Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE Privacy Policy

Why Privacy is as important to us as it is to you: 
Privacy and confidentiality are the cornerstones of our relationship with our members and other visitors to our site. You have given us your trust over a long period of time and this has allowed us to develop numerous products and services that help you grow your business. We do not intend to betray that trust. You can continue to count on us to “do the leg work for you” by offering you tools to run your business more effectively. You can feel confident that any personal information you supply to us through this site or other channels is secure and used solely by the Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE in order to better serve you. (General demographic information about your company may be available to those outside of the Association in our Membership Directory, but you may even choose to “opt out” of the directory: see the section of this policy on “opt in/opt out” features.) Unless required by a court of law or specifically instructed by you to do so, we will not divulge your personal information to a third party. We hold safeguarding your information as our duty. This sets us apart from many other organizations. The bottom line is this helps us to continue to learn more about your company’s needs, which in turn then help us to create a more meaningful, more personalized experience for you and allows members to more fully reap the rich benefits of membership.

We collect information in several ways from different parts of our Web site.

Registration 
Our site's registration/personal profile form requires you to give us contact information such as name, e-mail address, interest areas and other demographic information about your business. We occasionally use contact information from the registration form to send you additional information about products and services. Contact information is also used to remind users of forgotten member ID or passwords. The more information you volunteer (and the more accurate it is), the better we are able to customize your experience. This includes personalization services, interactive communications and many other types of services, most of which are completely free to you. By knowing a little about you, we are able to deliver more relevant content, and hence better service, to you.

Contests, sweepstakes, promotions, and surveys 
From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Our online surveys ask visitors for contact information such as name and e-mail address. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. Information requested may include contact and demographic information. Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site. We also occasionally ask users to complete surveys that we use for internal research.

COSE Benefits 
If you are a member of the GCP/COSE, you will provide us with other information about you in order to facilitate transactions that you may make through our various programs. This information may be provided to the appropriate provider (such as Medical Mutual, etc.) so that the service can be accomplished efficiently and online. All GCP/COSE vendors have agreed to safeguard the information that is provided to them about members, and they are prohibited contractually for using the information for any purpose other than completing GCP/COSE transactions.

Membership Application 
When this service becomes available (online membership application), you will be required to provide demographic and other information regarding your business, and a form of payment for membership. This information is used solely by the GCP/COSE to provide you with the best combination of products and services to get the most or your membership.

Training and Event Registration/Classifieds, Transaction areas (Store, etc.): 
We request information from the user on our program registration and sales order form. Here you must provide contact information (like name and shipping address) and financial information (like credit card number, expiration date). This information is used for billing purposes and to fill customer’s orders. If we have trouble processing an order, this contact information is used to get in touch with you.

Optional Comment areas 
Feedback information and other comments, provided voluntarily, is used by us and other users to understand and respond to member/stakeholder issues and needs and to share information.

How we use this information: 
GCP/COSE does internal research on our users' demographics, interests, and behavior based on the information provided to us upon registration, during a promotion, or from our server log files. We do this to better understand and serve our users. This research is compiled and analyzed on an aggregated basis. We do not share or release personal information. We will never willfully disclose personal information about our users to any outside parties without receiving your permission unless legally ordered to do so. GCP/COSE collects, uses and retains information about you through our Web site to identify and communicate with you. We collect and use this information to provide you with products and services that you initiate; to help us respond to specific questions that you ask; and to inform you about other products that may be of interest to you. We may also use this information to comply with certain laws and regulations that may apply to us, and to help us design or improve our products and services. We will however collect and store general information such as:

  • The name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example, msn.com if you are connecting from the Microsoft Network or aol.com if you connecting from America Online).
  • The Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site, if any (for example, www.yahoo.com if you find us using the Yahoo search option).
  • The type of web browsing software you are using to view our site such as Netscape Communication or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  • The date and time you access our site, and the number, duration and frequency of visitors to our Web site

The collection of this information allows us to prepare for traffic load demands, analyze trends and statistics, and more efficiently operate the services and our Web site. Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement.

In the future, we may use your personal information to tailor messages that we believe will interest you. We will not, however, provide your personal information to our advertisers or advertising agencies.

How and why we use “cookies”: 
Like many other sites on the Internet, to provide you better service we use cookies. A cookie is a small bit of information given to your browser by a Web site, which is stored on your hard drive and can later be retrieved. A cookie is a way for a Web site to recognize whether or not you have visited the site before. The cookie cannot be read by a Web site other than the one that "set" the cookie. We use cookies for administrative purposes, such as where we store a password, or where you are able to customize the information you see. Recording cookies at such points makes your online experience easier and faster. They do not read your hard drive or contain any information that you have not already provided. None will contain information that will enable anyone to contact you via telephone or e-mail. Generally, we use cookies to:

  • Remind us of who you are and to access your account information (stored on our computers) in order to deliver to you a better and more personalized service.
  • Estimate our audience size. Each browser accessing the site may be given a cookie which is then used to determine the extent of repeat usage, and usage by a registered user versus by an unregistered user.
  • Track your progress and number of entries in some of our promotions, sweepstakes and contests.
  • Measure certain traffic patterns, track the areas of our Web site you have visited, track the Web site through which you came to us and your visiting patterns in the aggregate. We use this research to understand how our users' habits are similar or different from one another so that we can make each new experience on the site a better one. We may use this information to better personalize the content, banners, and promotions that you and other users will see on our sites.
  • Some Web sites and advertisers use cookies to track your wanderings on the web. We will not use our cookies to track your footprints on this Web site or anywhere else on the web and we will not use cookies to gather personal information about you in any way. For your further comfort, however, we tell you that your browser can be configured to notify you when you receive a cookie, thus giving you the choice of whether to accept it.

The opt in/opt out and e-mail permission features: 
We are so firmly committed to protecting your privacy and our environment is so protected, that is becomes almost unnecessary to opt-out – because there are so few things to “opt out” of in terms of allowing access to your data. We simply do not sell your information to third parties or other entities for commercial purposes, unless you have given us permission to use your information in our eList function.

We send all new members a welcoming e-mail to verify password and member number. Established members will occasionally receive information on products, services, special deals, and a newsletter. We send site and service announcement updates. We communicate with you to provide requested services and in regards to issues relating to your membership via regular mail, e-mail or phone. Out of respect for your privacy we present the option to not receive these types of communications.

You are given the opportunity to ‘opt-out’ of having your information used for certain purposes such as being listed in our membership directory or other options which are presented at the time of registration. Part of our registration/member profile process asks you to select which ways you would like us to provide you information.

You will only receive special offers via e-mail from us if you have indicated during registration that you would like to receive them. You can change your preferences at any time. If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter or promotional materials, you may opt-out of receiving these communications by replying to unsubscribe in the subject line in the e-mail or e-mail us at customerservice@gcpartnership.com.

The kinds of security features employed to protect your information: 
Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of your personal information. When you submit sensitive information via the Web site, your information is protected both online and off-line.

We use a secure Web connection, digital certificates and encryption techniques as necessary to protect the privacy of personal information supplied to us or accessed through our Web site.

When our registration/order form asks users to enter sensitive information (such as credit card number and/or social security number), that information is encrypted. While on a secure page, such as our order form, the lock icon on the top of Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome becomes locked, as opposed to un-locked, or open, when you are just ‘surfing’.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information online, we also do everything in our power to protect user-information off-line. All of our members’ information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job are granted access to personally identifiable information. Our employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Finally, the servers that we store personally identifiable information on are kept in a secure environment.

Additionally, Internet browser software typically stores—caches—information from the Web site being visited on the hard drive of the user. This means that information viewed or input during a visit to a Web site can usually be viewed again by merely hitting the "BACK" button in your browser. Some Web sites issue a "no-cache" command to browsers to prevent this temporary storage. To provide better service to you, our visitor, we do not send this command to the browser.

To better protect your personal information, you should clear your cache of information from your computer periodically. Instructions for clearing this cache are included on your browser.

Finally, the Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or in an unsolicited e-mail. We recommend that you should not ask us to remember your username or password on a computer that can be accessed by others. This is to ensure that others cannot access your personal information and correspondence if you share a computer with someone else or are using a computer in a public place like a library or Internet cafe.

Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our online products or services, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. All User Information is stored securely behind the Greater Cleveland Partnership firewall.

We update and test our technology to improve the protection of our information about you and to assure the integrity of our information. If you have any questions about the security at our Web site, you can send an e-mail tocustomerservice@gcpartnership.com.

How we provide notifications of changes: 
If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on our Web site home page so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

Questions about this privacy policy may be directed to:

Attn: GCP/COSE - Privacy Policy

Greater Cleveland Partnership

1240 Huron Road East  

Suite 200

Cleveland, Ohio 44115-1717

Or:

customersevice@gcpartnership.com

Miscellaneous Information Regarding Privacy:

  • Communicating Online outside of our Web site Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily disclose personal information online - for example on message boards, through e-mail, or in chat areas - that information can be collected and used by others. In short, if you post personal information online that is accessible to the public, you may receive unsolicited messages from other parties in return.

Ultimately, you are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords and/or any registration information. Please be careful and responsible whenever you're online

Employee Access to Confidential Information 
All employees are required to follow our privacy policy. This privacy policy provides that employees are obligated to keep member information confidential and never to discuss or disclose such information inside or outside of the Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE unless required to transact proper business. This obligation continues once an employee has left our company. We have policies and security procedures restricting employee access to member information to those employees with a business reason to know such information. We actively educate our associates to recognize the importance of the confidentiality of member information and we may take appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce employee privacy responsibilities. GK/MB