Costco Wholesale Corporation Your Privacy Rights
(United States and Puerto Rico)
Last Updated August 19, 2021
This Privacy Notice explains our collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. This Privacy Notice applies to Costco Wholesale Corporation’s United States (US) and Puerto Rico subsidiaries ("Costco," "we," “our” or "us").
This Privacy Notice applies when you access or use our websites or mobile applications that link to this Privacy Notice, become a Costco member, shop at our warehouses or services centers, contact our customer service teams, or otherwise interact with us (collectively, the “Services”). This Privacy Notice does not apply to any products, mobile applications, or services that display or reference a different privacy notice or policy.
PERSONAL INFORMATION WE COLLECT
The personal information we collect depends on how you interact with us, the Services you use, and the choices you make.
Information you provide directly. We collect personal information you provide to us. For example:
- Contact information. We collect name, username, email address, postal address, and phone number.
- Identification information. If you are a member or sign up to be a member, we may collect membership card photo, date of birth, identity document (e.g., driver’s license information, passport information, or tax identification number), employer name (if you sign up for membership via your employer), and your Costco membership number.
- Demographic information. In some cases, we request that you provide age, gender, and similar demographic details.
- Payment information. If you make a purchase or other financial transaction, we collect payment card numbers, financial account information, billing address, and other payment details.
- Feedback or response information. If you provide feedback through the Services, or if you respond to a survey or other communication from Costco or its vendors, we collect your response information, including the content of your feedback or response message.
- Content and files. We collect the photos or other files you upload for us to provide Services such as processing with Costco Photo Center, and travel documents for travel you arrange through Costco Travel. If you send us email messages or other communications such as feedback or comments, request customer support, fill out a form, or participate in a survey or promotion, we will collect and retain those communications.
- Transaction and purchase information. When you make a purchase or return, we collect information about the transaction. This may include, among other things, product details, purchase price, date, tender type, location of the transaction, shipping/delivery details, and payment authorization. It may also include account notes about the transaction, including information that helps us prevent fraud, misuse of the Services, or illegal activity.
- Identifiers and device information. When you visit our internet-based Services or use our apps, our web servers automatically log your Internet Protocol (IP) address and information about your device, including unique device identifiers (such as MAC address); device type; and your device’s operating system and version, browser type and language, and other software including type, version, language, settings, and configuration, and mobile network information. As further described in the Cookies, Mobile IDs, and Similar Technologies section below, our websites, apps, and other online services store and retrieve cookie identifiers, mobile IDs, and other information.
- Geolocation information. We may collect or infer information about your general or precise location when you access or use the Services, visit our warehouses or services centers, or turn on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other geolocation functionality on your device.
- Usage and session information. We automatically log your activity on our websites, apps and other online services, including the URL of the website from which you came to our sites, pages you viewed, how long you spent on a page, access times, and other details about your use of and actions on our website. We capture the screen images that you view and collect information about how you interact with particular screens with your keyboard, mouse, or other input device. We also collect information about what products and services you browse, search for, or otherwise express an interest in, and we track your activity on our internet-based Services and applications where our advertising is served, such as which pages and ads you view or click on. We collect and use such information to evaluate the effectiveness of our Services and marketing, troubleshoot and improve our Services, provide customized marketing messages, customize our advertising, and personalize and improve your experience.
- Call recordings and chat transcripts. We record and store telephone calls and chat transcripts for a period of time when you interact with our customer or technical support personnel, or if you provide us feedback about our Services.
- Other sensor data. We use cameras in and around our warehouses and facilities to capture video and images. These may include images of persons in or around our facilities and parking lots. It may also include recognition and capture of license plate numbers and other vehicle information. For more information about our use and capture of license plate numbers, please see the Automated License Plate Recognition section of this notice.
- Primary Accountholders. When a primary Costco member adds additional household members to the membership account, we may obtain contact, identification and demographic information for these household members.
- Commercial data brokers/sources. Commercial data brokers and aggregators provide us with information about you to supplement the information we collect. This includes marketing information and inferences, as well as information that assists us in preventing fraud or other illegal activities.
- Other companies with which you engage. We obtain information from companies which offer their products and services to Costco members, including Costco co-branded and joint venture relationships, Costco Services providers, vendors, and product suppliers. These products and services may include services under the Costco Services umbrella (such as travel, auto and home insurance, and other business and consumer services), some installed home improvement products and services, wireless devices and services, travel services, and order and delivery services we use to provide you products and services. These companies may disclose some information to us about your experience with them, such as the items or services you purchased and your contact information.
- Content you post online. Any information you post or disclose on message boards, chat, profile pages, blogs, and other services, including through social media outlets, may be collected, used, and disclosed by Costco or its vendors as described in this Privacy Notice. Such information is also viewable by other users.
- Service providers. We may use vendors and service providers to collect or provide information to Costco in connection with work they do on our behalf.
COOKIES, MOBILE IDs AND SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIES
Many of our analytics and advertising providers also participate in associations that provide information and additional ways to opt out of analytics and advertising, which you can access at:
- NAI (http://optout.networkadvertising.org)
- DAA (http://optout.aboutads.info/)
- Google Analytics (at www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/)
OUR USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
- Product and service delivery. To provide our products and services, including: securing, troubleshooting, improving, personalizing products and services, processing, fulfilling, shipping, and delivering your orders.
- Business operations. To operate our business, such as: creating, maintaining, and renewing your membership, billing, accounting, improving our internal operations, securing our systems, and detecting fraudulent or illegal activity, and monitoring and analyzing trends, usage and activities in connection with our Services and warehouses.
- Product improvement, development and research. To improve our products, develop new products or features, and conduct research.
- Personalization. To understand you and your preferences to enhance your experience and enjoyment using our products and services and personalize your online experience and the advertisements you see when you use the Services or other platforms.
- Customer support. To send you information and notices about your membership account such as updates, order confirmations, delivery and pick-up notices, security alerts, and support and administrative messages.
- Marketing and advertising. To communicate with you about new Costco and other companies’ products and services, offers, promotions, rewards, contests, upcoming events, and other information about our products and services and those of other selected companies, and to display advertising to you.
- Legal, security and safety reasons. For legal, security and safety reasons, such as to protect our rights and the rights of our customers and members, enforce our policies, communicate product recalls or safety notices, detect, investigate, or prevent fraud and other illegal activities, or address legal and regulatory compliance obligations.
- For any other purpose described to you at the time information is collected.
OUR DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
- Primary membership accountholder. Each Costco membership account has a primary account holder, authorized to add and remove additional household members and make account management decisions. We may disclose primary members’ contact and purchase information to any household member. We also may disclose household members’ contact and purchase information to the primary member. If you designate an administrator to manage your account, we disclose contact information for primary and household account members with that administrator. If your employer purchased your membership as an employee benefit, we may disclose your name, address, purchase history, and membership level with your employer.
- Other companies with which you engage. When you request information about or purchase products or services offered by other companies as part of your Costco membership, we disclose information with those companies. We do this so that they may provide you with their products and services, provide customer service, resolve complaints, provide installation and warranty services, and provide recall or emergency notices. We may also disclose information about you with companies that offer their products and services for our and their marketing purposes, such as co-branded companies or joint marketing partners. We may disclose contact information with these other companies so that we or they can notify you of product and service offerings, determine if you qualify for products or services, and evaluate new and existing products or services.
- Our affiliates and entities that belong to Costco’s corporate group. We disclose personal information with our subsidiaries, corporate affiliates, and related companies under common control and ownership.
- Vendors, service providers and consultants. We disclose personal information to vendors or service providers working on our behalf for the purposes described in this PrivacyNotice. For example, companies that help us:
- process, fulfill, ship and deliver your orders;
- provide customer service and resolve complaints;
- identify, investigate and prevent fraudulent transactions;
- provide installation and warranty services;
- communicate with you, provide recall or emergency notices;
- analyze data or member activity;
- design and execute our marketing campaigns, administer our promotions, and provide advertising services;
- investigate and resolve claims;
- allow you to order products online and have them delivered.
- Citi / Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi applicants and cardholders. If you apply for a Costco Anywhere Visa® Card from Citi, we may disclose contact information, information regarding your membership number and status, and the aggregate amount of your Costco purchases to Citi.
- Marketing, advertising and analytics providers. We disclose information with other companies that conduct marketing and advertising services to promote our and our vendors’ products and services. This includes directing digital (online) targeted advertising and other marketing offers, promotions, rewards, contests, upcoming events, and notices to you.
- Tobacco rebates for business members. For Business Members who purchase tobacco products for resale, we provide member name, address, brand name, and the amount of tobacco products purchased to the tobacco manufacturers’ representative to process retail incentives. If you are a Business Member in California and you do not want us to provide this information, you can notify us (see “Choice and Control of Personal Information” section below).
- Corporate transactions. We also may disclose personal information as part of a corporate transaction or proceeding such as a merger, financing, acquisition, bankruptcy, dissolution, or a transfer, divestiture, or sale of all or a portion of our business or assets.
- Other uses and disclosures. We also will access, transfer, disclose, and preserve personal information when we believe that doing so is necessary to:
- comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
- protect our Costco companies, our shoppers, members, employees or the public, for example to prevent attempts to commit fraud, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
- operate and maintain the security of our products, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
- protect the rights or property of Costco or others, including detecting, investigating, and reporting illegal activities to law enforcement, and enforcing our agreements, terms, and policies.
CHOICES REGARDING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
- Access and correct online information If you wish to request access, review, or correct, personal information about you or membership and account information that we hold, you can do so by logging into “My Account” on Costco.com. You also may call us at 1-800-774-2678 and follow the prompts to “Membership”. You may also use the chat feature on Costco.com. You may access personal information that relates to you, but not information that relates to another member, including household and associate members on your account.
- Opt out of promotional information and emails from Costco. If you do not want to receive promotional communications from Costco, you can (1) update your preferences under the “My Account” tab on the website or you can contact us using any of the methods above. You can also log into your account associated with your Costco service (for example, the Photo Center or Costco Travel). You also can opt out from different types of promotional emails through the ‘unsubscribe’ link in those emails. If you opt out, we may still send you non-promotional emails.
- Opt out of third-party disclosure for marketing. You may direct Costco to stop disclosing personal information relating to you with third-parties for their marketing or other purposes by visiting our “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” webpage.
- Opt out of targeting cookies and other digital tracking technologies. Visit the Cookie Settings page, and see the “Cookies, Mobile IDs, and Similar Technology” section of this Privacy Notice for more ways to control digital tracking technologies and advertising.
- Stop mobile push notifications/alerts. We may send push notifications or alerts to your mobile device. You can stop these notifications by changing the settings on your mobile device.
- Stop SMS (text) messages. We will send you SMS (text) communications if you consent to receive them, including, for example, order and delivery status. We will also send you SMS (text) messages in case of emergency, urgent product recalls and other limited (non-marketing) instances as permitted by law. You can reply “STOP” to any SMS (text) message to cancel.
- Opt out of tobacco information Disclosure. If you are a Business Member in California and do not want us to disclose information about your tobacco purchases, you can let us know via any of the contact methods above.
- Device location information. If you use our mobile applications that collect your device’s precise location, you can change preferences on your mobile device to prevent the apps from collecting that information. If you do, our mobile apps or some features, such as locating the nearest warehouse from your current location, may not work properly.
YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS
|Information Type||Collected||Disclosed to?||Sold to?|
|Personal Identifiers|| ||Service Providers and third parties||Advertising, marketing, and analytics providers|
|Protected Classifications|| ||Service Providers||Not sold|
|Commercial Information|| ||Service Providers||Not sold|
|Geolocation Information|| ||Service Providers and third parties||Advertising, marketing, and analytics providers|
|Internet or Electronic Network Activity Information|| ||Service Providers and third parties||Advertising, marketing, and analytics providers|
|Audio, Electronic, Visual, Thermal, Olfactory, or Similar Information|| ||Service Providers and law enforcement agencies (if relevant to detect, prevent, investigate or prosecute illegal activities)||Not Sold|
|Professional or Employment-Related Information|| ||Service Providers||Not Sold|
|Inferences Drawn About You|| ||Service Providers||Not Sold|
|Number received||Number complied (whole/in part)||Number denied **||Average number of days to respond ***||Delete converted to opt out (subset of denied)****|
|Requests to know||522||494||28||17||N/A|
|Requests to delete||117||94||23||16||11|
|Requests to opt out*||85,078||79,060||6,018||1||N/A|
|Information Type||Collected||Disclosed to?||Sold to?|
|Personal Identifiers|| ||Service Providers||Not Sold|
|Protected Classifications|| ||Service Providers||Not sold|
|Geolocation Information|| ||Service Providers||Not sold|
|Professional or Employment-Related Information|| ||Service Providers||Not sold|
|Education Information|| ||Service Providers||Not Sold|
HEALTH CARE CENTERS AND PHARMACIES
SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR NEVADA RESIDENTS
AUTOMATED LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION USAGE AND POLICY
- Protect the rights or property of ourselves or others, including detecting, investigating, and reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement;
- Comply with applicable law or respond to legal process requests, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; or
- Protect our Costco companies, our property and inventory, our shoppers, members, employees, or the public.
SECURITY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY NOTICE