Privacy Policy

Business Link offers a selection of Websites, designed to help people find information about small business and entrepreneurship in Alberta, Canada.

We at Business Link are committed to protecting the privacy of everyone who uses our services. We collect only the personal information that we consider necessary to provide services offered by us. Any personal information provided to us through the Website is collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIPPA”).

What is considered Personal Information under FOIPPA?

Under FOIPPA, personal information means recorded information about an identifiable individual, which includes name, address, phone number, e-mail address and credit card information. However, information that enables a person to be contacted at a place of business is not included in this definition.

When Business Link collects personal information, we identify the:

  • purpose for collecting the personal information;
  • legal authority for collecting it; and
  • contact information of an employee who can answer questions you may have about the collection of information.

What Personal Information We Collect and How We Use It

When someone visits the Website, our web server automatically collects a limited amount of standard information essential to the operation, security and evaluation of the Website. This information helps us to make the Website more useful to visitors and includes the:

  • Internet domain and Internet Protocol (“IP”) address from computers that access the Website;
  • type of browser and operating system used to access the Website;
  • date and time the Website is accessed;
  • pages visited;
  • demographic data (age, gender, city);
  • address of any Websites linked to; and
  • content downloaded from the Website.

While some of this information does not identify who people are, other information (e.g., Internet domain names or the IP addresses of Internet service providers) may provide identification. The extent of personal identification depends on the naming standards followed by the Internet service provider. You may wish to check with your provider to inquire about their policies and practices in this regard. Business Link does not use this information to identify individuals who visit the Website unless required to do so as part of an internal investigation or other law enforcement purpose.

We also collect information provided directly to us by you. For example, when someone chooses to join our email list, we may collect their name, email address, country and province.

The personal information provided to us is used for the purpose for which it was collected or for a use consistent with that purpose. For example, personal information may be used to:

  • send information about Business Link that we believe will be of interest (based on a confidential personal profile);
  • contact you about upcoming events and webinars;
  • respond to inquiries;
  • provide requested materials;
  • create targeting advertising;
  • obtain feedback on Business Link experiences; or
  • assist with the use of the Website.

Wherever possible, and wherever required by applicable law, we seek your explicit consent before these activities occur. At any time, you may request that we stop communicating with you by either updating your user profile or contacting us directly.

You always have the option not to provide us with personal information. Your decision not to participate in electronic service delivery activities will not impair your ability to browse the Website. However, it may limit the use of certain features of the Website. To opt out, please see Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs.

Anonymous Audience Data

We also collect aggregate, anonymized data from Other Organizations, and share such data with them. That data is used by us and by Other Organizations to create common audiences for serving online advertising and for co-marketing through website tags such as pixels and floodlight tags.

Storage, Access and Disclosure of Your Personal Information

Business Link and our Service Providers (for the purposes of providing and supporting the Website and other services offered by us), may store or disclose your personal information outside of Canada in accordance with the FOIPPA regulations. In certain circumstances, we may need to disclose your personal information to our Service Providers in order to facilitate the operation of the Website, our databases, e-mail marketing software or for processing payment transactions. In some cases, these Service Providers may reside outside of Canada. Before any personal information is disclosed to our Service Providers, they must contractually agree to collect, use, store, access and protect the personal information in a manner that is consistent with our privacy policies and in compliance with FOIPPA.

Collection and Consent

By accessing and using the Website, you acknowledge that Business Link is collecting (either directly or indirectly through its Service Providers) information, including personal information, relating to your access to and use of the Website. Any such personal information collected directly from you is collected under section 26(c) of FOIPPA for the purposes set out above. You consent to the indirect collection of any such personal information by Business Link, and to the storage and disclosure of that personal information inside or outside of Canada for the purposes set out above. Your consent is effective on and after the date of information collection and does not expire unless revoked by you in writing.

Security of Your Information

Under FOIPPA, Business Link is obligated to protect personal information by making reasonable security arrangements against risks of unauthorized collection, use, disclosure or disposal.

Security measures, such as the use of FTP secure sites and SSL encryption, have been integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day operating practices as part our commitment to protect the information we hold. Any personal information submitted on the Website is secure once it reaches the Business Link server. In transit between a computer and the server, all information is secured using SSL encryption, which the web browser typically denotes using a lock icon.

Links to Other Websites

The Website also provides links to external third-party websites that offer information on small business-related products and services that they or other third parties offer. These websites may be operated by other government agencies, non-profit organizations or private businesses. Business Link is not responsible for the personal information collected by, or privacy practices of, those external websites. We strongly encourage users to review the privacy policy for each external website before submitting any personal information.

Account Registration

Use of the Interactive Business Plan Builder requires registration of an Account. By registering for an Account and entering your email address on the Website or any companion site, you are consenting to receive Business Link communications regarding the Interactive Business Plan Builder and your Account.

If you register for an Account, we will collect your full name, email address, business name, country, province, city and chosen password. We will use your contact details to send you a confirmation email, to communicate with you in response to your inquiries, and to send you Interactive Business Plan Builder related communications. We will not use your contact details to send you marketing communications unless you opt-in to such communications.

If you register for an Account, we will collect information about your use of the Services. We use this information to deliver Services to you and to enhance your experience.

Cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data that web pages place in devices (e.g., computers or mobile phones) to assist in returning to that page. Business Link uses cookies to track activities on the Website to help us identify what small business-related products and services consumers are interested in, so that we may continually work towards providing useful and relevant content, and to provide a more personalized experience. It is possible to change the settings on a web browser to deny cookies or to warn when cookies will be deposited.

We may allow our Service Providers to place cookies on your devices and collect the IP address of your devices, which provides our Service Providers with your general location data. Our Service Providers may use this data to serve you with our advertisements, on the Website or elsewhere online, and to report to us on an aggregated basis on the effectiveness of our advertisements. In order to do so, our Service Providers may combine your IP address with other information that our Service Providers have obtained from other sources, as permitted by law.

All first time Website visitors are presented with a persistent notice banner appearing at the bottom of all web pages that provides you the option to accept the use of cookies by clicking ‘I understand’, and the option to view cookie settings within a Cookie Preference Centre to manage your consent preferences for all types of cookies we use on the Website (Strictly Necessary Cookies, Performance Cookies, Functional Cookies, Targeting Cookies). With the exception of Strictly Necessary Cookies, all other types of cookies may be turned ‘on’ or ‘off’ by you. The notice banner will remain in view until you interact with it by clicking ‘I understand’, make selections within ‘Cookie Settings’, or close it using the ‘x’. By default, all cookies are set to ‘on’, with the exception of Website visitors whose location is determined by IP detection to be within the European Union. EU residents have all optional cookies set to ‘off’ by default.

Processing Payment

Business Link may from time to time offer certain paid Services on the Websites including, without limitation, Business Plan Review Service and Market Research Service. If you engage Business Link for any paid Services, your credit card information is processed by our payment processing provider Stripe Payments Canada, Ltd. in order to process payments for your orders. Business Link itself does not collect your payment information. Certain payment information may be available through the Stripe Payments account held by Business Link, but all such information is held in strict confidence

How Long Information Is Retained

The length of time we keep your information varies in relation to the type of information and the nature of the service provided. We keep information for the length of time necessary to fulfil the purpose(s) for which it was collected or as otherwise required by law. Business Link manages the information it collects in accordance with Alberta government records retention schedules and other legislative and policy requirements.

Updates/Corrections to Your Information

You may update or correct certain information you have provided to us at any time by visiting your user profile or contacting us directly. If you wish to request deletion of your information, please contact us at [email protected]. You acknowledge that although we will do our best to honour your request, we may retain certain information as required or permitted by law. You can opt-out of the newsletters by clicking Unsubscribe at the bottom of the newsletter. You can opt-out of the Google Analytics Advertising Features you use, including through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or any other available means. Please see Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs.

Changes to Our Privacy Policy

Business Link may, from time to time, review and revise its privacy practices and the Terms, including our Privacy Policy. As noted above, your continued use of the Website shall be deemed to be your conclusive acceptance of any modifications to the Terms, including the Privacy Policy. This page was last revised October 20, 2023.

Who Can I Contact About the Business Link Privacy Policy or the Collection/Use of Personal Information?

General questions or comments about our Privacy Policy can be directed to:

Attn: Privacy Officer, Kathy Falla

(800) 272-9675

[email protected]

1550 5 St SW #200, Calgary, AB T2R 1K3

You can also contact us through the contact form available on the Website.

If you are not satisfied by our response, you can reach out to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

30 Victoria Street

Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 1H3