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Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy below governs your PayPal account and any information you provide on this site. If you apply for a PayPal VISA® credit card, you authorize PayPal and Providian National Bank (which is the issuer of the PayPal VISA card) to exchange the information you provide in the application form. If you are approved for a PayPal VISA credit card, your credit card account will be governed by the Providian Privacy Policy.



Better Business Bureau Online TRUSTe A. Introduction
B. Information We Collect
C. Our Use and Disclosure of Information
D. Information Security
E. Accessing and Changing Your Information
F. Contacting Us


A. Introduction

In order to operate the PayPal service and to reduce the risk of fraud, PayPal Corp. ("PayPal" or "we") must ask you to provide us information about yourself and your credit card and/or bank account. This Privacy Policy describes the information we collect and how we use that information. PayPal takes the privacy of your personal information very seriously and will use your information only in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy. We will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information or a list of our customers to third parties. However, as described in more detail in Part C below, there are limited circumstances in which some of your information will be shared with third parties, under strict restrictions, so it is important for you to review this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy applies to all services that are hosted on the PayPal.com Web site, whether the services are offered by PayPal, by its subsidiaries, or by the PayPal Money Market Reserve Fund.

In order to enhance the protection of your privacy and our compliance with this Privacy Policy, PayPal has agreed to disclose our information practices and to have our practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe. TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to build users' trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. By displaying the TRUSTe trustmark, PayPal has agreed to notify you of:
  1. What personally identifiable information of yours is collected by PayPal.
  2. The organization collecting the information.
  3. How the information is used.
  4. With whom the information may be shared.
  5. What choices are available to you regarding collection, use and distribution of the information.
  6. The kind of security procedures that are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information under PayPal's control.
  7. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Policy, you should first contact PayPal using this form. If you do not receive acknowledgment of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should then contact TRUSTe www.truste.org/users/users_watchdog.html. TRUSTe will then serve as a liaison with PayPal to resolve your concerns.

Notification of Changes
This policy may be revised over time as new features are added to the PayPal service or as we incorporate suggestions from our customers. If we are going to use or disclose your personally identifiable information in a manner materially different from that stated at the time we collected the information, you will have a choice as to whether or not we use or disclose your information in this new manner. Any material changes will be effective only after we provide you by e-mail with at least 30 days’ notice of the amended Privacy Policy (if you have closed your PayPal account, you will not be contacted to notify you of the amended Policy and your personal information will not be used or disclosed in this new manner).

We will post the amended Privacy Policy prominently on our Web site so that you can always review what information we gather, how we might use that information, and whether we will disclose it to anyone. Please check the PayPal Web site at http://www.paypal.com/ at any time for the most current version of our Privacy Policy.

PayPal Shops and other pages on the PayPal Web site include links to third party Web sites. These sites are governed by their own privacy statements, and PayPal is not responsible for their operations, including but not limited to their information practices. Users submitting information to or through these third party Web sites should review the privacy statement of these sites before providing them with personally identifiable information.


B. Information We Collect

Required Information
To open a PayPal account, you must provide your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. In order to make payments through PayPal, you must provide credit card, debit card or bank account information (bank account information is required to make payments totaling more than $1000). We also ask you to choose two different security questions to answer (such as your city of birth or your pet’s name) This required information is necessary for us to process transactions, issue a new password if you forget or lose your password, protect you against credit card fraud and checking account fraud, and to contact you should the need arise in administering your account.

If you enroll in the optional sweep of your funds into the PayPal Money Market Reserve Fund, we are required to collect your Social Security Number (“SSN”) or other Taxpayer Identification Number (“TIN”). In order to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, we will also require your SSN or TIN if you send or receive certain high-value transactions through PayPal. If you choose to register or apply for certain optional features or products offered through PayPal Web sites, such as listing your business in PayPal Shops, or applying for the PayPal Visa® credit card or the PayPal MasterCard® debit card, you will be required to provide additional information to establish that you qualify for such features or products.

Transaction Information
When you use PayPal to send money to someone else or request money from someone else, we ask you to provide information related to each transaction, including the amount of the transaction, the type of transaction (purchase of goods, purchase of services, or simple money transfer (“quasi-cash”)) and the e-mail address of the third party. We retain this information for each of your transactions through PayPal. We also collect the Internet address (IP address) of the computer or device you use to access your PayPal account, in order to help detect possible instances of unauthorized transactions.

Information About You From Third Parties
In order to protect all our customers against potential fraud, we verify with third parties the information you provide. In the course of such verification, we receive personally identifiable information about you from such services. In particular, if you register a credit card or debit card with PayPal, we will use card authorization and fraud screening services to verify that your card information and address matches the information that you supplied to PayPal, and that the card has not been reported as lost or stolen.

If you register your online business with PayPal Shops, in some circumstances we will conduct a background check on your business by obtaining information about you and your business from a credit bureau or a business information service such as Dun & Bradstreet. If you incur a debt to PayPal, we will generally conduct a credit check on you by obtaining additional information about you from a credit bureau, to the extent permitted by law.

Additional Verification
If we cannot verify the information that you provide, or if you request a withdrawal by check to an address other than your verified credit card billing address, we ask you to send us additional information by fax (such as your drivers’ license, credit card statement, and/or a recent utility bill or other information linking you to the applicable address), or to answer additional questions online to help verify your information.

Web Site Traffic Information
Because of the way that World Wide Web communication standards work, when you arrive at or leave the PayPal Web site, we automatically receive the Web address of the site that you came from or are going to. We also collect information on which pages of our Web site you visit while you are on the PayPal site, the type of browser you use and the times you access our Web site. We use this information only to try to understand our customers’ preferences better and to manage the load on our servers, so as to improve our service and your experience with PayPal. We do not track the Web sites that you visit before or after you leave the PayPal site.

Our Use of “Cookies”
”Cookies” are small files of data that we send to your computer to allow us to recognize you as a PayPal customer if you return to the PayPal site using the same computer and browser. We send a “session cookie” to your computer if and when you log in to your PayPal account by entering your e-mail address and password. These cookies allow us to recognize you if you visit multiple pages in our site during the same session, so that you don’t need to re-enter your password multiple times. Once you log out or close your browser, these session cookies expire and no longer have any effect.

We also use longer-lasting cookies to display your e-mail address on our sign-in form, so that you don't have to retype the e-mail address each time when you log in to your PayPal account. In addition, we use cookies to process our referral program, described in Section C below. Our cookie files are encoded so that your e-mail address and other information can only be interpreted by PayPal

Customer Service Correspondence
If you send us correspondence, including e-mails and faxes, we retain such information in the records of your account. We will also retain customer service correspondence and other correspondence from PayPal to you. We retain these records in order to measure and improve our customer service, and to investigate potential fraud and violations of our Terms of Use. We may, over time, delete these records if permitted by law.

Questionnaires, Surveys and Profile Data
From time to time, we offer optional questionnaires and surveys to our users for such purposes as collecting demographic information or assessing users' interests and needs. The use of the information collected will be explained in detail in the survey itself. If we collect personally identifiable information from our users in these questionnaires and surveys, the users will be given notice of how the information will be used prior to their participation in the survey or questionnaire.

Non-member Recipients and Requests
When a member either sends a payment to, or requests a payment from, an individual who is not a registered member of PayPal, we will retain the information that the member submits to us, including, for example, the other party's email address and/or name, for the benefit of the member who is attempting to contact the non-member, so that the member can see a complete record of his or her transactions, including uncompleted transactions. Although this information is stored indefinitely, we will not market to the non-member in any way at any time. Additionally, these non-members have the same rights to access and correct information about themselves (assuming that their email addresses were correct enough to reach them) as anyone else who uses PayPal.


C. Our Use and Disclosure of Information

Internal Uses
We use the information we collect about you in order 1) to provide our services and process your transactions, 2) to provide customer service, 3) to determine your eligibility to receive offers for special features or products, such as the PayPal MasterCard® debit card, and 4) to improve our products and services. At your option (as indicated in your PayPal Profile settings), we use the information you provide to access specific third party services on your behalf and perform the actions that you request us to perform, such as invoicing winning bidders on behalf of auction sellers.

We give access to individually identifiable information about our users only to those employees who require it to fulfill customer service requests.

Disclosure to Other PayPal Customers
If you are a registered PayPal user, your name, e-mail address, date of sign-up, and whether you have verified control of a bank account are displayed to other PayPal customers whom you have paid or who are attempting to pay you through PayPal. If you are a Business account holder, we will also display to other PayPal customers the Web site address (URL) and customer service contact information that you provide us. However, your credit card number, bank account and other financial information will NEVER be revealed to anyone whom you have paid or who has paid you through PayPal, except if we are required to do so pursuant to a subpoena or other legal process.

If you areBUYing goods or services and paying through PayPal, the seller of the goods or services may request that you provide a mailing address that PayPal has confirmed as matching the billing address in the credit card system. You do not have to provide this information. If you do not provide the information, however, the seller may choose not to accept your PayPal payment and not to complete the transaction.

Beginning in spring 2001, PayPal will also disclose to other PayPal customers the number of payments you have received from Verified PayPal customers (as defined in the Terms of Use on the https://www.paypal.com/ site), or other aggregate measures that provide an indication of your reputation with other PayPal customers.

Disclosure to Third Parties Other Than PayPal Customers
PayPal will not sell or rent any of your personally identifiable information to third parties. PayPal will not share any of your personally identifiable information with third parties except in the limited circumstances described below, or with your express permission (and to other PayPal customers as described above). These third parties are limited by law or by contract from using the information for secondary purposes beyond the purposes for which the information is shared.
  1. We share information with companies that help us process the transactions you request and protect our customers’ transactions from fraud, such as sharing your credit card number with a service that screens for lost and stolen card numbers. See “Information About You From Third Parties” in Section B above. Additionally, if you go into a negative balance and owe us money, we may share information with processing companies including collection agencies.
  2. We disclose the information we collect, as described in Section B above, to companies that perform marketing services on our behalf or to other financial institutions with whom we have joint marketing agreements (for example, we disclose information to Providian National Bank, which is the issuer of PayPal Visa™ credit cards, so that Providian can determine customers’ eligibility for the PayPal Visa credit card, and so that PayPal and Providian can better match the products we offer to our customers’ needs). These companies are subject to confidentiality agreements with us and other legal restrictions that prohibit using the information except to market the specified PayPal-related products or services, unless you have affirmatively agreed or given your prior permission for other uses.
  3. We disclose information that we in good faith believe is appropriate to cooperate in investigations of fraud or other illegal activity, or to conduct investigations of violations of our Terms of Use. Specifically, this means that if we conduct a fraud investigation and conclude that one side has engaged in deceptive practices, we can give that person or entity's contact information (but not bank account or credit card information) to victims who request it.
  4. We disclose information in response to a subpoena, warrant, court order, levy, attachment, order of a court-appointed receiver or other comparable legal process, including subpoenas from private parties in a civil action.
  5. When a user signs up for a co-branded version of PayPal (e.g. PayPal Evite) through links on our co-branded partner's website, PayPal will share with the co-branded partner that user's name, e-mail address and physical address in order to provide enhanced integration between PayPal's services and the services of our co-branded partner. When a user signs up for a co-branded version of PayPal through Intuit's QuickBooks software, PayPal will share with Intuit information on that user's PayPal transactions so that the information can be automatically entered by Intuit into the user's QuickBooks program. If a user does not want his or her information shared with PayPal's co-branded partner, he or she should not use this aspect of the site.
  6. If you choose to invest in the PayPal Money Market Reserve Fund, we will share your information with PayPal Funds, a Delaware business trust which is the issuer of the Money Market Reserve Fund, and with PayPal Asset Management, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PayPal that is the transfer agent for the Money Market Reserve Fund, so that you can complete your investment more easily and can move funds into and out of the Money Market Reserve Fund without re-entering your personal information for every transaction.
  7. We disclose information to your agent or legal representative (such as the holder of a power of attorney that you grant, or a guardian appointed for you).
  8. We share aggregated statistical data with our business partners or for public relations. For example, we may disclose that a specific percentage of our users live in California. However, this aggregated information is not tied to personally identifiable information.
  9. As with any other business, it is possible that PayPal in the future could merge with or be acquired by another company. If such an acquisition occurs, the successor company would have access to the information maintained by PayPal, including customer account information, but would continue to be bound by this Privacy Policy unless and until it is amended as described in Section A above.
Our Contacts with PayPal Customers
We communicate with users on a regular basis via e-mail to provide requested services, and we also communicate by phone to resolve customer complaints or investigate suspicious transactions. We use your e-mail address to confirm your opening of a PayPal account, to send you notice of payments that you send or receive through PayPal (including referral payments described below), to send information about important changes to our products and services, and to send notices and other disclosures required by law. Generally, users cannot opt out of these communications, but they will be primarily informational in nature rather than promotional.

We also use your e-mail address to send you other types of communications that you can control, including the PayPal Periodical newsletter, auction tips, customer surveys and notice of special third-party promotions. You can choose whether to receive some, all or none of these communications when you complete the registration process, or at any time thereafter, by logging in to your account on the PayPal Web site and changing your preferences in the Profile page of the My Account tab. You can also change your choices at any time through the same procedure.

In connection with independent audits of our financial statements and operations, the auditors may seek to contact a sample of our customers to confirm that our records are accurate. However, these auditors cannot use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

Internet Address Information We use IP addresses, browser types and access times to analyze trends, administer the site, improve site performance and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

Referral Program
When you sign up for a PayPal account, we send you an email with a unique referral link that you can forward to your friends. The link identifies you as the referrer. If a friend uses that link to sign up and completes the bonus requirements, you are eligible for a referral bonus. Alternatively, if you are the first user to send money to a friend who is not a PayPal user, you are also eligible for a referral bonus. In order for you to receive your bonus, your friend must sign up for PayPal and earn the $5 bonus by completing the new account bonus requirements.

Please use our referral program responsibly. We strictly enforce our Anti-Spam Policy! Read details on the Refer-A-Friend Bonus.


D. Information Security

PayPal is committed to handling your customer information with high standards of information security. Your credit card and bank account information are stored only in encrypted form on computers that are not connected to the Internet. We restrict access to your personally identifiable information to employees who need to know that information in order to provide products or services to you. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information. We test our security systems regularly and also contract with outside companies to audit our security systems and processes. For more information on PayPal’s security practices, please visit the PayPal Security Center.

The security of your PayPal account also relies on your protection of your PayPal password. We strongly urge that you never share your PayPal password with anyone. PayPal representatives will never ask you for your password, so any e-mail or other communication requesting your password should be treated as unauthorized and suspicious. If you do share your PayPal password with a third party for any reason, including because the third party has promised to provide you additional services such as account aggregation, the third party will have access to your account and your personal information, and you may be responsible for actions taken using your password. If you believe someone else has obtained access to your password, please change it immediately by logging in to your account at https://www.paypal.com/ and changing your Profile settings, and also contact us right away as described in Section F below.


E. Accessing and Changing Your Information

You can review the personal information you provided us and make any desired changes to such information, or to the settings for your PayPal account, at any time by logging in to your account on the PayPal Web site and changing your preferences in the Profile page of the “My Account” tab.

You can also close your account through the PayPal Web site. If you close your PayPal account, we will mark your account in our database as “Closed,” but will keep your account information in our database. This is necessary in order to deter fraud, by ensuring that persons who try to commit fraud will not be able to avoid detection simply by closing their account and opening a new account. However, if you close your account, your personally identifiable information will not be used by us for any further purposes, nor sold or shared with third parties, except as necessary to prevent fraud and assist law enforcement, or as required by law (for example, to send former Money Market Fund investors a report of dividends paid during the calendar year for tax reporting purposes).


F. Contacting Us

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, PayPal’s information practices, or your dealings with PayPal, you can contact us using this form, call (402) 935-7733 Monday through Friday between the hours of 4am and 10pm PST, or write us at PayPal, P.O. Box 50185, Palo Alto, CA 94303.

With respect to our privacy practices as a financial institution and our compliance with this Privacy Policy, PayPal is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can obtain information about the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov/.



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