Policy on Privacy and Confidentiality
Ozarks Electric respects the privacy and confidentiality of member information. This policy describes the information that Ozarks Electric collects from its members as a routine part of its operations and how it uses, protects and shares the information that it collects.
- A. Categories of Information Collected
B. Purposes for Collection; Access and Correction
- Contact information, including a member’s name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Ozarks Electric might also collect a user name and password for online access.
- Billing information, including Social Security number, credit information, financial account information and payment history.
- Electric usage data gathered by Ozarks Electric’s metering systems and a member’s service history which may include information on a member’s property and appliances and information maintained for meter reading purposes (e.g., warning about a dog in the yard).
- Capital and patronage account information for members and former members as well as contact information for former members resulting from membership and governance activities.
- Responses to member survey(s) conducted by Ozarks Electric to identify needs or improve service.
- Additional information about a member or a member’s property, appliances and activities obtained through services offered by Ozarks Electric or its affiliates (such as home improvement or critical account status).
- Ozarks Electric collects and maintains information about members for purposes that are suitable to its operations and management. Information is collected only through lawful and fair means and for appropriate purposes.
- Ozarks Electric is committed to maintaining accurate, complete, timely, relevant and appropriate information about members as necessary for the purpose for which the information is to be used. Ozarks Electric generally permits its members to access and seek correction of records about themselves that are maintained and used by Ozarks Electric to provide service, for billing, and to manage capital accounts. Any requests for, or disputes relating to, access, correction or other matters should be directed to:
Ozarks Electric may provide usage data to members who have access to electric usage data through an interface, such as a website.
- Ozarks Electric Cooperative Member Services
PO Box 848
Fayetteville, AR 72702
479-521-2900 or 1-800-521-6144; or firstname.lastname@example.org
C. How Ozarks Electric Collects Member Information
D. Use and Retention of Member Information by Ozarks Electric
- When members create an account and interact with Ozarks Electric regarding their account, utility service or participation in Ozarks Electric programs.
- When members use electricity service and metering systems, including smart meters.
- When members interact with Ozarks Electric through its website.
- When Ozarks Electric interacts with third parties, such as credit agencies.
- Ozarks Electric uses information about members in defined and responsible ways in order to manage, provide and improve its products, services and operations.
- Data about members’ electric usage may be compiled in aggregate form and such data may be used by Ozarks Electric to improve system operations, efficiency and overall customer service.
- Ozarks Electric retains member information, including energy usage data, in such amounts and for such periods of time as required by law or regulation or as reasonably necessary to provide services.
F. Disclosure to Third Parties
- Ozarks Electric maintains member information with reasonable and appropriate technical, administrative, physical and cyber safeguards to protect against loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure of member information. Members are warned, however, that no system can ever be fully protected against every possible hazard.
- Ozarks Electric requires its employees, affiliates and contractors who have access to member information to comply with this privacy and confidentiality policy.
- Member information that members may access through Ozarks Electric’s online account system is protected using cyber security protocols designed to prevent unauthorized third parties from accessing such information.
G. How to Contact Ozarks Electric
- Ozarks Electric does not share member information (e.g. a member’s electric usage data and information that can reasonably be used to identify an individual) with a third party, except at the member’s request, with the member’s consent, or as described below. Members who wish to authorize Ozarks Electric to disclose their information to a third party may do so by contacting Ozarks Electric as described under G.1.
- Information may be disclosed to affiliates or contractors hired by Ozarks Electric to assist in carrying out operations, such as service, maintenance, billing and management functions including legal, audit and collection services. Information may also be shared with other utilities under shared service agreements or to meet operational requirements. Information will only be disclosed to such persons to the extent necessary to render the services, and only to those who agree to maintain the confidentiality and security of the information.
- Ozarks Electric may disclose to and share information with commercial and consumer credit reporting agencies for credit-related activities (e.g., the reporting of bad debts).
- Sufficiently aggregated information may be disclosed to third parties where necessary or beneficial for Ozarks Electric’s operations (for example, to improve efficiency and overall customer service).
- Information may be disclosed when authorized or required by law, including in response to a search warrant, subpoena or court or law enforcement order. For example, Ozarks Electric may use and disclose records for investigations into employee misconduct or for law enforcement investigations related to its business. Disclosures may also be made when appropriate to protect Ozarks Electric’s legal rights or in situations involving an imminent threat to life or property. Ozarks Electric will take reasonable steps to limit the scope and consequences of any of these disclosures.
- In addition, information may be shared with affiliates and partners of Ozarks Electric to communicate or promote services and/or information of interest to members. Members may request that their information not be shared with affiliates or partners for the offering of new products and services by contacting member services as described below. Nevertheless, Ozarks Electric does not sell, rent, loan, exchange or otherwise release member information to non-affiliated third parties or partners for their marketing purposes, without a member’s prior consent.
- Ozarks Electric may make information regarding third party products and services available to members through its website.
- Questions about the policy may be directed to member services, which can be reached by phone at 479-521-2900 or 1-800-521-6144, or by email at email@example.com.
The Chief Executive of Ozarks Electric shall ensure that this policy is adhered to.