AFS Intercultural Programs
Updated April 17, 2017
- AFS collects and uses personally identifiable information (PII) that you submit;
- AFS collects and uses this PII for the purpose of providing AFS services, for marketing and communication in relation to these services, and for performing research;
- For the purpose of providing its services, AFS may transfer this PII to AFS organizations and other parties involved in the provision of AFS services in your home country and in other countries;
- AFS transfers this PII across international borders to securely store this information in other countries. Currently those locations are in the US, Germany and Thailand;
- You have the right to access and update your PII at any time;
- In some circumstances you have the right to request the erasure of your PII;
- AFS may use (third party) cookies and other similar techniques to obtain information from you when using the AFS websites in order to facilitate your use of these websites;
- If you are a minor and your parent’s/legal guardian’s consent is required for you to provide PII, ask for your parent’s/legal guardians for permission.
PII includes amongst other things your identity, your home and e-mail address, your date of birth, your (mobile) telephone number, schools and university attended, highest grade/qualification received, year of graduation, area of study, social media links, an image, photo or video of you, specific AFS program information (type, year, etc.), travel details, a personal statement, your CV or resumé, certain medical history and medical disclosures, as well as answers to specific questions.
GOALS AND PURPOSE
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. (together with its Network Organizations and Affiliates, as those terms are defined below, collectively referred to herein as “AFS”) is dedicated to protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personally identifiable information. AFS works hard to create an online experience that is detailed, efficient and productive by using the information you entrust us with responsibly. AFS is committed to respecting your privacy and adhering to the principles of applicable data protection and privacy laws throughout the world.
- AFS ONLINE
- TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT
- PURPOSE FOR COLLECTION, PROCESSING, AND DISCLOSURE
- DATA TRANSFERS ACROSS INTERNATIONAL BORDERS
- ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
- SECURITY SAFEGUARDS
- ON-LINE TECHNOLOGIES
- THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES AND NETWORK WEBSITES
- MINORS AND CHILDREN UNDER 13
- CONTACT US
AFS Intercultural Programs operates many websites, either directly or through its Network Organizations (such as AFS-USA Inc.), its Affiliates (such as Sentio, Inc.) or through certain third-party service providers. These include, but are not limited to those located at the following domains:
Any one of these websites may ask for and/or collect personally identifiable information in order to provide you with the information and services you seek or to improve your experience, as detailed further below. Some of our websites (or certain areas within a particular website) are for the general public, while some websites or areas within such sites are only for organizations that are part of the AFS worldwide network of exchange organizations (and their authorized representatives) or for specifically designated and authorized third-parties that work closely with AFS to operate intercultural exchange programs and to provide online and real-world services to individuals (“Network Organizations”), e.g., AFS-USA, located at afsusa.org. Similarly, some websites (or certain areas within a particular website) are only for registered users (e.g., individuals who are prospective, current or former participants in the services and programs offered by AFS and its Affiliates and Network Organizations (“Participants”)).
TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT
AFS collects information from visitors and users of our websites, including Participants, and from third-parties that work with AFS to deliver AFS’s services so that we can provide an experience (online and offline) that strives to meet our Participants’ and other users’ needs and interests. Information may be collected as part of: (i) providing AFS program services, (ii) fulfilling information requests, (iii) requesting or offering services, (iv) applying or registering for AFS program participation, (v) submitting an application or program opportunity, (vi) responding to communications from us (e.g., surveys, requests for additional information or reviews or application or registration confirmations), (vii) accommodating your personal preferences, (viii) fulfilling requests for services, e.g., subscribing to newsletters or participating in promotions or sweepstakes, (ix) working with third-party sources, including collecting information available from certain social networking and other websites to better assist us with understanding your interests and to serve you better, or (x) updating your contact information including your address.
The types of personally identifiable information (sometimes referred to as “PII”) that we ask for and/or collect depend on your level of access and participation within our websites (and the types of services, information and participation you are seeking, such as applying for or participating on an AFS intercultural exchange program or activity). Such information may include your name, a password, home address, work address and e-mail address, telephone number, mobile telephone number and fax number, geo-location information, date of birth, gender, schools and university attended, highest grade/qualification received, year of graduation, area of study, social media links to Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn, an image, photo or video of you, your citizenship, passport information, visa status, insurance status, specific AFS program information (type, year, etc.), travel details, a personal statement, your CV or resume, what languages you speak, your current occupation and other relevant skills, certain medical history and medical disclosures, dietary restrictions, certain usage data, such as test results, assessments, scores, progress, answers to specific questions, and lifestyle information such as leisure activities, names and ages of children or siblings, and other information necessary to fulfill special requests (e.g., health conditions that may require special accommodation or consideration in connection with an AFS intercultural exchange program or activity).
AFS may also collect other non-personally identifiable information about you, such as your use of our websites, communication preferences, aggregated data relative to your use of our services, and anonymized responses to questions and surveys.
Please note, to better safeguard your information, please do not include any credit card information in your electronic communication unless we specifically require it as part of the transaction fulfillment process on an AFS website.
PURPOSE FOR COLLECTION, PROCESSING, AND DISCLOSURE
Collection & Use
AFS is committed to providing you with information about the collection and use of PII furnished by, or collected from, visitors while using our websites, products and services. It is our practice not to ask you for information unless we need it or intend to use it. Some of the primary purposes for requesting and collecting your PII are as follows:
- providing our services (online and in the real world), such as processing an application for placement (e.g., when Participants are filling out an application, fulfilling a request for information, or completing a request for services), facilitating and managing a Participant’s involvement in a program and working with Network Organizations toward that end
- marketing and communications with you in relation to the services offered by AFS, and by other trusted third parties
- performing research via surveys, questionnaires and reviews to better serve your needs, improve the effectiveness of our websites, your experience, our various types of communications, campaigns, and/or promotional activities
You may opt out of our emails and AFS surveys and reviews at any time by clicking on the link included in such communications, or by contacting us directly to opt out. You will always be offered the choice not to submit your PII or to decide what communications you want to receive from us. However, doing so may cause certain transactions to become affected. For example, not providing required information such as a name will prevent the processing of an application.
Processing and Disclosure
In addition, other situations in which AFS may disclose your information to others include:
- when we have received your consent to do so
- in situations where sharing or disclosing your information is required in order to offer you services you desire (e.g., a volunteer or program opportunity, a sweepstakes or promotion)
- when companies or service providers that perform business activities on behalf of AFS require such information (e.g., credit card processing, customer support services, market research administration or database management services)
- in the event AFS is merged with or acquired by another company
- to comply with legal or regulatory requirements or obligations in accordance with applicable law, a court order or a subpoena
- in case of emergency such as to safeguard the life, health, or property of an individual
If information is shared as mentioned above, we seek to limit recipients and the scope of information that is furnished to only the amount necessary for the performance of the specific function. Unless otherwise precluded by legal process, we require third parties to protect your PII and abide by applicable privacy laws and regulations.
We sometimes use and share non-personally identifiable information that we collect to maintain the services we offer online, improve the design and content of our sites, to enable us to personalize your experience, analyze trends, gather broad demographic information, administer the sites, and strengthen our marketing and branding efforts.
AFS World Café & Find an AFSer
The AFS World Café [woca.afs.org] (and the Find an AFSer function therein) are intended to help members of the AFS community find each other, connect, and collaborate beyond borders on topics of common interest, and thus engage together in promoting the AFS mission. The AFS World Café is built on the Zimbra Social platform, which contains social community functionality, such as blogs, forums, blogs, ideation, friending, media gallery, status updates, and more.
We ask that you use good judgment and discretion when sending messages to other members of the community. Please do not use information found here for the purpose of commercial promotion of any kind. AFS does not bear any responsibility for any actions or policies of third parties. However, when you voluntarily disclose PII in such forums (such as your first and last name, e-mail address etc.) within the World Café, Find an AFSer or the AFS Mail Lists, that information can be collected and used by others and may result in unsolicited messages from other users. AFS is not responsible for who may contact you by using this information. All registrations in the AFS World Café are voluntary. The only individuals listed in Find an AFSer are those who have registered themselves in the AFS World Café. AFS does not add individuals to the database, therefore if you do not find your AFS friends it is because they have not registered themselves. By uploading information to the AFS World Café (images, videos, text), you agree that AFS may use the content to promote its mission and activities, including improving the experience of AFS World Café users. By accessing the AFS World Café you agree to comply with its Community Guidelines.
If you are a minor and your parent’s/legal guardian’s consent is required for you to provide PII, ask for your parent’s/legal guardians for permission.
DATA TRANSFERS ACROSS INTERNATIONAL BORDERS
ACCESS TO PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
To ensure that your PII is accurate and up to date, we encourage you to regularly review and update your information as appropriate. You can review and update your information online or by contacting us. Please note that in an effort to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of your PII, you may be asked to provide proof of identity (or other authentication materials). Access to PII cannot be provided by telephone. If, upon review, you wish to deactivate or erase a profile or application, or update your PII, we will endeavor to do so without undue delay. Occasionally, information that you request to be erased will be retained in certain files for a period of time in the framework of our legal retention. In addition, some types of information may be stored indefinitely on “back up” systems or within log files due to technical constraints, or financial or legal requirements. Therefore, you should not always expect that all of your PII will be immediately removed from our databases in response to your request.
Please refer to the appropriate contact information below to contact us about updating your communication preferences, or to submit a general question or request.
AFS recognizes the importance of information security, and is constantly reviewing and enhancing our technical, physical, and logistical security rules and procedures. All AFS-owned websites and servers have security measures in place to help protect your PII against accidental, loss, misuse, unlawful or unauthorized access, disclosure, or alteration while under our control. Although “guaranteed security” does not exist either on or off the Internet, we safeguard your information using appropriate administrative, procedural and technical safeguards, including password controls, and the use of up to 256-bit encryption (or more sophisticated encryption as per current industry standards) based on a certificate issued by Digicert Inc. This allows for the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), an encryption method used to help protect your data from interception and hacking while in transit. We implement firewalls, intrusion detection system, and antivirus software with constant updates and monitoring on irregularities. Physical servers are securely protected by 24×7 monitoring at all locations, with redundant electricity, air-conditioning and fire suppression systems. IT personnel utilize encryption, where possible, to prevent direct access to data stored in databases. Access to data stored in the systems is subject to authentication with unique username and password. Users are only allowed to access information that belongs to their responsible area. Online confidentiality agreements are in place as click-through consents to be accepted at first log-in and then annually, to ensure that certain users that have access to select data are bound by appropriate confidentiality obligations.
Cookies are designed to save you time because they help us to provide you with a customized experience without you having to remind us of your preferences each time you return to our web pages. AFS cookies are not designed to damage your files, nor can they read information from other files on your computer hard drive.
Cookies can also help us provide you with a personalized on-line experience in the following ways:
- they remember your user name and password for future visits so log-in is easier and faster.
- they ensure you are provided with the appropriate frames and content.
- they ensure you obtain all requested information.
- they help us deliver communications that are relevant and responsive to your interests and location.
AFS cookies are limited to our websites only, and are not designed to follow you when traveling on the Internet after leaving AFS-owned websites. We track the usage of our websites in order to better meet your needs and to help make it easier for you to find information in the future. Please note that in addition to AFS cookies, various third parties may also place cookies on your computer’s hard drive. AFS is not responsible for the presence or absence of third-party cookies, or for the technological capabilities or practices employed by third parties in connection with third-party cookies.
Third party cookies might also be used, depending on the content displayed. Examples are: Google analytics, Zimbra/Telligent Analytics, Ustream, Snapwidget, TintUp, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Squarespace, etc. As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data. We use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer our websites, to track users’ movements around the various sites and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.
In some of our email messages we use a “click-through URL” linked to content on one of the AFS websites. When a customer clicks one of these URLs, they pass through our web server before arriving at the destination web page. We track this click-through data to help us determine interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our customer communications. If you prefer not to be tracked simply avoid clicking text or graphic links in your email. In addition we may use pixel tags — tiny graphic images — to tell us what parts of our websites users have visited or to measure the effectiveness of searches users perform on our sites. Pixel tags also enable us to send messages in a format our users can read. And they tell us whether emails have been opened to assure that we are only sending messages that are of interest to our customers.
If you would prefer not to have the benefits of cookies, your Internet browser can be adjusted to treat cookies in different ways. Depending upon the type of browser you are using, you may be able to configure your browser so that: (i) you are prompted to accept or reject cookies on an individual basis or (ii) you may be able to prevent your browser from accepting any cookies at all. You should refer to the supplier or manufacturer of your web browser for specific details about cookie security. However, you should also understand that rejecting cookies might affect your ability to perform certain transactions on our websites and our ability to recognize your browser from one visit to the next.
AFS also uses invisible pixels, sometimes called web beacons, to count how many people visit certain web pages. Information collected from invisible pixels is used and reported in the aggregate and does not contain PII. AFS may use this information to improve programs and content.
THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES AND NETWORK WEBSITES
In order to anticipate your needs, AFS may provide links to non-AFS websites for your convenience and information. AFS is not responsible or liable for any content presented by or contained on any independent website, including, but not limited to, any advertising claims or marketing practices.
Please note that while AFS will protect your information on AFS-owned and operated websites, we cannot control and will not be responsible for the privacy policies of third-party websites, including websites owned or controlled by independent third parties. Third-party websites that are accessed through links on our websites have separate privacy and data collection practices, and security measures. We have no responsibility or liability for the practices, policies and security measures implemented by third parties on their websites. We encourage you to contact them to ask questions about their privacy practices, policies and security measures before disclosing any PII. We recommend that you review the privacy statements and policies of linked websites to understand how those websites collect, use and store information.
CHILDREN UNDER 13
AFS does not seek to obtain nor does it wish to receive PII directly from any children under age 13; and we cannot always determine the age of persons who access and use our websites. If we find that we have done so inadvertently, we shall immediately delete such information. In addition, if a minor (as defined by applicable law) provides us with his/her data without parental or guardian consent, we encourage the parent or guardian to contact us to approve and ratify the provision of such information or have this information removed and to unsubscribe the minor from future AFS communications.
Updating Your Information
If you would like to update your information, or if you do not want to receive communications from AFS in the future, please contact us.
For general inquires and for inquires that relate to the following sites: afs.org, afsglobal.org and woca.afs.org, you can contact us at:
by e-mail: email@example.com
by writing to us at:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
For requests that relate to country-specific sites operated by AFS Network Organizations (such as afsusa.org, for the United States), please refer to the country-specific contact information available in such site.
For requests that relate to sites operated by Itero Intercultural Experiences, Inc., doing business as Sentio, (which are: gcc.schoolkeep.com; InternationalInterns.org; UniversitiesAbroad.org) you can contact us at:
by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
by writing to us at:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Attention: Bert Vercamer
by e-mail: email@example.com
by writing to us at:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Attention: AFS Legal Department