Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Science of Spirituality Members' Website

Who We Are

The non-profit organization, Science of Spirituality, Inc. ("SOS"), is the controller of the personal data you submit to us and is responsible for your personal data under applicable data protection law. 

SOS is a nonstock religious corporation registered in Delaware, Corporate No. 871450 and headquartered at 4105 Naperville Road, Lisle Illinois, USA 60532, Ph +1 630 955-1200. SOS is recognized as a tax-exempt religious organization by the United States Internal Revenue Service and is registered as a charitable organization in the State of Illinois.

Scope of this Policy

This privacy policy is for its members and applies to its members-only website and portal sangat.sos.org. 

SOS is committed to protecting your personal data and respecting your privacy. This privacy policy sets out the type of information we collect from our members, what we use it for and the rights that you as a member have in relation to this information.

This privacy policy applies to use of data collected by us from members, particularly those who use our website sangat.sos.org. Because SOS is an international organization, this privacy policy also provides the terms for cross-border data transmission of members’ data within SOS and to its affiliated organizations.  
Please read this Privacy Policy carefully and ensure that you understand it. Your acceptance of our Privacy Policy is deemed to occur upon your first visit to our website. If you do not accept and agree to this Privacy Policy, you should stop using our website.

Who We Collect Information From

Information is collected from members only on the Sangat website and from other interactions members have with SOS, such as signing up to be a volunteer, attending a particular event, making a donation, making a purchase from our bookstore, filling out membership papers or publishing messages on one of our message blogs.

What Information We Collect

We collect personal information by your voluntarily submitting it to us on the website, in emails or in face-to-face interactions with us, such as by your signing up for a special event, volunteering or making a donation in person.   We collect certain other data automatically when you use of our Sangat website.

Voluntarily Submitted Information

The type of information we collect and how we use it depends on the reasons why you are providing it to us.  Information you give us voluntarily that we collect can include:

  • Your name 
  • Your contact details (e.g. postal address, email address, telephone number, mobile number)
  • Your date of birth / age bracket
  • Your user id and password for our sangat.sos.org website
  • The particulars of your initiation and membership
  • Details of any disabilities and dietary and access requirements for attending programs and events
  • Background information about you and your family you voluntarily give to us
  • Skills and education background for members who wish to volunteer their services
  • Messages and questions, you send to us
  • Your name, bank and payment card information for donations to SOS and purchases of SOS books, DVD’s and other items from our bookstore.
  • If you are a member in the US, and you have authorized us to do so, we sometimes request information about you for us and our insurers and run background checks on you depending on the activity you are involved in, such as children's camp, medical team volunteers at programs and events, volunteers that help the home-bound and elderly, and other situations where such information relates to your qualifications for and/or our ability to obtain insurance to cover the volunteer activity in question.

Automatically Collected Data

This is information that does not reveal your specific identity or does not directly relate to any identifiable individual.  It is used by us to facilitate the operation of SOS websites and to help deliver to you a better user experience. Examples of such information include: (1) information about your browser type and version; (2) your operating system; (3) your Internet service provider; (4) your IP address; (5) date and time of access; and (6) information collected through cookies, pixel tags and other technologies.
In the event of abuse, we may block certain IP addresses.

How We Use Your Information and for What Purpose

We use your personal information to provide and administer our various services, programs, events, volunteer work, functions, facilities and operational tasks, such as

  • Sharing news, articles, messages and information about SOS and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.
  • Maintaining membership details and membership activity along with contact details of members, including details about the member and his immediate family under the household section if you care to volunteer it.
  • Registering you for SOS events, such as spiritual retreats, satsangs, talks, holiday programs and children’s events (including a summer camp at Bowling Green).
  • Making donations or purchasing books, DVD’s, newsletters and other times from SOS.
  • Aiding our human resource personnel to find, review the suitability of and assign qualified members as volunteers for work at SOS such as giving talks, watching children, ushering, greeting, helping the disabled, working in the bookstore, accepting donations, preparing food, clean-up and maintenance, being available at programs and activities for first aid, providing IT, AV and media services, clerical and administrative work, providing SOS’s charitable services and helping at SOS spiritual programs.  Information we obtain from member volunteers includes matching skill sets, educational background professional training, experience and interests for particular services.
  • Adding your messages to SOS’s social media portal for members called Be One, where members can share inspirational stories, quotes, anecdotes, pictures and related messages and stories with other members of SOS.
  • If you are a member in the US, and you have authorized us to do so, providing information we request about you for us, our insurers, and our vendors, including sometimes our running background checks on you depending on the activity you are involved in, such as helping at our children's camp, medical team volunteers at programs and events, volunteers that help the home-bound and elderly, and other situations where such information relates to your qualifications for, and our ability to obtain insurance to cover, the volunteer activity in question.
  • Noting information about affected members on support and help tickets for functions like IT, equipment breakdown, accidents, problems and other incidents encountered while doing SOS volunteer work.

Bases by which We Obtain Your Information

The basis that we rely upon for collecting, storing and processing your personal information will depend on the circumstances in which it is collected and used. The primary basis is that the information you give to us is knowingly and freely given, is not resold and is used for keeping up-to-date information on our members, for administrative purposes and for services and programs SOS offers.  This Privacy Policy and our forms requesting information tell you not only what personal information is being requested, but also what that information is being collected for, how we intend to use it and that it is voluntarily given. 
In most cases, the basis for our obtaining information about you will fall into one of the following categories:

  • You have provided consent for us to use your data 
  • The processing is necessary to process a donation or payment from you
  • The processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation we have
  • The processing is necessary for our legitimate spiritual, administrative and operational purposes and services.  For example, we gather information from members to keep track of our members, for processing donations and purchases, for accepting, qualifying and assigning volunteers, and for sending messages and notices of our events, programs, activities, charitable and spiritual services.

How We Obtain Your Information

Voluntarily Provided Information

Information is shared by members voluntarily on the portal sangat.sos.org or while filling the membership form (Initiation form) as well as by completing other various physical member forms for various functions, activities, events and volunteer work of or for SOS.

Other Information

We and our service providers may collect other information in a variety of ways, including:

  • Through Your Browser or Device: Certain information is collected by most browsers or automatically through your device such as computer type (e.g., Windows or Macintosh), screen resolution, operating system name and version, device manufacturer and model, language, Internet browser type and version, and the name and version of the Sites you are using.
  • Through Links: In order to operate our services, we keep track of how you interact with links across our services. This includes links in emails we send you and links on the website.
  • Through Cookies and Other Similar Technologies: A cookie is a small piece of data that is stored on your computer or mobile device. Like many websites, we use cookies and similar technologies to collect additional website usage data and to operate our services. Cookies and other similar technologies may be used to collect data for analysis of what ways are the best ways to reach you and other members to be a part of SOS so you and they can benefit from what SOS has to offer.
  • Through Third Party Tools: SOS uses hosting services, web analytics, outreach automation platforms and other technologies that may collect information about website visitors.

Aggregated Information

We sometimes aggregate personal information.  Aggregated personal information does not personally identify you or any other user of our websites. For example, we may aggregate personal information to calculate the percentage of our users who have a particular geographic region.

Who We Will Share Your Information With

We will not sell your personal information to third parties or share it with other charities,  religious organizations or businesses that will use it to want to sell you something.
We may share your data within the organization and with its affiliated organizations. 
We may sometimes share your information with our trusted service providers who perform services and functions on our behalf to support our interactions with you, including, for example, cloud computing services, email outreach service providers, website administrators, search engines, social media platforms, and institutions and processors that handle financial transactions with you such as member donations and orders for books, DVD's, or CD's. 

Information you share with us voluntarily and our other members on our members only social media platforms, such as Be One (which is like a message board) is visible to the members that visit or use it.

We may also have to disclose your information in order to comply with a legal obligation imposed on us.
We may also share your information with our financial, insurance and legal advisers for the purposes of obtaining advice and the protection of our legal rights. 

Where We Will Store Your Information

Your information may be stored by us or transferred and stored outside SOS’s own computers, for example on website host servers.
Some or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of your country of domicile. You accept and agree to this by using our website and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside of your country of domicile, we will take reasonable steps to treat your data as safely and securely as it would be within your country of domicile.

Data security is important to us and to protect your data we have put in place reasonable procedures to safeguard data collected through our website. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we maintain precautions for the protection for your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file that can be stored and accessed from your device when you visit our website. Cookies allow us to recognize you as a user when you return to our website using the same device and browser. 

We use first party cookies on our website. First party cookies are cookies that are put on your device directly by the website provider and are often used to recognize your device when it revisits a site and to remember your preferences as you browse the site. 

Sometimes we use third party cookies to see how our website is being used, like tags from Google Analytics or Pixel Tags from Facebook which help us track how and by what groups, locations or types of people visit our websites with what types of devices and browsers or through what links so we can use this information to reach others more effectively.

How Do I Refuse or Withdraw My Consent to the use of Cookies?

You can stop our cookies from being downloaded on your computer by not clicking on our “I accept” tab on our website advising you that we use cookies when you first visit our website or by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. Most browsers will tell you how to stop accepting new cookies, how to be notified when you receive a new cookie, and how to disable existing cookies. 

For more information on the development of user-profiles and the use of targeting/advertising cookies, please see www.youronlinechoices.eu if you are located in Europe or www.aboutads.info/choices if in the United States. 

Links

Our website may include links to other sites not owned or managed by us such as Facebook and You-Tube. If you use our links to go other websites, we do not manage and cannot be held responsible for the privacy of information you provide on those websites, their use of cookies and other technologies and what information is collected from you by or on those websites.

How Long We Keep Your Information

We will retain your information for as long as it is required to fulfill the purposes for which we collected it, and for as long as is appropriate for our legitimate purposes, such as keeping track of our membership, maintaining donation receipts, and keeping lists of our volunteers and their qualifications.

Your rights (if you are an EU resident or applicable state law provides for them)

Depending on if you are an EU resident or you live in a state that provides them, you have a number of rights under data protection laws.  These include the right to: 

  • Access a copy of the information we hold about you
  • Rectify errors in information we hold about you
  • Have the information we hold about you erased in certain circumstances
  • Restrict the processing of your information
  • Object to your information being used for reaching other members or the public
  • Transfer the information we hold about you to another entity
  • Withdraw any consent you have provided

If you would like access to your information, please prepare an email describing the information you want to see.  Your email address that you use to contact us should be the one we have on record from you.  Include your first name and last name.  Send it to privacy@sos.org . If you would like to invoke any of your other rights, please contact us as at privacy@sos.org.  

For members, personal information that you gave us that is contained in our website www.sangat.sos.org under your name and password can be edited by you on-line to update or correct any errors in it.  

You can also get in touch with us by logging into the portal sangat.sos.org and raise a ticket mentioning the issue you want addressed, like deletion of your personal data. In such a case we would delete your personal data and send across a confirmation across.

You can also get in touch with us by writing into us at,
SOS, 4105 Naperville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532 Attn: Privacy Officer 

Cross Border Data Transfers

Our member website is maintained in the United States. If you are visiting from regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from those in the United States, please note that you may be transferring your information to SOS in the United States and to SOS affiliates in other countries around the world. You specifically give us your consent to export and use your information within the United States and with SOS affiliates and their service providers in other countries for purposes related to SOS membership, activities and operations. You understand that data stored in the United States may be subject to lawful requests by the courts or law enforcement authorities in the United States. Particularly if you are situated in the European Union, you should know that whenever we transfer your personal data to SOS, SOS affiliates or processors outside of the European Union, we review and use agreements with our processors to see that they have terms by which the processors acknowledge that they use appropriate and suitable safeguards to protect the transfer, use and storage of your personal information. 

Complaints and Questions

If you have a complaint or question about the way we are using your information then initially you should contact us at privacy@sos.org. If you are located in the European Union and have any complaints regarding our privacy practices as data controller, you have the right to make a complaint at any time to your local Supervisory Authority. We would, however, appreciate the opportunity to deal with your concerns before you approach your Supervisory Authority so please contact us in the first instance. 

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data or to exercise any of your other rights. However, we may refuse or be unable to comply with your request if your request is unfounded, repetitive, excessive, unintelligible, we cannot verify its origin as coming from you or we have concerns that it is not a legitimate request. 

Changes to this Policy

We may change our privacy policy from time to time so please check back periodically.  The current version of our privacy policy will govern our use of your information.
This policy was last updated: Jan 2020