MAS Privacy Policy

Last updated: 23 April 2022

The Minnesota Astronomical Society (MAS) is committed to the value of privacy. MAS is based in the United States and this Privacy Policy (“Policy”) explains how the MAS collects, uses, and shares information associated with you (“Personal Information”). This policy applies to the MAS’s website (mnastro.org), and to meetings, programs, events, and other activities operated or sponsored by the MAS.

Content:

How We Collect Personal Information

We collect and use Personal Information in various ways across the MAS’s activities. We do so on the following legal bases: (a) to pursue our legitimate interests in providing services to you, (b) with your consent in appropriate circumstances, and/or (c) on certain other legal bases (e.g., compliance with our legal obligations) in particular circumstances.

A. Websites. As you use our websites, you may be prompted to enter information when you: (i) create an account, (ii) purchase a product (including any fee-based content) or service (or sign up for a free product or service), (iii) participate in online forums or discussions, or provide feedback, or (iv) use personalization features. Information collected may include your name, email address, shipping, and billing addresses, telephone number, shipping preferences, product subscriber status, product selection, work affiliation, and job title, work and academic history, and payment information (credit or debit card or bank account). We also gather information on the person who will receive any gift you send (e.g., that person’s name and address), and we will retain a record of your purchase. It is generally optional and voluntary to provide information via our websites, although some services are only accessible by registering user details (including as explained in this Policy).

MAS websites may use cookies. A cookie is a small file that is placed on the user’s hard drive during a visit to an MAS site. This file allows the user to move quickly and easily around the site. It is used to identify returning users and to identify fee-based content subscribers. This means that if you subscribe to fee-based content on this site, you will not have to log in each time you visit. We also use a cookie to track a user’s sessions (a “session cookie”). We use this information to find out what site features are most popular. We also use cookies and the information we collect to show you relevant content and advertising.

You can delete cookies from your hard drive at any time or configure your browser to reject cookies. Bear in mind, though, that if you delete these cookies, any settings such as your stored username and password or address will have to be reentered when you return to the site. And if you configure your browser to reject cookies, you may not be able to access all portions of our sites. For example, accessing our online journals requires that your browser accept cookies. We recommend closing browsers and clearing cookies, caches, and browser history on publicly available machines after use. Further information on the use of cookies can be found at http://www.cookiecentral.com/ and in your browser’s Help documentation.

B. Membership. When you become an MAS member, we collect additional information, which may include the information listed in section 1.A above, as well as telephone numbers, web address, academic , type of MAS membership,  primary astronomical interest, communications preferences, date of birth, gender. Some of this information is optional, including date of birth and gender.

C. Meetings. When you attend an MAS meeting, we may collect your name, email and street addresses, telephone numbers, and payment information (if applicable).

D. Emails. If you subscribe to an email newsletter, we collect your name and email address. And, of course, if you send us an email, we collect your email address and any information that is contained in the email.

E. Children’s Personal Information. Protecting the privacy of children is important to us. Our websites are general audience sites, and we do not knowingly collect any personal information from children under 13. If we become aware that a child under the age of 13 has provided personally identifying information, we will promptly remove such information from our files.

How We Use Personal Information

A. Providing Services and Fulfilling Orders. We use your Personal Information primarily to provide you MAS services, including services available to the public, membership services, meetings and prizes. This is likely to include email and other communications related to the services that you have selected. We also use your Personal Information to fulfill orders you have placed, and to communicate with you about them.

B. Discussion Forums. Users who participate in MAS online forums or discussions may have their messages or postings edited for size and/or content (including to remove inappropriate submissions). By participating in an online forum or discussion, you consent to our use or disclosure of any content you submit.

C. Communications and Marketing. Where you have provided your consent for us to contact you, we may send you emails including links to the Gemini newsletter , information on membership and membership services, meeting information, surveys, and sometimes relevant non-MAS news events (e.g., in your local area). You are free to withdraw your consent to receive emails at any time by clicking the “unsubscribe” link found at the bottom of the email, by changing your preferences in your member account, or by contacting us at membership@mnastro.org

D. Administration. We use some of your Personal Information for administrative purposes, including billing and other financial functions, IT support, and to analyze the demographics of our membership.

E. Websites. We use session cookies, web beacon pixels, and Google Analytics information to improve our communications and the functions and content of our services and websites. We also may use your information to enable access to fee-based content areas of a website, to customize a website to your location or other characteristics, to conduct statistical analysis and in-house research to improve the services on the website, to track and target advertising on the websites, to respond to queries, to alert you to important announcements about a site’s Terms & Conditions or Privacy Statement, and to help us keep our websites compatible with the browsers and operating systems used by most of our visitors.haring of Personal Information with Third Parties

Except as described in this section III, the MAS does not share your Personal Information. We focus on using the information as part of the MAS’s services to you and its mission to advance and diffuse the knowledge of astronomy and its application to human welfare. We bear legal responsibility for the transfers described below.

A. MAS Services. Some of the services provided by the MAS (e.g., publications, membership directories, and meetings) are designed to be used for sharing information (including Personal Information) with third parties, such as the Astronomical League. The MAS enables such sharing to the extent authorized by each member or other user.

B. Mailings by Selected Third Parties. With your consent, we occasionally share our mailing list of physical addresses with the Astronomical League.

C. Subcontractors. The MAS may disclose Personal Information to third parties who support MAS services, including financial services, communications and publications providers, and hotels used for meetings. This sharing is subject to agreements with the third parties to ensure the information is used only for such service support and in accordance with this Policy and applicable law.

D. Disclosures to Comply with Legal Process and to Protect Us and Others. The MAS may disclose Personal Information if required under applicable laws (including for law enforcement and national security purposes) or to comply with legal process, to protect and defend our rights and property, to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of a website or service, to report a violation or suspected violation of applicable laws to appropriate governmental authorities, or to protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public.

Retention of Information

The MAS applies the following policies on retention of Personal Information:

  • We retain information regarding the MAS services that you use for as long as you use those services.
  • Successful membership applications are retained indefinitely to facilitate the work of historians studying the history of our field. Inactive member user accounts are retained for five years.
  • Publications (and associated public information) are available indefinitely.
  • We retain general and routine correspondence for three years.
  • Cookies are stored on user computers and may be deleted at any time by the user.

When data is deleted from MAS systems, it may remain in our backup storage for two years.

Rights Regarding Your Personal Information

You may request access to, and correction or deletion of, your Personal Information held by MAS, or request that we limit the ways in which we process your information. The MAS may choose not to delete Personal Information where the data is necessary to the integrity of MAS services, to the operation of services provided by the MAS to other users, or for compliance with the law.

Contact Information

It is also important to us that we have your correct and up-to-date contact information so that you don’t miss out on further correspondence or experience problems with the delivery of products. To update your contact information, complete the Update Member Information form.

Security

The MAS uses industry-standard technological, physical, and organizational measures to protect Personal Information and other data from unauthorized disclosure, alteration, or destruction, both online and offline. We use encryption to protect sensitive financial and other information, and all connections to our websites are encrypted by default whenever possible. We make available only the minimal amount of Personal Information necessary to leadership, members, meeting attendees, vendors, and others. However, data security presents many risks, and the MAS cannot guarantee that information will be 100% secure. The MAS relies on users to select secure passwords, to protect those passwords, and to use appropriate security software on their devices. Please contact the MAS with any information regarding unauthorized use of MAS services.

Third-Party Sites and Services

Our websites contain links to other sites and services, and other sites and services have links to our websites. Please be aware that the MAS is not responsible for the privacy practices (or other practices, goods, services, or content) of other sites or services. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our site and to read the privacy statements and terms of service of each website you visit. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by the MAS.

Updates to This Policy

From time to time, the MAS may update this Policy to reflect changes in the law, changes in the MAS’s services, or for other reasons. Updated versions of this Policy will be posted on our websites.

Contact Information and Complaints

If you have inquiries or complaints about this Policy or your Personal Information, you should first contact the president@mnastro.org . If we receive a complaint, we will contact the person who made the complaint to follow up. Complaints may also be submitted via regular postal mail to Minnesota Astronomical Society, P.O. Box 14931,  Minneapolis, MN 55414 .