Effective Date: June 30, 2020
- the information we, Couchsurfing International, Inc. (“Couchsurfing”) collect about you,
- how we use and share that information, and
- the privacy choices available to you.
What Information Do We Collect When You Use Our Services?
Information You Provide to Us
We collect information you provide to us, such as when you create an account, update your profile, use the interactive features of our Services, participate in contests, promotions or surveys, request customer support or otherwise communicate with us. The types of information we may collect include:
- Basic user information, such as your name, username, gender, birth date, email address, mailing address, billing address, phone number and photographs;
- Messages and interactive forum information, such as discussion group posts, messages to other Couchsurfing users and information you provide in connection with activities and events;
- Other background, contact and demographic information, such as your occupation, personal URL, IM username, emergency contact, home descriptions, travel history and plans and other interests and self-descriptions you choose to provide;
- Information stored on your mobile device, such as your photos, calendar information and contacts, if you have given us permission to access this information; and
- Information about you from other Couchsurfing users, such as trust ratings, friend connections, public references, and other interconnections and interactions between you and other Couchsurfing users.
- Information provided to us by you as a part of the identity verification process. This includes the identity document and images used in the process, as well as the information included on the identity document provided.
Information We Collect Automatically
When you access or use our Services, we may also automatically collect information about you, including:
- Location Information: We may collect information about your location when you access our mobile application or website, or otherwise consent to the collection of this information.
- Device Information: We collect device-specific information when you access our Services, including your hardware model, operating system and version, unique device identifiers, mobile network information and information about the device’s interaction with our Services.
- Log Information: We collect log information about how you access or use our Services, including your access times, browser type and language, Internet Service Provider and Internet Protocol (“IP”) address.
- Information Collected by Cookies and other Tracking Technologies: We may automatically collect information using cookies, web beacons (also known as “tracking gifs,” “pixel tags” and “tracking pixels”) and other tracking technologies to, among other things, improve our Services and your experience, monitor user activity, count visits, understand usage and campaign effectiveness, and tell if an email has been opened and acted upon.
Information We Collect from Other Sources
We may also obtain information from other sources and combine that with information we collect through our Services. For example, if you create or log into your Couchsurfing account through a third-party social networking site, we will have access to certain information from that site, such as your name, profile picture, connections and other account information in accordance with the authorization procedures determined by such third-party social networking site.
Some of this information may be shared with other users. For example, they may be able to see your connections who are also Couchsurfing users.
How Do We Use this Information?
- Operate and improve our Services;
- Protect the safety of Couchsurfing users and provide our verification service;
- Send you technical notices, updates, security alerts and support and administrative messages;
- Respond to your comments, questions and requests and provide customer service;
- Communicate with you about products, services, offers, promotions, rewards and events and provide other news and information about Couchsurfing and other third parties;
- Monitor and analyze trends, usage and activities in connection with our Services;
- Personalize the Services, which may include providing content or features that match user profiles or interests;
- Process and deliver contest entries and rewards; and
- Link or combine with other information we get from third parties to help understand your needs and provide you with better service.
We retain the personal data you provide until your account is deleted. Account deactivation does not delete your personal data. In some cases we may retain certain information in anonymized or aggregated form.
Transfers of Your Personal Information Abroad
Sharing of Information
- With your consent
- With third party vendors, consultants and other service providers who need access to such information to carry out their work for us; This includes Onfido, the provider of our Identity Verification product, as well as other third party vendors who assist us with fraud prevention and detection.
- With others who access or use our Services in accordance with the privacy settings you establish
- With search engines in order to index the content you provide as part of a discussion forum or public profile;
- With partners who run contests, special offers or other events or activities in connection with our Services;
- In connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company;
- If we believe that disclosure is reasonably necessary to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements; and
We may also share aggregated or de-identified information, which cannot reasonably be used to identify you.
Couchsurfing is responsible and liable if third-party agents that it uses to process the personal data on its behalf do so in a manner inconsistent with the Privacy Shield Principles, unless Couchsurfing proves that it is not responsible for the event that allowed the damage to occur.
Social Media Tools
Third Party Links
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services as part of our Services. These third parties may have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the activities of these third parties and how they collect, use or share information about you. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our Services and welcome any feedback about these third parties.
Advertising and Analytics Services Provided by Others
How Do We Protect Visitor Information?
We take security of your data seriously and take reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction.
Your Information Choices
We will only collect and process personal data about you where we have a lawful basis. Lawful bases include, but are not limited to, where:
- you have given consent
- processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with you
- processing is necessary for the legitimate interests pursued by Couchsurfing, as deemed lawful under the Global Data Protection Regulation.
- processing is necessary for the compliance of a legal obligation
You have many choices about your data.
- You can update and correct most of your personal data through your account. If this is not possible, you can ask us to update your data, particularly in cases of inaccuracy, by contacting Customer Support.
- You can request a portable copy of your data under the Privacy section of your Account and Settings (Desktop only).
- You can opt-out of email marketing and push notifications using the Email and Push Notification options in your Account and Settings Page.
- You can ask us to restrict or limit the processing of your data.
- You may also revoke your consent to processing and ask us to delete your data.
- You may determine whether certain information about you will be visible to others by navigating to "Account & Settings" on our website and editing your options under "Privacy"
You may deactivate your account at any time by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Even after you deactivate your account, we may retain certain information as required by law, for legitimate business purposes or to protect member safety. If your account is deactivated, Couchsurfing will provide access to the data associated with the deactivated account upon receipt of the required legal documentation.
Location Information via Mobile Device
You have the ability to turn location-based services on and off by adjusting the settings of your Internet browser or mobile device and by following the standard uninstall process and removing Couchsurfing’s application from your device. Doing so, however, may mean that you cannot use all or a portion of our Services.
Most web browsers are set to accept cookies by default. However, you can choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies. Each browser is a little different, so look at your browser's help menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies, or visit www.allaboutcookies.org. Please note, however, that our Services may not function properly if your browser does not accept cookies.
You may opt out of receiving promotional communications from Couchsurfing by following the instructions in those emails or by adjusting the appropriate settings in your profile. If you opt out, we may still send you transactional or relationship messages, such as emails about your account.
Couchsurfing International, Inc. ("Couchsurfing"), which processes the personal data of individuals in the European Union, European Economic Area and/or UK, in either the role of 'data controller' or 'data processor', has appointed DataRep as its Data Protection Representative for the purposes of GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation, EU 2016/769) in the EU/EEA and The Data Protection Act 2018 (as amended) in the UK.
If Couchsurfing has processed or is processing your personal data, you may be entitled to exercise your rights under GDPR in respect of that personal data. For more details on the right you have in respect of your personal data, please refer to the European Commission (https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-protection-eu_en) or the National Data Protection Authority in your country.
Couchsurfing takes the protection of personal data seriously, and has appointed DataRep as their Data Protection Representative in the European Union so that you can now contact them directly in your home country. DataRep has locations in each of the 27 EU countries, the UK, and Norway & Iceland in the European Economic Area (EEA), so that Couchsurfing's customers can always raise the questions they want with them.
If you want to raise a question to Couchsurfing, or otherwise exercise your rights in respect of your personal data, you may do so by:
- sending an email to DataRep at email@example.com
- contacting us on our online webform at www.datarep.com/data-request, or
- mailing your inquiry to DataRep at the most convenient of the addresses mentioned below
Please note: When mailing inquiries, it is essential that you mark your letters for "DataRep" and not "Couchsurfing", or your inquiry may not reach DataRep. Please refer clearly to Couchsurfing in your correspondence. On receiving your correspondence, Couchsurfing is likely to request evidence of your identity, to ensure your personal data and information connected with it is not provided to anyone other than you.
If you have any concerns over how DataRep will handle the personal data we will require to undertake our services, please refer to their privacy notice at www.datarep.com.privacy-policy
The mailing addresses for DataRep can be found in this Word Document here.