The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) is the umbrella association for the United States Better Business Bureaus (BBBs), and the CBBB works closely with the Canadian Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) through the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus. What follows is CBBB's online privacy policy, which governs personal information gathered on our Internet sites (www.bbb.org, www.bbbonline.org and their aliases) but not the sites of BBBs. Each BBB has its own privacy and security policies for its web site, consistent with policy established by the CBBB Board of Directors, whether that site is a sub-domain of www.bbb.org (for example, www.city.bbb.org) or is hosted independently of CBBB. To check out the privacy and security policies of each BBB, please look here for a list of the BBB websites.

CBBB's Commitment to Online Security
Physical, electronic and managerial procedures have been employed to safeguard the security and integrity of personal information. The CBBB encrypts billing information wherever CBBB requests it. All CBBB agents and contractors with access to personal information obtained on the CBBB web sites are also bound to adhere to this policy as part of their contract with CBBB. To protect the security of information supplied by businesses applying for participation in the BBBOnLine privacy program, businesses are provided user names and passwords to access their information.

Personal Information that CBBB May Collect Online
The CBBB collects personal information online, including names, postal and e-mail addresses, phone and facsimile numbers, billing information, vehicle information such as vehicle identification numbers, and complaint information. The CBBB may also collect business information from sole proprietorships that apply for membership and for program participation, some of which could constitute personal information, as well as personal information from individuals acting solely in their business capacity.

The CBBB does not knowingly collect or maintain any personal information from children under the age of 13. In addition, no part of our sites are designed with the purpose of attracting any person under age 13.

How CBBB Uses Personal Information Collected Online
Unless you otherwise consent, we will use your personal information only for the purpose for which it is submitted, such as to reply to your emails, handle your complaints, and process billing and business requests related to program participation, and we will use such information to provide operational notices, in program record-keeping and to conduct research on industry marketplace practices. Our research may lead to the publication of aggregate demographical data but will not result in the reporting or publication of any personal information provided to us. At certain points where personal information is collected on our site, there may be a box where you may indicate you would like to be on a mailing list to receive information about other CBBB programs and services and about ways to support the CBBB and the CBBB Foundation/BBB Wise Giving Alliance. This election box only appears in places where the department collecting personal information maintains such lists. At any time you can add or remove your name from a CBBB list by contacting us at privacyreview@bbb.org.

How Your Information May Be Shared
In order to process a complaint, the CBBB may send the complaint to the BBB where the company complained about is headquartered, handle it itself, or refer the complaint to another appropriate organization for handling. For example, CBBB normally handles complaints against charities and certain automobile manufacturers and CBBB or the appropriate BBB may handle complaints against foreign businesses, or the CBBB may refer such complaints to an appropriate foreign organization. Depending on the type of complaint, either the CBBB or the BBB will also transfer complaints to the company complained about. Further, when we receive a request or inquiry that a BBB must handle, we forward the request or inquiry to the appropriate BBB. By completing a complaint form or sending us a request or inquiry, you are allowing us to forward your information to the appropriate BBB, if necessary, and potentially also to the proper business. Without submission of the requested information, the CBBB will not be able to process your complaint.

We never sell or rent your personal information.

The CBBB may also release personal information under the following circumstances:

  • Where release is required by law (for example, a subpoena) or regulation or is requested by a government agency;

  • Where our records indicate a company may be engaged in fraudulent activity or other deceptive practices that a governmental agency should be made aware of;

  • To appropriate governmental authorities, where warranted by a company's failure to participate in the advertising self-regulatory process or respond to an online privacy complaint, or where a company fails to honor the recommendations of the National Advertising Division, Children's Advertising Review Unit, National Advertising Review Board or of BBBOnLine's Privacy Program Review Service; or

  • To appropriate persons, where your communication suggests possible harm to others.

Help Us Keep Your Personal Information Accurate
If your personal information changes or you would like to review the personal information we may have on file, please e-mail us with the new information or your review request at privacyreview@bbb.org. Let us also know what led to your submission of personal information so we may efficiently locate your information.

Computer Tracking and Cookies
Our web sites are not set up to track, collect or distribute personal information not entered by visitors. Our site logs do generate certain kinds of non-identifying site usage data, such as the number of hits and visits to our sites. This information is used for internal purposes by technical support staff to provide better services to the public and may also be provided to others, but again, the statistics contain no personal information and cannot be used to gather such information.

Our web sites also recognize the online site where a visitor "clicked-to-check" on the BBBOnLine seal of a BBBOnLine program participant, but we cannot identify the visitor or the visitor's address. Site information is used to confirm participation in the BBBOnLine program, and may be used to advise participants of the numbers of visitors who come to our BBBOnLine site from their sites. No personal information is collected.

A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. CBBB uses non-identifying cookies to provide easier site navigation and access to forms. You can still use the CBBB sites if your browser is set to reject cookies. Our cookies do not generate personal data, do not read personal data from your machine and are never tied to anything that could be used to identify you.

Problems or Complaints with CBBB Privacy Policy
If you have a complaint about CBBB compliance with this privacy policy, you may contact us at privacyreview@bbb.org. If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you may elect to proceed with BBBOnLine's Privacy Policy Review Service* by completing the complaint form.


* Privacy Policy Review Service: Complaints are first reviewed internally by BBBOnLine Privacy Program staff. Complainants may appeal to the Privacy Review Appeals Board, an independent three-person panel consisting of public, data expert and company members. You may find the Dispute Resolution Procedures here.


revised March 9, 2004


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