While some social network companies like Facebook have been trying to make privacy policies more stringent, Groupon is taking a different path. The social daily coupon network company planning a $1 billion IPO within 60 days is changing its privacy policies to collect and share more information on users.
Groupon is expanding into daily coupon deals that will track to the specific location of its users.
The company has also recently lauched Groupon Now, a mobile service that gives users instant deals based upon their location. The product is a sort of daily-deals on the go that allows mobile users to expand and find offerings when out and about beyond their typical home location. Someone traveling in New York from Michigan, for instance, can find daily deals in New York with the mobile application.
But with the new application comes the need to collect more specific location information.
In short, if you use a Groupon mobile app and you allow sharing through your device, Groupon may collect geo-location information from the device and use it for marketing deals to you, the company said in its announcement.
Groupon is also broadening its definition of personal information to include interests and habits with the move, expanding its previous collection and sharing practices.
For instance, the company said a Groupon partnership that offers travel deals to users through Internet travel site Expedia means that personal information collected can be shared with the Web site if Groupon users subscribe to get travel deals.
Groupon said additional information collected and shared with Expedia for use on Groupon Now may include relationship information, transaction information, financial account information and mobile location information.
Facebook, the world's largest social network, has been under fire in the past year for how it shares information with advertisers and also about its privacy controls. Facebook has responded by working to make its privacy controls more user-friendly and also by limiting in some instances what information is shared.