July 22nd, 2011
The Washington Post
“According to the article, Groupon will dramatically expand the categories of personal information it collects and shares with its partners,” Markey and Barton wrote. “As co-chairmen of the bi-partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, we would like to gain greater insight into Groupon’s privacy policies.”
The Washington Post reported on the tweaks Groupon made to its policies and raised the possibility that the changes could invite scrutiny from federal regulators and privacy advocates.
In the letter, Markey and Barton asked about Groupon’s plans to share social data with its business partners, asking for clarification on how transparent the company will be about when the information is being tracked.
They also asked for more information about whether the collection of geo-location data will be opt-in, what protections Groupon will provide to keep personal information from getting into the wrong hands and how the company will verify the ages of its customers.
Kids’ privacy is of particular interest to Markey and Barton, who are co-sponsoring a do-not-track bill for children.
Groupon recently filed for its initial public offering and cited privacy legislation as a possible risk. The lawmakers have asked Groupon to respond to the letter within 15 business days, no later than Aug. 10.