Information About Us
This website (“earthsfriends.com”) is owned and operated by Cover Story Media®, Inc. We are a corporation registered in North Carolina.
In its everyday business operations, Cover Story Media®, Inc. makes use of a variety of data about identifiable individuals, including data about:
- Current, past and prospective employees
- Users of its websites
In collecting and using this data, the organization is subject to a variety of legislation controlling how such activities may be carried out and the safeguards that must be put in place to protect it.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the relevant legislation and to describe the steps Cover Story Media®, Inc. is taking to ensure that it complies with it.
This control applies to all systems, people and processes that constitute the organization’s information systems, including board members, directors, employees, suppliers and other third parties who have access to Cover Story Media®, Inc. systems.
The following policies and procedures are relevant to this document:
- Data Protection Impact Assessment Process
- Information Security Incident Response Procedure
- GDPR Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities
- Records Retention and Protection Policy
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) is one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the way that Cover Story Media®, Inc. carries out its information processing activities. Significant fines are applicable if a breach is deemed to have occurred under the GDPR, which is designed to protect the personal data of citizens of the European Union. It is Cover Story Media®, Inc.’s policy to ensure that our compliance with the GDPR and other relevant legislation is clear and demonstrable at all times.
There are a total of 26 definitions listed within the GDPR and it is not appropriate to reproduce them all here. However, the most fundamental definitions with respect to this policy are as follows:
Personal data is defined as:
any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;
any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;
the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law;
Principles Relating To Processing Of Personal Data
There are a number of fundamental principles upon which the GDPR is based.
These are as follows:
Personal data shall be:
(a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);
(b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall, in accordance with Article 89(1), not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’);
(c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimization’);
(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);
(e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organizational measures required by this Regulation in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);
(f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organizational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’).
Right Of The Individual
The data subject also has rights under the GDPR. These consist of:
- The right to be informed
- The right of access
- The right to rectification
- The right to erasure
- The right to restrict processing
- The right to data portability
- The right to object
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
Each of these rights must be supported by appropriate procedures within Cover Story Media®, Inc. that allow the required action to be taken within the timescales stated in the GDPR.
These timescales are:
- The right to be informed – When data is collected (if supplied by data subject) or within one month (if not supplied by data subject)
- The right of access – One month
- The right to rectification – One month
- The right to erasure – Without undue delay
- The right to restrict processing – Without undue delay
- The right to data portability – One month
- The right to object – On receipt of objection
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling – Not specified
Unless it is necessary for a reason allowable in the GDPR, explicit consent must be obtained from a data subject to collect and process their data. In case of children below the age of 16 parental consent must be obtained. Transparent information about our usage of their personal data must be provided to data subjects at the time that consent is obtained and their rights with regard to their data explained, such as the right to withdraw consent. This information must be provided in an accessible form, written in clear language and free of charge.
If the personal data is not obtained directly from the data subject then this information must be provided within a reasonable period after the data are obtained and definitely within one month.
Privacy By Design
Cover Story Media®, Inc. has adopted the principle of privacy by design and will ensure that the definition and planning of all new or significantly changed systems that collect or process personal data will be subject to due consideration of privacy issues, including the completion of one or more data protection impact assessments.
The data protection impact assessment will include:
- Consideration of how personal data will be processed and for what purposes
- Assessment of whether the proposed processing of personal data is both necessary and proportionate to the purpose(s)
- Assessment of the risks to individuals in processing the personal data
- What controls are necessary to address the identified risks and demonstrate compliance with legislation
Use of techniques such as data minimization and pseudonymization should be considered where applicable and appropriate.
Transfer Of Personal Data
Transfers of personal data outside the European Union must be carefully reviewed prior to the transfer taking place to ensure that they fall within the limits imposed by the GDPR. This depends partly on the European Commission’s judgement as to the adequacy of the safeguards for personal data applicable in the receiving country and this may change over time.
Intra-group international data transfers must be subject to legally binding agreements referred to as Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) which provide enforceable rights for data subjects.
Personal Information That This Website Collects and Why We Collect It
This website collects and uses personal information for the following reasons:
1. Site Visitation Tracking
Like most websites, this site uses Google Analytics (GA) to track user interaction. We use this data to determine the number of people using our site, to better understand how they find and use our web pages and to see their journey through the website.
Although GA records data such as your geographical location, device, internet browser and operating system, none of this information personally identifies you to us. GA also records your computer’s IP address which could be used to personally identify you but Google do not grant us access to this. We consider Google to be a third party data processor.
Disabling cookies on your internet browser will stop GA from tracking any part of your visit to pages within this website.
2. Contact Forms
Should you choose to contact us using the contact form on our Contact us page, the data that you supply will be stored by this website and collated into an email and sent to us over the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Our SMTP servers are protected by TLS (sometimes known as SSL) meaning that the email is sent over an encrypted connection using SHA-2, 256-bit cryptography and received by Google’s secure servers.
How We Store Your Personal Information
As detailed above, if you submit a contact form on this website some personal information will be stored within this website’s database. This is currently the only occasion where personal data will be stored on this website. This data is currently stored in an identifiable fashion; a limitation of the content management system that this website is built on (WordPress). In the near future we aim to change the storage of this data to a pseudonymous fashion meaning that the data would require additional processing using a separately stored ‘key’ before it could be used to identify an individual.
Pseudonymisation is a recent requirement of the GDPR which many web application developers are currently working to fully implement. We are committed to keeping it as a high priority and will implement it on this website as soon as we are able to.
About This Website’s Server
This website is hosted within a US data center.
Some of the data center’s more notable security features are as follows:
24/7/365 DDoS Security & Intrusion protection, along with:
- Malware scanning
- Several layers of password brute force mitigation
- A web application firewall
- Multiple layers of DDoS mitigation
- Secured password and configuration methodology
All traffic (transferal of files) between this website and your browser is encrypted and delivered over HTTPS.
Our Third Party Data Processors
We use a number of third parties to process personal data on our behalf. These third parties have been carefully chosen and all of them comply with the legislation. All two of these third parties are based in the USA and are EU-U.S Privacy Shield compliant.
Data Protection Officer
A defined role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) is required under the GDPR if an organization is a public authority if it performs large scale monitoring or if it processes particularly sensitive types of data on a large scale. The DPO is required to have an appropriate level of knowledge and can either be an in-house resource or outsourced to an appropriate service provider.
Based on these criteria, Cover Story Media®, Inc. does not require a Data Protection Officer to be appointed.
It is Cover Story Media®, Inc.’s policy to be fair and proportionate when considering the actions to be taken to inform affected parties regarding breaches of personal data. In line with the GDPR, where a breach is known to have occurred which is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the relevant Data Protection Authority (DPA) will be informed within 72 hours.
This will be managed in accordance with our Information Security Incident Response Procedure which sets out the overall process of handling information security incidents.
Under the GDPR the relevant DPA has the authority to impose a range of fines of up to four percent of annual worldwide turnover or twenty million Euros, whichever is the higher, for infringements of the regulations.
The following actions are undertaken to ensure that Cover Story Media®, Inc. complies at all times with the accountability principle of the GDPR:
- The legal basis for processing personal data is clear and unambiguous
- All staff involved in handling personal data understand their responsibilities for following good data protection practice
- Training in data protection has been provided to all staff
- Rules regarding consent are followed
- Routes are available to data subjects wishing to exercise their rights regarding personal data and such enquiries are handled effectively
- Regular reviews of procedures involving personal data are carried out
- Privacy by design is adopted for all new or changed systems and processes
- The following documentation of processing activities is recorded: – Organization name and relevant details – Purposes of the personal data processing – Categories of individuals and personal data processed – Categories of personal data recipients – Agreements and mechanisms for transfers of personal data to non-EU countries including details of controls in place – Personal data retention schedules – Relevant technical and organizational controls in place