Who are we?
This policy applies to your access to and use of all Internet sites and mobile applications operated by or on behalf of The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and official United Methodist Church entities worldwide, including its governing bodies, conferences, districts, agencies, local churches, ministries, institutions, offices, programs, and other official related organizations. To the extent permitted by law, as a global family of entities, we may transfer your personal information to individual entities within our family.
Scope of this policy
This policy governs our privacy practices regarding your personal information whether we collect it through our sites or apps or through other means, such as in person, by telephone, or through suppliers, vendors, and other partners. Additional specific policies or agreements may apply to certain websites, apps, products, and services. If such policies or agreements conflict with this policy, the terms of those policies or agreements will prevail.
Links to other websites and social media features, and plug-ins
What types of information do we collect?
You can always browse our sites without logging in or providing personal information. It is your decision whether to provide the information that we request. Please know that if you choose not to do so, we may not provide you with a relevant service or feature of our sites or apps.
Below are the types of information we may collect about you.
- Personal information. Personal information is information that identifies or is capable of identifying you as an individual. We collect personal information from you when you voluntarily provide it to us, such as by:
- creating a user account, signing up for email updates, registering for events, entering contests, subscribing to newsletters, ordering products or services, or responding to surveys, offers, promotions, and other communications. We also may collect personal information about you from your use of our products and services or through our partners and other publicly and commercially available sources.
- Personal information we collect from you may include:
- Your contact information, such as your name, company name, address, telephone number, and email address;
- Your age, date and place of birth, family status, gender, nationality, language preferences, and demographic information;
- Your church name and role with the church;
- Job information such as your company name, business title, and professional associations;
- Log-in information such as your username, personal account number, and password, and log-in information for social media accounts if you log into our sites and apps through such accounts;
- Your location, such as if you agree to allow us to access your location to provide you with information relevant to your area;
- Information regarding your personal preferences;
- Other information you choose to provide, such as photographs, articles, comments, questions, requests, and order and subscription information;
- Information necessary to fulfill special requests such as health conditions;
- The content you make available through external sites such as social media accounts;
- Financial information which is necessary to process your orders and subscriptions, such as your credit card information
Cookies and similar technologies
Information that may be collected through the use of these technologies includes:
- the Internet Protocol address automatically assigned to your computer,
- your browser type,
- the date and time of your visit,
- the pages you visit and the amount of time spent on each,
- your device’s operating system,
- your mobile device identifier,
- your geographical area,
- referring URLs, and
- other information on your interaction with our sites or apps
Aggregate and anonymous information
Sometimes we use aggregate or anonymous information. Anonymous information is data where our representative or we remove all information that enables you to be identified. Aggregate information is anonymous data collected about a group of users or other categories. Your personal information is not in aggregate or anonymous data. We use this type of information, for example, to help us understand trends and your needs and preferences and to improve our services. This policy does not restrict our use of aggregate and anonymous information.
How do we use your information?
We use your personal information in the following ways:
- To communicate with you regarding your account and purchases;
- To respond to your customer service requests;
- To improve the content of our sites and apps, such as, for example, using cookies to find out which parts of our sites or our products are visited most often;
- To customize the content and/or layout of our sites and apps for each visitor;
- To notify you about updates to our sites and apps;
- To contact you for marketing purposes, such as emailing you about products or events that we think may be of interest to you or sending you offers for discounts or free services;
- To personalize your experience and allow us to deliver the type of content and offerings in which you are most interested;
- To administer a contest, promotion, survey, or other site or app feature;
- To ask for ratings and reviews of services or products;
- To respond to correspondence, we receive from you; and
- To serve other purposes for which we provide specific notice at the time of collection and as otherwise authorized or required by law.
When do we share your information?
We will not trade, sell or share your personal information for use by any business without your consent unless required by law or as disclosed to you when the information is collected. We only share your personal information in accordance with applicable law. We may share your personal information with others in the following instances:
- When legally required to do so;
- At the request of governmental authorities conducting an investigation;
- To verify or enforce compliance with the policies governing our sites and apps and applicable laws or to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our sites and apps; and
- We may share information that does not identify you individually, or anonymous or aggregated information, internally and with third parties for any purpose.
Advertising uses and preferences
International transfers of personal information
As a global family of entities, we may transfer your personal information to individual entities within our family or to third parties in other countries for the purposes described in this policy. Some local privacy laws may require us to obtain your consent before transferring your information from your originating country to other countries. When you agree to this policy, you are, to the extent required and permitted under your local law, granting your consent to transfer your personal information to such other countries for the purposes described in this policy. These countries may not have the same data protection laws as the country where you initially provided the information. We take steps to ensure that it is adequately protected in compliance with applicable laws, including ensuring appropriate security measures are in place and requiring the third parties to protect your personal information according to this policy or obtain your consent where required.
We may share your personal information with third-party agents, contractors, service providers, and suppliers who provide support and services to our entities. When we do so, we require those third parties to protect your personal information in accordance with this policy and applicable laws.
How do we protect your information?
We take seriously our obligation to safeguard the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the personal information we collect from you. We have established and will maintain procedures designed for that purpose. We implement a variety of security measures when you enter, submit, or access your information to maintain the safety of your personal information. Your personal information is contained behind secured networks. It is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems and must keep the information confidential. You should be aware that such security measures cannot prevent all loss, misuse, or alteration of personal information. We are not responsible for any damages or liabilities relating to such incidents to the fullest extent permitted by law. Where required under law, we will notify you of any such loss, misuse, or alteration of personal information that may affect you so that you can take the appropriate actions to protect your rights.
How long do we retain your information?
We retain your information only as long as necessary to provide our services to you, enhance your user experience, and as otherwise required for our operations or as permitted or required by applicable laws.
Legal basis for the use of your personal information (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, governs privacy practices involving individuals in the European Union and the European Economic Area and certain other transactions related to those areas. Suppose the GDPR applies to your personal information that we have collected. In that case, our legal basis for collecting and using your personal information will depend on the personal information concerned and the context in which it is collected. This may include legitimate business purposes, as necessary to provide products and services to you or respond to your inquiries and requests, with your consent, to comply with applicable laws, or when there is a legitimate and overriding interest that necessitates the use.
How to access and control your information
You may change your privacy settings at any time by using emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include preferences/requests to:
- Modify, update, and delete your user account;
- Opt in to subscribe to newsletters, mailings, and other communications and alerts;
- Opt in to receive offers and promotions; and
- Opt in to our sharing your personal information with others so they can send you offers and promotions.
You may email email@example.com to request a copy of the information we have collected about you, request to correct or update any information we have about you, or request deletion of your account or personal information.
Following a deletion request, we will delete your information unless required to retain it by applicable laws. We may also keep certain pieces of your information if necessary for safety or security, fraud prevention, quality assurance, or other legitimate business interests, and only in accordance with applicable laws.
You may withdraw any consent you have granted to our collection and use of your personal information at any time, subject to our right to continue to use your personal information as permitted or required under applicable laws. Such withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of our collection or use of your personal information prior to withdrawal.
Most of our sites and apps are not intended for or designed to attract children under the age of 13. We will not knowingly solicit or collect personal information from children we know are under 13 or the relevant minimum age under applicable law. If we learn that a child under 13 has given us personal information, we will delete that information. If you believe a child under the age of 13 has provided us personal information, please get in touch with us to delete the information. Unless stated otherwise, if you are a minor in the jurisdiction in which you are accessing our sites and apps, you may only use them with the involvement of a parent or guardian.
To the extent any of our sites or apps intend to collect personal information from children, any such sites and apps will include additional information regarding the applicable policies and practices for that site or app regarding children’s privacy.
Because there is not yet a consensus on how companies should respond to web-browser-based do-not-track mechanisms, we do not respond to do-not-track signals at this time.
California privacy rights
If you are a California resident, you may request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for third-party direct marketing purposes.
If you are a California resident under the age of 18 and a registered user of our sites or apps, you may request and obtain the removal of content or information you have publicly posted. Your request should include a detailed description of the specific content or information to be removed. Please be aware that your request does not guarantee complete or comprehensive removal of content or information posted online and that the law may not permit or require removal in certain circumstances.
To make these requests, please contact us.
How to contact us
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
PO Box 340007
Nashville, TN 37203
Under certain local laws, you may have the right to submit a complaint regarding our collection and use of your personal information to your local data protection authority.