The Dallas Genealogical Society (DGS) places high priority on protecting your privacy. The privacy practices of this statement apply to membership in DGS and to services available to our members and to the public.
Information DGS Collects
Membership and Site Registration
In general, you can visit us on the Internet without telling us who you are or giving us personal information. There are times when we may need information from you: perhaps to process an order, to correspond, to provide a subscription or communicate about volunteering. Collecting personal information is an essential part of DGS’ services to our members – by doing so DGS can provide you with more effective genealogically-related services and products such as our newsletter, brochures, events, Society correspondence, surname lists etc. It is optional for the user to provide demographic information such as gender or unique identifiers (such as, username and password), but you are encouraged to do so. This will allow to provide and customize services and features to our members’ needs and wishes.
Joining/Renewing membership in DGS online or Orders
A user must provide contact information (such as name, email, and mailing address) and financial information for online transactions (such as credit card number, expiration date). This information is used for billing purposes and to fill customer’s orders. If we have trouble processing an order, the information is used to contact the user. If the member opts for automatic renewal of their membership, the credit card information is retained for this purpose only and a notice 30 days prior to the renewal will be sent to the members. DGS never requests Social Security numbers online.
Use of Your Information
DGS uses your information to facilitate the services you request. We use information about you to provide you with the services and products that are included as benefits of your membership in DGS. For instance emailed news announcements contain URL links that are counted so that we may see the amount of interest in an event or service. In addition, if you are a non-member purchasing products or services from DGS, we may also collect information as necessary to mail your order. You agree that we may use your information to contact you and deliver information to you that request and, in some cases, are targeted to your interests, such as administrative notices, service offerings, events, and communications relevant to your membership in DGS. If you do not wish to receive these communications, you may opt out of the receipt of specific communications.
Purchasing, Membership, and Donation History
In order for DGS to enhance its ability to tailor membership services, we retain information about the purchasing habits, membership renewals, and donations of our members to create a personalized membership profile. See the section on Membership.
Disclosure of your information
We store information that we collect through cookies, log files, clear gifs, and/or third parties to create a profile of our users. A profile is stored information that we keep on individual users that details viewing preferences. This profile is used to tailor a user’s visit to our website and in future website design. We do not share your profile with other third parties.
A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally-identifiable information while visiting our site. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies. For the session ID cookie, the cookie simply terminates once users close the browser. A persistent cookie is a small text file stored on the user’s hard drive for an extended period of time. Persistent cookies can be removed by following Internet browser help file directions.
By setting a cookie on our site, users would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while visiting our site. If users reject the cookie, they may still use our site. The only drawback to this is that user access will be limited. Persistent cookies enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site. See the “Membership Profile” section.
Like most standard Web site servers we use log files. This includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses, etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.
Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)
We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage content on our site by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users. The main difference between the two is that clear gifs are invisible on the page and are much smaller, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Clear gifs are not tied to users’ personally-identifiable information.
In addition, we use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails the recipients open. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our email campaigns. If users would like to opt-out of these emails, please see the Opt-out section.
In order for DGS to enhance its ability to tailor the membership services we provide, we retain information about the purchasing habits, membership renewals, and donations of our users to create a personalized membership profile. This information may reside on a trusted partner’s server or database. See section on third party intermediaries.
Communications from the Site
Special Offers and Updates
We send all new members a welcoming email to verify password and username. Established members will regularly receive information on events, products, services, and a weekly announcement newsletter. Out of respect for the privacy of our users’ we present the option to not receive these types of communications. Please see the Choice and Opt-out sections.
If a user wishes to subscribe to our weekly announcement email newsletter, we ask for contact information such as name and email address. Out of respect for our users privacy we provide a way to opt-out of these communications. Please see the Choice and Opt-out sections.
On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our website is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.
We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regards to issues relating to their memberships. We reply via email or phone, in accordance with the user’s wishes.
Though we make every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information when required by law wherein we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process served on our Web site.
The Dallas Genealogical Society cooperates with law enforcement inquiries, as well as other third parties as required by law. We can and you authorize us to disclose any information about you to law enforcement or other government officials as necessary or appropriate, in connection with an investigation any activity that is illegal or may expose DGS or our membership to legal liability.
These are the instances in which we will share users’ personal information:
Third Party Intermediaries
We use an outside credit card processing company to bill users for goods and services. These companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes. Our service provider for online payment processing is iats.com. To contact their customer service:
IATS, 1304 Hornby St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6Z 1W6
We partner with a third party Z2 Systems, Inc., 651 West Washington, Suite 202, Chicago, IL 60661, to provide specific membership database services. When the member requests a log-in to access membership information, change addresses, change emails, or renew membership we are using information stored in their databases. All membership information stored is necessary for the third party to provide these services. Z2 Systems is not allowed to use personally-identifiable information except for the purpose of providing these services.
In the event Z2 Systems, Inc. goes through a business transition, such as a merger, acquisition by another company, or selling a portion of its assets, users’ personal information will, in most instances, be part of the assets transferred. Users will be notified via email and a prominent notice on our website as soon as we are notified of the change of ownership or control of personal information. If as a result of the business transition, the users’ personally identifiable information will be used in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection they will be given choice consistent with our notification of changes section.
This Web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Dallas Genealogical Society is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every Web site that collects personally-identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by the DGS website.
Your use of Other Members’ Information
The Dallas Genealogical Society uses industry standard practices to safeguard the confidentiality of your personally-identifiable information. DGS treats data as an asset that must be protected against loss and unauthorized access. We employ many different security techniques to protect such data from unauthorized access by users inside and outside the organization. Regardless of any and all security measures used, “perfect security” does not exist.
When our registration/order form asks users to enter sensitive information (such as credit card number), that information is encrypted and is protected with the best encryption software in the industry – SSL. While on a secure page, such as our order form, the lock icon on the bottom of Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer becomes locked, as opposed to un-locked, or open, when users are just ‘surfing’. To learn more about SSL, follow this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security.
While we use SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, we also do everything in our power to protect user-information off-line. All of our users’ information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted to use by the Board of Directors or volunteers who need the information to perform a specific job. All users are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Every year, as well as any time new policies are approved, our users are notified and/or reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our users’ information is protected. Finally, the servers that store personally-identifiable information are in a secure environment. For any questions about the security at our website, users can send an email to the system administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correcting/Updating/Deleting/Deactivating Personal Information
If a user’s personally-identifiable information changes (such as zip code, phone, email or postal address), or if a user no longer desires to be a member, we provide a way to correct, update or deactivate users’ personally-identifiable information. Although information is never completely removed from our databases due to technical and legal constraints, including stored “back up” systems, changes can be made by logging into your membership account or by emailing our system administrator at email@example.com. Or, contact us by telephone or postal mail at the contact information listed below.
Notification of Changes
If, however, we are going to use users’ personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection we will notify users via email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. However, if users have opted out of all communication with the site, or deleted/deactivated their account, then they will not be contacted, nor will their personally-identifiable information be used in this new manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our privacy practices that do not affect user information already stored in our database, we will post a prominent notice on our Web site notifying users of the change. In some cases where we post a notice we will also email users, who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our privacy practices.
Corrections, comments, and suggestions
If you have corrections to your membership information, or have questions, suggestions, or complaints, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.