Privacy Shield Policy

SurfMerchants LLC (“SM”) has adopted this Privacy Shield Policy (“Policy”) to establish and maintain an adequate level of Personal Data privacy protection. This Policy applies to the processing of Personal Data that SM obtains from Customers located in the European Union and elsewhere, on behalf of our Agents.

SM complies with the US-EU Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the US Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from Agents and Individual Customers in the European Union member countries. SM has certified that it adheres to the Privacy Shield Privacy Principles of notice, choice, and accountability for onward transfer, security, data integrity and purpose limitation, access, recourse, enforcement and liability. If there is any conflict between the policies in this privacy policy and the Privacy Shield Privacy Principles, the Privacy Shield Privacy Principles shall govern. To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, and to view our certification page, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction over SM’s compliance with the Privacy Shield.

1. SCOPE

This Policy applies to the processing of Individual Customer Personal Data that SM receives in the United States or EU concerning Individual Customers who reside in the European Union or outside the EU, on behalf of our Agents or direct Customers. SM provides products and services to businesses and consumers and acts as the Processor for these Agents.

This Policy does not cover data from which individual persons cannot be identified or situations in which pseudonyms are used. (The use of pseudonyms involves the replacement of names or other identifiers with substitutes so that identification of individual persons is not possible.)

2. RESPONSIBILITIES AND MANAGEMENT

SM has designated the Compliance Team to oversee its information security program, including its compliance with the EU Privacy Shield program. The Compliance Team shall review and approve any material changes to this program as necessary. Any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this Policy also may be directed to privacy@surfmerchants.com.

SM will maintain, monitor, test, and upgrade information security policies, practices, and systems to assist in protecting the Personal Data that it collects. SM personnel will receive training, as applicable, to effectively implement this Policy. Please refer to Section 7 for a discussion of the steps that SM has undertaken to protect Personal Data.

3. RENEWAL / VERIFICATION

SM will renew its EU Privacy certifications annually, unless it subsequently determines that it no longer needs such certification or if it employs a different adequacy mechanism.

Prior to the re-certification, SM will conduct an in-house verification to ensure that its statements and assertions with regard to its treatment of Individual Customer Personal Data are accurate and that the company has appropriately implemented these practices. Specifically, as part of the verification process, SM will undertake the following:

1.    Review this Privacy Shield policy and its publicly posted website privacy policy to ensure that these policies accurately describe the practices regarding the collection of Individual Customer Personal Data

2.    Ensure that the publicly posted privacy policy informs Individual Customers of SM’s participation in the EU Privacy Shield program and where to obtain a copy of additional information (e.g., a copy of this Policy)

3.    Ensure that this Policy continues to comply with the Privacy Shield principles

4.    Confirm that Individual Customers are made aware of the process for addressing complaints and any independent dispute resolution process (SM may do so through its publicly posted website, Individual Customer contract, or both)

5.    Review its processes and procedures for training Employees about SM’s participation in the Privacy Shield program and the appropriate handling of Individual’s Personal Data

SM will prepare an internal verification statement on an annual basis.

4. COLLECTION AND USE OF PERSONAL DATA

The GeoVerify app does not require you to create an account to use the app. GeoVerify does not solicit personally identifiable information from your device; however, on Android devices, it does send GeoVerify codes to your device using a unique identifier.  This identifier does not contain any of your personal information.

The GeoVerify code that you obtain with the app only contains information about where and when the code was obtained. It does not include any information about you or your device.

5. DATA INTEGRITY AND SECURITY

SM uses reasonable efforts to maintain the accuracy and integrity of Personal Data and to update it as appropriate. SM has implemented physical and technical safeguards to protect Personal Data from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alternation, or destruction. For example, electronically stored Personal Data is stored on a secure network with firewall protection, and access to SM’s electronic information systems requires user authentication via password or similar means. SM also employs access restrictions, limiting the scope of employees who have access to Individual Customer Personal Data.

Further, SM uses secure encryption technology to protect certain categories of personal data. Despite these precautions, no data security safeguards guarantee 100% security all of the time.

6. NOTIFICATION

SM notifies Individual Customers about its adherence to the EU-US Privacy Shield principles through its publicly posted website privacy policy and take Individual customers approval and adherence to the current policy when they provide their information to us in the transactional process of sign up.

7. CHANGES TO THIS POLICY

This Policy may be amended from time to time, consistent with the Privacy Shield Principles and applicable data protection and privacy laws and principles. We will make employees available of changes to this policy either by posting to our intranet, through email, or other means. We will notify Customers if we make changes that materially affect the way we handle Personal Data previously collected, and we will allow them to choose whether their Personal Data may be used in any materially different manner.

8. QUESTIONS OR COMPLAINTS

EU, and non EU Individual customers may contact SM with questions or complaints concerning this Policy at the following address:

privacy@surfmerchants.com

9. DISPUTE RESOLUTION

In compliance with the US-EU Privacy Shield Principles, SM commits to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal information. EU and non EU individuals with questions or concerns about the use of their Personal Data should contact the Agent they sign up with. After contacting the Agent they may contact us at: privacy@surfmerchants.com

If a Individual Customer’s question or concern cannot be satisfied through this process SM has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under US-EU Privacy Shield to an independent dispute resolution mechanism operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Within the scope of this Privacy Policy, if a privacy complaint or dispute cannot be resolved through SurfMerchants LLC’s internal processes, SurfMerchants LLC has agreed to participate in the VeraSafe Privacy Shield  Dispute Resolution Procedure. Subject to the terms of the VeraSafe Privacy Shield Dispute Resolution Procedure, VeraSafe will provide appropriate recourse free of charge to you. If Arbitration is necessary, under VeraSafe’s arbitration policy, there is the possibility, under certain conditions and constraints dictated by VereSafe, for individuals to invoke binding arbitration. To file a complaint with VeraSafe under the Privacy Shield Dispute Resolution Procedure, please submit the required information to VeraSafe here:  https://www.verasafe.com/dispute-submission.

9. DEFINED TERMS

Capitalized terms in this Privacy Policy have the following meanings:

“Agent” means a customer or client of SM that contract with SM to Process data for the purpose of mystery shopping, auditing, or market research of any kind.

Individual Customer shall include any all individuals. This can include, but is not limited to shoppers, auditors, or any other individual, that belongs to one of SM’s Agents, on a systems hosted by SM, where SM has obtained his or her Personal Data, in the role of Processor, from such Individual Customers as part the Agents business relationship with SM.

“Data Subject” means an identified or identifiable natural living person. An identifiable person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, by reference to a name, or to one or more factors unique to his or her personal physical, psychological, mental, economic, cultural or social characteristics.

“Employee” means an employee (whether temporary, permanent, part-time, or contract), former employee, independent contractor, or job applicant of SM or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, who is also a resident of a country within the European Economic Area.

“Europe” or “European” refers to a country in the European Union.

“Personal Data” as defined under the European Union Directive 95/46/EC means data that personally identifies or may be used to personally identify a person, including an individual’s name in combination with country of birth, marital status, emergency contact, salary information, terms of employment, job qualifications (such as educational degrees earned), address, phone number, e-mail address, user ID, password, and identification numbers. Personal Data does not include data that is de-identified, anonymous, or publicly available.

“Sensitive Data” means Personal Data that discloses a Data Subject’s medical or health condition, political, religious or philosophical affiliations or opinions, sexual orientation, or trade union membership.

“Third Party” means any individual or entity that is neither SM nor an SM employee, agent, contractor, or representative.

 


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