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Privacy Policy

Autobytel Consumer Privacy and Security Policy

Date Last Revised: May 14th, 2013

Autobytel Inc. ("Autobytel") understands your concerns with privacy and the use of your personal information. Whether you submit a request for a vehicle, financing, vehicle service or other product or service ("Consumer Requests") or simply browse through our Website, we assure you that we are committed to protecting your personal privacy. We do not share, sell, rent or trade your personal information with third parties other than as disclosed within this privacy policy.

This privacy policy covers the www.autobytel.com website and all other websites owned or operated by Autobytel or its affiliated entities (individually, an "Autobytel Website" and collectively the "Autobytel Websites"). We encourage you to read this Policy carefully before providing any personal information on any Autobytel Website. If you have questions or concerns regarding this Policy, you should contact our Consumer Privacy Advocate by e-mail at ABTPrivacy@autobytel.com.

Autobytel has been awarded TRUSTe's Privacy Seal signifying that this privacy policy and practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe's program requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information. The TRUSTe program only covers the www.autobytel.com website and no other Autobytel Websites. TRUSTe's mission, as an independent third party, is to accelerate online trust among consumers and organizations globally through its leading privacy trustmark and innovative trust solutions. If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy policy or practices, please contact us at ABTPrivacy@autobytel.com. If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact TRUSTe here. Please note that the Dealer login located on autobytel.com is not covered by the TRUSTe certification.

1. Information We Collect and How We Use It

We collect personal information provided to us by consumers in Consumer Requests submitted through Autobytel Websites or our authorized vendors' websites ("Consumer Information"). Consumer Information typically includes name, address, and phone numbers, email address and specific vehicle information. In addition, consumers who express a desire to apply for vehicle financing provide us with and authorize us or third parties with which we have a business relationship to obtain from third parties necessary financial information such as credit reports. Consumer Information related to financing Consumer Requests typically includes name, address, and phone numbers, email address, age, occupation, income, social security number and other credit related data

We may also collect other types of Consumer information in connection with your other activities on Autobytel Websites such as demographic information and information about or contained in postings you make in forums, blogs or any other interactive areas of Autobytel Websites; your answers to surveys, your participation in sweepstakes, contests, games and promotional offers; and in any email request you send us for any reason (such as to request customer service or provide us with comments or feedback).

Autobytel collects email addresses of consumers who communicate with us or through our authorized vendors via email. We also collect information about web pages visited (See the section of this Privacy Policy entitled "Cookies and Web Beacons" below) and other information that is provided by consumers either on the Autobytel Websites or in response to email communications from us.

All Consumer Information provided by consumers in any of the above-listed ways or otherwise becomes the property of Autobytel once received by us and may be used and disclosed as permitted in this Policy.

Consumer Information collected on Autobytel Websites is used to improve the content of the Autobytel Websites; customize the content or layout of Autobytel Websites for individual users; provide services requested by users of the Autobytel Websites; notify users of updates to the Autobytel Websites; allow users to register for our MyGarage® service; respond to any questions, problems or complaints; or request feedback and, subject to the limitations set forth below, to develop new products and services and to contact consumers for marketing purposes.

Framed Sections of Our Website

Autobytel maintains relationships with outside service providers for some of the products and services offered on Autobytel Websites. The information these providers make available to you may be presented in a "framed" format, where the Autobytel border will surround the pages served by the service providers, or by directly linking the user to the vendors' websites. In either case, the provider is prominently identified. Please be aware that any information you provide on such pages is provided directly to those providers and is subject to their security and privacy policies. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of these outside providers because their privacy policy and practices may differ from ours. Our content may be displayed on or through third-party websites through the use of inline frames or other framing techniques. We may collect Consumer Information in such framed pages or content located on or provided by third-party websites. When you submit Consumer Information to us in this manner, it is treated as Consumer Information under this Policy. The collection and use of Consumer Information by third-party websites directly (i.e., outside of our content framed pages) is governed separately by the privacy policy of those websites.

Browsing on our Website

If you browse through Autobytel Websites without entering any personal data, we will gather and store certain information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally and cannot be linked back to you unless you decide at some point to identify yourself. See the section of this Privacy Policy entitled "Cookies and Web Beacons" below.

Links to Third Party Sites

If you click on a link to a third party site, including an advertisement, you will leave the Autobytel Website you are visiting and be redirected to the third party site you selected. Because we cannot control the activities of third parties, we cannot accept responsibility for any use of your personally identifiable information by such third parties, and we cannot guarantee that they will adhere to the same privacy practices as Autobytel. We encourage you to review the privacy policies of any other service provider from whom you request services. If you visit a third party website that is linked to an Autobytel Website, you should read that site's privacy policy before providing any personally identifiable information about yourself to the other website.

Personalization

Autobytel offers its users the advantage of personalization on our Websites by using Cookies. (See Cookies Cookies and Web Beacons below.) Personalized services are offered in designated areas of our Websites to users who register with us. Autobytel may track consumer interest in goods and services marketed to users who are members of our on-site personalization areas. This information is used solely by Autobytel and its affiliated companies for business purposes.

Special Sections of Our Websites

Autobytel offers forums and blogs on Autobytel Websites. Any information you disclose in these forums and blogs is available to all visitors to Autobytel Websites and may increase the risk of receiving "spam" or unsolicited email from other parties. Be careful and use discretion when disclosing information online. To request removal of your personal information from our blog or community forum, contact us at ABTPrivacy@autobytel.com. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why.

Consumer Reviews and Other User Content

We allow you to post reviews and other user content on Autobytel Websites which may contain personal information. In order to post user reviews or other user content to Autobytel Websites, you must first register with Autobytel and thereby consent to the posting of your reviews or other user content and use of your personal information, such as your name. To request removal of your personal information, please see contact us at ABTPrivacy@autobytel.com.

Other Uses

We share your personal information with third parties in order to identify products or services in which you may have interest, to improve our user experience and generally to engage in market research and for other internal business purposes. We may also aggregate your personal information with others' information and prepare reports on website usage, purchase history or other factors for sale or distribution to others. Those reports are aggregated and include no personally identifying information. In addition, personal information provided on Autobytel Websites may be linked together or merged with other personal information we obtain about you so that we may better understand your needs and inform you about our products or services and those of third parties with which we have a business relationship. Also, if we receive personal information from third parties with whom we have business relationships, we may combine this information with the other personal information we maintain about you. In either case, this Policy governs our use of this information. Finally, we may use your personal information to send you communications regarding products or services offered by us or by third parties in which we think you may be interested unless you have declined to receive these third party communications. See the section of this Privacy Policy entitled "Your Right To Decline Communications From Us and Others" below.

2. Third Parties That May Receive Your Personal Information

In addition to our own internal uses of your personal information, we may provide your personal information to non-affiliated third parties under one or more of several circumstances:

  • To provide you with services or products that you have requested;
  • To our advertiser clients solely to assess the effectiveness of ad campaigns we have provided for them;
  • To contractors or service providers who may provide services or perform functions on our behalf, in which case those service providers may use your information only for the purposes provided and not disclose it to any third party except upon our direction;
  • To enforce our rights or as required by law or order of a court or government agency; and
  • On occasion, and only as permitted and described below under the section of this Privacy Policy entitled "Your Right To Decline Communications From Us and Others" to other third parties who may wish to send you email or postal mail regarding services or products that you may find of interest or for other reasons that are disclosed to us and that we believe to be appropriate and consistent with our commitment to prevent abuse of your personal information.

In addition, we may release personal information when we believe release is appropriate to protect our users or others from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of our Websites or its services; as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our Web site; to protect our rights or property; to enforce policies or contests, sweepstakes, promotions, or game rules; or if we reasonably believe that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical, economic or other harm to any person requires disclosure of communications or justifies disclosure of records without delay.

Consumer Request Information

Autobytel is not a provider or seller of vehicles; financing; insurance; service, repairs or parts, or other products or services. Autobytel does not act as a broker or agent for either providers of products or services or for consumers seeking to acquire products or services. Autobytel refers Consumer Requests and the Consumer Information included in the Consumer Requests to third-party vendors and providers of products and services (e.g., dealers, manufacturers, lenders, service and repair facilities and other providers or fulfillment entities) for their consideration and to contact consumers directly regarding the products or services in which the consumer has expressed an interest. As part of the request process, we may verify the information you provide, or obtain omitted address or other contact or demographic information, from third parties.

When Autobytel does not have a dealership, lender or other provider of products or services available to assist you, we may forward your request information to a manufacturer or another referral service for transmission to a dealer, lender or other product or service provider. Your submission of the request authorizes us to do this. Any Consumer Request or Consumer Information forwarded in this way becomes subject to the security and privacy policies that are posted on the websites of those third parties.

Similarly, Consumer Requests and the Consumer Information included in the Consumer Requests transmitted to a dealer, manufacturer, lender, other product or service provider or fulfillment entity becomes the property of that dealer, manufacturer, lender, other product or service provider or fulfillment entity, in addition to being property of Autobytel. The information is used to process your request and to provide you with information about products and services. Any request to opt-out of future dealer, lender, manufacturer, other product or service provider, fulfillment entity or other third-party communications must be made directly to that third party.

3. Your Right To Decline Communications From Us and Others

We provide our users with the ability to choose whether to receive certain communications from us and whether to permit their information to be disclosed to third parties for marketing or related purposes.

Users who come directly to Autobytel Websites will not receive those communications or have their information disclosed to third parties for marketing or related purposes unless they affirmatively consent or are already receiving such communications.

Users whose Consumer Requests are submitted through third-party websites and are referred to us will receive those marketing communications and their information will be shared with other third parties unless they elect to opt out of those communications and disclosures.

To opt out of a category of email from us, click on the remove or unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. Alternatively, you may email Customer Service at consumercare@autobytel.com with the word "Remove" in the subject line, and we will remove you from all further email marketing communication within five (5) business days. You may also opt-out at any time by contacting us at consumercare@autobytel.com.

In addition, we provide you the opportunity to indicate your preferences as to what types of offerings of products or services you wish to receive from third parties or - subject to the exceptions below - to opt-out of disclosures to those third parties altogether. You may update your preferences at any time by contacting us at consumercare@autobytel.com. Those third parties who receive your personal information prior to your opt-out will remain able to send you communications, subject to their privacy policies and practices. To opt-out from receiving third party emails, you must contact those third parties directly.

In each case, even if you decide not to receive offers or other product or service information, Autobytel and the dealers, manufacturers, lenders, other product and services providers, fulfillment third-parties and other referral services with which Autobytel has relationships, may use a phone number, mailing address or email address that you have provided to contact you regarding a request or content that you have submitted or in connection with other administrative matters, such as operation of an Autobytel Website. Additionally, phone numbers and email addresses may be used to conduct customer surveys regarding individual experiences with Autobytel, dealers, lenders or other product and services providers. Phone numbers and email addresses are made available only to Autobytel, its affiliates and dealers, manufacturers, lenders, other referral services, fulfillment third parties and other referral services who receive your Consumer Request.

The submission of a Consumer Request itself is permission for us to submit your Consumer Request and the Consumer Information included in your Consumer Request to third parties to fulfill your request. If you request to opt-out of receiving emails from us and subsequently submit a Consumer Request (either directly or submitted through third-party websites and are referred to us), we will assume that you wish to reinstate your relationship with us and we will use your information as set forth herein, unless you subsequently request to opt-out. Each time you submit a Consumer Request, this process will restart.

4. Security

Autobytel understands the importance of security for our users. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. In particular, we use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology to protect personal data such as credit card information and finance or insurance information during transmission, and maintain other commercially reasonable precautions to protect information that we store or retain.

No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, while we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. We cannot guarantee protection of all information against interception, misappropriation, misuse, or alteration, or that your information may not be disclosed or accessed by accidental circumstances or by the unauthorized acts of others. Furthermore, we have no control over the security of other websites you might visit.

Your registration information is accessible online only through the use of a password. To protect the confidentiality of personal information, you must keep your password confidential and not disclose it to any other person. You are responsible for all uses of an Autobytel Website by any person using your password. Please advise us immediately if you believe your password has been misused or otherwise misappropriated.

We restrict access to personal information about you to our employees and third parties who need to know that information in order to manage your account or provide you with services or information you requested. We review our safeguards from time to time, and strive to maintain them in a manner consistent with applicable regulations, if any, that may be in effect from time to time. Any of our employees who violate these policies and procedures are subject to disciplinary action.

If you have any questions about security on Autobytel Websites, you can send email to us at consumercare@autobytel.com.

5. Children

We do not intend, and the Website is not designed, to collect personal information from children under the age of 13. If you are under 13 years old, you should not register with or otherwise provide personal information to any Autobytel Website.

6. Corrections or Changes to Your Personal Information

You may also make corrections and updates to your personal information by contacting consumercare@autobytel.com.

7. Cookies and Web Beacons

Cookies

What is a Cookie?? A cookie, also known as a web cookie or browser cookie, is a piece of text stored by a user's web browser that enables recognition of a user's computer when the user visits websites. Data and information such as the IP addresses, email addresses, websites visited online and personally identifiable information about you can be stored using cookies. A cookie can be used for authentication, storing site preferences, tracking of website use and preferences, personalization and content customization. Online advertisers and website operators often use such information to build behavior profiles and for delivering targeted advertising and content to users based on user preferences. Autobytel places or "sets" Autobytel cookies on your computer when you visit Autobytel Websites and may also set cookies on your computer on behalf of third parties authorized by Autobytel or may enable certain third parties to set their own cookies on your computer. When a cookie is set, your browser will check it for length, an expiration date, and where it originated. Cookies without an expiration date exist until the browser terminates, while cookies with an expiration date may be stored by the browser until the expiration date passes.

Types of Cookies Set on Your Computer

Autobytel sets its own cookies on your computer when you visit an Autobytel Website. These Autobytel cookies collect data and information about you, including personally identifiable information. For information about our use of information and data collected by Autobytel cookies, see the section of this Privacy Policy entitled "Information Autobytel Collects and How We Use It".

Autobytel uses third party tracking services for which Autobytel sets cookies on your computer, or enables the third party tracking services to set cookies on your computer, when you visit Autobytel Websites. These cookies track visits, page views and click stream behavior. Third party tracking services report this data to Autobytel in aggregated form so Autobytel can better understand our users and improve the Autobytel Websites. Autobytel does not authorize these third party tracking services to store personally identifiable information about you in their cookies. Autobytel has no access to or control over these third party tracking utilities. Autobytel shares such anonymous, aggregated information obtained from these cookies with our advertisers, sponsors, promotional and business partners.

Autobytel may also use third party network advertising providers that use cookies. Network advertising providers are third parties that display advertisements based on your visits to the Autobytel Websites and other sites you visit within the network advertising provider's advertising network. Although the advertising providers do not have access to Autobytel's cookies, Autobytel may set cookies on your computer on behalf of the third party network advertising providers, which cookies can be accessed by the third party network advertising providers. Cookies allow the third party network advertising providers to serve you targeted advertisements or content in which you might be interested. Autobytel does not authorize these third party tracking services to store personally identifiable information about you in their cookies.

Finally, Autobytel may also set cookies on your computer on behalf of third parties other than third party tracking services and third party network advertising providers. These third parties collect data and information regarding your internet use and the sites that you visit. They may use this data or information to (i) provide data or information products and services to Autobytel that we use internally or in turn offer for sale or distribution to third parties; (ii) to provide data and information products and services direct to third party customers of the data collector; and (iii) for their own internal analytics. Autobytel does not authorize these third parties to store personally identifiable information about you in their cookies.

Opting Out of Cookies. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying your browser settings, and our websites are viewable even if you disable the cookie function on your browser. However, if you disable cookies, some advanced and customized features or offerings will not be available to you, including personalization features. If you prefer not to accept cookies, most browsers will explain how to view and disable cookies under the help portion of the toolbar or notify you when you receive a new cookie. Use of third party cookies is subject to the privacy policies and opt-out procedures of these third parties and not Autobytel's policy and procedures. Please click here www.networkadvertising.org www.networkadvertising.org in order to learn more about the data and information collection and use practices of some of the third parties for which we set cookies on Autobytel Websites or for which we enable to set their own cookies. Please click here http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp in order to learn more about the "opt-out" procedures of some of these third parties. At times, not all of the third parties for which we set cookies on Autobytel Websites or for which we enable to set their own cookies are included in preceding link to opt-out from these cookies. Should you wish to opt-out of these cookies, you will need to access the third party�s website to determine their opt-out procedure.

Web Beacons

Autobytel, third party network advertising providers or other third parties may place "web beacons," which are also called single-pixel gifs, on Autobytel Websites and in email communications. A web beacon is a small, transparent electronic image placed at various sections of the Autobytel Websites or in Web-based documents or in email messages or newsletters to monitor user traffic. The web beacon records the number of click-throughs to the page where it resides and collects users' IP addresses, time the page was viewed, type of browser used, and existence of cookies from a previous visit. Among other things, they help to better target advertisements on the Autobytel Websites. Web beacons placed in email messages may be linked to your personal information. Data and information collected by web beacons is used only by Autobytel, its affiliates and authorized vendors.

8. Business Transfers and Other Transactions

Information about our users and the Autobytel Websites is a business asset of Autobytel. As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy websites, subsidiaries or business units. In such transactions, personal information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing privacy policy. Also, in the event that Autobytel or substantially all of its assets are acquired, personal information will of course be one of the transferred assets. In addition, personal information will be disclosed as part of any creation of a separate business to provide an Autobytel Website, or to provide other services or fulfill products; debt financing, sale or pledge of company assets, or insolvency, bankruptcy or receivership. We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the acquirer of our users' personal information respects the provisions of this Policy, although this may not be possible in certain legal settings (such as bankruptcy).

9. Changes or Revisions to This Policy

If we are going to use your personal information in a manner different from that stated in this Policy at the time of collection, we will notify you via email. You will have a choice as to whether or not to allow us to use your information in this different manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our privacy practices, we will revise this Policy and update the date displayed at the top of this Policy to reflect that the policy has been changed. In some cases we will also email users who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our privacy practices.

10. Disclaimer

We take our commitment to protection of your privacy, as set out in this Policy, seriously. Nevertheless, NOTHING IN THIS PRIVACY AND SECURITY POLICY IS INTENDED TO CREATE OR PROVIDE ANY RIGHT OF ACTION FOR VIOLATION.

11. Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding privacy, security, opting-out of email offers or understanding how your personal information is being used, please contact our Consumer Privacy Advocate at ABTPrivacy@autobytel.com.

For any other issues, please contact our customer service department at consumercare@autobytel.com. Our mailing address is: 18872 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92612-1400.

For the Autobytel Usage Terms and Disclaimers please click here.


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