Effective Date: July 1, 2015
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.
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.
- 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
4. Disclosure of 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.
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
Opting out of email communications (promotional, free email newsletters, and Ratings alerts)
If you subscribe to any of our paid products or services (for example, Consumer Reports magazine or ConsumerReports.org), our free email newsletters (for example, those about cars, finance, drugs or safety issues) or our Ratings alerts, we may send you promotional emails about our other products and services or to ask you about your experience.
Opting out online
You can opt out of receiving these email communications from us by following the instructions provided at the bottom of each promotional email. If you use this method, you will stop receiving only that particular type of email message.
If you are a subscriber to one of our paid products or services, you can manage your email communication preferences on your "My Account" page by clicking here
(or by going to www.consumerreports.org/myaccount).
Opting out by telephone
You may also opt out of receiving these email communications by calling us at 1-800-234-1645.
Please allow up to 10 business days for changes to your email preferences to take effect.
During that time, you may continue to receive email promotional communications from us that were already in process. Opting out of receiving email communications will not affect your receipt of service-related communications such as order confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, payment card notifications, and other service-related announcements relating to your account (such as if there is a service issue).
Opting out of postal mail promotional communications
Opting Out Online
If you subscribe to any of our paid products or services or to our free email newsletters, we may send you by postal mail you promotional materials to your postal address about our other products and services. We may also share your postal mail contact information with third parties for their marketing purposes as described in Section 4 above. If you do not want us to send you receive these promotional such mailings from us or to share your us to mail you our own promotional materials or share your postal mail contact information with third parties for marketing purposes, please click here
to manage your postal mail preferences.
Opting out by calling or writing
Another way you can opt out of having promotional materials sent to your postal mailing address is by calling us at 1-800-234-1645 or by writing to us at:
Attn: Opt Out Preference Center
PO Box 2109
Harlan, IA 51593.
If you are writing to us, please include your full name and street address and specify which type of promotional postal communications you no longer wish to receive.
Opting out through the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
It can take up to 8 weeks for your postal mail opt out request to become effective. During that time you may continue to receive promotional mailings that were already in process.
Opting out of fundraising communications
If you wish to opt out of receiving fundraising communications from us, please go to www.ConsumerReports.org/fundraising
. You may also call us at 1-800-234-1645 or write to us at:
Consumer Reports Foundation
P. O. Box 96552
Washington, DC 20090-6552.
If you are writing to us, please specify whether you want to opt out of receiving postal mail, telephone and/or email fundraising solicitations from us. Please also let us know if you do not wish us to share your information with third parties as described in Section 4 above.
Because we schedule many fundraising communications in advance, it may take up to 8 weeks for an opt out request to become effective.
Opting out of consumer surveys
We have supplementary policies that specifically address information collected through participation in our surveys
. You can stop receiving consumer surveys by following the opt out instructions in each survey email invitation. You can also stop opt out of receiving future surveys by calling us at 1-800-234-1645 or by writing to us at:
Consumer Reports Customer Relations
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703.
Opting out of online and mobile website advertising
To help maintain our independence and impartiality, we accept no outside advertising. However, we may place ads for our own products and services on our own sites, as well as on other Web sites you visit. Ads for our Consumer Reports products and services may be customized to your interests and preferences based on information collected as you browse online. Tracking technologies like cookies and web beacons are used for these purposes. You can opt out of this interest-based advertising, as well as advertising on your mobile device, by visiting TRUSTe’s Ad Preference Manager
. You can also use this link to opt out of mobile website advertising on your mobile device.
Some of our products and services, including the ConsumerReports.org web site, use Google Analytics Advertising Features and its associated tracking technologies 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 Google’s Ad Settings
page. Website users can also access the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser Add-on
We work with Flurry Analytics to provide analytics in connection with our mobile applications. For more information about Flurry's privacy practices, please click here
. To opt out of Flurry Analytics tracking used with our mobile applications click here
Do Not Track: Some Internet browsers include the ability to transmit “Do Not Track” signals that give consumers control over the collection and use of web browsing information. Since uniform standards for “Do Not Track” signals have not yet been adopted, Consumer Reports does not process or respond to such signals in users’ web browsers at this time.
Opting out of texts to your mobile device
If you prefer not to receive text or wireless promotional communications on your mobile device, you can opt out by replying STOP.
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.
8. Third Party Sites and Services
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.
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:
Attn: Legal Department
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703-1057
or email us at: email@example.com.
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.
11. Privacy 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 Customer Relations
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703
Or, if you would like to contact us via e-mail, please visit www.consumerreports.org/e-mail.