As part of the Company’s commitment to protect personal privacy, the Company adheres to the Safe Harbor Principles administered by the United States Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission with respect to employee personal information collected in the European Economic Area (EEA) and transferred to the United States.
II. Applicability/ Scope
This Policy applies to all current and former employees of Discovery Communications, LLC and any of its US and non-US subsidiaries and divisions (collectively, the “Company”).
“Agent” means any third party that processes, collects, or uses Personal Information pursuant to the instructions of, and solely for the benefit of, the Company, or to which the Company discloses Personal Information for use on its behalf.
“Personal Information” means information that identifies or reasonably may identify a natural person in the Company’s Personnel Records. Personal Information does not include anonymized information, aggregate information, or public information, to the extent an individual’s identity cannot reasonably be derived from such information, or information as to which an individual has given explicit consent for use as contemplated by the Safe Harbor Principles.
“Personnel Records” are documents, electronic or otherwise, which contain information directly related to the employee’s job duties, performance, salary, and general employment information.
“Sensitive personal information” means personal information that reveals a natural person’s race, ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, or that concerns a natural person’s sex life or health.
This Policy reflects the Company’s privacy principles, including those based on the Safe Harbor principles.
Beginning on the issue date of this policy, when individuals are first asked to provide their Personal Information or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, the Company will notify employees about the purposes for which it collects their Personal Information and the types of third parties to which it may disclose their Personal Information. The Company will also provide notice before the Company uses or discloses the information for a purpose other than for which it was collected unless such notice is prohibited by law.
The Company collects, processes, and stores employee Personal Information for the following purposes:
- Internal communications purposes: Personal Information is used so that the Company and employees will have the ability to contact one another via work telephone/fax, your work e mail address, or your work mailing address.
- Human Resources purposes: Personal Information may be used to enable the Company to conduct training, to implement career and succession planning, to administer employment contracts and/or for determining, evaluating, and implementing employment related actions and obligations, and to provide employment benefits and related information.
- Security: Personal Information may be used to enable the Company to maintain building and employee security, health and safety.
- Finance purposes: Personal Information may be transferred in connection with the administration of compensation, bonus, and benefit plans, generally.
- Legal, Compliance, and Audit purposes: Personal Information may be transferred in connection with: the facilitation of counsel’s efforts to assist employees to comply with laws, policies, practices, and procedures relating to their employment and to enable the performance of internal audits.
The types of third parties in the United States to whom the Company and its subsidiaries may disclose Personal Information are Agents and to others when required to do so under law or by legal process.
With respect to Personal Information collected in the EEA and transferred to the U.S., the Company will offer individuals the choice to opt out of having their Personal Information disclosed to a third party that is not an Agent or used for a purpose other than for which it was collected originally or as described in this policy.
With respect to Personal Information collected in the EEA and transferred to the U.S., except as permitted by the Safe Harbor Principles, the Company will offer individuals the choice to opt in to having their Sensitive Personal Information disclosed to a third party that is not an Agent or used for a purpose other than for which it was collected originally.
The Company will obtain reasonable assurances from its Agents that they will have reasonable safeguards to protect Personal Information. With respect to Personal Information collected in the EEA and transferred to the U.S., the Company will obtain reasonable assurances from its Agents that they will safeguard Personal Information consistent with the Safe Harbor Principles. Examples of appropriate assurances may include: a contract obliging the agent to afford a level of protection to the Personal Information that is at least equivalent to the Safe Harbor Principles; Safe Harbor certification by the Agent; or the Agent being subject to EU Directive 95/46/EC or other law providing an adequate level of privacy protection.
The Company will take reasonable measures to protect Personal Information from loss, misuse, and unauthorized disclosure, access, alteration, and destruction. The Company safeguards information according to reasonable security standards and periodically assesses new technology for methods of protecting information. However, the Company cannot guarantee the security of Personal Information.
It is the policy of the Company that Personnel Records, including Personal Information about current and former Company Employees must only be divulged within the Company and only to those with a need-to-know. All inquiries for employee information, other than subpoenas, should be referred to Human Resources in order to avoid unauthorized disclosure of Personal Information. Responses to subpoenas are handled by the Office of the General Counsel.
Personnel Records, including those established in connection with the selection process, are Company property and are afforded confidential treatment at all times. Individually identifiable Personal Information contained in computerized data bases, whether maintained centrally or by departments or other business units, is afforded the same confidential treatment that applies to written records. Information about Company employees must not be released outside the Company without prior written authorization from Human Resources and/or the Legal Department. The Company respects all employees’ right to privacy and will take reasonable steps to ensure that all confidential information is protected, except where disclosure is required by law or judicial process.
Employees should not make statements about, or give references on, current or former Company employees without the prior written approval of Human Resources. A location manager, location administrator or other appropriate manager may respond to routine reference checks by prospective employers by providing only an individual’s dates of employment and last position held.
Access of Records
Upon an individual’s request, the Company will offer individuals reasonable access to their Personal Information and will afford individuals a reasonable opportunity to correct, amend, or delete inaccurate information. If an employee would like to access Personal Information maintained by the Company, the employee should make a written request to his or her local human resources representative. For security purposes, the individual may need to provide the Company with various pieces of Personal Information to process the request. The Company may limit or deny access to Personal Information where providing such access would be unreasonably burdensome or expensive under the circumstances or as otherwise permitted by the Safe Harbor Principles.
The Company will take reasonable measures to ensure that Personal information is relevant for its intended use, reliable for its intended use, accurate, complete, and current.
Enforcement and Dispute Resolution
The Company will conduct periodic assessments to confirm the accuracy of, and verify its adherence to, this Policy. The Company will investigate suspected infractions. Any employee that the Company determines to be in violation of this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment, subject to and in accordance with applicable law.
Any questions, concerns, or complaints concerning the collection and use of Personal Information by the Company should be directed to the individual listed below. The Company will conduct a reasonable investigation of and will attempt to resolve any complaints in accordance with the principles contained in this Policy. For complaints that cannot be resolved between the Company and the complainant, the Company agrees to participate in the dispute resolution procedures of the panel established by the European Data Protection Authorities to resolve disputes pursuant to the Safe Harbor Principles.
The Company’s adherence to the Safe Harbor Principles may be limited by any applicable legal, regulatory, ethical or public interest consideration, and as expressly permitted or required by any applicable law, rule, or regulation. Examples of such limitations include but are not limited to exceptions to the opt in requirements for Sensitive Personal Information permitted by Commission Decision 2000/520/EC of 26 July 2000, exceptions on access as permitted by Safe Harbor Principles, or under applicable European Economic Area member state law. The Company also may disclose Personal Information reasonably related to the sale or disposition of all or part of our business, subject to and accordance with applicable law.
This Policy may be amended from time to time with or without notice in accordance with the Safe Harbor Principles. Any modified policy will be posted for all employees to review and will be available on the Discovery Portal and extranet for public view.
VI. Contact Information
If you have any questions, concerns or complaints regarding the above policy, you should contact the Legal Department or the General Counsel.
Any questions regarding this policy, or suggestions for changes should be directed to Fabienne Clermont, Vice President, Legal Affairs, at Fabienne_Clermont@discovery.com.
VII. Document Control
This document was approved, for the relevant areas of responsibility and policies, by the people mentioned below. These approvals were ratified by the Senior Vice President – Legal Affairs. This document is now owned by Fabienne Clermont, Vice President, Legal Affairs who can provide a copy of the latest version.
This document was created using Microsoft Word and a protected copy can be found on One Discovery Portal.
The following people consented that they had read, understood and agreed to comply with sections of this document in their areas of responsibility as of December 2009
- Carrie Storer, Senior Vice President – Legal Affairs
- Fabienne Clermont, Vice President, Legal Affairs
Policy Owners Responsibility
As a living document this will have to be checked and updated at regular intervals to ensure that the Policies are still relevant and to confirm that they are being followed.
The following people own these policies, will review them and submit changes to the Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs on a periodic basis (preferably every six months, but at least once a year). Changes will be recorded in the Summary of Changes table below:
- Carrie Storer, Senior Vice President – Legal Affairs
- Fabienne Clermont, Vice President, Legal Affairs