Updated December 30, 2015
GOALS AND PURPOSE
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. (together with its Network Organizations and Affiliates, as those terms are defined below, collectively referred to herein as “AFS”) is dedicated to protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personally identifiable information. AFS works hard to create an online experience that is detailed, efficient and productive by using the information you entrust us with responsibly. AFS is committed to respecting your privacy and adhering to the principles of applicable data protection and privacy laws throughout the world.
AFS Intercultural Programs operates many websites, either directly or through its Network Organizations (such as AFS-USA Inc.), its Affiliates (such as Itero Intercultural Experiences, Inc., doing business as “Sentio”) or through certain third-party service providers. These include, but are not limited to those located at the following domains:
Any one of these websites may ask for and/or collect personally identifiable information in order to provide you with the information and services you seek or to improve your experience, as detailed further below. Some of our websites (or certain areas within a particular website) are for the general public, while some websites or areas within such sites are only for organizations that are part of the AFS worldwide network of exchange organizations (and their authorized representatives) or for specifically designated and authorized third-parties that work closely with AFS to operate intercultural exchange programs and to provide online and real-world services to individuals (“Network Organizations”), e.g., AFS-USA, located at afsusa.org. Similarly, some websites (or certain areas within a particular website) are only for registered users (e.g., individuals who are prospective, current or former participants in the services and programs offered by AFS and its Affiliates and Network Organizations (“Participants”)).
AFS collects information from visitors and users of our websites, including Participants, and from third-parties that work with AFS to deliver AFS’s services so that we can provide an experience (online and offline) that strives to meet our Participants’ and other users’ needs and interests. Information may be collected as part of: (i) providing AFS program services, (ii) fulfilling information requests, (iii) requesting or offering services, (iv) applying or registering for AFS program participation, (v) submitting an application or program opportunity, (vi) responding to communications from us (e.g., surveys, requests for additional information or reviews or application or registration confirmations), (vii) accommodating your personal preferences, (viii) fulfilling requests for services, e.g., subscribing to newsletters or participating in promotions or sweepstakes, (ix) working with third-party sources, including collecting information available from certain social networking and other websites to better assist us with understanding your interests and to serve you better, or (x) updating your contact information including your address.
The types of personally identifiable information (sometimes referred to as “PII”) that we ask for and/or collect depend on your level of access and participation within our websites (and the types of services, information and participation you are seeking). Such information may include your name, a password, home address, work address and e-mail address, telephone number, mobile telephone number and fax number, geo-location information, date of birth, gender, schools and university attended, highest grade/qualification received, year of graduation, area of study, social media links to Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn, an image, photo or video of you, your citizenship, passport information, visa status, insurance status, specific AFS program information (type, year, etc.), travel details, a personal statement, your CV or resume, what languages you speak, your current occupation and other relevant skills, certain medical history and medical disclosures, dietary restrictions, certain usage data, such as test results, assessments, scores, progress, answers to specific questions, and lifestyle information such as leisure activities, names and ages of children or siblings, and other information necessary to fulfill special requests (e.g., health conditions that may require special accommodation or consideration).
AFS may also collect other non-personally identifiable information about you, such as your use of our websites, communication preferences, aggregated data relative to your use of our services, and anonymized responses to questions and surveys.
Please note, to better safeguard your information, please do not include any credit card information in your electronic communication unless we specifically require it as part of the transaction fulfillment process on an AFS website.
Collection & Use
AFS is committed to providing you with information about the collection and use of PII furnished by, or collected from, visitors while using our websites, products and services. It is our practice not to ask you for information unless we need it or intend to use it. Some of the primary purposes for requesting and collecting your PII are as follows:
- providing our services (online and in the real world), such as processing an application for placement (e.g., when Participants are filling out an application, fulfilling a request for information, or completing a request for services), facilitating and managing a Participant’s involvement in a program and working with Network Organizations toward that end
- marketing and communications with you in relation to the services offered by AFS, and by other trusted third parties
- performing research via surveys, questionnaires and reviews to better serve your needs, improve the effectiveness of our websites, your experience, our various types of communications, campaigns, and/or promotional activities
You may opt out of our emails and AFS surveys and reviews at any time by clicking on the link included in such communications, or by contacting us directly to opt out. You will always be offered the choice not to submit your PII or to decide what communications you want to receive from us. However, doing so may cause certain transactions to become affected. For example, not providing required information such as a name will prevent the processing of an application.
Processing and Disclosure
In addition, other situations in which AFS may disclose your information to others include:
- when we have received your consent to do so
- in situations where sharing or disclosing your information is required in order to offer you services you desire (e.g., a volunteer or program opportunity, a sweepstakes or promotion)
- when companies or service providers that perform business activities on behalf of AFS require such information (e.g., credit card processing, customer support services, market research administration or database management services)
- in the event AFS is merged with or acquired by another company
- to comply with legal or regulatory requirements or obligations in accordance with applicable law, a court order or a subpoena
- in case of emergency such as to safeguard the life, health, or property of an individual
If information is shared as mentioned above, we seek to limit recipients and the scope of information that is furnished to only the amount necessary for the performance of the specific function. Unless otherwise precluded by legal process, we require third parties to protect your PII and abide by applicable privacy laws and regulations.
We sometimes use and share non-personally identifiable information that we collect to maintain the services we offer online, improve the design and content of our sites, to enable us to personalize your experience, analyze trends, gather broad demographic information, administer the sites, and strengthen our marketing and branding efforts.
AFS World Café & Find an AFSer
The AFS World Café [community.afsworldcafe.org] (and the Find an AFSer function therein) are intended to help members of the AFS community find each other, connect, and collaborate beyond borders on topics of common interest, and thus engage together in promoting the AFS mission. The AFS World Café is built on the Zimbra Social platform, which contains social community functionality, such as blogs, forums, blogs, ideation, friending, media gallery, status updates, and more.
We ask that you use good judgment and discretion when sending messages to other members of the community. Please do not use information found here for the purpose of commercial promotion of any kind. AFS does not bear any responsibility for any actions or policies of third parties. However, when you voluntarily disclose PII in such forums (such as your first and last name, e-mail address etc.) within the World Café, Find an AFSer or the AFS Mail Lists, that information can be collected and used by others and may result in unsolicited messages from other users. AFS is not responsible for who may contact you by using this information. All registrations in the AFS World Café are voluntary. The only individuals listed in Find an AFSer are those who have registered themselves in the AFS World Café. AFS does not add individuals to the database, therefore if you do not find your AFS friends it is because they have not registered themselves. By uploading information to the AFS World Café (images, videos, text), you agree that AFS may use the content to promote its mission and activities, including improving the experience of AFS World Café users. By accessing the AFS World Café you agree to comply with its Community Guidelines.
If you reside outside of the United States, certain data privacy regulations may require us to obtain your permission before we send you information that you have not requested from us. In some cases your permission will be implied from the nature of the service or information requested or transaction undertaken or when you volunteer information in connection with a request or action. In addition, your permission will be deemed given for communications from us that are necessary to fulfill transactions and services that you request. In certain circumstances, we may seek your express permission when we collect information that is regarded under certain data privacy regulations to be sensitive in nature (e.g., information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, or health conditions). You may object to AFS disclosing your PII to third parties except when: (i) service providers are engaged to perform services or provide information you have requested, either in conjunction with AFS, or on behalf of AFS; (ii) disclosure is required by law; (iii) disclosure concerns national, legal or public interest grounds; (iv) disclosure is necessary to protect the vital interests of a person; (v) information has been collected from publicly accessible sources; (vi) disclosure concerns the retrospective processing of the information for historical, statistical or enhancement of user experiences; or (vii) disclosure is authorized by a supervisory authority in an applicable jurisdiction.
To ensure that your PII is accurate and up to date, we encourage you to regularly review and update your information as appropriate. You can review and update your information online or by contacting us. Please note that in an effort to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of your PII, you may be asked to provide proof of identity (or other authentication materials). Access to PII cannot be provided by telephone. If, upon review, you wish to deactivate a profile or application, or update your PII, we will endeavor to do so in a timely manner. Occasionally, information that you request to be removed will be retained in certain files for a period of time in order to properly resolve disputes or to troubleshoot problems. In addition, some types of information may be stored indefinitely on “back up” systems or within log files due to technical constraints, or financial or legal requirements. Therefore, you should not always expect that all of your PII will be completely removed from our databases in response to your request.
Please refer to the appropriate contact information below to contact us about updating your communication preferences, or to submit a general question or request.
AFS recognizes the importance of information security, and is constantly reviewing and enhancing our technical, physical, and logistical security rules and procedures. All AFS-owned websites and servers have security measures in place to help protect your PII against accidental, loss, misuse, unlawful or unauthorized access, disclosure, or alteration while under our control. Although “guaranteed security” does not exist either on or off the Internet, we safeguard your information using appropriate administrative, procedural and technical safeguards, including password controls, and the use of up to 256-bit encryption (or more sophisticated encryption as per current industry standards) based on a certificate issued by Comodo Group, Inc. This allows for the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), an encryption method used to help protect your data from interception and hacking while in transit. We implement firewalls, intrusion detection system, and antivirus software with constant updates and monitoring on irregularities. Physical servers are securely protected by 24×7 monitoring at all locations, with redundant electricity, air-conditioning and fire suppression systems. IT personnel utilize encryption, where possible, to prevent direct access to data stored in databases. Access to data stored in the systems is subject to authentication with unique username and password. Users are only allowed to access information that belongs to their responsible area. Online confidentiality agreements are in place as click-through consents to be accepted at first log-in and then annually, to ensure that certain users that have access to select data are bound by appropriate confidentiality obligations.
Cookies are designed to save you time because they help us to provide you with a customized experience without you having to remind us of your preferences each time you return to our web pages. AFS cookies are not designed to damage your files, nor can they read information from other files on your computer hard drive.
Cookies can also help us provide you with a personalized on-line experience in the following ways:
- they remember your user name and password for future visits so log-in is easier and faster.
- they ensure you are provided with the appropriate frames and content.
- they ensure you obtain all requested information.
- they help us deliver communications that are relevant and responsive to your interests and location.
AFS cookies are limited to our websites only, and are not designed to follow you when traveling on the Internet after leaving AFS-owned websites. We track the usage of our websites in order to better meet your needs and to help make it easier for you to find information in the future. Please note that in addition to AFS cookies, various third parties may also place cookies on your computer’s hard drive. AFS is not responsible for the presence or absence of third-party cookies, or for the technological capabilities or practices employed by third parties in connection with third-party cookies.
Third party cookies might also be used, depending on the content displayed. Examples are: Google analytics, Zimbra/Telligent Analytics, Ustream, Snapwidget, TintUp, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Squarespace, etc. As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data. We use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer our websites, to track users’ movements around the various sites and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.
In some of our email messages we use a “click-through URL” linked to content on one of the AFS websites. When a customer clicks one of these URLs, they pass through our web server before arriving at the destination web page. We track this click-through data to help us determine interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our customer communications. If you prefer not to be tracked simply avoid clicking text or graphic links in your email. In addition we may use pixel tags — tiny graphic images — to tell us what parts of our websites users have visited or to measure the effectiveness of searches users perform on our sites. Pixel tags also enable us to send messages in a format our users can read. And they tell us whether emails have been opened to assure that we are only sending messages that are of interest to our customers.
If you would prefer not to have the benefits of cookies, your Internet browser can be adjusted to treat cookies in different ways. Depending upon the type of browser you are using, you may be able to configure your browser so that: (i) you are prompted to accept or reject cookies on an individual basis or (ii) you may be able to prevent your browser from accepting any cookies at all. You should refer to the supplier or manufacturer of your web browser for specific details about cookie security. However, you should also understand that rejecting cookies might affect your ability to perform certain transactions on our websites and our ability to recognize your browser from one visit to the next.
AFS also uses invisible pixels, sometimes called web beacons, to count how many people visit certain web pages. Information collected from invisible pixels is used and reported in the aggregate and does not contain PII. AFS may use this information to improve programs and content.
In order to anticipate your needs, AFS may provide links to non-AFS websites for your convenience and information. AFS is not responsible or liable for any content presented by or contained on any independent website, including, but not limited to, any advertising claims or marketing practices.
Please note that while AFS will protect your information on AFS-owned and operated websites, we cannot control and will not be responsible for the privacy policies of third-party websites, including websites owned or controlled by independent third parties. Third-party websites that are accessed through links on our websites have separate privacy and data collection practices, and security measures. We have no responsibility or liability for the practices, policies and security measures implemented by third parties on their websites. We encourage you to contact them to ask questions about their privacy practices, policies and security measures before disclosing any PII. We recommend that you review the privacy statements and policies of linked websites to understand how those websites collect, use and store information.
AFS does not seek to obtain nor does it wish to receive PII directly from any children under age 13; and we cannot always determine the age of persons who access and use our websites. If we find that we have done so inadvertently, we shall immediately delete such information. In addition, if a minor (as defined by applicable law) provides us with his/her data without parental or guardian consent, we encourage the parent or guardian to contact us to approve and ratify the provision of such information or have this information removed and to unsubscribe the minor from future AFS communications.
Updating Your Information
If you would like to update your information, or if you do not want to receive communications from AFS in the future, please contact us.
For general inquires and for inquires that relate to the following sites: afs.org, afsglobal.org and Community.afsworldcafe.org, you can contact us at:
by e-mail: [email protected]
by writing to us at:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
For requests that relate to country-specific sites operated by AFS Network Organizations (such as afsusa.org, for the United States), please refer to the country-specific contact information available in such site.
For requests that relate to sites operated by Itero Intercultural Experiences, Inc., doing business as Sentio, (which are: globevolunteer.org; gcc.schoolkeep.com; InternationalInterns.org; UniversitiesAbroad.org) you can contact us at:
by e-mail: [email protected]
by writing to us at:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Attention: Bert Vercamer
by e-mail: [email protected]
by writing to us at:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Attention: AFS Legal Department
1. Agreement to Terms
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS WEBSITE.
2. Language and Modification of Terms
These Terms have been written in English (US). To the extent any translated version of the Terms conflicts with the English version, the English version controls. We may amend these Terms from time to time. If we make material changes to the Terms, you may be asked to accept the Terms again upon entering the Website the first time after the Terms have been so changed. Any changes to these Terms will be effective immediately for new users of our Website and upon your accepting the new Terms or accessing/using the Website. Accepting the Terms or your continued use of the Website following the posting of such changed Terms on the Website shall indicate your acknowledgement of, and agreement to be bound by, such changes. The Website and the Services (defined below) may be modified over time as we add features or refine our products and services. We may stop, suspend, or modify the Website or the Services at any time without prior notice to you. We may also remove or edit any content on our Website or the Services, whether provided by us, or made available by you, at our sole discretion.
3. Note to International Users
4. Certain Definitions
AFS: AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc., a non-profit, non-governmental organization incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, USA.
AFS Network Organizations: exchange organizations that are part of the AFS international network of exchange organizations.
Services: all services provided on the Website.
User: means you, the individual accessing the Website and or using the Services.
5. Website Overview
The main purpose of the Website is to provide background, information, history and ideas about AFS and about intercultural exchange programs and opportunities, as well as provide guidance for participation and volunteering.
7. Your Security
Certain Users may request further information about a particular program, country or opportunity related to AFS, and if so, we may require you to provide information about yourself (such as identification or contact information) that will be used to properly direct your inquiry. All Users agree that any information that you provide will always be correct, complete and kept up to date by you. You will be responsible for all activities that occur during your visit, and therefore you agree to provide accurate information. You must not use false information or unauthorized means such as an automated device, bot, script, crawler, scraper or spider. We cannot and shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with these requirements. You will not: (a) provide any false information as part of your request for additional information or in connection with the Website; or (b) input information for anyone other than yourself.
8. Your User Content and Conduct
You agree that you will not solicit, collect, or use the information or login credentials of other Users of the Website or the Services and that you will not change, alter or modify the Website or the Services or change, alter or modify another website so as to falsely imply that it is associated with the Website or the Services or AFS.
You agree that you will not use any part of the Website or Services to:
a. upload, post, share, email, print, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any User Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically, sexually or otherwise objectionable;
b. harm third parties in any way;
c. impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
d. forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any User Content transmitted through the Website or Services;
e. upload, post, print, email, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any User Content that you do not have a right to make available via the Website under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships;
f. upload, post, email, print, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any User Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights (“Rights”) of any party;
g. upload, post, email, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation;
h. upload, post, email, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
i. disrupt the normal flow of dialogue, or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other Users’ ability to engage in real time exchanges;
j. interfere with or disrupt the Website or Services or servers or networks connected to the Website or Services, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Website or Services;
k. intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, national or international law;
l. provide material support or resources (or to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources) to any organization(s) designated by the United States government as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
m. “stalk” or otherwise harass another;
o. offer the Services to any third party. You may not use or exploit any portion of the Website or Services to provide any commercial services to third parties other than through AFS.
You acknowledge, consent and agree that AFS may access, preserve, and disclose your User Content if required to do so by law or in a good faith belief that such access, preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce these Terms; (c) respond to claims that any User Content violates the rights of third-parties or other claims of abuse; (d) respond to your requests for customer service; or (e) protect the rights, property, or personal safety of AFS, their users and the public. You understand that the technical processing and transmission of the Website and Services, including your User Content, may involve (a) transmissions over various networks; and (b) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices.
Although AFS cannot monitor the conduct of its Users, it is also a violation of these Terms to use any information obtained from the Website or Services in order to harass, abuse, or harm another person.
If you become aware of any abuse or misuse of the Website or Services by any person, please contact us at [email protected].
9. Content Removal
Every day many individuals and organizations may post User Content and information via the Website. AFS reserves the right to edit, delete or remove any User Content for any reason, including violations of these Terms, or any applicable laws (including laws protecting the safety of others, intellectual property laws, and employment laws). Users who feel that their content has been removed in error may contact us here: [email protected]. You may request that we delete any information or content that you have provided via the Website. However, we have no control over information previously shared with other Users or third parties.
10. Copyright Infringement Policy
AFS takes claims of copyright infringement seriously. We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law (including, in the United States, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), and we maintain a policy of terminating the access of repeat offenders. If you believe any materials accessible on or from the Website infringe your copyright, you may request removal of those materials (or access thereto) from the Website by submitting written notification to our staff.
The written notice must include substantially the following:
• your physical or electronic signature;
• identification of the copyrighted work you believe to have been infringed or, if the claim involves multiple works on the Website, a representative list of such works;
• identification of the material you believe to be infringing in a sufficiently precise manner to allow us to locate that material;
• adequate information by which we can contact you (including your name, postal address, telephone number and, if available, e-mail address);
• a statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law;
• a statement that the information in the written notice is accurate; and
• a statement, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
You can reach us as follows:
AFS Intercultural Programs
Attn: Legal Department
71 West 23r Street, floor 6
NYC, NY, 10010
Email: [email protected]
11. Ownership of Content and Intellectual Property Rights
AFS owns the Website and all Services and content therein (other than your User Content)
(“Website Content”) and all worldwide intellectual property rights relating to the foregoing. Except as expressly authorized by AFS, you may not copy, distribute, sell, lease, perform, display, sublicense, modify or prepare derivative works of the Website or Website Content, in whole or in part. AFS reserves all rights not expressly granted to you under these Terms. Any use of the Website not expressly permitted by these Terms will be deemed a breach of these Terms and may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws.
AFS and associated brands and designs are the trademarks of AFS. You must not use any such trademarks unless you have a valid, written agreement or consent from AFS to do so. All third-party trademarks on the Website are the property of their respective owners.
13. Third-party information, links and websites
The nature of the Website is one that contemplates that Users and third-parties (including other Users) will provide certain information that is stored or displayed on the Website. Your viewing and use of such third-party information and your interaction, correspondence or transactions with third parties while using the Website, offline or otherwise (collectively, “Third Party Interactions”), are solely between you and such third parties. You agree that AFS shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred in connection with your Third Party Interactions or the presence of or ability to communicate or transact with such third parties via the Website or otherwise. AFS reserves the right (but is not obligated) to monitor, or take any action we deem appropriate regarding, disputes between you and third parties using the Website. To the extent permitted under applicable laws, you hereby release AFS from any and all claims or liability related to: (a) any User Content posted on the Website by you or third parties; (b) the conduct, whether online, offline or otherwise, of any third party or other User or (c) any of your Third Party Interactions. You hereby waive California Civil Code Section 1542 (and any similar provision in any other jurisdiction) which states: “A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH, IF KNOWN BY HIM MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.”
You agree that AFS may in its sole discretion, without prior notice, immediately terminate your access to the Website and the Services for any reason or no reason. Potential causes for such termination include, but are not limited to, (a) breaches or violations of these Terms, (b) requests by law enforcement or other government agencies, (c) discontinuance or material modification to the Website or Services (or any part thereof), and (d) unexpected technical or security issues or problems. Termination of your access includes (i) removal of access to all offerings of the Services, (ii) deletion of your information, and (iii) barring further use of the Website and Services. Further, you agree that all terminations are made in AFS’s sole discretion, and that AFS shall not be liable to you or any third-party for any termination of your access.
15. Disclaimer Of Warranties
YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT:
a. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. AFS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.
b. AFS MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT (i) THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, (ii) THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, (iii) THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE, and (iv) THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, OR OTHER MATERIAL OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
c. USING ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED, VIEWED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL.
d. NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM AFS OR THROUGH OR FROM THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THESE TERMS.
16. Limitation Of Liability
(A) YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT AFS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF AFS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE WEBSITE AND/OR THE SERVICES; (ii) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; (iii) STATEMENTS OR CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES; OR (iv) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES.
(B) YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT AFS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE THAT MAY BE INCURRED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH:
• ANY RELIANCE PLACED BY YOU ON THE COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY OR EXISTENCE OF ANY INFORMATION POSTED ON THE WEBSITE;
• ANY CHANGES THAT AFS MAY MAKE TO THE WEBSITE, OR ANY PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY CESSATION IN THE PROVISION OF THE WEBSITE (OR ANY FEATURES WITHIN THE WEBSITE);
• THE DELETION OF, CORRUPTION OF, OR FAILURE TO STORE, ANY CONTENT AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS DATA MAINTAINED OR TRANSMITTED BY OR THROUGH YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE;
• YOUR FAILURE TO PROVIDE AFS WITH ACCURATE INFORMATION; YOUR FAILURE TO KEEP ANY SIGN-ON DETAILS SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL;
• ANY RELATIONSHIP OR TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND ANY THIRD PARTY.
• ANY THIRD PARTY INTERACTION;
• YOUR ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WITH RESPECT TO ANY PROGRAM;
• YOUR SERVICES OR PARTICIPATION WITH RESPECT TO ANY PROGRAM; OR
• ANY THIRD PARTY’S ACTIONS, OMISSIONS OR CONDUCT RELATED TO ANY PROGRAM.
THE LIMITATIONS ON AFS’S LIABILITY TO YOU IN THE ABOVE PARAGRAPHS SHALL APPLY WHETHER OR NOT AFS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH LOSSES ARISING. AFS’S TOTAL CUMULATIVE LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE WEBSITE, WEBSITE CONTENT, ANY SERVICES, AND THESE TERMS WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO FIFTY U.S. DOLLARS ($50 USD). THE EXISTENCE OF MORE THAN ONE CLAIM WILL NOT ENLARGE THIS LIMIT.
Users who publish personal information of others or information regarding their organization via the Website must understand the risks they are exposing themselves to by sharing information and making it available via the Website. AFS is not responsible for damages caused by third-party information or data submitted or published by Users or the inappropriate use of such information by third parties or other Users. If you have a dispute with another individual or organization, you understand that AFS is not required to assist you in the dispute. You hereby agree to release AFS from any and all claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed, arising out of or in any way connected with any such disputes or the use of the Website and the Services. You assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the Website and Services. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all information you access or obtain through the Website and the Services.
17. Exclusions And Limitations
SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. ACCORDINGLY, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. THE EXCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT WILL APPLY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY APPLICABLE LAW.
18. No Third Party Beneficiaries
YOU AGREE THAT THERE SHALL BE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES TO THIS AGREEMENT.
20. Electronic Communications
For contractual purposes, you (a) consent to receive communications from AFS in an electronic form (whether we post notices on the Website or communicate with you via email); and (b) agree that all terms and conditions, agreements, notices, disclosures, and other communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications would satisfy if it were be in a hardcopy writing. The foregoing does not affect your non-waivable rights. Any notices to you from us may be made by either email or regular mail.
21. General Provisions
Accounting, Financial, and Business Complaints and Concerns
Adopted on 12 January 2006, and amended 9 June 2012 and 15 June 2014.
It is the policy of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. (“AFS”) to observe high ethical standards in all of its activities. AFS seeks to ensure that all transactions and corporate assets are properly accounted for and that all audits are thorough and complete, particularly in matters of accounting and auditing. It is also important to AFS that it maintains the confidence of employees, customers, vendors and the public in the quality of AFS’s accounting and public reporting. AFS places a high priority on the business of AFS being conducted in compliance with all state, federal and applicable foreign laws concerning its operations, and consistent with the highest ethical standards.
In order to help accomplish these objectives, AFS is establishing procedures for the confidential receipt, retention and treatment of complaints and concerns about accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing, financial and other matters related to the conduct of business, such as business relationships with vendors, customers, government officials, volunteers, and affiliated organizations (collectively “business complaints”). Business complaints include not only those activities that could involve AFS in an improper practice or violation of law, but also those that have even the appearance of impropriety, including, without limitation, the following:
- fraud or deliberate error in the preparation, evaluation, review or audit of any financial statement and all regulatory filings of AFS;
- fraud or deliberate error in the recording and maintaining of financial records of AFS;
- deficiencies in or noncompliance with internal accounting controls;
- misrepresentation or false statement to or by a senior officer or accountant regarding a matter contained in the financial records, financial reports, or audit reports of AFS; or
- deviation from full and fair reporting of AFS’ financial condition.
These procedures apply to business complaints submitted by employees and non-employees of AFS. Business complaints do not include personnel complaints. Personnel complaints are those concerns that are related to employment at AFS, including matters related to occupational safety and health, promotions, age, sex, race or sexual orientation discrimination or harassment. Personnel complaints should be reported to your immediate supervisor and/or the Human Resources Department. Business complaints also do not include participant-related complaints, which are addressed through the AFS Partner offices or handled by the Program Policy & Support and Legal departments of AFS International as appropriate.
Business complaints relating to organizations licensed to use the AFS name, such as AFS Network Organizations, will generally be handled by the General Counsel and senior management of AFS. Where appropriate, the General Counsel and/or senior management will ask the Board of the Network Organization to deal with the complaint according to its own complaints policy and the principles outlined in this policy, and report back on the substance of the complaint, the investigation, and the decisions made and actions taken. In such instances, the President may offer the good services of AFS International as appropriate. In cases materially affecting the AFS name or viability of an AFS Partner, the General Counsel will report the matter to the Chair of the Audit Committee and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board and, if requested by the Committee Chair, will advise the full Audit Committee in line with the procedures established for business complaints concerning AFS.
For the purpose of dealing with business complaints, the Audit Committee shall be composed of members of the Board of Trustees only and is responsible for establishing procedures for:
- the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by AFS regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters; and
- the confidential, anonymous submission by Company employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
This includes any circumstances where it is believed that fraud or other irregularities may be occurring within AFS.
This Statement of Policy will be displayed on the AFS World Café and on afs.org.
Submission of Business Complaints
The procedures detailed below relate to the submission of business complaints. Any persons wishing to report such business complaints can be assured the situation will be handled with the highest level of anonymity and confidentiality. In addition, employees reporting questionable accounting or auditing matters will be protected from retaliation for making such complaints.
- Both employees and non-employees may submit complaints by any of the following methods:
- by an email to [email protected];
- by voice message to a dedicated number to be maintained from time to time. The voicemail is monitored by General Counsel’s office; or
- by letter addressed to
71 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
2. Any person submitting a business complaint is encouraged to provide as much detail as possible regarding the subject matter of the complaint, as the ability to investigate and to rectify any problem will depend largely on the quality and specificity of the information provided in the complaint.
3. The person communicating a business complaint may do so anonymously. If the business complaint is made anonymously, neither AFS nor its Board of Trustees will make any special effort to identify the person making the communication. All business complaints submitted will be treated as confidentially as circumstances permit. If the person communicating the business complaint identifies himself or herself to AFS or its Board of Trustees, AFS will not disclose the person’s identity without his or her permission or unless required by law to do so. Information contained in business complaints may be summarized, abstracted and aggregated for purposes of analysis and investigation.
4. The Audit Committee directs senior officers and other employees authorized to speak with members of the public on behalf of AFS to promptly report to the General Counsel any business complaints made to them, without regard to the officer’s or employee’s belief regarding the validity or materiality of the subject matter of the business complaint.
Retention of Business Complaints
All records of business complaints received by AFS will be preserved for 10 years in the following manner:
- The General Counsel will have custody of the records of business complaints.
- After the 10-year retention period, the records of business complaints may be disposed of in accordance with Company
- Any information developed in the course of responding to a business complaint or investigations regarding such business complaint should be documented and retained as confidential information pursuant to AFS’ document retention policy.
Treatment of Business Complaints
- Monitoring Business Complaints:
a. The General Counsel’s office will monitor all complaints received by AFS. The General Counsel or a person reporting directly or indirectly to the General Counsel will maintain a log of all complaints, tracking their receipt, investigation and resolution and shall prepare a periodic summary of the status of all pending business complaints that will be provided to the Audit Committee.
b. Copies of all complaints will be provided to the Chairman of the Audit Committee, and, if requested, to all members of the Audit Committee.
2. Reporting Business Complaints to the Audit Committee: At each meeting of the Audit Committee, the General Counsel or a designee will report on the nature and status of all business complaints received since the prior Audit Committee meeting.
a. The General Counsel or a designee will be responsible for reviewing all business complaints submitted from any source.
b. The General Counsel or a designee will inform the Chair of the Audit Committee regarding any business complaints received and his/her plan for proceeding in the matter.
c. If the General Counsel has received or been notified of a business complaint concerning AFS International or an AFS Network Organization that the General Counsel or a designee determines may require evaluation by the Audit Committee prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting, the General Counsel or a designee shall contact the Chair of the Audit Committee so that the Chair may decide whether an earlier evaluation is warranted. The General Counsel and/or the Committee Chair will inform the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board and the President and Vice President of the complaint and the decisions, with the exception of any one of the foregoing that may be implicated in the complaint.
d. Notwithstanding the above, the General Counsel or a designee will immediately inform the full Audit Committee if the General Counsel has received or been notified of a business complaint that involves matters that are material to the financial statements, involves accounting or auditing procedures or involves a corporate officer.
3. Investigation of Business Complaints: Normally, business complaints will be investigated by the General Counsel or a designee, once the Chair of the Audit Committee has been notified accordingly. In addition to or instead of the General Counsel, the Audit Committee may delegate one or more of its members or one or more designees to investigate business complaints received by AFS. Delegation decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the nature and the significance of the complaint. The person conducting an investigation of business complaints on behalf of the Audit Committee should be vested with all authority and power of the Committee, including the power to retain advisors and independent counsel to assist in carrying out such investigation or proposing a solution. The person investigating the complaint should report in writing to the General Counsel and/or the Chair of the Audit Committee in a timely manner all findings of fact, conclusions and proposed recommendations for remedial actions, if any.
4. Reporting by the Audit Committee: Under normal circumstances, the Audit Committee or the General Counsel on its behalf will report on complaints and their disposition to the full Board in summary fashion for reasons of confidentiality, unless the matter requires action by the full Board.
5. Implementation of Policy: The Audit Committee is responsible for the implementation of this Statement of Policy and the provisions outlined herein. It may interpret the statement of Policy and make judgments about the application of the procedures. It may request reports from AFS’ executives about the implementation of this Statement of Policy and take any other steps in connection with that implementation, as it deems necessary. The Audit Committee shall review this Statement of Policy annually, and may amend this Statement of Policy in its discretion.