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Privacy Policy

Last updated on April 19, 2004

Introduction

The Vipassana Foundation respects the privacy of visitors to this website.

Your personal information is collected, used and disclosed by the Vipassana Foundation in accordance with this Privacy Policy.  You can visit this site without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself.

We only collect personal information about you when you specifically and knowingly provide it on our site, for example when you register for a Vipassana Meditation course.

The Vipassana Foundation has formulated this Privacy Policy, in accordance with the guidelines established by the Canadian Standards Association Model Code on Privacy and with reference to the principles enumerated in the Federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The purpose of the Privacy Policy is to specify the guidelines which govern the collection and use of personal and other data via this web site www.surabhi.dhamma.org.  We will make every effort to ensure that the personal information we hold is secure and used in a responsible and respectful manner.

By using our website, you are expressly consenting to and have knowledge of the collection, use and disclosure of information as outlined by this Privacy Policy.  If we make any changes to our policy, such changes will be posted here so you will always be informed of our current information handling practices.

Definitions

For your clarification, we have defined below, a number of the terms which are used within this Privacy Policy.

affiliated Vipassana Centre:
Another Vipassana Centre which teaches Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N.Goenka in the tradition of Sayagi U Ba Khin and which is affiliated to the same global organization.

aggregate format:
Statistical information that is accumulated, combined, and summed so that it is no longer identifiable by any individual unit.

cookies:
A cookie is a small piece of information that is placed on a visitor's hard drive by a web server.  It acts essentially as an identification card as it is unique to that visitor, and can only be read by the web server that placed it on the drive.  It also may allow a computer to remember things about the visitor's past interaction with the web site.

cumulative:
Each successive course completed builds upon the knowledge and expertise gained in previous courses and contributes to the overall deepening of the meditation practice.

old student:
Someone who has successfully completed at least one 10-day course of Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N.Goenka in the tradition of Sayagi U Ba Khin.

personal information:
Any personally identifiable information about an individual.

reference purposes:
Referring to a student's past course experience during the process of assessing applications for further courses and volunteer service.

third party:
An individual or organization other than the Vipassana Foundation itself.

Information Collected

By electing to register for a Vipassana Meditation course in British Columbia, or for volunteer service on a Vipassana Meditation course in British Columbia, using our online application forms, you will be providing us with specific, personally identifiable information.  This information includes but is not limited to the following:

Name;
Address;
e-mail address;
Telephone number;
Fax number; and
other information as defined within the online application form

Use and Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information

Uses of Information  -  first-time applicants:

Personally identifiable information about you will only be used for the specific purposes for which it has been collected.  These purposes include the evaluation of your application for admission to the course for which you have applied, the awareness of any medical conditions that may prevail, and any other special requirements while you are on the course.

Only the registrars, the teachers, and the assistant teachers will have access to the full range of information you have provided. Other than these individuals, personal information submitted via the online application forms on this web site, is maintained in complete confidence and safeguarded against disclosure to or access by third parties.

Uses of Information  -  old students:

When an British Columbia 'old student' applies to sit or serve a course at an affiliated Vipassana Centre, previous course information may, in specific circumstances, be shared between Centres.

Personally identifiable information or contact information, such as email addresses, will not be disclosed to any other organizations for any purposes whatsoever, except where required by law.

Retention and Disposal of Personally Identifiable Information

Most personally identifiable information you provide is retained by the Vipassana Foundation for their records for as long as necessary for the fulfillment of the purpose of Vipassana practice or as required by law.

The nature of the Vipassana practice is cumulative, with many people returning for additional courses.  Previously gathered information may be used by teachers, and assistant teachers, for reference purposes and for evaluation when old students apply for further courses.

Please notify the Vipassana Foundation if you no longer want to have your information retained by us.  The process of fulfilling a deletion request will only reach back to the last time period retained by us at the time of fulfilling your request - please note that some residual information may remain in archived backups.

Security

The Vipassana Foundation strives to provide you with the most secure transmission environment possible.  The Vipassana Foundation takes every precaution to protect its users' information from loss, misuse and alteration. When users submit sensitive information via the web site (www.surabhi.dhamma.org), your information is protected both online and off-line.

When our Course Registration Form (except for the one-day Old Student course application), or Volunteer Service Form, asks users to enter personal information, it is automatically encrypted and protected with encryption software [Secure Socket Layers]. While on a secure page on the website, such as our Course Registration Form, the lock icon on the bottom of web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer becomes locked, thereby protecting any data entered on the site.

Accuracy of the Information and Individual Access to It

Please contact the Vipassana Foundation if your contact details have changed to ensure that you are kept up to date with courses being offered by the Foundation and to receive our newsletters.

You have the right to access your file and request rectification of any personal information in the file that may be obsolete, incomplete or incorrect. To change your information, have your information removed from our databases, or simply confirm the information that we hold about you, contact our Webmaster via e-mail at webmaster@surabhi.dhamma.org.  The Vipassana Foundation will need to validate the identity of anyone making such a request to ensure that we do not provide your information to anyone who does not have a right to that information. Normally we will respond to access or rectification requests within 30 days.

Log Files

In almost all cases, when you go to a web site, web servers log your interaction with the site in something called a log file.  Standard log files like ours contain basic information such as what time, and which pages were viewed, and the IP address of the visitor.  The Vipassana Foundation uses this information to analyze trends, administer the site, track users' movements, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.  We make no effort to identify IP addresses with individual users.

The Vipassana Foundation sometimes uses log file information to determine and report on how the web site is being used (e.g. the web site's average user looks at particular pages on each visit). When reporting in this way we only do so in aggregate format.

Cookies

The Vipassana Foundation does not use cookies.

External Links

This site contains links to other web sites.  The Vipassana Foundation is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such web sites, and encourages users to review such policies on these (and all) third party sites.

Acceptance of this Policy

By using this site, users signify agreement with the www.surabhi.dhamma.org, Privacy Policy.

Amendments to this Policy

The Vipassana Foundation reserves the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add or remove portions of this Privacy Policy from time to time. A user's continued use of this web site following such changes to these terms signifies acceptance of those changes.

Any changes to our online Privacy Policy will not change our commitment to the safeguarding of your personal information, or the manner in which we use it.

Contacting the web site

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, or your dealings with this web site, please contact the Vipassana Foundation at:

Email:  webmaster@surabhi.dhamma.org.

Disclaimer

The contents of this site are strictly for information purposes only.  The Vipassana Foundation does not represent, offer advertisement or ascribe to the offerings of any web site accessible through this site.