Part I – Applicable to All Customers


C10.1. Definitions

A.    "Aggregated Data" means any Consumption Data or Customer Account Information, from which all identifying information has been removed so that the individual data or information of a customer cannot be associated with that customer without extraordinary effort.

B.    "Contractor" means an entity or person performing a function or service under contract with or on behalf of the Company, including, but not limited to customer service, demand response, energy efficiency programs, payment assistance, payroll services, bill collection, or other functions related to providing natural gas service.

C.    "Customer" means a purchaser of natural gas that is supplied or distributed by a utility for residential or Non-Residential purposes

D.    "Customer Account Information" means individually identifiable information including customer address, contact information, payment history, account number, and amount billed. Customer Account Information also includes information received by the Company from the Customer for purposes of participating in regulated utility programs, including, but not limited to, bill payment assistance, shutoff protection, renewable energy, demand-side management, load management, or energy efficiency.

E.    "Consumption Data" means customer specific gas usage data, including but not limited to ccf, Mcf, therms, dth, and other information that is collected by the gas meter by the Company and stored in its systems.

F.    "Informed Customer Consent" means, in the case where consent is required: (1) the Customer is provided with a clear statement of the data or information to be collected and allowable uses of that data or information by the party seeking consent; (2) the frequency of data or information release and the duration of time for which the consent is valid; and (3) process by which the Customer may revoke consent. In no case shall silence by the Customer ever be construed to mean express or implied consent to a request by the Company, or its Contractors. Customer consent may be documented in writing, electronically, or through recording of an oral communication.

G.   "Personal Data" means specific pieces of information collected or known by the Company that merit special protection including the standard types of positive identification information used to establish an account. Personal Data includes, but is not limited to, name and address in conjunction with birth date, telephone number, electronic mail address, Social Security Number, financial account numbers, driver’s license number, credit reporting information, bankruptcy or probate information, health information, network, or Internet protocol address.

H.    "Primary Purpose" means the collection, use, or disclosure of information collected by the Company or supplied by the Customer in order to: (1) provide, bill, or collect for, regulated natural gas service; (2) provide for system or operational needs; (3) provide services as required by state or federal law or as specifically authorized by an order of the Commission; (4) plan, implement, or evaluate programs, products or services related to energy assistance, demand response, energy management, energy efficiency, or renewable energy by the Company or under contract with the Company, under contract with the Commission, or as part of a Commission-authorized program conducted by an entity under the supervision of the Commission, or pursuant to state or federal statutes governing energy assistance.

I.     "Secondary Purpose" means any purpose that is not a Primary Purpose.

J.     "Standard Usage Information" means the usage data that is made generally available by the gas utility to all similarly situated Customers on a regular basis, delivered by the gas utility in a standard format.

K.    "Third-party" means a person or entity that has no contractual relationship with the Company to perform services or act on behalf of the Company.

C10.2 Collection and Use of Data and Information

A.    The Company or its Contractors collect Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, and Personal Data as necessary to accomplish Primary Purposes only.

B.    The Company may collect and use Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, and Personal Data for Primary Purposes without Informed Customer Consent.

C.    Informed Customer Consent is necessary before collection, use, or disclosure of Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, and Personal Data for Secondary Purposes.

D.    The Company will not sell Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, and Personal Data except in connection with sales of certain aged receivables to collection firms for purposes of removing this liability from its accounts, unless it receives Informed Customer Consent.

C10.3 Disclosure without Informed Customer Consent

A.    The Company shall disclose Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, or Personal Data when required by law or Commission requests or rules. This includes law enforcement requests supported by warrants or court orders specifically naming the Customers whose information is sought, and judicially enforceable subpoenas. The provision of such information will be reasonably limited to the amount authorized by law or reasonably necessary to fulfill a request compelled by law.

B.    Informed Customer Consent is not required for the disclosure of customer name and address to a provider of appliance repair services in compliance with MCL 460.10a(9)(a).

C.    The Company may disclose Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, or Personal Data in the context of a business transaction such as an asset sale or merger to the extent permitted by law.

D.    Informed Customer Consent is not required for the disclosure of Aggregated Data.

C10.4 Disclosure to Contractors

A.    The Company shall disclose only the necessary Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, or Personal Data to Contractors working on behalf of the company for Primary Purposes and any other function relating to providing natural gas services without obtaining Informed Customer Consent.

B.    Contracts between the Company and its Contractors specify that all Contractors are held to the same confidentiality and privacy standards as the Company, its employees, and its operations. These contracts also prohibit Contractors from using any information supplied by the Company for Secondary Purposes.

C.    The Company requires it’s Contractors who maintain Customer Account Information to implement and maintain reasonable data security procedures and practices appropriate to the private nature of the information received. These data security procedures and practices shall be designed to protect the Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, and Personal Data from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. The data security procedures and practices adopted by the Contractor shall meet or exceed the data privacy and security policies and procedures used by the Company to protect Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, and Personal Data.

D.    The Company requires Contractors to return or destroy any Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, or Personal Data that is no longer necessary for the purpose for which is was transferred.

E.    The Company maintains records of the disclosure of customer data to Contractors in accordance with Company record retention policies and Commission rules. These records include all contracts with the Contractor and all executed non-disclosure agreements.

F.    A Customer may request that his or her Customer Account Information or Consumption Data be released to a Third-party of the Customer’s choice. Once the Company verifies the Customer’s request, the Company is not responsible for loss, theft, alteration, or misuse of the data by Third-parties or Customers after the information has been transferred to the Customer or the Customer’s designated Third-party.

C10.5. Customer Access to Data

A.    The Customer has a right to know what Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, or Personal Data the Company maintains about the Customer. The Company shall not provide information to a Customer that the Company considers proprietary or used for internal Company business. The Company will make a reasonable effort to respond to requests for this information within 30 business days of being contacted by the Customer.

B.    Customers have the right to share their own Customer Account Information, Consumption Data, or Personal Data with Third-parties of their choice to obtain services or products provided by those Third-parties. These services or products may include, but are not limited to, in-home displays, energy audits, or demand response programs. The Company is not responsible for unauthorized disclosure or use of this information by a Third-party.

C.    Customers have the opportunity to request corrections or amendments to Customer Account Information or Personal Data that the Company collects, stores, uses or distributes.

D.    Fulfilling certain requests for data in accordance with the provisions of this tariff is consistent with the provision of normal utility service to our Customers. When the data requested is Standard Usage Information, the request will be fulfilled without charge. Some requests for information extend beyond Standard Usage Information. Fulfilling these requests requires special data processing that is not a part of normal utility service and results in expenses that would not otherwise be incurred. Such requests are fulfilled at the discretion of the Company within the parameters of this Customer Data Privacy Tariff. The costs of fulfilling any special requests shall be borne solely by the Customer, and be based on the specifics of the data request and the associated costs of developing, processing, and transmitting the requested data.

C10.6. Customer Notice of Privacy Policies

A.    Notice of the Company’s privacy policies is prominently posted on the Company’s website. The notice includes a customer service phone number and Internet address where Customers may direct additional questions or obtain additional information regarding how to obtain customer data or more information about the Company’s privacy policies and procedures.

B.    The Company shall provide a written copy of these privacy policies upon Customer request.

C10.7. Limitation of Liability

The Company and each of its directors, officers, affiliates, and employees that disclose Customer Information, Consumption Data, Personal Data or Aggregated Data to Customers, Contractors, or Third-parties as provided in this tariff, shall not be liable or responsible for any claims for loss or damages resulting from such disclosure.