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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Effective Date:  December 5, 2014

Please note that the Consumer Reports Privacy Policy has been updated. Please review the revised Privacy Policy carefully before using any of our products and services that link to this Privacy Policy. By using our products and services, you consent to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Please click here if you would like more information about the updates to our Privacy Policy.

Consumers Union of United States, Inc., doing business as Consumer Reports (“Consumer Reports”), is an independent, nonprofit testing and research organization serving consumers. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, protect consumers and advocate on their behalf.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy describes the types of information we collect about you, how your information may be used and when it may be disclosed, how your information is protected, and how you can control the use and disclosure of your information.

1. Scope

This Privacy Policy covers the Consumer Reports family of print publications as well as online and mobile websites and applications that provide an authorized link to this Privacy Policy (collectively "CR Products"). It does not cover our consumer advocacy programs, campaigns and websites which are governed by a separate Privacy Policy found here.

This Privacy Policy applies to personally identifying information (“PII”) and other information collected about you and your devices. PII may include, for example, your name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, credit/debit card information, user name and password, and demographic information.

Our websites and other services may contain links to third-party websites which are provided for your information and convenience. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, this Privacy Policy does not cover any information that may be collected through any third party website.

2. Information Collected

Information you provide directly to us. You may provide different types of information to us when you subscribe to or purchase a product or service, access various content or features, post product reviews or ratings, participate in our blogs or forums, make a donation, enter a sweepstakes, contest or other special initiative, directly contact us, or otherwise interact with our websites, mobile sites or mobile applications, including:

  • Contact information such as name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and mobile number;
  • User name and password;
  • When you subscribe to or purchase a product or service, your billing information, subscription preferences and account number where needed for payment, to complete a particular transaction, or to access a particular product or service;
  • When you post a user review or make a comment in a blog or forum, information you provide such as your user name, email address, geographic location, and the content of your review or comment; and
  • When you participate in one of our surveys, information you provide to us such as your age, gender and geographic location; information about yourself and your experiences with particular products and services; and your views and opinions on various topics.

Information we collect automatically on CR ProductsCR Products may collect certain information automatically, including through the use of cookies, web beacons, and other technologies. This information may include the following:

  • Your browser and mobile device type, operating system and name of your Internet service provider;
  • Web pages you visit within CR Products;
  • Geo-location information;
  • Information about your interactions with email messages, such as whether the messages were opened and the links clicked in those emails; and
  • Standard server log information.

Information we obtain from other sources. We may collect information about you from other sources, including when you use social media integrated with our products and services (for example, on our pages on Facebook) and when you purchase certain of our mobile products and services from third party services. Examples of the type of information we may receive from other sources are user name and password and payment card information and demographic and lifestyle information.

Combining Information. Please note that the information we collect about you may be combined or supplemented with information from other sources, such as information to validate or update your address, payment card or demographic information.

3. Use of Information

Information we collect is used for a variety of purposes, such as to fulfill a product or service you’ve signed up for or purchased from us (e.g. a paid subscription or newsletter), customize your online experience, or provide you with information regarding products and services we believe may be of interest to you. Other purposes for which we may use your information include to:

  • Contact you regarding your use of our products and services and matters that affect you;
  • Enable you to participate in features such as surveys, user reviews, blogs or forums, make a donation, participate in consumer advocacy campaigns, or enter sweepstakes, contests or other special initiatives;
  • Analyze the use of the CR Products and information about visitors to the CR Products to understand and improve our service offerings;
  • Update and maintain the accuracy of our information;
  • Serve banner ads for Consumer Reports products and services on both the CR Products and other websites; and
  • Provide others with your information for the limited purposes described in this Privacy Policy.

4. Disclosure of Information

We are committed to maintaining your trust and we want you to understand when and with whom we may share information collected about you. If you wish to opt out of any sharing of information described in this Privacy Policy, go to the Choice/Opt Out section below.

Consumers Union Action Fund, Inc. When you participate in one of our consumer-advocacy campaigns, and agree to receive electronic communications regarding our advocacy activities, we may share your information with the Consumers Union Action Fund, Inc. (the “CU Action Fund”), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that works to ensure a fair and safe marketplace for consumers. Please see the separate Consumers Union Advocacy Privacy Policy and the CU Action Fund Privacy Policy for additional information.

Donations. We may share certain information about you when you make a donation to Consumer Reports or one of our related organizations.

If you became a customer of Consumer Reports before January 3, 2013 and make a donation directly to Consumer Reports, Consumer Reports Foundation or Consumers Union, none of the information from that donation will be rented or exchanged with any company or organization other that the CU Action Fund.

If you became a new customer of Consumer Reports on or after January 3, 2013 and later make a donation directly to Consumer Reports, Consumer Reports Foundation or Consumers Union, information from that donation may be shared with our affiliates (including the CU Action Fund and Consumer Media LLC, owner of the Consumerist website). We may also provide information from such donors (including your full name, address and donation information, but excluding your email address, telephone number(s) and any financial account information) to other organizations.

If you want to opt out of any sharing of information described in this section with unaffiliated third parties, please go to Choice/Opt Out for instructions.

User Reviews. If you submit user reviews, we may share your submissions with other websites or provide links to your submissions from other websites.

Direct-Mail and Other Promotional Offers. We may share certain information about you for direct mail and other promotional offers when you subscribe to Consumer Reports magazine or our print newsletters, or purchase any of our print publications.

If you are an existing customer before August 1, 2014 and subscribe to Consumer Reports magazine or our print newsletters or purchase any of our print publications either by mail, phone, or online, we may exchange or rent your name and mailing address (but not your email address) with other companies that offer products or services through direct-mail. We screen all such offers and strive to select trustworthy, reputable companies who offer high quality products or services of interest to you. Each mailing list exchange or rental limits the recipient company's use to one promotional effort only. If you prefer not to receive these offers, please go to Choice/Opt Out for instructions.

If you subscribe to Consumer Reports magazine or our print newsletters or purchase any of our other print publications on or after August 1, 2014, we may provide certain information about you to other companies that offer products or services through direct-mail and other channels. If you prefer not to receive these offers, please go to Choice/Opt Out for instructions.

Authorized Third-Party Service Providers. We may share your information with third party service providers who help us with specialized services, such as payment processing, shipping, mail and e-mail distribution, mobile messaging, website hosting, monitoring of user reviews and ratings, digital publishing, analytics, promotions management, surveys and mobile payment processing. We provide these companies only with the information they need to perform their services. For mobile payment processing, the mobile payment service providers will provide your information to your mobile telephone service provider to bill you directly.

Promotional Offers, Sweepstakes, or Contests. If you choose to enter a sweepstakes, contest or other promotion, your information may be disclosed to third parties who help design, administer and implement the promotion, including in connection with winner selection, prize fulfillment and aggregated data analysis. Your information also may be disclosed as required by law, such as on a winners list.

Aggregated, Anonymous Information. We authorize certain service providers to utilize for their business purposes and in accordance with their privacy policies certain aggregated, anonymous information derived from data collected when you use the products and services they support on our behalf, such as to report on usage or industry trends to their customer base. This aggregated, anonymous information does not identify you personally.

Business Transfers.  We may share your information in connection with a substantial corporate transaction, such as the sale of one or more of our businesses, a merger, the creation of a separate business to provide certain of our products and services, the sale or pledge of our assets, or in the unlikely event of bankruptcy, insolvency or receivership. Information about our customers, donors, and other users of our websites and other products and services may also be shared in connection with a transaction in which Consumer Reports or one of our affiliates, is seeking financing, investment, support, or funding.

If we engage in any of these types of transactions, your information will be subject to our privacy policy in effect at the time of the transfer of that information.

Legal Requirements. We may disclose your information if required by law, such as to comply with a court order or subpoena. 

Protect our Websites and Users. We may also disclose your information to investigate, prevent or take action regarding suspected illegal activities or any violation of the User Agreement or to protect and defend the legal rights and safety of our websites and our employees, agents and contractors (including to enforce our agreements) or in connection with any safety or security concerns. 

5. Choice/Opt out

General Communications from us. Consumer Reports is committed to protecting your privacy and providing you with choice as to how your personally identifiable information is used or disclosed for certain purposes.

You can opt out of receiving promotional or other communications from Consumer Reports or our affiliates, or request that we not share personally identifiable information about you with third parties for their marketing purposes by calling us at 1-800-234-1645 or writing to us at:

Consumer Reports
Attn: Opt out Preference Center
PO Box 2109
Harlan, IA 51593

Be sure to state your full name, address, and account information (if applicable) along with your request. Please note that we have a number of business units (such as Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports online, surveys (including the Annual Questionnaires), and our print or email newsletters) so you will need to specify which unit’s communications you no longer wish to receive.

Additionally, you can change your preferences relating to receipt of a specific electronic newsletter or other communication by following the link near the bottom of the newsletter or such other communication. If you prefer not to receive text or wireless promotional communications you can opt out by following the STOP instructions included in each communication. You can also manage your account preferences for receiving electronic promotional communications from Consumer Reports by clicking here.

If you reside in the U.S., you may also opt out of receiving direct mail promotional communications from Consumer Reports and other organizations by using the online opt out method provided by the Direct Marketing Association. If you would like information about the Direct Marketing Association's Commitment to Consumer Choice, or to opt out, please visit https://www.dmachoice.org/.

If you reside in Canada, please visit the Canadian Marketing Association’s website here to learn about their Do Not Contact Service and to have your name and address removed from marketing lists held by Canadian Marketing Association members

Direct-Mail Promotional Offers from Third Parties.
If you are a subscriber to one of our print magazines or newsletters and prefer not to receive direct-mail promotional offers from third parties as described in Section 4 above, you can opt out by calling us toll free at 1-800-234-1645 or by writing to us at the address listed in the section above. You can also opt out online here.

It may take several weeks for your request to become effective. If you have any questions about your opt out choices, please call us toll-free at 1-800-234-1645.

Please note that even if you opt out of receiving promotional messages from Consumer Reports and/or third parties, we may still send you service-related e-mails relating to your account, including order confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, payment card notifications, and on rare occasions, service-related announcements (such as if there is a service issue).

Fundraising Communications. If you wish to opt out of receiving fundraising communications from us, please call us at 1-800-234-1645 or write to us at:

Consumer Reports Development Office
Fundraising Solicitations
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703.

Please indicate whether you prefer not to receive fundraising solicitations by postal mail, telephone or email, or don’t want us to share such information with third parties. You may also change your fundraising communications preferences by clicking here.

Please note that because we schedule many of our communications in advance, it may take several weeks for an opt out request to become effective. If you continue to receive any communication after opting out, please let us know so that we can take appropriate action.

Advertising. To maintain its independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising. However, we may place ads for Consumer Reports products or services on other websites. Advertisements displayed to you on our sites and elsewhere may be customized to your interests and preferences based on information collected as you browse online, unless you opt out of interest-based advertising by following the instructions that can be found here. You can also visit Google's Ad Settings to manage the ads Google serves.

Tracking technologies like cookies and web beacons are used by our ad partners for these purposes. Some of the CR Products, including our ConsumerReports.org website, use available Google Analytics Advertising Features and their associated tracking technologies in order to help display the Consumer Reports ads you see on other sites, and to help us manage and optimize our online advertising efforts. To opt out of Google Analytics Advertising Features, visit the Google Ad Settings page. Website users can also access the Google Analytics opt out browser add-on here.

Some Internet browsers include the ability to transmit “Do Not Track” signals. Since uniform standards for “Do Not Track” signals have not been adopted, the CR Products do not process or respond to “Do Not Track” signals in users’ web browsers at this time.

Cookies. You can opt out of accepting cookies, and you can also disable them entirely. The Help function on most browsers contains information on how you can set your browser to notify you before accepting cookies or disable them entirely. However, if you don't accept cookies, you won't be able to take advantage of various features of the CR Products that are available to other visitors.

6. Accessing Your Information

If you have provided personal information to us in an online account, you can access and edit that information by logging in and visiting here. For any other requests, please write to us at:

Consumer Reports Customer Relations
Attn: Account Information
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703.

7. Protection of Information

We are committed to protecting your information from loss, misuse or unauthorized alteration. We have put in place physical, technical and administrative procedures to help safeguard and prevent unauthorized access to the data we collect.

Please note that no method of transmitting or storing electronic data is ever completely secure. Therefore, we cannot promise or guarantee that such information will never be accessed, used, or released in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Policy. For more on how the information you provide is secured, you can visit the Protection of Information page.

8. Third Party Sites and Services

This Privacy Policy does not cover the practices of third parties, including those that may disclose information to us. We recommend that you review their policies before you visit those sites.

Similarly, if you purchase a Consumer Reports product or service or communicate with us through a company or service other than Consumer Reports (such as a magazine subscription service, online book or magazine store, digital application service provider, telecommunication service provider, or social-media service), then the privacy policy of that company will control any information you provide to that company. We encourage you to review the privacy policy of any company before submitting your personal information.

We work with third parties, such as ad networks, analytics companies and social networking platforms, and they may collect information about your online activities over time and across our sites and other online services.

9. Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may revise this Privacy Policy to reflect changes in our practices and service offerings. If we modify our Privacy Policy, we will update the "Effective Date" posted at the top of the Policy.

If we make a material change in how we use your personal information, we’ll post a notice on the CR websites 30 days prior to the change and will give you a reasonable opportunity to provide your consent. If you do not consent, your personal information will be used as agreed to under the terms of the privacy policy in effect at the time we obtained your information. By using the CR Products or other products and services after the effective date of such material change, you are deemed to consent to our then-current privacy policy with respect to any information collected after such effective date, provided that we will obtain your affirmative consent where legally required.

10. Your California Privacy Rights

Residents of the State of California may request a list of all third parties to whom certain information has been disclosed during the preceding year for the third parties' direct marketing purposes. If you are a California resident and want such a list, please write to us at:

Consumer Reports
Attn: Legal Department
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703-1057

or email us at: legaldept@consumer.org.

For all requests, you must put the statement "Your California Privacy Rights" in the body of your request and include the name of the CR website with respect to which you are requesting the information, as well as your name, street address, city, state, and zip code.

11Privacy Protection for Children

The CR Products and other products and services are directed toward a general audience and are intended for adults only. We do not knowingly request information from children under the age of 13. In those instances where a CR Product has actual knowledge that it collects information from or offers a service directed toward children as defined under applicable laws, it will comply with those laws.

12. Visitors from Outside the United States

Consumer Reports is a New York not-for-profit organization headquartered in Yonkers, New York, USA. If you are located outside of the United States, the personal information you provide to us will be transferred to the United States and governed by applicable U.S. laws and regulations and this Privacy Policy. Some of this information may be transferred to and processed and stored by our service providers in other countries. By submitting your personal information to us, you consent to its transfer to and storage in the United States and other countries designated by Consumer Reports, its governance by U.S. laws and regulations, and its use in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

13. Questions regarding this Privacy Policy

If you have any questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy or would like a written copy, please contact us at:

Consumer Reports Customer Relations
Attn: Privacy
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703

Or, if you would like to contact us via e-mail, please visit www.consumerreports.org/e-mail.

If you feel that we have not followed our Privacy Policy, please let us know. Additionally, you may contact The Direct Marketing Association's Committee on Ethical Business Practices at ethics@the-dma.org.

14. Disputes

Any disputes regarding this Privacy Policy are subject to our User Agreement and will be governed by the laws of the State of New York, applicable to agreements made and performed in New York.