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Groupon announces changes to its privacy policy

by Kelly MacNeil on July 11, 2011

The popular deal-a-day website Groupon recently changed its privacy policy, and the move has caused some users to be concerned. According to The Washington Post, the company revealed that it will be collecting more information from users to share with business partners.

The new policy tracks a number of statistics, including contact information (such as telephone numbers and mailing addresses),relationship status, as well whereabouts from mobile apps so that Groupon can offers deals based on a user's current location.

"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 wrote in an announcement.

Additionally, it will share users' purchasing history with other businesses (such as Expedia) so that they, too, might better target certain groups.

Groupon says that the changes will allow it to better tailor its services to users, but some critics believe the move is an invasion of privacy, and analysts speculate that it will draw the company greater scrutiny from federal regulators and other privacy advocacy groups.

Still, the changing policy may be just another step Groupon is taking as the popular website gets ready to go public. Analysts believe that it is planning to follow in the steps of LinkedIn, which made the jump on May 19 and enjoyed one of the largest first day gains in the last decade.

According to the news source, Groupon currently has around 83 million users and could be valued at as much as $30 billion.

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