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The information we collect
VIA collects information at various levels. Some information is personal, some is collected for statistical purposes and some is used to improve the navigation experience on our Website (cookie files).
Personal information is information that makes it possible to identify you, such as your name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, fax number, credit card number, information contained in your resume and your personal opinions. This information is collected primarily when you perform one of the following actions:
- Provide information voluntarily on our Website or to our personnel, for example, when you create a traveller profile, when buying a train ticket online, by telephone or from a ticket office, when creating a VIA Préférence profile or when signing up for one of our electronic newsletters;
- When responding to the surveys sent to you;
- When making comments on our Website, on our social media accounts or by email;
- When applying for a job with VIA online, whether by email or by mail;
- Information collected on audio tapes of calls we receive from our customers at our telephone sales offices, and calls made by our customer service representatives, when these calls are recorded. These audio tapes are used for performance assessment, training and quality assurance purposes.
Depersonalized statistical information and use of Google Analytics
Statistical information is not used to identify you and is not linked to your personal information. It is used in aggregate form to make statistical analyses on customer habits and their purchasing process, thereby enabling VIA to improve the navigation experience. This information includes, in particular, the browsers used (Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome or others) and their language, the pages visited and the length of time they were consulted, the approximate location (city) of the IP addresses of the browsers, the external pages that referred the visitors to VIA, etc. This information is collected automatically by analytical tools when you visit our site.
At the time this policy is published, we are using Google Analytics as our Web analysis tool. Google Analytics uses cookie files (see below) to optimize its analysis. It also enables VIA to display advertising and promotions on other sites, designed to target internet users who have recently visited the VIA Web site.
VIA uses special files (commonly referred to as "cookies"), which are small text files automatically stored on your computer when you visit our Website. This functionality may or may not be authorized by the settings on your Web browser. VIA uses two types of cookie files: "session cookie files" and "permanent cookie files."
"Session cookie files" are temporary files that are automatically deleted when you close your browser. They are not kept by VIA or communicated to third parties. Session cookie files are designed to make our Website generally more user-friendly, and to make it easier to navigate in our site.
"Permanent cookie files" remain active after you have visited our site. These files are used to identify your browser from one session to the next, to simplify your browsing, to collect statistical information on the use of the VIA Website, and in certain cases to do promotions on other Websites. It is, however, important to note that our cookie files are not linked to your personal information. Consequently, they do not allow you to be identified as an individual, but only recognize that yours is the same Web browser that has already visited our site.
Most Web browsers allow you to delete cookies from your computer's hard disk, to prevent cookies from being recorded on your hard drive, or to receive a warning before they are recorded. If you delete or disable cookie files or prevent them from being recorded, your use of or ability to access certain functionalities on our Website may be affected. Please see the instructions concerning your browser or its "Help" section for further information on how to delete or disable cookie files or prevent their recording.
By using the VIA Website without deleting or disabling cookie files or preventing them from being recorded, you implicitly consent to the collection, use and communication of the information (whether personal or not) required to implement these functionalities.
Use of personal information
Certain personal information is required when you purchase train tickets, contact our customer service, take part in surveys or contests, create a VIA Rail or VIA Préférence profile or apply for a job at VIA. Credit card numbers are used exclusively for processing payments, and not for any other purpose.
We inform you when personal information is required for a transaction, a contest or survey, or for any other VIA service. Only the requested information marked with an asterisk must be provided; the rest of the information is not mandatory.
Personal information may be kept as a hard copy or in electronic form. Personal information is protected by the implementation of security measures that are suitable for each data type. Access to personal information is limited to those individuals who need it in order to provide VIA services. As far as transactions by credit card are concerned, VIA abides by the norms of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which ensures the protection of personal information associated with credit cards.
Disclosure of personal information to third parties
VIA only shares personal information with third parties in accordance with this policy. VIA may provide personal information to subcontractors and professional consultants (who are subject to personal information protection requirements by virtue of their contract with VIA), only in so much as their activities require the use of this information, and only for the purposes for which the information was collected. VIA never discloses your personal information without your consent to third parties for purposes other than those for which this information was collected, unless VIA is obliged to do so by law or by court order (i.e. in very exceptional circumstances).
Furthermore, under the Act, VIA has an obligation to inform the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in writing before making any disclosure or use of personal information for purposes other than those for which this information was obtained.
As a business entity, VIA Rail sends commercial electronic messages as part of its marketing strategy and customer service. When you purchase a product, book your travel using a VIA Rail or VIA Préférence profile, you may provide us with your express consent to be added or not to our email list which will be used to contact you occasionally with commercial electronic messages such as offers and promotions. When you purchase a product or book your travel without using a VIA Rail profile or using a VIA Rail profile but without providing us with your express consent, you provide VIA Rail with your implied consent to be added to our email list.
If you do not want to receive commercial electronic messages from us, you may withdraw your consent at any time by simply changing your profile information or by following the instructions on how to unsubscribe contained in every email sent by VIA Rail. If you later change your mind, it is just as simple to opt back in.
Please note that operational emails are not commercial electronic messages and provide relevant information that must be communicated to you including, but not limited to, emails containing information on purchases made, emails concerning any changes to the VIA Préférence program itself or emails containing travel related information, for instance delayed trains. Consequently, VIA Rail will continue to send such messages as appropriate.
Links to external Web sites
VIA's Website may contain links to other Websites, outside the VIA website. By clicking on these links, you will be automatically directed to these sites. We ask you to read the privacy policies on these sites, as these policies may be different from VIA's policy. VIA cannot, under any circumstances, be held responsible for content displayed on the other sites or for any disadvantages that might arise from browsing these sites.
Right of access and request for correction or withdrawal of information
In accordance with the Act, you have the right to request access to any of your personal information that VIA possesses. You also have the right to request a correction of any information that is erroneous or incomplete, or to request that this information be withdrawn. In order to do this, you simply complete the Access to Personal Information Form and send it to the following address:
VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
3 Place Ville Marie, Suite 500
Montréal, Quebec, H3B 2C9
VIA has thirty (30) days in which to respond to your request in writing. No fees are charged for this request.
By using the VIA Rail and VIA Préférence websites,you accept this policy. This policy may be amended by VIA from time to time without notice, in particular to take into account changes in VIA's activities and technological developments. We therefore advise you to consult this page periodically.
Do you have any questions or suggestions?
Please contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have concerning this policy.
Please contact VIA Rail Canada by email at the following address: ATIP@viarail.ca