Cognition Financial
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PRIVACY POLICY

COGNITION FINANCIAL CORPORATION PRIVACY POLICY

1. General

Cognition Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries, (together, "Cognition Financial", "our", "we, or "us") understands that confidentiality of information is important to you. We have created this privacy policy (this "Privacy Policy") to demonstrate our commitment to keeping your information confidential. This Privacy Policy describes our information collection and sharing practices and is effective as of July 1, 2020.

2. Collecting Information

This section describes the categories of information we collect and how we use that information. We collect the following categories of information (collectively, "Information"):

a. Loan Application Information

Our website may be used to initiate and complete loan applications. We will collect information provided by you that is required by lender partners to process each application (collectively, "Loan Application Information"). We will use Loan Application Information to evaluate, process, and underwrite the application on behalf of our lender partners. We will also retain and use Loan Application Information, including to establish and administer loan accounts, for fraud protection, and to satisfy certain regulatory requirements.

Except where prohibited by law, we may use the email, physical address, and phone number provided in the Loan Application Information to deliver marketing communications to you via email or direct mail or to contact you for information about your experience with our website, products, and services. When we send marketing communications via email, we provide unsubscribe options within our emails so that you can opt-out of receiving future marketing communications via email. Even if you opt-out of receiving marketing communications by email, we may still use the email address to send transactional information related to an application or a loan. You may opt-out of receiving marketing or user-experience related phone calls by contacting us at the address provided in Section 11 of this Privacy Policy.

We may use or provide to third parties certain Loan Application Information for analysis purposes. For example, we may use such Loan Application Information to analyze the effectiveness of loan solicitations or underwriting. Loan Application Information used or shared in this manner will not contain your personally identifiable information.

We may provide to third parties certain Loan Application Information for product or service offerings. For example, we may use such Loan Application Information to identify pertinent financial products and share the Information with existing and future lender partners with whom we have contractual arrangements to offer such products. In all cases, our collection, use and disclosure of Loan Application Information will be in accordance with this Privacy Policy, and the requirements of applicable law.

b. Cookie and Tracking Information

We use internet address information ("Cookie Information") to help diagnose problems with our servers, to track user traffic patterns, and to administer our website. We make use of a standard feature of browser software called a "cookie" to assign you a unique, random number. A "cookie" is a small file that identifies your computer as a unique user when you visit a website. When you visit the site again, the cookie allows that site to recognize your browser. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies. You can set or amend your browser controls to accept or refuse cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. If you choose to reject cookies, you may still use our website though your access to some functionality and areas of our website may be restricted.

Our website uses cookies to recognize you as a user of our website, to direct you to our home page or to other pages on our website, and to help keep track of what you do on the website. A cookie cannot read data off of your computer's hard-drive. We track user activity on our website, such as automatically collecting the date and time of your access to our services. However, we do not respond to web browser "do not track" signals or similar mechanisms, so when you use our website, third parties may collect personally identifiable information about your online activities.

Adobe Flash Player (and similar applications) use technology to remember settings, preferences and usage similar to browser cookies but these are managed through a different interface than the one provided by your web browser. This technology creates locally stored objects (LSOs). Depending on the settings of your computer or mobile device ("Device"), we may also collect Device make, model, screen resolution, plug-in information, language preference, browser type and language; country and timezone in which the Device is located; and metadata stored on the Device. This information is collected through cookies and/or LSOs.

We may use a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs) for some website and email interactions. This technology is used to inform us of what content is effective so we can better manage and target our marketing content. 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 or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs or pixels in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to User Supplied Information (see Section 2.d. below) profiles.

c. Survey Information

After receiving a submitted loan application, we may ask you to complete a survey. You are not required to complete the survey. We use the information provided in survey responses to improve our products and services.

d. User Supplied Information

You may be asked to supply contact information in order to receive information or materials that you request, to request being added to an e-mail list, or to participate in a contest or sweepstakes. We will collect information from you including name, email address and education information (collectively, "User Supplied Information").

Except where prohibited by law, we may use the email address provided to deliver marketing communications to you or to communicate information, tools, products and service offerings, including loan products funded by our lender partners. When we send marketing communications via email, we provide unsubscribe options within our emails so that you can opt-out of receiving future marketing communications via email.

We may provide to third parties certain User Supplied Information for product or service offerings or marketing purposes. For example, we may use such User Supplied Information to identify pertinent financial products and share the information with lenders, schools or service providers offering such products. In all cases, our collection, use and disclosure of User Supplied Information will be in accordance with this Privacy Policy, and the requirements of applicable law.

3. Sharing Information

This section describes how we share the Information we collect. The following are the ways we disclose or share Information:

a. Access to Information by Employees. Cognition Financial and employees of Cognition Financial have access to Information. Cognition Financial policy requires each employee to agree to keep all Information confidential.

b. Sharing Loan Application Information with Lender Partners. We will share Loan Application Information with our lender partners with whom we have contractual arrangements. If a lender directs us to do so, we may also share Loan Application Information and related Information with other service providers who support the lender's loan programs, such as loan servicing companies, collection agencies and credit bureau agencies. Lenders maintain independent privacy programs and are contractually required to safeguard all Information. You should also review your lender's privacy policy or notice for more information about that lender's specific information sharing practices.

c. Access to Information by Service Providers. We may share Information with service providers with whom we have contracted to perform services on our behalf or behalf our lender partners, such as companies that help process and service loans, and, where permitted by law, companies that market products and services. We may use third-party service providers to store Information and facilitate communication with you. All contracted third-party service providers are contractually required to safeguard all Information.

d. Sharing Aggregated Information. We may share aggregated Information that is not identified with any particular individual with our business partners and our affiliates.

e. Sharing Loan Application Information With Cosigners. If two applicants apply for a loan together as student borrower and cosigner, each applicant will have access to the other's Loan Application Information.

f. Sharing Information with Schools. We may share Loan Application Information and related Information with your school for the purposes of processing a loan application and administering the loan account.

g. Sharing User Supplied Information with Non-Affiliates. . We may share User Supplied Information with non-affiliated entities including lenders, schools or service providers that offer financial products.

h. Sharing Information with Other Parties. We will not share any Information about you with any third party, other than as provided in this Privacy Policy unless Cognition Financial is required (or has the good faith belief that it is required) to share Information in order to (i) comply with applicable law, (ii) in response to valid requests by public authorities, including for national security, law enforcement, or regulatory requirements, (iii) respond to any legal process served on Cognition Financial or any applicable lender, or (iv) to protect the rights or property of Cognition Financial or any lender.

4. Collection of Information About Children

Cognition Financial neither intends to collect, nor knowingly collects, any information from or about children. It is possible that a minor child impersonating a parent or other adult may provide the child's name, address, phone number, fax number, email address and/or social security number in an attempt to submit a loan application. Cognition Financial cannot always determine if a visitor to our websites or the sender of an e-mail is a minor child.

5. Accessing and Updating Information

We do not currently provide the ability to update information online. You may contact us by mail, as provided in Section 11 of this Privacy Policy to update Loan Application Information.

6. Links to Other Websites

This website contains links to other websites. By clicking on such links, you will leave this website and enter the other websites. The privacy practices of such linked websites are not covered by this Privacy Policy, and Cognition Financial is not responsible for the privacy practices, data collection, security or content of other websites. You should be careful to review any privacy policies posted on linked websites before using them.

7. Security

All Information gathered on this website is encrypted during transmission stored within secure databases and protected by firewalls and other security features. As effective as current encryption technology is, however, no security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our databases, nor can we guarantee that Information which you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted to us over the Internet.

8. For California Residents under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

California residents have the right to request a copy of the categories or specific pieces of Information a business has collected about them, to request deletion of certain Information or to opt-out of the sale of their information. Prior to processing your request and to protect your Information, we will perform reasonable processes to verify your identity which will require you to provide certain information for us to confirm against independent sources.

To submit a request to access your Information we hold about you or to submit a deletion request for certain Information please visit our Data Privacy page. To opt-out of the sale of your Information please visit our For CA Residents: Do Not Sell My Personal Information page.

In addition to your privacy rights to request or delete your Information, the CCPA also provides you with the right:

  • not to receive discriminatory treatment by any business for exercising your privacy rights under CCPA; and
  • To authorize an agent to exercise your privacy rights on your behalf.

9. For European Union (EU) Residents under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Cognition Financial complies with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks (together the "Privacy Shield Principles"), as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of Information transferred from European Union member countries and Switzerland to the United States. We have certified to the Department of Commerce that we adhere to the Privacy Shield Principles. If there is any conflict between the other terms of this Privacy Policy and the Privacy Shield Principles, the Privacy Shield Principles will govern.

To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, and to view our certification, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov. We periodically review and verify our compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles and are committed to remedy any issues arising out of failure to comply with the Privacy Shield Principles. We acknowledge that our failure to provide an annual self-certification to the U.S. Department of Commerce will remove us from the Department's list of Privacy Shield participants.

a. Accountability for Onward Transfer. We may share Information collected through our products and services as described in Section 3 of this Privacy Policy. We take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure that third parties process Information covered by the Privacy Shield in a manner consistent with our obligations under the Privacy Shield Principles. If we transfer Information to a third party, we require a written contract with any third party receiving Information and ensure that the third party protects and processes Information in a manner consistent with our obligations under the Privacy Shield. If it is determined that the third party cannot meet its obligations, it is required to take reasonable and appropriate steps to remediate or cease processing Information.

Cognition Financial remains liable under the Privacy Shield Principles if a third-party performing services on our behalf processes Information that we transfer to them that is covered by this Privacy Policy in a manner inconsistent therewith unless we can prove we were not a party to the events giving rise to any damages.

b. Access. EU Residents whose Information is covered by GDPR have the right to request that we correct, amend, limit use of or delete the Information if it is inaccurate or processed in violation of the Privacy Shield Principles. Notwithstanding the foregoing, these access rights may not apply in some cases, including where we must comply with legal requirements or if the burden or expense is disproportionate to the risks to your privacy or if the rights of someone other than the individual requesting access are or could be violated. Please submit requests for access, correction, amendment or deletion to privacy@cogfin.com.

c. Recourse, Enforcement, and Liability. In compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles, we commit to resolve complaints from EU or Swiss residents about our collection or use of your Information transferred to the United States pursuant to the Privacy Shield Principles. EU and Swiss residents with inquiries or complaints regarding our compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles should first contact us at privacy@cogfin.com. The Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction over Cognition Financial's compliance with the Privacy Shield.

We have further committed to refer unresolved Privacy Shield complaints to the BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD, operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, an alternative dispute resolution provider located in the United States. If you do not receive a timely acknowledgment of your complaint from us, or if we have not resolved your complaint, please contact or visit http://www.bbb.org/EU-privacy-shield/for-eu-consumers for more information or to file a complaint. This service is provided at no cost to you.

If a complaint cannot be resolved through the above channels, under certain conditions, you may invoke binding arbitration for some residual claims not resolved by other redress mechanisms. See Privacy Shield Annex 1 at https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=ANNEX-I-introduction.

10. Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may change our policies (including this Privacy Policy) at any time. If we decide to change this Privacy Policy, we will post the changes to this page so that you may be aware of our actions. Any change to this Privacy Policy will become effective when posted here.

11. Contacting Cognition Financial

For additional information about Cognition Financial, this website or this Privacy Policy, please contact us by mail at Cognition Financial Customer Service, 200 Clarendon Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02116.