Privacy Policy

INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION Privacy Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 15, 2019

In this Privacy Policy (“Policy”), we describe how International Franchise Association (“IFA,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) collects, uses, and discloses information that we obtain about visitors to our website www.franchise.org (the “Site”), users of our mobile application (the “App”) and the services available through our Site and App (collectively, the “Services”).

By visiting the Site, using or downloading the App, or using any of our Services, you agree that your personal information will be handled as described in this Policy. Your use of our Site, App or Services, and any dispute over privacy, is subject to this Policy and our Terms of Use, including its applicable limitations on damages and the resolution of disputes. The IFA Terms of Use are incorporated by reference into this Policy.

The Information We Collect About You

We collect information about you directly from you and from third parties, and automatically through your use of our Site or Services. The information we collect from you depends on how you use our Services.

Membership and User Accounts. When you sign up to become an IFA member or create an online account, we collect your name, email address, company name, business address and contact information, your franchise company name, the username and password you create for your account. If you make a purchase, we will collect your billing and shipping information, as well as your payment information. If you post to one of our discussion forums, we will collect your login information and information you post to any discussion threads that you participate in.

Franchise Opportunity Search. When you use the Site to contact a franchisor about franchising opportunities, we will collect your name, address, your contact information, information about your finances for a franchise investment, and locations where you would like to start a franchise business.

Newsletters and Contact. If you contact us or sign up for one of our newsletters or publications, we will collect your name, email address, and you company name.

IFA Conferences and Events. To register for an IFA Conference or Event, we will collect your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, your company name and job title, business address and phone number, your age range, your payment information, and event functions or sessions you are interested in attending.

Conference and Events Mobile App. To create an account for our App, we collect your name, age-range, company name and job title, and your email address. You may also provide your address, phone number, a brief bio of yourself, your picture, and a link to your company or personal website. If you participate in a discussion forum on the App, we collect information you post to any discussion thread that you participate in.

Information We Collect Automatically. We automatically collect information about your use of our Site and App through cookies, web beacons, and other technologies, including technologies designed for mobile apps. To the extent permitted by applicable law, we combine this information with other information we collect about you, including your personal information. Please see the section “Cookies and Other Tracking Mechanisms” below for more information.

Site:

  • domain name;
  • your browser type and operating system;
  • web pages you view on the Site; links you click on the Site; your IP address;
  • the length of time you visit our Site and or use our Services;

App:

  • mobile device ID and IP address; device name and model; operating system type, name, and version;
  • language information;
  • activities within the App; and the length of time you are logged into our App.

How We Use Your Information

We use your information, including your personal information, for the following purposes:

  • To provide our Services to you and to fulfill your orders.
  • To communicate with you about your use of our Services, to respond to your inquiries, and for other customer service purposes.
  • To tailor the content and information that we may send or display to you, to offer personalized help and instructions, and to otherwise personalize your experiences while using the Services.
  • To send you email marketing about our products and services.
  • To send you news and newsletters.
  • To send you email marketing about products and services of our affiliated entities.
  • To send you email marketing about products and services of other entities that we think may be of interest to you.
  • To assist us in advertising on third party websites, mobile apps, and other online services, and to evaluate the success of our adverting campaigns through third party channels (including our online targeted advertising and offline promotional campaigns).
  • To better understand how users access and use our Services, both on an aggregated and individualized basis. For example, we will evaluate which features of our Site and App are more (or least) used by users, and we will use this information to improve our Services.
  • For research and analytics purposes.
  • To administer surveys and questionnaires, such as for market research or member satisfaction purposes.
  • To comply with legal obligations, as part of our general business operations, and for other business administration purposes.
  • Where we believe necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety of any person or violations of our Terms of Use or this Privacy Policy.

How We Share Your Information

We may share your information, including personal information, as follows:

  • Service Providers. We disclose the information we collect from you to service providers, contractors or agents who perform functions on our behalf. These service providers include our payment processor and organizations that host the Services.
  • Affiliates. We disclose the information we collect from you to our affiliates or subsidiaries.
  • Site and App Users. If you participate in one of our discussion forums, whether through the Site or on the App for an event you attend, your name and any information you post will be available to other discussion forum participants.
  • Franchise Opportunities. If you request information about franchising opportunities through our franchise opportunity search service, we will share your information with the franchisors you are seeking information from.
  • Conference and Event Attendees and Sponsors. If you attend an IFA conference or event, we will share event attendees’ names, company affiliation and title, and business contact information with other event attendees, with the event’s sponsors and exhibitors, and with App users.
  • Supplier Contacts. If you are an IFA Supplier member and listed as the primary or secondary webcontact, we will post your name and business contact information on the Site to promote your business’s services.

We also disclose information in the following circumstances:

  • Business Transfers. If (i) we or our affiliates are or may be acquired by, merged with, or invested in by another organization, or (ii) if any of our assets are or may be transferred to another organization, whether as part of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding or otherwise, we may transfer the information we have collected from you to the other organization.  As part of the business transfer process, we may share certain of your personal information with lenders, auditors, and third-party advisors, including attorneys and consultants.
  • In Response to Legal Process. We disclose your information to comply with the law, a judicial proceeding, court order, or other legal process, such as in response to a court order or a subpoena.
  • To Protect Us and Others. We disclose your information when we believe it is appropriate to do so to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety of any person, violations of our Terms of Use or this Policy, or as evidence in litigation in which we are involved.
  • Aggregate and De-Identified Information. We share aggregate, anonymized, or de-identified information about Site and App users with third parties for marketing, advertising, research or similar purposes.

Our Use of Cookies and Other Tracking Mechanisms

We and our third-party service providers use cookies and other tracking mechanisms, including those designed for mobile apps, to track information about your use of our Services. We may combine this information with other personal information we collect from you (and our third-party service providers may do so on our behalf).

Cookies.  Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that we transfer to your device’s hard drive through your web browser for record-keeping purposes. Some cookies allow us to make it easier for you to navigate our Site, while others are used to enable a faster log-in process or to allow us to track your activities at our Site and Service. There are two types of cookies: session and persistent cookies.

  • Session Cookies. Session cookies exist only during an online session. They disappear from your device when you close your browser or turn off your device. We use session cookies to allow our systems to uniquely identify you during a session or while you are logged into the Site. This allows us to process your online transactions and requests and verify your identity, after you have logged in, as you move through our Site.
  • Persistent Cookies. Persistent cookies remain on your device after you have closed your browser or turned off your device. We use persistent cookies to track aggregate and statistical information about user activity, and to display advertising both on our Site and on third-party sites.

Disabling Cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can edit your browser options to block them in the future. The Help portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your computer from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, or how to disable cookies altogether. Visitors to our Site who disable cookies will be able to browse certain areas of the Site, but some features may not function.

Clear GIFs, pixel tags and other technologies. Clear GIFs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on your device’s hard drive, clear GIFs are embedded invisibly on web pages or App pages. We may use clear GIFs (a.k.a. web beacons, web bugs or pixel tags), in connection with our Site and App to, among other things, track the activities of Site visitors and App users, help us manage content, and compile statistics about Site and App usage.  We and our third-party service providers also use clear GIFs in HTML emails to our customers, to help us track email response rates, identify when our emails are viewed, and track whether our emails are forwarded.

Third Party Analytics. We use automated devices and applications, such as Google Analytics, to evaluate usage of our Site, and to the extent permitted, our Apps. We also may use other analytic means to evaluate our Site and App. We use these tools to help us improve our Site’s and App’s performance and user experiences. These entities may use cookies and other tracking technologies, such as web beacons or local storage objects (LSOs), to perform their services. To learn more about Google’s privacy practices, please review the Google Privacy Policy at https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/. You can also download the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on to prevent their data from being used by Google Analytics at https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Do-Not-Track. Currently, our systems do not recognize browser “do-not-track” requests. You may, however, disable certain tracking as discussed in this section (e.g., by disabling cookies); you also may opt-out of targeted advertising by following the instructions in the Third-Party Ad Network section.

Third-Party Ad Networks. We use third parties such as network advertisers to serve advertisements on our Site, App, and on third-party websites or other media (e.g., social networking platforms). This enables us and these third parties to target advertisements to you for products and services in which you might be interested. Third-party ad network providers, advertisers, sponsors and/or traffic measurement services may use cookies, JavaScript, web beacons (including clear GIFs), Flash LSOs and other tracking technologies to measure the effectiveness of their ads and to personalize advertising content to you. These third-party cookies and other technologies are governed by each third party's specific privacy policy, not this one. We may provide these third-party advertisers with information, including personal information, about you.

We may disclose certain information (such as your email address) to third parties—such as Facebook (more information on Facebook Custom Audience here) so that we can better target ads and content to our users and others with similar interests on these third parties’ platforms or media (“Custom Audiences”). We may also work with third party ad networks and marketing platforms that enable us and other participants to target ads to Custom Audiences submitted by us and others. You may also control how Facebook and other third parties display certain ads to you, as explained below.

Users in the United States may opt out of many third-party ad networks. For example, you may go to the Digital Advertising Alliance ("DAA") Consumer Choice Page for information about opting out of interest-based advertising and their choices regarding having information used by DAA companies. You may also go to the Network Advertising Initiative ("NAI") Consumer Opt-Out Page for information about opting out of interest-based advertising and their choices regarding having information used by NAI members.

Opting out from one or more companies listed on the DAA Consumer Choice Page or the NAI Consumer Opt-Out Page will opt you out from those companies' delivery of interest-based content or ads to you, but it does not mean you will no longer receive any advertising through our Site, App, Services, or on other websites. You may continue to receive advertisements, for example, based on the particular website that you are viewing (i.e., contextually based ads). Also, if your browsers are configured to reject cookies when you opt out on the DAA or NAI websites, your opt out may not be effective. Additional information is available on the DAA's website at www.aboutads.info or the NAI's website at www.networkadvertising.org.

User Generated Content

We invite you to post content on our Services, including your comments, pictures, and any other information that you would like to be available on our Services. If you post content to our Services, all of the information that you post will be available to all registered users on our Services, or if using our App, the event you are attending. If you post your own content on our Services, your posting may become public and IFA cannot prevent such information from being used in a manner that may violate this Policy, the law, or your personal privacy.

Third-Party Links

Our Site, App and Services may contain links to third-party websites. Any access to and use of such linked websites is not governed by this Policy, but instead is governed by the privacy policies of those third-party websites. We are not responsible for the information practices of such third-party websites.

Security of My Personal Information

We have implemented reasonable precautions to protect the information we collect from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Please be aware that despite our efforts, no data security measures can guarantee security.

You should take steps to protect against unauthorized access to your password, mobile device, and computer by, among other things, signing off after using a shared computer or device, choosing a robust password that nobody else knows or can easily guess, and keeping your log-in and password private. We are not responsible for any lost, stolen, or compromised passwords or for any activity on your account via unauthorized password activity.

Access To My Personal Information

You may modify personal information that you have submitted by logging into your account and updating your profile information. Please note that copies of information that you have updated, modified or deleted may remain viewable in cached and archived pages of the Site or Application for a period of time.

What Choices Do I Have Regarding Use of My Personal Information?

We may send periodic promotional emails to you. You may opt-out of promotional emails by following the opt-out instructions contained in the email. Please note that it may take up to 10 business days for us to process opt-out requests. If you opt-out of receiving promotional emails, we may still send you emails about your account or any services you have requested or received from us.

Children Under 13

Our Services are not designed for children under 13. If we discover that a child under 13 has provided us with personal information, we will delete such information from our systems.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the privacy aspects of our Services or would like to make a complaint, please contact us at:

IFA Legal Department
1900 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington DC 20006.

Changes to this Policy

This Policy is current as of the Effective Date set forth above. We may change this Policy from time to time, so please be sure to check back periodically. We will post any changes to this Policy on our Site and App. If we make any changes to this Policy that materially affect our practices with regard to the personal information, we have previously collected from you, we will endeavor to provide you with notice in advance of such change by highlighting the change on our Site and App.