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privacy policy



INTRODUCTION

We have created this privacy policy to give you a clear understanding of how our Web site operates, and how personal information you may provide to us is treated.  This privacy policy applies only to online activities, and may be revised periodically.  We recommend that you read our privacy policy whenever you visit this site so that you are aware of any changes.  BY PROVIDING PERSONAL INFORMATION TO US YOU SIGNIFY YOUR ASSENT TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY.

TYPE OF INFORMATION COLLECTED

We may collect and store information from you that you voluntarily choose to give us or enter on our Web site, including, but not limited to, "personally identifiable information" such as your name, address, e-mail address, and phone number.  Our primary purpose in collecting and processing your personally identifiable information is to provide you with the services and information you request or to send you additional information that may be of interest to you.

SECURITY AND USE OF INFOMRATION

We commit to use security procedures to protect any personal information you submit from misuse or unauthorized disclosure.  COST will make every effort to safeguard your personal information; however, we cannot guarantee that it is completely secure from people who might attempt to evade security measures or intercept transmissions over the Internet.  We cannot completely guarantee the privacy of e-mail communications to and from our site.

We may share personal information that you have submitted to us with select law and accounting firms in the form of a directory that we publish from time to time for such firms to use as a reference.  However, we cannot control what use any firm or other third party that may obtain a copy of our directory ultimately makes of the personal information contained therein.

We reserve the right to use or disclose information provided to us in connection with legal proceedings and when required by governmental agencies, rules, regulations or law, notwithstanding anything else herein to the contrary.

Please be aware that third-party Web sites that have links on our Web site may collect personally identifiable information from you.  The information practices of those Web sites linked to us through hyperlinks are not covered by this privacy policy.

COOKIES

Cookies are small pieces of information that a Web site places on an individual computer's hard drive.  Cookies remember certain information that a Web site can then use to make communication between your browser and the Web site more efficient.  Cookies are standard technology in the Internet industry and may be used by our Web site.  These cookies identify your computer, and not you as a user.  We never save personal information on cookies.  COST will only be able to read those cookies that we place on your hard drive; we cannot access or read any other information.

We use cookies to better tailor our services to your needs.  We may also use cookies on an aggregate basis to track site navigation and traffic trends.  This aggregated and anonymous information will help us to improve site content, and may be shared with third parties.  Visitors always have the option of disabling cookies via their browser preferences.

The use of advertising cookies sent by third-party servers is common on the Internet.  COST Has no control over, and cannot protect against, the practices or policies of other Web sites.

IP ADDRESSES

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) whenever you log on to the Internet.  Like other Internet sites, COST may use IP addresses to collect aggregate and anonymous information about the number of visitors and site usage, to analyze trends, adminster web pages, and track users' movement.  To guarantee your privacy, your IP address is not linked with personal information about you.  COST does reserve the right, however, to use IP addresses to identify individuals who threaten our organization, Web site, members or Web site users.

SURVEYS

From time to time, we may ask personal information when you complete a survey.  In these instances, we will clearly describe the purpose for collecting such information, as well as intended uses.

FORUMS

Visitors to our Web site who are registered members of COST can access our Member Forums by providing us with a verified office e-mail address.  We use this information to establish your member account.  The e-mail address you register with COST will be posted in the Member Directory and in a Member Forum if and when you post comments there.  Participants in our Member Forums are expected to comply with the Terms & Conditions, but we cannot control third parties' use of information you may choose to provide in such a semi-public forum.

LINKS TO OTHER WEB SITES

As a resource to our visitors, we provide links to other Web sites.  Links to external Web sites are meant only for convenience and/or information purposes, and in no way constitute an endorsement.  We do not guarantee the standards of any Web site to which we link, nor are we responsible for the content of non-COST sites or for the privacy policies of those sites.

USE OF CONTENT

Use of this Web site is subject to the Terms & Conditions.