Privacy at Hallmark Canada

Privacy of personal information is an important principle to Hallmark Canada. Hallmark Canada is committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the goods and services we provide. It is Hallmark Canada’s objective to be open and upfront with how personal information is to be handled.

Last updated June 2009


What is personal information?

Personal information is any factual or subjective information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), health (e.g. health history, health conditions, health services received) or activities and views (e.g. religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Business information, on the other hand, is not protected by privacy legislation and includes such information as an individual’s business address, title and telephone number.


Who Hallmark Canada is

Hallmark Canada consists of approximately 2000 employees including field personnel and corporate store employees. Hallmark Canada also uses a number of consultants and agencies that include marketing and promotion house personnel, community resource personnel, auditors, retail technology consultants, credit check service consultants, etc. Access to Hallmark Canada’s personal information by such consultants and agencies is limited and Hallmark Canada is given their assurance that the appropriate privacy principles are adhered to.


Hallmark Canada’s Commitment to Privacy

Hallmark Canada is committed to the protection, accuracy and confidentiality of personal information. Hallmark Canada’s personal information policies and practices are based on the ten principles set out by Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). These principles include:

1. Accountability.

Hallmark Canada has appointed a Chief Privacy Officer in addition to a Privacy committee consisting of three Human Resources personnel and the Corporate Paralegal, whose primary objective is to develop, implement and review Hallmark Canada’s privacy policies and procedures and ensure compliance with the privacy legislation.

2. Identifying the purposes for which personal information is collected.

Like all manufacturers, distributors and retailers, Hallmark Canada collects, uses and discloses personal information in order to serve its customers. Hallmark Canada’s customers include: wholesale customers, franchisees, and retail consumers.

For wholesale customers, the primary purposes for collecting personal information are as follows:

  • To verify creditworthiness
  • To open trade receivables accounts and establish credit
  • To invoice and receive payment for stock
  • To enroll accounts into Hallmark Canada’s Gold Crown Program
  • To facilitate ongoing business communications

The types of personal information collected for these purposes include:

  • Home address
  • Home telephone number
  • Social Insurance number
  • Financial information (including income, investments, credit or loan data, savings and other bank information)

For franchisees, in addition to the above purposes, Hallmark Canada collects personal information to:

  • Evaluate the ability of the potential franchisee to operate a particular retail location to a standard that will ensure the integrity of our franchise program.

The types of personal information collected include:

  • Occupation or profession
  • Education or training
  • Experience
  • Language skills

For Hallmark Canada retail consumers, the primary purpose for collecting personal information includes:

  • To communicate upcoming retail promotions and events
  • To enroll members in the Hallmark Canada Ornament Collectors Club
  • To establish customer eligibility for special offers or discounts
  • To contact winning participants in retail contests.

The types of personal information collected include:

  • Home address
  • Home and cellular telephone numbers
  • Email address

3. Obtaining consent for the use, collection and disclosure of personal information from the individual, except where the law provides an exemption.

Consent from an individual must be obtained before personal information can be collected, used or disclosed. Consent may be obtained directly from the individual or in certain circumstances consent may be implied. Express or direct consent can be in writing (e.g. signature on an application, consent form or email) or verbally, in person or on the telephone. Consent to provide Hallmark Canada with your personal information is always your choice; however choosing to withhold or withdraw your consent may impact Hallmark Canada’s ability to provide necessary services to you. Once provided, your consent is valid even upon termination of your relationship with Hallmark Canada. Consent may be withdrawn upon receipt of written notice. There are some legal exceptions where consent does not have to be obtained in order to collect personal information or where consent cannot be withdrawn. Examples of this would be where there is a life threatening emergency or when compliance with a court order is necessary.

4. Limiting collection of personal information to that which is necessary.

Only personal information that is necessary in order to conduct business or provide services will be collected. The individual will be advised of the reason/uses for the personal information being provided. Should a new use/reason arise in the future, the individual will again be requested to provide consent.

5. Personal information will only be used and disclosed for the purposes of which it was collected and will only be retained for as long as necessary to fulfill those purposes.

Personal information will be used or disclosed only for the purpose(s) for which it is collected. Hallmark Canada is required to retain personal information for a number of years in order to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for Hallmark Canada’s own accountability to external regulatory bodies. Hallmark Canada retains customer files for approximately 7 years. Information on customer directories is systematically removed once it is determined that there is no need to contact you again. Upon request, however, your contact information can be removed immediately.

Paper files containing personal information are destroyed by being shredded. Electronic information is destroyed by being deleted, and when the hardware is discarded, the hard drive is physically destroyed.

6. Accuracy of personal information will be maintained.

Hallmark Canada, to the best of its ability, will strive to collect and maintain the most accurate personal information available. Individuals have the right to challenge the accuracy of the personal information being retained and to have it amended. This right pertains to factual information and not to any professional opinions Hallmark Canada has formed. Documentation may be requested from you in order to correct the information. Where there is an agreement that Hallmark Canada has made a mistake, the correction will be promptly made and notification sent out about the correction to whom the information has been sent. If an agreement on the mistake is not reached, Hallmark Canada will file a brief statement from you concerning your claim and forward the statement to anyone who had received the earlier information.

7. Safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity level of the personal information will be employed.

Hallmark Canada employs a number of procedural practices, both physical and electronic, to safeguard any personal information that it collects. These practices include:

  • Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area;
  • Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. Computers are password protected;
  • Cell phones are digital as digital signals are harder to intercept;
  • Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies;
  • Staff is trained to collect, use and disclose personal information only as necessary to fulfill their duties and in accordance with our privacy policy;
  • External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy agreements with Hallmark Canada.

8. Openness.

Hallmark Canada will provide information in regards to its policies and procedures of privacy to interested individuals.

9. Individuals may request access to their personal information and the purposes for which it is being retained.

You have the right to see what personal information Hallmark Canada has retained about you and to verify the use and disclosure of the information. Often all you have to do is ask. Once your identity has been confirmed you will be assisted in identifying what records Hallmark Canada has about you, in addition to assisting your understanding of any information that you would like clarified. Hallmark Canada reserves the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.

If there is a problem, Hallmark Canada may ask you to put your request in writing. If for some reason access to your personnel information is denied, in accordance with the law, you will be notified within 30 days with an explanation.

10. Recourse and contact information

Any questions, concerns or complaints about Hallmark Canada's privacy policies and procedures should be directed to Hallmark Canada's Chief Privacy Officer. Jill Allen can be reached by telephone at (905) 752-7113 ext 27113 or in writing to Hallmark Canada, 3762 14th Ave. Markham, ON. L3R 0G7 or by email at

For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commission of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached by telephone at (613) 995 – 8210 or 1-800-282-1376 or in writing to 112 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3, or by fax (613) 947-6850, or by email at

11. Cookies

A cookie is a small file placed on your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used to store non personal information to manage your website experience. A cookie can also store preference information to customize your website experience.

Our technology lets us identify what type of browser you are using, the website from which you enter and the pages you view as you tour our site. This technology helps us compile aggregate statistics about online guests and their use of These statistics allow us to improve the design and content of our site to better serve your needs.

Like most websites, the servers that serve our website automatically identify your computer by its IP address. We log IP addresses and we use them to track things like the number of people that visit our website.

Most browsers automatically accept cookies. To learn more about cookies, including how to refuse cookies on your computer, click these links:

You can still browse our site anonymously even if you haven't set your computer to reject cookies.

12. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

At HALLMARK CANADA, we strive to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. We are committed to ensuring that customers, internal and external stakeholders, and third parties with disabilities receive the same quality of service as all other customers.

Click here for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).