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Cable, Internet and Telephone Subscriber Privacy Notice

Cable TV, Internet and Telephone Subscriber Privacy Notice

Updated December 2016

We at Midcontinent Communications® (“Midco®”, “we” or “us”) consider the privacy of our subscribers to be very important, and we are committed to keeping nonpublic personal information about our subscribers secure and confidential. We follow industry-standard practices and take such actions as are reasonably necessary and prudent to prevent unauthorized access to nonpublic personal information about our subscribers. We cannot guarantee, however, that these practices and actions will prevent every unauthorized attempt to access, use or disclose such information.

We are providing this Notice to you, our customer (“you” or “subscriber”), to inform you of our policies and practices regarding personally identifiable information that may be collected in the course of providing various communications services to you over our broadband cable system, including cable TV programming services, high-speed data and Internet services and telephony services (collectively, our “Communications Services”). Not all of our Communications Services may be available in your particular geographic area. This Notice is being provided in accordance with the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Communications Act”), the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (the “Cable Act”), and the relevant policies and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). This Notice also refers to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, as amended (“ECPA”), which is applicable if you are a subscriber to our high-speed data and Internet service (our “Internet Service”) or our telephony services, and to the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act of 1998, as amended (“Copyright Act”), which is applicable if you are a subscriber to our Internet Service. This notice does not cover information that may be collected through any other products, services or websites, even if accessed through our Communications Services or cable system. You should read the privacy policies for these other products, services and websites to learn how they handle your personal information. 

Nine areas are covered by this Notice: 1. The nature of personally identifiable information we have collected about you and the way we use such information; 2. The nature, frequency, and purpose of any disclosure that we may make of such information; 3. The disclosure of such information to governmental entities and in legal proceedings; 4. The period of time we will maintain your personally identifiable information; 5. Your communications using our Internet Service; 6. The times and place where you may have access to your personally identifiable information that we have collected; 7. Your rights under the Communications Act and related FCC policies and regulations with respect to such information; 8. Your rights under the FCC’s policies and rules governing customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”); and 9. Our home security services. We will send you written, electronic or other appropriate notices when we make material changes to these policies and practices and when they will take effect. If you find the changes unacceptable, you have the right to cancel your service. However, if you continue to receive our services after the effective date of any change, this will serve as your acceptance of and consent to the changes communicated to you. 

1. Collection and Use of Personally Identifiable Information
Under federal law we may use our cable system to collect personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber if it is necessary to provide services to subscribers or to prevent unauthorized access to our services or subscriber data. Any personally identifiable information that we collect and retain is subject to the policies described in this Notice and to our obligations under applicable federal and state laws, including the Communications Act and the corresponding regulations and policies of the FCC, the ECPA, and the Copyright Act.

“Personally identifiable information” is information that identifies a particular person; it does not include aggregate data that does not identify a particular person or persons. Personally identifiable information includes information about you that you have furnished to us, or that we have collected, in connection with delivering one or more of our Communications Services to you.

The personally identifiable information that we collect concerning our subscribers in connection with the provision of our services may include data such as (i) contact information, including your name, relevant address; home, business and mobile phone numbers as well as email and text messaging addresses; (ii) social security numbers; (iii) billing, payment and security deposit records, including credit information and credit card and bank account numbers used to pay for our services; (iv) maintenance, damage, repairs and complaint information, including subscriber correspondence (via email or otherwise) and communications records; and (v) the service options you have chosen to receive and information about the type, number and location in your home of TV sets, set-top boxes, cable modems, personal computers (“PC”) and your PC configuration, as well as any other equipment and devices in your home that are connected to our network. When you use our interactive or other transactional services – for example to select programming such as video-on-demand or pay-per-view events or to purchase a product, service or feature – we may collect certain information about your use of these services. If you rent your residence, we may have a record of whether landlord permission was required prior to installing our cable facilities as well as your landlord’s name, address and telephone number. We may keep records of research concerning subscriber satisfaction with our services, which are obtained from subscriber interviews and questionnaires.

The Cable Act authorizes Midco as a cable operator to use the cable system to collect personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber for the following purposes:

  • to obtain information necessary to render our cable service or other services to our subscribers; and
  • to detect unauthorized reception of cable communications.

We also may collect anonymous and/or aggregate viewing information using set-top boxes and other equipment connected to our cable systems. We use this information, for example, to determine which programs are most popular, how many people watch the show to its conclusion, whether people are watching commercials, and which cable features are used most often. We also may combine the personally identifiable information that we collect about you as part of our regular business records with information about you obtained from third parties for the purpose of creating an enhanced subscriber database to help us identify other services we or our affiliates provide that might interest you. 

If you receive our Internet Service, we may keep records of violations and alleged violations of your subscription terms and conditions (your “Subscription Agreement”) and other rules governing your use of our Internet Service, including, but not limited to, our Acceptable Use Policy, all of which can be viewed on our website at Midco.com/Legal. When you use our Internet Services, our system may automatically log information concerning Internet addresses you contact, and the duration of your visits to such addresses; however, we do not use or disclose any personally identifiable information that may be derived from these logs for marketing, advertising or similar purposes. In providing our Internet Services to you, we also have access to personally identifiable information about you and your Internet account, including the name and address associated with a given Internet address or, possibly, one or more email accounts. In your Subscription Agreement, you have consented to the collection of personally identifiable information as described in this paragraph.

If you use our telephony services, then as a necessary incident of providing that service, our computer systems automatically capture and store information that may include, but is not limited to, the dates, times and length of your calls, as well as the telephone numbers with which you communicate. Please refer to Section 8 of this Notice for more detailed information concerning our collection and use of CPNI.

We collect, maintain and use the information described in this Notice to assist us in providing reliable high-quality Communications Services to you. Our use of this information is for legitimate business activities related to providing you with our services, including: (i) making sure that you receive only the services you have requested and that you are being billed properly for the services you do receive; (ii) identifying you when changes are made to your account or services and answering your questions when you contact us (i.e., for troubleshooting); (iii) maintaining and improving the quality of our services; (iv) protecting against fraud and the unauthorized reception and use of our services; (v) sending you pertinent information about the services you are receiving and marketing our other services or products that we believe may be of interest to you; (vi) ensuring our compliance with relevant law and our contractual obligations; and (vii) for our tax and accounting purposes. We collect and maintain such information during the period of time that you are receiving service and for a reasonable amount of time thereafter. 

We also may provide anonymous and/or aggregate viewing information that we have collected to third parties, such as audience measurement or marketing research firms that may combine this information with other aggregated or non-aggregated public and non-public information and other demographic information (such as census records) to provide us with audience analysis data. We use this information to improve our Communications Services and to make our programming and advertising more relevant to our subscribers.

2. Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information

We consider our subscribers’ personally identifiable information contained in our business records to be confidential. Federal law, however, authorizes us to disclose such information without the prior written or electronic consent of a subscriber if it is: (i) necessary to render, or conduct a legitimate business activity related to, the services that are provided to you; (ii) required by law or legal process as described below; or (iii) for mailing lists as described below. We may also use or disclose personally identifiable information about you without your consent to protect other subscribers, employees, or property, in emergency situations, to enforce our rights under our terms of service and policies, in court or elsewhere, and as otherwise permitted by law. Federal law prohibits us from disclosing personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber for any purposes other than those listed above without the subscriber’s written or electronic consent. The frequency of any disclosure of personally identifiable information by us varies in accordance with our business needs and activities. 

The types of persons to whom information about you may be disclosed by us in the course of providing cable service to you include the employees of Midco and its related legal entities, professional advisors and other agents, repair and installation subcontractors, sales representatives, accountants, billing and collection services and credit reporting agencies, consumer and market research firms, marketing companies, software developers and maintenance providers, business merger, acquisition or sale partners, and authorized representatives of governmental bodies, as described below in Section 3. We also may disclose personally identifiable information about you to persons or entities with an equity interest in legal entities related to us when they have a legal right to inspect our books and records. We may contact you ourselves from time to time to let you know about changes to your services, new service offerings, or maintenance work that may temporarily affect your service. We do not share your personally identifiable information with others, such as advertisers and direct mail or telemarketers, without your permission.

The Communications Act authorizes us to disclose limited personally identifiable information about you to other organizations and businesses for cable or non-cable related mailing list purposes. Such disclosures are limited by the Communications Act to subscriber names and addresses and cannot reveal directly or indirectly (i) your viewing or other use of a cable service or other service provided by us; or (ii) the nature of any transaction made by you over our cable system. You have the right to prohibit or limit this kind of disclosure by us by sending a written request to the following address: Midco, Attn: Mailing List Opt Out, P.O. Box 5010, Sioux Falls, SD 57117. The request must state that you want to prohibit the disclosure or limit the disclosure to certain organizations of your name and address for mailing list purposes, include your account number, and be signed by you or someone who is an authorized party for your account.

3. Disclosure of Information to Government Entities and Other Legal Process

We make every reasonable effort to protect our subscribers’ privacy as described in this Notice. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, we may be required by federal, state or local law to disclose personally identifiable information about you to a governmental entity or other third party, with or without your consent, and with or without advance notice to you, in compliance with a valid legal process, including a court order, subpoena or search warrant. 

The Communications Act requires us to disclose personally identifiable information about you to a private third-party or a governmental entity in response to a court order. If the court order requiring disclosure of your personally identifiable information is sought by a private third party, the Communications Act requires us to notify you of the court order prior to releasing the information to the third party. If the court order is sought by a governmental entity, the Communications Act requires that you be afforded the opportunity to contest in court any claims made in support of the court order sought unless the government obtains a court order blocking us from providing you with notice. At such a proceeding, the Communications Act requires the governmental entity to offer clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the information is reasonably suspected of engaging in criminal activity and that the information sought would be material evidence in the case. In addition, pursuant to an administrative subpoena, state welfare agencies may obtain the names and addresses of individuals as they appear in our subscriber records with respect to those who owe, or are owed, welfare support. Such information may be obtained without a court order and does not require that a subscriber be given notice of and the opportunity to contest the disclosure.

If you are a subscriber to our Internet Service or our telephony services, the Communications Act and relevant FCC regulations, the ECPA and state law may require us to reveal your personal subscriber information and CPNI to the government and private third parties in certain circumstances. The ECPA addresses both the content of communications as well as subscriber record information. The ECPA requires us to disclose to governmental authorities the content of communications in response to a criminal warrant or court order without any notice to you and without your consent. In addition, under the ECPA and the Communications Act the government may require us to disclose subscriber information (but not the content of communications) pursuant to a search warrant, court order or subpoena without any notice to you and without your consent. Federal law also requires us to disclose your personally identifiable information and CPNI to a private third party in response to a court order and to notify you of such a court order unless the order prohibits us from providing the notice to you.

If you subscribe to our Internet Service, a private party may use a subpoena under the Copyright Act to obtain information about you to maintain a copyright infringement suit against the poster of online material, without any notice to you. In your Subscription Agreement, you have agreed that we may also disclose any information in our possession to protect our rights, property and/or operations, or where circumstances suggest that individual or public safety is in peril.  

4. Time Period That We Retain Personally Identifiable Information

We maintain personally identifiable information about subscribers for as long as it is necessary for business purposes. This period of time lasts as long as you are a subscriber and up to 15 additional years thereafter so that we can comply with tax and accounting requirements. When such information is no longer necessary for these purposes, we destroy the information unless there is a legitimate outstanding request or judicial or administrative order to inspect the information. 

5. Your Online Communications on Our Internet Service

In addition to the situations described in Section 3, the ECPA provides for other exceptional circumstances under which we may be compelled to disclose information about you or your communications, or are permitted to disclose such information. For example, such information may be disclosed to law enforcement if it appears to be evidence of child pornography, or was inadvertently obtained and appears to pertain to a crime. Such disclosure is also permitted to an addressee or intended recipient (or his or her agent), or to a person involved in forwarding such information to its destination; when it is necessarily incident to providing service or to protect our rights or property; to others with your consent or the consent of an addressee or intended recipient (or his or her agent) of communications sent by you; or as otherwise provided for by law.

6. Access to Records

Under the Communications Act, you may examine your personally identifiable information that is collected and maintained in our regular business records, and you may correct, if necessary, any errors in such information. In most cases the personally identifiable information contained in these records consists solely of billing and account information. You will only be permitted to examine records that contain personally identifiable information about your account and no other account. If you wish to inspect the records containing only your personally identifiable information, please notify us in writing, and an appointment at our business office will be arranged during our regular business hours. We will correct our records if you make a reasonable showing that any of the personally identifiable information we have collected about you is inaccurate. 

7. Your Rights Under the Communications Act

A. Opt-In: In order for Midco to use and share sensitive information, we will have to receive affirmative permission from you as our customer, (called "opt-in consent") to use and share sensitive information. Sensitive information includes:

  • Precise geo-location
  • Children’s information
  • Health information
  • Financial information*
  • Social Security numbers*
  • Web browsing history
  • App usage history
  • The content of communication

* These Exceptions to the Consent Requirements Apply to Financial Information and Social Security numbers: Customer consent is inferred for certain purposes, including:

  • Use and sharing of non-sensitive information to provide and market services and equipment typically marketed with the broadband service subscribed to by the customer.
  • To provide the broadband service, and bill and collect for the service.
  • To protect the broadband provider and its customers from fraudulent use of the provider’s network.
  • Legal process such as court orders and subpoenas.

B. If you believe that we have violated your privacy rights in connection with the collection, disclosure, and retention of personally identifiable information as described in this Notice, we encourage you to contact us directly as described below in the Section titled “How Do You Contact Midco” to resolve your question or concern. If you are a subscriber to our cable television services, you also may enforce the limitations imposed on us by the Communications with respect to your personally identifiable information through a civil action in Federal District Court that seeks damages, attorneys’ fees and costs should you believe that any of the Cable Act’s limitations on the collection, disclosure, and retention of personally identifiable information have been violated by us. 

8. Customer Proprietary Network Information

In the course of providing service to telephone customers, Midco collects information concerning the telephone services you purchase and how you use them. Some of this information is known as “customer proprietary network information” or “CPNI.” CPNI includes any information on the quantity, technical configuration, type, destination, location and amount of use of your service that we obtain because we are your telephone carrier. It does not include your name, address and telephone number or information we obtain as a result of providing cable television or Internet service to you. We use CPNI to (i) monitor the quality of the service we provide; (ii) initiate, render, bill and collect for the telecommunications services we provide; (iii) protect our rights and property and protect our users of these services and other carriers from fraudulent, abusive or unlawful use of, or subscription to, these services; and (iv) respond to lawful demands from law enforcement agencies. We also use CPNI to market services and equipment to you and other customers, including telephone service and Internet access as well as to notify you when services may be out for maintenance or when there may be changes made to those services. We share CPNI with companies that are affiliated with us and with companies that provide billing and other services that we use to deliver our telephone service to you. When we share CPNI with unaffiliated companies, we require them to enter into agreements to protect the confidentiality of such information.

You have a right, and we have a duty, under federal law to protect the confidentiality of your CPNI. You have the right to limit our use of your CPNI for marketing services other than those that are related to services you already buy from us and to withdraw access to your CPNI at any time. Withdrawing access to your CPNI will not affect our ability to provide telephone service to you, or the quality of the service we provide. However, if you do withdraw access to your CPNI, it may be more difficult for us to help you if you want to purchase the most cost­effective service package. Allowing us to use your CPNI may enhance our ability to offer products and services tailored to your needs. If you do not wish to allow us to use your CPNI for marketing services other than those that are related to services we already provide you, you can notify us at any time by email or in writing at the following address: Midco, Attn: CPNI Opt Out P.O. Box 5010 Sioux Falls, SD 57117. The request must state that you want to deny access to your CPNI, include your account number, list all of the telephone numbers that you wish to cover with the request and be signed by someone who is an authorized party for your account. A request to deny access to your CPNI is binding on us for the use of your CPNI outside of the services to which you already subscribe until you affirmatively revoke or limit your approval or denial.

9. Home Security Services

In some areas we offer home monitoring services, which may include video surveillance services at a customer’s request. This monitoring service would provide notification of alarms to listed contact numbers or, in certain cases, to emergency responders and may securely record and store video at your direction and for your use only. Our employees and agents do not have access to any recorded video. Video is stored so long as you remain a subscriber to this service subject to the “Maximum Storage” (as defined by the level of Security Services chosen).  You can permanently “Protect” selected clips within the system and/or download them at your option. Once you reach your Maximum Storage amount, the oldest video clips are deleted to store the most recent. This is commonly referred to as “First in First out.” 

How to Contact Midco

If you have comments, suggestions or questions about our privacy policy or this Notice, or wish to contact us about your personal information, you can reach us in the following ways:

  • Email us at webmaster@midco.net
  • Send us U.S. mail at Midco, P. O. Box 5010, Sioux Falls, SD 57117

Please remember to include your account number and to have the correspondence signed by you or someone who is an authorized party for your account.