Our commitment to you
As a Vanguard investor or prospective investor, you may entrust to our care not only your money but your personal and financial information as well. We recognize that your relationship with us is based on trust, and that you expect us to act responsibly and in your best interests. When we share client or prospective client information—whether it is your personal information or the fact that you are or may become a Vanguard client—we do so under the circumstances described in this policy.
We use your information primarily to respond to your inquiries or requests; to maintain and protect your accounts; to process transactions that you submit; to fulfill our legal obligations; for research and analytical purposes; and to develop and provide the financial products and services that we offer or sponsor.
The personal information we collect about you
You provide personal information when you complete a Vanguard account application. (If you enter information in an online account application, we may store the information even if you don't complete or submit the application.) You also provide personal information when you request information or materials from us or otherwise interact with Vanguard, as well as when you transact in your accounts.
In addition to personal information you provide to us, we may receive information about you that you authorize other parties to provide to us. We also may obtain personal information from third-party service suppliers not affiliated with Vanguard (service suppliers) in order to verify your identity, to prevent fraud, or to help us identify products and services that may be of interest to you. Personal information collected from any source may include, among other things, your name and address, Social Security or taxpayer identification number, date of birth, assets, income, account balances, investment activity, and accounts at other institutions. The information we collect about you may be transferred to or stored by Vanguard or our service suppliers in the United States or elsewhere, as permitted by law.
We may combine the information collected on our website or through our mobile application with information collected from or about you in other contexts. This may include information collected online, such as through our email exchanges with you, or from offline sources, such as when you establish your account with us or call customer service. We will treat such combined information in accordance with this policy. If you do not wish to provide information to Vanguard, we may be unable to provide certain products or services to you.
How we handle your personal information
Unless you direct us to share your information with a specific third party, we do not share personally identifying information about our investors or prospective investors with unaffiliated third parties for use in marketing their own products and services. We may share your personal information when needed to complete transactions at your request or to make you aware of financial products and services that we offer. Here are the details:
- In order to complete certain transactions or account changes that you direct, it may be necessary to provide identifying information about you to companies, individuals, or groups that are not affiliated with Vanguard. For example, if you ask to transfer assets from another financial institution to Vanguard, we will need to provide certain information about you to that institution to complete the transaction.
- In order to alert you to other financial products and services that Vanguard offers or sponsors, we may share your information within the Vanguard family of affiliated companies, to the extent permitted by law. This would include, for example, sharing your information within Vanguard to make you aware of new Vanguard funds or other investment offerings, advice services, brokerage services, or asset management and trust services.
- In certain instances, we contract with service suppliers to perform services for us. Where necessary, we will disclose personally identifying information we have about you to these service suppliers. In all such cases, we provide the service supplier with information about you only as necessary to carry out its responsibilities as provided in its agreement with us, and only for that purpose. And we require these service suppliers to treat your information with the same high degree of confidentiality that we do.
- Finally, we will release information about you if you direct or authorize us to do so, if we are compelled by law or legal process to do so, or in other legally limited circumstances (for example, to prevent fraud).
Website analytics and interest-based advertising
We may use service suppliers technologies that enable us to establish connections among related devices (such as smartphones, tablets, and computers). This means that information about your interactions with our online services and online advertising through different devices may be combined. By making these connections, we may be able to better understand the relevance of our content and the impact of our advertising and to customize that content and advertising for you.
Vanguard complies with the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising managed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). As part of this service, Vanguard's targeted advertisements on other websites are delivered with icons that help consumers understand how their information is being used and provide choices for consumers who want more control. For information about Interest-Based Advertising and how to opt out, please visit the DAA consumer choice page, available here and for mobile applications, here. Opting out of Interest-Based Advertising means that you will no longer receive ads targeted to you by the companies listed on the consumer choice page, but you may still receive targeted ads from other companies or based on the particular website or page that you are viewing. Also, if your browser is set to reject cookies when you visit the YourAdChoices opt-out page, or if you subsequently clear your browser cookies, your opt-out may not be or remain effective.
Although our website currently does not respond to “do not track” browser headers, you can limit tracking by taking the opt-out steps discussed above.
How we safeguard your personal information
Within Vanguard, we restrict access to information about you to those Vanguard employees who need to know the information in order to perform their jobs, such as servicing your accounts, providing you with information you request, or notifying you of new products and services. To protect your personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in keeping with industry standards and practices, and we review and adjust these safeguards regularly in response to advances in technology. You can visit our Security Center to read more details about our online security and privacy features.
What you can do
For your protection, you should not provide your account information, username, or password to anyone. If you become aware of any suspicious activity relating to your account, it is your responsibility to contact us immediately.
Vanguard offers a variety of options for accessing and reviewing your account information. You can review your information on your statements and other account documents, as well as through our automated phone services and website. You may also write or call us with your request for information. Specific website addresses, mailing addresses, and phone numbers are listed on your account statements and other Vanguard correspondence.
We will keep you informed
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