Last updated: April, 2020
1. What Is Personal Data?
Personal data is data related to an identified or identifiable individual.
2. What Personal Data Is Collected By Costco?
Identification data, such as your name, title, marital status, photograph (for your membership card or certain regulated purchases), date of birth, identity document (national identification card, drivers’ license or other proof of age, foreigner identification number, passport or residence permit, and/or tax identification number, ABN (Australia Business Number), and of course your Costco membership number.
Contact data, such as your address, email address, home phone number, and mobile phone or other phone number for contact purposes.
Transactional data, which includes information about individual purchases and returns, payment information, product details, date and locations of the purchase, account notes recorded in connection with your transactions with us or other questions or issues and other information you provide to us in connection with a transaction.
Electronic data, which includes the IP address used to access our website, mobile device ID, type of browser, and browsing and usage activity on our website and apps. We automatically collect electronic data when you access and use our website and apps, including by using cookies, pixels and local storage. We collect information about the computer or mobile device you use to access our Services. This may include the hardware model, operating system and version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information. We may use this information to facilitate your online purchases or personalize your shopping experience. We use cameras in and around warehouses to capture video and images. We may use these videos and images for security, fraud, loss prevention, law enforcement or incident reporting, or other operational purposes, such as analyzing traffic patterns.
Location information, about your general location when you access or use the Services, visit our warehouses, or turn on your Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other geolocation functionality on your device. If you enable location services on your device, we collect more precise geolocation information. This lets us serve you location-based ads, notify you of products and services available in your area, and provide location-based services or functions. You can opt-out of the collection of precise geolocation information at any time
3. What Personal Data Does Costco Receive From Other Sources?
We may receive information about you from other sources that we may combine or link with information we have about you. For example, we may receive information from:
Primary Accountholders. When a Costco member adds additional household members to his or her membership account, we collect names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses from the member about these individuals. In addition, we collect information that the primary account member has access to, such as transaction history on the membership including purchases by household members.
Other Companies You Engage With. In some cases, we also receive personal data, such as contact information, from third parties that support us with specific processes, such as records correction, fraud prevention, delivery services and the offering of special promotions or products. We combine this data with the other personal data we collect directly about you to operate our business, including administer your membership, provide you with and deliver products and services, prevent fraud, provide special offers and promotions and ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date.
Vendors, Product Suppliers and Service Providers. We receive various types of information, including identification, contact and transactional information from our vendors, product suppliers and service providers.
We use this information to help us operate our business, including correcting or updating our records, preventing fraud, delivering products and services and providing special offers and promotions.
4. How Does Costco Use Personal Data?
In general, we use personal data to operate our business, process your requests and transactions, provide you with high-quality service, tell you about opportunities we think will be of interest and administer your membership account. The specific purposes for which we process your personal data are set out below:
To create, maintain and renew your membership;
To provide products and services to you, which includes processing payments and rebates, process, fulfil, ship and deliver your orders, sending notifications (via email or SMS/text message) related to your purchases, and processing exchanges and returns;
To respond to queries or complaints from you, including if you contact our customer service team;
To tell you about our membership programs and benefits and provide you with membership benefits, news, product recommendations, promotional information, contests, sweepstakes, coupons, offers and other marketing communications about Costco and third-party products and services via email, direct mail and phone calls. The marketing communications we send you may be tailored based on your membership account details and purchase history so we can provide you with information and offers we think will be of particular interest to you. For more information about opting out of promotional communications from us, see “Direct marketing opt-out” in Section 11 ;
To communicate with you about your experience with us and the products and services you purchase, which includes sending you information about your orders (e.g., email and SMS notifications related to status, shipping, delivery and pick-up), cash card balance, security alerts, support and administrative messages, surveys and information about product quality issues;
To communicate with you about product recalls and provide other health, safety and consumer protection notices;
To comply with our legal obligations, including our tax obligations, those related to the prevention of fraud and money laundering, and those required for you to benefit from rights recognized by law;
To analyse your use of our website and apps, including to monitor and analyse trends, usage and activities in connection with our services and warehouses and to personalize your online experience based on your preferences, interests and browsing and purchasing history;
For internal management purposes, including planning, resource allocation, policy development, quality improvement, monitoring, audit, evaluation and reporting, claims and risk management, improving your experience, determining your satisfaction and for any other purpose permitted by law;
For legal, security and safety reasons. This may include protecting our rights and the rights of our customers and members. To detect, investigate and prevent fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities and protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Costco and our members, customers, employees or the public, including by using video surveillance systems, addressing legal and regulatory compliance obligations; and
For any other purpose described to you at the time the information is collected.
5. How Does Costco Share Personal Data With Third Parties?
We share personal data about you including with third parties as follows:
Our Service Providers.We share personal data with companies that perform services for us (web hosting, information technology, payment processing, product fulfilment, product delivery and shipment, installation and warranty services, claims processing, direct mail and email distribution, marketing, and the provision of data analytics, claims management, loss adjustment, security, insurance, audit, accountancy, legal and advisory services). We share personal data to provide customer service and resolve complaints, identify, investigate and prevent fraudulent transactions, communicate with you, provide recall or emergency notices, analyse date or member activity, design and execute our marketing campaigns, administer our promotions and provide advertising services. Please note that since some of these service providers are located abroad, certain disclosures imply a transfer of your personal data outside Australia as described in Section 6 .
Third-Party Suppliers. We share personal data with companies that we partner with to provide you with certain products and services, such as manufacturers or distributors who ship products directly to you. If you purchase, apply for or request certain products or services provided by a third party, we will share your name, membership number and other personal data as is necessary for the third party to deliver the product or service to you. We are not responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these third parties and encourage you to become familiar with their privacy and security practices and policies before disclosing any additional personal data to them. To the extent we offer a co-branded credit card, we may share your contact information and the aggregate amount of your Costco purchases with the relevant credit card provider.
Primary Costco Account Holder. If you are a Costco member, each membership account has an individual primary account holder who is authorised to designate and remove add-on members and make other account management decisions. Please be aware that information about all activities occurring under the account, including transactions completed by add-on members, will be available to the primary account holder. Similarly each online subscription account has a primary subscriber; information relating to all activities occurring under the online account is available to the subscriber of record. If you designate an administrator for your account, we share contact information for account members with that administrator. If your employer purchased your membership, we may share your name, address and membership level with your employer.
Third Party Services. You may purchase products and services offered by us through third parties, such as financial, travel and other business and consumer services ("Third Party Services"). If you purchase, apply for or request Third Party Services, information you provide will be shared with the third party offering the Third Party Service. See Section 9 for more details about Third Party Services.
Our Affiliates and Entities that Belong to Costco's Corporate Group. We share personal data with our corporate affiliates. Since our affiliates are located abroad, please note that disclosures to certain affiliates require the transfer of your personal data outside Australia as described in Section 6.
Fraud Control. Costco works with services providers and belongs to associations that share a limited amount of personal data for fraud control purposes, such as all or part of a payment card number, an IP address or a device ID.
Compliance with Law. We also disclose personal data when we are legally authorised or required to do so to comply with applicable law, regulations or legal process (including requests from authorities and courts), to respond to claims (including inquiries by you in connection with your purchases at Costco), or to protect the rights, property or personal safety of the Costco companies, our shoppers, members, our employees or the public.
Corporate Transactions. Personal data may be disclosed or transferred as part of, or during negotiations of, any merger or sale of company assets or acquisition to third parties involved in such transactions.
Business Customer Insights. There may be instances when we provide information relating to our business customers to various suppliers such as tobacco companies, so they can conduct market studies and other promotional activities. In the case of tobacco products, the information we provide is the business customer’s name, address, the brand name of the tobacco products purchased and the amount of tobacco products purchased.
Consent. We also share personal data with third parties, other than those described above, when we have your consent to do so.
6. Does Costco Transfer Personal Data Outside Australia?
7. How Does Costco Protect Personal Data?
We take reasonable steps to protect personal data from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. However, we are unable to guarantee the security of your personal information. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, please let us know. With regard to credit card data, we are required to process and maintain payment card data in accordance with the data security rules adopted by credit card companies such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
8. How Long Does Costco Retain Personal Data?
Costco will retain your personal data for as long as necessary to achieve the purposes for which such data was collected, unless a longer retention period is required under applicable law. For example, we need to keep records about our members’ purchase histories in order to honour our returns policy. If you want to return an item you bought from us several years ago, we need to be able to confirm when and where you bought it.
9. Third Party Services
If you purchase, apply for or request Third Party Services, information you provide will be shared with the third party offering the Third Party Service. In turn, information you provide to these third parties may in turn be shared with us along with information about your use of the particular Third Party Service. We are not responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these third parties, and we encourage you to become familiar with their privacy and security practices and policies before disclosing information to them.
10. What Personal Data Rights Do You Have?
Subject to certain limitations and exceptions, you have a number of legal rights in relation to the processing of your personal data, including:
A right of access: You have the right to request access to, or a copy of, the personal data we process about you.
A right of rectification: You have the right to request that we correct or supplement inaccurate or incomplete personal data we process about you.
To exercise these rights, please use the contact details in Section 13 below.
11. Direct Marketing Opt-Out
We give you the opportunity to opt-out of receiving certain information or to request that certain information not be shared with third parties. Your choice to opt-out will not apply to other people, including those on your membership.
If you do not want to receive promotional information or information about member services, you can: (a) visit us at our Membership desk at any Costco warehouse location; (b) call us at 02-9469-7999; (c) e-mail us at email@example.com or (d) write us at Costco Wholesale Australia Pty Ltd, Australian Home Office, 17-21 Parramatta Road, Lidcombe NSW 2141.
For emails, you also have the option of utilising the unsubscribe facility.
Please note, even if you opt-out of communication with Costco, Costco may use your contact details, including your e-mail address, to alert you about product recalls or safety issues.
13. Questions Or Concerns
Costco Wholesale Australia Pty Ltd
Australian Home Office
17-21 Parramatta Road
Lidcombe NSW 2141