1. Policy, scope and objectives
The management of Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V., located at the Vipassana mediation centre “Dhamma Dvara” at Alte Straße 6, 08606 Triebel, Germany, is committed to comply with all relevant EU laws in respect of personal data, and to protecting the “rights and freedoms” of individuals whose information the Trust collects in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The trust is committed to complying with data protection legislation and good practice including:
1.3 Purpose of Collecting and Storing the Data
The trust and its volunteers (servers please see definitions below) collects and assesses the information for the following purposes:
European centers have chosen to use the Calm system for general registration. Calm is the lead controller for the general application process, the referral and special list, long course applications and for the use of additional software. Calm has notified the Data Protection Authority, “De Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens”, in The Hague, The Netherlands, that it is a data controller and that it processes certain information about data subjects.
Calm has identified all the personal data that it processes and this is contained in the Data Inventory Register. The Data Protection Officer has been appointed by Calm and also for this Trust.
1.4 A copy of the DPA notification is retained by Data Protection Officer and the DPA Notification Handbook is used as the authoritative guidance for notification.
1.5 The DPA notification is renewed annually.
1.6 The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is responsible, each year, for reviewing the details of notification, in the light of any changes to the trust’s activities (as determined by changes to the Data Inventory Register and the management review) and to any additional requirements identified by means of data protection impact assessments. The policy applies to all servers and students in this trust and to all third parties and suppliers.
Partners and any third parties working with or for the trust, and who have or may have access to personal information, will be expected to have read, understood and to comply with this policy. No third party may access personal data held by the trust without having first entered into a data confidentiality agreement, which imposes on the third party obligations no less than those to which the trust is committed, and which gives the trust the right to audit compliance with the agreement.
2. Background to the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’)
The General Data Protection Regulation 2016 replaces the EU Data Protection Directive of 1995 and supersedes the laws of individual Member States that were developed in compliance with the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. Its purpose is to protect the “rights and freedoms” of living individuals, and to ensure that personal data is not processed without their knowledge, and, wherever possible, that it is processed with their consent.
Definitions used by the organisation (drawn from the GDPR)
Territorial scope – the GDPR will apply to all controllers that are established in the EU (European Union and the European Economic Area countries) who process the personal data of data subjects, in the context of that establishment. It will also apply to controllers outside of the EU that process personal data in order to offer goods and services, or monitor the behavior to data subjects who are resident in the EU.
Establishment – the main establishment of the controller in the EU will be the place in which the controller makes the main decisions as to the purpose of its data processing activities. The main establishment of a processor in the EU will be its administrative center. If a controller is based outside the EU, it will have to appoint a representative in the jurisdiction in which the controller operates, to act on behalf of the controller and deal with supervisory authorities.
Personal data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
Special categories of personal data – personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade-union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation.
Data controller – the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law.
Data subject – any living individual who is the subject of personal data held by an organization.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
Profiling – is any form of automated processing of personal data intended to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, or to analyse, or predict that person’s performance at work, economic situation, location, health, personal preferences, reliability, or behavior. This definition is linked to the right of the data subject to object to profiling and a right to be informed about the existence of profiling, of measures based on profiling and the envisaged effects of profiling on the individual.
Personal data breach – a breach of security leading to the accidental, or unlawful, destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed. There is an obligation on the controller to report personal data breaches to the supervisory authority and where the breach is likely to adversely affect the personal data or privacy of the data subject.
Data subject consent - means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data.
Child – the GDPR defines a child as anyone under the age of 16 years old. The processing of personal data of a child under 13 years of age is only lawful if parental or custodian consent has been obtained.
Third party – a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, controller, processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorised to process personal data.
Filing system – any structured set of personal data which are accessible according to specific criteria, whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis.
Specific additional definitions
Student: Anyone who applies to or attends a Vipassana Meditation course led by an Assistant Teacher to S.N. Goenka.
Assistant Teacher: Anyone who has been appointed by S.N. Goenka, or his representatives, to conduct Vipassana Meditation courses, including Teachers.
Old Student: Anyone who has completed a Vipassana Meditation course under S.N. Goenka or one of his Assistant Teachers.
Server: an Old Student who is helping on a course or at a center.
3. Responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation
4. Risk Assessment and audits
Objective: To ensure that Calm is aware of any risks associated with the processing of particular types of personal information Calm has a process for assessing the level of risk to individuals associated with the processing of their personal information. Assessments will also be carried out in relation to processing undertaken by other organizations on behalf of Calm. Calm shall manage any risks which are identified by the risk assessment in order to reduce the likelihood of a non-conformance with this policy.
Where a type of processing, in particular using new technologies and taking into account the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing is likely to result in a high risk to the “rights and freedoms” of natural persons, Calm shall, prior to the processing, carry out an assessment of the impact of the envisaged processing operations on the protection of personal data. A single assessment may address a set of similar processing operations that present similar high risks.
Where, as a result of a Data Protection Impact Assessment, it is clear that Calm is about to commence processing of personal information that could cause damage and/or distress to the data subjects, the decision as to whether or not Calm may proceed must be escalated for review to the Data Protection Officer. The Data Protection Officer shall, if there are significant concerns, either as to the potential damage or distress, or the quantity of data concerned, escalate the matter to the board of the Calm Foundation or the supervisory board of the Calm Foundation.
Appropriate controls will be selected and applied to reduce the level of risk associated with processing individual data to an acceptable level, by reference to Calm’s documented risk acceptance criteria and the requirements of the GDPR.
5. Data protection principles
All processing of personal data must be done in accordance with the following data protection principles of the Regulation, and Calm’s policies and procedures are designed to ensure compliance with them.
5.1 Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
The GDPR introduces the requirement for transparency whereby the VipassanaVereinigung e.V. has transparent and easily accessible policies relating to the processing of personal data and the exercise of individuals’ “rights and freedoms”. Information must be communicated to the student in an intelligible form using clear and plain language. The specific information that must be provided to the student must as a minimum include:
5.2 Personal data can only be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.
Data obtained for specified purposes must not be used for a purpose that differs from those formally notified to the DPA (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens).
5.3 Personal data must be adequate, relevant and limited
The following applies:
5.4 Personal data must be accurate and kept up to date.
The following applies:
5.5 Identification and purpose limitation
5.6 Personal data must be processed in a manner that ensures its security
5.8 Personal data transfer outside the Union
A list of countries that satisfy the adequacy requirements of the Commission are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The GDPR introduces the principle of accountability which states that the controller is not only responsible for ensuring compliance but for demonstrating that each processing operation complies with the requirements of the GDPR.
Specifically, controllers such as Calm but also the Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. are required to maintain necessary documentation of all processing operations, implement appropriate security measures, perform DPIAs (Data Processing Impact Assessment), comply with requirements for prior notifications, or approval from supervisory authorities and appoint a Data Protection Officer. That means that every trust in Europe has to appoint a DPO or the Calm DPO. The Privacy Contact Persons work as deputies for the DPO. Trusts outside the Union can appoint a Privacy Contact Person.
6. Students’ rights
Students have the following rights regarding data processing, and the data that is recorded about them:
Students may make data access requests. The procedure also describes how Calm and the Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. will ensure that its response to the data access request complies with the requirements of the Regulation.
Also students have a right to object against processing. In regard to the RSL a Special Cases Committee will review entries according to Calm’s procedures. If needed the Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. will direct a student to the DPO, who can contact the Special Cases Committee for the review of an entry.
Data Subjects who wish to complain to Calm or the Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. about how their personal information has been processed may lodge their complaint directly with the Data Protection Officer.
Data subjects may also complain directly to the DPA (de Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens). Where data subjects wish to complain about how their complaint has been handled, or appeal against any decision made following a complaint, they may lodge a further complaint to the Data Protection Officer. The right to do this should be included in the complaints procedure and be communicated with the students and servers.
The Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. understands ‘consent’ to mean that it has been explicitly and freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she by statement, or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her. The consent of the data subject can be withdrawn at any time.
The Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. understands ‘consent’ to mean that the data subject has been fully informed of the intended processing and has signified their agreement, while in a fit state of mind to do so and without pressure being exerted upon them. Consent obtained under duress or on the basis of misleading information will not be a valid basis for processing. There must be some active communication between the parties which demonstrate active consent. Consent cannot be inferred from non-response to a communication. For sensitive data, explicit written consent of data subjects must be obtained unless an alternative legitimate basis for processing exists.
In most instances consent to process personal and sensitive data is obtained routinely by Calm and the Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. using standard consent documents e.g. when a student applies for a course or a server applies to serve. Where Calm provides online services to children, parental, or custodial authorisation must be obtained. This requirement applies to children under the age of 16 (unless the Member State has made provision for a lower age limit – which may be no lower than 13). The same principles apply to the use of information from children outside the Calm system by the VipassanaVereinigung e.V.
8. Security of data
All servers are responsible for ensuring that any personal data, Calm and non Calm for which they are responsible, is kept securely and is not under any conditions disclosed to any third party unless that third party has been specifically authorised by Calm to receive that information and has entered into a confidentiality agreement. Personal data must be kept:
Care must be taken to ensure that PC screens and terminals are not visible except to authorized servers.
Physical records may not be left where they can be accessed by unauthorised personnel and may not be removed from the working place without explicit authorisation. As soon as manual records are no longer required for day-to-day client support, they must be removed from secure archiving.
Personal data may only be deleted or disposed of in line with the Data Retention Procedure. Physical records that have reached their retention date are to be shredded and disposed of as ‘confidential waste’. Hard drives of redundant PCs are to be removed and immediately destroyed as required before disposal.
Processing of personal data ‘off-site’ presents a potentially greater risk of loss, theft or damage to personal data. Servers must be specifically authorised to process data offsite, be aware of the data breach procedure and apply it when needed.
9. Rights of access to data
Data subjects have the right to access any personal data (i.e. data about them) which is held in Calm in electronic format and manual records which form part of a relevant filing system. This includes the right to inspect confidential personal references received by Calm, and information obtained from third-party organisations about that person.
Students also have a right to access information about them that is held by VipassanaVereinigung e.V. This includes files about volunteer services, dana (if applicable), newsletters, lost and found, rideshare, children courses, complaints or other non-Calm information that is stored in the trust. For the request of Calm information the PCP and DPO can be contacted.
10. Disclosure of data
The Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. will ensure that personal data is not disclosed to unauthorised third parties which includes family members, friends, government bodies, and in certain circumstances, the Police. All servers should exercise caution when asked to disclose personal data held on another individual to a third party and will be required to attend specific training that enables them to deal effectively with any such risk. It is important to bear in mind whether or not disclosure of the information is relevant to, and necessary for, the conducting of the courses.
The GDPR permits certain disclosures without consent so long as the information is requested for one or more of the following purposes:
All requests to provide data for one of these reasons must be supported by appropriate paperwork and all such disclosures must be specifically authorised by the Data Protection Officer.
11. Retention and disposal of data
Personal data may not be retained for longer than it is required. Once a server is no longer active or a student has stopped applying for courses, it may not be necessary to retain all the information held on them. Some data will be kept for longer periods than others. Calm’s data retention and data disposal procedures will apply in all cases covered by the use of Calm. In addition the retention period for physical applications is a maximum of 10 years unless there are clear indications about possible litigation.
Disposal of records
Personal data must be disposed of in a way that protects the “rights and freedoms” of data subjects (e.g. shredding, disposal as confidential waste, secure electronic deletion) and in line with the secure disposal procedure.
12. Data breach procedure
The Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. has integrated a data breach procedure. Any breach must be reported to the PCP / DPO consistent with the approved policy.
13. Effective Date
The policy will also be communicated with students and servers applying for courses in a understandable and comprehensive manner. A copy of this policy is available to all students and servers at request and can also be found on the web page of the Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V.
The Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. will review the insurance policy applied to servers if it properly covers the misuse of personal data. If needed policies will be adjusted.
The Vipassana-Vereinigung e.V. will review all applicable manuals and inform the relevant committee’s and teachers about changes.