Privacy Policy


General Information
The following guidelines dictate the manner in which protects the privacy of its users. The privAcy policysm represents the culmination of over four years of experience dealing with on-line consumer protection issues, and we believe it incorporates the best practices established by the industry.

Disclosure and consent are the keys to any good on-line privacy policy; disclosure of what information will be collected and how it will be used, and consent from individuals for that prescribed use. We invite member firms, and other interested parties, to use our privAcy policysm as a model for their own.

Consumer Privacy respects the confidential nature of personal information such as your name, email and postal addresses, and telephone numbers. Because we must collect certain information from consumers to provide our assorted services, we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect that information from misuse. Any information provided by consumers is stored in a secure location on our servers, accessible only by staff, and is used only for the specific purpose requiring the disclosure (to process complaints, praise, or On-line Purchase Protectionsm claims for example). We may occasionally call upon our users via email to provide input or respond to surveys related to our services. We will do so only in a manner, which is sensitive to and respectful of consumers' privacy. Any consumer may specifically request that no such contact be made by forwarding their email addresses to: . All consumers can search our database or view other information posted on our website without disclosing any personal information. maintains a number of "opt-in" emailing lists to which consumers may subscribe and receive information. Email addresses submitted by consumers for such purposes are incorporated into the appropriate mailing lists, but are never shared with third parties. If at any time consumers who have subscribed to such emailing lists should decide they no longer wish to receive the information, they may cancel their subscription by contacting us at: . Unless consumers have specifically requested that we do so, we will never release their personal information to third parties for marketing purposes. We will, however, disclose certain information to third parties when it is necessary for the processing of a complaint or other service, or if such release is required by law.

Filing Complaints or Praise
Complaints and praise filed by consumers are generally published in the dAtabasesm and in members' Business Background Reportssm. We require a valid consumer email address for the administration of the complaint, and will forward this information to the merchant about which the report has been filed if possible. We do not, however, publish consumers' personal contact information on our web site without authorization from the consumer to do so.

Website Administration
Our servers do not track, collect, or distribute personal information about visitors to our website. They do automatically recognize domain names, but not e-mail addresses or any other data which would enable the personal identification of visitors. We also recognize the URL from which a visitor "clicked" to our website in order to verify the membership of merchants displaying the certification seal. In addition, our servers track general statistical information about the visits to our web sites such as the number of hits on certain pages and the countries from which those hits derive. This information is used by our technical engineers to monitor and ensure the efficient operation of our website. We do occasionally publish general site traffic statistics, and we report to members such items as the number of visitors who reviewed their Business Background Reportsm or performed a search for their type of product or service. None of this reported information, however, allows for the personal identification of individuals.

Merchant Information
We collect detailed information about merchants during the membership application process. Most of this information is published in the members' Business Background Reportssm and is, therefore, considered public. Because we do not limit access to the information published in Business Background Reportssm, we can not be responsible for third parties' use of that information. We may cross-reference this information with data collected from other sources to verify its accuracy and authenticity, but we will not alter members' self-reported information without their consent.

In addition to this public information, we also collect certain confidential contact information which is used only for internal purposes and to administer the services we provide to members. Such information is clearly identified as private in the application process, is never published on our website, and is not disclosed to third parties. Members may choose during the application process to be notified of new products and services provided by and/or third parties by email. In such cases, email solicitations will be made directly by, not by third parties, in order to maintain the confidentiality of members' contact information. In no instance will provide any confidential member contact information to third parties unless required to do so by law. may from time to time conduct general postal and electronic mailings to its membership base for administrative or promotional purposes.

The site contains links to many other Web sites; however, we can not be responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Web sites.

We use cookies in a very limited manner. We only use cookies in the Member Logon process and the ShopAssured registration process. The Member Logon cookie enables the member's browser to store his Member Number and Password. This enables the member to navigate our site without having to re-enter the Member Number and Password. The ShopAssured registration cookie enables the browser to store the registrants personal information so when filling out a praise or complaint form, their personal information will already be pre-populated. Cookies are not used in any other manner.