Privacy Policy

The Costco Auto Program’s Commitment to Privacy

Updated as of: November 28, 2016

The Costco Auto Program is operated by Affinity Auto Program, Inc. (“CAP”, “we”, “us” or “our”). Affinity Auto Program is an independent company, not an affiliate of Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco”). CAP respects your right to privacy and your ability to make informed choices about the uses of your information. This privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”), which is separate from Costco’s privacy policy, describes our policies and practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of your information as part of the Costco Auto Program and our technology platforms, including, without limitation, our website, mobile application, call center, text and chat communications, interactive features and social media pages (collectively, the “CAP Site”). This Privacy Policy applies to information collected from the CAP Site unless different terms are specified in an online or other form or contract we provide you.

  1. COLLECTION OF INFORMATION
  2. HOW WE USE THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT
  3. SHARING OF INFORMATION
  4. YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS, CHOICE AND ACCESS
  5. TARGETED ADVERTISING; HOW TO OPT OUT
  6. HOW WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOU
  7. SECURITY OF YOUR INFORMATION
  8. OTHER SITES
  9. CHANGES AND POLICY UPDATES
  10. CONTACT US

1. COLLECTION OF INFORMATION

We may collect and process the following information:

Information You Provide to Us

We may collect “Personal Information”, which is information that identifies an individual or that can be reasonably associated with a specific person or entity, such as name, email address, telephone number, home address, geolocation, demographic information (such as ZIP code, gender and age), contact information, and information about vehicle purchases (such as a vehicle purchase agreement that you give us permission to review). The types of Personal Information we collect may vary depending on your use of the various features and programs available on the CAP Site from time to time.

We collect and store the Personal Information that you provide us, such as when you:

  • Request to be referred to a participating CAP dealer to receive member pricing on a desired vehicle or to receive a discount coupon or voucher for parts and service;
  • Provide other information, such as information about your vehicle preferences (e.g., vehicle make, model and/or your desired vehicle options);
  • Register at the CAP Site for an OEM promotion or opt-in to receive text messages, emails or other incentives or communications;
  • Contact us for any reason (such as when you speak with a CAP customer service representative); or
  • Provide feedback by participating in a member survey.

Information We Collect Automatically

  • Usage Information: When you visit the CAP Site, we, as well as any third-party advertisers and/or service providers, may use a variety of technologies that automatically or passively collect information about how various parts of the CAP Site are accessed and used (“Usage Information”), such as your browser type, device type, operating system, application version, the pages served to you, previous page views, the site from which you linked, the time and date of your visit to the CAP Site, your use of features on the CAP Site and your inquiries. This statistical data helps us understand what is interesting and relevant to users so we can best tailor our content. Usage Information is generally non-identifying, but if CAP associates it with you as a specific and identifiable person, CAP will treat it as Personal Information.
  • Device Identifiers: We also automatically collect an Internet (IP) address or other unique identifier information (“Device Identifier”) for the computer, mobile device, technology or other device (collectively, “Device”) you use to access the CAP Site. A Device Identifier is a number that is automatically assigned to your Device when you access a website or its servers, and our computers identify your Device by its Device Identifier. We may use a Device Identifier to, among other things, administer the CAP Site, help diagnose problems with our servers, analyze trends, track users’ web page movements, help identify you and your inquiries, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.
  • Cookies and Similar Technologies: We may use cookies, pixel tags and similar technologies to automatically collect information. Cookies are small bits of information that are stored by your Device’s web browser. Pixel tags are very small images or small pieces of data embedded in images, also known as “web beacons” or “clear GIFs,” that can recognize cookies, the time and date a page is viewed, a description of the page where the pixel tag is placed, and similar information from your Device.

    We may allow third parties to place and read their own cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies to collect information through the CAP Site. For example, our third-party service providers may use these technologies to collect information that helps us with traffic measurement, research, analytics and provide you with incentives and coupons, including the delivery of targeted advertisements. Depending on the configuration options offered by the operating system, web browser, and other software on your Device, you may be able to decide if and how your Device will accept a cookie by configuring your preferences or options in your Device or web browser. If you choose to refuse, disable, or delete these technologies, some of the functionality of the CAP Site may no longer be available to you.

Information From Other Sources

We may receive additional information about you from other sources and may combine that information with the other information we collect or receive about you. For example, you may choose to participate in a third-party application or social media site through which you allow us to collect (or the third party to share) information about you, including Usage Information and Personal Information. We may also receive information from third-party partners and service providers, including partners and service providers that provide us information that is publicly or commercially available. We may match the information we collect about you through the CAP Site with information collected from such third parties in order to enhance our ability to serve you, to tailor our content to you and/or to offer you opportunities to purchase products or services that we believe may be of interest to you.

2. HOW WE USE THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT

We use the information we collect about and from you for a variety of business purposes, including:

  • Using your vehicle request and ZIP code to locate a participating dealership in your area for the specific make and model requested;
  • Responding to your questions and requests;
  • Providing you with access to certain areas and features of the CAP Site;
  • Verifying your identity (for example, we use your Costco membership number to verify your membership with Costco and to determine your level of Costco membership to verify the Costco cash card amount you may be entitled to through a promotion);
  • Sending notice of changes to any policy and/or the CAP Site or research tools;
  • Tailoring content, advertisements and incentives we provide you;
  • Providing you with market updates and other promotional information. For example, we may send you:
    • Information about the participating dealership for the vehicle you requested, including, without limitation, dealership information, an overview of next steps (following your request for dealer information) and CAP benefits;
    • Coupons for vehicle parts, service and/or accessories;
    • Dealer or manufacturer incentives;
    • Notifications to you concerning national or regional exclusive vehicle manufacturer incentives;
    • Updates about manufacturer rebates and incentives that may be of interest to you based on your prior vehicle requests, industry updates and trends;
    • Announcements about new CAP benefits or enhancements; or
    • Other incentives or savings opportunities.
  • Improving the CAP Site and for internal business purposes;
  • Compiling aggregate statistics about the total number of daily visitors to the CAP Site, the pages most frequently visited and how long visitors stay at each page (this allows us to understand our customer’s needs and to develop products and services to serve those needs); and
  • As otherwise described to you at the point of collection or pursuant to your consent.

3. SHARING OF INFORMATION

Except as provided below, we will not provide any of your Personal Information to third parties without your specific consent. We may share your information for purposes described at the time you provide your information or with third parties as follows:

  • Participating Dealerships and Vehicle Manufacturers: We may share your information with participating dealerships and/or vehicle manufacturers so that they can provide you with incentives, promotional materials, and other materials that you request or that we think might be of interest to you. For example, we may share your name, email address, phone number and requested vehicle information (such as make, model and vehicle features) with a participating dealership to help you with the purchase of your vehicle. However, CAP is not responsible for the privacy practices of these participating dealerships and/or vehicle manufacturers, which may use your information for their own purposes.
  • Costco: We share Personal Information with Costco for customer service, member tracking and satisfaction purposes, and so Costco can communicate with you about other products and services to you that you may be interested in.
  • Third Parties Providing Services on Our Behalf: We may share your Personal Information with third parties that perform functions on our behalf (or on behalf of our partners) such as service providers that host or operate the CAP Site, analyze data, fulfill inquiries or provide customer service; or other third parties that participate in or administer our promotions or provide marketing or promotional assistance.
  • Other Parties with Your Consent: While on the CAP Site, you may have the opportunity to opt-in to receive information and/or marketing incentives from someone else or to otherwise consent to the sharing of your information with a third party. If you agree to have your Personal Information shared, your Personal Information will be disclosed to the third party and the Personal Information you disclose will be subject to the privacy policy and business practices of that third party. We are not responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these parties, and we encourage you to become familiar with their privacy practices and policies before disclosing information to them.
  • Business Transfers: Your information, including Personal Information, may be disclosed or transferred as part of, or during negotiations of, any merger or sale of company assets or acquisition.
  • Legal Disclosure: We may transfer and disclose information, including your Personal Information, Usage Information and Device Identifier, (including IP address), to third parties to comply with a legal obligation; when we believe in good faith that the law requires it; at the request of governmental authorities conducting an investigation; to verify or enforce our applicable policies; to respond to an emergency; or otherwise to protect the rights, property, safety, or security of third parties, visitors to the CAP Site or the public.
  • Non-Personal Information: We may share non-Personal Information, such as aggregate user statistics, demographic information, and Usage Information with third parties.

4. YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS, CHOICE AND ACCESS

You have a number of choices about how we handle information we collect or receive about you.

  • Use of Your Personal Information: You may direct us not to share your Personal Information with third parties, not to use your Personal Information to provide you with information or incentives, or not to send you emails, text messages or other communications by: (i) sending us an email at Talktous@costcoauto.com; (ii) contacting us by mail at Costco Auto Program, 10251 Vista Sorrento Parkway, Suite 300, San Diego, California 92121, Attn: Privacy Policy; or (iii) following the removal instructions in the communication that you receive.
  • Delete Your Information: In accordance with our routine record keeping, we may delete certain records that contain Personal Information you have submitted through the CAP Site. We are under no obligation to store such Personal Information indefinitely and disclaim any liability arising out of, or related to, the destruction of such Personal Information.
  • “Do Not Track” Signals: Some web browsers may give you the ability to enable a “do not track” setting. Because these features are not yet uniform, CAP currently does not take action in response to these signals.

5. INTEREST-BASED / TARGETED ADVERTISING; HOW TO OPT OUT

CAP may use third-party network advertisers to serve advertisements and third-party analytics vendors to evaluate and provide us with information about the use of the CAP Site and viewing of our content. We do not share Personal Information with these third parties in connection with serving interest-based or targeted advertisements (unless, of course, you give us permission), but ad network providers, the advertisers, the sponsors, and/or analytics service providers may set and access their own cookies, pixel tags and similar technologies on your Device and they may otherwise collect or have access to information about you, including Usage Information. On occasion, we and our network advertisers may target advertisements for products and services in which you might be interested based on your visits to both the CAP Site and other websites. We may use a variety of companies to serve advertisements.

CAP adheres to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. If you do not want to receive the benefits of targeted advertising, you may opt out of some network advertising programs that use your information by visiting: the NAI Opt-Out Page and the DAA Opt-Out Page. Please note that even if you choose to remove your information (opt-out), you will still see advertisements while you’re browsing online, including advertisements that are relevant to the content of the webpage or application page on which they are displayed and advertisements that are relevant to your current location. However, the advertisements you see may be less relevant to you and your interests. Additionally, many network advertising programs allow you to view and manage the interest categories they have compiled from your online browsing activities. These interest categories help determine the types of targeted advertisements you may receive. The NAI Opt-Out Page and the DAA Opt-Out Page each provide a tool that identifies its member/participating companies that have cookies on your browser and provides a mechanism to opt out of receiving cookies from those companies. Please note that if you opt-out of targeted advertising, we may still track your visits to the CAP Site for our own analytics, operations and security purposes.

6. HOW WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOU

We may communicate with you regarding any matter related to the Costco Auto Program via mail, via telephone or via electronic communications, including via email to the email address you provide, via text message to the mobile phone you provide, or via the CAP Site.

By providing your mobile phone number, you agree to receive text messages at that mobile phone number. To opt-out of receiving text messages, please follow the instructions in the body of the text message. Note that in order for you to receive communications via text message, you must maintain, at your own cost, a mobile device capable of sending and receiving text messages. Message and data rates may apply to each text message sent and received in connection with the Costco Auto Program. Please see your wireless provider to review your wireless plan details.

7. SECURITY OF YOUR INFORMATION

We take information security seriously and use certain reasonable security measures to help protect your Personal Information. However, no electronic data transmission or storage of information can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Please note that we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you use the CAP Site and provide us with your information at your own risk.

8. OTHER SITES

The CAP Site may contain links to other websites or online services that are operated and maintained by Costco or third parties, and that are not under the control of or maintained by CAP.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to Costco’s activity or to any Personal Information you may disclose directly to Costco. We encourage you to review Costco’s privacy policy, available here.

9. CHANGES AND POLICY UPDATES

Please note, we may change information on the CAP Site and/or this Privacy Policy at any time without prior notice to you, and any changes will be effective immediately upon the posting of the revised Privacy Policy on the CAP Site. CAP will use your Personal Information in a manner consistent with the Privacy Policy in effect at the time you submitted the information, unless you consent to the new or revised policy. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices.

10. CONTACT US

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Policy, please contact us at: Costco Auto Program, 10251 Vista Sorrento Parkway, Suite 300, San Diego, California 92121, Attn: Privacy Policy.

Again, this CAP privacy policy and practices are separate from Costco’s practices. Please visit Costco’s privacy policy for information about how Costco uses information.

Questions?

1-800-755-2519

Mon. - Fri. 6 a.m. - 7 p.m., PT
Sat. & Sun. 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., PT