Privacy Policy

  
     

Privacy Policy
Revised March 8, 2016

The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) is the umbrella association for Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The following is CBBB's online privacy policy, which governs how visitor information (your information) is gathered and used on CBBB’s Internet sites, including the sites of our affiliated organizations, BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust and the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council.  Please take a few minutes to read this policy carefully.

Please note that BBB Wise Giving Alliance and independent BBBs have their own privacy policies for their websites; as you navigate through the CBBB site and access various BBB services, you can see if you are on a BBB Wise Giving Alliance or BBB site by looking at the web address in your browser.

Your Information that CBBB May Collect Online
You can affirmatively submit to CBBB certain user information pertaining to your interaction with CBBB.  User information may include a search query (such as the name and location of a business or charity) or other information as described more fully below.  You can also provide location information (so that you can search near you or in an area you specify), or billing or donation information.  We also may infer your geographic location based on your IP address or other information.  User information may also include information pertaining to a marketplace complaint, such as your name, postal and e-mail address, phone and facsimile numbers, vehicle information such as vehicle identification number, and description of the complaint.

When you submit a comment to a blog post on the CBBB website, you also submit your name and email address.  When you apply to be a BBB arbitrator, you submit your name, address and other contact information, and information about your qualifications. CBBB may also collect information from a business that inquires about National Partner sponsorship, BBB accreditation, conference attendance or program participation, some of which could constitute identifying information about a sole proprietor, as well as identifying information from individuals acting in their business capacity. If you report a scam through BBB Scam Tracker, you submit your name, state/province, postal code, email address and, if elected, telephone number to CBBB and BBBs.

CBBB’s websites are not designed with the purpose of attracting any person under age 13. CBBB does not knowingly collect or maintain any personal information from children under the age of 13.

How CBBB Uses Your Information
We will use information you affirmatively submit to CBBB for the purpose for which it is submitted, such as to reply to your email, handle your complaint, publish your comment, process billing and donation transactions, register your participation in an event, respond to requests related to program participation, review applications to be a BBB arbitrator, and publish your scam report. We may also use such information to provide operational notices, in program record-keeping and to conduct research on industry marketplace practices. We may publish aggregate data, but the aggregate data will not include any unique information you provided to us.  We may contact individuals registering for events with information about other BBB events or, if relevant, membership or sponsorship opportunities.

We may use third party contractors to act on our behalf, and these contractors are obligated to not disclose or use your information for other purposes.

At certain points where your information is collected on our site, there may be a box where you may indicate you would like to be on a mailing list to receive information about CBBB or its affiliated organizations. This election box only appears in places where the service collecting your information maintains such lists. You can remove your name from a CBBB mailing list by utilizing the appropriate unsubscribe feature contained in the emails.

Cookies and Other Persistent Identifiers
CBBB or third parties we contract with may use persistent identifiers such as cookies, embedded scripts, beacons, tags and similar technologies for a number of purposes, such as to provide easier site navigation, access to forms, analytics and advertising. You can still use CBBB’s websites if you have set your browser to reject cookies, but it may prevent you from viewing or accessing some of the features of our sites.

Uses of Persistent Identifiers for Analysis and Advertising
CBBB or third parties may use identifiers to generate certain kinds of site usage data, such as the number of hits and visits to our sites. This information is used to understand how visitors use our sites and provide better services to you. CBBB or third parties may also use identifiers to personalize the display of sponsorships or advertisements and customize the content you see while using our sites and sometimes while visiting other websites (see Your Ad Choices below).

CBBB may transfer, or allow third parties to collect, analytic information about your visit to CBBB websites to help us improve our websites and better serve you when you visit us online in the future.  Analytic information may include such identifiers as your browser type, IP address, referring site URL, web pages you view and links you click on while navigating within our sites.

Your Ad Choices
CBBB may allow third parties to collect and use information about your browsing activity on our website in order to serve you more relevant ads based on your interests. CBBB adheres to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, which provide consumers with notice and choice about interest-based advertising. On pages where we allow third parties to collect data for interest-based ads, you will see the notice “Your Ad Choices” near the link to the Privacy Policy. When you receive an ad based on your interests, you will see the Advertising Option Icon  in or near the ad to provide you with notice that the advertisement is tailored to your possible interests as inferred from your browsing activity. To learn more about interest-based advertising, click here. To opt out of future interest-based advertising, click here. You will still see ads, but they will not be based on subjects or products that the advertiser thinks may be of interest to you.

Other Ways Your Information May Be Shared
Inquiries and complaints: In order to process a complaint, CBBB may send the complaint to the BBB where the company complained about is headquartered, send the complaint to the business (which may be outside of your country), handle the complaint itself, or refer the complaint to another appropriate organization for handling. CBBB or the appropriate BBB may handle complaints against foreign businesses or CBBB may refer such complaints to an appropriate foreign organization. Depending on the type of complaint, either CBBB or BBB will provide complaints to the company complained about and, in some situations, to the company’s franchisor or licensor for quality control purposes. Further, when we receive a request or inquiry that a BBB must handle, we forward the request or inquiry to the appropriate BBB. By completing a complaint form or sending us a request or inquiry, you are authorizing us to forward your information to the appropriate BBB or to the proper business.

BBB Scam Tracker: We will publicly post your description of the reported scam on the BBB website along with your postal code.  We will share your name, state/province, postal code, email address and other information you submit with BBBs administering BBB Scam Tracker.  We may also share this information with governmental agencies, law enforcement and other appropriate organizations for investigation.  With your consent, we or a BBB may share your information in response to media inquiries.

Other purposes: CBBB may also share your information under the following circumstances:

  • We routinely share complaint and Scam Tracker information with the Federal Trade Commission for its consumer protection activities.
  • We respond to requests from governmental agencies or where required by law (such as by subpoena, investigative demand, court order or regulation).
  • We may share information where our records indicate a company may be engaged in fraudulent activity or other unfair or deceptive practices that we believe should be referred to a governmental agency or a private organization whose work is consistent with the BBB mission;
  • We may share information with appropriate governmental authorities, where warranted by a company's failure to (i) participate in CBBB self-regulatory programs; (ii) follow procedures or implement a decision of the BBB EU Safe Harbor Dispute Resolution Program; or (iii) participate in or honor the recommendations of the National Advertising Division, Children's Advertising Review Unit, National Advertising Review Board, Electronic Retailing Self-Regulatory Program, or Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program.
  • We may share information with appropriate persons or governmental authorities, where your communication suggests possible harm to others.
  • We may share business information with third parties for such purposes as allowing search engines to identify BBB accredited businesses, or for quality control purposes of franchisors or licensors.

 

International Transfers
If you are visiting our site from outside the United States, be aware that your information will be transferred to, and maintained on, computers located within the United States.  The collection, use, retention and any other processing of your information will be governed by United States law.

Updates
If CBBB changes this policy in the future, we will post the changes here and indicate the date of the changes at the top of the policy.

Problems or Complaints with CBBB Privacy Policy
If you have a complaint about CBBB compliance with this privacy policy, you may contact us at privacy@council.bbb.org.

Additional Disclosure to California Residents
At this time we do not respond to “do not track” signals issued by web browsers.