Policies and Procedures
We’re committed to keeping your data secure, your private information private, and being transparent about our practices as a business.
Our commitment to protecting your personal information
Last revised on September 10, 2020
Our commitments to employees are governed by our internal employment policies.
In all instances we are committed to transparency with our customers, employees and protecting your data privacy.
An Overview of the Sources of Personal Data
Help Scout obtains information about individuals in these main ways:
- when you visit this website or contact us directly about becoming a customer or obtaining other information,
- when you become a Help Scout customer,
- when individuals use a customer’s help desk function,
- when individuals interact with a customer’s Beacon function,
- when a customer uses our service to combine its data with the data residing in other applications, such as Salesforce,
- when you are a service provider to Help Scout, and
- through the Help Scout employment process.
Our Data Processing Amendment governs our processing of any information obtained as a result of the customer or service provider relationship. You can read our commitment to customers and service providers, and our fair information practices in the Data Processing Amendment.
“You” or “your” refers to the individual who uses this website, features, and services, or accesses available information, or engages with us directly by email or telephone.
- Whose information does Help Scout collect?
- What information does Help Scout collect?
- What data does Help Scout collect from customers using Beacon?
- What data does Help Scout collect from customers using Google integrations?
- When does Help Scout use end user information from third parties?
- When does Help Scout use customer information from third parties?
- Where and when is information collected from customers and end users?
- Does Help Scout collect information from children under 16 years of age?
- What does Help Scout do with the information it collects from customers?
- What does Help Scout do with the information it collects from end users?
- When does Help Scout disclose information to other third parties?
- Could my information be transferred to other countries?
- Is the information collected through the Help Scout Service secure?
- What rights are offered to California residents?
- What choices do I have regarding the collection, disclosure and distribution of personal information?
- Whom do I contact if I have any privacy questions?
Whose information does Help Scout collect?
Help Scout collects information from three types of individuals:
Our customers are individuals and businesses who have signed up for a Help Scout account. If you are a customer, we will handle information we receive from you under the terms of Help Scout’s Data Processing Amendment.
End users are individuals that use goods and services provided by Help Scout Customers. If you interact with Help Scout in the course of seeking customer service for a particular product or service, you are probably an end user. We process “End User Data” which means information about end users of Help Scout customers, which includes but is not limited to, the first name, last name, phone number and email address of an end user.
Personnel are the people who work, and apply to work, for Help Scout. Please refer to the Personnel section of this policy to read about the information Help Scout collects from personnel.
What information does Help Scout collect?
Depending on your use of the Help Scout website, or direct interactions with us, we collect two types of information: personal information and non-personal information.
Personal information identifies you or may be used in combination with other pieces of personal information to identify you. Examples of personal information include your name, company name, job title, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and billing and credit card information. Personal information can also include information that does not identify you, but could be combined with other information in a way that enables you to be identified. This includes information such as age, gender, profession, zip code, IP address, and current location.
Non-personal information is information that cannot be used or combined with other information to identify or contact you, including browser types, domain names, and statistical data involving the use of the Help Scout website.
What data does Help Scout collect from customers using Beacon?
If you have a Beacon enabled, it tracks certain events as a customer interacts with your site. These events could be search queries, Docs Articles views, previous URLs visited, and Beacon actions (opening the Beacon, sending a message, sending a reply and starting a chat). This data is collected to build a timeline of events leading up to a customer initiated conversation and is only processed and stored by Help Scout if the Customer submits their request via Beacon.
|Feature||Customer data collected||Purpose|
|Beacon (Normal or Secure Mode)||
• Email address
• IP address of customer, or customer’s ISP
• “Custom Data” - custom attributes defined by Help Scout’s Customer ( e.g. Plan Name, Account Type, Twitter Handle, etc).
|To prefill the contact form with the Customer’s information, fetch the Customer’s Previous Conversations, and display custom data on the Beacon Sidebar application within Help Scout|
|beacon_docs_session_id cookie||None||This is a unique id value that identifies the customer’s session and does not contain identifiable customer data.|
|beacon_docs_visit cookie||Docs Article view history, pages visited on your site, and search query history.||Used to build a timeline of events leading up to a customer initiated conversation.|
What data does Help Scout collect from customers using Google integrations?
|Feature||Google Data Collected||Purpose||Where used|
|Google SSO||User email address||Google SSO, or Single-Sign On using your Google credentials is optional and configurable. Help Scout administrators can choose to force Google SSO or provide it as an option.||Help Scout Web app, Android app, iOS app.|
|Import G Suite Domain users||User email address
List of users in the G Suite Domain
|Allows Google G Suite Domain administrators to set up their Help Scout account and import G Suite Domain users. If used, the user names, and emails from your G Suite Domain are displayed to Help Scout administrators so they can create corresponding Help Scout users.||Help Scout Web app|
|Send email using Google oAuth||The right to read, send or delete email using the Google email account provided. We only use this authorization to send email.||Used by Help Scout administrators to grant a Help Scout mailbox the right to send emails using SMTP via the provided Google account. When configured in a Help Scout mailbox, any associated outbound email will be delivered via the Google account provided instead of via Help Scout’s own email servers. The right to read or delete email using Google oAuth is not used by Help Scout.||Help Scout Web app|
When does Help Scout use end user information from third parties?
Help Scout will collect End User Data necessary to provide the Help Scout services to our customers.
In our Android application, we use Google Firebase to collect in-app crash reports and analytics to help us better support that application including user name and email. You can opt out of sending this data by turning off Crash Reporting and Analytics in our Android application’s Settings. Firebase is GDPR compliant.
If you would like to opt-out of our collection of End User Data, you can disable the option to Enrich Customer Data in your Help Scout account options. To disable this feature, you must be an Account Owner. If you are an end user, you may decline to provide End User Data to us when we ask for it, though doing so may prevent us from being able to help you.
End users may voluntarily provide us with information they have made available on social media websites. If you provide us with any such information, we may collect publicly available information from the social media websites you have indicated. You can control how much of your information social media websites make public by visiting these websites and changing your privacy settings.
When does Help Scout use customer information from third parties?
We receive some information from the third parties when you contact us. For example, when you submit your email address to us to show interest in becoming a Help Scout customer, we receive information from a third party that provides automated fraud detection services to Help Scout. We also occasionally collect information that is made publicly available on social media websites. You can control how much of your information social media websites make public by visiting these websites and changing your privacy settings.
Where and when is information collected from customers and end users?
Help Scout will collect personal information that you submit to us. We may also receive personal information about you from third parties as described above.
Registering to Use the Help Scout Service and in the Course of Using the Help Scout services.
Customers will be required to establish an account in order to take advantage of certain features of the Help Scout website. If you wish to establish an account you will be required to provide us with information (including personal information and non-personal information). In addition, we may obtain your personal information from you if you identify yourself to us by sending us an e-mail with questions or comments.
Cookies and Page Tags
If you are a Help Scout worker or applicant, we collect information you voluntarily provide to us. We use the information collected for Human Resources purposes in order to administer benefits to workers and screen applicants.
Does Help Scout collect information from children under 16 years of age?
We are committed to protecting the privacy of children. The Help Scout Service is not designed for or directed to children under the age of 16. We do not collect personal information from any person we actually know is under the age of 16.
What does Help Scout do with the information it collects from customers?
In general, we use the information collected to provide you with a great overall experience interacting with us and when using the Help Scout website and to help us understand who uses our offerings, for internal operations such as operating and improving the Help Scout website and our help desk services, to contact you for customer service and billing purposes and to facilitate the delivery of Help Scout advertising in some cases, including using your email to send information to you about our services.
We use your information to send you a welcome e-mail after you create an account, when you are invited to Help Scout, or when you sign up for a demo, webinar or to receive our newsletter. We also use your information to send other e-mail communication related to the Help Scout website. We always give you the option to unsubscribe in any email we send you.
We may also use the information gathered to perform statistical analysis of user behavior or to evaluate and improve the Help Scout services. We may link some of this information to personal information for internal purposes or to improve your experience with the Help Scout website and our services, in these cases we will obtain your consent.
What does Help Scout do with the information it collects from end users?
We use End User Data to identify you and to provide you with customer service on behalf of a Help Scout customer. We will disclose End User Data to the relevant Help Scout customer so that they are better able to assist you. If you are interested in how we process the data on behalf of Help Scout customers, please read our Data Processing Amendment.
Third Parties Generally
Third parties may be able to independently directly collect personal and non-personal information without permission from Help Scout, and may include potential or actual advertisers, providers of advertising products or services (including vendors and website tracking services), merchants, affiliates and other actual or potential commercial partners, sponsors, licensees, researchers and other similar parties.
Outside Contractors and Third-Party Processors
Laws and Legal Rights
We may disclose your information (including personal information) if we believe in good faith that we are required to do so in order to comply with an applicable statute, regulation, rule or law, a subpoena, a search warrant, a court or regulatory order, or other valid legal process. We may disclose personal information in special circumstances when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be violating the Help Scout Terms of Service, to detect fraud, or to protect the safety and/or security of our users, the Help Scout website, or the general public. Help Scout is subject to the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
We also may be required to disclose an individual’s personal information in response to a lawful request by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements.
In cases of onward transfer to third parties of data of EU or Swiss individuals received pursuant to the EU Standard Contractual Clauses, Help Scout is potentially liable.
Sale of Business
When does Help Scout disclose information to other third parties?
Could my information be transferred to other countries?
Help Scout is incorporated in the U.S. Information collected via our website, through direct interactions with you, or from use of our help desk services may be transferred from time to time to our offices or personnel, or to third parties, located throughout the world, and may be viewed and hosted anywhere in the world, including countries that may not have laws of general applicability regulating the use and transfer of such data. To the fullest extent allowed by applicable law, by using any of the above, you voluntarily consent to the trans-border transfer and hosting of such information.
Is the information collected through the Help Scout Service secure?
We take precautions to protect the security of your information. We have physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to help safeguard, prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use your information. However, neither people nor security systems are foolproof, including encryption systems. In addition, people can commit intentional crimes, make mistakes or fail to follow policies. Therefore, while we use reasonable efforts to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If applicable law imposes any non-disclaimable duty to protect your personal information, you agree that intentional misconduct will be the standards used to measure our compliance with that duty.
Help Scout maintains ongoing Level 3 PCI compliance, adhering to stringent industry standards for storing, processing and transmitting credit card information online.
Help Scout also maintains ongoing compliance with the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and is able to process, maintain and store protected health information for any entities restricted by these regulations. On request, Help Scout will sign a business associate agreement (BAA) with your organization.
For more information about how Help Scout stores and secures customer and company data, please see our Security Policy.
What rights are offered to California residents?
The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) provides consumers with specific rights regarding their Personal Information. You have the right to request that businesses subject to the CCPA disclose certain information to you about their collection and use of your Personal Information over the past 12 months. In addition, you have the right to ask such businesses to delete Personal Information collected from you, subject to certain exceptions. If the business sells Personal Information, you have a right to opt-out of that sale. Finally, a business cannot discriminate against you for exercising a CCPA right.
When offering services to our Customers, Help Scout acts as a “service provider” under the CCPA and our receipt and collection of any consumer Personal Information is completed on behalf of our Customers in order for us to provide the Service. Please direct any requests for access or deletion of your Personal Information under the CCPA to the Help Scout Customer with whom you have a direct relationship.
What choices do I have regarding the collection, disclosure and distribution of personal information?
Do Not Track
The term “Do Not Track” refers to a HTTP header offered by certain web browsers to request that websites refrain from tracking the user. We take no action in response to Do Not Track requests.
Can I update or correct my information?
The rights you have to request updates or corrections to the information Help Scout collects depend on your relationship with Help Scout. Personnel may update or correct their information as detailed in our internal company employment policies.
You should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to us from our system. The need to back up our systems to protect information from inadvertent loss means that a copy of your information may exist in a non-erasable form that will be difficult or impossible for us to locate. Promptly after receiving your request, all personal information stored in databases we actively use, and other readily searchable media will be updated, corrected, changed or deleted, as appropriate, as soon as and to the extent reasonably and technically practicable.
If you are an end user and wish to update, delete, or receive any information we have about you, you may do so by contacting the organization of which you are a customer.
Whom do I contact if I have any privacy questions?
- By email
- By postal mail or courier:
Help Scout PBC
100 City Hall Plaza
Boston, MA 02108
Our representative in the European Union can be contacted by email.