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Privacy Statement

2017-02-23 20:28:39

First things first – your privacy is important to us. We know that’s what all these kinds of notices say, but we really mean it. You’ve placed your trust in us by using Booking.com services, and we value that trust. That means we’re committed to protecting and safeguarding any personal data you give us.

This document describes how we use and process your personal data, hopefully presented in a readable and transparent way so you can understand where we’re coming from without getting bored. As an added bonus, it also tells you how to contact us if you have questions about your personal data, which we’re more than happy to answer. Please also read our separate Cookie Statement, which tells you how Booking.com uses cookies and other similar technologies.

If you’ve ever used our services before, you know that Booking.com offers online travel-related services through our own websites and mobile apps, as well as through other online platforms like partners’ websites and social media. Why mention every one of these? It's good to know that all the information that follows applies to not one, not two, but all of these platforms. We have several platforms, but one Privacy Statement.

This one Privacy Statement applies to any kind of information we collect through these platforms or other means connected to these platforms (such as contacting our Customer Service team by email). It's here for less time-consuming reading. Accommodation partners should also visit the Privacy Statement specifically for accommodation partners.

We might amend the Privacy Statement from time to time. If you care about your privacy, you can visit this page regularly and you’ll be able to stay up to date.

A necessary part: If you disagree with this Privacy Statement, you should discontinue using our services. If you agree with our Privacy Statement, then you’re all set to book your next stay. Let the good times roll!


What kind of personal information does Booking.com collect?

We can’t help you book the perfect accommodations without information, so when you use our services there are certain pieces of information we ask for. This is pretty basic stuff – your name, preferred contact details, the names of anybody traveling with you, and your payment information. In addition to this, we also collect information from your computer. This can include the IP address, the browser you're using, and your language settings. There are also situations when we receive information about you from others or automatically collect other information. This is a basic overview of the information we collect, but if you’d like to know more specifics, we go into a lot more detail below. Read more

Why does Booking.com collect and use your personal data?

The main reason we ask you for personal details is a very good one – it’s to help administer your online bookings, ensure you get the best service possible, and keep your information safe. We also use your personal data to contact you and inform you about our latest deals and special offers. There are other uses, too – if you’d like to find out what they are, keep reading for a more detailed explanation. Read more

How does Booking.com share your data with third parties?

There are different parties integrated into the Booking.com services in various ways and for various reasons. The primary purpose is to share your reservation data with the accommodations to complete your reservation. There are also other parties which can receive some of your data, which are parties we involve to provide you with the Booking.com services, financial institutions, advertisers, or in some cases authorities. Below we’ll go into more detail about how information you share with us is used and exchanged with these parties. Read more

How does Booking.com process communications that you and your booked accommodations might send to Booking.com?

Booking.com can help you and accommodation partners exchange information and requests about accommodations and existing reservations, directing the communications through Booking.com. If you want to find out more about how Booking.com receives and handles these communications, keep reading here. Read more

How does Booking.com use mobile devices?

We offer free apps which we also collect and process personal data through. This works very much the same way as our website, but they also allow you to use our locations services. Read more

How does Booking.com use social media?

The use of social media services may be integrated with the Booking.com services in various ways, which can involve us collecting some of your personal data or the social media provider receiving some of your information. If you’d like to learn more about how this information is used and exchanged, keep reading. Read more

What security and retention procedures does Booking.com put in place to safeguard your personal data?

In accordance with European data protection laws, we observe reasonable procedures to prevent unauthorized access to, and the misuse of, personal data. Full credit card details will be stored for no longer than 10 days. Read more

How does Booking.com treat personal data about children?

Booking.com is a service you're only allowed to use if you're over 18 years old. We only process information about children with the consent of the parents or legal guardians. Read more

How can you control the personal data you've given to Booking.com?

You always have the right to review the personal information we keep about you. You can request an overview of your personal data by emailing us at the email address listed below. Please write "Request personal information" in the subject line of your email to speed things up a bit. Read more

Who's responsible for the processing of personal data on the Booking.com website and apps?

Booking.com B.V., located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, controls the processing of personal data on its websites and mobile apps. Read more


What kind of personal information does Booking.com collect?

Ok, so you’re looking for some more specifics. Here’s an in-depth view of the information we collect.

Personal information you give to us

Booking.com collects and uses information that you provide to us. When you make a reservation, you're (as a minimum) asked for your name and email address. We might also ask for your home address, telephone number, payment information, the names of any guests traveling with you, and any preferences you might have for your stay.

If you need to get in touch with our customer service team, or reach out to us through another avenue (such as on social media, or communicating with your booked accommodations on our site), we'll collect information from you there, too. After a stay, guests can be asked to provide a review to help ensure future guests get exactly what they’re looking for.

There are also other instances where you’ll provide us with information. For example, if you’re browsing with your mobile device, you can enable Booking.com to see your current location or grant access to your contact details – this helps us provide you with the best possible service. You can also open a user account, which allows you to save your personal settings, upload photos, review previous bookings, or plan and manage future reservations (all pretty useful stuff).

You might participate in referral programs or sweepstakes, and if you do this also means providing us with personal information. In addition to that, you can give us feedback or ask for help when using Booking.com travel services.

Personal information you give us about others

Of course you might not just be booking accommodations for yourself. Maybe you're traveling with other guests whose details you provide as part of the reservation, or you might make a reservation on behalf of someone else. If you maintain a Booking.com for Business account, you can also create an address book to facilitate business travel, as well as manage the bookings of others. In some cases, you can use Booking.com to share information with others. This can be in the form of forwarding a wish list or participating in referral programs, but such information may only be used as described in the offered interface – you can check the details there if you want to know more.

However, now we should point out that it’s your responsibility to ensure that the person or people you've provided personal information about are aware that you’ve done so, and have accepted how Booking.com uses their information (as described in this useful privacy statement).

Personal information we collect automatically

Even if you don’t end up making a reservation, when you visit our websites or apps we may automatically collect certain information. This includes your IP address, the date and time you accessed our services, the hardware, software or internet browser you use, and information about your computer’s operating system, like application versions and your language settings. We might also collect information about clicks and which pages have been shown to you.

If you're using a mobile device, we might also collect data that identifies your mobile device, device-specific settings and characteristics, location details, app crashes and other system activity. When you make a reservation, our system registers through which means and from which websites you've made your reservation or entered the Booking.com websites and/or apps.

Personal information we receive from other sources

It’s not just the things you tell us, though – we might also receive information about you from other sources. These include business partners, such as affiliate partners, and other independent third parties, and anything we get from them can be combined with information provided by you. Does it sound a little strange to receive information from business partners? Don’t worry, it’s not – and it’s pretty easy to explain.

The Booking.com reservation services are not only made available through Booking.com and the Booking.com apps, but are also integrated into affiliate partners' services that you can find online. When you use some of these, you provide the reservation details to our business partner, who then forward your details to us. We also integrate third-party service providers to facilitate payment between bookers and accommodations. These service providers share payment information so we can administer and handle your reservation, making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for you.

Another example can be that we may integrate calling services into our platforms to enable you to connect with the booked accommodations about your stay, and when we do we receive metadata about call activities (like where you called, who you are, and the date and length of the call). We may also receive information about you when you use certain social media services. So when you link your Booking.com user account to your social media account, personal information may be shared with Booking.com by that social media provider, but only when it’s been okayed with you for them to do so.

Accommodation partners are allowed to share information about you with Booking.com too – this might happen if you have support questions about your pending reservation, when disputes arise about a reservation (though naturally we don’t like it when that happens), or there's other communication about your reservation through Booking.com.


Why does Booking.com collect and use your personal data?

We use the information collected about you for various purposes. Your personal data may be used in the following ways:

  1. Reservations: First and most importantly, we use your personal data to complete and administer your online reservation, which is pretty central to what we do as a company! We may also offer you other travel-related products and services from third parties. These will be through our online services, and if you choose to utilize these, we'll use your information to complete and administer your order just as we would if you booked accommodations only.

  2. Customer Service: We provide international customer service from our local offices in more than 20 languages, and we’re there to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sharing your details with our global customer service staff allows us to respond when you need us – including helping you find appropriate accommodations and responding to any questions you might have about your reservation (plus any other questions, too).

  3. Account Facilities: Booking.com users can create a user account on our websites or apps. We use the information you give us to administer this account, allowing you to do a number of useful things. You can manage your bookings or other purchases, take advantage of special offers, make future reservations easily, and manage your personal settings. Managing personal settings allows you to keep and share lists, share photos, see previously searched accommodations easily, and check other travel-related information you've provided. It also allows you to see any reviews you've submitted. If you want, you can share certain information in your user account by creating a public profile that’s associated with either your own first name or a screen name of your choice. Booking.com for Business account holders can save contact details in their account facility, manage their business reservations, and link other account holders to the Booking.com for Business account.

  4. Online Groups: We may also enable users with an account to join and interact with each other through online groups. Any such activity may be made visible to other account holders or accommodation partners.

  5. Marketing Activities: We also use your information for marketing activities. These activities may include:

    1. Using your contact information to send you news of travel-related products and services when you make a reservation with us or set up a user account. You can unsubscribe from these marketing communications quickly, easily and anytime – just click on the "Unsubscribe" link included in every newsletter.

    2. Based on the information you share with us, individualized offers might be shown to you on the Booking.com website, in mobile apps, or on third-party websites/apps (including social media sites). These might be offers that you can book directly on the Booking.com site, or third-party offers or products we think you might find interesting.

    3. When you participate in other promotional activities (such as sweepstakes, referral programs or competitions), relevant information will be used to administer these promotions.

  6. Communicating With You: There may be other times when we get in touch with you, including by email, mail, phone or text message – which method we choose depends on the contact information you’ve previously shared with us. And we process the communications you send to us. There could be a number of reasons for this, including:

    1. Responding to and handling any requests you or your booked accommodations have made. Booking.com also offers guests and accommodation partners various means to exchange information, requests, and comments about accommodations and existing reservations directed through Booking.com. For more information, scroll down a little and read the section titled “How does Booking.com process communications that you and your booked accommodations may send through Booking.com?”.

    2. If you haven't finalized a reservation online, we might email you with a reminder to continue with your reservation. We believe that this additional service benefits you as it allows you to continue with a reservation without having to search for accommodations or fill in your reservation details again.

    3. When you use our services, we might send you a questionnaire or invite you to provide a review about your experience with Booking.com.

    4. We may also send you other material related to your reservations, like how to contact Booking.com if you need assistance while you're away, and information that we feel might be useful to you in planning your trip or getting the best out of your stay. We may also send you material related to upcoming reservations or a summary of previous reservations you made through Booking.com.

    5. Even if you don't have an upcoming reservation, we may need to send you other administrative messages, which can include security alerts.

  7. Market Research: We sometimes ask our customers to take part in market research. Any additional personal details that you give us as part of the market research will be used only with your consent.

  8. Promotion of a Safe and Trustworthy Service: In order to create a trustworthy environment for you, your fellow travelers, Booking.com’s business partners, and our accommodation partners, we may use personal data for the detection and prevention of fraud and other illegal or unwanted activities. Similarly, we may use personal data for risk assessment and security purposes, including the authentication of users and reservations. For such purposes, we may have to put certain reservations on hold.

  9. Improving Our Services: We also use personal data for analytical purposes. This is part of our drive to improve our services and enhance the user experience, but can also be used for testing purposes, troubleshooting and to improve the functionality and quality of our online travel services. The main goal here is to optimize and customize our online platform to your needs, making our site easier and more enjoyable to use.

  10. Guest Reviews and Other Destination-related Information: During and after your stay at any of the accommodations you book through us, you may be invited to submit a guest review. We may also enable guests traveling with you, or on whose behalf you've booked, to provide a review. This invite may ask for information about the accommodations, the destination, and other services you might have booked through Booking.com (like attractions).

  11. Account holders can choose to display a review with a screen name instead of their real name (which can be selected in the user account facility). In addition to this, your review can be displayed anonymously. By completing a guest review, you're agreeing that it can be displayed (as described in detail in our Terms & Conditions) on, for example, the relevant accommodation information page on our websites, on our mobile apps, on our social media accounts and social media apps, or on the website of the relevant accommodations or business partner’s website. This is to inform other travelers about the quality of the accommodations you stayed in, the destination you picked, or other services you used.

  12. If you indicate whether a guest review is helpful or not, we'll aggregate this with feedback from other customers in order to sort and prioritize guest reviews. We may use the information in your lists or in other destination-related information you share with us in an anonymous form, unless you've included this information in your public profile. This is to help other travelers like you find the right destination and the best accommodations for their needs.

  13. Call Monitoring: When you make calls to our Customer Service Team, Booking.com uses an automated telephone number detection system to relate your telephone number to your existing reservations – this can help save time for both you and our customer support staff. Our customer service staff may still ask for authentication, which ensures your reservation details are kept confidential.

  14. During calls with Booking.com support staff, live listening may be done or calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes. Recordings are kept for a limited amount of time and automatically deleted, unless Booking.com has a legitimate interest to keep such recording for a longer period (as reasonably necessary), including for fraud investigation purposes. Any call recordings will be handled in accordance with this Privacy Statement.

  15. Legal Purposes: Finally, in certain cases we may need to use your information to handle and resolve legal disputes, for regulatory investigations and compliance, or to enforce the terms of use of the Booking.com online reservation service, as reasonably expected.

To process your information as described above, we rely on the following legal bases:

  1. Performance of a Contract: The use of your information may be necessary to perform the contract that you have with us. For example, if you use our services to make an online reservation, we'll use your information to carry out our obligation to complete and administer that reservation under the contract that we have with you.

  2. Legitimate Interests: We may use your information for our legitimate interests, such as providing you with the best appropriate content for the website, emails and newsletters, to improve and promote our products and services and the content on our website, and for administrative, fraud detection and legal purposes.

  3. Consent: We may rely on your consent to use your personal information for certain direct marketing purposes. You can withdraw your consent anytime by contacting us at any of the addresses at the end of this Privacy Statement.


How does Booking.com share your data with third parties?

In certain circumstances, we’ll share your personal data with third parties.

  1. The Accommodations You Booked: This one’s pretty important for what we do! In order to complete your reservation, we transfer relevant reservation details to the accommodations you've booked. This can include your name, contact details, payment details, the names of guests traveling with you, and any preferences you specified when you made your booking. If you have a question about your reservation, we may contact the accommodation provider and ask them to handle your request. Unless payment is made during the booking process through the Booking.com website, we'll forward your credit card details to the booked accommodations for further handling (assuming you’ve provided us with those details during your booking process). In cases of reservation-related disputes, we may give the accommodation provider information about the reservation process as needed. This may include a copy of your reservation confirmation as proof that a reservation was actually made.

  2. Your Local Booking.com Office: In order to support the use of the Booking.com services, your details may be shared with subsidiaries of the Booking.com corporate family. To find out everything you need to know about the Booking.com corporate family, visit About Booking.com.

  3. Third-party Service Providers: We may use service providers to process your personal data on our behalf. This processing is for several purposes, including for example sending out marketing material. Third-party service providers are bound by confidentiality clauses and are not allowed to use your personal data for other purposes.

  4. Payment Providers and (other) Financial Institutions: When a chargeback is requested for your reservation by either you or by the holder of the credit card used to make your reservation, we may need to share certain reservation details with the payment service provider and the relevant financial institution to handle the chargeback. This may also include a copy of your reservation confirmation or the IP address used to make your reservation. Also, we may share information with relevant financial institutions, if we consider it strictly necessary for fraud detection and prevention purposes.

  5. Competent Authorities: We disclose personal data to law enforcement insofar as it is required by law or is strictly necessary for the prevention, detection or prosecution of criminal acts and fraud. We may need to further disclose personal data to competent authorities to protect and defend our rights or properties, or the rights and properties of our business partners.

  6. Business Partners: We work with many business partners around the world. Some of these business partners distribute or advertise our services, as well as help our other business partners distribute and advertise their own travel-related services. These business partners may also include the Priceline corporate group, a group which includes Booking.com. This may mean that their services are integrated into our website/apps, they've been enabled to show you a customized advertisement, or the Booking.com online reservation services are integrated into their websites and/or apps.

    When you make a reservation on one of our business partners’ websites or apps, certain personal data that you give them will be forwarded to us. If customer service is provided by the business partner, Booking.com will share details relevant to your reservation with the business partners (as and when needed) in order to provide you with appropriate and efficient support. When you make a reservation through one of our business partners’ websites, the business partners may receive certain parts of your personal data related to the specific reservation. This is for their own internal purposes (such as analytical purposes) and, if requested by you, for the administration of loyalty programs or marketing.

    When you make a reservation on a business partners’ website, please also take the time to read their privacy policies if you'd like to understand how these business partners may process your personal data. When we offer you other travel-related products and/or services, your information may be shared with the offering business partners to handle or administer your order. For fraud detection and prevention purposes and as strictly necessary, we may also exchange information about our users with business partners.


How does Booking.com process communications that you and your booked accommodations may send through Booking.com?

Booking.com offers you and accommodation partners various means to communicate about accommodations and existing reservations, directing the communications through Booking.com. You can contact Booking.com with questions about your reservation or about your accommodation partners through the My Booking Page, the Booking.com app, and other channels that we may make available.

Booking.com may access communications and may use automated systems to review, scan, and analyze communications for security purposes; fraud prevention; compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; investigations of potential misconduct; product development and improvement; research; customer engagement, including to provide you with information and offers that we believe may be of interest to you; and customer or technical support. We reserve the right to block the delivery of or review communications that we, in our sole discretion, believe may contain malicious content, spam, or may pose a risk to you, accommodation partners, Booking.com, or others. Note, all communications sent or received using Booking.com communication tools will be received and stored by Booking.com. Business partners through whose platform you made the reservation and accommodation partners may choose to communicate with you directly by email or other channels that Booking.com does not control.


How does Booking.com use mobile devices?

We offer free apps for a variety of mobile devices, as well as versions of our regular website that have been optimized for mobile and tablet browsing. These apps and mobile websites process the personal details you give us in much the same way as our website does – and they also allow you to use location services to find accommodations nearby. With your consent, we may send you push notifications with information about your reservation. You may grant us access to your location data or contact details in order to provide services requested by you. When you upload a picture from your mobile device, your picture may also be tagged with your location information. Please read the instructions of your mobile device to understand how to change the settings and enable the sharing of such data or the receipt of push notifications.

Booking.com may make use of something known as cross-device tracking in order to optimize our services and marketing activities. This may be done with or without the use of cookies. For more information about cookies and other similar technologies, please see our Cookie Statement below. With cross-device tracking, Booking.com is able to track user behavior across multiple devices. As part of cross-device tracking, Booking.com may combine data collected from a particular browser or mobile device with another computer or device linked to the computer or device from which the data was collected.

In order to optimize the content of the Booking.com newsletter, Booking.com combines the searches and reservations made from different computers and devices while you're logged into your user account on each of these computers and devices. If you don't want Booking.com to combine such data for newsletter generation or to optimize the content of our websites and/or apps, either log out of a device or computer or unsubscribe from the Booking.com newsletter.

Personalized advertisements shown to you on other websites or in apps, can be offered based on your activities on linked computers and devices. By opting out of the NAI behavioural advertising program (see in our Cookie Statement under “What are your choices?”), you can opt out of cross-device tracking for advertisement purposes. You should know that logging out of your user account will not actually mean that you opt out of personalized advertisements.


How does Booking.com use social media?

Here at Booking.com, we use social media in different ways. We use it partly to facilitate the use of online reservation services, but also to promote our business partners’ travel-related products and services, and to advertise, improve and facilitate our own services.

Logging in with your social media account: We may offer you the opportunity to sign in to a Booking.com user account with your social media account, which saves you from having to remember different user names and passwords for different online services. After you’ve signed in once, you’ll always be able to use your social media account to sign in to your Booking.com account. You can disconnect these accounts from each other at any time, too.

Integration of social media plugins: We also have integrated social media plugins into the Booking.com website and apps. This means that when you click on one of the buttons (such as Facebook’s "Like" button) certain information is shared with these social media providers. If you're logged in to your social media account at the same time, your social media provider may relate this information to your social media account and possibly present your actions on your social media profile to be shared with others in your network.

Other social media services and features: We may also integrate other social media services (like social media messaging) to interact with Booking.com or with your contacts about our services. We may also maintain social media accounts and offer apps on several social media sites. Whenever you connect with Booking.com through social media, your social media service provider may allow you to share information with Booking.com. If you choose to share, you'll generally be told by your social media provider which information will be shared. For example, when you log in to a Booking.com user account with your social media account, certain information (as authorized by you to your social media provider) may be shared with Booking.com. This might include your email address, age, or profile pictures saved in your user account.

When you register with a Booking.com social media app or connect to a social media messaging service without having a Booking.com user account, the information you choose to share with us may include the basic information available in your social media profile (including your email address, status updates and a list of your contacts). We’ll use this information to help provide you with the service you requested – for example, to forward a message you want to send to your contacts or to create a personalized user experience in the app itself or on our websites. It means we can customize our services to fit your needs, connecting you and your friends with the best travel destinations and analyzing and enhancing our travel-related services. Your social media provider will be able to tell you more about how they use and process your data whenever you connect with Booking.com through them.


What security procedures does Booking.com put in place to safeguard your personal data?

In accordance with European data protection laws, we observe reasonable procedures to prevent unauthorized access to, and the misuse of, personal data.

We use appropriate business systems and procedures to protect and safeguard the personal data you give us. We also use security procedures and technical and physical restrictions for accessing and using the personal data on our servers. Only authorized personnel are permitted to access personal data in the course of their work.

When your full credit card details are needed as part of the reservation process, they're stored by us for a maximum of 10 days. After that, your credit card data (either full or partly) will be either permanently deleted or will remain secured, with limited access, for fraud detection purposes. You may also store your credit card details in your user account. If you choose to do this, your credit card details will be stored in hashed form, with the exception of the last four digits of your credit card number. That way, you’ll know which card you’re using when you come to pay.


How does Booking.com treat personal data about children?

The services offered by Booking.com are not directed at children under 18 years old. The use of any of our services is only allowed with the valid consent of a parent or a guardian. If we receive information from a child under 18 years old, we reserve the right to delete it. In limited cases as part of a reservation, purchase of other travel-related services, or in exceptional other circumstances (such as features addressed to families), Booking.com may collect and use information about children only with the consent of the parent.


How can you control the personal data you've given to Booking.com?

You always have the right to review the personal information we keep about you. You can request an overview of your personal data by emailing us at the address stated below. Please write "Request personal information" in the subject line of your email to speed things up.

You can also contact us if you believe the personal information we have for you is incorrect, if you believe that we are no longer entitled to use your personal data, or if you have any other questions about how your personal information is used, or about this Privacy Statement. Please email or write to us using the contact details below. We'll handle your request in accordance with the applicable Dutch data protection law. You can delete your user account at any time by signing in to your account on the Booking.com website and removing your account.


Who's responsible for processing personal data on the Booking.com website and apps?

Booking.com B.V. controls the processing of personal data on its websites and mobile apps. Booking.com B.V. is a private limited liability company, incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands and has its offices at Herengracht 597, 1017 CE Amsterdam, the Netherlands. If you have any suggestions or comments about this privacy notice, please send an email to customer.service@booking.com and we’ll get right back to you. When it comes to privacy, we’re always here to talk.