At the CMA, we and our subsidiaries value our members' privacy. To keep it protected, we abide by all relevant legislative requirements and maintain three distinct privacy policies:
Online privacy statement
Privacy for surveys
Online privacy statement for cma.ca
The CMA recognizes the importance of protecting the privacy of personal information. You have a right to know the types of information collected by the cma.ca website, and how and why we collect and use it. You also have a right to choose whether you wish to provide us with this personal information or have it collected.
Please read this privacy statement carefully so that you will understand how your personal information will be treated as you make use of our site. By using the cma.ca site, you agree to the terms of this privacy statement.
What information is collected at cma.ca, and how it’s collected
We collect the following information from users of cma.ca:
- Information at registration, such as your CMA ID number, date of birth, email address, practice status and communication preferences
- Information during e-commerce transactions such as name, address, transaction details and credit card information
- If you are a registered user, information about your usage of cma.ca, such as the products and services you use
- Anonymous non-personal computer information through the use of cookie technology
- Information you voluntarily provide within your “Dashboard,” such as communication preferences
- Information you provide when you respond to requests for feedback and other opportunities to comment on products and services offered on cma.ca, or on CMA policy
- Information such as your email address when you subscribe to features like email alerts and other products and services offered on cma.ca
Visiting our sites
When you visit our websites from a link on another website and move from page to page, read pages, search for content or download content onto your computer, we learn which pages you visit, what content you download, and the address of websites that you visited immediately before coming to our website. However, this information is used only in aggregate.
Phishing is attempting to get information like usernames, passwords, and credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy entity in an email or instant message.
- Do not provide confidential personal or financial information to anyone in an email. No one from the CMA or its subsidiary companies will ever email to ask you for passwords, account numbers or personal information.
- Never include your account number or password in emails.
- Be suspicious of email attachments from unknown sources. If you do not know or recognize the sender of the email, do not open the attachment.
- If you are unsure of an email’s authenticity, delete it.
- Do not set your email program to “auto-run” attachments. Always check that emails you have received do not contain viruses by running your anti-virus software when an email attachment is received.
- Ignore all emails with links to websites requesting personal or financial information. If you receive one, delete it immediately.
- If you are suspicious about an email that appears to have been sent by the CMA or its subsidiary companies, contact the Member Service Centre immediately at 1-888-855-2555
How we use information collected on our website
We use this information to find out how many people visit our website and which sections of the site are visited most frequently. This helps us to know what type of information is most useful to you so that we can improve our website and make it easier for you to access information. We record the statistical information on the numbers of visitors to our website, but no personal information about you will be kept or used.
Using our interactive services
When you register as a cma.ca user, we compile a profile of you for that service (e.g., name, address, CMA ID, username, password, etc.). Each time you use our Internet services, we use your profile to collect information about the transactions you complete and the informational pages of the website you visit while using the service. In certain instances, we may collect your IP address (which identifies the internet address of the computer you are using) to identify you as a unique user.
- We use your profile in responding to your enquiries about selected services.
- We use your cma.ca profile to identify you as a user of the service.
- We use the transaction information in the aggregate to assess and improve the service.
- We use specific transaction information for servicing purposes (e.g., registering you for a meeting).
We also use both your transaction information and the informational pages of the website that you have visited to help us determine areas of interest so that we can offer other products and services to you.
At this time, the CMA does not accept third-party advertising on the cma.ca website. If that changes in the future, this privacy statement will be updated to explain how information is shared with advertisers.
Cookies are small text files a website creates when you visit a site. There are two common types of cookies, “session cookies” and “persistent cookies.” Session cookies store information only for the length of time that you are connected to a website. Unlike “persistent cookies,” they are not written onto your hard drive.
With most web browsers, you can choose to reject all cookies or accept cookies only from certain sites. You can also choose to delete cookies or to receive a warning before a cookie is used. Please refer to your browser instructions or help screen to learn more about these functions.
On cma.ca, session cookies are used as part of the login process. If you choose to reject cookies from cma.ca, you will not be able to login and use all the functions and services on the site.
We also use session cookies to learn how our visitors navigate throughout the various parts of the website. This website-tracking data is used in the aggregate to help us provide the most efficient service and navigational tools for our visitors.
Cookies can also make your use of the web easier by saving language and login preferences. You can indicate whether or not you wish to have your language and login preferences saved by checking the “Keep me logged in” box at registration, in the login box or in the “Personal information” section of your Dashboard. If this option is checked, persistent cookies are used to store your language preference and login information so that you will not need to enter your login credentials each time you visit the site. If this option is not selected, you may need to re-enter your login information every time you visit the site.
Why we collect information at cma.ca
We collect information at the cma.ca site for the following purposes, or consistent with the following:
- To register you as a cma.ca physician visitor and confirm your status as a physician and CMA member for the gated portions of the website.
- To create internal reports to understand individual and aggregate web usage and activity levels.
- To communicate with you.
- To confirm that you have successfully registered.
- To provide you with information such as updates about features, content on the website, medical specialty CME alerts, etc.
- To help us identify and resolve technical issues you may experience while visiting cma.ca.
- To give you the opportunity to provide feedback on the website and CMA products, services or policies.
- To provide you with the opportunity to participate in online CME needs assessments.
- To provide you with product support on services available on the site.
- To provide you with information about benefits and services offered by the CMA and its subsidiary companies, as well as third-party service providers.
- In exceptional circumstances, to inform Canadian physicians of urgent health alerts of national importance.
- To customize your experience of the cma.ca website through data collected using cookies and pixels.
- To complete your e-commerce transactions, such as meeting registrations and product purchases, and for billing and shipping of goods or services sold. We retain a record of your billing and shipping information for accounting and customer support purposes. For credit card information, we retain the cardholder name, card issuer, expiry date and the last four digits of the credit card number for the purposes of making available to you your purchase history over time, and to guard against fraud and wrongful use.
You can change your mind at any time about receiving email communication — with the exception of urgent health alerts — by using the unsubscribe instructions provided with each email. As well, your email preference is saved in the “Personal Information” section of your Dashboard. You can also change your email preferences by accessing your profile any time.
We do not sell or trade the personal information collected at cma.ca. We share personal information about you with third parties to provide you with the products or services you have purchased (for example, for credit card processing). We may share your personal information with CMA subsidiary companies. We may also share your personal information under authority of a valid legal requirement such as a law, regulation or search warrant. In all other cases, we will seek your permission before we disclose personal information.
Accessing and objecting to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information
If at any time you wish to update the information you provided during registration, verify its accuracy or opt out of any use of your personal information, log into your cma.ca account and visit your Dashboard and/or email [email protected]. Please note that your notification preferences (such as email) will apply to cma.ca transactions only. If you wish to change your mailing and contact information for the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries, call the Member Service Centre at 888-855-2555.
If you object to providing some personal information, we may not be able to give you access to certain portions of the website, because these are reserved for physicians and members only. These require your CMA ID number for access. However, if you do not wish to provide your date of birth in order to register for the website, contact the CMA Member Service Centre at 888-855-2555 to discuss the alternate process available.
The cma.ca website has physical and technical measures in place to ensure the security of information. It uses state-of-the-art technology to safeguard your data. Servers reside in Canada in pass-code-secured rooms accessible to only a limited group of authorized personnel. All access to these rooms is tracked through video surveillance. We also use advanced encryption and firewall technology. Although we make every reasonable effort to protect your personal information from loss, misuse or alteration by third parties, you should be aware that there is always some risk involved in transmitting information over the Internet.
Questions about this policy statement
We will in all cases respect your privacy preferences. This privacy statement applies only to the cma.ca website. You should be aware that the cma.ca site contains links to other websites, and we are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. We encourage you to look for and review the privacy statements of every website you visit through a link on cma.ca, or at any site that collects personal information from you. If you have any questions about the cma.ca online privacy statement, email [email protected].
Last updated: 2022
What is the scope of this policy?
Key features of this policy
- What we mean by “Personal Information”
- The types of Personal Information we collect, and from whom
- How we use your Personal Information
- When and to whom we may disclose your Personal Information
- The locations in which your Personal Information may be stored
- How long we may retain your Personal Information
- How we protect your Personal Information
- How you may object to the use of your Personal Information
- How to access, correct or update your Personal Information
- How to contact us
What do we mean by “Personal Information”?
Throughout this policy, we use the phrase “Personal Information.” “Personal Information” is any information about an identifiable individual. In most provinces, Personal Information does not include your business address, telephone number, email address and similar contact details (“business contact information”). Some Personal Information may be found in the public domain by accessing publications like telephone directories. The focus of this policy is Personal Information collected, used and disclosed by us that is NOT in the public domain, as provided by applicable privacy laws.
What types of Personal Information do we collect and use?
Primarily, we collect and use Personal Information about our members. We also have Personal Information about individuals who purchase our products and services, attend our events, conferences or seminars, participate in our task forces/committees/working groups, or submit manuscripts to our publications.
We assign a personal identifier to each member or customer so that you can use this number when contacting us, ordering our products, services and publications, or registering for an event on our website. This identifier is also used by CMA’s subsidiaries e.g., CMA Impact Inc.
We may collect Personal Information directly from individuals, or we may receive it from one of the provincial or territorial medical associations (“PTMAs”) or from the CMA group of subsidiary companies, including CMA Impact Inc.
- If you are a CMA member, you may provide Personal Information like your home address, date of birth and gender to the CMA, or to a PTMA or CMA subsidiary which then shares it with the CMA. Some examples of instances when you might provide such information include filling out an application form, signing up for an app, participating in a community of interest, registering for a course or subscribing to a publication.
- If you have attended an event organized through our Meetings Department, you might have provided us with credit card data, as well as information about travel preferences and food sensitivities.
- If you have purchased a service such as classified advertising, attended one of our seminars (e.g., Physician Leadership Institute) or used our e-commerce registration system, you provided us with personal contact information such as your name, address and credit card information.
- If you have submitted a manuscript for publication by CMAJ, you provided us with contact information, financial disclosure and competing interests data, and the manuscript itself.
- If you have participated in one of our surveys, panels, committees, communities of interest, task forces or working groups, you might have provided us with personal contact information such as your name, email address, address and/or telephone number.
Why do we collect and use Personal Information?
We collect and use only the Personal Information necessary to achieve the following objectives or one consistent with one or more of these objectives:
- To determine an individual’s eligibility for membership in the CMA or to serve as a potential contributor to a publication;
- To determine an individual’s eligibility to benefit from the services of one of the CMA’s subsidiaries or its preferred third-party suppliers;
- To enable an individual to register and participate in cma.ca, member forums, publications, courses and communities of interest;
- To communicate information about CMA member benefits and provide CMA member services, such as the delivery of publications, clinical resources, travel reservations, etc.;
- To gain insight into, develop and market products and services (including those provided by MDFM and other third-party service providers) that are tailored to the interests of physicians and the purchasers of our products and services;
- To update information in our contact database;
- To maintain the membership databases and client contact information of the CMA, CMA Impact and PTMAs;
- To conduct surveys and studies of physicians, patients and the public to gain perspectives on topics impacting health care in Canada (see separate Survey Policy);
- To engage members, physicians, the public and patients in the CMA’s policy development process and advocacy work; and/or
- To broadcast urgent health alerts of national significance.
When and to whom do we disclose Personal Information?
If you are both a CMA member and a client of CMA Impact, when you inform us of an address change, this information will be changed for both organizations, unless you express a contrary preference.
Under the terms of an affiliation agreement with MDFM, we will periodically send, or have a third party send on our behalf, marketing and promotional communications about MDFM. Note that we do not disclose Personal Information to MDFM. You may opt out of having your Personal Information used for this purpose, by following the process set out in the next section.
We might also disclose Personal Information to other third-party service providers if these organizations have contracted or partnered with us to help in the provision of products or services or to do research. For example, we might use a software survey platform of a third party, or we might outsource the mailing function for one of our publications. We may also engage a third party to provide advertising or promotional services on our behalf. Such initiatives could include direct mail or email communications (as permitted by law) or online or social media advertising.
In all cases, we take measures to ensure that Personal Information is managed appropriately and consistent with our policy, including requiring that any disclosed Personal Information be used solely for the purposes for which it was disclosed, be kept confidential and be protected by appropriate security safeguards.
We may, in certain instances, contract with third-party service providers located in other countries. In such cases, your information may be processed and stored in other countries, and the governments, courts, law enforcement or regulatory agencies of those countries may be able to obtain disclosure of your information under a lawful order made in those countries. If you would like more information about the jurisdictions in which our service providers may operate, please contact us.
Within the CMA group of companies, your Personal Information in the form of interactions with the CMA or CMA Impact may be shared amongst these CMA organizations. This will enable us to gain a better understanding of your interests and activities such that we might tailor our product and service offerings to your interests. If you object, a note will be entered in the database, and your Personal Information will not be used for that purpose.
What if I object to any collection, use or disclosure of my Personal Information?
We aim at all times to respect and honour your privacy and communication preferences. For instance, if you indicate to us that you do not wish to receive certain publications, participate in surveys or receive information about new or specific benefits and services such as communications from the CMA or its subsidiaries, your preference will be noted, and you will no longer receive correspondence from us on these issues. Our emails have an “unsubscribe” link, which you may use to stop receiving information from us on certain topics. You may also contact the CMA Member Service Centre at 888-855-2555.
You may also at any time, subject to restrictions required by law, object to our collection, use or disclosure of your Personal Information under this Policy. You need only provide us with reasonable notice in writing of your intention and the details of your objection. Our contact details are set out below.
Please note, however, that any such objection to the collection, use or disclosure of your Personal Information may mean that we are unable to provide you with some or all of our products or services, including CMA member benefits. For example, if you object to the sharing of your CMA membership status with the CMA’s subsidiaries, you may not be eligible to benefit from components of their products or services.
It is your responsibility to contact us in order to determine how an objection to the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information might affect the services supplied.
How accurate is the Personal Information held by us?
We make every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy and currency of your Personal Information so that we might fulfill the purposes for which it was first collected. Please therefore advise us accordingly of any relevant changes so that we might better meet your needs.
How do I access the Personal Information held by you?
To obtain a report on the Personal Information held about you by the CMA and/or CMA Impact, you may send a written request to the attention of:
Chief Privacy Officer
Canadian Medical Association
1410 Blair Towers Place
Ottawa, ON K1J 9B9
Within a reasonable timeframe, the Chief Privacy Officer will advise you in writing whether the office has such Personal Information and the nature of this information, except in the rare circumstance that the release of such information is legally prohibited. If we cannot release the Personal Information, we will provide you with the reasons for denying access.
You may challenge the accuracy and completeness of the Personal Information that is maintained by the CMA. The CMA will amend Personal Information if an individual successfully demonstrates inaccuracy or incompleteness.
How secure is my Personal Information?
We make every reasonable effort to protect your Personal Information by implementing security safeguards against loss; theft; or unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. We use physical, organizational and technological measures as methods of protection. For instance, only a limited number of staff have access to sensitive information, such as credit card numbers. Moreover, we ensure that employees are aware of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of Personal Information.
How long do we retain Personal Information?
We keep Personal Information as long as it is needed to fulfill the purposes identified above. When Personal Information is no longer required to fulfill the identified purposes, it will be safely and securely destroyed. Moreover, we will retain Personal Information that is the subject of an access request for as long as is necessary to allow an individual to exhaust any legal remedy that is provided for in applicable federal or provincial/territorial legislation.
Chief Privacy Officer
Canadian Medical Association
1410 Blair Towers Place
Ottawa, ON K1J 9B9
800 663 7336 x 8256
For more information about your personal privacy rights, you may contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at https://www.priv.gc.ca/en or the applicable privacy commissioner in your province or territory.