Privacy and security
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your information.
PSPC collects personal information to register businesses, evaluate bids, procure goods or services, settle payments, troubleshoot technical issues, and maintain our system security and operability. All personal information collected by PSPC about visitors to CanadaBuys is authorized under legislation and is done in compliance with the Privacy Act. This means that you will be informed when your personal information is required, the purpose for which it is being collected, and how to exercise your right of access to that information.
While visiting CanadaBuys, you may be directed to websites controlled by other Government of Canada institutions or a third party. When visiting a website outside of CanadaBuys, personal information collected will be subject to the terms, conditions, and privacy policies of that other institution or third party. In these cases, we strongly encourage you to take the time to read their specific privacy notices or statements and policies.
Your privacy and the Internet
When you visit a website, its web server automatically gathers information about the visit, including your Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are unique numbers given by Internet service providers to all devices used to access the Internet. The IP address, on its own, does not identify you; however, in some situations, such as with the cooperation of an Internet service provider, it could be used to identify a visitor to a website. For this reason, the Government of Canada considers the IP address to be personal information, especially when combined with other information automatically gathered, such as the pages visited, and date and time of the visit.
CanadaBuys does not automatically gather specific information from you, like your name, phone number or email address. CanadaBuys would only have access to this information if you provide it by email or in one of our online forms. In those situations, the way your personal information is used is outlined in a privacy notice. The notice usually appears above the submit or send button of the form.
In cases where services are provided by organizations outside of the Government of Canada, such as social media platforms or mobile applications, IP addresses may be recorded by the Web server of the third party service provider.
Communicating with CanadaBuys
If you choose to communicate with CanadaBuys using our email us form, live chat or feedback form, CanadaBuys will need some personal information to respond to your inquiry. This may include your name, email address or phone number. The information you provide will only be shared with another Government of Canada institution if your inquiry relates to that institution. We do not use the information to create individual profiles, nor is it disclosed to anyone other than to those who need to provide you with a response. Any disclosure of your personal information is in accordance with the Privacy Act. Such information may be used for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes and is described in Personal Information Bank PSU 914 Public Communications.
Emails, live chats and other electronic methods of communication are not secure. Therefore, do not send any sensitive information through these non-secure electronic means, such as your Procurement Business Number (PBN), Social Insurance Number (SIN), date of birth, personal finance data, and medical or work history.
Improving your experience on the CanadaBuys website
Digital markers (including cookies)
A digital marker is a resource created by your browser to remember certain pieces of information for the web server to reference during visits to the website. CanadaBuys uses sessional or persistent digital markers on parts of its website. Sessional digital markers remember information for an ongoing visit to the website. The information is not saved to your device and is deleted after your session expires or ends. Persistent digital markers will save information to your device, such as log in credentials, which is used for future visits until you delete it.
Examples of digital markers are “cookies” or HTML5 web storage. These allow a website to:
- recognize a previous visit each time you access the site
- track the information viewed on a site, which helps website administrators ensure visitors find what they need
The digital markers used do not allow CanadaBuys to identify individuals. If you do not wish to have cookies stored on your computer, you can turn them off using your web browser. If you opt out of cookies, you will still have access to all information and resources on CanadaBuys.
Web analytics involves collecting, measuring and reporting data about web traffic and visits to a web page, to better understand and enhance web usage. Information in digital markers may be used to remember your online interactions with CanadaBuys. Here is a list of the information collected that helps us understand user trends:
- The name of the Internet service provider, its IP address, and the name of the service provider's server
- The length of time for each visit
- The number of page views per visit
- The type of operating system (Windows, MacOS, etc.)
- The browser (Firefox, Edge, Google Chrome, etc.)
For more information on how your privacy is safeguarded in relation to web analytics, see the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics.
Protecting the security of CanadaBuys
CanadaBuys uses software to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized efforts to upload or change information, or cause damage. This software records the IP address of the computer that has accessed the website, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. We do not link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our site unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.
This information is collected in agreement with section 161 of the Financial Administration Act. The information may be shared with the appropriate law enforcement authorities if suspected criminal activities are detected. Such information may be used for network security related statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting, and is described in Personal Information Bank PSU 939 Security Incidents.
Contact the PSPC Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator if you have any questions, comments, concerns or complaints about the Privacy Act, the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act and privacy policies for CanadaBuys. You can also use the ATIP Online Request Service for a quick way to submit a privacy request.
If you are not satisfied with PSPC’s response or if you want to file a complaint about the handling of your personal information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.