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Betterment

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Privacy Policy

Last updated June 23, 2021

Introduction

Welcome to Betterment.

We work hard to protect your personal information and ensure your information is kept private and secure. The following privacy policy outlines the types of personal information that Betterment LLC (“Betterment”), MTG LLC d/b/a Betterment Securities, Betterment for Business LLC, and Betterment Financial LLC (collectively, the “Betterment Entities”) collect, including through our websites (www.betterment.com, advisors.betterment.com, and www.betterment.com/401k), Betterment’s original articles, our iOS mobile application and our Android mobile application. It also explains why we collect your information and how we use it.

Privacy is important to Betterment. We will never rent or sell your information to anyone. If you have any questions or if you believe that Betterment has not adhered to this privacy policy, please send us a note at support@betterment.com.

Table of Contents

Privacy Notice

  1. What does Betterment do with your personal information?
  2. How do we use and share your personal information?
  3. Who we are
  4. What we do
  5. Key definitions

Full Privacy Policy

  1. Information We Collect and Why
  2. How We Use Your Personal Information
  3. How We Share Your Information
  4. Opt-out Information
  5. How to Request Deletion of the Personal Information We Collect
  6. How Your Personal Information is Protected
  7. How You Can Access or Change Your Personal Information
  8. Anonymized Information
  9. Other Important Information
  10. Your Rights as a California Resident
  11. Your Rights as a Vermont Resident
  12. International Visitors

What does Betterment do with your personal information?

Why?

Financial companies choose how they share your personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your personal information. Please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

What?

The types of personal information we collect and share depend on whether you are a visitor to our website or a client and, if a client, the product or service you have with us. Information we collect from clients includes, among other information:

  • Full legal name, date of birth and social security number
  • Information about your financial status
  • Account balance, assets and transaction history

When you are no longer our client, we continue to retain and share your information as described in this notice below.

How?

All financial companies need to share clients’ personal information to run their everyday business. In the section below, we list the reasons financial companies can share their clients’ personal information; the reasons Betterment chooses to share; and whether you can limit this sharing.

How do we use and share your personal information?

Reasons for sharing personal information Does Betterment share? Can you limit this sharing?

For our everyday business purposes
Such as to verify your identity, process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations or regulatory requests, or report to credit bureaus

Does Betterment share?
<title>This is supported</title>
Can you limit this sharing?

For our marketing purposes
To offer our products and services to you

Does Betterment share?
<title>This is supported</title>
Can you limit this sharing?

For joint marketing with other financial companies

Does Betterment share?
<title>This is supported</title>
Can you limit this sharing?

For our affiliates’ everyday business purposes
Information about your transactions and experiences*

Does Betterment share?
<title>This is supported</title>
Can you limit this sharing?

For our affiliates’ everyday business purposes
Information about your creditworthiness**

Does Betterment share?
<title>This is not supported</title>
Can you limit this sharing?

For non-affiliates to market to you**

Does Betterment share?
<title>This is not supported</title>
Can you limit this sharing?

* As described below, you are able to limit our sharing of your Betterment Visa Debit Card transaction data with Dosh, our cash back rewards partner, by emailing cashback@betterment.com.

** Betterment does not collect or share personal information for these purposes.

Questions? Contact our customer support team at support@betterment.com or call (646) 600-8263

Who we are

What we do

Definitions

Other important information

If you are an account holder of a joint account, you have individual rights with respect to our use of your personal information.

If you would like more specifics about how we use, store and share your information, read on for the rest of our privacy policy.

Full Privacy Policy

Information We Collect and Why

In order to provide a high-quality service, Betterment collects various types of information when you visit the website or mobile app, sign-up as a customer, or otherwise engage with Betterment.

Visitor Information

We collect various types of anonymous information about visitors to Betterment, such as device-related information (including browser type and IP address) and server log information (including the date and time of day of your visit, average time spent on the Betterment site, browsing activity, and any site that referred you to Betterment). We also collect information that you input into our website, such as your name or email address when you begin the account application process or comment on the Betterment blog. We use this information to better understand our visitors and our business, facilitate site navigation, provide the services or information you request, and enhance the Betterment service. To the extent you enter identifying information as part of the account application process, we are required by law to store that information to comply with federal regulations.

Customer Information

When you choose to create an account with Betterment, we will also collect certain personal information, including your full legal name, email address, permanent address, date of birth, social security number and information about financial status. We are required by law to collect and store this information to provide you with financial services. If you do not wish to provide this information, you cannot become a Betterment customer.

Betterment offers account linking and aggregation services through Plaid Inc. ("Plaid"). By using account linking and aggregation services, you acknowledge and agree that the terms of Plaid's Privacy Policy (currently located at https://plaid.com/legal/#end-user-privacy-policy) will govern Plaid's use of such information, and you expressly agree to the terms and conditions of Plaid's Privacy Policy. Further, you expressly grant Plaid the right, power, and authority to access and transmit your information as reasonably necessary for Plaid to provide these services to you. Betterment will collect information about the transactions associated with, and the cash flows into and out of, accounts linked through Plaid.

If you open or maintain a Betterment Checking account, you authorize MX Technologies, Inc. ("MX") to collect information about your Betterment Checking account transactions. You acknowledge and agree that the information collected, and the services provided to you, by MX are subject to certain terms and conditions (located at https://www.betterment.com/legal/transaction-data-enhancement).

If you use Zoom to initiate a screenshare with Betterment’s customer support team, you acknowledge and agree that Zoom may collect certain information about your location, as well as the timing and your use of its services, in accordance with its privacy policy (located at https://zoom.us/privacy).

If you use a Betterment Visa® Debit Card, you acknowledge and agree that Betterment will, on behalf of Dosh, our cash rewards partner, collect certain transaction information about purchases made with your Betterment Visa(R) Debit Card. The transaction information includes information about your purchases and the vendors with which you transacted, but does not contain personally identifying information such as name, address, date of birth or social security number. Additionally, if you enable the location services feature, Betterment collects information about your location through your phone to provide you with cash back offers in your vicinity. You acknowledge and agree that the collection of information to offer cash back rewards is also subject to the Dosh Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Retirement Plan Sponsor and Participant Information

When a company creates an account with Betterment as a retirement plan sponsor, we will collect information on both the company and its employees as plan participants, including but not limited to, the company’s name, the company’s employer identification number, details about the company’s existing retirement plans, an email address of the company’s contact person and other relevant plan information. We will also collect certain personal and financial information about the plan participants, including, but not limited to, names, social security numbers, dates of birth, annual incomes, addresses, length of service with the company, gender, marital status, dates of hire, email addresses and other contact information, occupation, industry, personal interests, bank account balance, salary information, contribution rates and tax bracket.

Advisor Information

We collect information from advisory firms that use the Betterment for Advisors platform, as well as from individual advisors, including but not limited to advisory firm and advisor names, email addresses, and other relevant information pertaining to advisors’ businesses. We also collect certain personal and financial information about advisory firm clients, who are Betterment customers, as described above in the “Customer Information” section. Additionally, we collect information from advisors who are considering partnering with Betterment.

Other Ways We Collect Information

Apart from through the account opening process and from visitors to the site, we may collect various other types of personal information if you or a friend engages with Betterment. We collect your email address as part of our customer referral service or if you subscribe to the Betterment blog. We may also collect personal information if you enter it into our live chat program or contact us or otherwise give it to us (e.g., in an email, phone call, or live chat with a member of our customer support team). Further, we may collect information regarding your browsing activity when you visit Betterment’s websites and actions you take within your Betterment account while logged in to your Betterment account.

Cookies and Pixels

Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer, mobile phone or any other device used to access the internet. Pixels are small code blocks on a website that allow for another server to measure viewing of a webpage and often are used in connection with cookies.

We use these technologies to customize Betterment and improve your experience with the site. Cookies store anonymous information, such as whether you viewed the site from your mobile device. We may store some personal information in a cookie and/or pixel, such as the site that you visited immediately prior to visiting Betterment and relevant financial information that allows us to enhance your user experience and for marketing purposes. Additionally, we may use a cookie and/or pixel that only stores anonymous information to track visitors across websites or devices to better customize our marketing and advertising campaigns. We also offer certain tools from third-party service providers that may use cookies and/or pixels.

Cookies, pixels, and similar technologies are not required for site functionality. You are not required to accept any cookies or pixels to use this site. However, refusing to accept cookies or pixels will make the use of Betterment more cumbersome and less accessible.

Advertising Companies

Betterment advertises our services on websites not affiliated with Betterment, and we contract with third-party advertising companies to display these ads. These third-party advertising companies, along with data exchanges and similar providers, may use cookies and similar technologies to collect technical and web navigational information, such as device type, browser type, IP address, and pages visited. We do not provide any information to these advertising companies that could personally identify our users or clients, and they do not collect such information for us.

Betterment and third-party advertising companies may use the data collected to provide you with ads relevant to you and personalized content while you are on Betterment or other sites. If you prefer to not receive targeted advertising, you can opt out of some network advertising programs that use your information by visiting the NAI Opt-Out Page. Please note that even if you choose to remove your information by opting out, you will still see advertisements while you are browsing online.

Additionally, many network advertising programs allow you to view and manage the interest categories they have compiled from your online browsing activities. These interest categories help determine the types of targeted advertisements you may receive. The NAI Opt-Out Page provides a tool that identifies its member companies that have cookies on your browser and provides links to those companies. Because mobile devices may vary in how they operate and may not use cookies, the choice management options listed above may not work for all mobile devices and mobile apps.

Analytics Services

We use third-party analytics tools, including “Google Analytics” (such tools collectively referred to as “Analytics Services”) to collect information about the usage of this site. The Analytics Services collect information about how often users visit this site, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to this site, among other information. We use the information we get from these Analytics Services to improve this site.

These Analytics Services collect the IP address assigned to you on the date you visit this site, along with other anonymized information (e.g., browser type and type of device used to visit the site), but not your name or other personally identifiable information. The Analytics Services’ ability to use and share information about your visits to this site is restricted by their terms of use and privacy policies. We do not combine the information collected through the use of Google Analytics with personally identifiable information. You can prevent Google Analytics from recognizing you on return visits to this site by disabling cookies on your browser. You can opt-out of Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

How We Use Your Personal Information

Betterment uses your personal information to provide financial advice and other services; enhance your customer experience; improve our products and features; provide customer support; open, operate, and maintain your account in accordance with US law; investigate and understand how Betterment is used; monitor and protect the security and integrity of Betterment; and better market and advertise Betterment’s services. If you link external accounts to your Betterment account, we may use transactional data from those accounts to provide you with financial advice or to recommend additional Betterment products and services to you. You understand and agree that Betterment will compare your identifying information with government-provided lists of suspected terrorists.

As part of this process, we may from time to time include, compile, or aggregate some of your personal information in certain data analysis, reports, or other interpretations of investment trends for both internal and external purposes. When including, compiling, or aggregating personal information for such purposes, we make sure that the information is anonymized such that it is not identifiable to any particular customer.

Additionally, we, or our service providers, may use your personal information to contact you regarding Betterment's services, resources, or Betterment job openings that we think may be of interest to you. If you no longer wish to receive marketing emails from Betterment, please click the “unsubscribe” link that can be found at the bottom of each such email message. If you no longer wish to receive text messages, please type "STOP" in response to any such text. Please note that if you hold an account with Betterment, you cannot opt-out of certain communications related to the administration of your account, including communications related to billing, statement and trade confirmation delivery or certain regulatory matters.

How We Share Your Information

We do not sell, rent, or trade your personal information with any third parties other than with your consent or as required by law.

In order to provide financial services and in connection with our everyday business purposes and activities, we may share your personal information with third parties who perform services on our behalf. Examples of these third parties and services include consumer identification verification services, public accounting firms and other professional firms, and certain other vendors and service providers who perform marketing, advertising, research and analytics services on our behalf. We have entered into agreements that require that these third parties keep this information confidential. We may also disclose your information to other third-party financial institutions, e.g., if you ask to transfer assets from Betterment to such financial institutions. If you choose to use Betterment’s charitable giving feature, we will share your name and email address with the recipient charity, which the recipient charity may use to contact you.

We may also disclose personal information in response to service of legal process, such as a court order, summons, or subpoena, or as permitted or required by law when we reasonably believe it is necessary or appropriate to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud (including identity theft), frontrunning or scalping, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or suspected violations of our Terms of Service or customer agreements. We also may disclose information about you if necessary to determine your eligibility to recover compensation in connection with class action lawsuits.

Furthermore, we may disclose personal information in specific other cases with your consent.

If you conduct business with us through Betterment for Advisors, we may exchange information we collect with your investment professional or with others they may authorize.

If you open a Betterment Checking account, Betterment will share information with nbkc bank and/or its agents for purposes relating to your account.

If you use a Betterment Visa® Debit Card, Betterment will share the transaction information described above with Dosh, Betterment’s cash rewards partner, and/or its agents for purposes of generating cash back rewards offers for your account. Dosh is prohibited from selling this data. Dosh also may not use this data for any purpose other than providing cash back rewards or another authorized purpose. If you do not wish for this information to be shared, you may disable cash back rewards by emailing cashback@betterment.com. Betterment also will share information about your location with Dosh if you allow Betterment to access your location through your phone. If you do not wish this information to be shared, you may choose not to enable location services on your phone.

In order to provide workplace services to employers or plan sponsors through Betterment for Business, such as retirement savings plan services and recordkeeping services, we may exchange any information received in connection with such services with the employer or plan sponsor or others they may authorize, such as an employer-selected investment professional. We may also share information, including but not limited to account positions, contributions, distributions, and cash flows, with a third-party financial institution that serves as a directed trustee to 401(k) plans serviced by Betterment for Business and its affiliates.

How we share your personal information for marketing and research analytics

As disclosed above, we use certain vendors and service providers who perform marketing, advertising, research and analytics services on our behalf.

These include platforms that monitor and provide analytics on our systems, applications that support automated emails for marketing efforts, applications that allow us to build personalized social media campaigns, and tools to record customer communication and interaction history. We use these service providers to comply with regulatory requirements, provide financial services, enhance your customer experience, improve our products and features, and provide customer support. These vendors and service providers with whom we share your personal information are bound by agreements with us to keep your personal information confidential and we never rent or sell your information to anyone.

We use reasonable efforts to limit the sharing of personally identifiable information with vendors and service providers when it is not reasonably required for the service and share anonymized information in lieu of personal information when it is practicable. Certain experiences on Betterment's website and applications may entail engaging directly with third-party service providers. In such situations, you will be presented with terms and conditions that apply to the use of that service, which may include authorizing such service providers to use anonymized data from your engagement to improve their own products or services. For more information about anonymized information, see details below.

Opt-out Information

You may opt-out of promotional or marketing emails by clicking “unsubscribe”, which appears in the footer of such emails. You may also opt-out from push notifications from the Betterment application on your iOS or androidOS device. Lastly, you may opt-out of the sharing of your Betterment Visa® Debit Card transaction data with Dosh, our cash back rewards partner, by emailing cashback@betterment.com.

Note that you cannot opt-out of administrative communications, such as emails that contain account statements, notify you regarding changes to your account or contain updates to our terms and conditions.

How to Request Deletion of the Personal Information We Collect

Betterment allows you to close your Betterment accounts. You can review our resource article on deleting accounts for instructions on how to do so. Closing a joint account works in the same manner, and either joint account holder can delete a shared joint account. Please note that we retain information on deleted accounts as required for legal, regulatory and security purposes.

How Your Personal Information is Protected

Betterment works diligently to protect your personal information. We employ several physical and electronic safeguards to keep your information safe. We use the strongest available browser encryption, store all of our data on servers in secure facilities, and implement systematic processes and procedures for securing and storing data. We limit access to your personal and financial information to only those employees with authorized access who need to know the information in order to perform their jobs, and we require third parties who perform services for Betterment to agree to keep your information confidential.

Furthermore, if you choose to close your account or your account is terminated with us, we will continue to adhere to the privacy policies and practices outlined here. If you maintain a Betterment account that you access through our website or mobile apps, you are responsible for protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and restricting access to your computer.

How You Can Access or Change Your Personal Information That We Have Collected

Once you have registered with Betterment, you can access your profile, review the information that is stored, and revise that information. If you have any problems, you may also contact us at support@betterment.com. Due to US regulatory requirements, we do not delete residual copies of outdated information and must preserve all customer data for a minimum of three years.

Anonymized Information

We may share anonymized information that is summarized or derived from information you provide to us. Anonymous information is information that does not include any personally identifiable information. From time to time, Betterment performs analysis on investing related topics using anonymized and/or summarized insights from customers. Such research reports, blog posts or findings may be shared with external publishers or published by us on financial topics of interest.

Other Important Information

Former Customers

If you are a former customer, these policies also apply to you; we treat your information with the same care as we do information about current customers. We preserve former customer data in order to comply with regulatory obligations.

How We Respond to Do Not Track Signals

Online tracking is the collection of data about an individual’s Internet activity used to deliver targeted advertisements and for other purposes. Customers using certain modern browsers have the ability to activate a “Do Not Track” signal. Betterment does not currently respond to the “Do Not Track” signal.

How You Accept This Policy

By using and continuing to use the Betterment websites, mobile apps and/or services, or otherwise providing us with personal information (such as an email address) you agree to the terms and conditions of this privacy policy and any updates thereto. This policy may change from time to time. This is our entire and exclusive privacy policy and it supersedes any earlier version. Our Terms and Conditions take precedence over any conflicting privacy policy provision.

Changes to the Policy

We may modify this privacy policy over time without prior notice by posting a new version of this privacy policy, which is your responsibility to review. Any changes to the privacy policy will be reflected on this page and will become effective immediately upon posting. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy policy to stay informed about how we are protecting the personally identifiable information we collect. If changes to the privacy policy are material, we will do our best to notify you via email or through a notification on the site or app. Please check the effective date below to determine if there have been any changes since you have last reviewed the Betterment privacy policy.

Children

Our service is not directed towards anyone under the age of 18. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child under the age of 18 has created an account with Betterment and/or provided us with personally identifiable information, please contact us at support@betterment.com. Additionally, if we become aware at any point that a child under the age of 18 is using our service, we will terminate his or her account.

Your Rights as a California Resident

Detailed information about your rights as a California resident, including under the California Consumer Privacy Act is available in our California Privacy Notice.

Your Rights as a Vermont Resident

We do not share nonpublic personal financial information we collect about Vermont residents to non-affiliated third parties except for our everyday business purposes or as otherwise permitted by law. If you wish to revoke any authorization to share your nonpublic personal financial information, which you have provided to us by entering into our Customer Agreement, please contact us at support@betterment.com.

Please note, however, that we will not be able to provide you with services through Betterment without the ability to share this financial information.

International Visitors

This Service is hosted in the United States. If you are an international visitor, you should note that by providing your personal information, you are: (i) permitting the transfer of your personal information to the United States which may not have the same data protection laws as the country in which you reside; and (ii) permitting the use of your personal information in accordance with this privacy policy.

Questions

If you have any questions on the privacy policy, please contact us at:

Betterment
8 W. 24th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10010
support@betterment.com
646-600-8263