BERS Website Privacy Statement
Thank you for visiting the BERS
website. This website is designed to make it easy for in-service and retired members,
employers, and others to obtain information about BERS. In addition, members can
access their BERS account information and conduct transactions.
BERS recognizes the importance of maintaining your privacy. Therefore, we take comprehensive
and proactive steps to ensure that your personal information is secure.
Consistent with the provisions
of the Internet Security and Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Law, and the
Personal Privacy Protection Law, this policy describes BERS privacy practices regarding
information collected from users of this website. This policy describes what information
you access via BERS website. For purposes of this policy, "personal information"
means any information concerning a natural person, which, because of name, number,
symbol, mark, or other identifier, can be used to identify that natural person.
BERS does not collect any personal information about a user unless the user provides
that information voluntarily during a connection to the secure section of the BERS
Collection of Information by BERS
The type and amount of information
received depends on how you use the site; you may provide (1) non-personal information
that is collected on an aggregate basis from all users, OR (2) personal information
you voluntarily choose to disclose, by registering as a user, or submitting an online
form. Members are required to register, for validation purposes, to view or use
specific member-only features and services. Such voluntarily submitted information
is stored in a secure environment, and will be used by BERS in furtherance of its
duties and/or obligations to its members and stakeholders. If you do nothing during
your visit but browse, read pages, or download information, our site's operating
system will automatically record the following information about your visit without
reference to your personal identity:
1. The Internet Protocol (IP) address of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and/or
your computer, if your computer has an IP address assigned directly to it.
2. The Internet Domain Name of your ISP and/or your computer, if your computer has
a domain name assigned directly to it.
3. The type of browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) used and
the operating system (e.g., Windows or Macintosh) resident on your computer.
4. The date and time you visited the site.
5. The web pages accessed at the site, as well as any applications used and publications/forms
6. The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of the site which you visited prior to this
website (if detectable), if you did not connect directly to this website, or use
it as a homepage/portal.
BERS uses this information to identify site performance
needs, to ensure compatibility with the technology used by visitors to the website,
and to generally add and improve services offered on this website. In order to accomplish
those goals, from time to time, BERS may conduct statistical analysis of the data
it collects. BERS does not collect data for commercial or marketing purposes, and
we do not sell, exchange, or otherwise distribute the data collected by this website
for commercial or marketing purposes.
that you provide for member services, so that you will not need to resubmit certain
information. BERS cookies do not contain any personal identifiable information;
we cannot track the specific pages an individual site visitor views or access any
information stored in a cookie by other, non-BERS websites. If you are concerned
about the potential use of information gathered from your computer by cookies, you
can set your browser to prompt you before it accepts a cookie. Most Internet browsers
have settings that let you identify or reject cookies.
Collection and Use of Personal Information
BERS collects and uses personal
information that you voluntarily provide for the purposes described below. By "personal
information," we mean information that, on its own, can specifically identify you.
This includes your name, email address, mailing address, phone numbers, last four
characters of Social Security Number, Month and Year of your birth and BERS Membership/Retirement
number. Any information you provide is collected and stored in a secure environment
Certain features in the secure area of our website contain significant information
and services exclusive to in-service and retired BERS members. In order to verify
your identity and membership status, BERS must compare the data that you provide
against BERS and possibly other local, state, or federal government agency records.
When registering as a user, a member must fill out the required fields on the registration
pages. The information gathered on these pages is used only to verify your identity
and membership status, and ensures that you can access member-only
features. BERS will not share the personal information gathered on these pages with
any affiliates or third-party organizations.
In addition, during your visit to this website, you may complete a transaction such
as registering as a Member. The information volunteered by you in completing the
transaction, including personal information, is used by BERS to operate BERS programs
and to provide the information and/or transaction you requested. The information
collected by BERS may be disclosed by BERS only for the purpose of providing information
to the user, pertaining to the user, which was requested by the user.
Disclosure of Information Collected
The collection of information through
this website and the disclosure of that information are subject to the provisions
of the Internet Security and Privacy Act. As noted above, BERS will only collect
personal information through this website if the information was voluntarily provided
by the user during a connection to the site's secure section. BERS will only disclose
personal information collected through this website if the user has consented to
the disclosure of such personal information. The voluntary disclosure of personal
information to BERS by the user constitutes consent to the collection and disclosure
of the information by BERS for the purposes for which the user disclosed the information
to BERS, as was reasonably ascertainable from the nature and terms of the disclosure.
The disclosure of information, including personal information, collected through
this website is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law and
the Personal Privacy Protection Law.
BERS may disclose personal information to federal
or state law enforcement authorities to enforce its rights against unauthorized
access or attempted unauthorized access to BERS information technology assets.
Information and Choice
As noted above, BERS does not collect
any personal information about you unless you provide that information voluntarily
during a connection to the secure section of our website. You may choose not to
register as a user or enter the secure section. Your choice not to participate in
these activities may limit your ability to receive specific services through this
website; however, it will not have an impact on your ability to take advantage of
other features of the website, including browsing or downloading information.
This site has security measures
in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our
control. BERS uses Secure Socket Layer (1024 bit SSL) encryption to protect the
transmission of information. You are on a secure page when the lock icon on the
bottom of web browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, becomes locked; the
icon appears unlocked, or open, when you are just "surfing." All the information
you provide us through online forms is stored securely off-line, as defined by our
While BERS uses SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, we also
protect user information off-line. All user information is restricted in our offices.
Only employees who need information to perform a specific job are granted access
to personally identifiable information. All employees are kept up-to-date on our
security and privacy practices. Finally, the servers that store sensitive information
are kept in a secure environment.
In certain instances, you may have the opportunity to receive or create a password
and/or username to access or submit personally identifiable information. You should
not divulge a password or username to anyone, and BERS will never ask you for a
password in a telephone call, fax, email, or other form of communication. When you
are finished with an application or applications that are password protected, you
should exit the relevant page(s). If the browser used to access said password protected
pages is a publicly-accessible browser, you should close down the entire session
and, if applicable or possible, flush any temporary caches or other areas where
such a password might be stored subsequent to use.
BERS has integrated industry-standard or better security measures and systems into
the design, implementation, and day-to-day operation of this website and its underlying
servers and networks. Furthermore, BERS maintains ongoing efforts to identify and/or
block unauthorized intrusions into or onto this website, and to upload to or change
information on or otherwise cause damage to this website or the information resident
hereon or submitted hereto.
Third Party Links
BERS provides links to, and may
be linked from, websites of local, state, and federal government agencies, and other
websites. The existence and/or provision of those links neither constitutes nor
implies endorsement of the destination or departure website or of the content, viewpoint,
destination or departure websites. Nor does any link between this website and a
third-party website imply sponsorship of such website, or the creator of such website.
Some content on portions of this website may reside on servers run by third parties.
agency using a third-party host, ISP, ASP, or other combination of third-party transport,
storage, content, or application provision services shall be responsible for such
The content of BERS website is
copyrighted and may contain some third-party images/graphics that are used with
permission. Therefore, you should presume the need to obtain permission from the
copyright holder before reproducing or otherwise using images/graphics from this
website. BERS may change this policy from time to time, and reserves the right to
do so without notice.
BERS fully cooperates with law
enforcement agencies in identifying those who use our services for illegal activities.
We reserve the right to release information about individuals who we believe are
in violation of our content guidelines, and to report to law enforcement agencies
any activities that we reasonably believe to be unlawful.
This site is created and controlled
by BERS in the State of New York. As such, the laws of the State of New York will
govern this Privacy Statement, without giving effect to any principles of conflicts
of laws. You hereby irrevocably and unconditionally consent and agree that the Federal
and State Courts located in New York County in the State of New York shall have
exclusive jurisdiction over all actions and disputes in connection with this Privacy
Statement or arising out of or relating to the use of this site. In all cases, the
provisions of the governing laws, rules, and regulations prevail.
Amendments and Consent to This Statement
As our website evolves, our Privacy
Statement will also undergo changes. BERS reserves the right, at our discretion,
to make changes to this statement at any time. We encourage you to check our Privacy
Statement periodically or when you notice new features on the website. All amended
terms are effective immediately upon posting. By using this site, you signify your
agreement to this Privacy Statement and consent to the collection and use of your
information by BERS as described herein.
The information provided in this
or warranting as fail-proof the security or accuracy of information provided through
this website. BERS reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to change, modify,
add, or delete portions of this policy. BERS suggests that you consult with an attorney
and/or a tax advisor should you have any specific legal or tax questions concerning
specific information provided through this website.
This privacy statement is effective
as of January 1, 2011. We reserve the right to change this statement. If we change it,
we will post the current privacy statement on this page. Any changes to this statement
will be effective as of the day they are posted.