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Updates to Website Privacy Policy

Odds are good that in 2005, you didn’t own a smartphone, and when you heard the word “tweet” you thought of birds on the hiking trail. How we communicate has changed a lot since then – and that includes how MEC communicates with members. MEC’s Privacy Policy (last updated in 2005, 11 years ago) is changing on April 6, 2016. This much-needed update is to catch up with the new ways information is collected and shared.

MEC values transparency. We believe it’s important for members to be aware of how our Privacy Policy is changing, and what those changes mean when they use our website. What isn’t changing, though, are our principles regarding the confidentiality and security of member personal information. As always, handling members’ personal information in an accurate, secure and confidential manner remains the same. At MEC that’s not just a legal requirement – it’s an ethical obligation.

The key updates include sections about:

  • Cookies and Other Technologies: This section was amended, and now indicates how MEC may use cookies and web beacons or pixel tags.
  • Social Networking: This is a new section, and was added to convey the policy’s limitations.
  • Third-party Analytics or Ad Serving Services: This is a new section, and informs members about how MEC may use analytics or ad serving services. Members who don’t wish to receive targeted ads in this way can opt out at any time.
  • International Transfers: This is a new section and was added due to the international nature of e-commerce service providers.
  • Purposes: This is a new section, and was added to ensure members are aware of the reasons why MEC collects both personal information and information to fulfill online purchases.

The full version of our new Privacy Policy, effective April 6, 2016, is available below. To see the previous version of the policy, view:




MEC's Website Privacy Policy

This statement discloses the privacy practices and policies for Mountain Equipment Co-operative's (MEC's) website. If you have any questions about these practices and policies, please contact us at:

Mountain Equipment Co-op – Privacy Officer
1077 Great Northern Way
Vancouver, BC Canada V5T 1E1
Tel: 604-707-3300
Email: privacy@mec.ca

MEC respects your personal privacy. We believe ensuring the security of your personal information is an important part of our job. If we ask you to provide any personal information, we will tell you the purposes for which we intend to use that information. Your personal information is not sold to anyone for any purpose.

Additional Information

To learn more about MEC's policies, please view the following pages:

Read the Website Terms of Use

Information Collection, Use, and Disclosure

Information gathered on mec.ca falls under the following categories:

  • Aggregate Site Use Information
  • Cookies and Other Technologies
  • Social Networking
  • Third party Analytics or Ad Serving Services
  • Online Order Information and Security
  • MEC Membership Information
  • Subscriptions, Online Gear Swap, and Events List Information

Aggregate Site Use Information

We record information about the pages viewed by all of our website visitors. This data includes internet protocol (IP) address, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, connection speed, read time, display time, and number of clicks.

We use this data, in aggregate form, to compile statistics and reports for MEC's use, and to improve the online experience for all visitors.

We may, on occasion, provide portions of this aggregate information to vendors, consultants, potential advertisers, or news agencies. Typical uses of the data in this fashion would be to gauge the amount of interest in our site and/or to plan for site infrastructure improvements.

Cookies and Other Technologies

A cookie is a small text file stored on a user's hard drive. Cookies are required to shop on our site. We also use cookies to assist with anonymous site traffic analysis, which includes tracking the time/date of visits, pages viewed, and referring URLs.

We may use cookies to serve our remarketing campaigns so that third-party vendors, including Google and Facebook, show our ads on sites across the Internet. You can opt out of the third parties' use of cookies by visiting their advertising preferences settings.

We may also use web beacons or pixel tags to compile tracking information reports regarding website user demographics, website traffic patterns, and website purchases. None of the tracking information in these reports can be connected to the identities or other personal information of individual users. For our own research purposes we may link tracking information with personal information voluntarily provided by website users. Once such a link is made, all of the linked information is treated as personal information and will be used and disclosed only in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Social Networking

When you use certain aspects of MEC’s website or other services, or you post information to other social networking sites (e.g. posting a link to MEC’s Facebook or Twitter pages, or “liking” a product on your Facebook account, or “pinning” a product on your Pinterest account), the personal information that you post or share in connection with these third-party sites is visible to other persons and can be read, collected, used and disclosed by other persons. Any information provided to such third-party social networking sites and other sites is outside of MEC’s control and is not governed by this policy.

Third Party Analytics or Ad Serving Services

MEC may use certain third-party analytics and/or ad serving services. The providers of these services may independently collect, use, and disclose your IP address together with information about your visits to this and other websites that they service in accordance with their own privacy policies (and not this privacy policy). These services may use their own cookies and other data collection technologies. They may use this information in order to improve your experience, to gain a view of how people are using websites that they service so that improvements can be made, and as otherwise permitted in their privacy policies.

MEC may also use targeted advertising service providers to tailor MEC advertisements to your preferences. These advertisements may appear on MEC's website or social media sites, or on third party sites. If you have opted in to receive email news or offers, MEC may use your email address to target advertising to you. You may opt out of participating in these targeted ad programs by unsubscribing from MEC email newsletters within your mec.ca account subscription hub.

Online Order Information and Security

If you place an order online, we only require the information needed to complete the processing of your orders and billing. We also share our users' personal information with outside shipping companies and credit card processing companies in order to bill and ship your order, but we do not provide any more information than necessary for these purposes. We may also use the information to contact you regarding your order.

Our Site Security

We use appropriate security safeguards to protect your personal information against loss, theft, and unauthorized access. Any personal information you provide to MEC in connection with a product order is exchanged on a secure server. We use one of today's most advanced security systems, the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, to encrypt, or encode, information you send to us in the order process. The encryption process protects information, such as your credit card number, and billing and shipping information by scrambling it before it is sent from your computer. Only once we receive your information is it decoded, and we make all reasonable efforts to ensure its security on our own systems.

Warning:

E-mail is not a secure means to send personal information, as it is not encrypted. We strongly encourage you to use our secure ordering process when ordering online.

MEC Membership Information

As a co-operative, MEC requires your assistance in providing us with your personal information to fulfil our regulatory obligations. If you become a member, you must provide certain information which is added to our internal membership database, which co-operatives must maintain by law. The information maintained in the database includes:

  • member number;
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the member;
  • the number of patronage bonus shares held by the member;
  • the date on which the name of the member was entered in the register as a member with the co-operative;
  • the date on which any person ceased to be a member of the co-operative.

The information contained in the database can only be used for corporate purposes pertaining to MEC, such as Board election information and other correspondence. MEC does not sell our membership lists to anyone.

International Transfers

We may transfer your personal information across provincial or national borders to fulfill any of the purposes in this policy or in the MEC Privacy Code, including to service providers located outside of Canada who may be subject to applicable disclosure laws in those jurisdictions.

Updating Membership Data

Membership information previously provided to MEC can be up updated online at www.mec.ca/update, or by calling Membership Services at 1.800.474.7704 (Canada and U.S.) or 604.876.6221 (Local and International).

Opting Out

If you wish to have any of your personal information removed from our databases, or if you no longer want us to send any further communications to you, please send an e-mail to Membership Services at info@mec.ca.

Please note, however, that as a co-operative we are required by law to maintain certain information about our members, as noted above in Information, Collection, Use & Disclosure, which we are required by law to maintain even after a member has terminated his or her membership.

Email Subscription

MEC newsletters are sent only to users who opt in. Our subscriber database is never sold, rented or loaned to any other parties. Subscribers wishing to update their contact information, or opt out of receiving emails, can use our online subscriber services at www.mec.ca/unsubscribe.

From time to time, MEC may send you safety notices or recalls related to products you have purchased. You may also receive information about the terms of your membership such as eligibility to vote in the Board of Directors elections and membership share redemption.

We collect aggregate information regarding open rates, page views, and generated sales from our HTML email newsletters. Aggregate information does not personally identify individuals. Subscribers concerned about collection of aggregate information may unsubscribe at www.mec.ca/unsubscribe.

Online Gear Swap and Events Listings

Visitors choosing to use our free Online Gear Swap or events listings are bound by the user-provided content guidelines set out in our Terms of Use. Online Gear Swap posting data is stored for a maximum 15 days. Events Listings data is stored from the time the posting is made until the user-defined expiration date.

Fraud Prevention

MEC reserves the right to co-operate with local, national, or international law enforcement or other authorities in the investigation of improper or unlawful activities and this may require the disclosure of personal information. If such an investigation requires disclosure of personal information kept in our records, we may be required by law to cooperate. We also reserve the right to report improper or unlawful user activities on our site, which may require the disclosure of personal information relating to those individuals conducting such improper or unlawful activities. There may also be other circumstances under which MEC is required by law to disclose personal information.

Purposes

In addition to the above purposes, MEC collects individual’s personal information for the following reasons:

  • To provide retail services and process member purchases;
  • To provide co-operative membership services;
  • To administer corporate governance and share ownership;
  • To understand the product and service needs of our members and prospective members;
  • To develop and manage products and services to meet the needs of our members;
  • To contact individuals directly for products and services that may be of interest;
  • To determine the eligibility of our members for share ownership;
  • To meet regulatory requirements;
  • To ensure a high standard of service to our members;
  • To verify a member's identity.

Member Purchases: When members purchase an item from one of our stores (or through our website) we only request the information needed to complete the processing of orders and billing.

  • We may share our members’ personal information with outside shipping companies and credit card processing companies in order to bill and ship orders, but we do not provide any more information than necessary for these purposes.
  • We may also use the information to contact members regarding orders or to provide members with future information about our products and services.
  • We use information on purchases to compile statistics and reports for MEC’s use.
  • We analyse aggregated information to understand our membership and their needs.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites and advertisements. This privacy statement only applies to information collected by our web site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices and policies of these third parties.

Accuracy of Information

We strive to ensure that any personal information we retain and use is as accurate, complete and up-to-date as necessary for the purposes for which we will use it. We do not routinely update personal information unless necessary for these purposes. Nonetheless, if our records regarding your personal information are inaccurate or incomplete, we will amend that information at your request.

Access to Information

At your request, we will provide to you a statement explaining the extent to which we hold personal information about you, and we will explain how that information has been used or disclosed by us.

This page will be updated if information about the collection and use of your personal data changes.

iOS App Location-Based Services

To provide location-based services through the mobile application, MEC and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your mobile device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by MEC and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services.

Some location-based services offered by MEC, such as the "Store Locator" feature and location-based Push Notifications, require your personal information for the feature to work.

iOS App Push Notifications

Push Notifications are sent only to users who have chosen to opt into receiving such notifications. Mobile application users who do not wish to receive Push Notifications may opt out by disabling Push Notifications within the Apple iOS settings, or by disabling specific notification topics from within this mobile application in the Account > Push Notification section.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

MEC may update this privacy policy in the future. We will notify you about material changes to this privacy policy by placing a prominent notice on our website. As well, a history of those changes will be noted here, beginning with changes published after January 1, 2005.

Any changes in our use of personal information contrary to Members' initial consent will be posted, in advance, on our website with instructions regarding consent to any changes. Notices may also be posted in our stores and sent by email. All changes will remain in compliance with federal and provincial privacy legislation.