets, by engaging in a range of activities including the following:

Your organization’s information may be shared with other partners including federal, provincial, municipal and, private sector associations that support the functions of the TCS. Given the nature of the TCS functions and activities, we may also disclose limited business information, such as a company name, to companies overseas when arranging trade events. 

How do we protect your information?

Global Affairs Canada is committed to protecting the confidentiality and security of the organizational information that it holds by adhering to strong administrative, technical and physical safeguards restricting access to confidential information by employees. The TCS will also protect the names of its clients on all requests, as per the Access to Information Act.

Access to Information Act

In accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, Canada’s Access to Information Act provides a right of access to records under the control of federal government institutions and crown corporations. The Act stipulates that necessary exceptions to the right of access should exist but should be limited and specific, and that decisions on the disclosure of government information can be reviewed by an independent body, in this case the Office of the Information Commissioner.  

Access to information requests are processed by the Global Affairs Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy Protection (ATIP) Division. Confidential information would not be released without the consent of the company.  If records related to your organization are captured or the subject of an access to information request, the primary exemption under which the third-party information is protected is section 20. This exemption allows Global Affairs Canada to protect confidential, financial and commercially sensitive information supplied to it and would include details of negotiations or other sensitive information. In order to apply this exemption, the information in question must already be treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party and if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to cause material financial loss or gain or prejudice to the competitive position of the third party.

If we intend on disclosing records resulting from an access to information request, you will be provided with written notice of the request and of Global Affairs Canada’s intention to disclose. At that time, you have the choice to provide Global Affairs Canada with your representations to sever/withhold records, or your approval to release the records in their entirety. If you do not agree with the department’s determination, you may challenge the decision by applying to the Federal Court for a review of the matter.

For more information related to this or other exemptions under the Access to Information Act, please consult the Access to Information Act itself, or Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Access to Information Manual.

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