Why Storing your Data on Canadian Servers is Important - Owl Practice Blog

Why Storing your Data on Canadian Servers is Important

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With the recent developments in the world, you might be wondering… just how safe is your data?

If you’re like most people, you probably use a lot of online platforms in the course of your day. Facebook, Gmail, maybe LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive… These services offer up amazing convenience, but what’s really happening with your privacy?

Since the U.S. elections, there’s been tremendous upheaval in the way the American government is viewing privacy. Many people are concerned about how this will affect us as Canadians. Court cases are being fought by major service providers like Google every day in an attempt to protect their client data from search and seizure by government agencies.

As a Canadian citizen, you might be worried about the safety of your data and the possibility that your personal details could be accessed by U.S. agencies.

You can be reassured that with Owl Practice, as a fully Canadian provider, we’re equipped to handle your sensitive practice data.

Canadian Privacy Laws

Privacy laws in Canada are some of the strongest in the world. A federal privacy law called PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) basically states that once an organization has your data, they are fully responsible for its protection. If that data leaves the country, stored on a U.S. server for example, that organization must inform their customers.

Canadian Servers

As we were developing Owl Practice, we consulted extensively with many therapists. The message was loud and clear; as a matter of PHIPA and College compliance, it’s very important to have data reside on servers in Canada. Owl Practice data centres are located exclusively in Canada so your practice data is squarely within the borders of Canada. Our servers are located in Toronto and Montreal so you can be assured your client’s practice data is securely stored in Canada.

These servers are dedicated to Owl Practice. Though the Owl service is accessed via a browser, the data is encrypted in transit using SSL encryption, a trusted online security protocol. We take extensive steps to ensure that your practice data is stored and transmitted as securely as possible.  Not only are Owl data servers located in Canada, but our servers at 151 Front Street in Toronto are directly connected to the largest Canadian Internet backbone (TorIX).

PHI & College Compliance

Owl complies with Personal Health Information regulation (PHI) in every way possible. Regulations like PHIPA (in Ontario) are a set of rules that are laid out to help secure patient’s personal health records. In PHIPA terms, Owl acts as an Agent of a private practice, helping to enable PHIPA compliance for practice owners.  We take this role very seriously, and PHIPA concerns guide each decision and development we make as a platform.  We work with mental health professionals across the country, helping them comply with their local provincial legislations around personal health information.

In addition to PHI compliance, it’s also important to comply with your local professional College requirements around personal data management in your practice.  Again, Owl was specifically designed with these requirements in mind.  The reality is, that once people start using Owl, their ability to comply with both PHI and College requirements often improves dramatically.

Bank-Level Data Encryption

At Owl, we use bank-level encryption (SSL or the https protocol). All data is encrypted as it moves between our secure and dedicated servers and the device and browser on which a therapist, social worker, psychotherapist, or clinician accesses their Owl Practice account.

As an additional security measure, Owl also provides customized Login Pages. Each Owl account has it’s own segregated database, accessible only from a customized, account-specific URL. The login pages are not searchable on Google, for security reasons. There’s no way to login to an Owl account from the regular Owl Practice website, and that is by design.

Data Loss Protection

With Owl, your data is continuously backed up, both across Owl’s servers and in multiple locations–in Montreal and Toronto–so you never need to worry about losing practice data. There’s no need for finicky backup hard disks or difficult recoveries. Owl handles all of that for you, which brings a lot of peace-of-mind to practice owners.

By Canadians, for Canadians

Our entire Owl Practice team is located in Canada. We’re a Canadian company, for Canadian mental health practitioners, run by Canadians.

We take your data’s security seriously. We strive to be the most comprehensive and secure practice management solution in the country. We have bank level encryption of data, automatic backups in case of an emergency, and secure client record management. You’re be able to access your data from anywhere, but it’s always stored on Canadian servers.

Your client data is invaluable, and we completely understand the level of trust and responsibility that you put in us to protect it. With Owl Practice, you can rest at ease, secure in the knowledge that your data is protected.

As always,
Practice Wisely

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