Last year, I wrote about Starwood’s Global Personalization initiative, where the company collects and stores guest information that it gathers from i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn and Google searches. You can read that article here.
Now, Starwood has launched a new program called SPG Social that allows you to connect your SPG and Facebook accounts.
Starwood doesn’t list any privacy statement or terms and conditions of this offer on its SPG Social web page.
You only get a link to these, when you authorize the app to access your Facebook account. You can read the privacy statement at the end of this post or on SPG’s website here. The terms and conditions of this program are at the end of this post as well and on SPG’s website here.
What caught my eye are the promotional offers that SPG may offer to those that are part of the SPG Social:
All promotional offers (“App Offers”) made available through the App are subject to these terms and conditions, which may be modified or discontinued at any time.
If Starpoints are awarded pursuant to an App Offer, the redemption and expiration of Starpoints is governed by the SPG Program Terms & Conditions.
App Offers may not be combined with any other offers, incentives, discounts or promotions.
Starwood has had in the past number of promotions that were tied to Foursquare check ins for some extra points. You would get extra bonus points for checking in to the property virtually using the Foursquare. Maybe they will offer something similar with Facebook in the future?
There could be some offers that are only sent to those that are part of SPG Social, so it could be worthwhile to join. I would not, however, link this app with my real Facebook profile, but would rather use a throwaway account with no identifiable information.
Here is the privacy statement of the SPG Social app:
Starwood Application Privacy Statement
Effective: January 10, 2013
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (“Starwood”), respects about your privacy and wants you to be familiar with how we collect, use and disclose information. By using our applications, social media applications, and mobile services (collectively, “App” or “Apps”), you agree to both this Application Privacy Statement and the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Privacy Statement.
What does this statement cover?
This Application Privacy Statement applies only to information we collect through our Branded Apps, such as the SPG: Starwood Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide Apps.
What information do we collect, and how do we use it?
Information You Provide
We collect the information you provide through the App, such as when you create or edit your guest profile, make a reservation, add a stay at one of our hotels to your profile, write a review, or make a wish for a future Starwood hotel or resort stay. The information you provide may include, for example, your email address, name, location, credit card information, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) member number, stay history, membership level, number of Starpoints, room number and stay status (checked in/checked out). We may combine the information you provide to us with other information we collect through the App, with information you have previously provided (for example, reviews you have written on Starwood’s websites), or with other information we collect from and about you online and offline. Such information may include data from third parties, and information from your publicly available social media profile(s) and activities, as well as the publicly available social media profiles and activities of your social media friends (See Social Media section for more information).
Location Based Data
Our App may collect location based data directly from your device. If you have enabled location services on your mobile device, the App may collect your approximate location and if available, your precise location from your device’s GPS system. We may also make an educated guess about your location using your IP Address. We collect location information so that we may tailor the App to your language preference and present you with information such as a list of nearby hotels, recommendations, attractions, promotions, and information that your social media friends may have provided, such as their own travel activities (including their check-ins), reviews, or wishes. We may also use your location to welcome you to our properties, provide you with information prior to your stay, notify you of new Starwood products, services, or upcoming Starwood special offers, events, enhancements, or other relevant information that may be of interest to you. If you wish to disable location services on your mobile device, you may do so through the device settings menu on most mobile devices. However, by disabling location services some functionality of the App or service could become unavailable.
Automatically Collected Information
We and our service providers collect certain information automatically, such as the type of device you are using, unique numbers that identify your device, your IP Address, and information about the way you use the App or service. We use this information to help us enhance your experience by improving and personalizing the App, and to provide you with relevant information, including advertisements and the ability to do localized searches.
An App may permit you to log in from, or connect with, social media services to which you belong so that it is easy for you to share your experiences and to see the experiences of others. For example, if you are an SPG member, you can link your account through the App to Foursquare. One reason you may wish to do this is to take advantage of an offer we may run for a specific property that awards Starpoints for checking into that property on Foursquare.
If you connect the App with a social media service, or log in to the App through a social media service, we will collect your information that is always publicly available through that service and the basic account information that is automatically passed to us by the service. For example, as of the effective date of this Application Privacy Statement, on Facebook, this includes your name, profile pictures and URL, cover photos, username, user ID, your friends’ user IDs, network, gender, birthday, language, and current city.
We may also collect content that you provide to be published on those social media services, such as your likes and your social media activities, like check-ins or tweets. We also collect such other information as you and the social media service provide to us, including information regarding or provided by your friends. This includes, for example, check-ins, events, travel wishes, interests, posts, locations, and photos (including photos you or your friends have been tagged in). If you have turned on your device’s location services, your location may be included in that content.
Social Media Content Sharing
The information collected from or about you by social media networks with which you connect the App is governed by the policies of those social media networks. If the social media networks allow for the sharing of this information (such as with your friends, or otherwise according to your settings), others using the App will see this information just as they would if they were within the social network (and you will see theirs).
How we use your Information
In addition to the uses described above, we use your information to provide services or functions you request, to improve our services, to customize your experience (both within the App or service and at our hotels), to contact you, and to send you marketing communications. If you are an SPG member, we may pre-populate certain information within the App for your convenience (such as information pertaining to upcoming stays or profile information).
We may work with analytics companies and service providers to help us understand how our App is being used. To protect this information, we use technologies that are designed to help ensure that these third parties cannot identify you personally based on information they collect from our App. These analytics providers may also have access to unique numbers that identify your device.
How do we share your information?
We may share the information we collect from and about you:
- when we have received your consent to do so
- in situations where sharing or disclosing your information is required in order to offer you products or services you desire (e.g., a vacation package)
- when companies or services providers that perform business activities on behalf of Starwood require such information (e.g., for credit card processing, customer support services, market research administration, analytics, or database management)
- in the event Starwood is merged or acquired by another company
- to comply with legal or regulatory requirements or obligations in accordance with applicable law, a court order or a subpoena
- in case of emergency such as to safeguard the life, health, or property of an individual
What choices do you have?
If you would like to stop the App’s collection or posting of information, please uninstall or remove the App. You may also request that any data Starwood received from a social media service be deleted and Starwood will take all reasonable measures to do so. Note that your friends using the App and those with whom you’ve chosen to share information through the App may continue to have access to information from or provided by you through the social media service.
How do we manage your information?
We retain the information we collect from and about you for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Application Privacy Statement, unless a longer period is required or allowed by law or to otherwise fulfill a legal obligation.
We recognize the importance of information security. Although “guaranteed security” does not exist, we protect your personal information using appropriate administrative, procedural and technical safeguards.
Do we collect information from children?
Starwood does not seek to obtain nor does it wish to receive information directly from minors; however, we cannot always determine the age of persons who access and use our web sites. If we become aware that a minor (as defined by applicable law) provides us with his/her data without parental or guardian consent, we encourage the parent or guardian to contact us to have this information removed and to unsubscribe the minor from future Starwood marketing communications.
May we change this Statement?
Yes, we may update this Application Privacy Statement from time to time. Updated versions will also be posted online and date-stamped so that you are always aware of when it was last updated.
How can you contact us?
If you have any questions, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the terms and conditions of the SPG Social:
BY LINKING YOUR STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST® (SPG) MEMBER ACCOUNT AND YOUR FACEBOOK® ACCOUNT AND BY USING THE SPG SOCIAL FACEBOOK APPLICATION (the “APP”) YOU AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING TERMS & CONDITIONS:
- You must be a member of the SPG program and have an account with Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) to use the App. Membership to the SPG program is free at www.spg.com. A Facebook account is free at http://www.facebook.com/.
- Only one SPG member account may be linked to a Facebook account, and both accounts must belong to the same person.
- All promotional offers (“App Offers”) made available through the App are subject to these terms and conditions, which may be modified or discontinued at any time.
- If Starpoints are awarded pursuant to an App Offer, the redemption and expiration of Starpoints is governed by the SPG Program Terms & Conditions.
- App Offers may not be combined with any other offers, incentives, discounts or promotions.
- Starwood reserves the right to modify or discontinue any of its offers available on Facebook or the App at any time.
- By providing this information, you authorize Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., (“Starwood”) to: collect, process and use such information for lawful, Starwood business related purposes; to store your information at and transmit it to various locations throughout the world, either directly or through third party vendors, whether within your country of residence, the United States, or elsewhere.
- To update your communication preferences, or learn about Starwood’s privacy practices, view the Starwood Privacy Statement at www.spg.com, or call 1-877-782-0071 in the U.S. and Canada, or +353-21-4930474 in all other countries to access our privacy information line.
- The App will not affect your communication preferences with other Starwood programs, for which you will need to inform such programs, or Starwood directly if you wish to opt out.
- You acknowledge that the App uses the Facebook application programming interface but is not endorsed or certified by Facebook.
- You agree that Starwood is not responsible for any errors or omissions made by Facebook.
- You agree that Starwood is not responsible for any and all technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines.
- YOU AGREE THAT STARWOOD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ANY USE OF THE PROGRAM OR OTHER INFORMATION YOU PROVIDED.
- You agree to indemnify and hold Starwood and its respective subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, agents and employees harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorney’s fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your breach of these terms and conditions or your violation of any law or the rights of a third party. Starwood’s failure to act with respect to a breach by you or others does not waive its right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches.
- You agree that any disputes arising out of or related to these terms and conditions shall be handled individually without any class action, and shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.
- Starwood reserves the right to modify or discontinue the App at any time without notice as well as your use of the App if you violate the terms and conditions of the App.
- Starpoints, SPG, Preferred Guest, and their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood or its affiliates.
- All of the Facebook logos and trademarks displayed as part of the App are the property of Facebook.