Last Updated: December 11, 2013

Foursquare Labs, Inc. Privacy Policy

Foursquare Labs, Inc. ("Foursquare") knows that you take your privacy seriously. We do, too. We are committed to giving you transparency of our privacy practices and control over your data in connection with Foursquare's Service (as defined in Foursquare's Terms of Service). To that end, in addition to this Privacy Policy, we have developed the following other documents that complement and are part of this policy, all of which describe the data we collect, how we use it, with whom we share it, and your choices regarding your data:

  • A 'Privacy 101’ page, a concise and easy to read way to learn about privacy on Foursquare® and the guiding principles that inform how we develop Foursquare and the decisions we make; and
  • A set of FAQs related to privacy.

This Privacy Policy covers Foursquare's treatment of personally identifiable information ("Personal Information" ) and other data that Foursquare gathers when you are accessing Foursquare's Service. The Service is not available to individuals who are younger than 13 years old.

What Personal Information Does Foursquare Collect?

  • Personal Information You Provide to Us: We receive and store any information you enter on our Service or provide to us in any other way. The types of Personal Information collected may include your name, email address, phone number, birthday, Twitter and/or Facebook usernames, use information regarding your use of our Service, and browser information. We automatically receive your location when you use the Service. We use various technologies to determine location, such as location services of the applicable operating system or browser and sensor data from your device that may, for example, provide information on nearby Wi-Fi- access points and cell towers. The Personal Information you provide is used for such purposes as allowing you to set up a user account and profile that can be used to interact with other users through the Service, improving the content of the Service, customizing the advertising and content you and your friends see, and communicating with you about specials and new features. We may also draw upon this Personal Information in order to adapt the Services of our community to your needs, to research the effectiveness of our network and Services, and to develop new tools for the community.
  • Information Collected Automatically: When you use the Service, Foursquare automatically receives and records information on our server logs from your browser or mobile platform, including your location, IP address, cookie information, and the page you requested. We treat this data as non-Personal Information, except where we are required to do otherwise under applicable law. Unless otherwise stated in this Privacy Policy, Foursquare only uses this data in aggregate form. We may provide aggregate information to our partners about how our users, collectively, use our Service, so that our partners may also understand how often people use their services and our Service.
  • Information We Receive from Third Parties: We receive and store information from third parties that interact in some way with the Service or that provide services to us in connection with the Service. For example, if you unlock a Foursquare special that is redeemed through a credit card swipe, the credit card processor may tell us information about the redemption such as the time that your card was swiped. In addition, you may choose to use apps that share your Personal Information, activities and/or content with Foursquare. Please read the privacy policy of any such app so that you understand its sharing practices.

How is My Information Shared?

Personal Information about our users is an integral part of our business. We neither rent nor sell your Personal Information to anyone, though, as described more fully in this section below (under "Publicly Available Information, the Foursquare API, and Apps"), your publicly-available information is available to third parties, and we may provide it to third parties, by license or otherwise. The default user settings for all data about you that is visible to others is summarized in our Privacy FAQs, together with information on how to change the default user settings or how to generally remove information, where applicable. Foursquare may share your Personal Information only as described in this Privacy Policy and related documents.

  • Friends: Your friends can see, for example, the location and time of each of your check-ins, name, email, phone number, photo, hometown, mayorships and badges, links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts (if you have connected those accounts to your Foursquare account), a list of your friends, and tips you write. Individuals reading this information may use it or disclose it to other individuals or entities without our control and without your knowledge. We therefore urge you to think carefully about including any specific information you may deem private in comments or tips or other content (location or otherwise) that you create in the Service.
  • Businesses, Locations, Events and Brands: One of the key purposes of Foursquare is to help users learn about businesses, locations, events and brands (for example, a TV show, a TV personality, newspaper or a consumer good that manages a page on the Service) that are relevant to them, and for these entities to provide information about themselves, their locations and events to users, as well as to reward users when they visit their location or event through offers and specials. When you check-in to a particular location that is a ‘claimed location’ your check-ins are shared with that location in order for it to better provide services to you. Additionally, brands may have access to aggregated and anonymous data, such as anonymized check-in data (that is, not tied to individual users) of users that like their brand. For more info read the Privacy FAQs.
  • Publicly Available Information, the Foursquare API, and Apps: When you use Foursquare, certain information is public, such as your public user profile information, tips, likes, public photos, lists that you create and lists of friends, and may be searchable by search engines and be shared with or disclosed to third parties, including through our API to a wide range of users and services.  We may also share or disclose aggregated and anonymous data, such as anonymized check-in data (that is, not tied to individual users), to third parties, including users of our API, for analytical or other purposes.

In addition, use of third party apps developed using our API are subject to the terms of use and privacy policies of such third party developers. Certain Personal Information may be made available to third party developers if you or your "friends" use these third party apps. You should review the policies of third party apps and websites to ensure that you are comfortable with the ways in which they use and disclose the information you share with them. We do not guarantee that they will follow our rules or our Privacy Policy. Note that your friends will also be able to see which third party apps that you use.

  • Agents: We employ other companies and people to perform tasks on our behalf and need to share your information with them to provide products or services to you. Our agents do not have any right to use Personal Information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us, and they provide a comparable level of protection for your Personal Information.

Determining and Sharing Location

Foursquare deals with location, so in order to work, Foursquare needs to know your location. Whenever you open and use/interact with the Foursquare app on your mobile device or go to Foursquare.com, we use the location information from your mobile device or browser (e.g., latitude and longitude) to tailor the Foursquare experience to your current location (i.e., we’ll show you a list of nearby locations, friends and tips). This information is NOT shared with others. Also, Foursquare uses your mobile device’s ‘background location’ (formerly known as ‘Radar’) to provide the service, including to send you notifications of tips/friends/ interesting things etc. near you. If you have ‘background location’ turned on, the Foursquare app will, from time to time, tell us about your device’s location even if you are not directly interacting with the application.

Your location data is ONLY shared with others when you proactively decide to "check in" to tell Foursquare you’re at a particular place or, if you have turned on ‘check-in by friends,’ when your friend mentions you in his or her check in. The location information shared with a "check in" is the location information of that place. Each of your Foursquare check-ins is saved to your "Check-in History," which allows you to look back at all the locations you have checked in since you created your Foursquare account. You can delete any or all of your check-ins from the check-in details page on the Foursquare website and Foursquare app. If for some reason you ever decide to delete your Foursquare account, your entire check-in history will be removed from our database.

Foursquare Features

The Foursquare service includes several features that may allow you to share your information with others. For each of these and our other features, the information available to friends and others, our default user settings, and how to alter the default settings, is available in the Privacy FAQs. Please review them carefully. Please remember that if you choose to provide personal information using certain features of the Service, that information may be available to the wider Foursquare community, or may be published on the Foursquare website, which is subject to indexing by third party search engines.

Sharing with Partners, in connection with business transfers, and for the protection of Foursquare and others:

  • Our Partners: In addition to the data sharing described above, we enter into relationships with a variety of businesses and work closely with them. In certain situations, these businesses, provide services to you, sell items or provide promotions to you through Foursquare's Service. In other situations, Foursquare provides services, or sells products jointly with these businesses. You can easily recognize when one of these businesses is associated with your transaction, and we will share your Personal Information that is related to such transactions with that business.
  • Business Transfers: If Foursquare or substantially all of its assets are acquired, or in the unlikely event that Foursquare goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party.
  • Protection of Foursquare and Others: We may release Personal Information when we believe in good faith that release is necessary to comply with the law, including laws outside your country of residence; enforce or apply our conditions of use and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of Foursquare, our employees, our users, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations (including outside of your country of residence) for fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Email Communications

If you do not want to receive commercial email or other mail from us, please indicate your preference during the registration process or by making a modification on your account settings page or through the 'settings' tab on our website once you're logged into the service. Please note that if you do not want to receive legal notices from us, such as notices regarding this Privacy Policy, those legal notices will still govern your use of the Foursquare Service, and you are responsible for reviewing such legal notices for changes. We may receive a confirmation when you open an email from Foursquare if your computer supports this type of program. Foursquare uses this confirmation to help us make emails more interesting and helpful and improve our service.

What About Cookies and Similar Technologies?

We and our agents use technologies like cookies, pixels, and local storage (like on your browser or device, which is similar to a cookie but holds more information) on our website, in our emails, and identifiers supplied by app platform companies within our apps to provide you with a range of products and services. You can control cookies through your browser settings and other tools. For more information, including the types of cookies and similar technologies found on Foursquare, please read Foursquare's 'Cookie Policy’. By continuing to use our Service through your computer or mobile device, you consent to our use of cookies, pixels and local storage in accordance with this Privacy Policy and Foursquare's Cookie Policy.

We may work with advertisers or other partners and advertising service providers to serve ads or services to computers, mobile phones or other devices, which may use a cookie, pixel or other similar technology placed by Foursquare or the third party (although we would not share any other information that identifies you with an advertiser). This Privacy Policy and Foursquare's Cookie Policy covers the use of cookies by Foursquare and its service providers and does not cover the use of cookies by any advertisers. For information about how to opt out of receiving behavioral advertisements from our advertising partners, click here or click here. Also, certain versions of the iOS operating system permit you to limit ad tracking in the system settings. Additionally, you can opt-out of Foursquare serving behaviorally targeted ads outside of the Foursquare app and Foursquare.com in your account settings.

Is Personal Information About Me Secure?

Your Foursquare account Personal Information is protected by a password for your privacy and security. You need to prevent unauthorized access to your account and Personal Information by selecting and protecting your password appropriately, and limiting access to your computer and browser by signing off after you have finished accessing your account.

Foursquare endeavors to safeguard user information to ensure that user account information is kept private. However, Foursquare cannot guarantee the security of user account information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of user information at any time.

The Service may contain links to other sites. Foursquare is not responsible for the privacy policies and/or practices on other sites. When linking to another site, you should read the privacy policy stated on that site. This Privacy Policy only governs information collected on the Service.

International Users

If you are located outside of the United States, please note that this site is hosted on our computer servers in the United States. Therefore, your information may be processed and stored in the United States. As a result, United States federal and state governments, courts, or law enforcement or regulatory agencies may be able to obtain disclosure of your information through laws applicable in the United States. Your use of this site or the Service or your submission of any Personal Information to us will constitute your consent to the transfer of your Personal Information outside of your home country, including the United States, which may provide for different data protection rules than in your country.

Foursquare complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. Foursquare has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view Foursquare’s certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.

What Personal Information Can I Access?

Foursquare allows you to access the following information about you for the purpose of viewing, and in certain situations, updating that information and ensuring that it is accurate and complete. You can access this information on the Foursquare website by visiting the user settings page (except usage information, which can be accessed in the "History" tab). This list will change as our Service changes.

  • Password
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Other User profile information (for example, home city, photo)
  • Usage information (for example, check-in history)

If you have questions about the Personal Information we have collected from you, you can email privacy@foursquare.com.

How Do I Delete My Account?

Should you ever decide to delete your Foursquare account, you may do so by clicking on the "delete account" link on your account settings page. If you terminate your account, your profile, including your check-in history, badges you received, your User Submissions (as defined in Foursquare's Terms of Service) and any promotional offers you received, will be removed from the site and deleted from Foursquare's servers. Because of the way we maintain Foursquare, such deletion may not be immediate, and residual copies of your profile information or posts may remain on backup media for up to ninety (90) days.

How Is Information Removed From My Account?

Even after you remove information from your account or profile, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere, to the extent it has been shared with others, it was otherwise distributed pursuant to your privacy settings, or it was copied or stored by other users. Removed and deleted information may remain on backup media for up to ninety (90) days prior to being deleted from our servers.

Will There Be Changes To This Privacy Policy?

Foursquare may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. Use of information we collect now is subject to the Privacy Policy in effect at the time such information is used. If we make material changes in the way we use Personal Information, we will notify you by posting an announcement on our Service or sending you an email. Users are bound by any changes to the Privacy Policy when they use the Service after such changes have been first posted.

What If I Have Questions Or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding privacy using the Service, please send a detailed message to: privacy@foursquare.com. We will make every effort to resolve your concerns.