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Privacy Policy


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Effective date as of 10-07-2023

Privacy Policy
This is the Privacy Policy of The Couch published at (hereafter referred to as "The Couch," "we," "us" or "our"), which explains how we collect, use, share and otherwise process and protect your personal information when you visit our website located at https://thecouch.hethem.nl.  We process personal data in a manner that is in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (in Dutch: Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming or “AVG”). We may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version on our Website.

Who we are
The Couch is a curated online art platform, where we offer content such as text, audio and video, and newly commissioned digital artworks, with the goal of continuing our programming online and supporting creatives in exploring the possibilities of the digital domain.

The Couch Website is operated by Stichting Het HEM a company located in Zaandam, the Netherlands.

Het HEM is responsible for the processing of your personal data in connection with the Website as described in this Privacy Policy.

Our name and address details:

Stichting Het HEM
Warmperserij 1
1505 RL Zaandam
The Netherlands

Registered in the Netherlands Trade Register under number: KVK 72997664.

To exercise your rights or for any questions regarding the use, collection or processing of your personal information in relation to the Website, please contact us via: info@thecouch.hethem.nl

What kind of information do we collect?
When you visit our Website, you are visiting our website specifically relating to The Couch.  Het HEM also operates several other websites, as well as physical events and performances. Each of these properties and services you may choose to visit has privacy policies that differ from this Privacy Policy due to the nature of those properties and services.  This Privacy Policy does not apply to these other websites, mobile applications or services operated by Het HEM.

The Website is intended for a general audience above 16 years of age. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16.

Through the Website, we only collect the following personal information relating to you:

-Your name, email address and language preference when you chose to subscribe to our newsletter;
-Personal details you choose to give when corresponding with us by phone, email or other communication methods between you and The Couch, including through our "Contact Us" feature;
-Technical information about your device, browser settings, geo-location, preferences or online activity, collected via cookies or similar technologies when you visit our Website. For more information, see our [Cookie Policy];

For which purpose do we use this information?
Your personal data will be processed by us for the following purposes:

To provide our services and products to you
We may use your name and contact details to communicate with you by email, phone, or other communication methods about our products and services, for example to respond to you queries or to provide support. We may use your contact information to inform you about any new or changed features or policies of The Couch or other information about our services or activities that may be useful or relevant to you. We may also contact you about the status of your user account, for example to confirm that your account is activated, to inform you that your account closed (for example in case you have deactivated your account or if you haven’t used it for a long time) or if we have the opinion that you have acted in violation of our user terms.

We may use your information, such us your name, e-mail address and language preferences, to contact you with newsletters, personalized advertisements or other information about our services or products that may be of interest to you, such as information about upcoming events, partnerships or featured artworks.

We do this only if you have explicitly given your consent to us to do so or if you have requested us to send you this information. You may unsubscribe from our e-mails to which you have subscribed at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail. You may always contact us to unsubscribe from receiving messages containing advertisements and offers.

Information collected through our use of cookies
We also gather information by the use of cookies and other similar technologies.  We use strictly necessary cookies and similar technologies to operate this Website, to provide you with a requested service and to detect and prevent fraudulent activities (“essential cookies”). We also use cookies to remember user preferences, such as language preferences or display settings, and provide a personalized browsing experience. We use Google Analytics, Hotjar and Plausible analytics tools to collect information about how the Website is used and to help us measure and analyse traffic and usage trends. We use Google Ads advertising tool to collect information about a user's interests, browsing history, and online behaviour, to serve personalized advertisements [to user’s that are interested in our services]. Find out more about the cookies we use in our Cookie Policy.

Fraud prevention and detection
We may process your personal data in case we believe this is necessary for the purpose of fraud prevention and detection, for example in case we have reason to believe that unauthorized access to your account has taken place or if your account is used or otherwise involved in fraudulent activities. In such case we may also process your personal data where this is necessary for the purpose of resolving security incidents, to protect and secure your data or to communicate with you in such case.

To improve our services
We may analyse your data in aggregated or pseudonymized form to improve our services and for determining our product development goals and marketing strategies.

Lawful grounds
We only process your personal data based on lawful grounds such as your consent (for example when we place performance or marketing cookies, or to be able to send you our newsletters or marketing communications), for the execution of our agreement with you (as mentioned above) or when this is necessary for the protection of our legitimate interests, unless your interests, fundamental rights or freedoms outweigh these interests. In determining whether processing can take place on the basis of our legitimate interests, a prior balancing of interests will be made between the interests of The Couch (or group companies of The Couch) and the interests of the data-subjects involved. Processing which is necessary for the purpose of analysing, maintaining and optimizing our (mobile) websites, apps and related technologies and for the purpose of fraud detection or prevention can for example (when a prior and careful balancing of interests in favour of the business interests) take place on this legal basis. We also conduct market research and compile management information for product and service development, to improve our services and for determining our (general) strategy.

How is your data shared?
We will not share your data with third parties unless with your prior permission or if one of the following situations apply:

-We may disclose your data with our parent company or other group companies in so far as reasonably necessary for the purposes set out above (under “How do we use your information”);
-We may disclose your data to third party service providers that we engage in the performance of our services (“Service Providers”), such as cloud-host providers (Hetzner Server), e-mail providers (Outlook), software providers, platforms that we use to manage our newsletters and marketing communications (Later and MailChimp) and other Service Providers that we use to be able to provide you with high quality services in the best possible way. Insofar as these third parties process personal data in the performance of their services, they do so in the role of processors of The Couch or group companies of The Couch. All our processors are obliged to protect your personal data. We conclude agreements with our processors in which we explicitly include this.

In special cases, we may make personal data available to third parties without your consent. Special cases include legitimate requests to do so from competent authorities, subpoenas or court orders, to demonstrate compliance with laws or regulations applicable to us (such as evidence of your consent for certain processing operations of your data), actions to detect or prevent damage or fraud, actions to ensure the security of our network and services or to defend against legal claims.

Change of control
If we sell or otherwise transfer part or the whole of our company or our assets to another organization (e.g., during a transaction like a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, dissolution, liquidation), your information may be among the items sold or transferred. The buyer or transferee will have to honour the commitments we have made in this Privacy Policy.

Safety and security
We implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect your personal data, in accordance with the GDPR, against destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure or unauthorized access and to make sure that the regulations and requirements relating to data protection are observed and upheld both by ourselves and by our external service providers. We use state-of-the-art technologies to keep the information collected through the Website secure, including database encryption, internal access restrictions, incident monitoring and by regularly updating our systems. If you think that your data is not properly secured or if you have indications that your data is being misused, please send us an email to: info@thecouch.hethem.nl

International transfer
Your personal data may be transferred to and maintained on computers located outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) that may not have data protection rules that require the same level of protection. However, in the case we engage non-European service providers, we carefully consider whether an adequate level of protection can be provided. These service providers are only permitted to use the information insofar as reasonably necessary for the performance of the agreement you have concluded with us. Where necessary, we conclude data transfer agreements with these service providers based on standard contractual clauses established by the European Commission. Under specific circumstances these service providers may be obliged to provide access to your data based on their applicable laws and regulations. For more information about safeguards for international transfers, please contact us using the contact details provided in this Privacy Policy.

Retention period
In accordance with the law, we do not retain your personal data longer than is reasonably necessary for attaining the purposes for which they were collected outlined in this Privacy Policy, or for the duration required by any legal, regulatory, accounting or reporting requirements, whichever is the longer. We will retain your personal data as follows:

We delete inactive customer accounts after 7 years. After that period, we only use your data anonymously, for internal reporting purposes.

If you have your product repaired or replaced by The Couch, we keep your report and contact information for 7 years. After that we will only use your information anonymously for internal reports.

The tax authorities require us to keep our records with your invoice, payment and order information for 7 years. After that we only use anonymous data for internal reports. You must also keep the invoices for your purchases for when your warranty expires, for example.

If you have signed up for the newsletter or given permission to receive personalized messages, we keep that permission for 5 years. Even if at some point you decide that you no longer want to receive the newsletter or personalized messages, we keep the withdrawal of your request. The emails you receive from us, we do not keep for more than 60 days. So you don't have to worry about receiving the same mail from us more than once. After that period, we use your data only anonymously, for internal reporting purposes.

Data required to prevent fraud will be kept as long as necessary for this purpose.

Personal data obtained through the use of cookies may be kept where relevant in accordance with our Cookies Policy.

Data that you have sent us for the purpose of a job application, such as your including resume and motivation will be kept by us for a period of four months from the moment you apply for a job with us. If you have given your permission to keep your data for future job opportunities, your data will be deleted after one year. In case you are hired for employment at The Couch, your data will be part of your personnel file and kept for up to two years after leaving the employment.

Upon expiry of the applicable retention period, we will securely destroy your personal data in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In some circumstances we may anonymize your personal data so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case it is no longer personal data.

If you would like details of the retention periods for a particular aspect of your personal information which is not detailed above, please contact us at info@thecouch.hethem.nl

Your rights
You have the statutory right to know what personal data of yours we have stored and to whom we have disclosed it. You are entitled to request information at no cost about your data at any time and without charge, and to demand its correction, deletion or blocking. You may also revoke your consent to the processing methods at any time with immediate effect for the future.

You can easily access most of your data (including the data provided by you) through your registered account. You can ask us to rectify/correct such data by sending an email to us.

If you have created an account on the Website and you no longer wish to use it, you can send us an email to deactivate your account. In that case we will erase or anonymise your personal information, in which case it is no longer considered personal information, save for the exceptions listed in §8 (retention period).

If you wish, we can send your personal data to you so that you can transfer it to another party, where technically feasible. You can make a request to that effect by sending an email to us.

In addition, you can ask us to restrict the processing of your personal data (for example if you deem the information to be incorrect, the processing is unnecessary or the processing is unlawful) or to terminate the use of your personal information and to erase your data.

We do not use automated decision-making without human intervention, including profiling, in a way that produces legal effects concerning you or that otherwise significantly affects you.

Remember, you can always object to the processing of your personal data.

If you would like further information about how your personal information is processed, or you wish to exercise one of your rights, please send us an email. You may be contacted by our customer support team in order to verify your identity before we fulfil your request. This is to protect your privacy and the privacy of others. Finally, you can always submit a complaint about our data processing practices to the Dutch Data Protection Authority via www.autoriteitpersoonsgegevens.nl

Children's privacy
We do not intend to address to children (under 13 in the US, under 16 for EU residents, or other age as required by local law) ("Children"). We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from Children. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with personal information, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected personal information from a child under the age of 16 (or the applicable age in their territory) without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to this privacy policy
We may modify or update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page. You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

How to contact us
​​​​​​​If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or the Services, or if you wish to send us a request based on your statutory rights as described under §9, please send an email to info@thecouch.hethem.nl

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