If you don't read privacy policies before you enter sweepstakes, you could be deluged with unwanted telephone calls, your inbox could be filled with spam emails, and your mailbox could be groaning under the weight of junk mail.
Nobody wants to deal with that.
- What information will be collected? Will the company gather data about you other than what you submit through entry forms? Will any additional information be tied to your identity, or is the company looking for aggregate data (for example, will they track where _you_ come from, or which sites their visitors use to find them in general?)
- How will that information be used? Will the information be collected only to contact sweepstakes winners, or will you be added to marketing lists?
- How will your information be stored? And for how long? Will your personal information be deleted after the giveaway has ended, or will the sponsor keep it on file indefinitely?
- Which security measures will protect your information? Even if the company hosting a giveaway is completely trustworthy, you can end up at risk if they are hacked. Make sure that they have security measures in place to keep your information safe.
- Will your information be shared with other companies? This can range from keeping all information in-house or sharing it with contracted partners who draw winners or provide security to sharing your information with giveaway partners or selling it to marketing lists. The less sharing, the more secure your information is.
- How can you contact the company? If you have a problem or want to be able to remove yourself from the company's database, having a way to contact them is important.
Privacy Policies and Facebook Sweepstakes
Make sure that you check the privacy policies of each individual company whose sweepstakes you enter, regardless of the platform where the giveaway is hosted.
Other Signs of Trustworthiness
Before you fill out any entry forms, you should familiarize yourself with how much information is reasonable to give out.
By taking a few precautions, you can ensure that you avoid spam, identity theft, and other downsides of sharing your personal information.