Autotrader.com - Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy from Autotrader.com. The live version of this document is available at http://www.autotrader.com/privacy.jsp. This document is a part of Docracy's Terms of Service Tracker project, which tracks changes to terms of service and privacy policy documents of many of the world's top websites.

Effective Date: January 2013

AutoTrader.com, Inc. respects the privacy of visitors to our website. This Privacy Statement applies only to information collected online through the AutoTrader.com website and does not describe the ways in which we may collect or use information obtained offline or through any means other than our website. Please read this Privacy Statement carefully so that you understand what information we collect through our website and what we do with that information. If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, please contact us at [email protected]

THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT

The information we gather generally falls into two categories: (1) information supplied by visitors to the website when they list a car for sale, perform a search, enter a sweepstakes or other promotional contest, request an offer through our Trade-In Marketplace program, or inquire about a vehicle listed for sale or about another product or service offered through our website; and (2) information we collect as visitors use our website.

Third-party providers involved in the operation of the website (including, but not limited to, vendors of products and services and providers of widgets, tools, and applications) featured on or linked to by our website may also collect information about you. Their collection and use of this information will be subject to their privacy policies.

Communicating with us If you find a listing that interests you and elect to send the seller an email through our website, we will share with the seller the contact information you supply through our online "Email this Seller" form. Some dealerships that list vehicles for sale on our website use third-party service providers to manage their "leads" (that is, the inquiries they receive from consumers who are interested in the vehicles they've listed for sale). If a dealership has designated a provider of lead management services, we may also share with that provider any information you elect to send to the dealership through our "Email this Seller" form. Vehicle manufacturers like to monitor how responsive their franchised dealers are to consumer inquiries. To help them monitor and improve dealer performance, we may also provide vehicle manufacturers with the information you send their franchised dealers using our "Email this Seller" tool. If you find a listing for a certified pre-owned vehicle that interests you and elect to send the seller an email through our website, we will also share the information you supply through our "Email this Seller" form with the manufacturer of the vehicle you are inquiring about (which administers the certified pre-owned program) to use for quality assurance, internal business analysis, process management, and other similar purposes. If you do not wish to share your email address or other contact information with sellers who advertise on our website, lead management service providers, and vehicle manufacturers, you should not use our "Email this Seller" contact form.

If you choose to receive a vehicle listing on your mobile phone, we or a service provider acting on our behalf will use the phone number you provide to send the listing you request. By providing us with your mobile phone number, you agree that we may send this information to your mobile phone via text message or email.

Many of the dealership listings that appear on our website include toll-free telephone numbers that can be used to contact the dealership that is selling the advertised vehicle. If you call a dealership using one of these toll-free numbers, we (or a service provider acting on our behalf) may provide the dealership with the date, time, and duration of your call, as well as the number from which your call originated and an audio recording of your call. If you use our website's live chat feature to ask questions about a vehicle, the service provider that manages this feature on our behalf may send a copy of your chat transcript to us and to the dealership that posted the vehicle listing. Our service provider collects and uses chat transcripts in accordance with its own privacy policy, which may be accessible via the link shown during the chat session. If you do not want this information to be shared with us, do not use the chat service.

You may sign up for or use certain products, services and tools on our website that require or permit you to provide information about yourself, such as your name, physical address, email address and phone number. For example, you may provide such information if you sign up for our newsletters, complete our "Feedback" form or use a social media or interactive tool. We may use such information in order to provide you with the products, services or tools you have requested.

When you list a car for sale, we ask for information on the car and on how you can be contacted by potential buyers (including information like your phone number and email address). We also ask for your credit card number and the expiration date on your card. We use this information to create your ad and to process your payment (please see the section on "Use and Disclosure of Information" below for more information about how we use and secure credit card information). We may also use information you submit to us in connection with your purchase of that listing, including your name and location, on third-party sites and mobile applications where we distribute or promote your listing.

In addition to the above, we may collect information, and/or use the information we collect, in the following specific ways:

Searches and Listings To make use of certain features on our website, visitors need to provide limited information about themselves and their interests so that we can tailor the information we provide to their needs. For example, to help you find the car you want close to home, we need to know what kind of car you are looking for and your zip code. We ask you to provide this information when you perform a search. We use this information to help you find the car you are looking for or as otherwise described in this Privacy Statement.

Sweepstakes and Other Promotions From time to time, we may offer sweepstakes or other promotions on our website. If you enter a sweepstakes or promotional contest, we will ask you to provide information about yourself (such as your name, phone number, address, date of birth, and email address). Among other things, we will use this information to contact you if you win, and we may also use this information for marketing purposes. We may share this information with any co-sponsor of the contest or sweepstakes; we will identify the co-sponsor in the contest rules. We may also share this information with shipping or fulfillment companies or other third-party service providers that help administer our promotions, such as by conducting drawings, and/or delivering prizes to winners. If you do not want us to collect the information requested in the contest or sweepstakes registration form or to provide it to co-sponsors, please do not enter the contest or sweepstakes.

Online Surveys From time to time, we survey our users to measure their satisfaction with our website and other sites and to help us learn more about our audience and how they interact with our website. Third-party research firms often conduct these surveys on our behalf. We use the survey results to help us improve the services we offer to you. Except in the circumstances described below in the "Other Disclosures" section of this policy, we will not share, without your consent, any personally-identifying information you submit in response to an AutoTrader.com survey with any company other than the research firm conducting the survey. We will, however, take the information you provide and aggregate it on an anonymous basis with data collected from other survey participants. We may use and disclose that pool of anonymous information as we see fit, without identifying you personally.

You may also find on our website invitations to participate in surveys conducted by our advertisers, whose privacy practices we do not control. These invitations will usually link to an online survey form that is hosted either by the advertiser conducting the survey or by a third-party research firm working on the advertiser's behalf. When you access an advertiser's survey through our website, the use and disclosure of any information you submit will be governed by the advertiser's privacy policy (or by the privacy policy of the advertiser's research firm), which may differ from ours. If you cannot find the applicable privacy policy via a link either from the advertiser's survey invitation or from the online survey form, you should contact the advertiser directly for more information.

Credit App You may be able to apply for credit for a car loan or refinancing through our website using our Secure Credit Application or automobile financing portal. If you use our website to apply for credit, we (and/or a service provider acting on our behalf) will collect your personal information from you. This information may include, but is not limited to, your name, email address, date of birth, Social Security Number, address, phone number, credit history, credit score, mortgage/rental information, and employment information. If you use the Secure Credit Application, we (and/or a service provider acting on our behalf) may: (1) share your application information with the dealership(s) you selected so that the dealership(s) may make a decision about your application; and/or (2) store any application information on behalf of our dealership partners. If you submit an application through our financing portal, we will transmit your application information to our third-party service provider so that our service provider may process your credit application request, and we may store your name, email address, and phone number on behalf of our dealership partners. Our service provider's use and storage of your credit application information is governed by its own privacy policy, which may differ from ours.

AutoTrader.com Trade-In Marketplace If you request an offer for your car through our Trade-In Marketplace program, we will ask you for your contact information, including your name, telephone number and email address. We may also ask for additional optional information, like your credit score. We will also ask you for a description of the vehicle that you want to sell or trade, including detailed information about the condition and history of the car. We will use the information you provide to prepare and send you an offer for your vehicle. If you access our Trade-In Marketplace program by clicking on a link displayed on a participating dealer website (or in a listing on AutoTrader.com posted by a participating dealer), we will share your contact and vehicle information with that dealer so that the dealer can communicate with you about your interest in selling or trading in your car. If you indicate that you are considering the purchase of a replacement vehicle, we will share your information with participating dealers in your area so that they can contact you about vehicles that may match your interests. If you decide to redeem your Trade-In Marketplace offer, the participating dealer that you choose to conduct the required confirmation inspection of your car will also have access to your contact and vehicle information. When we use other companies to help us operate our Trade-In Marketplace program or improve the services we offer to you, we may provide them with information about you and/or your vehicle that is necessary for them to perform their services. We require that these companies commit to use the information only to perform the services that we request.

Email Addresses We may use your email address to respond to requests you make for our products or services or to respond to your communications with us. We may also contact you to inquire about your experience on our website, to provide you with information about our products and services available from us or from our affiliates or to communicate to you information related to the automotive industry. From time to time, we may also send you emails that include special promotions and other commercial offers that we think may be of interest to you. We hope you will find these communications informative and useful. If you do not, you can unsubscribe from any of our commercial email programs by following the simple instructions included in an email you receive in connection with that program. If you request an offer through our Trade-In Marketplace program we will use and share your email address and other contact information with participating dealers as described in the paragraph immediately above.

MyAutoTrader.com MyAutoTrader.com helps you organize your search for the right car by allowing you to do things like saving your favorite searches and cars. To access MyAutoTrader.com, we will ask you to register with us on the form provided, which may include personally identifiable information like your email address. You may also be asked to provide additional, optional personal information, such as your name, gender, and age. You agree to provide true, accurate, current, and complete information about yourself. We use this information to process your registration request, provide you with the services and communications that you request, customize features that appear on our website, measure traffic on our website, and improve our website and the services and features offered to MyAutoTrader.com users. We may share information we collect while you are using MyAutoTrader.com, including registration information, with our affiliates and with trusted third-party service providers who assist us in providing services.

Social Networks When you use one of the social network sharing tools available on our website, we and the social network operating the tool may collect information about you based on such use. The social network's use of that information will be subject to its own privacy policy, which may be different from this Privacy Statement.

Content You Post to our Website If you choose to post content to any of the interactive areas of our website, such as discussion forums, comments fields and social media areas, please keep in mind that the information you post can be seen, collected and used by anyone who has access to those areas. You may also have the opportunity from time to time to respond to questions that we display to users of the website. If you choose to respond, your response may be published on an area of the website accessible to other users or the public. We are not responsible for any third-party use of such information.

COOKIES AND OTHER DATA COLLECTION TECHNOLOGIES

Cookies To help us tailor our website, and the tools and applications on our website, to the needs and interests of our visitors, we keep track of visitor interactions with our website through the use of cookies. Cookies are small text files stored on your browser when you use websites and applications. The "Help" function on most web browsers contains information on how to set your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie or to disable cookies entirely. However, if you do not accept cookies, you will not be able to take advantage of some features on our website that are available to other visitors. We use cookies to improve the user experience on our website by making it more responsive to the needs of our users, and to make it easier for us to recognize you when you return to our website. We also use cookies to analyze website performance and to measure advertising performance.

Web Beacons To help us (and in some cases our advertisers and third-party providers) keep track of how many users are accessing particular pages or listings within our website, and to track how users respond to ads we place on third-party websites, we may place a small file, called a web beacon, on some of our pages and on some of the listings and ads we distribute.

We may also place a web beacon in the emails we send to you. When you open one of our emails or click on links within these emails, we track this click-through data to help us determine your interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our communications to you. If you prefer not to be tracked in this way, you should not open these emails or click text or graphic links in the emails.

Information about Your Computer or Device Our web server (and/or any web server operated by our service provider(s) on our behalf) automatically collects and may store limited information about your computer configuration when you visit our website, including the type of browser software you use, the operating system you are running, the resolution of your computer monitor, and your IP address. Your IP address is a numerical address that is used by computers connected to the Internet to identify your computer so that data (such as the web pages you want to view) can be transmitted to you. We also use IP address information for systems administration (including fraud detection and prevention) and troubleshooting purposes. We may also collect information about the website you were visiting before you came to our website and the website you visit after you leave our website.

Combined Technology Information Cookies, beacons, information collected about your computer or device, and other data collection technologies ("Data Technologies") may be used individually or in combination in order to provide and/or administer our services, to help us understand user behavior, to monitor website performance, optimize ads and measure advertising performance.

Website Analytics We may collect, or have a third party collect on our behalf, data on how visitors use and navigate through the Websites, such as the number of users who visit various pages within the Websites, what they click on, whether they scroll up or down on particular pages, fill out forms, etc. We use this information to improve the Websites and learn about users, and may disclose it to our affiliates (including, among others, the members of the AutoTrader Group, Inc. corporate family), or to third parties.

Advertising AutoTrader.com has relationships with certain third-party advertising networks, Advertisers, and advertising services ("Advertising Services") that collect data, target and serve some of the advertisements, promotions, or other marketing messages you see on our website and other websites and mobile applications, including websites owned and/or operated by our affiliates.

Such Advertising Services may, including through processes that we do not control, use Data Technologies from third party companies to collect data from your activities on these websites, on other websites owned and/or operated by our affiliates, or with other websites. These technologies may be used to track user behavior, how our products and services are offered, conduct consumer research and possibly to serve you relevant ads and content. These companies may also obtain information, including personally identifiable information, from services you use from other companies, including without limitation, other websites, mobile websites or applications, and combine the information they obtain through these Data Technologies with information obtained through our products and services. Their collection and use of this data is subject to their own privacy policies. See "Use and Disclosure of Information" below for more information on opt out options.

USE AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION

Ad Serving and Targeting We (or a service provider acting on our behalf), our Advertising Services, our advertisers, and/or our third-party providers may use clickstream data collected using cookies, beacons, and/or browser level information to help us tailor the content of advertising, marketing, and promotional messages (including, but not limited to, landing pages) on this and other websites and mobile applications to the perceived interests of our users.

For example, if you've been viewing pages related to SUVs on our website, you are more likely to see ads about certain SUVs on our website and other websites. This clickstream data does not identify you personally and does not include your name, address, email address or telephone number, but it may include the IP address of your computer.

Our Participation in the Industry Self Regulatory Program for Interest Based Ads; Additional Choice Options AutoTrader.com supports the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising from the Digital Advertising Alliance, which regulates the practices relating to the collection of clickstream data. To opt out of our interest-based advertising program or to learn more about our data collection practices, please visit our AdChoices page, www.aboutads.info or www.evidon.com. Pages of our website that collect information that may be used by such advertising partners for interest-based advertising purposes are identified by a link to AdChoices on the page.

When we present information to our advertisers - to help them understand our audience and confirm the value of advertising on our website - it is usually in the form of aggregated statistics on traffic to various pages within our website.

In some cases, to provide you with a customized experience and to enhance our services, we (or third party service providers acting on our behalf) may combine information (including personally identifying information) that we collect through our website with information about you and/or your computer from other sources, including offline interactions with us, public databases, and third parties.

We may share this information with our affiliates, including AutoTrader Group, Inc. and any of their subsidiaries, so that we and they may provide you with information, products, and services that we believe may be of interest to you.

Any credit card information you may provide to us is secured during transmission over the Internet using industry-standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption (See "Security," below.) We use your credit card information only to bill you for the products and services you order from us and to help detect and prevent fraud. We do not share your credit card information with anyone, except as may be necessary to process your transactions, detect and/or prevent fraud, or comply with law.

LINKS AND FEATURES OFFERED

To make our website more valuable to our visitors, we feature some products and services that come from other providers. Our finance, insurance, warranty, and inspection services, for example, are made available through cooperative arrangements with companies that specialize in providing such services. We share with these third parties such information as is necessary for them to provide the products or services. Our site includes links to other websites, and provides access to products and services offered by third parties, whose privacy policies we don't control. When you access another website or purchase products or services or conduct other transactions through our website, use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy policy of the operator of the site you're visiting or the provider of such products or services. When you provide information in the course of obtaining products or services through our site, use of any information you provide may be governed by the privacy policy of the provider of those products or services. The provider's privacy policy may differ from ours. If you can't find the privacy policy of any of our provider partners via a link either from their site's homepage or from the pages on which the products or services are offered, you should contact the provider directly for more information.

OTHER DISCLOSURES

We may release or use information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with laws; to respond to legal process or to a valid law enforcement request; to enforce our Visitor Agreement; or to protect the rights, property or safety of visitors to our website, our customers, the public or AutoTrader.com. As our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that AutoTrader.com, Inc., one of its business units, or substantially all of its assets is acquired by another company, information on our visitors would be among the transferred assets.

If you choose to unsubscribe in response to an email message that we send on behalf of an advertiser, we will share your email address and opt-out instructions with the advertiser. Similarly, if we ask a third-party company to send its customers email offers on our behalf, we will share with that company (or its agent) a list of email addresses collected from website visitors who have opted out of our email program.

We may allow others to search some of our databases (our listings database, for example) and to analyze the data they find there or aggregate it with other data, either for their business purposes, or ours. Though some of the information in our databases may be personally identifying (such as the contact information included in a vehicle listing), we will only allow searches of the portions of our database that contain information that is otherwise publicly available on our website.

When we use other companies to help us operate our website or improve the services we offer to you, we may provide them with information about our visitors that is necessary for them to perform their services. We require that these companies commit to use the information only to perform the services that we request.

SECURITY

AutoTrader.com, Inc. takes commercially reasonable steps to ensure information we gather on our website is stored in a secure manner. Any credit card information you may provide us is secured for transmission over the Internet using industry-standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. While we work hard to protect your privacy, no physical or electronic security system is impenetrable, or invulnerable to attack, including your own, and the ones used to transmit your data to us. We cannot and do not guarantee that our systems, or your information, will be secure. Any information you include in an actual vehicle listing is publicly available on the website and viewable by anyone with Internet access.

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

This website is intended for use by visitors within the United States. If you reside outside the United States, please be aware that (i) our databases are stored on servers and storage devices located in the United States, (ii) your information (including personal data) may be transferred to the United States for processing and storage, and (iii) the United States, and the localities within the United States where our databases are located, may not guarantee the same level of protection for personal data as the locality or country in which you reside. By using our website, you expressly agree to our collection, use, disclosure, and transfer of your information (including personal data) for the purposes identified herein, and you consent to the transfer of such information outside of your country.

PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF CHILDREN

Our website is not directed at or intended for children under 13 and we will not knowingly allow anyone under 13 to provide us any personally identifying information; if you are under 13, please do not provide any information about yourself on this website.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT

If we need to change our privacy policy at some point in the future, we will post the revised Privacy Statement on this website together with an updated reference to its Effective date to reflect the date of the amendment. Your continued use of this website following the effective date of any such amendment shall be deemed to constitute your agreement to the terms of this Privacy Statement as amended. By visiting AutoTrader.com, you agree that your visit, and any dispute over privacy, is governed by this Privacy Statement and our Visitor Agreement.

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