Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger | Giveaways Part 2 – Privacy



Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger is a discussion feature that is aimed and dedicated to bloggers. In which we discuss and debate topics from around the blogging community and inspire others.

For a full list of topics, visit the archive. If you have a topic for discussion let me know!



This is the second post in a series about giveaways. In my first post about the legal side, I had mentioned that there was a situation that really upset me and sparked this WHOLE thing from the get go. But before I get into all that, I want to give you a small background.

I work as a compliance officer/licensing specialist. I swim in laws, rules and regulations on the daily, and one of the important aspects of my job is to enforce and comply with Privacy Laws.

Have you heard of PII? PII, or personally identifiable information, is ANY of your information that can identify you as a person. Your name alone, is not. But your name in conjunction with your address, social security number, date of birth, drivers license number etc. IS. 

There is non-sensitive information and sensitive information. Generally speaking, your name/address is non-sensitive information and can be sent to others via normal means. Meaning, non encryption. Sensitive information, such as SSN, has to have an encryption and there are more laws and safeguards to protect individuals with respect to their information.

The winner of your giveaway is sharing their PII with you, typically their address, which is non-sensitive, so you are able to mail their prize(s) to them, correct? As a host, and someone who collects said information, you must have a privacy policy, or at least disclose that you do not share and sell their information. Not only to protect yourself, but to project all who share their information with you.


You host a giveaway that is sponsored by a publisher/author. When you contacted your winner, did you tell them? Not only should you have disclosed SOMEWHERE on your giveaway that it was sponsored/endorsed by a third-party, but now you have to ASK PERMISSION from your winner to share their information with the sponsor.

This was my situation.

I was not informed that my information was forwarded on to a third-party. Granted, it was non-sensitive information and I share my FULL NAME and address with giveaway hosts all the time. But that person had NO RIGHT (um, it’s also illegal) to share my information without notifying me first.

I was irate.

Let’s summarize: not only did this person not disclose that their giveaway was sponsored by a third-party, they failed to disclose that my information wouldn’t be shared and/or sold…. they gave it to someone else, UNAUTHORIZED.


As bloggers, we should have a PRIVACY POLICY anyway – because we collect emails from our followers. Some blogs collect cookies, IPs etc. We also disclose Affiliate links (per FTC guidelines) and we also disclose when we receive something for review (per FTC guidelines) so why aren’t we following protocol (and law) when it comes to privacy?

Granted – I myself just recently created a full PRIVACY POLICY. But. I have always had statements/disclosure on my blog about sharing my readers’ information. Even still, I ask for permission when hosting a giveaway sponsored by a third-party.

My advice? (which I am taking).

  • Create one. 
  • Don’t share your email, full name, address or other PII information without reading a statement or disclosure and agreeing to its terms and conditions.
Let’s Talk
  • Do you have a privacy policy?
  • Was any of this information helpful?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where your information was shared without your authorization?



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20 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger | Giveaways Part 2 – Privacy

  1. Jen @ YA Romantics

    This is such an interesting topic. I have always had a privacy policy, though I don’t really check to see if a blogger has one before I enter things…
    So… about the fact that you feel your privacy was invaded (and I agree!) I want to ask you a question. The only third-party sponsored giveaways I have are those sponsored by publishers. I always disclose both in the giveaway post and on the Rafflecopter that the books will be mailed not by me but by the publisher, and when I email the winner, I say something like: “if you could please email back with a mailing address, I will forward that to the publisher. If your prize doesn’t arrive, please let me know and I will follow up.”

    Is that “consent” enough, or should I ask the winner to agree in writing??
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Freebie Friday — INT this week 🙂My Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I never really had a privacy policy before, simply because my knowledge on what information my blog stored, ya know? I check other bloggers sometimes, because there have been several times when I have either been signed up for a newsletter, or my email was shared with another blog tour “company.” So I not only updated my REVIEW policy about it, I will not sign up for anything unless I see somewhere that it isn’t shared. Rafflecopter is a little different, because you “login”

      About your question. Technically, by stating that you are forwarding to the publisher is a disclosure, so it should cover you. Personally, I word it like, “[…] I will forward on to the publisher, if you don’t want your information forwarded, please let me know” something along the line of them actually GIVING consent. Make sense? (email me, I am good at writing these) lol

  2. Kristelle @ Amiabooklover

    Oh, I haven’t experienced this before. It is always either the host put it in her post or in her email when I win her giveaway. Always like that.
    Also, I haven’t run a sponsored giveaway yet. But! It is always proper to put if it’s sponsored or not, right? and where will the prize be coming from. I don’t understand why there are some who do this.
    Kristelle @ Amiabooklover recently posted…[Manga Review] Koe no Katachi by Yoshitoki OoimaMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      Well that’s good that it hasn’t happened to you! This situation was the tip of the ice berg, because my info has been sent to other people before.

      Yes, also disclose that the giveaway is sponsored by a third party and you are not responsible for lost/stolen items. HOWEVER. If the third party does not fulfill the prize, it is your responsibility to.

        1. tonyalee

          I did another post about the legal side – if you have questions there is info there or you can email me at any time!

  3. Tressa @ Wishful Endings

    This has always been a nonissue for me, but that’s because I’ve always had a policy stating that information taken for giveaways are for that purpose only and will not be shared, except to a publisher for that purpose. I also always state if a giveaway is sponsored by an author or a publisher and that in those cases their info will be sent on as well. I’ve always felt I’ve been covered and it’s so automatic that I don’t really even think about it. For new bloggers or others that haven’t thought about it, this is a fabulous post. Definitely everyone should have a policy and make sure they’re disclosing as they should.
    Tressa @ Wishful Endings recently posted…Weekly Update #124My Profile

  4. Lola

    I don’t have a privacy policy on my blog, but after your post last week about the legal side of giveaways I did make a giveawya and privacy policy on Lola’s Blog Tours as I make rafflecopters for the books I tour. And now all my giveaways link to my policy page. Your post was a lot of help and I think I have everything written down clearly now. I can’t remember the last time I did a giveaway on Lola’s Reviews, although it would still be a good idea to make a privacy and giveawya policy there as well. Will probably do thta later this week. As you mentioned people do comment on my blog and leave their name and e-mail address. Great post and thanks for all the helpfull information!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #135My Profile

  5. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    Hey Tonya,

    Great post! I have a privacy policy and disclosures up the wazoo but this two part post series of yours has me thinking it is time to re-visit and possibly beef them up in regards to my giveaways. You are absolutely right, and your legal side post was spot on as well.

    I am doing a blogging series this week talking about time management and tools needed for running a blog, and I would love to share your two lets talk posts (with your permission, of course 😉 ) Would you mind if I linked to them and credited you?

    Michelle @ Book Briefs
    Michelle @ Book Briefs recently posted…{Weekly Wrap Up} Week of July 12-19thMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think updating them is a good idea. I even went back and updated my giveaway policy and even review policy. 🙂

      And yes of course you can!

  6. Michelle @ Much Loved Books

    Interesting post and one I hope I covered.

    I have a policy for giveaways and also add that any information that sent for me to send prize off will not be stored. When it’s from a publisher or author I always email them asking for thier address/email and explain that I will be passing it onto the publisher/author who will be sending thier prize on.
    Michelle @ Much Loved Books recently posted…The Sunday Post (28)My Profile

  7. Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies

    I do not currently have a privacy policy, but I will make one now after reading this post. This was very insightful. I am actually holding a giveaway right now and in the terms and conditions I promised their information will be used by only me to get the item(s) to them and I am glad I did and I intend to stick to it. I would be so upset if my info was shared with others without my knowledge. This is why I am hesitant to join giveaways hosted by bloggers I am not familiar with.
    Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #4My Profile

  8. Let's Talk: Blogger to Blogger // The Skinny on FTC Disclosures

    […] year, I talked about giveaways, and the legality of them and how often times they are illegal. And then we talked about privacy, and how obtaining PII puts you in a situation in remaining compliant with Privacy Laws when it […]

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