Smart Cities Council Inc. (‘Council’) organizes and connects the largest global network of smart city practitioners.
Data and information is at the heart of what Council does, and we take matters of data privacy seriously. We respect our relationships with customers, clients, visitors, sponsors, exhibitors, suppliers and colleagues, and the trust they place in us to hold their personal information.
Council Data Controllers
International coverage and variation
What we collect
This section tells you what personal information we may collect when you use our products and services, and what other personal information we may receive from other sources.
- Contact details, such as name, email address, postal address and telephone number
- Educational, nationality and professional information
- Usernames and passwords
- Payment information, such as a credit or debit card number or bank account details
- Comments, feedback, posts and other content submitted, including survey information
- Interests and communication preferences including marketing permissions where appropriate
- Location information such as provided through a mobile app
- Identity verifying information such as passport details to comply with legal obligations in certain countries and to provide visa invitation letters where requested
- Website and communication usage information, such as correspondence and details of your use of our website and services obtained through cookies or other tracking technologies.
This personal information relates to the following categories of people:
- Prospects, customer contacts, subscribers and users in respect of our services and products;
- Visitors, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers at our events;
- Professionals featured in digital and print products such as senior executive details made available through intelligence products, research, publications
- Authors, editors, and reviewers in respect of our publications
- Contacts of our service providers and business partners
Sensitive personal information
If collecting or storing sensitive personal information, such as information relating to health, beliefs or political affiliation, we will typically ask for your explicit consent. However, there are some limited situations where this will not occur such as if you have an accident. If this does occur, we will ensure your privacy rights are protected.
Children’s personal information
Our services and products are directed at business professionals. They are not intended for children under the age of sixteen. We do not knowingly collect personal information from users in this age group and reserve the right to delete such information if we become aware of having collected it.
How and why personal information is used
This section explains how and why we use personal information.
In product enquiries, sales and administration
If you have made an enquiry about us or our products or services, either online or over the phone, your personal information will be used to respond to the enquiry or to take other steps at your request, prior to you entering into a contract with us.
If you have purchased or registered for one of our products or services, including on a trial basis, we will use your personal information, including bank or card details, to provide you with the product or service, communicate with you about it, handle payments and recover any debts.
To include professional information in our products and consulting services
If your professional personal information is relevant to our products and is freely available through public sources, such as a website related to your work or profession, listed directories, press releases, industry publications, or if you provide it to us, to the extent permitted by applicable data protection laws, we may use such personal information in the products we provide to customers, for example in subscription products, research, industry analysis and insights.
If you make an enquiry or engage us to provide consulting services or research/analysis, we will collect information such as your name, country, job title, company information or academic affiliation, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number. We will use your personal information to respond to the enquiry or to fulfil consulting services.
For event and exhibition management
If you participate in one of our events as a speaker, sponsor, exhibitor or attendee, your personal information will be used in connection with the running of the event, to handle payments and recover debts.
We will also use your personal information to maintain databases that allow us to assess your qualities as a speaker or sponsor/exhibitor, promote events and encourage further engagement at our events.
In addition, photos and videos are taken at our events, which may feature attendees, speakers, sponsors or exhibitors. Where we have taken photos and videos at our events that feature you as an attendee, sponsor or exhibitor, to the extent permitted by applicable data protection laws, those photos and videos may be used for promotional purposes.
Where events and exhibitions use badge scanning technology your personal information will be used to identify you at certain access points, such as to VIP areas, seminars, entry and exit and other areas of the event. This will provide certain location information. Badges cannot be read remotely.
The personal information obtained from badge scanning will be used for access control, security and analyzing visitor traffic with a view to improving the event experience for visitors and others.
Where we are hosting and managing a virtual exhibition or event Council (and any third party platform provider acting on our behalf) will use your personal information provided during the registration process to host and manage this digital event and for analyzing visitor interactions and traffic with a view to improving the event experience for visitors and provide you with a personalized experience.
When you entering a virtual spaces, zone or room such as an exhibition booth your personal information may be shared with the sponsor and exhibitor to allow them to engage with you subject to the attendee privacy notice you may have been provided during the registration and login process.
For our Publishing Services
If you publish with us, your personal information is used in connection with the dissemination and promotion of your published work, as is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests as a commercial organization. Your name and affiliation will be published as part of authored work. Personal information is also used to handle payments or for other purposes, as is necessary to perform the contract entered into with us.
In addition, we sometimes take photos and videos at events associated with your published work. Where photos and videos are taken at our events that feature you as an author, we may use those photos and videos for promotional purposes.
The Council may use your personal information to send you newsletters, offers or other marketing emails that keep you up to date with our news, events and products that may be of interest. Depending on the nature of your interaction with us and applicable data protection laws, you may have actively given us your consent (i.e. opted in) or we may be entitled to rely on your implied consent or legitimate interests to market to you. The opportunity to opt out of future marketing will always be provided and you have the right to amend your marketing preferences at any time (see Your Rights section).
For customer and prospects management (including analytics and product management)
The personal information held about you, combined with other personal information legitimately obtained and shared with us by third parties or publicly available data, may be used to better understand our customers and their preferences and to improve the products and services delivered. This may include automated profiling and campaign management techniques.
Data may also be used in advertising campaigns on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook in order to provide information about upcoming events or new products and to ensure you only receive relevant advertising about our products and services.
For mobile applications and website analytics
We may combine visitor session information or other information collected through tracking technologies, whether you are logged in or not, with personally identifiable information to understand and analyze your online experiences and determine which events, products and services are likely to be of interest to you.
Where you consent to the use of your location data, certain mobile applications may use location data to assist you to navigate around events and bring exhibitors’ and sponsors’ products to your attention whilst you are using the app.
Our marketing related emails contain a single, campaign-unique “web beacon pixel” to tell us whether emails are opened, and combined with other technology, to verify any clicks through to links within the email. We may use this information for purposes including determining which emails are of more interest to you and to query whether users who do not open our emails wish to continue receiving them. The pixel will be deleted when you delete the email.
Where you subscribe to an online service, the accompanying emails similarly include a pixel. We track interaction with these emails and our online services to validate attendance for accreditation purposes, to help determine which information is of interest to you and to customize the advertisements seen on our sites.
If you do not wish the pixel to be downloaded to your device, you should choose not to click links that we send or to opt out of email marketing or online events. This information may be connected to your personal identity.
While we strive to offer choice when using our website and mobile applications, we do not promise that we will be able to receive or honor web browser Do Not Track signals.
Within Smart Cities Activator or online membership communities, bulletin boards and chat areas
You may choose to participate in Smart Cities Activator, online membership communities on our sites that allow you to create and publish a profile and other personal information. These communities may provide privacy controls that allow choice in how much of your profile and other information to make public or to share with others within the community.
Privacy controls are usually found on the page on which you edit your profile, and each individual is responsible for understanding how those controls work, including default settings, and choosing how the information provided is shared and protected. By participating in these online membership communities, you may be contacted by other participants using the information provided.
When you disclose personal information on any public community boards or chat areas of this website, or any other website used as a result of use of this website, such personal information can be collected and used by anyone who views that board or area. This may result in unsolicited messages from other participants or other parties, which are outside of our control or responsibility.
Where you engage with us in customer enquiry chat areas, we will use any information provided to help recommend products and/or assist with confirming any order you wish to place.
Any personal information provided on the Contact Us page will be used only to provide a response or to service the request or enquiry made. The information provided will not be added to the marketing or customer prospect databases of Council’s operating divisions.
For news alerts
The information collected when you sign up for news alerts is used only to provide that service, and to understand the background and interests of our subscriber list.
In providing the service we gather statistics about how many emails are opened, using industry standard technologies including image downloads. This is to help us monitor and improve the news alerts service and information is collected and analyzed at an aggregate level only.
With your permission, from time to time Council may use your registration details to contact you about the news alerts service. You can unsubscribe from the service at any time using links provided within our emails.
In automated decision-making, including profiling
We may use fully automated algorithm-based technologies to personalize dynamic web content based on your explicit and/or implicit interests. General profiling, such as segmentation, is carried out for the purpose of providing a more relevant experience.
Additionally, in our publishing business it may be used for example is where your answers to an application to receive a sample inspection copy of a textbook determines whether the request is granted, is implemented in certain cases to ensure we deliver a timely and reliable service to customers. Automated decision making is never used in any way that produces a legal or similarly significant effect.
When we use these techniques, we use measures to avoid legally discriminatory biases and inaccuracies. These automated processes may result in different content being shown to you.
For fulfilling legal obligations including anti-fraud measures and screening
We and other organizations may also access and use certain personal information to prevent fraud as may be required by applicable law and regulation and best practice at any given time. If false or inaccurate information is provided and fraud is identified or suspected, details may be passed to fraud prevention agencies and may be recorded by us or by them.
To ensure we comply with international trade sanction laws and regulations, where appropriate customers, vendors and suppliers are screened against US, OFAC, BIS, UN, EU and UK sanctions lists.
How we protect personal information
We recognize the importance of protecting and managing personal information. Any personal information provided will be treated with the utmost care and security. This section sets out some of the security measures in place.
We use a variety of physical and technical measures to keep personal information safe and prevent unauthorized access to, or use or disclosure of it. Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems with control over access to information using both physical and electronic means. Our colleagues receive data protection training and there is a set of detailed security and data protection policies which colleagues are required to follow when handling personal information.
While we take all reasonable steps to ensure that personal information will be kept secure from unauthorized access, we cannot guarantee it will be secure during transmission by you to a website or other services, as we do not control that transmission. We make use of HTTPS (HTTP Secure) whereby the communication protocol is encrypted via Transport Layer Security (TLS) for secure communication over a computer network. The website is loaded via HTTPS, represented by the lock icon in your web browser ensuring the transmission is secured with a certificate issued by an official security certificate authority to the Council Controller operating it.
International transfer of personal information
Due to the international nature of business and the technologies required, personal information may be accessed by our colleagues and third-party service providers from locations all around the world whose data protection laws may not be as extensive as those in regions such as the European Union.
We put in place appropriate protection to make sure your personal information remains adequately protected and is treated in line with this policy and applicable data protection laws. Certain country specific requirements apply to this section as listed below in the country supplements.
A cookie is a small text file containing a unique identifier that is automatically placed on a user’s computer or other device when the user visits a website. For more information, please visit here.
Who personal information is shared with
To provide you with services and products, your information may be shared for specific reasons. This section explains how and why personal data is shared.
Sharing with Service Providers
We may share your personal information with third parties who assist in providing our products and services and administering our business. These include IT and marketing technology host suppliers, web and data hosting providers, mailing houses, ad servers, logistics and general services contractors, debt collection agencies, onsite health and safety partners, event registration partners, sales platform providers, communication tool providers, stand designers/builders/fitters, suppliers of sponsorship/marketing/PR collateral and other event collaboration partners. Personal information will only be shared with third parties if and to the extent it is necessary for them to provide our products and services to you.
We may use web chat services that allow us to connect with you and answer sales and customer services questions quickly and directly. We ensure these service providers protect your data but these chats are intended to provide you with quick answers to basic service questions only and you should not provide any sensitive information such as bank or credit card details in these chats.
These data processors are bound to compliance through contracts in place that protects the personal information you have shared with us.
Sharing with other Organizations
We may share your personal information with trusted partner organizations for their marketing purposes in accordance with local data protection laws and where required, with your permissions.
If you use one of our virtual products, such as a virtual exhibition, directory site or webinar, or choose to allow your badge to be scanned at an event, we may pass the information you provide to third parties. Generally, this will be via a process whereby you, as the user, visit or interact with a third party such as by visiting a stand at an online exhibition, having your badge scanned or clicking an asset branded and provided by a third party. In some instances, for example, a product listing site, you may reach out directly to a supplier or exhibitor, who may contact you in return. In other instances, our virtual products are sponsored and in these cases, the data provided will be given to the sponsor. Generally, we will let you know at the time of collection if a product is sponsored.
To reorganise or make changes to our business
In the event that we are subject to negotiations for the sale of all or a part of our business to a third party, are sold to a third party or undergo a re-organisation, we may need to transfer some or all of your personal information to the relevant third party or its advisors as part of any due diligence process. Any information that is transferred to that re-organised entity or third party and will be used for the same purposes as set out in this policy, or for the purpose of analyzing any proposed sale or re-organisation.
In connection with legal or regulatory obligations
We may process your personal information to comply with our legal and regulatory requirements or to respond to regulators where applicable. This may include disclosing your personal information to third parties, the court service and/or regulators or law enforcement agencies in connection with enquiries, proceedings or investigations by such parties anywhere in the world or where compelled to do so.
In some circumstances, we may be legally required to disclose your personal information because a court, the police, another judicial or law enforcement body or government entity has asked us for it.
How long information is kept
We will only retain personal information for as long as is necessary and as permitted by applicable laws.
We will retain personal information while we are using it, as described in the section above. We may continue to retain it after we have ceased such uses for certain legitimate business purposes. For example, if you have opted out of marketing communications from us, we will retain limited details about you to ensure we can honor your opt-out request. We may also continue to retain your personal information to meet our legal requirements or to defend or exercise our legal rights.
The length of time for which we will retain your personal information will depend on the purposes for which we need to retain it. After we no longer need to retain your personal information, it will be deleted or securely destroyed.
Council operates virtually in countries with data protection laws that provide different rights to individuals in respect of access, deletion, rectification and limiting processing of personal information. In most cases the location of the Council in the United States will determine the rights you are entitled to.
The rights set out below apply regardless of where the Council is located.
Updating your information and marketing preferences
We want to ensure you remain in control of your personal information. We try to ensure the personal information held about you is accurate and up-to-date. We will always provide the opportunity to unsubscribe or opt out of future marketing communications.
Information on how to unsubscribe or opt out will be provided on every marketing email we send you.