PRIVACY POLICY

Welcome to Houzz! Houzz is an information and social network dedicated to homebuilding, renovation, and design. Houzz connects you to home-related products and businesses, professional service providers, and others who can give you feedback and ideas about your design goals.

This privacy policy is to help you understand what information Houzz collects, how Houzz uses it, how it may be shared, and what choices you have. This privacy policy governs the products and services we offer through our website and applications (collectively the “Site” or “Houzz”). When you use the Site, you consent to our collection, use and disclosure of information about you as described in this privacy policy. Additionally, our Terms of Use are incorporated by reference into this privacy policy. The terms “we,” or “our,” refer to Houzz Inc., a Delaware corporation, headquartered in Palo Alto, California in the United States.

Collection and Use of Information

We collect information that you provide us directly or automatically when you use our Site.

We may use the information for purposes such as to: provide the Site’s functionality, improve the Site’s quality, personalize your experience, track usage of the Site, provide feedback to businesses and professionals whose products or services are listed on the Site, display relevant advertising, evaluate the success of our advertising, provide customer support, message you (in ways described by this privacy policy and managed by you in your account settings), back up our systems and allow for disaster recovery, enhance the security of the Site, fulfill transactions authorized by you on the Site, and comply with legal obligations.

Of further note about the information we collect:

  1. Account and Profile Information: When you create an account on Houzz, then we collect your name and the contact information you provide. You also will be asked to create a profile on Houzz. If you do, your username, any photo you submit, and information you enter into the fields indicated for public display will be displayed publicly on the social network. You can customize some of the information displayed publicly in your Houzz profile by going to your account and profile settings. If you feel that an unauthorized account has been created depicting you or your likeness, please contact us at privacy@houzz.com. You have an obligation to provide us accurate information.
  2. Public Content: The information that you post to the Site is intended for public consumption, including your photos, comments, Ideabooks, and profile information. By posting on the Site, you agree to permit us to disclose publicly the material you post.
  3. Communications: When you join Houzz by signing up for an account or creating a profile, as permitted by law, you are opting in to receive emails from us or about Houzz. You can manage your email and notice preferences in account settings, but note that you cannot opt out of receiving certain administrative or legal notices from us. Additionally, by joining, you are agreeing to receive feedback and communications from third-parties within the Site, including third-party providers of products or services who may comment on your postings within the Site. If you exchange messages with others through the Site, in accordance with applicable law, we may store them in order to process and deliver them, allow you to manage them, and investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Site. Houzz may also enable you to connect, at your initiation, outside the Site via your personal email address to third-party providers of products and services who you wish to contact outside of the Site.
  4. Transactional Information: If you purchase products within the Site, certain information collected for processing your request, such as your phone number, address, email, and credit card information, may be shared with relevant third-parties in order for them to process your request (but not for their own marketing or other purposes). When you submit credit card numbers, we encrypt that information using industry standard technology and use commercially reasonable security measures to protect it from misuse.
  5. Site Activity/Automatically Collected Information: We collect and may store information about your use of the Site, such as your search activity, the pages you view, and the date and time of your visit. We also collect and may store information that your computer or mobile device provides to us in connection with your use of the Site, such as your browser type, type of computer or mobile device, browser language, IP address, mobile carrier, unique device identifier, location, and requested and referring URLs.
  6. Linked Networks and Contacts: You can elect to connect your Houzz profile to another network like Facebook and, if you so choose, you will be asked to enable sharing of your contact information from that network to Houzz and to enable sharing of your activities on Houzz on that network

Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We, and third parties we interact with, including our third party service providers, use cookies, web beacons, local shared objects (sometimes called "flash cookies"), and similar technology in connection with your use of the Site and third party websites (collectively referred to in this policy as "Cookies"). Cookies are small data files that may have unique identifiers, and reside, among other places, on your computer or mobile device, in emails we send to you, and on our Site.

We may use Cookies to transmit information about you and your use of the Site, such as your browser type, search preferences, data relating to advertisements that have been displayed to you or that you have clicked on, and the date and time of your use. When we use Cookies, we do so in order to further Site features and processes, provide authentication and security for your transactions on the Site, store your preferences, facilitate relevant advertising, and help us learn more about how users engage with the Site. Our Cookies may be persistent or stored only during an individual session.

You may opt-out of tracking by third parties for certain advertising purposes, as discussed below in the section entitled “Third Party Ad Networks,” which can help you control targeted advertising by third-parties that track your activities across sites.

Please note we do not change system behavior within the Site in response to browser requests not to be tracked.

It may be possible to disable Cookies through your device or browser settings. The method for disabling cookies may vary by device and browser, but can usually be found in preferences or security settings. However, doing so may affect your ability to use the Site. If you are not comfortable with the above uses of Cookies, please do not use this Site.

For more information about our use of Cookies on the Site, please see our Cookie Policy.

Sharing Your Information

We do not rent or sell your personal contact information (such as your email address associated with your account registration) to third-parties to use for their own marketing purposes. We may share some information about you with third parties in connection with your use of the Site. Our information sharing with third-parties fall into these categories and purposes:

  1. Agents, Contractors, and Service Providers: We may share your information with our agents and contractors or other service providers as needed to carry out the performance and functionality of the Site, fulfill your requests or authorized commercial transactions, or provide customer support.
  2. Analytics and Usage: We may share user information in the aggregate, with third parties, such as advertisers, professionals, and business. For example, we may disclose to a business the number of users that have viewed their product. Business or professionals that participate on the Houzz network may also access usage data associated with your public profile. For example, a business can see that you, as identified by your public profile username, any profile photo, and any other publicly displayed profile identifiers (but not identified by your email or non-public account information), added their product to one of your Ideabooks on a particular date.
  3. Third Party Ad Networks: We may use third-party advertising companies to serve advertisements on our Site and on third party sites, as well as to assist us in evaluating the effectiveness of our advertising, in accordance with applicable law. These companies use cookies, web beacons, and other tracking technologies to collect information (not including your name, address, email address or telephone number) about your visits to this Site and other sites in order to provide targeted advertisements to you. If you would like to learn more about behavioral advertising or to opt out of having this information used by companies that are part of the Network Advertising Initiative and the Digital Advertising Alliance to deliver targeted ads, please visit http://www.networkadvertising.org, www.aboutads.info/choices (DAA) and in Europe http://www.youronlinechoices.com.
  4. Affiliated Entities We may share information from or about you with subsidiaries, joint ventures, or other companies under common control, in which case we will require them to honor this privacy policy.
  5. Business Transfers: If we are acquired by or merged with another entity, if substantially all of our assets are transferred to another company, or as part of a bankruptcy proceeding, we may transfer the information we have collected about you to the other company.
  6. Other Users: Information that you post publicly on Houzz (e.g., photos, comments, your profile) will be made publicly available to other users of Houzz.
  7. Investigations: We may investigate and disclose information from or about you, as permitted by applicable law, if we have a good faith belief that such investigation or disclosure is (a) reasonably necessary to comply with legal process and law enforcement instructions and orders, such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, judicial proceeding, or other legal process served on us; (b) helpful to prevent, investigate, or identify possible wrongdoing in connection with the Site; or (c) helpful to protect our rights, reputation, property, or that of our users, subsidiaries, or the public.

Account Termination and Data Retention

You can close your account at any time by going to account settings. When you close your account, you will cease to provide ongoing or future data to us. Your public profile will be deactivated. However, unless prohibited by applicable law, postings or comments you provided to the forum associated with your public profile prior to closing your account, will remain public. We may retain information about you for the purposes authorized under this privacy policy unless prohibited by law.

Children

The Site is intended for general audiences and is not directed to children under 13. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If you become aware that a child has provided us with personal information without parental consent, please contact us at privacy@houzz.com, and we will take steps to remove such information and terminate the child's account.

Security

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. However, no method of transmission over the Internet or via mobile device, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure – so we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

EU, Safe Harbor and Dispute Recourse

Data in the United States

Any information you provide through the Site may be transferred to, stored in, or processed in the United States.

Safe Harbor Adherence

We adhere to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Union (EU), and have Safe Harbor self-assessment procedures in place. The Safe Harbor program is intended to provide equivalent protections for personal data as exist in the EU. We have certified that we adhere to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access and enforcement. For more information about the Safe Harbor and to view our certification, visit the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbor website at http://export.gov/safeharbor/.

Questions and Dispute Resolution

If you have any questions about our Safe Harbor participation, please contact us at privacy@houzz.com. If you believe that we have not satisfactorily addressed your data privacy concerns related to the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, and without prejudice to any other remedy you may enjoy, you may obtain dispute resolution services through the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, a division of the American Arbitration Association. To use these services, you can file a claim at https://apps.adr.org/webfile/.

If you are a European or Australian citizen and would like to have access to personal information we collect, you contact us with your request at privacy@houzz.com. A processing fee may apply as permitted by applicable law.

Choices

You have certain choices about how to control your data, including publicly displayed profile information, communications settings, network linking, and opting out of tracking by third- parties for certain advertising purposes. These choices are described throughout this privacy policy in the relevant sections.

Links to Other Sites

Our Site contains links to other sites that are not controlled by us. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our site and read the privacy policies of each and every site you visit. This privacy policy applies only to information collected by our Site.

Modifications and Updates to this Privacy Policy

We may revise this privacy policy from time to time. The most current version of the privacy policy will govern our use of information about you and will be located here: http://www.houzz.com/privacyPolicy. If we make material changes to this privacy policy, we may notify you by email or by posting a notice on the Site. By continuing to access or use the Site after those changes become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised privacy policy.

Contact

If you have questions or comments about Houzz privacy policy, please feel free to contact us at privacy@houzz.com.

Last Updated June 12, 2014

© 2014 Houzz Inc.
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