Georgia Student Finance Authority Privacy Policy


Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA), the company that operates Pathways2GSFA, has adopted the following privacy policy for the information collected at this website. Georgia Student Finance Authority is committed to safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of its customers. This privacy statement will inform you of how we collect, share, and protect our customer's personal information. We may update this privacy policy to reflect changes in the manner in which we deal with personal information, whether to comply with then-applicable regulations and self-regulatory standards or otherwise. The privacy policy posted here will always be current. We encourage you to review this statement regularly.


WHAT THIS PRIVACY POLICY COVERS:



PRIVACY POLICY


With the exception of the areas listed as an Exception to the Privacy Policy, personal identifiable data that you enter on Pathways2GSFA is not made available or distributed to third parties, except with your express consent or at your express direction. In particular, Pathways2GSFA will not give, sell or provide access to your personal information to any company, individual or organization for its use in marketing or commercial solicitation or for any other purpose, except with your express consent, at your direction, as is necessary for the operation of this site, or pursuant to one of the exceptions listed below.


EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRIVACY POLICY


There are limited exceptions to the Pathways2GSFA privacy policy. When required by law to comply with any valid legal process such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, regulation or court order, GSFA will supply such information contained in your Pathways2GSFA account as GSFA reasonably determines, based on the advice of counsel, it is legally required to supply. In addition, GSFA may release specific information relevant to special cases, such as a physical threat to you or others or an attempted breach of security on the Pathways2GSFA site.


PRIVACY POLICY CHANGES


This Privacy Policy replaces prior privacy policies issued by GSFA. The GSFA Privacy Policy may be modified when necessary to conform to federal, state, local, and international laws and regulations, and at other times to conform to technological changes, court decisions, and changes in agency policy. GSFA is required to act in compliance with policies, rules, and statutes that govern the programs cited herein. Notwithstanding any information contained in GSFA's website, such policies, rules, and statutes shall control. It is recommended that customers check the Privacy Policy each time they visit the website.


THE PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION WE COLLECT


Pathways2GSFA collects personal identifying information from you including, but not limited to, your name, date of birth, address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Such information is captured in your account portfolio and is required to provide specific account information regarding the servicing of student loans.


REASONS WE COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION


GSFA collects personal information from you for the primary purpose of servicing student loans. Specific information is provided regarding loan status, account summary, billing updates, and payment history. At the consent of the customer, information may also be distributed using a mail or email address. Contact information is also needed in responding to inquiries or questions regarding student loan accounts. Where functions of a Pathways2GSFA module do not require personal information, none is collected, and any such module can be accessed without opening an account or providing any personal data.
When you log on to Pathways2GSFA, your browser will automatically transmit to the GSFA server the IP address of your computer and type of browser you are using. Although your browser transmits the IP address of your computer, GSFA does not associate this IP address with any personally identifiable information regarding you. GSFA does not collect any personally identifiable information other than what users submit and their browsers transmit.


DATA SECURITY


GSFA has implemented numerous security measures to protect our customers' personal information. Data sent to Pathways2GSFA by our customers is collected using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to ensure only GSFA receives the information sent by the customer. Special software programs monitor traffic on Pathways2GSFA's website to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or cause damage to this website. These programs do not collect personally identifiable information, but they do collect information that enables GSFA to identify someone attempting to tamper with its website. However, we may automatically collect and store certain data from website visitors, for example, the name of the domain and host from which the visitor accessed the Internet, the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of computers, the browser software used to access Pathways2GSFA website, the date and time the visitor accessed Pathways2GSFA websites, and the Internet address of the website from which a visitor links directly to Pathways2GSFA's website. We may also use HTML encoding to record aggregate information about the usage of Pathways2GSFA website and whether emails that we send have been accessed or acted upon.


PROTECTION


To protect customers' personal information from unauthorized access and use we restrict access to nonpublic personal information about customers to those employees who need to know such information to provide products or services.


CHILDREN'S ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION RULE


Consistent with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Pathways2GSFA will not knowingly collect or retain information submitted by children under the age of 13. If Pathways2GSFA learns that we unknowingly collected personally identifiable information from children under 13 years of age, we will immediately take the reasonable measures to delete the information from our computer systems and other data systems that we own.


COOKIES


A cookie is a small file that a website transfers to a user's computer, which may then be stored on its hard drive. Pathways2GSFA uses cookies to remember you and personalize your web-viewing experience by keeping track of your session when logged on to Pathways2GSFA. Cookies enable you to maintain continuity as you move from page to page on Pathways2GSFA and to avoid the nuisance of being asked to provide the same information repeatedly. Cookies also allow us to make sure that only your browser can exchange information regarding your account with our servers. Cookies cannot be used to steal personal information or to gain access to information that you did not directly provide. The cookies we use are set when you log on to Pathways2GSFA and are erased when you log off Pathways2GSFA or completely close your browser.


DON'T WANT COOKIES?


Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. If you don't want cookies, you can set your browser to disable or refuse cookies or to alert you when cookies are being used. You should note, however, that various Pathways2GSFA services might not function properly when cookies are not utilized.


LINKS


Pathways2GSFA hosts links to other sites or resources, and you may link to one of those sites or resources for a variety of purposes. These sites and resources have privacy policies that may differ from that of Pathways2GSFA, and for your protection, we recommend that you read and understand the privacy policy at any website prior to providing personal information on that website. GSFA is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of any websites to which Pathways2GSFA links or for the conduct of persons operating those websites. GSFA, does not have control over and does not endorse such external sites and resources, shall not be liable for any content, advertising, products or other materials on or available from such sites or resources and shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, advertising, products or materials on or available through any such site or resource.


SENDING AN EMAIL TO PATHWAYS2GSFA


GSFA responds to e-mails containing questions, concerns, and comments by using the same e-mail address provided to Pathways2GSFA. GSFA does not sell or forward this e-mail address to any non-affiliated third parties without permission. GSFA uses e-mail addresses only for the purpose of sending GSFA student loan servicing materials at the consent of or in response to the customer.


INTERNET SCAMS AND IDENTIFY THEFT PREVENTION


Customers should be on the alert for individuals seeking to obtain personal information through illegitimate means. One such means is commonly referred to as "phishing". In a common type of phishing scam, individuals receive e-mails that appear to come from their financial institution. The e-mail may look authentic, right down to the use of the institution's logo and marketing slogans. The e-mails often describe a situation that requires immediate attention and then warns that the account will be terminated unless the e-mail recipient verifies their account information immediately by clicking on a provided link. The link takes the e-mail recipient to a screen that asks for account information. While it may appear to be a page sponsored by a legitimate financial institution, the information actually goes to the con artist who sent the e-mail. Customers should never respond to such requests. Pathways2GSFA never asks our customers to verify account information online. Do not be intimidated by e-mails that warn of dire consequences for not following their instructions. Please contact GSFA if any such e-mail purporting to be from Pathways2GSFA is received.