Wondering about Changes to the Groupon Privacy Statement?

We want to tell you a little more about some material changes we just made to the July 22, 2010 version of the Groupon Privacy Statement (the “Old Privacy Statement”) to create the new Groupon Privacy Statement (the “Updated Privacy Statement”).

In general, all of the changes to the Updated Privacy Statement were made to improve readability, provide greater transparency about our information handling practices, address some new types of relationships Groupon is forging and new technologies Groupon is using or may use, and to let you know about the privacy choices you have. Read on.

  • Groupon continues to be a proud member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. The Updated Privacy Statement contains a reference to the most current version of the TRUSTe Program Rules and includes some additional statements required by those Program Rules. As a TRUSTe Privacy Seal holder, Groupon is committed to complying with the Program Rules as applicable to its online privacy program.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement replaces the phrase “Personally Identifiable Information” with “Personal Information” to improve readability and accuracy. (More on this below.)
  • The Updated Privacy Statement clarifies that Personal Information is any information that could be used to identify, locate or contact an individual. This definition is broader than the definition in the Old Privacy Statement, which limited the concept of personally identifiable information to identification information in the context of certain defined identification activities. (Whew!) The broader definition in the Updated Privacy Statement reflects our dedication to protecting privacy in all areas of our business.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement includes a definition of Personal Information and explains the types of Personal Information collected, used and disclosed by Groupon, namely “Contact Information,” “Relationship Information,” “Transaction Information,” “Financial Account Information,” and “Mobile Location Information.” These definitions provide more meaningful definition about the types of information we collect and how we classify information internally.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement has shortened the section that goes on about how we use and disclose non-identifiable information. This change was made to improve readability so we could focus more on talking about what we do with Personal Information.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement contains information on Groupon’s collection and use of Mobile Location Information. In short, if you use a Groupon mobile app and you allow sharing through your device, Groupon may collect geo-location information from the device and use it for marketing deals to you (and for other purposes listed in the “How Groupon Uses Personal Information” section of the Updated Privacy Statement).
  • The Updated Privacy Statement presents Groupon’s disclosures of Personal Information in a more detailed and transparent fashion. The new “When and Why Groupon Discloses Personal Information” section of the Updated Privacy Statement details the circumstances when Personal Information is shared with third parties in a comprehensive, bulleted-list format. This section reinforces Groupon’s commitment to protect privacy by generally limiting disclosures of Personal Information to our affiliates and services providers and to those merchants and business partners with whom our users interact.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement omits the section in the Old Privacy Statement regarding disclosures of Personal Information to Google for remarketing purposes. Groupon does not provide Personal Information to Google for remarketing.
  • The Old Privacy Statement’s section on “Data Tracking” has been replaced with an expanded section on “Cookies and Related Technologies” to provide greater transparency around data collection technologies. This section contains information about all of the ways that we collect information using automated technologies, including cookies, pixel tags, web beacons, browser analysis tools, and web logs. The section is designed to educate readers about the types of data collected by each technology as well as how the data is used by Groupon. The Updated Privacy Statement clarifies that if automatically-collected data is associated with Personal Information, it is protected by the Updated Privacy Statement. This section also provides information about third party advertising relationships in a more readable form and includes a new paragraph regarding our relationship with Omniture.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement contains an expanded section on user choice. The “Your Choices” section in the Updated Privacy Statement provides readers with information on many different types of privacy choices that they can make, along with instructions for exercising the choice. This section also consolidates information on choices that was distributed throughout the Old Privacy Statement and contains a new link to the TRUSTe preferences page.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement’s section on “Security of Personal Information” has been streamlined to more-simply state our commitment to maintaining a reasonable information security program with expected administrative, technical and physical controls.
  • The Old Privacy Statement’s section “Updating and Correcting Personal Information” has been replaced with a new section “Accessing and Correcting Personal Information.” This section has been revised to improve readability and clarify the processes by which users can access, update and delete their Personal Information. This section of the Updated Privacy Statement also contains a new paragraph regarding data retention. This paragraph was added for clarity and to comply with the TRUSTe Program Rules.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement contains a new section giving “Notice to Residents of Countries Outside of the United States of America.” This section educates international users about the fact that Groupon is based in the U.S. so Personal Information may be transferred to the U.S. for processing.
  • The “Miscellaneous Privacy Issues” section in the Old Privacy Statement has been deleted and the content it contains has been included in more appropriate, descriptive sections elsewhere in the policy. Also, we omitted the section discussing children’s information because Groupon is not designed for children and the Groupon deals are not offered to individuals under the age of majority in their states of residence. See our Terms of Use.
  • The Updated Privacy Statement introduces a new contact mechanism for privacy-related inquiries: privacy@groupon.com. While general customer service questions should still be directed to our contact page, the new address provides a way for us to respond to questions that our users have specifically about the privacy of their Personal Information.