Mountain Equipment Company

MEC's privacy policy

Last updated: October 20, 2022

MEC respects your privacy, and it is important to us that you understand how we handle your personal information. In this Policy, we explain how MEC collects and uses your personal information, and when we may share your information with others. We also explain some of the choices you have.

Please read this Policy carefully, as it applies whenever you use our website, contact us, make a purchase from us, or use any of our services. It also applies to any of your personal information that we hold.

When you interact with us, we may sometimes provide you with additional information on how we handle your personal information, which may modify this Policy. If you do not agree with the Policy, you must not use our website or services.

Please click on any of the headings below to find out more about our privacy practices and how we manage and protect your personal information.

Collecting Your Personal Information



Personal Information You Provide to Us. We collect personal information that you provide to us, including when you become a member, shop with us, order from our website, or participate in an event. This type of information may include:

  • Contact and member information: we collect contact information in a wide number of circumstances. Examples of contact information include your name, e-mail address, phone number, and addresses. If you are a member, we may collect additional information such as where, how, and when you joined, your language preference, and your birthday. We will also give you a unique membership number.

  • Online account information:this includes information associated with your online account, like items you save to a cart. If you save payment card information to your online account, this will be stored by MEC as tokenized information only.

  • Communications and social media: if you email, call, chat, tag, or otherwise communicate with us (including through social media), we may keep records, recordings, or notes of such communications. If we send you a marketing e-mail, we will collect information about whether you open the e-mail, whether you access the link(s) provided and, if you do, what pages you visit on our website, and what, if anything, you purchase.

  • Third party contact information: in some circumstances, you may provide us with the contact information for a third party (for example, if you are sending a gift card or online purchase to a third party, or are providing us with an emergency contact for an event). In these cases, we will collect only the required information for that third party, which could include their name, email, phone number, address, or relationship to you.

  • Job application information: you may apply for jobs at MEC through the job application platform accessible via the MEC website. During your application, you may provide MEC with significant personal information, which could include your contact information, work experience, willingness to relocate, education, skills, work style and motivations, licenses and certifications, and entitlement to work.

  • Event registration information: if you register for an event hosted by MEC, we may collect personal information such as your participation in the event, or emergency contact information. You may also be required to complete an event release and waiver.

  • MEC equipment rental reservation information: if you reserve or make an equipment rental from MEC, we will collect personal information about you to complete your rental, including contact information, equipment rented, and date of rental.

  • Other information: we collect any other personal information that you give or submit directly to MEC on a voluntary basis (for example, contest submissions, product reviews, or feedback).

Personal Information We Automatically Collect. When you make a purchase, shop at our stores, or access our website, we may automatically collect certain information about you. This may include:

  • Purchase information: when you make a purchase from MEC, MEC will document your purchase. If you are a member, this information will be kept in association with your membership record. If you make a purchase on the MEC website, your MEC online account will also keep a record of your purchase as well as shipping information.

  • Video surveillance footage: when you enter a MEC store, you may be recorded by our video camera system. In the normal course of operations, video surveillance footage is regularly deleted or overwritten, unless there is a business or legal reason to retain certain recordings. Our standard retention period is approximately 30 days.

  • Device, technical, and usage information: when you access the MEC website, we may collect information about your device and internet connection. We may also collect information about your browsing behaviour. This information may include the sections of the MEC website that you visit, the date and time of your use of the MEC website and your in-media time, your actions within the MEC website (e.g. number of clicks), connection speed, website crashes and other system activity, the URLs you visited before and after using the MEC website, and certain content that you download from the MEC website. This information may also be collected by third parties.

  • Location information: if you have enabled location services through your device, we may collect the geolocation of your device when you are actively using the MEC website. Some location-based services offered by MEC, such as the “Store Locator” feature and location-based push notifications require your location information for the feature to work.

  • Cookies and tracking technology: MEC collects personal information when you access the MEC website via cookies, web beacons, pixel tags, session replay technologies, and other similar tracking technologies.

Personal Information We Collect from Other Sources. We collect personal information from other sources, including:

  • Public Information: in connection with our services, products, or your interactions with us, we may collect content and information that you share publicly. We may also collect information about you that is available publicly, such as from government databases or the media.

  • Information from third parties: MEC may collect personal information from other customers, staff, or third parties where required for identification or in relation to a dispute, to a security incident, or otherwise for loss or fraud prevention. We may also collect your information from other customers or members if they provide us your information, for example if they have put you down as an emergency contact or bought you a gift from us. In certain cases, we may also collect information from private third parties, which could include information available from identity verification and fraud prevention services, or information from a third party who is collecting such information on behalf of MEC.

Personal Data We Derive. We may draw inferences about you based on the personal information we collect. For example, if we have collected your IP address, we may infer your location, or based on your behaviour on our website, we may infer your interests and purchasing habits.

Using Your Personal Information



We use your personal information to provide you with services, get you the outdoor equipment you love, operate our business, and improve MEC. This may include:

  • Sales and services: if you purchase products, rental equipment, or services from MEC, we (or third parties operating on our behalf) may use the personal information you provide to process your purchase or administer your rental or rental return. We may also use our records of your purchase (if available) in the event you wish to return a product.

  • Communications: we may use your personal information to contact and correspond with you directly (via phone, chat, email, social media, or other method) and to manage our relationship, including to respond to your questions, comments, or concerns. Where permitted, we may also send you general or tailored commercial and marketing messages (including by email or text), which could include general updates and announcements, contest and event information, and electronic newsletters.

  • Marketing and advertising: we may use your personal information (including email and phone number) for marketing purposes. This may include creating and targeting advertisements on third party websites and platforms. These may be directed to you or others using email addresses, lookalike audiences, demographic information, cookies, pixel tags, or other similar technologies which allow us and our service providers to serve ads to customers.

  • Improving our services: we may use your personal information to improve our operations, to personalize your online experience, to provide you or others with relevant product recommendations, or to give you store-specific information.

  • Analytics: we use analytics which may be associated with your personal information (including email) to track the effectiveness of our marketing or sales efforts across platforms and websites, and to understand our advertising conversions. We also use this information to make forecasts and plans relating to the products, rentals, and services we offer, and may use information about you to understand your interactions with us and for market research.

  • Affiliate programs: if you access the MEC website or make a purchase from MEC through an affiliate marketing program, we may use your personal information to support or process your purchase in relation to this program.

  • Contests and promotions: we may use personal information you provide to us or our third parties through contests, giveaways, and promotions to contact and highlight the winners, to gauge engagement and understand your interests, and to forecast, plan, and market our services. We may also use this information as described in applicable contest rules.

  • Job applications: we use personal information provided with job applications to assess applicants’ eligibility and qualifications for employment with MEC, and to contact applicants in relation to careers at MEC. We may also gather additional information about you from third parties in the hiring process, including by contacting your references or (if permitted by law and authorized by you) conducting background checks. If you are hired by MEC, we may use the information provided with your job application as a part of your employee record.

  • Events: we may use your personal information to register you for events hosted by MEC, to process your payment for the event (if applicable), to contact you about the event or future events, and to contact your emergency contact if required. We may also use this information to gauge engagement and for market research.

  • Feedback: we may use personal information to investigate and address individuals’ ratings, reviews, survey responses, feedback, and questions, including to follow-up with any issues or concerns. We may also use this information to improve our products and services.

  • Device, technical and usage information: we use this information (including opt-out preferences, click-throughs, and IP addresses) to understand traffic and activity on or to the MEC website, to improve the MEC website, services, and products we offer, to understand interest in our products and services, and to tailor our marketing. We also monitor system usage, server and software performance to maintain, ensure, and improve the integrity of our website, related information, and electronic services.

  • Location information: we use geolocation information to provide you with location-based services on the MEC website and to deliver regionally relevant content.

  • Identification, verification, and fraud prevention: we use various types of information to help us identify and verify you when you interact with us in-store and on the MEC website. For identification and verification purposes, this will typically include your MEC online account, membership information, and purchase history, as well as other identifying information you have provided to us. We may also use this information to help us detect and prevent fraud, investigate claims, and protect the security of our stores, staff and the MEC website.

  • Legal and regulatory requirements: we may use your personal information to meet our legal obligations and for regulatory purposes.
    We may also use your personal information to provide you with products and services you request or for other purposes we let you know about when we are collecting your information.

Sharing Your Personal Information



Sharing your personal information is sometimes necessary for us to provide you with services or products, and to improve MEC. We only share your information as described in this Policy, in other situations where we have your consent, or where we are permitted by law. Such sharing includes:

  • Service Providers: we share personal information with third party service providers who perform functions on our behalf. For more information on how we disclose your information to third parties, please see our section on Service Providers below.

  • Advertising Partners: Our third-party advertising partners (including Facebook and Google) may collect information about your activity on our digital properties and other online services to help us advertise. They may also use personal information that we share with them to deliver ads on their platforms to those customers and similar users.

  • MEC Events: to ensure your safety during an event, we may provide your emergency contact information to the event’s first aid provider or organizing partner. We may also disclose information about you if there is any emergency involving you during the event, including to your emergency contact and any responders.

  • Permitted Legal Disclosures: under applicable privacy laws, MEC may be required or permitted by law to disclose your personal information under certain circumstances. This could include to law enforcement, governmental authorities, or buyers or potential buyers in the case of a sale of all or part of the business.

  • Voluntary Public Disclosure by You:when you publish or post content to our website, our social media, or anywhere else that is viewable or accessible by others (like message boards or our in-store corkboards), this information will become publicly available. Note that any information you provide to third party social networking sites and other sites is outside of MEC’s control and is not governed by this Policy.

Cookies and Similar Technologies



When you visit the MEC website or interact with us online, we may use cookies and other online tracking technologies like beacons, pixel tags, and session replay technologies to help improve your experience and make our services and operations better.

Cookies

Cookies may remain on your device after you leave the MEC website (until the cookie expires or is deleted by you). Please see our Website Cookie Policy for further information about MEC’s use of cookies on the MEC website.

We use cookies to:

  • allow you to make purchases from us online

  • analyse website traffic

  • understand activity on our website

  • help us modify our website to reflect your interests and preferences; and

  • enable our website to save and retrieve information that you enter (for example, user preferences and settings).

For your options relating to cookies, please see MEC’s Cookie Policy.

Beacons and Pixel Tags

MEC may use web beacons or pixel tags to compile tracking information reports and perform analytics regarding website visitors’ demographics, website traffic patterns, and website purchases.
Beacons and pixel tags help us to:

  • measure your interest and engagement in websites

  • measure the success of our marketing campaigns

  • compile statistics about usage of the online services and response rates

  • help us understand how we can tailor your MEC experience. This may include providing you with relevant content and ads on our website and other platforms, like Google and Facebook, based on your affinities and demographics

  • collect and associate information about your online activities on our website over time and across different websites; and

  • create reports for MEC about activities on the MEC website, such as aggregated information about devices, geolocation, networks, page visits, duration of visits, and click through rates. This data is generally used by us for aggregate reporting purposes. For our own research purposes, however, we may link tracking information with personal information. If we link information, it is treated as personal information and will be used and disclosed only in accordance with this Policy.

If you do not want to have your information collected by beacons or pixel tags, please do not use the MEC website.

Session Replay Technologies

We also use third party services, such as Hotjar and Datadog, that employ software code to record users’ interactions with the MEC website in a manner that allows us to see replays of those user sessions. The replays may include users’ clicks, mouse movements, keystrokes, and scrolls during those sessions. These replays help us diagnose usability problems and identify areas for improvement on the MEC website. You can learn more about Hotjar at https://www.hotjar.com/legal/policies/privacy/ and opt-out of session recording by Hotjar at https://www.hotjar.com/policies/do-not-track/. You can learn more about Datadog at https://www.datadoghq.com/legal/privacy/.

Service Providers



In order to carry on our business, we rely on third party service providers to help us perform operations or provide services to our members and customers. Sometimes, this requires service providers to collect, use, or disclose personal information on our behalf. We may also provide personal information to these service providers in order for them to help us provide members and customers with services and maintain our operations.

The third party services that we use include:

  • Orders fulfillment, shipping, and delivery: we use a number of third parties to process orders and deliver products. If you purchase a product on our website or through our Service Center, your contact and shipping information will be shared with such third parties.

  • Analytics: we use a number of providers to assist us with reporting and analytics, member engagement, and to track and analyse usage information about our website. We also use third parties to help identify and target relevant demographics for advertising and market development.

  • Communications: we use third party marketing service providers to facilitate marketing messages (including email newsletters and text messages). We also use third party social media platforms to market, engage, and communicate, including delivering tailored advertising. We use service providers to manage our email, phone, and live chat interactions with you.

  • Payment processing: we work with third party payment processing gateway and analytics providers to facilitate payment transactions and process gift card payments.

  • Cloud hosting: we use cloud hosting providers like AWS and Azure to store and process data, which may include personal information.

  • Job applications: we use a third party to host the online platform for MEC’s online job application process, and to manage job board accounts and applications submitted through the MEC website.

  • Feedback: we work with third parties to manage the product ratings, reviews, and question and answer portions of the MEC website.

  • MEC equipment rental reservations: we use a third party to manage our online rental reservation system.

  • Event management: we engage various providers to help us with registration, managing, and providing events.

  • Identification, verification and fraud prevention: we use service providers to help us identify and verify you, detect and prevent fraud, investigate claims, and protect the security of our stores, staff, and the MEC website.

  • Professional advisors: we share information with our professional advisors, such as lawyers, auditors, bankers, and insurers, as necessary in the course of the services they provide to us.

In some cases, we share aggregated or other non-identifying information with our third party providers (e.g. information about website usage and performance, representative sales data, etc.) so that our service providers can better manage and improve their products and services, including their services to MEC. As aggregated and/or non-identifying information is not personal information, it is not subject to this Policy.

Security and Protection of Your Personal Information



Steps We Take to Protect Your Information

We take protection of your personal information seriously. To help protect your information, we use administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to protect against unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, and disposal of your personal information. Despite these efforts, please bear in mind that no internet or e-mail transmission is ever fully secure or error free and no security system is impenetrable. We cannot always guarantee the security of personal information. Any transmission of your personal information is at your own risk.

Protecting Your Own Personal Information

It is important to guard your privacy when you are online, including while you are interacting with MEC. Steps you can take to protect your personal information include:

  • External websites: the MEC website includes links to external websites, which are not governed by this Policy. MEC is not responsible for the privacy practices, collection of personal information, or content of external websites. You should read the privacy policies of these external websites and make an informed decision about whether you want to use these websites or services.

  • Third party platforms: where we have enabled you to connect with other third party platforms in order to utilize their services in conjunction with our website, you may be subject to the privacy policies and other terms of those third party platforms, especially where you are providing your information directly to them. You are responsible for reviewing and agreeing to those privacy policies and terms. If you do not agree with these policies and terms, you should not use the services offered by such third party platforms.

  • Unauthorized Access: you should take steps to protect against unauthorized access to your MEC online account by, for example, choosing a robust password and keeping your login information and password private. MEC is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or compromised usernames, passwords, or for any activity on your MEC online account via unauthorized password activity. MEC is also not responsible if you do not secure your own devices, your access to the Internet, or your use of public, unsecured networks, including publicly available in-store Wi-Fi that may be offered by MEC.

Retention and Storage of Your Personal Information



We will retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected, for as long as we have a business or legal reason to do so, or as otherwise permitted or required by law.

At any time, we may choose to delete or anonymize any or all of your personal information in our system, including your membership and membership record. We may do so upon no notice to you.

Under some circumstances, we may anonymize or aggregate your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you. We may use such anonymous or aggregated data for any legitimate business purpose without further notice to you or your consent, as it is no longer personal information.

Note that some of our third party service providers are partially or fully located outside of Canada. As a result, your personal information may be stored and processed outside of Canada, and may be subject to the laws and access by government or regulatory organizations outside of Canada.

Your Personal Information Options



You have a number of options when it comes to your personal information, including the following:

Access and Update your Personal Information

Access your personal informationYou can access personal information held in your MEC online account by logging in to your MEC online account. For access to any other personal information held by MEC, please request access by contacting the MEC Privacy Officer.
Get a copy of a receipt/proof of purchaseContact the Service Centre.
Update or correct your personal informationYou can update some personal information in your online MEC account by logging in and making the changes yourself. To make any other updates or changes, contact the MEC Privacy Officer (privacy@mec.ca) for next steps.

Opt-out, Disable, and Manage Use of your Personal Information

Opt-out from receiving MEC electronic marketingIf at any time you would like to stop receiving promotional emails from MEC, you may unsubscribe at any time by clicking “unsubscribe” in an email. You can also opt-out by logging into to your online MEC account or by contacting our Service Centre. Please note that even if you opt-out, MEC may still communicate with you (including by email) about important matters, including recalls, or regarding services or products that you have purchased.
Disable CookiesYou can disable cookies by adjusting the settings on your browser. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of the MEC website may not be accessible to you or may not function properly.
Disable geolocation informationYou may choose not to provide your location to us by customizing your mobile device settings to prevent sharing of location information. You may also prevent the sharing of device location information by disabling Bluetooth on your device, turning your device on to “airplane mode” or turning your device off. If you opt-out or disable the geolocation function, some features of our websites may not function properly (e.g. if you reside in Quebec, you may need to manually select French as your language preference rather than French automatically displaying).
Opt-out of Hotjar recordingsYou can opt-out of session recording by Hotjar at https://www.hotjar.com/policies/do-not-track/.
Manage Google AnalyticsTo learn more about Google’s privacy practices, including how you can view and edit your preferences, please see the Google Privacy Policy. You can learn about Google’s tracking practices by going to http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/ and opt-out by downloading the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on, available at https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Manage Facebook settingsYou can learn about Facebook's practices by going to https://www.facebook.com/ads/about/?entry_product=ad_preferences and opt-out of some features by visiting http://www.aboutads.info/choices. You can also adjust your social advertising settings at https://www.facebook.com/ads/settings.

Cancel your Membership or Delete your Personal Information

Cancel your MEC membershipYou can cancel your MEC membership by getting in touch with our Service Center.
Delete your personal informationYou can delete some personal information by logging in to your MEC online account. For all other personal information deletion, please contact the MEC Privacy Officer and describe your request.

Learn More

About Opting-outYou can learn more about how to opt-out of tailored advertising and behavioural tracking from the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada.
About Do Not Track SignalsSome Internet browsers may be configured to send “Do Not Track” signals to the online services that you visit. We currently do not respond to “Do Not Track” or similar signals. To find out more about “Do Not Track,” please visit http://www.allaboutdnt.com.

Children Under the Age Of 16



Our website and services are not intended for children under 16 years of age, and children under the age of 16 are not eligible to become members of MEC.

Contact Us



Questions or concerns regarding this Policy and how we handle your personal information can be directed to the MEC Privacy Officer, who is responsible for ensuring MEC’s compliance with this Policy.

You can contact our Privacy Officer using any of the following methods:

Mailing Address:

Privacy Officer MEC Mountain Equipment Company Ltd. Suite 101 – 887 Great Northern Way Vancouver, BC, V5T 4T5 Canada

E-mail:

MEC takes complaints about our privacy practices seriously.
If you are not satisfied with MEC’s response to a complaint, you may have options to exercise, including to raise the complaint with the relevant Privacy Commissioner:

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia www.oipc.bc.ca

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta www.oipc.ab.ca

Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec https://www.cai.gouv.qc.ca/english/

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada www.priv.gc.ca

Changes to this Policy



We may update this Policy from time to time. We will post any changes to the MEC website and, if the changes are significant, we may provide a more prominent notice to users such as notification via e-mail.

Our treatment of your personal information will be governed by the version of the Policy currently in effect. As a result, please review this Policy on a regular basis and contact us if you have any questions.