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.
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:
- 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.
- The Internet Domain Name of your ISP and/or your computer, if your computer has a domain name assigned directly to it.
- 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.
- The date and time you visited the site.
- The web pages accessed at the site, as well as any applications used and publications/forms downloaded.
- 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.
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 by BERS.
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 collection methods.
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
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.
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.