Last Revised: March 18, 2011
We may change this policy at any time, and will notify you of changes by indicating on the policy the date of its last update. Please review this policy whenever you visit our Site in order to understand how personal information we collect from you on the Site will be used. By using our Site, you consent to the information collection and use practices described in this policy.
- What personal information does the PUD collect on the Site?
- How does the PUD use personal information collected on the Site?
- What personal information is shared with third parties?
- What choices do I have in the use of personal information?
- What security precautions are taken to protect personal information collected on the Site?
- How do links affect my privacy?
- How can I update or correct personal information associated with me?
- Who can I contact with questions about the Site?
We may collect personal information (information that may be used to personally identify or contact you) in various contexts on our Site. This section summarizes the personal information that we collect on the Site and describes how we collect it.
A. Passive Collection
Our software automatically collects certain information from your computer when you use our Site. This information is not linked to other personal information you provide to us and is not used to identify you personally. The two main ways in which this general information is collected are through "log files" and "cookies."
(i) Log Files
Our Site's log files contain our users' Internet service providers, Web browsers, the times of their visits and the pages visited, and the IP addresses of their computers. We use this information to analyze trends, to improve the security and efficiency of our Site and online services, and to otherwise administer and improve our Site and our services.
B. Active Collection
Our Site contains several features and services in which we collect personal information that users provide voluntarily. This section summarizes these features and services and the types of personal information that we may collect.
Account registration is required to access some features and services on our Site. During the registration process, we may ask you for a username, password and other personal information in order to verify your identity, establish your account, promote security and to provide appropriate access to features. Information you give during online account registration may be linked to your energy account information in our system in order to provide you with simplified online access to your energy account information or to provide other services related to your energy account.
(ii) Online Customer Service Features
We may offer Customer Service features on our Site. If you use these features, we may ask for your address, account number and other information, just as we would if we were speaking to you over the phone or in person. We collect this personal information in order to customize the information and services that we provide to you within and in connection with these features, to authenticate you and to monitor and improve the Site and our services.
(iii) Surveys, Contests and Promotions
We may offer surveys, contests and other promotions on the Site from time to time. Participation is completely voluntary. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address) and demographic information (such as ZIP code and age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used to help us monitor and improve our Site and services and to help us develop future service offerings.
(iv) Third Party Vendors
C. Aggregated Information
"Aggregated" information, as used in this policy, is information that has been combined (i.e., aggregated), or from which personal information has been removed, so that the resulting information does not identify you or allow you to be contacted. An example of aggregated information would be a report stating that fifty percent of Site visitors use computers located in Snohomish County. Aggregated information is not "personal information" under this policy. We may use aggregated information for various purposes and may disclose it to third parties without restriction. (Back to questions)
We are the sole owner of the information collected on this Site. We may use personal information that you provide to us (such as a personal e-mail address) in the following ways:
- to contact you about your online account, your energy account, the Site and our other products and services;
- to respond to your comments or requests;
- to develop and improve the Site and our products and services;
- to inform you about PUD service and product offers and promotions that we believe you may find of interest; and
- for the purpose for which the information was provided.
Out of respect for your privacy, we give you the option to opt-out from our marketing communications (please see the use and collection of information section below). (Back to questions)
We will not sell, share, or rent your personal information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this policy without first obtaining your authorization.
We may disclose personal information to independent contractors, service providers and consultants who provide services to us or help us perform functions necessary to operate our businesses. Any such disclosures are consistent with applicable laws and regulations. For example, we may use credit card processing companies to process payments for goods and services and shipping companies to ship orders. We require these third parties to protect personal information that we provide to them and to not use or disclose personal information in a manner inconsistent with the purpose for which it was provided to them.
Additionally, as noted above, information collected by third party vendors on behalf of the PUD on this Site or on co-branded pages is the sole property of the PUD but may be used by these businesses for the purpose(s) for which it was collected. We reserve the right to share information with third parties if we are required to do so by law; to initiate and render our services; to bill and collect for amounts owed to us; or if in our good faith judgment, such action is reasonably necessary to protect us, our customers or the public from fraudulent, abusive or unlawful use of our Site or our services, to comply with the legal process, to respond to any claims, or to protect the rights, property or safety of the PUD, its customers, or the public. In addition, information about users of our Site, including personal information, may be disclosed as part of any merger, acquisition, debt financing or sale of company assets, as well as in the event of an insolvency, bankruptcy or receivership in which personal information could be transferred to third parties as one of our business assets. (Back to questions)
We provide registered online users with opportunity to "opt-out" of having their personal information used for purposes not directly related to our services at the point where we ask for the personal information. Users may opt-out of receiving promotional e-mail from the PUD by clicking on the unsubscribe option button at the bottom of the email they received and entering their email address. (Back to questions)
We have implemented appropriate physical, technical and logical safeguards to protect personal information that we collect on the Site. For example, when we request sensitive information (such as credit card number and/or social security number) on the Site, we use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect it from unauthorized access while in transit. We also take measures to limit access to all categories of personal information – not just "sensitive" information – to authorized employees and contractors.
Despite our security safeguards, however, we cannot guarantee that personal information will be protected from interception, misappropriation, misuse or alteration, or that it will not be disclosed or accessed by accidental circumstances or by unauthorized actions. Furthermore, we have no control over the security of other sites you might visit, interact with or do business with. If you have any questions about the security of our Site, you may email email@example.com for more information. (Back to questions)
This Site may contain links to third-party Web sites. Please be aware that the PUD is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our Site and to read the privacy policies of third-party Web sites that you visit. Once you leave this Site, this policy no longer governs. (Back to questions)
We provide access to personal information that we collect on this Site and give users the opportunity to update and make corrections to it. If you have registered for an online account, you may access and edit the personal information you provided during registration by accessing your online customer account on the Site. To access or update other personal information you have provided on this Site, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 425-783-1000 (in Washington State) or 1-877-783-1000 (Western Washington & outside Everett) and ask for the Webmaster. (Back to questions)
Questions or comments about our Site may be directed to email@example.com, or you may telephone us at 425-783-1000 (in Washington State) or 1-877-783-1000 (Western Washington & outside Everett) and ask for the Webmaster. You may also write to us at Webmaster, Snohomish County PUD, P.O. Box 1107, Everett, WA 98206-1107. (Back to questions)