- What information is collected and under what circumstances;
- Whether it is voluntary or involuntary;
- How that information is used;
- With whom that information will be shared and under what circumstances; and
- The ability of the authorized user to choose how that information is used, how it can be reviewed and how it can be corrected.
This policy applies only to information collected, maintained and used by Cooperative.com and does not apply to the collection and use practices of web sites which users connect to through Cooperative.com links, nor does it apply to information posted on Cooperative.com that is provided by third parties."
Cooperative.com provides users with e-mail, chat rooms, forums, bulletin boards and news groups to facilitate free flow of information among authorized users. Any information provided by authorized users in these forums becomes public knowledge and is not covered by this policy.
COLLECTION OF INFORMATION:
- Initial log-on/authentication – To become an authorized user of Cooperative.com, the prospective user will be required to provide for authentication purposes some personally identifiable information in order that it can be compared to existing user profile personally identifiable information already existing in the netFORUM database maintained by NRECA. Once the information is provided and authentication is completed, a copy of the netFORUM database information will be automatically transferred to Cooperative.com for use in building a Cooperative.com authorized user database. This information will also be used to facilitate the Cooperative.com people-finder and similar future internal capabilities. Information, such as name, business address/phone/fax, e-mail/position/title, are normally utilized for these purposes. More personal information, such as user’s social security number, will be included in the authorized user database, but that personal information will not be used for purposes other than identification and authorization. That personal information will not be included in the people-finder service or any other similar service generally accessible to authorized users or any third party. Prospective users may effectively opt-out of the use of any of this information for any of these purposes by simply declining to provide the requested information. Failure to provide this information, however, will preclude use of the Cooperative.com web site. If authentication is completed, the newly authorized user may review and correct any personally identifiable information contained in the Cooperative.com user database or any other Cooperative.com database.
- Web server log information – This is basic information that does not identify any specific individual that is collected on all user visits such as the domain from which Cooperative.com was accessed, IP address, type of browser or operating system, date, time, duration of access, pages visited, links visited, and the address of the web site from which Cooperative.com was accessed. This information is automatically (involuntarily) collected and used to help Cooperative.com improve and maintain the availability and usefulness of the web site for authorized users. This information is used in the aggregate for this purpose and no attempt is made to identify any specific individual. Authorized users cannot opt-out (except by failing to authenticate as discussed above at 1) of collection of this information and it is not reviewable or correctable by the authorized user because it is not personally identifiable information.
- Cookies – Cookies are another means by which Cooperative.com collects similar basic information on all user visits that does not identify any specific individual and that shows how individual users utilize the web site. Cookies are bits of information collected by the web server and transferred back to the authorized user’s computer hard drive. This information is used to help tailor or personalize the authorized user’s next visit and to otherwise manage and improve the web site. This information is likewise used in the aggregate. This information is automatically (involuntarily) collected and no attempt is made to identify any specific individual. Authorized users may not opt-out of the collection of this information (except by failing to authenticate as discussed above at 1) but may be able to set their browsers to alert the authorized user of the creation of a cookie and/or a means to deny acceptance of a cookie. This information is not reviewable or correctable by the authorized user because it is not personally identifiable information.
- Requests for products/services/information – When authorized users request products, services, or information from, or respond to surveys conducted by Cooperative.com, personally identifying information such as name, internet address and credit card number may be requested in order to complete the transaction. Failure to provide the requested information, however, may preclude delivery of the product, service or information requested. This information is voluntary and the user can opt-out of providing this information by simply not providing it as requested (or by failing to authenticate as discussed above at 1). The user can also opt-out of any future use of this information for any other purpose such as notification of new services, products or information by indicating their desire within the communication requesting that service, product or information or, if available, by clicking the appropriate icon. Any personally identifiable information provided can be reviewed and corrected by the authorized user.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
Any information collected and retained by Cooperative.com will not be released to third parties except as indicated below.
- Any updates to the information in the Cooperative.com user profile database will be disclosed to the appropriate sponsor of the authorized user (either National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC) or Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange (FREIE), or any combination thereof) and the netFORUM database maintained at NRECA to ensure that the information that those sponsors have about the authorized user is accurate.
- Any information needed by a contractor to perform services for Cooperative.com will be disclosed to the contractor. Those contractors will be required by contract to observe the same privacy protections that apply to Cooperative.com.
- Any information required by Cooperative.com employees to respond to an authorized user's request for products, services, or information will be shared with the appropriate employees. Unless an election is made to opt-out, any information provided when authorized users request services, products, or information or respond to surveys conducted by Cooperative.com, will be made available to appropriate personnel within Cooperative.com in order to offer those authorized users other products, services, or information they might find useful.
- Any necessary information will be disclosed to appropriate personnel within Cooperative.com for purposes of implementing new services similar to the People Finder service and making users aware of web site features, improvements, modifications, etc.
- Any necessary information will be disclosed to any appropriate internal or external authorities in order to identify and pursue remedies against users who attempt to damage, misuse, or otherwise interfere with Cooperative.com operations or to otherwise protect Cooperative.com legal interests.
- Any necessary information required to respond to properly issued legal process such as search warrants, court orders, or subpoenas will be disclosed to the appropriate requesting authorities. Cooperative.com will make every reasonable effort to limit such disclosure.
Cooperative.com, as owner of this communication service, has implemented best business practice technical, administrative, and physical security methodologies in order to protect its legal interests, against loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure of all information collected and maintained by Cooperative.com.
As a critical part of that security methodology, Cooperative.com monitors any and all communications and data traversing the site. That monitoring may include actual content of those communications and data as necessary. Refer to the accompanying “Cooperative.com Log-on Banner” for further details.
While no information is absolutely safe in an electronic environment, by implementing best business practice security methodology, Cooperative.com has taken reasonable steps to secure information collected, retained and used. Cooperative.com is not responsible for information security breaches caused by the illegal or unauthorized acts of any individual.
REVIEW AND CORRECTION OF COLLECTED INFORMATION
Authorized users of Cooperative.com may review and correct as needed or desired any sensitive, non-personally identifiable information or personally identifiable information collected or retained by Cooperative.com by contacting Michael Lynch at: (Mail) 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA 22203-1860; (E- mail)
Authorized users of Cooperative.com will be notified of all changes to the substance of this policy through postings on Cooperative.com alerting them to affirmatively review the changed policy posted on the Cooperative.com web site.
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Michael Lynch at: (Mail) 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA 22203-1860; (E-mail)