Last updated on 21 July 2020 by Ross Bass (Legal writer at TermsFeed)
Sweepstakes are a fun way to reach out to and engage with your users. You can use sweepstakes to learn something about your user base, encourage them to take action for you (such as liking or sharing your content), or just as a way to give back with prizes.
Usually, a sweepstakes trades information given by users for a chance to win a prize offered by the business.
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For example, let's say you own a simple retail website and want to receive feedback about how you are doing. You could run a sweepstakes to win a gift card to your website in exchange for users filling out a quick survey. Let's assume the survey asks for some basic information such as name and email address, in addition to a few questions about what they like or dislike about your website.
The most influential privacy laws today are the California Online Privacy Protection Act, or CalOPPA, of California, USA and the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which will be adopted by the European Union in May of 2018.
Other countries have been using CalOPPA as a model for their own privacy laws for over a decade, such as the EU, making amendments and new laws that follow the guidelines set forth by CalOPPA.
By this logic, it is sensible to comply with CalOPPA even if you do not currently have users in California as the laws governing your users are likely to move toward the regulations set forth by CalOPPA in the future.
However, it is more than likely that your app or website already does have users in the US or EU, therefore you are already probably (hopefully) compliant with one or both of these sets of privacy laws.
For example, CalOPPA regulates the collection of data from residents of California. Therefore, even if you are not located in California, but you have users in California, you must comply with the regulations set forth in CalOPPA.
The GDPR of the EU has a similar stipulation, meaning any collection of data from residents of the EU must follow the rules set forth in the GDPR.
So if your sweepstakes is only open to residents of the US, you do not need to comply with the guidelines of the GDPR. You will, however, need to comply with CalOPPA as you are likely to have users from California enter your sweepstakes, thus collecting their personal information.
Here's how General Mills works sweepstakes information into its clause about how personal information may be used:
As you can see in the examples above, this information may be covered under the sections that discuss the collection and usage of personal information, or in a separate clause covering your sweepstakes policies.
You should also include a privacy statement along with the rules and conditions of your sweepstakes and anywhere that users can fill out forms to enter the sweepstakes so that they can easily refer to your policies.
This website regularly runs sweepstakes that may request personal information from you including your:
This personal information may be accompanied by questions relating to your opinion of features on our website as well as our website as a whole.
The personal information we collect is used to contact you in the event that you are selected to win a prize from the sweepstakes, in addition to sending you special offers and other marketing material.
You have the option to opt-out of receiving special offers and marketing material by unchecking the appropriate box when registering for the sweepstakes.
We do not sell or otherwise share the information you provide to us via sweepstakes. This information is only used internally to compile anonymous statistics about our user base and to create a contact list for sending special offers and marketing material.
You can choose not to include some of the information requested, but some of it is required (usually name and email address as a minimum so that we can contact the winner).
You have the right to not provide the information requested or can simply not enter our sweepstakes if you do not wish to provide us with your personal information.
All data collected by our sweepstakes is protected by the same security measures and procedures as the rest of the data we collect and process on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via the email address provided below.
|What information do we collect?
This website collects your name, phone number, and mailing address when you place an order. Your credit card transaction is handled by a third-party service and we do not collect or store this data in any way.
We occasionally run sweepstakes on our website, and these events may require you to enter an email address that we can use to contact the winner or send special offers.
|How is this information used?
Your mailing address is only used to ship your order. We do not store or process this information beyond the need to mail you the products you have purchased.
Your phone number is kept along with your name so that we may contact you in the event that there is an issue with your order. This often occurs when an erroneous mailing address is given, or if there is an issue with our stock or when your order is in transit. We will never call you about anything unrelated to an order you have placed.
Email addresses collected via sweepstakes are used to create a mailing list that we use to send special offers to our customers. You may opt-out of this by unchecking the appropriate box when filling out the sweepstakes form. If you do not opt-out, you may receive emails about sales or special offers no more than once per week. You can also opt-out of these emails within the footer of each email. We also use this email address the contact the winner of the sweepstakes.
|Is this information sold or shared?
No, the information we collect is only used by us.
|How is this information secured?
The personal information we collect is secured behind SSL encryption and firewall technology where it is inaccessible to unauthorized parties.
This method, seen below from Kellogg's, is easy to add, modify, and locate which makes it a popular option.
In this method, the information regarding the collection, usage, and selling or sharing of personal information can simply state whether the data that comes from sweepstakes is treated any differently than the data that comes from normal use of your website.
Oftentimes, the policies for sweepstakes data are the same as the policies for the rest of the website, meaning a simple sentence in each section can reinforce that the data collected from sweepstakes follows the same procedures. If not, simply point out any differences.
Here's how Coca-Cola lets users know that its sweepstakes may have additional rules with additional information about how personal information is used and disclosed:
You can do this by either:
This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.
21 July 2020