Last Updated: August 14, 2023
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About Location Data
“Location Data” is a type of personal data that, when collected and used responsibly, can help you navigate and interact with the physical and digital worlds around you. Location data is collected using various technologies such as the location services of your operating system or browser, sensor data from your device, and other data that may help us understand your precise location. Ever type in a business name into Uber, or tag your location in a photo before sharing on Twitter? Or, have you ever received a notification for a coupon when you’re passing by your favorite fast food joint? Foursquare powers these features as well as others that help people navigate, explore, and enjoy the world around them.
Most importantly, location data should only be collected when you say it is okay to do so, and you should be able to change your mind at any time. The collection of location data should also benefit you, the user. That’s why we only allow partners to use our location technology if they can demonstrate that the use of our technology is necessary to offer benefits or provide value to consumers who opt-in to sharing their location data. You can visit Our Privacy Stance to learn more about our position on important privacy matters.
You can control the collection of location data at any time through your device settings. While the exact settings may differ depending on your device, typically, you will be given options that range from never sharing, to being asked to share each time you open an app, to only sharing while using an app, to always sharing. When location data settings are set to “always” (i.e., persistent background location is turned “on”), your device’s location data will be shared with us even if you are not actively using our apps or other Consumer Services.
Foursquare is also a participating member of the Network Advertising Initiative’s Precise Location Solution Provider Enhanced Standards which, among other things, requires that participating members not use, allow the use of, sell, or share any information about device or user activity correlated to a known Sensitive Points of Interest, including:
– Places of religious worship;
– Correctional facilities;
– Places that may be used to infer an LGBTQ+ identification;
– Places that may be used to infer engagement with explicit sexual content, material, or acts;
– Places primarily intended to be occupied by children under 16;
– Domestic abuse shelters, including rape crisis centers;
– Welfare or homeless shelters and halfway houses;
– Dependency or addiction treatment centers;
– Medical facilities that cater predominantly to sensitive conditions, such as cancer centers, HIV/AIDS, fertility or abortion clinics, mental health treatment facilities, or emergency room trauma centers;
– Places that may be used to infer refugee or immigrant status, such as refugee or immigration centers and immigration services;
– Credit repair, debt services, bankruptcy services, or payday lending institutions;
– Temporary places of assembly such as political rallies, marches, or protests, during the times that such rallies, marches, or protests take place;
– Military Bases
Commitment to Accountability
Foursquare participates in the following organizations and programs:
Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”). Foursquare designs our products to adhere to the DAA’s Self-Regulatory Principles and participates in the DAA’s Your AdChoices, which is an easy way to opt out of digital advertising.
Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”). Foursquare is a member of the NAI and adheres to the NAI Code of Conduct and the Precise Location Solution Provider Enhanced Standards.
EU/Swiss-US Privacy Shield. Although not currently used for data transfers, Foursquare’s privacy practices comply with the Privacy Shield Principles of Notice; Choice; Accountability for Onward Transfer; Security; Data Integrity and Purpose Limitation; Access; and Recourse, Enforcement and Liability. For more information relating to our participation in the EU/Swiss-US Privacy Shield, please read about our International Data Transfers.
Personal Data We Collect and Process
The nature of the data collected often depends on the Consumer Services you are using; however, there are three main types of personal data we collect:
Data You Choose to Provide
We collect data when you create an account for our Consumer Services, when you consent or opt-in to providing data (e.g., geolocation data or device identifiers for advertising or contact information from people in your contact list to enable you to find friends when using our apps) via our mobile apps or websites, when you upload content using Consumer Services, or when you contact us for customer support.
Data Automatically Collected
We automatically collect data about how you interact with our Consumer Services, such as when you choose to share your location, use our apps, or visit our websites (through cookies, pixels, and similar technologies). This data helps us better understand your use, interactions, and experiences with our Consumer Services. You can learn more about our use of these tools in our Cookies & Similar Technologies Policy.
Data From Third Parties
We also receive data from third parties. Our third party data sources may vary over time but can include:
Business Partners, Developers & Enterprise Customers – This includes third parties who create and deliver experiences using our Developer & Enterprise Services, such as the incorporation of our location technology (i.e., SDK or APIs) into their apps and websites. In some cases, these third parties may license data to us.
Data Suppliers/Brokers and Advertising Networks – This includes third parties who provide us commercially available data, including demographic data, data about how you interact with a third party’s websites, apps, smart TVs and streaming devices, device data (including mobile device and advertising identifiers, such as Apple IDFA or Google Advertising ID, and location data), and information from cookies, pixels and other similar technologies.
Social Media – Personal data may be collected when you access our apps through social media logins (i.e., logging in to our apps using your Facebook or other social media credentials). The basic details we receive may depend on your social network account privacy settings, but could include name, email address, date of birth, gender, hometown and/or friends.
Foursquare Service Providers – This includes third parties who specialize in providing enterprise data, analytics and software as a service. This data tends to be aggregated, pseudonymized or otherwise de-identified.
We also combine and bundle data collected from these different sources, as well as from Foursquare affiliates, and create inferences in order to deliver, maintain, and personalize our Consumer Services, and to operate our business.
You can learn more about Foursquare’s data collection, including categories, examples and sources, in the chart below.
At A Glance – Foursquare’s Data Collection – Consumer Services
Data that does not contain any personal data that can be used to identify you or has otherwise been de-identified or aggregated is not considered personal data. To the extent we process deidentified data, we will maintain and use the data in deidentified form and will not attempt to reidentify the data unless permitted by applicable law.
When we collect data, we rely on several legal bases, these include:
When the processing is necessary to perform our contract with you, such as our Terms of Service. This may include providing you with our Consumer Services or tailoring the Consumer Services to your preferences;
When the processing is necessary for our legitimate business interests (or those of our enterprise customers), including but not limited to, improving the Consumer Services or providing our Products;
How We Use Your Personal Data
We use your personal data for the following purposes:
Account & Registration
We use your data to operate, support, and improve the Consumer Services you request, purchase, or engage with. This includes maintaining or servicing your accounts (including repairing errors that impair existing or intended functionality), providing customer service, processing transactions and payments, and verifying customer information.
We use data to personalize your experience with our Consumer Services. These features often use automated processes to tailor Consumer Services based on the data we have about you or inferences based on your interests, location and whether separate devices (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, and/or TVs) are owned by you or by members of your household. You may also choose to provide us with access to your contact list so that we can help you to find your friends when using our apps (information from your contact list is not stored, shared or sold).
We use data to conduct ordinary business operations, verifying your identity, conducting business research, auditing, analytics, planning and strategy, corporate reporting, and management.
We use data to communicate with you about our Consumer Services, such as responding to requests for support, sharing updates, and providing information required by law or applicable corporate updates related to mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures.
Marketing & Advertising
We use data for different types of advertising, including the contextual customization of ads shown as part of your interaction with us. We also use data collected from your use of our Consumer Services and data from your engagement with apps and services provided by third parties to provide you with advertising about products and services tailored to your inferred interests, preferences, and locations.
Rewards, Contests and Sweepstakes
We use data, including survey responses, administer rewards (i.e., give points for survey completion), contests, and sweepstakes. If you enter a sweepstakes, we will use data such as your name and email address to run the sweepstakes and fulfill prizes.
If you register for an event with us, we will add your contact information to our list of expected attendees.
Research & Innovation
Innovation is at the core of what we do. We conduct data analytics and use automated processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to support internal research, create new products and services, improve functionality of existing products and services, and develop new features such as those developed to enhance security and protect privacy.
Product & Service Development
We use your data, along with inferences that we derive from your data, to offer products and services to developers, our partners and to our enterprise and other customers. These product and service offerings include the following:
Visits – When you opt-in to the collection and sharing of geolocation data from your mobile device, we use that data to create an inferred visit to a public location, which we call a “Visit.” While Visits are associated with a mobile advertising identifier (or other identifier), to protect your privacy, we do not share your latitude and longitude coordinates, and we do not share inferred home and work locations.
Attribution – We also help brands measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns by attributing purchases or other actions, such as a store visit, to their advertising by matching ad views to the data. As part of Attribution, we may also associate devices that we believe are related to each other.
Audiences (Segments) – Using our Visits, along with inferences about your interests, location and other demographics that we derive from the data we have about you, including associated devices, we create “Audiences.” Audiences are then used to send you advertisements tailored to your interests. As members of the NAI, we are required to disclose audiences or “segments” based on health-, wellness-, or political-related interests and information used to deliver interest-based advertisements in the U.S. For a list of our standard health and political segments, please click here.
Aggregated Products and Services – We also use data in an aggregated manner to power products and services that offer movement and location-based insights and trends. In addition, data is used to power Foursquare Studio which is a geospatial visual analytics platform that enables visualization of aggregated data.
Points of Interest (POI) – POI data relates to physical places (restaurants, shops, airports, hotels, etc.) and is used to identify and provide context to points of interest worldwide. This data is typically not personal data.
We use data to detect security threats (e.g., malware or other malicious activities), troubleshoot performance issues and to protect the security and safety of our products, systems, and customers. Our security measures may include the use of automated systems.
Protect Our Rights & Property
We use data to prevent fraud, identity theft, activities that violate our policies, terms of service, or the law, or to prevent other criminal activity that compromises our ability to protect our rights and property, secure our services, your data or the safety of our customers, employees and others.
Comply With Law & Industry Standards
We process data to comply with applicable laws, regulations, court orders or legally-binding requests from law enforcement, and relevant industry standards. For example, we must process your contact information to help you exercise your privacy rights. We also process data to conduct appropriate due diligence for compliance purposes.
Disclosing Your Personal Data
We may disclose the categories of personal data we process about you (as described above) with third parties. We will only disclose your personal data as follows and, when applicable, only with the appropriate and equivalent protections (i.e., technical, organizational, and contractual) in place:
Disclosures with Your Consent or at Your Direction
We disclose your personal data with your consent or as necessary to complete any transaction or provide any product you have requested or authorized. For example, we disclose data to third parties when you instruct us to do so, such as when you authorize friends to see your data or make your data publicly available (e.g., profile photo, users you are following, or other information you post), when you communicate via our Consumer Services with your friends, or when you check-in to a store, restaurant or other point of interest. You can always control what you want visible to others, including your friends, in your “Settings.”
Disclosures to Affiliates
Disclosures to Service Providers & for Business Purposes
We disclose your data to service providers that perform services on our behalf, such as cloud storage, IT services, marketing, analytics and search engine and other software services. These service providers may be located in countries other than the country where the information originally was collected, such as the US and Canada. We do not authorize our service providers to retain, use or disclose the data except as necessary to perform services on our behalf or comply with legal requirements.
Disclosures to Enterprise Customers
We share data with Enterprise Customers for their own purposes. For example, Enterprise Customers may use “Visits” combined with data that they collect to understand movement patterns to determine where to open a physical store, to conduct research and development, to perform analytics, to serve targeted ads, and to determine whether an online or offline advertisement (including on unaffiliated apps, websites, and billboards) you were exposed to resulted in a visit to a physical store. Under certain privacy and data protection laws, this activity may be considered a “sale” of personal data, “sharing” of personal data for cross-context behavioral advertising, or targeted advertising.
Disclosures to Advertising Partners
We may disclose data such as your mobile advertising identifier to advertising partners (including the ad networks, ad-serving companies (e.g., social media companies) and other service providers they may use) so that they may recognize your devices and deliver interest based content and advertisements to you. Under certain privacy and data protection laws, this activity may be considered a “sale” of personal data.
Disclosures to Comply with Law & Protect Our Rights
We may share data (i) if we are required to do so by law or legal process (such as a court order or subpoena); (ii) in response to duly authorized requests from public authorities, including to meet national security, public interest or law enforcement requirements (iii) to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights; (iv) when we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical or other harm or financial loss; (v) in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity; (vi) to protect the rights, property, or safety of Foursquare and our products and services, our employees, or users and others; or (vii) to otherwise comply with legal obligation (i.e., conducting due diligence or screening for compliance purposes).
Disclosures for Corporate Transactions
We may also disclose data as part or in anticipation of a business sale, merger, consolidation, investment, change in control, transfer of substantial corporate assets, reorganization, liquidation, or similar business transaction or corporate event.
We acknowledge our potential liability for transfers of personal data among Foursquare entities or to third parties.
How We Secure & Retain Your Personal Data
Taking into account the risks involved in the processing and the nature of the personal data, we maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards designed to protect personal data we obtain through the Consumer Services against accidental, unlawful or unauthorized destruction, loss, alteration, access, disclosure or use.
We update the database used to create Audiences on a bi-monthly basis to ensure that data older than 3 years is removed from the dataset we use to create our audiences for targeted advertising.
Data that we receive from partners and enterprise customers that is used to measure ad delivery and reporting is retained for a period of 14 months.
Our Consumer Services are intended for a general audience and are not directed at children under the age of 18. We do not knowingly collect personal data online from individuals under the age of 13 or such other age as may be directed by applicable law.
Your Privacy Choices – Global
You can learn how to exercise your privacy rights and choices here. To summarize, your privacy rights and choices include:
Data Access, Copies or Transfer
You have the right to request access to or copies of the personal data we have about you (including for transfer purposes), together with details about how we collect, use, disclose or sell your personal data. In some cases, we may only be required to provide access to the categories of personal data that we collect, use, disclose and sell.
Data Correction and Deletion
You have the right to ask us to update or correct any inaccurate personal data or to delete any personal data that we may hold about you.
Opting Out of Sales, Sharing for Cross-Context Behavioral Advertising and Processing for Targeted Advertising
You have the right to opt -out of the sale of your personal data, the sharing of your personal data for cross-context behavioral advertising purposes and the processing of your personal data for targeted advertising.
Objection to Processing
You have the right to object to or restrict the processing of your personal data that we process.
Withdrawal of Consent
You have the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your personal data at any time.
Unsubscribe from Marketing Emails & Text Messages
You have the right to opt out of receiving marketing communications from us at any time.
In some instances, these rights may be limited, for example, if fulfilling your request would reveal personal data about another person or you ask us to delete information that we are required by law to keep or have compelling legitimate interests to keep.
We will not discriminate against you for exercising your rights and choices. You may have the right to appeal our decision with respect to a request you have submitted via our Privacy Portal. If we are unable to resolve your concerns, you have the right to contact a data privacy supervisory authority in the country where you live or work, or where you consider that the data protection rules may have been breached or seek a remedy through the courts. For questions, concerns or complaints about our participation in the EU/Swiss-US Privacy Shield, please read about our International Data Transfers.
Your Privacy Choices – US Consumers
In the US, the Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”) and the Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”) have established rules about interest-based advertising, including cross-device linking for such advertising. Interest-based advertising is digital advertising that is tailored to a consumer’s inferred interests, preferences, and locations. Cross-device linking is the practice of associating different browsers and/or devices (such as mobile devices and televisions) based on information about the potential relationships among them.
You have the right to opt-out of seeing interest-based ads from us, or our Business Partners, Developers & Enterprise Customers that are delivered on various platforms. To do so, please visit:
Desktop/Mobile Web Browser – DAA WebChoices or NAI Consumer Opt-Out
Connected TVs/TV Streaming Devices – NAI Connected TV Choices
Mobile Apps – DAA AppChoices iOS, DAA AppChoices Android, DAA AppChoices Amazon.
You can learn more about how opting-out of interest-based advertising works by visiting our Cookies & Similar Technologies Policy.
If you are a California consumer, please review our California Consumer Privacy Notices and Rights.
International Data Transfers
Although not currently used for data transfers, Foursquare Labs, Inc. complies with the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks, as set forth by the US Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal data transferred from the EU and/or Switzerland to the US.
Foursquare commits to resolve complaints about our collection or use of your personal data in compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles. Therefore, EU and Swiss individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding our Privacy Shield compliance should first contact us via the methods outlined in the Contact Us section.
Foursquare has further committed to refer any unresolved Privacy Shield complaints to the JAMS Privacy Shield Program, an alternative dispute resolution provider. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint from us, or have not resolved your complaint, please visit the JAMS Privacy Shield Program (https://www.jamsadr.com/eu-us-privacy-shield) for more information or to file a complaint. The JAMS Privacy Shield Program services are provided at no cost to you.
If your complaint is not resolved through the above channels, under limited circumstances, you may be able to invoke binding arbitration before a Privacy Shield Panel. For more information, visit: https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=ANNEX-I-introduction.
The US Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction over Foursquare’s compliance with Privacy Shield.