Effective date: Sept 20, 2022.
Hootsuite’s roles under the GDPR and UK data protection laws
1. Our Services
Hootsuite's suite of social media management and social care tools are accessible via our websites and mobile applications. These tools allow you to bring together all of your social media accounts for easy access and management through a single online platform. Through this platform, you can manage your social media, marketing, and advertising campaigns; engage with your audiences, schedule and publish messages, manage customer care communications, and analyze the results of these activities.
Sparkcentral’s social customer service solutions are provided by Sparkcentral Europe NV and Sparkcentral Inc. and are accessible via our websites. This solution allows you to unify your customer conversations in an interactive dashboard to manage your customer care activities. Our solution has numerous product integrations including WhatsApp Business, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, live chat, and SMS.
Collectively, we refer to the Hootsuite and Sparkcentral tools as our “Services”. We are acting as a service provider to you when we provide the Services.
Any collection, use, and management of personal information by the social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok (collectively, the “Social Networks”) are governed by their respective privacy policies and terms. When using Social Networks, you are required to comply with their privacy policies and terms. We recommend you carefully review their privacy policies and terms, as Hootsuite is not responsible for the Social Networks.
Our Services also enable you to customize and connect your Hootsuite account to third-party services (“Third-Party Services”), including through apps you can access in the App Directory or which may be available to you via our platform. The collection of your information by these third parties is governed by the respective Third-Party Services’ privacy policies and terms. We recommend you carefully review their privacy policies and terms, as Hootsuite is not responsible for Third-Party Services.
Your Privacy Obligations
We rely on you to comply with applicable privacy laws when collecting, using, or disclosing information about individuals through the Services, including obtaining any necessary consents and providing any necessary notices. If we receive any questions or complaints regarding your use of the Services, we will direct the request to you for further assistance.
Our Services are not intended for use by children and should only be accessed by individuals who are at least 18 years old and are using the Services for business purposes.
2. What information do we collect?
We collect information about you as reasonably necessary for the following activities:
Using our Services
We may collect the following information when you use our Services:
Your contact and profile information including your name, email address, organization name, and address; your preferences such as language, time zone, and the types of communications you would like to receive from us; and image (if you choose to provide this). We may also obtain this information if you choose to use a social login service, such as Facebook Login, to create or access your account.
Billing and other payment information (if you sign up for a paid service or purchase a Third-Party Service), including payment method details, such as credit card number.
The Services you have acquired from us, including the type of plan, number of team members, and transaction information related to the Services.
Your social profile information for Social Networks you choose to connect to the Services. For example, your Facebook profile information may include your Facebook username and profile image.
A specific location such as an address, a city, or a place (for example, a restaurant) if you choose to share this information.
Your messages, posts, comments, images, advertising, and other material you curate on and upload to the Services; and information that is collected from the Social Networks that you choose to connect to and which is displayed on our Services.
Social media content and other user generated content (for example, posts, comments, pages, profiles, likes, feeds)
Messaging content that individuals choose to share (for example, social media messages, in-app messages)
Social media and messaging metadata (for example, number of social media followers, number of posts, number of tweets)
Content that you may send and receive through Social Networks and other messaging services, such as SMS, may contain personal information of third parties. This may include information such as: names, photos, age, gender, geographic location, opinions, preferences, and phone numbers that are provided or posted by social media users.
For the Sparkcentral Services, Content is also referred to as “Customer Content” as set out in the Sparkcentral terms of service.
Logs, usage, and support data:
Log data, which may include your IP address, the address of the web page you visited before using the Services, your browser type and settings, your device information (such as make, model, and OS), the date and time when you used the Services, information about your browser configuration, language preferences, unique identifiers, and cookies.
Usage data and analytics, which may include the frequency of login, and the different types of activity undertaken by users such as frequently accessed areas of the Services.
General Location information, such as IP address and the region in which you are located when you are logging in and using the Services, in accordance with the settings on your device.
Customer support questions, issues, and general feedback that you choose to provide.
Surveys, events, marketing and other activities
Surveys, contests, events (such as webinars and in-person events) for those we host or are affiliated with:
Contact information, such as your name, email address, telephone number, organization name and address.
Participation, attendance, feedback and opinions.
General information about your organization that you choose to provide, such as annual company revenue, number of employees, and industry. We may also use service providers to obtain additional business-related information about your organization such as the legal name, size, and publicly available revenue, to assist us in offering services that are appropriate to your organization’s needs.
Social media: Your messages, posts and other interactions with our brand and social media accounts.
Email interactions and analytics: Information on how you engage with our emails such as email open and click rates, whether a link is clicked, which web pages are visited after opening the email, the type of browser and email clients you use, and general location (i.e. country and region) information.
Teleconference, videoconference, and other meetings: Your preferences, feedback, opinions and business needs; and recordings of these sessions if you agree.
Accessing resources (e.g. videos, whitepapers or case studies) on our website: Your name and contact information, and engagement analytics such as the type and frequency of resources accessed, viewed and downloaded.
Hootsuite Academy training
If you choose to enroll in training offered via Hootsuite Academy, we collect the same information that is required to sign up for the Services (see "Account information" above), as you will need a Hootsuite account to enroll. Where you undertake training courses with fees or apply for any of our certifications, we also collect billing and payment information.
Applying for employment
Our careers site collects information you choose to provide to us when applying for employment, which may include contact information, education and employment history, credentials, and LinkedIn profile information. We explain how we use your information here.
Browsing our websites
When you browse our websites, we collect information about you as described below, some of which is collected automatically:
When you use automated chat functionality (chatbots) to make an inquiry, provide feedback, or make another request, we may collect information about you such as your name and email address, your specific feedback or request, and information related to your use of our Services.
Website usage data including engagement rate, the address of the previous web page that directed you to our website, browser type, session experience and replay, and mouse movements.
3. How do we use your information?
We use your information for the purposes described below:
Providing and securing our Services
We need to identify and authenticate our users to ensure, for example, that only those authorized users are able to use the Services for their organization, and to make changes to their accounts.
We use information that you provide when signing up to set up your account, process payments, contact you regarding the Services, and manage your account.
We use your contact information and information related to your request to respond to your inquiries, manage our contract with you, respond to your questions and requests, and send you updates and information about the Services.
We use logging and other data such as general location information—for example, the IP address of your browser or device, to help us manage the performance, security and compliance of the Services.
Where you have chosen to share your specific location information, we use this information to provide location based features, such as enabling you to share your location on your posts for Social Networks that support this functionality, and to use any functionality that relies on location information.
We analyze your information, including usage information, social media metadata, your feedback, support queries, and survey responses to identify issues and help us understand how you use the Services so that we can make improvements to our Services and to provide aggregated user analytics, insights and measurement reports.
We use Content, information that you send and receive through Social Networks, and other information from these Social Networks (such as your messages, posts, comments, images, advertising, and other material you curate on and upload to the Services) in order to provide the Services.
Communicating with you
We use your contact information where appropriate to send you information about our Services, events, marketing communications (consistent with your preferences—see “Marketing emails, advertising and website browsing” below), and job opportunities.
We use email statistics, such as open rates, to assess the effectiveness of, and to make improvements to our communications. We also use engagement analytics to better understand your needs so that we can provide the information and services that would be more suitable for you.
Improving our websites and applications
We use information about you to help us understand usage patterns and other activities on our websites and applications so that we can diagnose problems and make improvements, including enhancing usability and security. We also use website personalization software to help us present information on our websites that may be more relevant to you, such as displaying resources applicable to your industry or organization size.
If you choose to provide information about you, your usage of social media services and other feedback during telephone calls and other interactions to our customer support and sales teams, we may use, monitor, and record this information for training purposes, to make improvements to our internal sales and marketing processes, and to improve our Services.
4. What are your rights regarding the information about you?
When using our Services, you may access, update, or correct most of your Account information by logging in to your account to edit your profile or organization record.
In Hootdesk and in the Sparkcentral services, you can also delete information related to a contact, which is an individual who has contacted you through these services. When you delete a contact, their conversation history, attachments, and contact attributes are permanently removed from these services.
If you have requests that cannot be carried out by logging in to your account, such as accessing additional information or deleting information about you, for the Hootsuite services, please email our privacy team; or for the Sparkcentral services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we may need to retain certain information about you for as long as you maintain an account for our Services, to provide you with our Services, for record keeping purposes, for payment processing, to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, to resolve disputes, or to enforce the Hootsuite terms of service, the Sparkcentral terms of service, or other agreement in place between you (or your organization) and Hootsuite (collectively, the “Terms of Service”).
Requests to access, correct, update, or delete your information can be made in writing to our privacy team and will be handled within thirty (30) days unless they are unusually extensive or complex, in which case we will advise you of the expected timeline for handling your request.
If you have authorized us to access your Social Network account to provide the Services, you may revoke this access at any time by following the instructions here. For example, if you have authorized us to access your information via the YouTube API services, in addition to our normal procedure for deleting stored data, you may revoke our access to your data via the Google security settings page, located here.
You can contact our Support team for other general requests about your account by your preferred method listed here.
Marketing emails, advertising and website browsing
For marketing communications, you may opt out of marketing communications sent by Hootsuite by accessing our Preferences Management page, by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the marketing email you receive, or completing the unsubscribe form. Please note that if you are a Hootsuite or Sparkcentral user, unsubscribing from marketing communications will not affect product-generated emails sent in connection with your use of our Services.
Hootsuite participates in interest-based advertising (where you may have visited our websites or another website which allows us to display advertising relating to our Services). The Network Advertising Initiative has developed a tool that may help you understand which third parties have currently enabled cookies for your browser and how to opt out of those cookies. For more information and to opt out of interest-based advertising, you can visit this page.
For more information on how to opt out of marketing cookies, review our Cookie Notice.
5. Who has access to your information?
Hootsuite does not rent or sell your information. We restrict access to your information to authorized employees and we do not share your information with third parties except in the circumstances explained below.
Employees and Authorized Contractors
Our employees and authorized contractors may need to access information about you when they require this information to perform their job. For example, a customer support representative would need access to your account to validate your identity and respond to your question or request; our email communications team would need access to your contact information to ensure this information is sent correctly and any unsubscribe requests are properly managed; and our security staff would need to review information to investigate attempted denial of service attacks, fraudulent account activity, or other attempts to compromise the Services.
All our employees and contractors are required to agree to maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of your information.
Service Providers, Authorized Resellers, and Partners
We will share limited information about you to authorized service providers we use for marketing services, communicating with you, managing our customer database, the provision of professional services, and providing and managing the Services (including hosting data centers, securing our Services, and payment processing).
We limit the number of service providers who are permitted to process your Content for the purpose of assisting us in delivering the Services. We refer to these service providers as "subprocessors" and they are listed on this page.
Where you have purchased a service from an authorized reseller or partner, we may provide information about you to (and may receive information about you from) the reseller or partner as necessary to support your use of the service you purchased.
We may also participate in and run marketing events (e.g. conferences, webinars, and provide resources) with sponsors and other organizations. Where the sponsors or other organizations wish to collect your information for their marketing purposes, while we may facilitate this (e.g. information may be collected on the same registration form), they will be doing so independently under their own policies. We will advise you and provide you an opportunity for you to share your information with the sponsors or other organizations for such purposes, either upon registration or during the event.
Social Networks and Third-Party Services
Where your employer or an entity has purchased Services on your behalf, we may disclose information about you such as your name and email address, and some usage information including whether a user has logged in to the Service, frequency of login, time spent using the Services, and enrollment and completion of Hootsuite Academy courses to assist your employer or the entity in managing its use and maximizing the value of the Services.
Successor and Affiliated Entities
Law Enforcement, Government Agencies, and Professional Advisors
We may need to disclose information about you where we believe that it is reasonably necessary to comply with a law or regulation, or if we are otherwise legally required to do so, such as in response to a court order or legal process, or to establish, protect, or exercise our legal rights or to defend against legal claims or demands. For governmental data access requests concerning you or your organization, we would first attempt to redirect the request to you and/or we would first attempt to notify you unless we are legally prohibited from doing so. For further information, refer to our Government Data Request Policy.
In addition, we may disclose information about you if we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action: (a) against illegal activities, fraud, situations involving potential threats to our rights or property (or to the rights or property of those who use our Services), or to protect the personal safety of any person; or (b) regarding situations that involve the security of our Services, abuse of the Services infrastructure, or the Internet in general (such as voluminous spamming, or denial of service attacks).
We also use professional advisors, including lawyers and accountants, and may be required to disclose information about you when engaging them for their services and as necessary for audits, financial and other regulatory reviews.
6. What international data transfers occur at Hootsuite?
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data protection laws, information about you may only be transferred from your region to other regions if certain requirements are met. For instance, under the GDPR, information about you may be transferred from the European Economic Area (EEA) to outside the EEA if adequate data protections are in place.
Our Services are managed by Hootsuite’s headquarters in Canada. As the European Commission considers Canada to be a country which provides adequate data protection, information about you may be transferred from the EEA to Canada. For the Sparkcentral services, we also manage our services from our European entity, Sparkcentral Europe NV. Amongst the Hootsuite corporate entities, we have incorporated appropriate data transfer mechanisms permitted under European data protection laws.
Hootsuite also uses third-party service providers, such as managed hosting providers, credit card processors, and technology partners to provide the software, networking, infrastructure and other services required to operate the Services. These third-party providers may process or store personal data on servers outside of the EEA, UK, and Switzerland, including in Canada or the US. We rely on adequacy (if sent to Canada) and standard contractual clauses (if sent to the US or onward to other countries) to ensure that information about you is lawfully transferred under EU law. In this case, we have implemented supplementary measures as outlined in the section 7. How do we safeguard your information?.
The third-party service providers we use to help us deliver the Services and which process your Content are referred to as “subprocessors” and are listed on this page.
By its nature, social media data can be shared with people around the globe. The Social Networks and Third-Party Services that you choose to integrate with our Services may collect, store, and process your information from various locations around the world according to their own terms and privacy policies.
7. How do we safeguard your information?
Hootsuite maintains industry standard security safeguards to protect your information. This includes ensuring our employees receive appropriate security and privacy training and guidance so they are aware of the measures they need to implement to protect your information.
Access controls are in place to limit access to your information to those who need it to perform their jobs. For example, information about you may be provided to our customer support specialists to help you with your requests. Individuals who are permitted to handle your information must adhere to confidentiality obligations.
We encrypt data in transit and at rest, where appropriate, to ensure that your information is kept private. We undertake service provider security and privacy reviews to ensure that service providers follow our stringent requirements to safeguard your information, and we also enter into data protection agreements with our service providers. All payment information is fully encrypted and handled only by PCI certified organizations. More detailed information on our security practices is available in our Trust Center, the Hootsuite Security Practices and the Sparkcentral Security Practices web pages.
8. How long do we retain your information?
In general for the Hootsuite Services, we do not permanently store Content from Social Networks. Rather, when you login to the Services, we retrieve data from Social Networks in real time so that it is displayed in the platform for viewing during your session. We store other Content that you produce (such as draft Content for publication on Social Networks) so that you can easily access this material on the Services.
Messages in Inbox are stored for 6 weeks to enable you to take any action required, such as replying to messages. Hootdesk and the Sparkcentral services allow you to delete information related to a contact. Hootsuite Analytics products such as Analytics and Insights will store mentions related to our customers from social media audiences for up to 25 months to allow our customers to conduct trending and analysis (see for example, the Hootsuite Metrics library). More information on data retention for specific products can be found in the Hootsuite Help Center.
Aggregated data is used by Hootsuite for analysis, product improvement, and troubleshooting purposes. In some cases, Content may continue to exist on the Social Networks even after you or we delete it from our Services, and you will need to contact the relevant Social Network directly if you want it to remove this Content.
We retain your information as long as required to provide the Services requested by you, for record keeping purposes, to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce the terms for the Services. After it is no longer necessary for us to retain information about you, or otherwise upon your request, we will dispose of it in a secure manner or anonymize the information.
9. Hootsuite’s roles under the GDPR and UK data protection laws
Depending on the situation and the type of data involved, Hootsuite may act as a data controller or a data processor.
Hootsuite as a data controller
Hootsuite may act as a data controller when we are:
Collecting information from you to set up and administer your Hootsuite account (for example, Account information such as your name and email address);
Monitoring usage information on our website;
Managing your contact and other related information to send marketing, Services, and other communications to you;
Responding to a support or general inquiry; and
Recruiting individuals for job opportunities.
Legal bases for processing when Hootsuite is a data controller
The legal bases for processing information about you include:
Your consent (for example, when you have provided your information to sign up for an account or for a webinar; or you have provided your employment history when applying for a job). Where we rely on your consent to process personal data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.
It is necessary to perform a contract (for example, we may need your information to fulfill our obligations of providing Services to you under the terms relevant to the Services you have acquired).
Legitimate interest (for example, to provide, maintain and improve the Services for you, to maintain the security of the Services, and to attract new customers to maintain demand for the Services, all of which are described in the "3. How do we use your information?" section above).
In some cases, we may have a legal obligation to process your personal data to comply with relevant laws (for example, processing payroll and tax information to comply with relevant employment and tax legislation); or processing is necessary to protect your vital interests or those of another person (for example, obtaining health-related information during a medical emergency).
Your rights when Hootsuite is a data controller
Where Hootsuite is acting as a data controller, we have outlined certain rights in the section "4. What are your rights regarding the information about you?".
In addition, you may have the following rights:
Right to object to processing: you may request that Hootsuite stops processing information about you (for example, to stop sending you marketing communications).
Right to restrict processing: you may request that we restrict processing information about you (for example, where you believe that this information is inaccurate).
Right to data portability: you may request that we provide you with information Hootsuite has about you in a structured, machine-readable, and commonly used format, and you may request that we transfer this information to another data controller.
If you would like assistance on any of the above requests, please email our Privacy team, or for the Sparkcentral services, please email email@example.com, with details of your request.
Hootsuite as a data processor
Where you are using our Services and making decisions about the personal data that is being processed in the Services (including selecting the Social Network accounts you wish to connect to the Services, or uploading and using Content), you are acting as a data controller and Hootsuite is acting as a data processor.
There are certain obligations under the GDPR that you have as a data controller, including being responsible for managing Content on the Services. As a data processor, Hootsuite will only access and process Content to provide you with the Services in accordance with your instructions (which you provide through the Services), the Terms of Service, the Social Networks’ terms, and applicable laws. As part of delivering the Services, we may process Content to further improve the Services, such as enhancing usability and developing new features.
If you, as a data controller, require Hootsuite to agree to data protection requirements under Article 28, GDPR, or under UK data protection laws, Hootsuite makes available a data processing addendum that meets these requirements at https://www.hootsuite.com/legal/data-processing-addendum.
If you are using the Services as an authorized user of a Hootsuite customer (whether that customer is your employer, another organization, or an individual), that customer determines its own policies (if any) regarding storage, access, modification, deletion, sharing, and retention of personal data and Content, which may apply to your use of the Services. Please check with that customer about the policies and settings it has in place.
10. Your California Privacy Rights
If you are a consumer as defined in the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) (collectively, “California Privacy Laws’), the following provisions apply to you. Definitions of terms are set out in the California Privacy Laws.
Information about your Personal Information
The categories and specific types of personal information collected and sources from which personal information are collected are set out here.
The business and commercial purposes for collecting personal information are set here.
The categories of third parties with whom your information is shared are set out here.
We have outlined certain rights in the section "4. What are your rights regarding the information about you?"
Under the California Privacy Laws, you may have the following specific rights:
The right to know about the personal information collected about you, which we have set out under “Information about your Personal Information”
The right to have your personal information deleted.
The right to correct inaccurate personal information.
The right not to be discriminated against for exercising consumer rights under California Privacy Laws
You may access, update, or correct most of your Account information by logging in to your account; or you may exercise your rights by emailing our Privacy team. Hootsuite makes available an addendum that addresses California Privacy Laws at https://www.hootsuite.com/legal/data-processing-addendum.
While we disclose personal information to service providers for the purpose of managing our relationship with you (e.g. distributing marketing communications) and providing the Services, we do not sell your personal information.
12. How to contact us
If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please email our Privacy team and Privacy Officer/Data Protection Officer; or send a letter to:
111 East 5th Avenue
Canada V5T 4L1
Attn: Hootsuite Privacy Team
If we are unable to resolve your concerns, you also have the right to contact your local data protection authority.