First Solar, Inc. (“First Solar”) respects individual privacy and values the confidence of our associates, customers, vendors, and business partners. First Solar will pledge to protect the security and privacy of any Personal Information provided to us. Personal Information includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and any information that can be linked to a specific individual. We collect this information from individuals when the information is entered via our website, or users are granted access to our site portal. Not only do we strive to collect, use, and disclose Personal Information in a manner consistent with the laws of the countries in which we do business, but we also have a tradition of upholding the highest ethical standards in our business practices. This Privacy Statement sets forth the privacy principles that First Solar follows with respect to transfers of Personal Information worldwide.
First Solar complies with the U.S. – E.U. Safe Harbor framework and the U.S. – Swiss Safe Harbor framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal data from European Union member countries and Switzerland. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view First Solar’s certification, please visithttp://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
This Privacy Statement applies to all Personal Information received by First Solar in any format including electronic, paper, or verbal.
The following definitions shall apply throughout this Statement:
“Agent” means any third party that uses Personal Information provided to First Solar to perform tasks on behalf of and under the instructions of First Solar, including but not limited to First Solar’s service providers.
“First Solar” means First Solar, Inc., its predecessors, successors, subsidiaries, divisions, and groups in the United States.
“Personal Information” means information or set of information that identifies or could be used by or on behalf of First Solar to identify an individual person. Personal Information does not include information regarding an organization or corporate entity, or information that is encoded, anonymous, aggregated, or publicly available information that has not been combined with non-public Personal Information.
“Sensitive Personal Information” means Personal Information that reveals racial, ethnic origin, political opinions, religious, or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, or information specifying the health or sex life of the individual. In addition, First Solar will treat as sensitive Personal Information, any information received from a third party where that third party treats and identifies the information as sensitive.
The privacy principles in this Statement are based on the Safe Harbor Principles.
When First Solar collects Personal Information directly from individuals, we will inform them about the purposes for which we collect and use their Personal Information, the types of non-Agent third parties, if any, to which we disclose that information, and the choices and means, if any, that we offer individuals for limiting the use and disclosure of their Personal Information. Notice will be provided in clear and conspicuous language via a link to our Privacy Statement on our website when individuals are first asked to provide Personal Information to First Solar, or as soon as practicable thereafter, and in any event before First Solar uses the Personal Information for a purpose other than that for which it was originally collected. If First Solar receives Personal Information from its affiliates or other entities, it will use such information in accordance with the notices such entities provided and the choices made by the individuals to whom such Personal Information relates.
First Solar will offer individuals the opportunity to choose (opt-out) whether their Personal Information is (a) to be disclosed to a non-Agent third party, or (b) to be used for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was originally collected or subsequently authorized by the individual.
In certain instances, inquiries will be referred on to First Solar customers who are in the most appropriate position to respond to the inquiry. These interactions are inherent in First Solar’s business model and individuals will be notified of this possibility prior to supplying their information.
For Sensitive Personal Information, First Solar will give individuals the opportunity to affirmatively and explicitly consent (opt-in) to the disclosure of the information to a non-Agent third party, or to the use of the information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was originally collected or subsequently authorized by the individual. First Solar will provide individuals with reasonable methods to exercise their choices.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE SITE
We may send individuals marketing emails, however out of respect for their privacy, we provide a way to unsubscribe by either following the unsubscribe instructions within the email that was sent, or contacting First Solar as described below.
Data will be used for marketing purposes only if individuals have given us their consent for this purpose. Consent to our use of Personal Information for marketing purposes is voluntary. If individuals have given us consent to do so, then we may provide information on our most current product and solution offerings to them. If individuals should no longer wish to receive this information, then they may revoke their consent at any time with effect for the future. Apart from the data transmissions described above, Personal information will not be sold, shared, traded, or rented to third parties for marketing purposes.
SERVICE‐RELATED ANNOUNCEMENTS, FIRST SOLAR PORTAL
First Solar will send portal users strictly service-related announcements on the rare occasions when it is necessary to do so. For instance, if service is temporarily suspended for maintenance, we may send an email notification. To opt out of these important service-related announcements, which are not promotional in nature, individuals must deactivate their account with First Solar.
First Solar requires its Agents to subscribe to the Safe Harbor principles or to contractually agree to safeguard Personal Information consistently with the principles of the Safe Harbor Statement. If First Solar has knowledge that an Agent is using or disclosing Personal Information in a manner contrary to the Statement, we will take reasonable steps to prevent or stop the use or disclosure.
First Solar maintains reasonable safeguards and precautions to protect Personal Information in our possession from loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the Personal Information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, while we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect the Personal Information we receive, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
The security of Personal Information is important to us. When individuals enter certain information on our log in portal, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).
COOKIES AND LOGGING
At several points, our portal (an application based on web technologies that provides centralized access to personalized content and customized access to regularly needed services) uses so-called “cookies” (including “session” cookies that are automatically deleted upon termination of your session when you close your browser). The cookies help to make our web content more user-friendly, effective, and secure. Cookies are small text files that are delivered to the user’s computer and are stored by the web browser. Cookies do not cause any damage to the user’s computer and they do not contain viruses. We do not link the information we store in cookies to any Personal Information submitted through our site.
A log entry is created each time a user accesses our customer portal and each time they download a file from our website. Our storage of these logs is for our own internal system-related and statistical purposes and serves to document transactions. The following are logged: name of downloaded file, date and time of the download, volume of data transmitted, report on download success, web browser used, and the domain placing the query. In addition, the IP address of the computer/client placing the query is logged.
Personal Information beyond the foregoing will be registered only if individuals provide such details voluntarily, for example in connection with a query or registration.
THIRD PARTY COOKIES AND WEB BEACONS
Our third party tracking service employs a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage content on our site by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The information gathered by clear gifs is not tied to our customers’ personally identifiable information.
If an individual chooses to use our referral service through our recruiting service provider to tell a friend about a job on our website, we will ask for the friend’s name and email address. We will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting him or her to visit the site. We do not store this information.
We post testimonials, comments, and reviews on our website which may contain Personal Information. We do obtain the individual’s consent via email prior to posting the testimonial in order to post their name along with their testimonial.
LINKS TO OTHER SITES
If individuals click on a link to a third-party site, they will leave the First Solar site they are visiting and go to the site selected. First Solar does not control the activities of third parties and therefore is not responsible for use of Personal Information by such third parties and does not guarantee that these third parties will adhere to the same privacy practices as First Solar. We encourage individuals to review the privacy statements of any other service provider from whom they request services. If individuals visit a third-party website that is linked to our site, they should read that site’s Privacy Statement before providing any Personal Information.
We use third-party service providers such as a job search company to post jobs and collect resumes for jobs on our site, as well as an investor service third-party agent that may collect email addresses when individuals subscribe to email alerts. When signing up for these services, we will share Personal Information as necessary for the third-party service provider to provide the requested service.
First Solar will use Personal Information only in ways that are compatible with the purposes for which it was collected or subsequently authorized by the individual. First Solar will take reasonable steps to ensure that the Personal Information we collect is relevant to its intended use, accurate, complete, and current. First Solar necessarily must depend on individuals who use its website to keep their Personal Information accurate.
Upon registration, portal users will be issued a username and password. When accessing the portal for the first time, the user will change the password, one which First Solar/the authorized administrator has forwarded to him or her, to a password that only he or she knows.
Because this password identifies users when they use the portal, we would ask that users keep their password private in order to avoid the possibility that someone might misuse the portal under their name. Users should select a password according to the following criteria: It must be at least 8 characters long, and must contain capital and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. Furthermore, it may not consist of a full user or account name.
ACCESS AND CORRECTION:
Upon request, First Solar will grant individuals reasonable access to Personal Information that it holds about them. First Solar takes reasonable steps to permit individuals to correct, amend, or delete Personal Information that is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete. Please see our contact information below. First Solar responds to all requests within 30 days.
We reserve the right to disclose Personal Information as required by law and when that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our website.
First Solar will periodically conduct compliance audits of its relevant privacy practices to verify adherence to the Safe Harbor Principles described in this Statement. Any employee that First Solar determines is in violation of this Statement will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Any questions or concerns regarding the use or disclosure of Personal Information should be directed to First Solar at the address given below. First Solar will investigate and attempt to resolve complaints and disputes regarding use and disclosure of Personal Information in accordance with the principles contained in this Statement.
First Solar participates in the EU and Swiss Safe Harbor Privacy Framework as set forth by the United States Department of Commerce. As part of our participation in the Safe Harbor program, we have agreed to TRUSTe dispute resolution for disputes relating to our compliance with the Safe Harbor Privacy Framework. If you have any complaints regarding our compliance with the Safe Harbor you should first contact us (as provided above). If contacting us does not resolve your complaint, you may raise your complaint with TRUSTe by Internet here, fax to 415-520-3420, or mail to TRUSTe Safe Harbor Compliance Dept., click for mailing address. If you are faxing or mailing TRUSTe to lodge a complaint, you must include the following information: the name of company, the alleged privacy violation, your contact information, and whether you would like the particulars of your complaint shared with the company. For information about TRUSTe or the operation of TRUSTe’s dispute resolution process, click here or request this information from TRUSTe at any of the addresses listed above.
LIMITATION ON APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES:
Adherence by First Solar to these Safe Harbor Principles may be limited (a) to the extent required to respond to a legal obligation; and (b) to the extent expressly permitted by an applicable law, rule, or regulation.
Questions or comments regarding this Statement should be submitted to First Solar by mail or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DATA PROTECTION OFFICERS
For the First Solar companies, two data protection officers have been appointed. The responsibility of the Data Protection Officer is to monitor compliance with data protection in all areas. If individuals should have any questions or suggestions with respect to data protection law, then they may contact our Data Protection Officers at any time at the following:
First Solar Manufacturing GmbH
Data Protection Officer
15236 Frankfurt (Oder)
OR send an e-mail to Datenschutz@firstsolar.com
First Solar, Inc.
Data Protection Officer
28101 Cedar Park Blvd
Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
OR send an e-mail to InfoSec@firstsolar.com
CHANGES TO SAFE HARBOR PRIVACY STATEMENT
If First Solar decides to change our privacy practices, we will post those changes to this Privacy Statement, the home page, and all other places we deem appropriate so that individuals may be made aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.
We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Statement at any time, so please review it frequently. If we change how we use Personal Information, we will notify individuals either here, by email, or by means of a notice on our home page prior to the changes taking effect.