Privacy Policy

SAC OSAGE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

 

POLICY NUMBER 117

 

SUBJECT:      PRIVACY PRINCIPLES FOR MEMBER-CONSUMER INFORMATION AND POLICY ON PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

 

PRINCIPLES

 

I.          Objective

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative is a consumer-owned and consumer-controlled electric cooperative. Sac Osage Electric Cooperative operates on a not-for-profit basis for the benefit of its member-consumers. Accordingly, the Board has adopted this Policy on Privacy of Member-Consumer Information to establish fair information principles for Sac Osage Electric Cooperative in carrying out its responsibility to respect the privacy of personally identifiable information about member-consumers.

 

II.         Policy

 

1.                  Notice

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative publicly discloses its policies and practices for the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information about member-consumers.

 

B.         Trust

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative maintains information about member-consumers suitable for its operations and for the benefit of its member-consumers. It collects personally identifiable information only by fair and lawful means and for appropriate purposes. It maintains the information in an accurate, complete, and timely manner as necessary for the purpose for which the information is to be used. Member-consumers may examine service, billing, and capital account information about themselves and may correct any inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely information.

 

C.         Security

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative maintains member-consumer information with reasonable and appropriate technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect against foreseeable hazards such as loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure.

 

D.        Use and Disclosure.

 

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative Electric Cooperative uses and discloses personally identifiable information about member-consumers in defined and responsible ways in order to carry out its operations and to benefit its member-consumers. It allows member-consumers to exercise choice about disclosure of personal information to affiliates offering new products and services. It does not sell, rent, loan, exchange, or otherwise release mailing lists or telephone lists of member-consumers for marketing purposes.

 

III.       Responsibility

 

The Board is responsible for approving detailed practices and procedures for governing the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information about member-consumers and for overseeing implementation of the practices and procedures by the General Manager and the employees.

 

POLICY

 

I.          Objective

 

To establish fair information principles for Sac Osage Electric Cooperative in carrying out its responsibility to respect the privacy and confidentiality of member-consumer information.

 

II.         Policy

 

A.        Notice

 

1.                  Sac Osage Electric Cooperative discloses to its member-consumers its policies and practices for the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of identifiable information about its member-consumers.

 

2.                  Sac Osage Electric Cooperative collects and maintains appropriate information about its member-consumers as a routine part of its operations.

 

3.                  When providing electricity and related services, Sac Osage Electric Cooperative collects information from member-consumers, including name, address, telephone number, Social Security number, credit information, and payment and usage history. Usage history may include information on a member-consumer’s property and appliances, health information for lifeline service, service history, and information maintained for meter reading purposes (e.g., warning about a dog in the yard).

 

4.                  Membership and governance activities may result in the maintenance of capital and patronage account information for members and former members, and contact information for former members.

 

5.         Occasionally, Sac Osage Electric Cooperative may survey a sample of its member-consumers to collect information to identify needs or improve service.

 

 

6.         Other activities by Sac Osage Electric Cooperative or its affiliates will result in the collection of additional information about a member-consumer’s property, appliances, and activities.

 

This information will be collected and maintained only when and to the extent appropriate to provide the services.

 

7.                  This notice describes generally Sac Electric Cooperative’s privacy and confidentiality policies. The policy is not a formal limitation on the ability of Sac Osage Electric Cooperative to use, manage, and disclose its records as Sac Osage Electric Cooperative determines to be necessary, appropriate, or as required by law.

 

It is subject to change without notice.

 

B.         Trust

 

1.         General Practices:

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative maintains information about member-consumers for purposes that are suitable to its operations and management. Information is collected only through lawful and fair means and for appropriate purposes. Sac Osage Electric Cooperative is committed to maintaining accurate, complete, timely, relevant, and appropriate information about member-consumers as necessary for the purpose for which the information is to be used.

 

2.         Access and Correction:

 

Sac Osage Electric Cooperative generally permits its member-consumers to access and seek correction of records about themselves that are used by Sac Osage Electric Cooperative to provide service, for billing, and to manage capital accounts. Any person who wants to identify personal records maintained by Sac Osage Electric Cooperative, access the records, or correct the records should contact the office of the Cooperative.

 

C.         Security

 

1.         Sac Osage Electric Cooperative maintains member-consumer information with technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect against loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure. No record or computer system can ever be fully protected against every possible hazard.  Sac Osage Electric Cooperative provides reasonable and appropriate security to protect against foreseeable hazards.

 

 

2.         Sac Osage Electric Cooperative requires its employees and, when practicable, its affiliates and contractors who have access to identifiable member-consumer information to sign a statement acknowledging that they have read this privacy and confidentiality policy and agreeing to comply with it. Any employee or contractor who fails to comply with these rules may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

 

D.        Use and Disclosure

 

1.         Sac Osage Electric Cooperative uses and discloses identifiable information about member-consumers in defined and responsible ways in order to carry out its operations. This section describes how identifiable information about member-consumers may be used and disclosed.

 

2.         Records may be disclosed to affiliates or contractors hired by Sac Osage Electric Cooperative to assist in carrying out operations, such as service, billing, and management functions including legal, audit, and collection services.

 

3.         Member-consumer information may be disclosed to and shared with commercial and consumer credit reporting agencies for credit-related activities (e.g., the reporting of bad debts).

 

4.         Records may be disclosed to government regulators and other government agencies when authorized or required by law.

 

5.         Records may also be compiled in aggregate form for Sac Osage Electric Cooperative management activities.

 

6.         Records may be disclosed when required by law, such as in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or court order. Sac Osage Electric Cooperative may use and disclose records for investigations into employee misconduct or for law enforcement investigations related to our business. Disclosures may also be made when appropriate to protect Sac Osage Electric Cooperative’s legal rights or during emergencies if physical safety is believed to be at risk. These events are unlikely, but they are possible. Sac Osage Electric Cooperative will take reasonable steps to limit the scope and consequences of any of these disclosures.

                                   

7.         Records may be shared with other utilities under shared service agreements or to meet operational requirements.

 

8.         Records about a member-consumer may be disclosed at the request of or with the permission of the member-consumer.

 

9.         In addition, member-consumer information may be shared with affiliates and partners of Sac Osage Electric Cooperative that offer products and services to member-consumers.

 

 

10.       Membership lists of the Cooperative may be disclosed to a member of the cooperative for a proper purpose, such as in connection with Cooperative election activities. In some instances, lists may be made available for appropriate uses without disclosing the list to a third party. For example, the Cooperative may undertake a mailing on behalf of and at the expense of a third party. Disclosures of membership lists will only be made following a policy adopted by the Board or the membership, and further uses of any lists so disclosed will be subject to that policy.

 

11.       Sac Osage Electric Cooperative does not sell, rent, loan, exchange, or otherwise release mailing lists or telephone lists of member-consumers for marketing purposes. Sac Osage Electric Cooperative does not disclose any information about a member-consumer to non-affiliated third parties without the prior, written consent of the member-consumer.

 

12.       The members of the Cooperative have the right to vote to authorize other uses and disclosures of information.

 

13.       Member-consumers may request that their information not be shared with affiliates for the offering of new products and services.

 

E.         Questions and Disputes

 

1.         Questions about the policy may be directed to the office of the Cooperative.  Sac Osage Electric Cooperative will do its best to resolve any questions or problems that arise regarding the use of member-consumer information.

 

III.       Notice to Consumer of Request for Information

 

The Cooperative will take all reasonable action to notify a consumer of a request for information concerning the consumer’s account or other information while subject to the conditions included below:

 

A.        In the event any private request including a subpoena from a court of proper jurisdiction seeking to obtain records of a consumer account of whatsoever kind, the Cooperative will give written notice to the consumer at the consumer’s last known address; provided that if the consumer no longer is receiving service on the lines of the Cooperative, then notice will be sent to the last address shown on the Cooperative’s records which may include only that address available to it; and it shall be the responsibility of the consumer leaving the lines of the Cooperative to furnish a forwarding address if notice is desired.

 

B.                 In the event a request is made by a governmental agency which has established rules or laws concerning notice to a consumer with respect to the information sought, then the Cooperative will give such notice to the consumer as is permitted by the law or regulations of the party seeking information concerning a consumer’s account or records.    Notice will be given to the consumer at the last known address shown on the Cooperative’s records which may include only that address available to it; and it shall be the responsibility of the consumer leaving the lines of the Cooperative to furnish a forwarding address if notice is desired.

IV.       Responsibility

 

A.        The board shall ensure that this policy reflects current practices for personal information about member-consumers.

 

B.         The General Manager shall ensure that this policy is adhered to.