Eastern Telephone & Technologies, Inc. (“Eastern”, “We”) is committed to respecting and protecting the privacy of our customers. As discussed below, we have strict policies governing access by employees and others to customer communications and information. We access customer accounts, records, or reports for authorized business purposes only. We educate our employees about their obligation to safeguard customer information and communications.
I. Privacy Principles
The following principles express Eastern’s commitment to assuring strong and meaningful privacy protection, and are intended to guide Eastern’s efforts to balance privacy with customer interest in receiving quality services. These principles apply to our use of “individual” customer information – that is, information about specific customers. “Individual” customer information includes “personal information” that may include information particular to you, including your address, phone number, fax number and email address and “non-personal information” that may include information such as your network traffic data, services and features used, or call record details. These policies are fully consistent with applicable laws and regulations governing privacy, including the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). Individual customer information is distinct from “aggregated” customer information, which does not reveal a customer’s identity. Further, the examples provided below are intended to be illustrative, not all-inclusive.
A. Eastern Obtains and Uses Individual Customer Information for Business Purposes Only.
Eastern obtains and uses customer information that helps us to provide our customers with quality telecommunications services. In addition to supporting the direct provision of service, this information may be used to protect customers, employees, and property against fraud, theft, or abuse, to conduct industry or consumer surveys, and to maintain good customer relations. Access to databases containing customer information is limited to employees who need that information to perform their jobs. These employees are required to follow strict rules when handling customer information.
B. Eastern Collects Information from Customers in a Number of Different Ways.
Eastern may collect information from you through communications such as via the web, or by phone, email or mail delivery, or through the services provided to you as the customer.
C. Eastern Gives Customers Opportunities to Control Access to Information.
Eastern is committed to providing customers with opportunities to control how Eastern uses customer information about them. For example, customers may inform us of which telephone listings they want to include in our directories and in directory assistance and may also choose to have a non-published number, or a non-listed number, or to exclude an address from customer’s listing. Customers in areas where Caller ID services are available may have the ability to block the display of their phone numbers and names. (Note that Caller ID blocking does not prevent the transmission of your phone number when you dial certain business numbers, including 911, or 800, 888, 877, and 900 numbers.) A customer may indicate a change in such preferences at any time by contacting Eastern customer service by calling 606-432-0043.
D. Eastern Enables Customers to Control How Eastern Discloses Individual Information.
Ordinarily, Eastern will only share individual customer information with persons or entities outside the company to assist us in the provision of services to which the customer subscribes or as required by law or to protect the safety of customers, employees, or property. We do not use third-party marketers, nor do we share access to individual customer information derived from the provision of Eastern telecommunications services with other companies interested in marketing other services to our customers. Eastern is committed to ensuring that customer information is not used without the knowledge and permission of our customers.
However, there are exceptions to our general practice. If Eastern enters into a merger, acquisition, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, a customer’s personally identifiable information will, in most instances, be transferred as a part of the transaction, subject to required notices to affected customers. In addition, we may, where permitted by law, provide information to credit bureaus, or provide information and/or sell receivables to collection agencies, to obtain payment for Eastern billed products and services. We are required to provide directory publishers with subscriber listing information – name, address and phone number, and for yellow page advertisers, primary advertising classification – for purposes of publishing and delivering directories. In addition, under certain circumstances, we may share customer information with other carriers or with law enforcement, for example, to prevent and investigate fraud or other unlawful use of communications services.
E. All Eastern Employees Are Responsible for Safeguarding Customer Communications and Information.
We never tamper with, intrude upon, or disclose the existence or contents of any communication or transmission, except as required by law or the proper management of our network. Access to databases containing customer information is limited to employees who need it to perform their jobs – and they follow strict guidelines when handling that information. We use safeguards to increase data accuracy and to identify and authenticate the sources of customer information. Eastern requires that records be safeguarded from loss, theft, unauthorized disclosure, and accidental destruction.
In addition, sensitive, confidential, or proprietary records are protected and maintained in a secure environment. It is our policy to destroy records containing sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information in a secure manner. Hard copy confidential, proprietary, or sensitive documents are made unreadable before disposition or recycling, and electronic media must be destroyed using methods that prevent access to information stored in that type of media. We encourage our employees to be proactive in implementing and enforcing Eastern’s privacy policies. If employees become aware of practices that raise privacy or security concerns, they are required to report them to their supervisors.
F. Eastern Takes Special Care to Protect the Safety and Privacy of Young People Using Its Services.
Eastern does not knowingly collect information about children. Eastern believes that children should get their parents’ consent before giving out any personal information. Eastern encourages parents and legal guardians to participate in their child’s experience using Eastern’s services. Children should always ask a parent for permission before using Eastern services.
G. Eastern Complies with All Applicable Privacy Laws and Regulations Wherever Eastern Does Business.
Customer and policymaker perceptions of privacy have changed over time and will continue to do so. Changes in technology can also alter what is appropriate in protecting privacy. Laws may change accordingly. We regularly examine – and update as necessary –Eastern’s privacy policies and internal procedures to ensure compliance with applicable law and evolving technology. Eastern also will monitor customer needs and expectations. Eastern will work with policymakers and consumers to ensure that we continue to safeguard privacy, giving customers choices, flexibility, and control. Eastern considers privacy laws and regulations to be the minimum standards to which we will adhere in protecting privacy. In addition to complying with the law, Eastern will adhere to its internal privacy policies and procedures wherever we do business.
H. Eastern Gives an Authorized Government Agency Access to Customer Information Only Upon Valid Request
Eastern may release customer information in response to requests from governmental agencies, including law enforcement and national security agencies, in accordance with federal statutory requirements or pursuant to court order. Before releasing any customer information, Eastern will ensure that the underlying governmental request satisfies all procedural and substantive legal requirements and is otherwise proper. For example, Eastern will ensure that any court orders are valid, properly issued, and legally enforceable. Except as required by law or with the approval of the customer, Eastern will not release any customer information in response to subpoenas or similar requests issued by private parties. Further, Eastern will be diligent in authenticating the validity of any “governmental” request to ensure that the request actually originates from an authorized government agency.
II. FURTHER INFORMATION
While we have made significant efforts to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. Unfortunately, no data transmission can be guaranteed to be 100% secure and we will not be held liable should a third party illegally obtain your personal information via Internet or other transmission.