Creating an account is always optional – we never require you to register or otherwise provide us any contact information to download or use our products.
While we always de-identify your IP address while connected to the VPN, remember that no VPN provider can control what other apps collect from your device or what cookies other websites or third parties place in your browser. For more information about how to exercise choices with respect to certain third party cookies, please see the Third Party Advertising section below.
When the Hotspot Shield VPN is connected, we encrypt all of the traffic between your device and our servers, using TLS 1.2 with perfect forward secrecy (ECDHE), 128-bit/256-bit AES GCM data encryption technology. ChaCha20 Poly1305, among other currently secure algorithms, is also available and configurable for performance.
Your web traffic on unsecured networks such as public Wi-Fi at cafés, airports, etc. is always securely encrypted when the Hotspot Shield VPN is connected.
Where applicable, we indicate whether and why you must provide us with your Personal Information, as well as the consequences of failing to do so. If you do not provide Personal Information when requested, you may not be able to benefit from some features of our Services if that information is necessary to provide you with that feature of our Services.
There are two basic categories of Personal Information we collect:
You can be assured that the Personal Information we may collect, including your email, IP address, username, or unique mobile ID, is never associated with any online activities you engage in while the Hotspot Shield VPN is connected. Additionally, when the Hotspot Shield VPN is connected, your IP address is stored in encrypted format for the duration of the session and is deleted after you disconnect from the VPN.
When you interact with our Services, we collect the Personal Information that you choose to share with us. For example, if you purchase a subscription to Hotspot Shield’s premium plans, and/or sign up to create an account, you may provide us with an email address and payment information. Remember that creating an account is always optional – we never require you to register or otherwise provide us any account-related information to download or use our products.
It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: If you contact us directly, we may receive additional Personal Information about you. For example, when you contact customer support, we receive the contents of messages or attachments that you send to us, and other information you choose to provide.
When you download the Hotspot Shield app, connect to the Hotspot Shield VPN, or visit our websites, we and our third party service providers collect information about you or your device automatically. Here’s a fuller explanation of the types of Personal Information collected when you use our Services:
Our paid Hotspot Shield Elite version has no ads. However, for users that choose to use our products for free, we are proud to offer a free, advertising-supported version of Hotspot Shield. On the free version of Hotspot Shield, you may see some generic ads that our ad partners place. Hotspot Shield does not share your browsing history or any other information you choose to provide, with advertisers. Furthermore, when the VPN is connected, Hotspot Shield anonymizes your IP address, thus showing advertisers the IP address of Hotspot Shield servers instead of your IP address. We may share your general (city level) location. Additionally, advertisers may be able to collect certain information independently from you or your device when serving ads from the Hotspot Shield application, including your device’s advertising ID, IMEI, MAC address, and wireless carrier. Keep in mind that advertisers may be able to access your IP address if your device is not connected to the Hotspot Shield VPN. For more information regarding your device’s advertising ID and its options, please visit https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/3405269 for Android devices or https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202074 for iOS devices.
If you use Hotspot Shield Elite, the premium subscription based version of our product, we will not serve any ads and thus no information will be collected by our third party ad partners on the Elite product.
In short, we use your Personal Information to provide you with amazing products and services that we are constantly working to improve. Here are some of the ways we do that:
If you are located in the European Economic Area, we only process your Personal Information based on a valid legal ground, including:
If you use the Elite premium version of Hotspot Shield no information is shared with advertisers.
We may use and disclose aggregate information that does not identify or otherwise relate to an individual for any purpose, unless we are prohibited from doing so under applicable law.
Turning the Hotspot Shield VPN on encrypts all of the traffic between your device and our servers using TLS 1.2 with perfect forward secrecy (ECDHE), 128-bit/256-bit AES data encryption, and HMAC message authentication. This means that your web traffic on unsecured networks such as public Wi-Fi at cafés, airports, etc. will be securely encrypted by Hotspot Shield. This encryption also means that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will not be able to snoop on your web traffic and create records of the websites you are visiting while the Hotspot Shield VPN is connected; all they will see is that all of your traffic is being sent to and from our servers.
We also maintain administrative, technical and physical safeguards that are intended to appropriately protect Personal Information against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss, unauthorized alteration, unauthorized disclosure or access, misuse, and any other unlawful form of processing of the Personal Information in our possession.
As stated above, we do not retain your IP address beyond your VPN session and do not log your online activities.
We take measures to delete your Personal Information or keep it in a form that does not allow you to be identified when this information is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we process it, unless we are required by law to keep this information for a longer period. When determining the retention period, we take into account various criteria, such as the type of products and services requested by or provided to you, the nature and length of our relationship with you, possible re-enrollment with our products or services, the impact on the services we provide to you if we delete some information from or about you, mandatory retention periods provided by law and the statute of limitations.
Marketing Communications. We do not require that you provide us with your email or any contact information to use our Services. But if you do provide us an email, from time to time you may receive marketing email messages from us consistent with your choices. If you no longer want to receive such emails from us on a going forward basis, you may opt-out via the “unsubscribe” link provided in each such email. Please be aware that, even after you opt out from receiving commercial messages from us, you may continue to receive necessary administrative messages regarding the Services.
Your Data Protection Rights (EEA). If you are located in the EEA, you have the right to request access and receive information about the Personal Information we maintain about you, to update and correct inaccuracies in your Personal Information, to restrict or object to the processing of your Personal Information, to have the information blocked, anonymized or deleted, as appropriate, or to exercise your right to data portability to easily transfer your Personal Information to another company. Those rights may be limited in some circumstances by local law requirements. In addition to the above-mentioned rights, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with a competent supervisory authority subject to applicable law.
Where required by law, we obtain your consent for the processing of certain Personal Information collected by cookies or similar technologies, or used to send you direct marketing communications, or when we carry out other processing activities for which consent may be required. If we rely on consent for the processing of your Personal Information, you have the right to withdraw it at any time and free of charge. When you do so, this will not affect the lawfulness of the processing before your consent withdrawal.
To update your preferences, ask us to remove your information from our mailing lists, delete your account or submit a request to exercise your rights under applicable law, please contact us as specified in the “Contact Us” section below.
The Services are not directed to individuals under the age of sixteen (16), and we request that they not provide personal information through the Services. If we find out that a child under 16 has provided personal information, we will take steps to delete that information.
AnchorFree uses servers hosted in the United States. Please note that we may be transferring your information outside of your region for storage and processing in the United States and around the globe. By using the Services you consent to the transfer of information to countries outside of your country of residence, including the United States, which may have data protection rules that are different from those of your country.
If you are located in the EEA, we comply with EU data protection law when transferring your Personal Information outside of the EEA, including to the United States where we are headquartered. To protect Personal Information transferred from the EEA or Switzerland to the U.S., we are certified to the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks.
If you would like to exercise your rights to your Personal Information, please contact our support at https://support.hotspotshield.com/hc/en-us.
If you are located in the EEA, AnchorFree, GmbH is the entity responsible for the processing of your Personal Information.
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