WHAT INFORMATION WE COLLECT AND HOW WE COLLECT IT?
We collect information that you voluntarily provide to us when you communicate with NorthWestern, and contractors and service providers of NorthWestern, directly and indirectly, through any form or medium.
Personal Information: The information we collect includes the personal information that you provide to us, when you establish electric or gas service with us or provide to us later, such as: your name; mailing and service address; email address; phone number; employer; utility account numbers; date of birth (DOB); financial account numbers; and personal identification numbers, such as Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number (EIN), Driver’s License Number, and/or a government issued ID number. In the event that you are requesting utility service, we may also supplement the information you provide with additional information obtained from third party sources such as credit check services. We also collect the information you provide to us via forms and surveys.
Online Information: We and our contractors and service providers also collect information you provide through your online activity, access and use of our and their websites and applications using tracking technologies such as cookies, pixel tags, web beacons, and clear GIFs (Graphics Interchange Formats) and browsers. Examples of the information that we collect through these tracking technologies include your Internet Provider (IP) address (a number that is automatically assigned to the device that you are using by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is identified and logged automatically in our server log files whenever you visit our websites); your Media Access Control (MAC) address, device type, screen resolution, operating system version, browser type and version, time spent on our websites, pages you visited, location and your relationship with us, and statistical information about your usage of our websites and applications.
- Note: You may opt out of providing certain types of information by not providing or it by discontinuing your use of the websites and applications. Please note that even if you discontinue use of online account services, we will still store some personal information in our customer billing systems.
- Note: You can opt out of cookies by managing your cookie settings for each device and browser you use. Please note that opting out of cookies may impact your ability to fully use our websites and some online features and services. For example, you may need to select a region each time you log-in and select a function that is region specific. In addition, you may not receive customized communications or content that may be relevant to your interests and needs.
Aggregated/De-Identified Information: We also collect information in an aggregated and de-identified from various sources, including but not limited to accounts, transactions and usage. Such information does not identify individual customers, but may be used for our business purposes – to identify new offerings, communications, research or analyzing market trends, and other purposes consistent with applicable laws.
Third party widgets: We may allow certain widgets (e.g., social share buttons) on our sites and the sites of service providers and contractors that enable users to easily share information on another platform, such as a social media platform. The third parties that own these widgets may have access to information about your browsing on the pages of our sites where these widgets are placed. We recommend that you review the privacy and security policies and other terms and conditions of these third party sites.
HOW DO WE USE INFORMATION WE COLLECT?
NorthWestern may share contact or personal information provided by you for legitimate business purposes such as providing appropriate customer service, conducting business operations, complying with the law, legal process or regulators, protecting the security of critical infrastructure and key resources, and ensuring information security. Such information may be made available to third parties such as service providers and contractors to the Company or its affiliates (for example, service providers providing energy conservation services or payment processing services) and regulators and governmental authorities, to protect the security of critical infrastructure and key resources, ensure information security, or to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or enforceable governmental request. Information may also be shared between the Company’s affiliates, but only if we reasonably believe it complies with legal and regulatory requirements.
Information that you provide and we collect may be used to:
- Provide you with personalized and optimal customer service;
- Respond to your requests and communicate with you;
- If you provide us with your email address or communicate with us via email, we will consider that information or communication to us as your authorization and consent for us to communicate to you by email;
- If you provide us with your phone number, we will consider that your authorization and consent for us to communicate to you at that phone number by call or if a mobile phone number, by call or text;
- If you supply us with your postal address, you may receive periodic mailings from us or our service providers regarding products, services, or events;
- Our websites use electronic forms for customers to request information, products and services. Your contact information, responses, requests, or unique identifiers (such as customer account numbers or vendor numbers) may be used to respond to customer requests;
- Improve our websites by customizing the content and layout of our pages for your use, by analyzing the information we collect about your usage of our websites to enable us to improve the design and functionality, to monitor responses of our communications and content, and to assist us with resolving customer questions regarding our websites;
- IP Address: We collect and use your IP address to personalize your experience with us online and offline, and to maintain the full functionality of our websites, including calculating Site usage, diagnosing server problems, compliance requirements and for security purposes. Collecting IP addresses is standard internet practice and done automatically by many sites.
- Browser and Device: Information collected by most browsers and/or through your device, such as your Media Access Control (MAC) address, device type, screen resolution, operating system version and internet browser type and version, is used to ensure our Sites function properly, for fraud detection and prevention, and security purposes.
- Tracking technologies: We may use tracking technologies such as pixel tags, web beacons, and clear GIFs with some Site pages and HTML-formatted email messages to measure the effectiveness and success of our communications, to compile statistics about usage and response rates, to customize your online experience, for fraud detection and prevention, and for online advertising.
WHO DO WE SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH?
We may share contact or personal information provided by you with third parties such as credit reporting agencies and service providers and contractors to NorthWestern for legitimate business purposes such as conducting business operations, providing customer service and complying with law, legal process or regulators. Information may also be shared between NorthWestern’s affiliates, but only if we reasonably believe it complies with legal and regulatory requirements.
At any time and for any lawful purpose, NorthWestern may monitor, intercept, record, and search any communications or data transiting or stored on our information systems. At NorthWestern’s sole discretion, we may disclose pertinent information to the U.S. Government and its authorized representatives to protect the security of critical infrastructure and key resources, to ensure information security, or to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or enforceable governmental request. NorthWestern may disclose information it determines in good faith to be necessary to investigate, prevent or respond to suspected illegal activities or interference with the operation of our websites or Terms and Conditions.
If you have provided written authorization to NorthWestern to release your information to third parties, we will comply with your authorization and release such information to those parties as directed by you.
Social Media Sites
NorthWestern provides experiences on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn that enable online sharing and collaboration among registered users.
- We recommend that you review their privacy and security policies and other terms and conditions to understand your rights and obligations.
HOW IS THE COMPANY SAFEGUARDING MY INFORMATION?
We have rigorous security measures in place to protect and prevent the loss, misuse and alteration of the information that you provide to NorthWestern that is under our control. These measures may include device safeguards, industry-standard encryption technologies, secured files and facilities. To protect your information, especially personal Information, from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with applicable federal and state laws, as well as governmental and quasi-governmental agencies with regulatory authority over NorthWestern. We aim to protect the confidentiality of the personal information we collect by maintaining physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards, with additional security measures and precautions for highly sensitive personal information such as Social Security Numbers and financial account numbers.
The measures we use to safeguard your information, particularly personal information, include:
- Information technology and physical security measures;
- Limiting access to personal information;
- Prohibiting unlawful disclosure of personal information;
- Training our employees in the proper handling of personal information; and
- Requiring third parties receiving or having access to personal information, such as service providers and contractors, comply with all applicable laws and keep confidential and limit access to and use of your personal information; and
- Reviewing our safeguards on a regular basis.
HOW CAN YOU SAFEGUARD YOUR INFORMATION?
As an important security measure, you should never share your User ID or password with anyone else, and always be sure to log-out and close your browser window when you have finished working to ensure that no one else can access your information. This is especially important if you share a computer with someone else or are using a computer in a library or other public place.
NorthWestern will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or unsolicited email.
It is important to note that email is not considered a secure medium and the transmission, receipt or security of information which you send via email cannot be guaranteed. Our email communications to you are available to anyone with access to your email account.
Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100 percent secure. Although we use the best available technology (i.e., encryption, firewalls, access control software, etc.) to protect your information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us through our online products or services. As such, you provide information at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we employ rigorous security measures to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of information on our systems.
HOW CAN I ACCESS, CHANGE OR CORRECT MY INFORMATION?
- You can access your account information at any time.
- You will need your User ID and password to do so. If you have forgotten your User ID or password, you can request a new one by selecting the “Forgot Your User ID / Password” option(s) on our site. Please note that as a customer, if you choose not to have an online account with us, we will still store some of your personal information in our billing system.
- You can update or correct your account information online or contact us.
For your convenience and to provide additional information, our websites may link to other non-NorthWestern websites for your convenience and information.
In providing these links, NorthWestern does not endorse, monitor or control the content, products, services, activities or viewpoints expressed by these unaffiliated party websites.
NorthWestern does not guarantee and is not responsible for the privacy or security of these sites, including the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of their information. We are not responsible for the content of linked websites, or your use of these unaffiliated party websites.
PROTECTING CHILDREN’S PRIVACY ONLINE
Special Notice to Young Visitors of this NorthWestern Site:
If you are under the age of 13, you may not provide us with your name, email address, phone number or any other personal information.
The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about NorthWestern. The information is not a representation, prospectus or circular in respect of any security of NorthWestern or partners.
Although we make every effort to keep the information available through our web pages current and correct, we do not guarantee its accuracy or usefulness in any way. Your use of information on this site is at your own risk. We cannot be responsible for any damage you may incur through your accessing or use of this site, and we cannot guarantee that information you provide us through forms or e-mail will be kept confidential.
Links from pages on NorthWestern’s website do not constitute an endorsement by NorthWestern, its subsidiaries, operating units or partners, of any entities, advertisers, products or services therein, or of the activities of any entities therein. We are not responsible for and do not control or monitor the content of non-NorthWestern sites or the accuracy of information found therein.
Certain materials on our websites are copyright protected. Use of any website material is prohibited without express written permission from NorthWestern. Any unauthorized use of these materials could be in violation of copyright, trademark, publicity or privacy laws.
Revised March 2021.