Last Updated 21 May 2018

SCOPE

This Privacy Statement applies to all Personal Information (defined below) received or collected by First Solar, Inc. and its affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, and groups (collectively, "First Solar," “our,” “us,” or “we”).

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions shall apply throughout this Privacy Statement:

"Personal Information" means non-public information about an individual person from which that person can be identified, whether directly or indirectly, including by reference to an identifier such as a name, address, telephone number, email addresses, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to their physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.. Personal Information does not include information regarding an organization or corporate entity, or information that is encoded, anonymous or aggregated in a manner which does not enable the individual to be re-identified. Unless the context requires otherwise, Personal Information shall be deemed to include Sensitive Personal Information.

"Sensitive Personal Information" means Personal Information that reveals genetic data or biometric data, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious, or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, or information specifying the health or sex life of the individual.

Website” means Firstsolar.com and all other First Solar websites and online services, including desktop and mobile applications.

PRIVACY PRINCIPLES

NOTICE:

This Privacy Statement, together with our Terms of Use (http://www.firstsolar.com/About-Us/Terms-of-Use), sets forth the basis on which we will process any Personal Information that we collect on you, or that you provide to us.

Please read the following carefully to understand the Personal Information we collect, how that data is used and the ways it can be shared between us and you. If you do not agree to your Personal Information being processed by us in the ways described within this Privacy Statement, please do not use the Website or any of the services which we provide. 

The Data Controller of your Personal Information is First Solar, Inc. Our representative in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) is First Solar Manufacturing GmbH. Contact details for the Data Protection Officers at each of these entities are set forth below.

PERSONAL INFORMATION WE COLLECT:

In general, you can visit the Website without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself. However, we do collect Personal Information in the following ways:

Personal Information you give to us. This is Personal Information about you that you give to us through your interaction with the Website, by applying for a job with us, by filling in the “Contact Us” form on the Website or by corresponding with us by phone, email or otherwise.

Such information may include your name, email address, telephone number, postal address, employer, job title, or other data that will allow us to facilitate your request and answer your questions, etc.

Specifically for job applicants this may also include gender, race, ethnicity, veteran and disability status.

Information we collect about you. With regard to each of your visits to the Website we may automatically collect the following information, which may be Personal Information as it may (particularly when combined) enable you to be identified:

  • technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer or other device to the Internet, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform; and

     

  • information about your visit, including the dates and times you use the Website, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction data (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), methods used to browse away from the page, and any phone number used to call the contact phone number provided on our Website.

     

    Information we receive from other sources. This is information we receive about you from any third party source.  We may combine this data with the other information we have collected about you via the Website. This includes information that social media platforms share with us about individuals who click on our posts and/or “like” a post or add comments.

     

    We do not collect any Sensitive Personal Information about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data) without your express consent.

     

    HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION:

    We will only use your Personal Information when the law allows us to do so. Most commonly, we will use your Personal Information in the following circumstances:

  • where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you, including the Terms of Use; or
  • where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests; or
  • where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

     

    Specifically, we use Personal Information held about you in the following ways:

    Personal Information you give to us. We will use this Personal Information:

    • to set up a customer/vendor account with us;
    • to respond to your enquiries;
    • to post testimonials, comments, and reviews on the Website which may contain Personal Information. We do obtain the individual’s consent prior to posting their testimonial, both to post their testimonial and to post their name along with their testimonial.
    • to send service-related announcements when we deem necessary. For instance, if service is temporarily suspended for maintenance, we may send an email notification.
    • Occasionally we may send marketing emails. If you no longer wish to receive marketing emails, follow the unsubscribe instructions included in those communications. Personal Information will not be rented, sold, shared, or traded with or to third parties for marketing purposes.

    It is important that the Personal Information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your Personal Information changes during your relationship with us.

    Information we collect about you. We will use this information, which may contain or constitute Personal Information:

    • to deliver the Website effectively and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
    • to improve the Website to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer or other device; and
    • as part of our efforts to keep the Website safe and secure.

    Personal Information we receive from other sources.

    • If an individual chooses to use our referral service embedded in our Websites to tell a friend about a job, we will ask for the friend’s name and email address. We will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting him or her to visit the site. We do not send subsequent communications without an affirmative action from the email recipient; and
    • We may combine this Personal Information with Personal Information you give to us and/or that we collect or receive about you. We will use the combined Personal Information for the purposes set forth above (depending on the types of Personal Information we receive).

       

    DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

    You agree that we have the right to share your Personal Information with:

    • any of our global locations and affiliates in accordance with local law. Data protection laws in some of these locations may not have the same level of protection for your Personal Information as those of your home country.However, where we share your Personal Information with our First Solar group companies located outside of the EEA, we will ensure that adequate safeguards are in place; and
    • third-party service providers that may collect Personal Information for a particular contracted purpose (e.g. a job search company to post jobs and collect resumes). When signing up for these services, we only share Personal Information as necessary for the third-party service provider to provide the requested service.These companies are not authorised to keep or use your Personal Information for any other purpose. If First Solar has knowledge that a third party is using or disclosing Personal Information in a manner contrary to this Privacy Statement, we will take reasonable steps to prevent or stop the use or disclosure.

    We will disclose your Personal Information to third parties:

    • if we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we will disclose your Personal Information to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets; or
    • if First Solar or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case Personal Information held by it will be one of the transferred assets; or
    • if we are under a duty to disclose or share your Personal Information in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our Terms of Use and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of us, our users, or others. See the Legal Disclaimer below.

     

    SECURITY:

    First Solar maintains appropriate safeguards and precautions to protect Personal Information in our possession from loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the Personal Information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, while we strive to use commercially reasonable means to protect the Personal Information we receive, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. Moreover, we are not responsible for the security of information you transmit to the Website over networks that we do not control, including the internet and wireless networks.

     

    TECHNOLOGY:

    COOKIES AND LOGGING

    At several points, the Website delivers so-called “cookies” (including "session" cookies that are automatically deleted upon termination of your session when you close your browser). Cookies are small text files that are delivered to the user’s computer and are stored by the web browser that help to make our web content more user-friendly, effective, and secure.  We do not link the information we store in cookies to any Personal Information submitted through our Website.

    What do we use cookies for?

    The cookies we use are categorized into four groups:

    Strictly Necessary cookies - these cookies are used for technical reasons and are necessary to enable the Website to operate efficiently so that you can navigate the Website with ease and use specific features. These include, for example, cookies that help us to debug any errors. If these cookies are blocked or disabled, some of the Website may not operate effectively.

    Performance cookies - these cookies are used to obtain statistics about the number of users of the Website and how such users interact with the Website. These cookies collect Personal Information that is aggregated and therefore cannot be used to ascertain an individual's identity. Such Personal Information allows us to continuously improve the Website to provide users with a better online.

    Functionality cookies - these cookies are used to improve the functionality of the Website and make it easier to use.  They help us to identify you as a repeat user of the Website and help us remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region), improving your user experience.

    We may share Personal Information that we collected through cookies, in aggregated form, with carefully selected third parties for the purposes set forth above, unless you disable or block cookies as set forth below.

    THIRD PARTY COOKIES AND WEB BEACONS

    We use a third-party tracking service that uses cookies to collect non-Personal Information about visitors to our site that it provides us in aggregate.

    Our third party tracking service employs a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons), that help us better manage content on our Website.  Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, and are similar in function to cookies.  In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on our Websites. We do not link information gathered by clear gifs to any Personal Information submitted through our Websites.

    We do not currently respond to web browser “do not track” signals or other mechanisms that provide a method to opt out of the collection of information across the networks of websites and Websites in which we participate.  If we do so in the future, we will describe how we do so in this Cookies Policy.  Please be aware that if you decide to disable or block cookies, parts of the Website may not function correctly or at all.  Should you choose, however, to disable or block our cookies on your computer or other device, you will need to do this through your browser (by clicking on the “Help” menu to learn how to manage your cookie preferences.  You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.youronlinechoices.eu for more information on managing cookies.

    If you choose to use the Website without blocking or disabling cookies you will indicate your consent to our use of these cookies and other technologies and to our use (in accordance with this Privacy Statement) of any information that we collect. Such consent will be made by acknowledgement of a cookies-related pop-up banner or your decision to proceed with entry into the Website.

    LINKS TO OTHER SITES:

    If individuals click on a link to a third-party site, they will leave the Website they are visiting and go to the site selected. First Solar does not control the activities of third parties and therefore is not responsible for use of Personal Information by such third parties and does not guarantee that these third parties will adhere to the same privacy practices as First Solar. We encourage individuals to review the privacy statements of any other service provider from whom they request services. If individuals visit a third-party website that is linked to our site, they should read that site’s Privacy Statement before providing any Personal Information.

    DATA INTEGRITY:

    First Solar takes reasonable steps (including depending on third parties to provide accurate information) to ensure that the Personal Information we collect is used in ways that are compatible for which it was collected or the individual subsequently authorized.  First Solar also takes reasonable steps to ensure the Personal Information we collect is accurate, complete, and current.

    RETENTION:

    First Solar will only retain your Personal Information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purpose(s) for which we collected it, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. To determine the appropriate retention period for Personal Information, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the Personal Information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your Personal Information, the purposes for which we process your Personal Information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

    For additional information on retention periods, please contact us using the details provided at the end of this Privacy Statement.

    YOUR RIGHTS:

    Upon request, First Solar will grant individuals reasonable access to the Personal Information that it holds about them. First Solar takes reasonable steps to permit individuals to correct, amend, or delete Personal Information that is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete. Please see our contact information below.

    If you are based in the EEA, you have a number of rights in relation to how we process your Personal Information.  These include:

  • the right to access the Personal Information that we may hold about you;
  • the right to rectify any inaccurate Personal Information that we may hold about you;
  • the right to have your Personal Information erased in certain circumstances, for example, where it is no longer necessary for us to process your Personal Information to fulfil our processing purposes, or where you have successfully exercised your right to object to the processing;
  • the right to object to the processing of your Personal Information which may be exercised in certain circumstances, for example, where we are processing your Personal Information for direct marketing purposes, or where your own legitimate interests outweigh ours; and
  • the right to have your data ported to a new service provider if you no longer wish to use the services.

 

You can exercise any of these rights any time by contacting us at Datenschutz@firstsolar.com. If you are based outside of the EEA, you may have similar rights, which are exercisable by contacting us.

No fee usually required.

You will not have to pay a fee to access your Personal Information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

What we may need from you.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your Personal Information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that Personal Information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

Time limit to respond.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

The Personal Information that we collect from you will be transferred to, and stored within the US. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Policy. All Personal Information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers.

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER:

We reserve the right to disclose Personal Information as required by law and when that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our website, or when otherwise requested by law enforcement.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION:

Any questions or concerns regarding the use or disclosure of Personal Information should be directed to First Solar at the address given below. First Solar will investigate and attempt to resolve complaints and disputes regarding use and disclosure of Personal Information in accordance with the principles contained in this Statement.

EEA Users only: Should you have cause to complain about how we handle your Personal Information, please contact us in the first instance. We will do our best to resolve your concern. Alternatively, you may prefer to submit a complaint directly to the national supervisory authority within your jurisdiction.

LIMITATION ON APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES:

Adherence by First Solar to these data privacy principles may be limited (a) to the extent required to respond to a legal obligation; and (b) to the extent expressly permitted by an applicable law, rule, or regulation.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Questions or comments regarding this Statement should be submitted to First Solar by mail or E-mail to info@firstsolar.com.

DATA PROTECTION OFFICERS:

For the First Solar companies, a data protection officer has been appointed. The responsibility of the Data Protection Officer is to monitor compliance with data protection in all areas. If individuals should have any questions or suggestions with respect to data protection law, then they may contact our Data Protection Officer at any time at the following:

Europe

First Solar Manufacturing GmbH

Data Protection Officer

Rheinstrasse 4

55116 Mainz

Germany

 

Telephone:  49-6131-1443199

 

OR send an e-mail to Datenschutz@Firstsolar.com

 

United States

First Solar, Inc.

Data Protection Officer

28101 Cedar Park Blvd

Perrysburg, Ohio 43551

USA

 

Telephone:  1-419-662-7399

 

OR send an e-mail to Datenschutz@firstsolar.com

 

CHANGES TO PRIVACY STATEMENT:

If First Solar decides to change our privacy practices, we will post those changes to this Privacy Statement, the Website home page, and all other places we deem appropriate so that individuals may be made aware of what Personal Information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it.

We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Statement at any time, so please review it frequently. If we change how we use Personal Information, we will notify individuals either here, by email, or by means of a notice on our Website home page prior to the changes taking effect. If you do not wish for your Personal Information to be processed in the way described under any updated Privacy Statement, please do not continue to use the Website or any services we offer.