Terms of use and privacy

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Privacy statement
  3. Privacy compliance
  4. Use and disclosure of personal information
  5. Cookies
  6. Analytics and tracking
  7. Reasons we collect personal information
  8. Protection of personal information
  9. Links to other websites
  10. Security
  11. Email collection privacy notice
  12. Notification of changes
  13. Contact us

Overview

The City of Waterloo attempts to keep the information on this website current, accurate and complete. Reliance upon any materials on this site shall be at your sole risk. All such information should be verified independently before being used or relied on. The city assumes no responsibility for any damages arising out of the use of this site.

The materials on the city's website are provided "as is." The city does not make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on this website or otherwise relating to these materials or on any sites linked to this site. Links or references to other websites or organizations do not imply endorsement or approval by the City of Waterloo.

By using this website you are agreeing to be bound by the current version of these terms of use. The city reserves the right to change or modify these terms of use and/or this site at any time without notice.


Privacy statement

Modern information and communication technologies play a fundamental role at the City of Waterloo. Protecting your privacy and your personal data is an important aspect of the way we create, organize and implement our activities online and offline. The City of Waterloo is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. Any personal data relating to you will only be used and recorded by us in accordance with current data protection legislation and this privacy statement.

Most of the information accessible on the city's website does not require you to identify yourself at all. You may access it anonymously. However, the City of Waterloo does collect personal information about you when you choose to provide it. We endeavour to collect only as much personal information as is absolutely necessary to assist you in conducting business with the city via the website.

We provide multiple service "channels" for conducting business (e.g. walk-in, mail-in, fax-in, phone-in, etc.) in addition to the web. If at any time you have concerns about using the web channel to conduct your business with the city, we will always provide you with an alternative (traditional) service channel as an option.


Privacy compliance

Our practices have been designed to ensure compliance with the privacy provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario). The City of Waterloo endeavours to make its information accessible to the public, however, some records contain information that is either privileged or of a personal nature.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act compels the municipality to review such information prior to considering disclosure. Requests to access such personal and privileged records must be made in writing before the city can make a decision on whether or not the records may be disclosed.


Use and disclosure of personal information

You can access our website homepage and browse our site without disclosing personal data. We collect your personal data only with your knowledge or your consent. 


Cookies

We use cookies on our website. A "cookie" is a small text file that is stored on a user's computer, placed there by a web server for future access and retrieval of stored information pertaining to that user. All our employees and processors who have access to your personal data are obliged to respect its confidentiality.


Analytics and tracking

To help inform our communications and marketing efforts, we have user behaviour tracking tools in use on this website. They provide anonymized data about browsing habits and user decisions that we use to improve the website and our outreach activities. We do not collect personal information through these activities.


Reasons we collect personal information

We collect and retain personal information for the following purposes:

  • to process requests for services, products or further information
  • to communicate with you regarding services or products that you have requested
  • to identify you if you have a query or concern about the service or product that you have requested
  • to advise you about changes to our web service offerings and of service interruptions
  • as required by provincial or federal legislation, and our Records Retention By-Law

Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to the freedom of information officer in the clerks office by phone at 519-886-1550, by fax at 519-747-8510 or by TTY at 1-866-786-3941.


Protection of personal information

The City of Waterloo takes every precaution to protect your personal information. We protect your account information by requiring you to enter a unique login ID and password each time you want to access your account information. Your password should never be shared with anyone.

The City of Waterloo is the sole owner of the information collected on its site. We do not use or retain personal information that you provide to us for any secondary purposes unless we clearly notify you and gain your permission first. We will not sell, share, rent or otherwise disclose your personal information to any organization or individual outside the City of Waterloo unless we first notify you and ask your permission. We will not disclose your personal data to government institutions and authorities unless required by law or other regulation. Raw data may be used for statistical or comparative analyses prepared by or on behalf of the City of Waterloo provided that such data will not be associated to an identified individual or business.

At times, we may request information from you via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and you have a choice of whether or not to disclose the information requested. If you choose not to participate in surveys, you will still be able to use our site or request services or products from us.


Links to other websites

This website contains links to other sites however the City of Waterloo is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. When you leave our site, we encourage you to read the privacy statement of every website you visit before providing personal information. The city's privacy statement applies solely to information collected on the city's website.

The City of Waterloo makes every effort to ensure the links listed are current and are indeed linked to the appropriate site. When we become aware of a link to a site with questionable content, appropriate action will be taken.


Security

This website takes every precaution to protect users' information. We uses industry standard encryption technology to keep personal information safe. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and off-line.

All user information is maintained in a secure environment. Only authorized staff of the City of Waterloo, who need the information to perform a specific task (for example, billing, shipping or customer service staff) are granted access to personally identifiable information and only allowed access to it when absolutely necessary, and then under strict guidelines as to what use may be made of such details.


Email collection privacy notice

The City of Waterloo takes its privacy obligations seriously and this privacy notice will explain how we manage your personal information. The City of Waterloo collects, stores, uses and discloses your personal information under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001, SO 2001, c.25 (as amended) and will use it for the purposes identified in this notice.

Information we collect

The personal information we collect depends on the context of your interactions with our emails, your email account settings, the products and features you use and your location, and applicable law, however, the collected personal information broadly falls into the following categories:

1. Information you provide to us

You may provide personal information to us when you sign up to receive our email notifications, digital newsletters, or when you create an account using a municipal digital service:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
2. Information collected by City of Waterloo automatically

City of Waterloo email notifications related to the mypermits.waterloo.ca site or ActiveWaterloo, are serviced internally and are governed by the City of Waterloo Email notifications privacy notice.

Information collected by eSolutions Group automatically:

City of Waterloo email notifications for media releases, service alerts, road closures, city, community and council events are serviced by eSolutions Group, a third party service provider. eSolutions Group does not hold personal information unless you choose to use and receive online products and services that require it. eSolutions may automatically collect or receive information about your device and usage of the email service including:

  • IP address;
  • Browser type and version;
  • Type of device (and device ID) operating system version you use to access eSolutions services;
  • Some information about your use and interactions with emails sent to you via eSolutions services (including clicks and opens);
  • Names and sizes of files requested;
  • key words entered into search engine;

For more information, please review eSolutions Group’s Privacy Policy.

3. Information collected by Constant Contact automatically

City of Waterloo digital newsletters are serviced by Constant Contact, a third party service provider. Constant Contact may automatically collect or receive information about your device and usage of the email service including:

  • IP address;
  • Browser type and version;
  • Type of device (and device ID) operating system version you use to access Constant Contact services;
  • Geographic location of the device you accessed Constant Contact services on;
  • Whether you accessed web links sent to you via Constant Contact;
  • How you accessed services;
  • Some information about your use and interactions with emails sent to you via Constant Contact (including clicks and opens); and
  • Issues you encounter requiring Constant Contact support or assistance.

For further information, please review Constant Contact’s privacy policy.

Use of personal information

The City of Waterloo may use your personal information to create contact lists in order to send you future emails about:

  • city programs and projects, including public engagement opportunities, licensing and enforcement information, recreation updates, programs and events
  • media releases, service alerts, road closures
  • city, community and council events

Consent

By subscribing to City of Waterloo email notifications and/or digital newsletters, you are providing express consent, as defined by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), to receive email communications from the City of Waterloo.

Sharing personal information

The City of Waterloo does not sell your personal information to any party. We use the personal information to create contact lists, which are uploaded into eSolutions Group, Constant Contact and/or our internal system to send you email communications. eSolutions Group and Constant Contact may provide the City of Waterloo with aggregated and anonymous information about system users’ interaction with our emails, in order to improve our services. 

Choice/Opt-out

All emails you receive from City of Waterloo through our internal system, eSolutions Group and Constant Contact include a simple mechanism to unsubscribe. If you believe you have received an unsolicited email or you did not subscribe to receive emails from us, you may report it to us at communications@waterloo.ca

Retention of personal information

Your personal information will be disposed of according to the City of Waterloo records retention bylaw.

Please note that Constant Contact may keep your personal information longer after you unsubscribe from City of Waterloo digital newsletters. Please refer to the Constant Contact Privacy Policy for further details on the retention of your personal information.


Notification of changes

If we decide to change our privacy statement, we will post those changes on the city's news feed. You can also subscribe to this page via the link below to be notified whenever it changes.


Contact us

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or our personal information handling practices, or you wish to make a complaint, contact communications@waterloo.ca or by regular mail at:

Corporate Communications Division
City of Waterloo
PO Box 337, STN Waterloo
100 Regina St. S. Waterloo ON N2J 4A8
519-886-1550