SWAP Working Holidays - Privacy Policy

  • Privacy Policy

    Privacy of personal information is an important principle to SWAP Working Holidays and Merit Travel. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the travel products and services we provide. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.

  • What is personal information?

    Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to their personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), their health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them) or their activities and views (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information is to be contrasted with business information (e.g., an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation. In addition, due the nature of the travel agency business, we also include in our policies and staunchly protect therein an individual's financial information including checking account information and credit card information.

  • Who we are?

    SWAP Working Holidays, formerly the Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP), is an activity of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and is administered through an agreement by Merit Travel. SWAP is a full service agency and we arrange travel products and services for our clients with a wide spectrum of industry suppliers. Accordingly, we deal with a number of consultants and third parties that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal information we hold. These include our overseas partners, airlines, railroads, tour operators, computer reservations system providers, and other travel-related vendors. We restrict their access to any personal information we hold as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they follow appropriate privacy principles in accordance with their own policies under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

  • We collect personal information for the following purposes:

    Like all travel agencies, we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. For our clients, the primary purposes for collecting personal information are as follows:

    • To understand your needs and eligibility for products and services
    • To make and secure travel reservations and other travel-related services
    • To issue transportation documents, vouchers and ID cards
    • To provide travel suppliers with information to complete the necessary purchasing arrangements for a wide array of travel and tourism products
    • Compile statistics and conduct market research
    • Distribute promotional materials
    • Distribute publications that have been subscribed to
    • Audit and compliance with the law

    Please note that all airlines are required by security laws in the USA and other countries to give security, customs, and immigration authorities access to passenger data. Accordingly, any information we hold about you and your travel arrangements may be disclosed to the concerning authorities of these countries in your itinerary. The data will only be used for security purposes. Examples of the type of personal information we collect for those purposes include the following: name, address, telephone, age, credit card information, passport or visa information, Social Insurance Number, web site cookies, and similar personal information necessary to properly identify our clients and their entitlement to the services we arrange. We also collect personal information from our employees and contractors to assure our proper compliance with employment laws, remuneration, tax payments, and other employee/contractor functions.

  • Protecting personal information:

    SWAP Working Holidays and Merit Travel understand the importance of protecting your personal information in its possession or custody, including personal information that has been transferred to, or received from, a third party in the course of commercial activities for processing or other purposes for which you have consented. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:

    • 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. In addition, passwords are used on computers
    • Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies
    • Electronic information is transmitted either through a direct line or is anonymized or encrypted
    • Staff are 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 us or acknowledge that the abide by PIPEDA
  • Retention and destruction of personal information:

    We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, we do not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy. We keep our client files for two years. We will remove client information at that time if it does not appear that we will be contacting you again. However, if you ask, we will remove such contact information immediately. We keep any personal information relating to our general correspondence with people who are not our clients, newsletters, seminars and marketing activities for about 6 months after the newsletter, seminar or marketing activity is over. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed. Alternatively, we may send some or all of the client file to our client.

  • You can look at your information:

    With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g., various industry forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. If there is a problem, we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong.

  • You can withdraw your consent:

    We need to get your express or implied consent before obtaining or using information about you, or disclosing this information to anyone. You may withdraw this consent at any time upon reasonable notice, subject to legal or contractual restrictions. To withdraw your consent, you should contact our Privacy Officer at the address or telephone listed. Unless we hear otherwise from you, you are giving to us your consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information as provided in this Policy for the Identified purpose.

  • Do you have a concern?

    Our Privacy Policy Officer is available to address any questions or concerns you might have. If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Privacy Policy Officer at:

    SWAP Working Holidays
    187 College Street, Level 3
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5T 1P7
    Telephone: 416-966-2887 x 266
    Fax: 416-966-6644
    Email: kabong [at] swap.ca

  • Our Privacy Policy Officer will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing. For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner 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 at:

    112 Kent Street
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 1H3
    Phone: 613-995-8210 Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376
    Fax: 613-947-6850 TTY: 613-992-9190
    E-mail: info@privcom.gc.ca

  • We appreciate and value your patronage. At SWAP Working Holidays and Merit Travel, privacy is not a privilege, it's a right.

Contact Us

  • Email Us

    Questions? Concerns? Comments? Of course! Write us any time at info@swap.ca and we will get back to you right away.

  • We can call you

    We would be happy to arrange a call back for you with one of our Merit Travel agents. Please send an email to info@swap.ca with the following details:

    • Your name
    • Your nationality
    • The program (or programs) you are interested in
    • Your phone number (including area code)
    • The dates/times you are available. Please note we can only arrange call backs within business hours (Monday–Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm EST)

    We need these details to ensure we can arrange a call for you quickly and efficiently.

  • In Person

    Click here to visit the Merit Travel site and view a map of all its offices in Canada.