Confidentiality and the protection of personal information

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec attaches the utmost importance to protecting the confidentiality and privacy of the information entrusted to it by its clients, website users, and survey respondents.

    A legal obligation

    The Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec (CQLR, chapter I-13.011) stipulates that all persons working at the Institut as well as persons whose services have been retained to carry out a mandate shall not disclose any information obtained under the Act that can be associated with a specific person, enterprise, organization or association.

    The Institut is also required to comply with the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information  (CQLR, chapter A-2.1), under which Québec government departments and bodies are required to preserve the confidentiality of information that allows a person to be identified.

    A fundamental value

    The Institut provides adequate training on the confidentiality of information to all of its personnel upon arrival and promotes this value within the organization on a regular basis.

    The Institut publicly undertakes in its Declaration of Services to the Public to ensure the confidentiality and security of the information it holds.

    Protecting the personal information of survey participants

    Use of the information collected about participants

    When survey results are published, only tables of aggregated data are released to guarantee the anonymity of participants.

    Security measures

    Access to the information provided by participants is limited to Institut employees who are directly involved in the collection, processing and analysis of that information.

    The Institut controls entry to its premises, and connection to its computer network is protected by a rigorous authentication procedure.

    To learn more about the Institut’s confidentiality practices, go to the Information for participants section.

    Protecting the personal information of our clients

    Use of the information collected about our clients

    We use the information collected about our clients to:

    • close sales or provide products or services;
    • manage our clients’ accounts;
    • announce product updates;
    • offer products or services of interest; and
    • carry out client satisfaction surveys.

    The Institut is committed to using the information collected from its clients only within the scope of its business relationships. It also vows not to sell, distribute or communicate that information to anyone outside the Institut, nor to trade that information for commercial or any other purposes.

    The Institut asks only for the information it needs and does not collect any personal information about clients without their consent. This information is kept for no more than three years.

    Modification or removal requests

    The Institut’s clients may:

    • obtain a copy of the information held by the Institut about them as clients;
    • modify their contact information;
    • have their name removed from lists used for promotional or client satisfaction purposes; and
    • ask any questions or make any comments about the Institut’s practices regarding the protection of personal information.

    Protecting the personal information of our website users

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec’s websites do not use persistent cookies. However, they use certain session cookies, for example to respond to database queries or to monitor the duration of inactive work sessions on a website. These session cookies are temporary and are deleted when users close their browsers.

    Users can turn off cookies in their browsers. However, certain functions offered on the Institut’s websites may become unavailable.

    No personal information is collected without the consent of the users involved. The information that is automatically transmitted between computers does not allow users to be personally identified. It is only used for browsing and for statistical purposes.

    Automatically transmitted information

    A small amount of anonymous information on visitors to the Institut’s websites is recorded for the following purposes:

    • Determining the most popular sections of its websites (page visits);
    • Assessing the availability and accessibility of online services (date and time of visits);
    • Making sure that the sites meet the specifications of various types of browsers and operating systems (type of browser and operating system);
    • Identifying the links between websites (address of the referring site, originating domain name); and
    • Determining the geographic location of users (IP address).

    Secure information exchange

    Survey participants have access to secure electronic information exchange services that make data unreadable while it is being transmitted.

    The personal information provided by clients to the Institut by email or through its websites is only used to answer the messages received. This information is only communicated to another government body if the client’s inquiry is addressed to that body or if this communication is required by law.

    Links to other websites

    Links to other websites are only provided to facilitate the browsing experience of Institut website users. By clicking on one of these links, users leave the Institut’s websites. The privacy practices in use at the Institut do not necessarily apply to these external sites. The Institut is not responsible for the information provided though these links.

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