CWT Data Protection Policy
Last updated 31 May 2012
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is a travel management company
with operations in many countries around the world and provides business travel services and
meetings and events services to its corporate clients. To provide such services, CWT receives
individual data from the Client's travelers.
What are the Data Protection/Privacy Laws?
There are over 60 countries with Data Protection/Privacy Laws. The overall purpose of these laws is to secure the rights of individuals regarding their personal data. The laws generally establish the minimum standards for the collecting, processing, and securing of data. They also limit the use of the personal data to the purpose for which the data was given by imposing destruction once the purpose has been fulfilled, and by providing the individuals with access to their personal data.
"Personal data" usually means any information that identifies a person, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his/her physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity.
For examples of relevant laws, please see the following web sites:
- http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/privacy/index_en.htm (for the European Directive on Data Protection),
- http://privacy.gov.au/law (for Australian privacy laws),
- http://www.priv.gc.ca/index_e.cfm (for Canadian privacy laws),
- http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/ (for information on the U.S. Safe Harbor program).
Why do the laws apply to CWT?
CWT uses personal data of its Clients' travelers, as further described below (see "What we do with personal data"), and is thus subject to the data protection laws.
Information that we store
The personal data that we store for each traveler may include: name, gender, date of birth, address, phone numbers, email addresses, credit card references/numbers, travel destinations, travel schedules, travel preferences (seat, meal, smoking, etc.), passport and visa details, as well as next of kin information.
When servicing a given corporate Client, CWT creates an electronic "Traveler Profile" with personal data for each traveler that is kept in a computerized database as a reference document to be consulted each time a reservation is made. When a reservation is made, CWT creates a "passenger name record" (PNR) that contains all of the personal data needed to fulfill the travel request of each traveler and fulfill regulatory requirements for travel to certain destinations such as the Secure Flight program in the United States and the Advanced Passenger Information System in several countries like UK, China, etc., along with the reservation information.
What we do with personal data
In addition to creating Traveler Profiles and PNRs, CWT uses the personal data (usually the PNR) of the traveler for the following travel and other travel-related purposes.
Reservations: To make reservations, CWT needs to transfer personal data to various third party travel suppliers, computer reservation systems within the traveler's home country or in another country where the traveler may be traveling and often also to government bodies for certain destinations (DHS in the US, ...). Without this information travel will not be possible.
Consolidation of Travel Data: At the request of the Client (the paying party for the travel), CWT or a third party may prepare information reports that summarize and analyze the travel expenditures per destination, per travel supplier, etc. Such reports may include certain personal data from the traveler's profile.
Transfers to Third Parties at Corporate Client's Request: CWT may transfer personal data to third parties at the request of the Client. For example, for data consolidation or emergency traveler tracking services. These transfers could involve transfers of personal data to other countries.
Compliance with Travel Policy: At the request of the Client, CWT may report on the compliance of the travelers with the travel policy of the Client and identify any exceptions to the compliance.
Collecting Travel Payments: CWT may transfer personal data to third parties in the traveler's home country or to another country for the purpose of collecting payments related to travel reservations.
CWT Databases: The electronic Traveler Profiles that CWT maintains are stored in a central database at a CWT location in the United States. However, some Clients of CWT have opted for and selected their own online booking tool, which also stores traveler profile information. In this case, the information is stored by the selected third party and CWT may only receive a replica for business purposes.
New Products and Services: With the goal of improving service and based on the data given to CWT, CWT may send additional information to the traveler if it applies to his/her trip or in advance of future trips. An example might be a list of restaurants near a specific hotel in a specific city.
How is the traveler's consent obtained?
CWT standard procedures require the Client to act as the data controller. In this case, the Client manages the traveler consent process. CWT solely acts as data processor upon Client instructions. However, in exceptional circumstances, CWT may act as data controller and collect the consent of each traveler through a Data Protection Statement.
Application of the Policy
Data Protection Statement (DPS): For CWT as Data Controller, CWT has established a Data Protection Statement to ensure consent to various uses of personal data given to CWT. The DPS appears before the traveler completes his/her traveler profile electronically. The traveler has the option of opting-in or opting-out. Travelers opting-out from the DPS will potentially incur a higher fee for the Client.
Transfer to Third Parties: Prior to a transfer, third parties (except for travel suppliers such as the airlines, computer reservation systems, hotels, or government entities, etc.) are required to sign a data transfer agreement with CWT that requires them to follow the applicable data protection laws. An exception may be made for personal data collected in the E.U. if the third party is located in another EU country or in a country approved by the EU as having adequate data protection laws. This ensures that even if the laws governing the third party are less strict than our standards, the level of protection that the traveler's data receives will be consistent. For instance, data consolidators are required to sign an agreement as are subsidiaries of CWT in countries with data protection laws that are considered less strict. An EU model clause Data Transfer Agreement has been signed between CWT and its U.S. subsidiary. CWT's U.S. entities are also certified as Safe Harbor compliant (see Carlson Wagonlit Travel's name under the Safe Harbor website at: http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/).
Security: Pursuant to the various data protection laws, CWT has implemented appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect the personal data obtained from our Clients' travelers against accidental or unlawful disclosure or destruction.
Destruction: Under many data protection laws, personal data must be destroyed after a certain period of time. CWT keeps travel data only as long as required by law, a period of time which may vary according to the requirements for the various internal departments at CWT. These requirements are tied to financial reporting laws or to inquiries from Clients on past travel activities.
Leisure travelers: In many instances, our leisure operations also keep traveler profiles.
Generally, the traveler's principal rights are to:
- amend his/her personal data, and upon written request to receive from CWT, within a reasonable amount of time, a copy of his/her Traveler Profile (for data held by third parties, please contact the third party); there may be a statutory fee or additional costs involved, if such Profiles have been archived;
- know how his/her data is being processed, for what purpose, and who is doing the processing;
- choose whether or not to receive unsolicited services/direct marketing/information on other travel products and services;
- revoke his/her consent or refuse to provide personal data.
Frequently Asked Questions
Personal data (see above) is defined as data that relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data. If the personal data does not refer to or identify any traveler, then the data can be processed by CWT without the traveler's consent. For instance, if the management reports do not include any references to specific individuals, then the traveler's consent would not need to be obtained for CWT to report to the Client. (For examples of personal data which may be stored by CWT, please refer to the "Information that we store" section above.)
Why is the travel agreement between CWT and the Client not sufficient to protect the travelers' personal data?
The travel agreement is between the corporate Client and CWT, not between the traveler and CWT. Data protection laws protect the rights of the individual traveler, and in processing the individual traveler's data, CWT has obligations under these laws which it has to fulfill itself and cannot pass onto the Client.
What happens if CWT or the Client does not obtain the traveler's consent?
Practically speaking, it will be very difficult and in some countries even impossible for CWT to provide travel services to an individual traveler who refuses to allow CWT to process his/her travel data. Included in the data protection laws are harsh penalties for non-compliance; in some countries it is a criminal offense.
What obligations does CWT have in processing the data?
CWT must ensure, at the very least, that the personal data:
- is processed fairly and lawfully,
- is obtained only for specific and lawful purposes and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with these purposes,
- is not excessive (in terms of the type of data requested) in relation to the purposes for which it is collected and further processed,
- is accurate,
- is kept secure and not held for longer than necessary.
Can CWT use the data to carry out its own analyses?
CWT may not use the data for promotion and marketing purposes by third parties unless the traveler gives his/her consent. However, CWT may, for instance, use the data to analyze the travel trends of its corporate clients in order to propose other CWT services to the clients, such as CWT Solutions Group services, without receiving the traveler's consent.
The following notes are to detail certain points and country specifics.
"Carlson Wagonlit Travel" refers to the group of companies of which the parent company is CWT B.V., a Dutch company, and its affiliates in over 40 countries around the world. CWT values the protection of personal data of all our travelers wherever they are based around the world.
Australia. We will use and disclose personal data for the primary purpose for which it was collected. We may also use and disclose personal data for purposes related or ancillary to the main reasons we collect it. Some examples of the way we use and disclose personal data are provided in this CWT Privacy/Data Protection Policy, for example, see under the heading "What we do with personal data".
European Union. Under E.U. rules, personal data can flow from the 27 E.U. member states and three EEA countries (Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) to a list of designated third countries without any further safeguard being necessary. The E.U. has so far recognized Argentina, Canada, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Switzerland, U.S. Department of Commerce's Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, and the transfer of air Passenger Name Records to the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and to the Australian Customs Service as providing adequate protection. See below for U.S. arrangement.
United States Safe Harbor. Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Inc. and its U.S. subsidiaries comply with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Inc. and its U.S. subsidiaries certify that they adhere to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view the certification of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Inc., please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
The E.U. has negotiated with the U.S. Department of Commerce certain principles and guidelines for the transfer of data. The U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Privacy Principles guide U.S. entities in providing an adequate level of protection for personal data. The voluntary decision by a U.S. entity to enter the Safe Harbor means that the entity must comply with the Principles, publicly declare that it is doing so, and certify that it is doing so to the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information on Safe Harbor program, including a list of the seven Principles, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/ (click on "Safe Harbor Overviews" to see the Principles). CWT's U.S. entities have also entered into the EU standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data to processors established in third countries.
This policy is subject to change. The changes will be posted on this web site, so please be sure to check the site regularly.