I. General Principles:
Personal privacy is important to Sting. We respect the privacy of every individual and take reasonable measures to protect the privacy of information provided to Sting by others. The personal information collected by Sting falls into two basic categories: (1) information collected from and/or provided by web-site visitors to the Sting Sites; and (2) information collected about Customers. Third-party service providers or those whose sites may appear on the Sting Sites may also collect personal information; however, their practices are not necessarily within the control of Sting.
Sting employees are subject to the Sting Business Ethics Guidelines which include, among other things, compliance with legal requirements and company policies relating to the privacy of communications and the security and privacy of Customer records. Sting employees are expected to abide by this policy and follow applicable laws, rules, regulations, and court or commission orders that apply to our business. Employees who fail to meet the standards embodied in the Guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
A. Information Collected Via the Internet
The information available to Sting when a web visitor is on an Sting Site helps Sting to improve the quality and usefulness of our sites. In general, Sting gathers some generic information automatically to make the Sting Sites more helpful to visitors. Generic information does not reveal the identity of a visitor, and usually consists of the Internet address assigned to the visitor's computer, the number and frequency of visitors, the Sting Sites visited, etc. Sting accomplishes this by using certain technologies, such as web log analysis, data-tagging tools and/or "cookies." These technologies can be used to provide the visitor with tailored information about Sting services and help make our sites more responsive by helping to personalize each visitor's experience. Sting does not combine information collected in this way with any personally-identifiable information. If you don't want to accept cookies, you can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie and so that it can be refused or accepted. Refusing cookies may, however, make certain features on Sting Sites unavailable.
Of course, some activities require personal information -- when making a purchase, enrolling for a referral program, using a credit card to pay for services, submitting a resume, requesting certain types of information, sending an e-mail to an Sting Site, etc. (when provided by web visitors who are or become Customers as a result of their visit to an Sting Site, such information will thereafter be treated as Customer information, see below). On those sites where visitors voluntarily submit questions, comments, feedback, suggestions, ideas or the like, Sting will treat that portion of the information as non-confidential and non-proprietary and assumes no obligation to protect such information from disclosure.
Whenever personal information is provided on an Sting Site, it will be used for the specific purpose or to respond to the specific request for which it was given. In most cases, there is the opportunity to select whether Sting may, or may not, use this information for additional purposes. Individuals may also request that Sting not use their information for certain purposes by contacting Sting Technical Support and updating contact preferences. Sting continues to have, and reserves the right to send Customers service updates, bulletins and other important information about their Sting services.
Absent any instructions limiting the use of a visitor's information, Sting may use the contact information provided by visitors to Sting Sites to provide information about additional services and products offered by the Sting family of companies, Sting authorized agents, and other goods and services providers with whom Sting has relationships and whose offerings might be of interest to visitors. Sting will not, however, sell or trade a visitor's personal information unless we are authorized by you or legally required to do so, or in the case of imminent physical harm to the visitor or others.
B. Information Collected from Customers
When enrolling for or purchasing services from Sting, or participating in a business referral program, Customers may be required to provide some or all of the following information in order to establish an account and order services: Name; Service Delivery Location/Address; Billing Address; Account Number; Credit card number; Phone or Fax Number; and Email Address. For account security, verification or tax purposes, Sting may also request: Date of birth, Social Security Number or Driver's license number of the person placing the order or making a service request. For corporate accounts, Sting may also request the Company/Customer name, Federal Tax ID, and other information a company Customer/employer may ask Sting to collect, such as purchase order number, employee number and job title of the individual responsible for business account administration.
Sting needs the Customer information it collects to process orders, provide and bill for services. Sting may also share necessary information with outside parties, such as third party vendors or shipping companies, to complete an order.
In the normal course of providing services, Sting collects and maintains this information which, when matched with detailed Customer activity, patterns, class or type of service, technical characteristics, and local service billing records, and other information is known under Federal Communication Commission ("FCC") regulations as Customer Proprietary Network Information ("CPNI").
Absent any restrictions on our use of CPNI or instructions from you otherwise, Sting may use Customer information and/or CPNI to provide information about additional services and products offered by the Sting, Sting authorized agents, and other goods and services providers with whom Sting has relationships and whose offerings might be of interest to Customers. Sting will not, however, sell or trade CPNI or other contact information unless we are authorized by a Customer or legally required to do so. You may update your contact information and/or request that Sting refrain from using your CPNI or other contact information for commercial purposes by contacting your Account representative or Sting Technical Support. Restricting use of CPNI or opting out of receiving commercial communications from Sting will not eliminate all Sting marketing or other contacts about the Services provided to a Customer. Additionally, Sting and its agents can and will use Customer contact information to get in touch with Customers if Sting has trouble processing an order or needs to contact a Customer about a service or billing related matter. Sting may also, where permitted by law or authorized by a Customer, provide this information to credit bureaus, or provide information and/or sell receivables to collection agencies, to obtain payment for Sting-offered products and services.
II. Email Addresses
Sting collects email address information from Internet visitors and Customers (where voluntarily provided or required). Sting will use your email address to respond to any email inquiry sent to Sting, or to follow up on your visit to the Sting Sites. From time to time, Sting may send emails about Sting products and services, or offers that Sting believes will be of interest. Sting may also share your email address with providers whom Sting has a relationship with and who either provide Sting-offered services or whose products or services may also be of interest. In all cases, we hope recipients will find this information useful, but if you do not wish to receive such email from Sting, please indicate that you'd prefer not to receive such information or offers from Sting when you provide your email address. You can always change your preferences by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link that we include in all of the commercial emails we send.
III. Exceptions and Limitations
There are times when, in order to comply with applicable laws, regulations, court or administrative orders, subpoenas or other matters, Sting must disclose information. Sting cooperates fully with state, local, and federal officials in any investigation relating to any content (including personal or private electronic communications transmitted to Sting) or purported unlawful activities of any user of any Sting Site or Sting service, and takes reasonable measures to protect the proprietary rights of the Sting Companies. If necessary to comply with law or cooperate with law enforcement activity, Sting may disclose personally identifiable information of web visitors and/or Customers. Sting reserves the right to, and will, share information when it believes, in its sole discretion, it is necessary to prevent unlawful use of communications services, when necessary to repair or restore network outages, in emergency situations (e.g. 911 calls; matters of public safety, etc) or to protect the security or integrity of the Sting Sites or the Sting Companies. In addition, Sting may monitor the areas of communication of any kind (i) to satisfy any law, regulation, or government request (e.g. response to private or law enforcement-issued subpoena); (ii) if such disclosure is necessary or appropriate to operate Sting (e.g. recording of Customer calls); or (iii) to protect the rights or property of Sting or others (e.g. to prevent fraud, infringement of rights, etc).
Additionally, in connection with the potential sale or transfer of any of its interest in any Sting Affiliate or Sting Site, Sting reserves the right to sell or transfer visitor or Customer information to a third party that (i) concentrates its business in communication products or services; (ii) agrees to be Sting's successor in interest with regard to the maintenance and protection of information collected and maintained by Sting; and (iii) agrees to the material obligations of this policy statement.
Sting utilizes technological and business efforts to keep Customers' personal information secure and confidential through safeguards such as the use of secure encryption technology during transmission of certain data, or by restricting physical access to systems on which personal information is stored by appropriate logon and/or password controls. Information collected from visitors and Customers is stored in databases Sting controls directly or through contracts with service providers. Credit card information is used only to bill Customers for the products and services they receive. Sting does not share credit card information except as may be necessary to process Customer transactions. On those Sting Sites where you may provide Sting with credit card or other ordering information via the web, Sting employs customary web-based security and encryption protocols, examples of which include Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Secure Electronic Transaction (SET), to secure transmission of that information. If your browser does not support use of such secure connections, or if you prefer not to send your credit card number over the Internet, you can place your order by calling us at the toll free number listed in Contact Us Pages. However, as effective as modern security practices are, no physical or electronic security system is impenetrable. Sting cannot guarantee the security of databases, nor can Sting guarantee that information supplied by you will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the Internet.
V. Protecting the Privacy of Children
Protecting the privacy of the very young is uniquely important, particularly on the Internet. Sting Sites are designed to provide commercial business information and allow service ordering and management by adults. Sting Sites are not designed to attract minors, in particular children under the age of 13. Sting does not market to or knowingly collect information from anyone under the age of 13. Children should always get permission from their parents before sending any information about themselves (such as their names, email addresses, and phone numbers) to anyone over the Internet.