REVISED January 2010
Like you, we at the Northcountry News™ are concerned about customer privacy. We have a long history of maintaining the privacy of information we obtain in the normal course of providing our services. We work hard to serve you through new and exciting products and services. In the process, we remain sensitive to privacy issues.The Information We Obtain and How We Use It: The information we obtain from you is generally necessary for us to provide your services and design new services for your future use. For example, we need to know your name, address and the services you buy from us to properly provide and bill for those services. When you call us, our representatives pull up account records and may refer to your bill, your calling patterns, and other information we have to answer questions you may have or recommend how we can best serve you.We may also use information in our records to protect our customers, employees or property - for instance, to investigate fraud, harassment or other types of unlawful service activities involving the Northcountry News™ or other carriers that we do business with. In some cases, it may be necessary to provide this information to the government or third parties who make a lawful demand for it.We share information within our the Northcountry News™ companies to enable us to better understand our customers' product and service needs, and to learn how to best design, develop, and package products and services to meet those needs. Like any large business, we may structure our company to include a number of smaller companies. Currently, our primary line of business is the publishing of a bi-weekly local newspaper. Accuracy of the Information We Hold: We want the information we obtain and use about customers to be accurate. If your service information or your personal contact information changes or you see an inaccuracy on your the Northcountry News ™ bill, let us know so we can correct it. Security and Accountability: We have information systems that collect and store customer information in addition to systems that store our own business records. These systems have different types of security as appropriate for the information stored. the Northcountry News ™ requires employees to keep customer information confidential and we hold them accountable for their actions. Disclosure of Information Outside the Northcountry News ™ As a general rule, the Northcountry News™ does not release customer account information to non-affiliated third parties without your permission unless we have a business relationship with those companies where the disclosure is appropriate. For example, we may hire outside companies as contractors or agents; or we might be engaged in a joint venture or partnership with a company. Upon occasion, the Northcountry News™ may decide to stop providing a service or may decide to sell or transfer parts of our business to non-affiliated companies. When this happens, we may provide confidential customer information to these companies so that they can offer you the same or similar services. In all of these situations, we provide information to these other companies only as needed to accomplish our business objectives and the companies are bound by requirements to keep the Northcountry News™ customers' information confidential.There are exceptions to the general rule. For example, we might provide information to regulatory or administrative agencies so that they can accomplish their regulatory tasks (for example, responding to a customer complaint) or to maximize the efficiencies of our own processes (such as getting mailing addresses correct, for example). Other disclosures will be driven by legal requirements imposed on the Northcountry News™. the Northcountry News ™ complies with "legal process," such as a subpoena or court order or other similar demand, associated with either criminal or civil proceedings.
Disclosure of Account Information: If you tell us in writing to release your account information to someone, we will honor your request and provide that information.Your account information is released to other carriers when you give us your permission or when they advise us they have your approval to access the information. This most often occurs with respect to a sale of service they want to make or have made to you. Unless we are advised that permission from you has been granted, we do not release the information.We may provide account information to collection agencies when customers do not pay their bills. We restrict the use that can be made of this information to collection activities only for our charges and for the charges we bill for others.Other carriers use the Northcountry News - Independent ™ to bill for their charges. In this case, they provide us with information about you, including your calling patterns, and we bill you on their behalf. In turn, we provide them with non-sensitive information about your service, such as the date your service was established or disconnected; whether you have toll or 900 blocking services, whether you have a calling card or not and when it was issued, how you pay your bills and if they are paid on time.Privacy Over the Internet: the Northcountry News™ appreciates that some individuals believe that special privacy concerns arise around information transmitted or collected over the Internet or through web sites. Below we describe our practices to address those concerns.Cookies: Some of the Northcountry News™'s Web sites may use "cookies" to improve our level of service and speed up the delivery of information to our visitors. Cookies are lines of text that are transmitted to your Web browser when you click on a site. They provide a way for a server to recall a previous request or previous registration, or to keep track of a transaction as it progresses, so that information does not have to be repeated. Your browser stores the information on your hard drive and when you return to that site later, the cookie is transmitted back only to the servers that originally sent it to you. To be notified when you are about to receive a cookie you can configure your browser to alert you when a site is attempting to send you a cookie and at that time you will have the option of refusing the cookie. You can check your hard drive for cookie files in a "cookies" folder for Internet Explorer, a "cookies.txt" file for Netscape, and under "magic cookies" on a Macintosh.Advertisers that serve ads on our Web sites may also use their own cookies. These cookies collect their own information independent of the Northcountry News ™. You can disable this cookie capability as described above. How online information the Northcountry News™ collects is used: Generic Information -- To gauge the effectiveness of our Web sites, we do collect some non-individually-identifiable generic information about our visitors. Our Web servers automatically recognize a visitor's Internet service provider, the IP address, the domain name, the type of browser, and the operating system. And, also which pages are viewed on our sites, the Web page you were on when you link to our sites, how much time a visitor spends on each page and other information related to the operation and interaction of the Northcountry News ™ Web sites. This information does not reveal a visitor's identity. We aggregate this information and use it to evaluate and improve our Web sites.Identifiable Information -- You can choose to provide individually-identifiable information to the Northcountry News™ in a number of ways through our Web sites - by ordering a service from us, sending us email, registering to receive news or information, applying for a job, or entering a contest. When visitors supply information about themselves for a specific purpose, the Northcountry News™ uses the information for that purpose (such as to provide the information the visitor has requested or to consider a visitor for a particular job). In addition, when visitors use our Web sites to order services, or to request information about our services, we may use the individually-identifiable information as we would use the same information obtained off-line - for example, to evaluate your service needs and contact you regarding additional services you may find useful.Sometimes the Northcountry News™ co-sponsors events with another company, such as contests or features. In that case, if you provide individually-identifiable information it most likely will be used by both the Northcountry News™ and the co-sponsor.A user may choose to provide us individually-identifiable information to customize a personal home page. We use this information to better understand and serve our customers, but we do not share that information outside of the Northcountry News™. This information may be compiled on an aggregated basis and shared with our advertisers or business partners but the user will be anonymous.For our the Northcountry News™ and customers - as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our service, we or someone acting on our behalf may monitor Internet activity. This means that a user's session may be tracked, but the user will be anonymous. This process does not capture or transmit any personally identifiable information and the anonymous or aggregated information may be provided to third parties for other purposes.We treat information we collect on line similarly to that we collect off-line. We do not sell or disclose individually-identifiable information obtained on-line to non-the Northcountry News™ entities except as described above (when the Northcountry News™ is in a business relationship with an unaffiliated party and then under confidentiality restrictions) unless you specifically authorize it, it is required by law (luding the service of subpoenas or court orders in either civil or criminal lawsuits), or disclosure is necessary to protect the safety of customers, employees or property.The the Northcountry News™ Web sites may contain links to other sites. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices employed by other sites. Other Web sites may have different privacy policies or no policy. Users should review the privacy policies of any Web site before providing personal information.the Northcountry News™ places banner ads on others' web sites. When we do this, we collect non-personally identifiable information through the aid of third parties with whom we contract, using the most current browsing technology. This activity allows us to recognize a browser's cookie when a browser visits the site and helps us target our Internet advertisements. The information collected is anonymous and does not contain any information that would personally identify you. The information is shared among our contracting agents and our business operations in order to assess the results of a promotion or event. Security of Your Information: the Northcountry News™ has databases and systems that are maintained to reasonably secure all of the Northcountry News™'s commercial information, luding information about customers. All credit card and bank account information you submit is encrypted through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software. We transmit the entire credit card number or bank information to the appropriate financial institution during processing.E-Mail Communications: the Northcountry News™ or its business partners may use email to communicate with customers about events or new products and services or to respond to visitors' emails. the Northcountry News™ will not send commercial solicitations via email to customers who request it not be sent through the process outlined earlier.Children: the Northcountry News ™ does not currently target its online services to children under 13 years of age; and the Northcountry News™ has no intention of collecting any information from children under 13 years old. However, some of our sites do contain links to content providers that collect such information. These companies are expected to comply with all laws pertaining to the collection of information from children. Because the Internet offers open access to a wide range of information, it is important that parents supervise and prevent access to inappropriate content, email or chat sessions.
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