LAST UPDATED: March 10, 2014
This Policy does not address the collection, use, or disclosure of information by third parties, which shall include entities granted a sub-license, directly by BWI or by an authorized licensee of BWI, to operate Best Western® branded hotels and properties ("Licensed Hotels") and third-party affiliated organizations, which are entities permitted to sublicense Licensed Hotels outside the United States in various countries and territories throughout the world ("Affiliate Organizations"). Please be aware that Licensed Hotels and Affiliate Organizations are independent entities neither owned nor controlled by BWI or BWI Subsidiaries. Licensed Hotels and Affiliate Organizations might have their own privacy policies, which might be different from this Policy. To learn about the privacy practices of any of the Licensed Hotels or Affiliate Organizations, please review their respective privacy policies, not this Policy.
What Types of Information Does BWI Collect From Me?
BWI collects three basic types of information from you: "Personally Identifiable Information" (or "PII"), "Non-Personally Identifiable Information" (or "Non-PII") and "Internet Protocol Addresses" (or "IP Addresses"). Personally Identifiable Information is information that identifies you as an individual. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is aggregated information, demographic information, and any other information that does not reveal your specific identity. An IP Address is the Internet Protocol address of the computer that you are using to access our Site.
We may collect PII, such as your name, postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, credit card number, or other payment account number through the Site, through reservation and call centers, from BWI Subsidiaries, Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, or other third parties, or when you otherwise voluntarily provide it to us, including in connection with our various membership and frequency programs such as Best Western Rewards® ("BWR®"). We may also combine that PII with publicly available PII and PII we receive from others or cross-reference with others. The collection and use of PII, whether separately or combined, is done in accordance with the purposes described in this Policy. If you voluntarily share "Sensitive Information" (e.g., information related to your health or your affiliation with a particular group) with us, that information may be stored in your reservation record for the sole purpose of providing you a better experience and meeting your particular needs. For example, if you voluntarily convey a health-related need to us, we may store and use that information to provide a room with appropriate amenities. We do not collect or store Sensitive Information unless it is voluntarily provided by you.
How Does BWI Use Personally Identifiable Information Collected From Me?
BWI collects PII about our guests and visitors to the Site so that we can provide an experience that is responsive to our guests' and visitors' needs. BWI may use collected PII for one or more of the following purposes:
- Fulfillment of Reservation or Information Requests: To fulfill your requests such as completing a credit card transaction or booking a reservation at any Licensed Hotel worldwide through our central reservations system, or responding to your requests that we send marketing, informational or other newsletters to you (and to personalize such newsletters and the Site to your preferences). For example, when you make a reservation through BWI's central reservation system, we may collect your credit card number or other payment account number, billing address, and other information related to such purchase (collectively, "Payment Information") from you, and may use and disclose such Payment Information to fulfill your reservation. BWI maintains centralized reservations systems, a worldwide accessible website, call centers, and database computers in the United States and other locations around the world, which are intended to help BWI conduct business and to facilitate the operation and maintenance of a central reservations system.
- Membership Programs. To administer and operate voluntary membership programs, including frequency programs such as BWR®, which allows members to earn and redeem rewards, points, or credits in connection with the programs. For complete BWR® program terms and conditions, visit www.bestwesternrewards.com.
- Best Western Travel Card®. To process and ship a Best Western Travel Card which is a stored value card redeemable for stays at Licensed Hotels worldwide. We may also use your PII as necessary to permit your use and redemption of such a Travel Card.
- Administrative and Other Communications. To send you important information regarding the Site, changes to our terms, conditions, and policies, or other administrative information (e.g., information about your travel reservations, such as reservation confirmations), or to determine whether you are eligible for and/or inform you of products, programs, enhancements, events, special offers, and services of BWI, BWI Subsidiaries, and third parties (including Licensed Hotels and Affiliate Organizations) that might be of interest to you.
- Promotions. We may operate sweepstakes, contests, or other marketing or promotional activities (collectively, "Promotions"). We typically ask you for certain PII when you enter a Promotion and, if applicable, win a prize, and we use such PII to administer the Promotion. Participation in these Promotions is completely voluntary, and you have a choice whether to disclose your PII. You should carefully review the rules, if any, of each Promotion in which you participate, as they may contain additional important information about BWI's use of your PII. To the extent that the Promotion’s rules concerning the treatment of your PII conflict with this Policy, the Promotion’s rules shall control.
- Surveys. To conduct surveys and to ask for your responses to questionnaires in order to provide better products and services to our guests and end users. Completion of any surveys or questionnaires is strictly voluntary.
- Customer Care. To track, process, and respond to customer care inquiries and to enhance and improve customers’ online experience. We may also transmit your PII to third party service providers, Affiliate Organizations and Licensed Hotels to allow those third parties to track, process and respond to customer care inquiries.
- Internal Business Purposes. For our internal business purposes, such as data analysis, audits, developing new products, enhancing the Site, tracking our users, improving our services, identifying usage trends and visiting patterns, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns, and meeting contractual obligations (e.g., a contractual obligation with regard to earning or redeeming BWR® points or miles through our airline partners).
- Legal Obligations. To comply with legal and regulatory requirements or demands in accordance with applicable law, a court order or a subpoena, or to detect, prevent, or take action against fraud.
- E-mails to Friends. To permit you to forward information about our products, services, and properties to another individual such as a friend or co-worker. If you wish to use this feature, you may be required to provide to us, and we may use, the applicable individual's name and e-mail address to facilitate your sending of such message to such individual (and any PII—such as your name and your email address—provided in connection with sending such information, will, of course, be disclosed to such individual). By using this functionality, you affirm that you are entitled to use and to provide to us the recipient's name and e-mail address for this purpose. We will not seek to use the applicable individual's PII for any purpose other than to allow the e-mail to be sent, unless we disclose such other purpose to you at the time that you provide such PII to us or unless we have separately collected such PII through other means.
How Is Personally Identifiable Information Shared?
- BWI Subsidiaries. We may share your PII with BWI Subsidiaries so that they may use such PII for the purposes described in this Policy. BWI Subsidiaries are required to protect your PII consistent with this Policy. BWI is the entity that is responsible for the management of such jointly used PII.
- Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, and Third Parties. We may also share your PII with Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, and other third parties located around the world for the purposes described in this Policy (e.g., to send your reservation information to the applicable Licensed Hotel or Affiliate Organization, to provide Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, or third parties with information on the rewards, points, or credits earned by you in connection with BWR®, and to allow Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, and third parties to determine whether you are eligible for or inform you of products, programs, services, and promotions that they believe might be of interest to you).
- Third-Party Service Providers. BWI relies on numerous third-party service providers to provide certain products and services on our behalf, including credit card billing, reservation services, credit card/payment processing, IT services, customer care, e-mail delivery services, communication and delivery of promotional and marketing materials via e-mail and direct mail, administering sweepstakes, prize drawings, guest surveys, administration, data analysis, and other similar services. We may share your PII for the purpose of enabling these third parties to provide such services or as otherwise necessary for the ongoing operation of BWI's business, including operation of programs such as BWR® and Best Western Travel Card. In such event, these service providers are either contractually required to provide at least the same level of privacy protection as is required by the relevant principles of this Policy or subscribe to the Safe Harbor Principles and/or are subject to the EU Privacy Directive (or similar adequacy finding of the applicable jurisdiction).
- BWR® Partners. BWI may also distribute your PII to those companies that we have partnered with or that are participants in our BWR® Program to allow you to earn and redeem rewards, points, or credits in connection with your BWR® membership and in accordance with your chosen earning and spending preferences (e.g., selection of a particular airline partner through which you can earn BWR® points).
- Promotions. PII submitted in connection with Promotions may be shared with third-party sponsors of such Promotions (irrespective of whether such Promotions are hosted by us), or otherwise in accordance with the rules applicable to such Promotion.
- Assignment. In the event of any reorganization, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer, or other disposition of all or any portion of BWI's or the BWI Subsidiaries' business, assets, or stock (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings), we may transfer any and all information that we collect pursuant to this Policy.
- Social Networking Forums. BWI may make available services (e.g., message boards, forums, and blogs) to which you are able to post information and materials. Please note that any information you disclose through such services becomes public information and may be available to visitors to the Site and to the general public. We urge you to exercise discretion and caution when deciding to disclose your PII, or any other information, through these services. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USE OF ANY PII THAT YOU VOLUNTARILY DISCLOSE THROUGH SUCH SERVICES.
Non-Personally Identifiable Information
Because Non-PII does not personally identify you, we may use and share such information with BWI Subsidiaries, Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, and other third parties for any purpose, including to facilitate your ongoing access to and use of our Site, to best tailor our services to suit personal interests, or to analyze visiting patterns. We and our service providers may collect Non-PII from sources such as environmental variables, including computer type (Windows or Macintosh), screen resolution, OS version, Internet browser, and Internet browser version.
We may also collect Non-PII from sources such as "cookies" and so-called "pixel tags," "web beacons," "clear GIFs," and other similar technologies, and may engage third party tracking and advertising providers to act on BWI's behalf to track and analyze your usage of our Site through the use of such technologies. These third parties collect and share with us, as we may request, Site usage information about visits to our Site, measure and research the effectiveness of our advertisements, track page usage and paths followed during visits through our Site, help us target and track use of our Internet banner advertisements on our Site and on other sites, and track use of other links from our marketing partners' sites to our Site.
In instances where Non-PII is combined with PII (such as combining your name with your geographical location), we will treat the combined information as PII.
Your IP Address is a number that your Internet Service Provider automatically assigns to the computer that you are using. This number is identified and logged automatically in our server log files whenever users visit the Site, along with the time(s) of such visit(s) and the page(s) that were visited. Collecting IP Addresses is standard practice on the Internet and is done automatically by many web sites. We use IP Addresses for purposes such as calculating Site usage levels, helping diagnose server problems, validation of a legitimate user session via Google™ captcha and administering the Site. Please note that we treat IP Addresses, server log files, and related information as Non-PII, except when we are required to do otherwise under applicable law.
Do Not Track
BWI Sites do not honor Do Not Track requests that may be configured by you and sent by your web browser. However, please keep in mind that, regardless of Do Not Track signals from your browser, BWI does strictly honor Opt-Out communication preferences that you provide to us (see “Opt-Out” section below).
BWI believes that we have implemented security measures that provide reasonable precautions against the unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction of PII. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or data storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Please do not send us credit card information or Sensitive Information through e-mail or any undesignated area (e.g., submission of your credit card number in a "comment" field). If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (e.g., if you feel that the security of any account you might have with us has been compromised), you must immediately notify us of the alleged problem by contacting our Customer Care Department as set forth below in this Policy (please note that, if you choose to notify us via physical mail, this will delay the time it takes for us to respond to the alleged problem).
If you no longer wish to receive marketing-related e-mails from us and the BWI Subsidiaries on a go-forward basis, or if you would prefer that we do not share your PII on a go-forward basis with Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, or with other third parties (other than BWI service providers), you may opt-out of receiving such marketing-related e-mails or request that we not share your information (other than with BWI service providers) by contacting our Customer Care Department as set forth below in this Policy.
Please keep in mind that, if BWI cannot disclose your PII to Licensed Hotels or Affiliate Organizations, we may be unable to provide you with all or certain reservation services, other services, or membership-program-related benefits. Similarly, if BWI cannot disclose your PII to other third parties, such as BWR® company partners (e.g., airlines), we may not be able to provide all of the available membership program services to you (e.g., earning of frequent customer points with such companies) or such services may not be delivered as quickly or not at all.
We will endeavor to comply with your request as soon as reasonably practicable. Please note that, if you opt out as described above, we will not be able to remove your PII from the databases of Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, or other third parties with which we have already shared your PII.
We take reasonable steps to ensure that the PII we use is accurate, complete, and current to the extent necessary for the purposes for which we use the PII. We make a good faith effort to allow you the right to access and request that erroneous or inaccurate PII that is held by us be rectified. BWI may allow you to review certain PII through the Site or through other online means. Information about the availability of online means for reviewing your PII is generally available at the Site or on the printed materials where such type of PII was first submitted. You may also review your PII by contacting us through the Customer Care Department, as noted below. BWI will make reasonable efforts to correct or delete erroneous PII brought to its attention within a reasonable time period and as required by applicable data privacy regulations. We may need to retain certain information for recordkeeping purposes, and there may also be residual information that will remain within our databases and other records, which will not be removed therefrom. Finally, we are not responsible for removing or suppressing information from the databases of Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, and other third parties with whom we have already shared your PII, or for limiting their use of your PII.
BWI only collects PII that it believes is necessary to perform the services that you seek from BWI and to comply with its obligations as otherwise outlined in this Policy. We will keep your PII only as long as we need it for the purposes for which we collected it, and as permitted by law.
Note Regarding the Use of the Site by Children
The Site is not directed to minors (as defined by applicable law), and we request that such individuals do not provide PII through the Site. If a minor 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 BWI marketing communications.
BWI 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. BWI 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 BWI's certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor.
BWI does not represent or warrant that the Site or any part thereof is appropriate or available for use in any particular jurisdiction. Those who choose to access the Site do so on their own initiative and at their own risk and are responsible for complying with all local laws, rules, and regulations. We may limit the Site's availability, in whole or in part, to any person, geographic area or jurisdiction we choose, at any time and in our sole discretion. By submitting any PII to us, you consent to the transfer of PII to other countries, which may provide a different level of data security than in your country of residence. In addition, if we need to transfer any PII to Licensed Hotels, Affiliate Organizations, or other third parties pursuant to this Policy, please be advised that such entities may or may not be located in countries that are considered "adequate" pursuant to the EU Data Protection Directive or other laws. For individuals who are located in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), you should be aware that, because we comply with the Safe Harbor Principles, our transfers of PII from the EEA to the United States meet the adequacy requirements of the EU Data Protection Directive.
If you feel that BWI has mishandled your PII in violation of Safe Harbor requirements, you should contact BWI through its Customer Care Department with a written description of your complaint. After receiving such written description, a representative from BWI's Customer Care Department will contact you to set up a time and manner to discuss your complaint. BWI is dedicated to addressing all legitimate complaints about its adherence to this Policy and the principles of Safe Harbor and will make a good faith effort to engage in communications to address any complaints. BWI has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under the US-EU (and US-Swiss) Safe Harbor Principles to an independent dispute resolution mechanism (i.e., the BBB EU SAFE HARBOR) operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed by BWI, please visit the BBB EU SAFE HARBOR web site at www.bbb.org/us/safe-harbor-complaints for more information.
BWI is committed to respecting your privacy and adhering to principles of applicable data protection and privacy laws throughout the world. If you have any questions regarding this Policy, or would like to update your information, or modify your communication preferences, please contact us by e-mail at , phone at (800) 528-1238, or write to the following address:
Best Western International, Inc.
Customer Care Department
P.O. Box 10203
Phoenix, AZ 85064
Attn: Customer Care
Please note that e-mail communications will not necessarily be secure; accordingly, you should not include credit card information or Sensitive Information in your e-mail correspondence to us.
Changes to the Policy
BWI reserves the right to change, modify, or amend this Policy at any time and without prior notice to meet changes in the regulatory environment or to satisfy its business needs or the needs of our guests, strategic marketing partners or service providers. Updated versions will be posted to our Site and date stamped so that you are always aware of when this Policy was last updated. Any changes to the Policy will become effective upon our posting of the revised Policy on the Site. Use of the Site following such changes constitutes your acceptance of the revised Policy then in effect.
1 As of January 1, 2014, BWI Subsidiaries consist of the following entities: B-W International Licensing, Inc., BW GCCI, Inc., BW Worldwide Reservations, Inc., BWI Latin America Service Co., BWI Latin America Reservations Co. and BWI Denmark, Inc.