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Privacy Policy

The Costco Auto Program’s Commitment to Privacy

Updated as of: December 31, 2019

The Costco Auto Program is operated by Affinity Auto Programs, 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, customer surveys, 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. YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS
  7. HOW WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOU
  8. SECURITY OF YOUR INFORMATION
  9. OTHER SITES
  10. CHANGES AND POLICY UPDATES
  11. CONTACT US

1. WHAT INFORMATION WE COLLECT

We, and service providers acting on our behalf may collect “Personal Information”, which is information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular individual or household. 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 may collect and process the following information:

  • Contact Information: We may collect your name, email address, telephone number, and home address. We may also collect your Costco Membership Number.
  • Location Information: We may collect information about your general location through your ZIP code and IP address.
  • Demographic Information: We may collect your ZIP code, gender and age.
  • Purchase and Preference Information: We may collect information about your vehicle preferences and purchases (such as which makes and models you search for, whether you search for new or used vehicles, and information contained in a vehicle purchase agreement that you give us permission to review).
  • Employment-Related Information: If you apply for a job with us, we will collect employment information you submit, such as your work experience and previous employment, your education history, your resume, the URL to your personal or professional websites, your workplace skill sets and certifications that you provide.
  • Internet, Device, and Usage Information: When you visit the CAP Site, read our emails, or interact with our ads and other online content, we, as well as any advertisers and/or service providers, may use a variety of technologies that automatically or passively collect information about those interactions, 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. We also automatically collect an IP address or other unique identifier information for the computer, mobile device, technology or other device (collectively, “Device”) you use to access the CAP Site. We may allow other parties to place and read their own cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies to collect information through the CAP Site. For example, our 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.

Using the other pieces of Personal Information collected about you, we may draw inferences about you, reflecting what we believe to be your preferences, characteristics, predispositions, attitudes and behavior.

2. HOW AND FROM WHOM WE COLLECT INFORMATION

We may collect or receive Personal Information from the following sources:

  • Directly from you: 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.
  • Automatically from your devices: We may use cookies, pixel tags and similar technologies to automatically collect information when you visit the CAP Site or interact with our ads and other online content. 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.
  • From Other Sources: We may receive 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 another party’s application or social media site through which you allow us to collect (or the other party to share) information about you, including Personal Information. We may also receive information from 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 other 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.

3. 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;
  • Administering the CAP Site, helping diagnose problems with our servers, analyzing trends, tracking users’ web page movements, helping identify you and your inquiries, and gathering broad demographic information for aggregate use;
  • Protecting our company, the CAP Site, and our users;
  • Complying with legal obligations;
  • For hiring purposes, such as to review job applications and contact you about employment inquiries;
  • Compiling aggregate statistics, such as 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.

4. SHARING OF INFORMATION

We may share your Personal Information for purposes described at the time you provide your information, or with other 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.
  • Service Providers Performing Services on Our Behalf: We may share your Personal Information with service providers 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 participate in or administer our promotions or provide marketing or promotional assistance.
  • Other Parties: 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. We may also share or make available information with or to social media platforms, advertising networks, and ad tech companies.
  • 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, 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 or de-identified information, with third parties.

5. YOUR CHOICES 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 other parties for their own marketing purposes, not to use your Personal Information to provide you with marketing information or incentives, or not to send you marketing 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. If you opt out of receiving our marketing communications, we may still send you non-marketing communications, such as notices about this Privacy Policy or our Terms of Use.
  • Delete Your Information: You may request that we delete certain records that contain Personal Information you have submitted through the CAP Site. This right is not absolute, and we may deny certain deletion requests in whole or in part based upon our record keeping practices and legal rights and obligations. 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.
  • Cookies: 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.
  • Interest-Based / Targeted advertising: 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. 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. 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. 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. YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

If you reside in California, you have the right to ask us once each year if we have shared personal information with third parties for their own marketing purposes. To make a request, please send us an email at privacyrequests@CostcoAuto.com. Please mark your inquiries “California Shine the Light Request.

If you are a California resident, in addition to any rights and choices described above, you may also make the following more specific requests regarding your Personal Information:

  • Shine the Light Requests - You have the right to ask us once each year if we have shared personal information with third parties for their own marketing purposes. To make a request, please send us an email at privacyrequests@CostcoAuto.com. Please mark your inquiries “California Shine the Light Request.”
  • Access – You can request that we disclose to you the categories of Personal Information we collected about you, the categories of sources from which we collected the Personal Information, the categories of Personal Information we sold or disclosed, our business or commercial purpose for collecting and selling your Personal Information, the categories of third parties with whom we shared your Personal Information, and the specific pieces of Personal Information we collected about you over the past 12 months.
  • Deletion – You can request that we delete your Personal Information that we maintain about you, subject to certain exceptions.
  • Opt-out – You can request to opt-out of the sale of your Personal Information. California law defines a “sale” broadly and for purposes of this Privacy Policy, “sell” means the disclosure of your Personal Information to a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration. While we generally don’t sell information, as described above, we let certain companies place tracking technologies like cookies on our sites, which allow those companies to receive information about your activity on our sites that is associated with your browser or device. These companies may use that data to customize content for you and to serve you more relevant ads on our sites or others, on our behalf and on the behalf of other advertisers, which could be considered a “sale”. Even if you make a Do-Not-Sell My Info request through the CAP Site, you will need to separately opt out at http://optout.aboutads.info to stop these sorts of transfers.

We will not discriminate against you because you exercised any of the above rights.

California residents can exercise these rights online by clicking here, by emailing us at ccparequests@costcoauto.com or by calling us at 877-722-4559. We may deny certain requests, or fulfill a request only in part, based on our legal rights and obligations. For example, we may retain Personal Information as permitted by law, such as for tax or other record keeping purposes, to maintain an active account, and to process transactions and facilitate customer requests.

We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity prior to responding to your requests. The verification steps will vary depending on the sensitivity of the Personal Information and whether you have an account with us.

You may designate an authorized agent to make a request on your behalf. When submitting the request, please ensure the authorized agent is identified as an authorized agent.

For purposes of exercising these rights, please note the following regarding how we collect and use your Personal Information, as more fully set forth in this Privacy Policy:

  • We collect the following categories of Personal Information as detailed in applicable California law: identifiers; commercial information; protected classifications under California or federal law; internet or other electronic network activity information; geolocation data; and inferences.
  • We collect these categories of Personal Information directly from you, passively from your devices, and from certain other parties, as more fully described in Section 2 above.
  • We use these categories of Personal Information for our own business and commercial purposes, as more fully described in Section 3 above.
  • We share or disclose these categories of Personal Information for our business and commercial purposes as described in Section 4 above, to the extent permitted by applicable law.
  • We may “sell” the following categories of Personal Information as detailed in applicable California law: identifiers; commercial information; internet or other electronic network activity; geolocation data; and inferences.

7. 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.

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.

8. SECURITY OF YOUR INFORMATION

We take information security seriously and use certain reasonable security measures designed 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.

9. 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.

10. 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. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices

11. 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

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