Privacy Notice

The ACA Research & Education Foundation (REF) and its subsidiaries respects the privacy of its members and other visitors to its offices, including its website. REF strongly believes that if electronic commerce and online activities are to flourish, consumers must be assured that information provided online, or in any other manner to the College, is used responsibly and appropriately. To protect this privacy, REF has implemented the following policy.

What Information Does REF Collect?

Most data REF collects are used only to help us to better serve our members, visitors and partners. It is our general policy to collect and store only personal information that our members, visitors and partners knowingly provide. If our privacy policies change, we will notify all users by e-mail or a special announcement placed into our various communication tools (e.g. website, newsletters, etc.).

From General Users: REF does not collect any personal information from users browsing the website or looking at our various communication tools. Only aggregate data – such as the number of hits per page – are collected.   Aggregate data are only used for internal and marketing purposes and does not provide any personally identifying information.

From Members, Conference Registrants, Exhibitors, Training Partners, etc.: To gain access to members-only resources and personalization features on the website, members and other users are asked to register and provide some limited information. This information is submitted voluntarily. REF asks users to provide their name, address, business phone and e-mail. Similar information may be submitted to REF through membership applications, conference or training registration, publication orders, subscriptions and the like. Additionally, for some e-mails sent in HTML format by REF to its members through its message boards and electronic newsletters, we will collect specific information regarding what the recipient does with the email. For those emails, REF will monitor whether a recipient subsequently clicks through the links provided in the message. Other information collected through this tracking feature includes: e-mail address of a user, the date and time of the user’s “click,” a message number, name of the list from which the message was sent, tracking URL number and destination page. REF only uses this information to enhance its products and services and distribution of those products and services to its members. This information is not sold or distributed in any other manner.

How Does REF Use Data Collected?

REF uses information voluntarily submitted by its members and other customers in the following ways:

REF Member Services and Products: Generally, REF uses data collected to improve its own web content, to respond to visitors’ interests, needs and preferences; and to develop new products and services.

Disclosures to Third Parties: REF also makes member contact information available through the REF Membership Directory to other members using its website and to those who register for its conferences and training programs. In addition, REF incorporates information users provide into the Membership Directory that it provides to members. REF does not sell this information under any circumstances. On occasion, REF may provide limited data to third parties that offer products and services that are felt to have a direct benefit to its members. These limited data include names, job titles, companies and business addresses, and email addresses, but do not include business phone numbers or business fax numbers unless the release of this information has been preapproved by the members impacted. Members may request that REF refrain from disclosing the data it collects to third parties on the membership application form, conference registration form or any other form on which they are providing information; an opt-out box will appear on each form on which a user provides information. Alternatively, users may contact REF directly to express their preferences if they determine later that they do not wish to have the information shared.

Credit Card Account Information: REF does not disclose credit card account information provided by its members and customers. When members and customers choose to pay using their credit cards, REF submits the information needed to obtain payment to the appropriate clearinghouse.

How Does REF Use Cookies?

Cookies are files that contain information created by a web server that can be stored on the User’s hard disk for use either during a particular session (“pre-session” cookie) or for future use (“persistent” cookie). REF uses cookies only to facilitate automated activity, store and track passwords, determine appropriate solicitations, and review navigation patterns. Cookies are not used to disseminate significant information about Users over the Internet or to analyze any information that Users have knowingly or unknowingly provided. Users may instruct their Internet browsers to opt out of accepting a “persistent” cookie and rather accept only a “per-session” cookie, but will need to login each time they visit the site to enjoy the full benefits. If the User declines the attachment of any cookie, the User may not have access to the full benefits of the website. Registration enables the site to better determine members’ interest areas and provide the most relevant information.

What Privacy Issues Arise With Links To Other Sites?

The REF websites contain links to other websites. REF has no control over, and is not responsible for the privacy policies or content of such sites.