Hey there and welcome to our Data Protection Notice! It’s great to see that you want to know more about how we keep your personal data safe. Hostelworld has been processing online hostel reservations since 1999, and while much has changed in the world of hostel travelling over the years, one thing that hasn't is our commitment to protecting and safeguarding your privacy. We know that when you interact with us, be it to book that life-changing travel experience or to sign up to become a valued hostel partner, you place your trust in us to protect your personal data. We value and respect this trust, always seek to act in your best interests and are transparent about the processing of your personal data.
So, if you’re looking for more information on how we collect, store, use and share your personal data we collect, you’ve come to the right place!
What is the purpose of this notice?
This Data Protection Notice, together with our Cookies Policy, explains things like:
- what personal data do we collect about you when you visit our website or make a booking on any of our platforms or apply for a job with us;
- how we look after this personal data;
- who we share it with; and
- how long we keep it.
What personal data does this notice apply to?
This Data Protection Notice covers all personal data that is collected from visitors and users of:
- all our websites (desktop and mobile), mobile applications,
- through our booking engines that are integrated into third party websites, and/or
- other means (such as contacting our customer service team via email or applying for a job through the Occupop database or other recruitment platform).
We refer to all of these collectively as the “HW Platform”. However, you should bear in mind that where you access our booking engine on a third-party website, this Data Protection Notice only applies to information we collect through your use of the booking engine and does not apply to data collected or held by the operator of the third-party website.
We may amend or update this Data Protection Notice from time to time. We encourage you to read this Data Protection Notice carefully, and to regularly check this page for updates. If we make material changes to this Data Protection Notice which will have an impact on you (for example, if we intend to process your personal data for any purpose(s) that were not communicated to you when we first collected your data), we will notify you of these changes before the new activities begin. This is to make sure you are aware of and fully understand any implications that our data processing may have for you.
If you disagree with this Data Protection Notice, you should discontinue using our services.
Who controls the use of your personal data?
The Hostelworld Group is made up of several different legal entities spread around the world. Read more about the Hostelworld Group at https://www.hostelworldgroup.com/about-us.
When this Data Protection Notice mentions "we", "us", "our" or "Hostelworld", we actually mean Hostelworld.com Limited. This is the Irish company that operates the HW Platform that allows you to make bookings for accommodation, tours, tickets, attractions or other travel-related experiences provided by third-party travel service providers and is the controller of your personal data. When we refer to "you" or “your”, we mean any person that accesses or uses the HW Platform. For more information about us, and contact details for our Data Protection Officer, please click here.
Hostelworld.com Limited's registered company number is 337103, and its registered address is Charlemont Exchange, Charlemont St, Dublin, D02 VN88. You can contact us using the details at the end of this notice, or if you have any queries in relation to the processing of your personal data you can also contact our Data Protection Officer by emailing DataProtectionOfficer@hostelworld.com.
What personal data is collected?
In order to process your booking, we will ask you for certain information, such as your name, date of birth, email address, payment information and expiry and booking details. We also collect certain information from the device you use to access the HW Platform, such as your IP address, what browser you use and what type of device you are using. In addition to the information that we collect ourselves, we sometimes receive information about you that is collected on our behalf by third parties, such as when you see a Hostelworld advert displayed on a third-party site. We also collect information about you on behalf of our trusted partners such as experience booking platforms like G Adventures when you book tours on the HW Roamies platform. For more details about the information that we collect, please click here.
Personal data that you give to us
Most of the personal data that we collect about you will be information that you have given to us yourself. This might include:
- Recruitment - If you apply for a job with us, we will review your cv and application form to assess suitability for the job. You may also provide additional information voluntarily which you feel might be useful in considering your application. We may request further information from you or from third parties as the recruitment process progresses.
- Account - If you set up an account with us, we will store details of your username and password, your settings preferences (e.g, language, currency and distance units), your past trips and any ‘wish lists’ that you create.
- Booking Details - When you make an accommodation or tour/experience booking, we will ask you for information that we need to process the booking. This will include your name, date of birth, email address, nationality, passport number and expiry date, gender, mobile number (if you want to receive a free confirmation by SMS message) and your payment details. As part of our social features functionality, if your account settings are public, and you book a stay in a hostel, other users who have also booked a stay in the same hostel for the same night(s) will see your name, picture, age, nationality and countries you have visited. If your account settings are private, this information will not be visible.
- Message Details – When you message or communicate with others through our social features functionality, the information or content you provide will be transmitted through our platform. Automated decisions may be made in relation to the content of messages to ensure inappropriate message content is not transmitted.
- Queries and Complaints - If you contact our Customer Service team with a query or a complaint, we will record details of the query or complaint and how it is dealt with on our systems. We may also seek further details about the query or compliant from an accommodation provider, which we will also record in our systems.
- Reviews - If you leave a review in relation to your stay at a property or your experience on a tour, this will be linked to your Hostelworld account, which means we will treat it as containing your personal data.
- Email Marketing - When we collect your email address, we will record your preferences regarding receipt of marketing and promotional emails from us in relation to our own products and services and those of third parties.
- Competitions - If you enter a competition, we will collect details from you in order to enter you into the competition (e.g, your name, email address and your competition entry).
- Location Data - If you enable location services for our app and perform a search using your current location or view map directions to the hostel from your location, we will record your location. We also use your IP address to determine what country you are in when you make a booking.
- Surveys - If you participate in a survey, we will record your responses to the survey. In some cases, we anonymize your responses, but where we don't do this, we will let you know.
Personal data that we collect automatically
When you use the HW Platform, our various technologies to automatically capture details about the device you are using and how you interact with us. This information includes:
- Device Details - We automatically collect details about the device you are using, including its IP address, its device ID, the browser you are using, and the operating system that the device uses (e.g, iOS or Android).
- How You Interact With Our Site - We record details about how you use our websites and mobile apps, like the date and time that you visit, what pages you visit, how long you stay on the pages, where you have clicked on a page, and details of any crashes or system bugs you might encounter.
- How You Got Here - Where we can, we record how you arrived on our website (e.g, from a search engine, or by clicking on one of our adverts).
Personal information we receive from other sources
Although we mainly collect information directly from you, there are circumstances where we collect information from third party sources. These circumstances include:
- Affiliates - - We operate an affiliate programme under which third parties advertise our website on our behalf. If you click on one of those advertisements, you are directed to our website using a technology that allows us to understand which affiliate referred you. We then track if you make a booking, and if you do, we attribute that booking to the affiliate for the purposes of paying them a commission. However, we don't provide the affiliate with any personal information about you.
- Group Companies - We may receive personal data about you from one of our group companies such as Hostelworld Services Limited in the UK, who handle all our marketing and promotions and Counter App Limited, our property management and payment solutions platform.
- Strategic Partners - We may receive your personal data from partner companies we work closely with and companies we invest in, such as Goki Pty Ltd. in Australia with whom we partner to enable Goki guests to access to HW inventory of hostel accommodation, allowing them to make their next booking after check-out and move seamlessly between the two platforms, whether this is to engage directly with other guests, the hostel or to book ancillary activities.
- Properties - If there are any issues with your stay at a property, the property might contact us with information about the issue.
- Experiences - If there are any issues with an experience, the operator or aggregator platform might contact us with information about the issue.
Why do you use my personal data?
As you probably expect, the main reason we use your personal data is in order to process your accommodation and tour/experience bookings and to deal with any queries or issues that arise in relation to those bookings. We also use your personal data for a number of other reasons, such as tailoring adverts and our marketing emails so they are relevant to you, monitoring your use of the HW Platform to help us make improvements, and to provide the additional services that we make available on our website and apps. For more details about why we use your personal data, click here.
- Bookings - We use your personal data in order to process bookings with properties and tour/experience providers and aggregators, and to let you manage your bookings through the HW Platform. Where we process personal data for this purpose, we will do so either on the basis that we have a contractual obligation to you or a third party to do so, or on the basis of our legitimate interests in providing the booking service.
- Queries and Complaints - When you send us a query in relation to a booking, or if you have a complaint in relation to a property or tour/experience, we will process your personal data to answer your query or in order to help resolve your complaint. Where we process personal data in the context of a query or complaint, we will do so on the basis of our legitimate interest in resolving customer queries and complaints. If you volunteer data in relation to your health, we will process that personal data on the basis that you consent to us using it to resolve your query or complaint only.
- Reviews - When you provide a review for a property or tour/experience, we will publish this on the property's page or the tour/experience’s page on our website, and on our some of our partners' sites. We will display the text of your review, alongside details of your gender, age range, home country and number of previous reviews. If you have not opted to be anonymous, we will also display your username alongside your review. Our processing of your personal data to make reviews available is on the basis of our legitimate interest in making the review system available to our users.
- Providing and Improving our Services - Where we collect data in relation to your use of our services, such as your device details and how you interact with our services, we use this data to deliver our services and personalise your experience (e.g, if you turn on location services on your mobile device, we will use this as part of the search function). We also use the data to test new features that we are thinking about introducing, to analyse how our website is used, and to evaluate and improve our services. If we find a problem on our websites or apps, we will use your data to fix any bugs that we find. We may also process your personal data as part of our development work, where we take a copy of our database and test our code on that before rolling it out to the live version of the database. Where possible, we use this data on an anonymous basis, but sometimes this might not be possible. All of this processing of your personal data is on the basis of our legitimate interests in operating, improving and securing our services. Please also see our separate notice in relation to the testing that we undertake.
- Analysis/Reporting -We use data in relation to bookings to create internal reports using Google Analytics regarding how our business is operating, such as determining how what we spend on advertising affects the number of bookings that are made. We also use this data for other commercial analysis purposes, and to try to predict future trends that may affect our business. This processing is undertaken on an aggregated basis, so you are not identifiable from the reports or analysis that is produced.
- Advertising - We always want to ensure that when you see a Hostelworld advert, it will be relevant to you and your interests, whether the advert appears on a website we operate, in our marketing emails or on a third-party site. We may also use the same information to show you adverts for carefully selected third-party products and services. We do this in a number of ways, either ourselves or through the use of third-party advertisers:
- Making Adverts Relevant To You - When you are using our websites and apps, we use the searches you have made and the properties and tours/experiences that you have looked at in order to tailor our adverts to your interests. For example, if you have been searching for hostels in Paris or tours in Bangkok, we might use this information to display adverts to you on our websites and on third party websites for hostels in Paris or adventure tours in Bangkok that you might be interested in. We may also use this information to tailor the adverts that appear in our email newsletter. We may also use data about your past transactions on the website to tailor our advertising. For example, if we notice you haven't made any bookings for a while, we might send you a credit to your account as an incentive to make a new booking. We process your personal data in connection with tailoring our adverts on the basis of our legitimate interests in ensuring that our advertising is effective.
- Segmentation - When we develop some of our advertising campaigns, we have certain groups of people in mind who we want to see the advert. This might be people in a particular age range, people who have made a booking recently, or people from a particular geographic location or who speak a particular language. We use the data that we hold to create groups of people that we then display an advert to or ask our third-party advertising partners to display an advert to. We process your personal data in connection with creating these groups of people on the basis of our legitimate interests in ensuring that our advertising, or the advertising of third parties, is effective.
- Audience Matching -Some of our advertising partners, like Facebook and Twitter, provide a feature that helps us to identify if we have customers or users in common. Rather than sharing personal data with our advertising partners to find out if we have customers or users in common, we actually share what is known as a "hash" of the data that we hold (such as an email address). A hash is created by a computer programme that converts data into a string of numbers and letters, but only operates in one direction. This means that you can't use a hash to find out the underlying information, but if you run the hash on the same data you always get the same results. Our advertising partners compare their hashes with the hashes we send them, and if there is a match you are added to our custom audience. The hashes are then deleted by the advertising partner. We use audience matching to enable us to show you more relevant adverts, or to ensure that we don't show you an advert that isn't relevant to you. We process your personal data in connection with audience matching on the basis of our legitimate interests in ensuring that our advertising, or the advertising of third parties, is effective.
- Emails and App Notifications - Where we have collected your email address in the context of providing you with a service and you have not opted out of receiving email marketing, we may send you emails that we think will be useful to you. This may include our regular e-newsletter, special offers, travel tips, customer surveys and information about products and services offered by us. If you have given your consent, we will send you offers from selected third parties. These emails may include advertising that has been tailored using other information that we hold about you, as set out above in the 'Advertising' section. Where your settings on your device permit us to send app notifications, we may also send you app notifications containing similar information. You may opt out of receiving email messages at any time by clicking on the link provided in the email messages, and app notifications can be disabled by changing the notification settings in your app. Although when we send you an email or app notification this may in certain circumstances be on the basis of your consent, for all other purposes our processing of your personal data in connection with those emails or app notifications is on the basis of our legitimate interests in ensuring that our advertising is effective.
- Affiliate Programme - We operate an affiliate programme under which third parties advertise our website on our behalf. If you click on one of those advertisements you are directed to our website using a technology that allows us to understand which affiliate referred you. We then track if you make a booking, and if you do, we attribute that booking to the affiliate for the purposes of paying them a commission. However, we don't provide the affiliate with any personal information in relation to you. We process your personal data in connection with our affiliate programme on the basis of our legitimate interest in operating an effective commission based affiliate advertising programme.
- Competitions - We often run competitions on our website and on our social media channels. When we operate a competition, we may take the opportunity to also ask you some market research questions, so that we can better understand our business and your needs. We will therefore process your personal data to operate the competition, and for market research purposes. We process your personal data in connection with operating competitions on the basis of our legitimate interest in operating the competition and conducting market research. Please note that competitions may be subject to their own data protection notices and separate terms and conditions.
- Surveys - We sometimes undertake market research surveys to better understand our customers and prospective customers. These can be general surveys to understand the market, or they might be more specific to you. For example, we may want to understand if you are generally positive about Hostelworld or if you have concerns. We may then send you tailored communications on the basis of the survey responses. Where this is the case. we will let you know at the time that you complete the survey. We process your personal data in connection with our surveys on the basis of our legitimate interest in conducting market research and promoting our brands. Please note that surveys may be subject to their own data protection notices and separate terms and conditions.
- Webinars - We regularly run webinars on our website on topics we understand to be important to You and to promote new features and technologies we are developing and rolling out. We will therefore process your personal data to run the webinar and for follow-up market research purposes – We may contact You after the webinar to get Your feedback on the content, guest speakers and overall experience. We may also ask you if you consent to being contacted by guest speakers to discuss the topic of the webinar. We process your personal data in connection with running webinars on the basis of our legitimate interest in running webinars and conducting follow-up market research. Please note that webinars may be subject to the data protection notices and separate terms and conditions of the webinar software platform.
- Monitoring/Analytics - We use a variety of tools to give us insights into how our sites and apps are used to enable us to better tailor the customer experience, respond to market trends and resolve technical impediments those using the sites and apps may encounter.
- We use Hotjar, which facilitates the visual representation of clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour to better understand how users interact with our sites to better inform our UI/UX decision making abilities. The privacy details on Hotjar can be found here.
- We use Snowflake, a cloud-native data warehouse that supports our data analysis. The privacy details of Snowflake can be found here.
- We use Tableau which has analytical tools to aid in visualising and understanding our raw data. The privacy details of Snowflake can be found here.
- We also use a number of tools, including Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics, to better understand how our sites and apps are being used and enable us to build the right solution for you. This means we can find out what works and what doesn't, optimise and improve our websites or apps, understand the effectiveness of advertisements and communications, and ensure we continue to be interesting and relevant. The data we gather can include which web pages you have viewed, which referring/exit pages you have entered and left from, which platform type you have used, which emails you have opened and acted upon, and date and time stamp information. It also means we can use details about how you’ve interacted with the site, such as the number of clicks you make on a given page, your mouse movements and scrolling activity, the search words you use and the text you enter into various fields. We send Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics website interaction data. To control the collection of data for analytical purposes through Google Analytics from certain browser types, you may want to visit the following link Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on (only for desktop).
Information you are required to provide
You are not obliged to provide us with any of your personal data. However, if you want to make a booking, you will need to provide us with the information that is indicated as required on our checkout page. If you don't provide us with this information, we won't be able to process your booking. Similarly, you may be required to provide certain information if you want to enter a competition, participate in a survey, book a tour/experience with a travel service provider or if you contact our Customer Services team with a query or complaint. We will inform you where such information is required.
Who do we share your personal data with?
Properties and Experiences - In order to process your booking, we have to send your details to the property or experience provider/aggregator that you have booked. This includes making your credit or debit card details (not including the CVV code, which we do not store) available to the property or experience provider/ aggregator so they can take payments where this is required (e.g., the charges that are applicable if you fail to show up at a property or tour/experience and have not cancelled your booking in accordance with the travel service provider’s cancellation policy). If you purchase an ancillary service, we may need to share personal data with the third-party service provider so that they can provide you with that service..
Advertising - As part of our online advertising programmes, we may also share your personal data with third parties, who will combine it with data that they hold about you to tailor adverts that appear on third-party websites (which may be our own adverts, or adverts we serve on behalf of third parties). Where this data is shared, you are not directly identifiable from the information itself, as we use technologies that use non-personally identifiable codes and tags.
Support Services - We also use a number of service providers to assist us in providing our services, some of whom will have access to your data (e.g., we use various software service providers like Google Cloud who host our data in the cloud as part of their services). Where we engage a third party to process your data on our behalf, we take reasonable steps to sure that they respect your privacy rights and that they process your personal data in accordance with applicable data protection law.
Emergencies and Law Enforcement - Although we hope it never happens, on very rare occasions our customers can get into difficulties whilst travelling. Where we think that there is a risk to your health or wellbeing, we may share your personal data with third parties to get you help (e.g., we might be asked to assist with locating a missing person). We may also receive requests from law enforcement agencies for personal data that we hold. In such circumstances we will only share your personal data with such law enforcement agencies in compliance with applicable data protection law.
- Properties - We share the following details of your booking with properties: your name, gender, nationality, email address, booking details and debit/credit card details (excluding the CVV code, which we do not store). We also share details of any reviews that you provide in relation to the property, so that they can address any complaints or make sure that they keep up the good work. If you contact us with a query or complaint in relation to a property, we may also share details of the query or complaint with the property so that we can resolve it.
- Tour/Experience Providers and Aggregators – We share details of your tour/experience booking with tour/experience operators and/or aggregators like Viator including, but not limited to: your name, date of birth, height, passport number and expiry, nationality, email address and booking details. Tour/experience aggregators will also further share your information with tour/experience operators in accordance with own privacy policies. We also share details of any reviews that you provide in relation to the tour/experience, so that they can address any complaints or make sure that they keep up the good work. If you contact us with a query or complaint in relation to a tour/experience, we may also share details of the query or complaint with the tour/experience provider or aggregate so that we can help resolve it.
- Group Companies - There are a number of companies in our Group that help us to provide our services. This includes:
- a subsidiary in the UK (Hostelworld Services Limited) that provides help with our marketing initiatives";
- a subsidiary in Portugal (Hostelworld Services Portugal Lda.) that provides product development services;
- a subsidiary in China (Hostelworld Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) that helps to service our customers in Asia; and
- a branch office of Hostelworld Services Limited in Australia that help us service that market.
These subsidiaries and offices may have access to your personal data in providing us with intra-group services, but they only process it in accordance with our instructions under our intra-group data processing procedures and subject to appropriate safeguards and measures.
- Hosting Providers - As you can imagine, operating the world's largest online hostel booking platform requires a lot of work behind the scenes. We use a large number of specialist service providers to assist us in operating our business and to provide us with specialist services. Not all of these service providers will have access to your personal data, but where they do, we make sure that they are carefully selected by us to ensure that they respect your privacy rights. The categories of service providers that we currently engage include the following:
- Hosting Providers - We use secure cloud storage services/facilities such as Google’s cloud platform, Google Cloud, to help us store and manage your data. This means that the data is hosted remotely by the third party, and accessed by us in Hostelworld, rather than sitting on our systems. We have comprehensive contracts with these cloud companies to make sure they only use your personal information for the agreed services and meet legal requirements;"
- Payment Processors - We use third-party payment processors in order to assist us with taking payments on our website and app such as Stripe and Worldpay.
- Customer Relationship Management -We use third-party provider, Zendesk, to host our customer relationship management system, which our Customer Services team uses to record all contacts that you have with us and how we have resolved your queries and complaints.
- Technology Providers - This includes service providers who provide services that help us to secure our network, systems and emails. It also includes providers of services that enable us to undertake particular tasks, such as surveys or market research, or to implement our advertising programme.
- Consultants - We sometimes engage expert consultants to help us implement new technologies or services, or to provide us with insights into how we run our business and how we might improve it. This sometimes requires us to provide access to our systems to those third parties, which means that they may have access to where your personal data is stored. We always make sure that any such access is limited to what is strictly necessary, and subject to appropriate security procedures.
- Auditors - We have an internal and external audit function that is provided by third parties. The auditors help us to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations, including in relation to our processing of personal data. In certain circumstances this may mean that they have access to our systems that process personal data, or that they might need to review how we have processed certain personal data.
- Recruitment Partner - We may share your personal information with our third-party recruitment partner to assist with the hiring process, and the third-party recruiter may contact you directly to discuss your application. Our recruitment partner is bound to Data Protection legislation by contract. We ensure that your personal information is only used for the application process and ensure this information is deleted in line with our business requirements retention policy on completion of the recruitment process.
- Third-Party Advertisers - When we purchase advertising on third-party websites, we may share information with them about your use of our services, which they then combine with the information that they hold about you in order to implement the particular advertising campaign. The data that is shared with third-party advertisers relates to how you use our websites and apps, such as the pages you have visited, the searches you have made, and whether you have made a booking. We use specialist service providers to help us purchase advertising, and to transfer the information about your use of our services to third party advertisers that is required for those third party advertisers to be able to show you the correct advert.
- Ancillary Services - We sometimes work with partners to make services available to you that we think will be useful, such as travel insurance. If you avail of one of these services, we may need to provide your details to that third party in order to allow them to provide the service. We may also share non-personally identifiable information with the third party to enable them to track that we referred you to them.
We use social media platforms in a variety of different ways, including to enable the use of online reservation services, to promote our properties, experience providers and aggregators’ travel-related products and services and to advertise, improve and facilitate our own services. For further details of how your personal data will be exchanged with social media platforms, please click here.
You are always free not to use any of the social media platform features that we make available to you. When you use our social media features, this will involve the sharing of your personal data with that social media platform (such as Facebook or Instagram) as follows:
- Hostelworld account login using you your social media account: So that you don’t have to remember multitude of different usernames and passwords that we all have for different online services, you can sign into you Hostelworld user account using one of your social media accounts. Once you sign in, you will always be able to login into your Hostelworld user account using that social media account. At any time, you can de-link your Hostelworld user account from the chosen social media account so that it will no longer “remember” your login details.
- Social media plugins: We have integrated several social media plugins (such as Facebook’s “Like” button) across our website and apps. What this means for you is that when you click on one of these buttons/ plugins, certain personal data about you will be shared with the relevant social media platform. If you are logged into your social media account for that platform at the same time, the social media platform may relate this personal data to your social media account and, depending on how you have adjusted your settings, might also display the fact that you have engaged with Hostelworld using your social media account on your social media profile. This will be able to be seen by others in your network.
- Other social media services and features: We may integrate other social media services (like social media messaging) into our website and/or apps to enable you to interact with us or with your contacts about our services. We also maintain our own social media accounts and offer our apps for download on several social media website platforms. Whenever you connect with us through social media, that social media service platform may allow you to share your information with us, such as your email address, age or profile pictures. If you choose to do so, the social media platform will tell you what information will be shared.
Any personal information you chose to share will be used by us to provide you with the service you requested, tailor our services to suit your needs, connect you and your friends with the best travel destinations and analyse and improve our travel-related services. The relevant social media platform will be able to tell you, via their own privacy/ data protection, more about how they use and process your personal data when you connect to Hostelworld through them. This often includes combining the personal data they collect when you use Hostelworld services through them with information they collect when you use other online platforms you have also linked to your social media account.
Transfers of Personal Data
There are certain circumstances where we will need to transfer your personal data outside of the European Union (“EU”) / European Economic Area (“EEA”) to countries which have been recognised by the European Commission as providing an equivalent level of protection for personal data as is provided for in the EU/EEA (such as the UK (until June 2021), Canada, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand and Argentina) and to countries that have not (the USA, China and Australia). The most common of these in both cases is where we transfer personal data to an accommodation provider or experience operator or aggregator that they can fulfil your booking. We may also transfer your personal data outside of the EU/EEA in connection with the operation of our business, such as when we use a service provider that is based in another jurisdiction. If we transfer your personal data outside of the EU/EEA, please rest assured that we will ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect your personal data and to comply with our obligations under applicable data protection law. Please click here for more details.
When we transfer your personal data outside of the EU/EEA, if required under applicable data protection law we will, prior to sharing your personal data, establish the necessary means to ensure an adequate level of data protection. This may be an adequacy decision of the European Commission confirming an adequate level of data protection in the respective non-EU/EEA country or a contractual agreement on the basis of the EU Standard Model Contractual Clauses (a set of non-negotiable contract clauses approved and issued by the European Commission). We will provide further information on the means to ensure an adequate level of data protection on request. If you would like further details about the measures we have taken in relation to the transfer of your personal data, or copies of the agreements that we have put in place in relation to the transfers, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this Notice.
Retention of personal data
We retain your personal data in accordance with our record retention policy. The record retention policy operates on the principle that we keep personal data for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which we collected it, and in accordance with any requirements that are imposed on us by law. This means that the retention period for your personal data will vary depending on the type of personal data. For further information about the criteria that we apply to determine retention periods, please click here.
- Transaction Data -If you are an active user of the HW Platform (i.e., you have made a booking in the last 30 months) we want to ensure that you have access to data in relation to your previous bookings, and that we have access to this data for our own business purposes. We therefore won't delete your transaction data whilst you remain an active customer, unless you ask us to do so. If you cease to be an active customer, we will retain your personal data for a period of 5 years, in case you return to our website and want to continue using your account, and also so that we can continue to use transaction data to improve our services and undertake business analysis. After this 5 year period, we anonymise the data, so that it is no longer possible for us to identify you. However, our anonymisation process does let us re-identify you if you return to our site and use the same email address to make a booking. Please also note that if you are subscribed to our marketing database, we will retain certain details even after the 5 year period expires, as set out below.
- Email Marketing - We will keep a copy of personal data that is required to send you marketing messages for as long as you are subscribed to receive those marketing messages. We will also retain certain information in relation to your transactions to allow us to customise our marketing messages. If you are subscribed to receive marketing messages and your transaction data is anonymised in our main database, we will continue to retain certain details in relation to your transactions, such as where you have booked properties before, what types of property you have booked, whether you have used our apps or our websites, your average length of stay, and what countries you have made bookings for and in..
For personal data that is not transaction data or related to email marketing, we will apply the following criteria:
- Managing legal claims – When we assess how long we keep personal data, we take into account whether that data may be required to defend any legal claims which may be made. If such data is required, we may keep it until the statute of limitations runs out in relation to the type of claim that can be made (which varies from 2 to 12 years).
- Business requirements – As we only collect personal data for defined purposes, we assess how long we need to keep personal data for to meet our reasonable business purposes.
Important Information about Consent
When we process your personal data on the basis of your consent, you are free to withdraw that consent at any time. You can withdraw your consent by contacting us using the contact details at the bottom of this notice. If your consent relates to receiving email marketing, you can use the unsubscribe link in the email, or if it relates to app notifications, you can turn off app notifications using your device settings. The withdrawal of your consent does not affect the lawfulness of any processing activities based on such consent before its withdrawal. Please note that if you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to continue to provide the related service to you.
Your rights under data protection law
You have various rights under data protection law in connection with our processing of your personal data. For example, you have the right to request a copy of your personal data that we hold and to request that we correct any errors in the personal data that we hold. These rights are subject to certain exceptions and exemptions. For more details about your rights, click here.
You have the following rights under data protection law:
- Right to access your personal data - You have the right to request a copy of the personal data that we hold about you, together with other information about our processing of that personal data.
- Right to rectification – You have the right to request that any inaccurate data that is held about you is corrected, or if we have incomplete information you may request that we update the information so that it is complete.
- Right to erasure – You have the right to request us to delete personal data that we hold about you. This is sometimes referred to as the right to be forgotten.
- Right to restriction of processing or to object to processing – You have the right to request that we no longer process your personal data for particular purposes, or to object to our processing of your personal data for particular purposes.
- Right to data portability – You have the right to request us to provide you, or a third party, with a copy of your personal data in a structured, commonly used machine readable format.
Third Party Privacy Policies
Some of our third party advertising and other partners ask us to make you aware of their privacy policies. These policies are available by following the links below:
To learn more generally about cookies and how to manage or delete them, simply visit allaboutcookies.org allaboutcookies.org and the help section of your browser. In the settings for browsers such as Edge, Safari, Firefox or Chrome, you can set which cookies to accept and which to reject. Where you find these settings depends on which browser you use. Use the "Help" function in your browser to locate the settings you need.
If you choose not to accept certain technical and/or functional cookies, you may not be able to use some functions on of the HW Platform. We currently do not support “Do Not Track” browser settings. In case a common standard has been developed which defines what exactly is meant by “Do Not Track” browser signals, we will review this Cookie statement again.
Advertising- When it comes to online advertising and marketing companies, we strive to work with companies that are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”) and/or the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Members of NAI and IAB adhere to industry standards and codes of conduct. NAI and IAB members allow you to opt out of behavioural advertising. Visit www.networkadvertising.org to identify the NAI members that may have placed an advertising cookie file on your computer.
To opt out of an NAI member's behavioural advertising program, simply check the box that corresponds to the company from which you wish to opt out. You may also want to visit www.youronlinechoices.com to learn how to opt out of customised advertisement. Your mobile device may allow you to limit the sharing of information for retargeting purposes through its settings. Please be aware that opting out of an online advertising network does not mean that you will no longer receive or be subject to online advertising or marketing analysis. It means that the network from which you opted out will no longer deliver ads tailored to your web preferences and browsing patterns.
Analytics- To control the collection of data for analytical purposes through Google Analytics from certain browser types, you may want to visit the following link: Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on (only for desktop).
Questions and Complaints
If you have any queries or complaints in connection with our processing of your personal data or this Data Protection Notice, you can get in touch with us using the following contact details:
Post: Hostelworld.com Limited, Charlemont Exchange, Charlemont St, Dublin, D02 VN88, Ireland
You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”), our lead data protection supervisory authority in Europe, or your local data protection supervisory authority, if you are unhappy with our processing of your personal data. Details of how to lodge a complaint with the DPC can be found on the DPC’s website, or you can call the DPC directly on +353 1 890 252 231.
Digital Service Act
In compliance with Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 on a Single Market for Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (the “DSA”), which under Article 24(2) requires the publication of information on the average monthly active recipients of services in the European Union as defined in Article 3(i), calculated as an average over the period of the past six months, the average monthly active recipients of Hostelworld services is 1,674,715 for the period 1 February 2023 to 31 July 2023.
For the purposes of this calculation, active recipients have been calculated on the basis of all users landing on the Hostelworld platform with search IP addresses in EU/EEA countries where possible to establish, and includes our hostel partners who offer listings on the Hostelworld platform.
Hostelworld will continue to publish updated information on the average monthly active recipients of services in accordance with Article 24(2) of the DSA.