Privacy Policy - SOCAN

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy was last modified in September 2023.



Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN, “we”, “us” or “our”) is Canada’s largest rights management organization that represents the rights of millions of Canadian and international music creators and publishers and grants licences for the use of musical works in its repertoire. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its many members and clients, as well as the Canadian music industry.

An important part of SOCAN’s commitment to its members, clients, licensees, employees, and visitors (“you” or “your”) is respect for your right to privacy. SOCAN appreciates the opportunity to provide any of its assistance and services to you and strives to the highest level of service excellence. This means keeping your information and affairs in strict confidence and to be open and transparent regarding our collection, use, disclosure of, and practices regarding your, personal information.

SOCAN’s Commitment

This Policy applies to all of your “personal information” collected, used and disclosed by SOCAN.  “Personal information” means information that is about you as an identifiable individual.

The objective of this Policy is to provide an overview of SOCAN’s business and reflect SOCAN’s commitment to adhere to the legislative requirements of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and other applicable privacy legislation, including provincial privacy legislation, concerning the handling of your personal information.

If you are located in the European Economic Area (EEA), we will only process your personal data for specific purposes and you have certain rights under European law with respect to your personal information, including the right to request access to, correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your personal data.  For more information about these rights, and the purposes and lawful grounds on which we process your personal data, go to the “EEA Document”.  If you wish to exercise these rights or have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us using the contact information below. If you are located in the EEA then this Policy and the EEA Document govern our processing of your personal data. You should review them together. If there is any conflict between these two documents, the EEA Document shall prevail.

Additionally, if you are located in the EEA, we note that we are processing your personal data in order to fulfill membership or rights representation contracts we might have with you or otherwise to pursue our legitimate interests unless we are required by law to obtain your consent for a particular processing operation.

How To Contact Us

To ensure SOCAN remains accountable for the manner in which it collects, uses and discloses your personal information, everyone at SOCAN is responsible for maintaining and protecting the personal information to which they have access.

Questions pertaining to this Policy or the application of this Policy may be directed to:

Privacy Officer
41 Valleybrook Drive
Toronto, ON M3B 2S6
Telephone: (416) 445-8700
Toll-free: 1-800-55-SOCAN

What Personal Information We Collect And Why We Collect It

SOCAN will only collect personal information needed for it to properly conduct its business and only collect it by fair and lawful means.

Information provided by you

Most personal information collected by SOCAN is voluntarily supplied by you when you sign up, request, and/or utilize any of the services that we provide to our members, clients, licensees, and/or visitors, engage as a SOCAN employee, and/or engage in communications with SOCAN.

For these reasons, SOCAN may collect different types of information from different types of interactions and/or people.  Please note that you may fall under more than one of the below types of people with whom SOCAN interacts.

From Individuals who access SOCAN’s Website or attend SOCAN’s premises:

We may collect the following information from you when you visit SOCAN’s website or SOCAN’s premises:

  • Device type
  • Browser type
  • Operating system type
  • IP address
  • Any other information that you may share with SOCAN through communications with SOCAN via email, telephone, or otherwise
  • Video recordings of you when you visit SOCAN’s premises

From Members, Clients and their Authorized Representative(s):

We may collect the following information from SOCAN Members, clients, and their authorized representative(s):

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Secure login information (password and user ID)
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Credit Card
  • Financial Information
  • Citizenship
  • Works details
  • Writer/publisher contracts
  • Estate information such as death certificate, will, beneficiary information
  • Any other information that you may share with SOCAN through communications with SOCAN via email, telephone, or otherwise.

From Licensees and their Designated Representative(s):

We may collect the following information from SOCAN licensees and their designated representative(s):

  • Primary contact name
  • Address
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Email address
  • Financial information
  • Any other information that you may share with SOCAN through communications with SOCAN via email, telephone, or otherwise.

From Employees:

We may collect the following information from prospective or current SOCAN employees:

  • Social Insurance Number
  • Date of birth
  • Banking information
  • Emergency contact(s)
  • Home address
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Personal email address
  • Compensation details
  • Pension and RRSP details
  • Performance management documentation such as appraisals, counselling notes
  • Background check information
  • Education and past work experiences (resumes)
  • Photograph for employee profile
  • Geolocation information from workplace devices
  • Any information that you may share with SOCAN through communications with SOCAN via email, telephone, or otherwise.

Personal information provided by third parties

Some personal information collected by SOCAN is provided by third parties, including international collecting societies with whom SOCAN has entered agreements. These societies provide us with information related to their works and information regarding usage of SOCAN’s repertoire outside of Canada. SOCAN may also collect personal information from the Bureau International des Sociétés Gérant les Droits d’Enregistrement et de Reproduction Mécanique and external databases such as Cis-Net and Cis-Net Tools developed and maintained by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC – the umbrella organization for the world’s author’s societies) and the Interested Parties Information (IPI) System developed and maintained by the Société Suisse des Auteurs (SUISA).

Personal information about other individuals

If you provide us with information about other individuals (e.g. your next of kin), you confirm that you have informed the relevant individuals accordingly and have their consent to provide us with their information.

Public information

SOCAN maintains a Public Repertoire on its website that contains information about musical works in SOCAN’s repertoire and foreign repertoire that SOCAN is authorized to license. This information may include personal information of SOCAN members, client and/or members of international collecting societies affiliated with SOCAN, including names, work numbers, affiliated societies and IPI numbers.

Phone calls and video recording

SOCAN may collect record your phone calls with us.  SOCAN also may have cameras at our offices which may record you. These recordings are made for training, quality standards, and security purposes.

Geolocation Technologies

SOCAN may require multi-factor authentication for certain services used by employees, members, clients or licensees. This authentication process includes geolocation technologies that identifies where an employee, member, client or licensee is located in order to authenticate their identity and access these services.

What we do with your Personal Information

When you become a SOCAN member, client, licensee, or employee, or visit SOCAN or SOCAN’s website, SOCAN will only collect, use, disclose, store and process your personal information for legal and legitimate business requirements, including for the following purposes:

  • to administer the rights, in Canada and internationally, of our members and clients;
  • to license users and administer such licences;
  • to distribute royalties to our members and clients, and members or clients of international collecting societies with whom SOCAN has entered agreements;
  • to manage SOCAN’s repertoire of musical works;
  • to set up and establish your identification;
  • to ensure and improve security, reliability, and quality of our networks, services (including licensing and distribution services), website and to avoid any tampering, damage, and/or misuse of our networks, services, and website;
  • to provide you with any products or services you requested from SOCAN;
  • to comply with legal requirements, obligations, rights or duties under applicable law (including for crime, error and fraud prevention, resolving disputes, enforcing our licenses or agreements, or other related purposes);
  • subject to applicable laws, for limited marketing purposes and to communicate with you;
  • for study or research purposes or for the production of statistics, when such personal information is aggregated and does not allow for the direct identification of you
  • to establish and manage your employment relationship with SOCAN, including to administer payroll and employee benefit programs, and to be able to contact your emergency contact in case we need to notify anyone of your involvement in an emergency situation while at work; and
  • for any other purpose you request or permit upon the collection of your personal information.


SOCAN may also place a cookie on your device when you visit SOCAN’s website. A cookie is a small text file that our site may place on your computer as a tool to remember your preferences. If you have cookie notification turned on your device, you will be notified if SOCAN places a cookie on your device. Through third party affiliates, like Google Analytics, we implement cookies to collect information about the device you use to browse, the operating system, the inferred location of your IP address to identify your computer, your visit duration, pages visited etc. In addition, SOCAN may place a cookie on your device when you visit the secure portion of SOCAN’s website. SOCAN will keep the information collected during your visit to the secure site to enable your use of the SOCAN website. Cookies may expire if you log out of the secure site or close your browser.

There are a number of ways to manage or disable cookies.  The “help” portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to stop accepting cookies, how to be notified when you receive a new browser cookie, and how to disable existing browser cookies. You can also use your mobile device’s settings to manage the available privacy options. However, if you block cookies, you may not be able to register, login or make full use of SOCAN’s website.

Who Will Have Access To Your Personal Information

SOCAN is committed to a high standard of confidentiality and privacy.  SOCAN will only use and/or disclose your personal information for the reason(s) it was collected or consistent with the reason(s) for which it was collected.  SOCAN may share your personal information with third parties, including third parties that may be located outside of Canada, engaged to:

  • assist us in providing or improving our services such as web hosting, maintenance providers, event booking platforms, etc.
  • process work usage data
  • provide cloud computing services
  • facilitate exchange of information relating to the works in which rights holders own or control and for the purposes of collection and distribution of royalties e.g. CISAC (through CIS-Net Tools), international collecting societies and IPI System (SUISA)

We may also disclose personal information: (i) to comply with any applicable laws, regulations, governmental and quasi-governmental requests, court orders or subpoenas; or (ii) to protect our rights, property or safety or the rights, property or safety of others (e.g., for crime or fraud protection, etc.).

We may also share some of your personal information with our affiliated or related companies.

If a third party proposes to enter a commercial transaction with SOCAN, including a transaction to acquire all or some of our business and/or assets, we may disclose your personal information to that third party in connection with their proposed or actual commercial transaction.  If we become insolvent or we are in any similar situation, we may also disclose your personal information to third parties as part of a business or asset sale carried out where such disclosure is lawful and compliant with the applicable laws.

We will ensure that third parties who have received your personal information from us will maintain a comparable level of protection of personal information as set out in this Policy by using contractual or other means. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, SOCAN excludes all liability arising from the use of your personal information by third parties.

Other than as described in this section or as permitted under applicable privacy legislation, we will not share any of your personal information without your consent.

How Long Do We Keep Your Personal Information

SOCAN has a policy in place that governs the retention of your personal information. We will only retain your personal information for as long as it fulfills its intended purpose or as legally required. Where we process membership or client personal information, we do this for as long as you are a member or client and for three years after this unless there is a statutory or business requirement to retain this data.

How We Keep Your Personal Information Secure

While no data transmission over the internet or data storage system is guaranteed to be 100% secure, SOCAN has implemented security controls to protect against unauthorized use, access, alteration, duplication, destruction, disclosure, loss or theft of your personal information.

SOCAN maintains appropriate physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information. Examples of safeguards include: restricted access to our information processing and storage areas, limited access to relevant information by authorized persons only, use of passwords, firewall technology, encryption of electronically transmitted information, antivirus software and the use of physical security measures, including secure locks on filing cabinets and doors.

SOCAN is also committed to working with you to protect the security of personal information during any transfer to SOCAN. Additionally, SOCAN has agreements and controls in place with third party service providers requiring that any information provided to SOCAN be transmitted and safeguarded with the industry standard technological security standards in mind.

International Transfers Of Personal Information

Your personal information may be transferred to, disclosed, stored and/or processed outside your jurisdiction of residence for the purposes set out in the Policy. Such jurisdictions may not be regarded as ensuring an adequate level of protection for personal information and your personal information may be subject to a legal regime outside of your jurisdiction, including access by the courts, law enforcement and national security authorities of that jurisdiction. For more information on the jurisdictions in which your personal information may be transferred to, disclosed, stored or processed, please contact us.

You consent to the transfer, disclosure, storage and/or processing of your personal information outside the jurisdiction in which the information was originally collected. SOCAN will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your personal information is treated securely and in accordance with this Policy.

How You Can Access And Control Your Personal Information

Subject to certain exceptions, such as legal or contractual restrictions, you may withdraw your consent at any time to any further collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information by contacting SOCAN’s Privacy Officer. However, you should be aware that if you withdraw your consent SOCAN may be unable to provide services to you. For example, SOCAN requires certain information to register you as a member or client, to grant you a licence or for you to create an online account. If this relevant information is not provided, then we will not be able to administer your membership, provide you client services, or grant you a licence.

In the course of interacting with SOCAN, you are welcome to review or verify your personal information. In most cases, SOCAN collects your personal information directly from you. If you discover inaccuracies in SOCAN’s data, please notify SOCAN to make the necessary changes. SOCAN may need specific information from you to enable SOCAN to search for, and provide you with, the personal information SOCAN holds about you. You may also make a request in writing for a copy of the personal information SOCAN holds about you in electronic form to be communicated in a structured, commonly used technological format.

In certain circumstances you may also make a request in writing for SOCAN to cease disseminating your personal information where that communication contravenes the law or a court order or otherwise causes serious injury to your reputation or privacy. SOCAN will assess these requests on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable privacy legislation.

SOCAN will disclose to its members, clients, licensees, employees, and visitors this Policy and make information available concerning the policies and practices that apply to the management of their personal information.

Any concerns regarding SOCAN’s compliance with this Policy can be reported in writing to the SOCAN Privacy Office (see “How to Contact Us” above).

Changes To This Privacy Policy

We may update this Policy from time to time to reflect changes to our information practices.  We will alert you by posting a notice on our website when changes are made or if the change is material to you, we will e-mail you with information about the change.  We encourage you to periodically check for the latest information on our Policy.