Whose Data Is It, Anyway?

Data privacy is a hot topic.  A Google search on “data privacy” yields 81,300,000 results.

By contrast, I googled “Tom Abts” and got 1,360 hits.

I figure that any topic that is 60,000 times more popular than one of our best-known local golf celebrities must be pretty darned important.  (By the way, Tom, 1,360 is pretty good… I’ve got a paltry 290 myself… but some of your local peers do have you beat… check a few out).

Privacy laws that protect consumer rights relative to their personally identifiable data are proliferating… Europe led the way and several States in the US are following suit.

I’m not an expert on this topic… I just know it’s important and that every one of us who owns or operates a business needs to pay attention to it.

Although, in some respects you could say we’re all experts on this topic… because we’re all consumers who are being bombarded by messages from people who don’t seem to respect our privacy at all.  Probably 30% of all the phone calls I receive on my home landline and increasingly on my cell phone are spam calls from people who somehow think I have nothing better to do with my time than to listen to their shyster pitches.  Even when the calls are from legitimate businesses or charities this invasion of privacy is annoying.  When the recorded pitch starts with “Don’t hang up”… that’s our queue to hang up immediately.  And my email spam folder is full of sleazy crap that could make a Marine blush… all brought to me by businesses with the moral scruples of a two-bit grifter.

At Apparation, we just updated our GroupLooper® Terms of Service and Privacy Policies… we’re taking a pretty hard-line approach on privacy.  We want anyone who uses our flagship product to know that we are not going to contribute to their spam pile by sharing their information with people or companies they aren’t interested in doing business with.  This is a delicate dance, because GroupLooper® is basically a social network that is intended to help people interact with other golfers and with golf course operators.  So, if a user gets involved in a tee time at least some of their information must be shared with playing partners and with the golf course where they are playing; but we put up walls so the data doesn’t leak beyond the circle of trust.

What is your organization doing about data privacy?  Do you have a well-defined policy or are you winging it?  Have you crafted a policy that is tailored to your business or have you just adopted some boilerplate legalese?  We recommend that, if you haven’t done so already, you should spend some serious brain cycles on this topic and develop a policy that will give customers confidence that you have their back.

In case you’re interested, here is the updated GroupLooper® main policy page… you can view the detail at https://www.grouplooper.com/policies.

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Our Policies
Grouplooper.com is an unusual website.

It is FREE for the public to use but the owner Apparation LLC does NOT attempt to exploit or monetize your personal data.
Apparation LLC will NOT send you any emails, text messages or any other forms of communication other than those that occur as a natural result of your using site features or that you have explicitly signed up to receive and can opt out of at any time. For example, if you are invited to play in a tee time, you’ll receive a tee time invitation email.

Apparation LLC will NOT sell or distribute your personally identifiable information to any 3rd parties.

Grouplooper.com does include a small number of locations where ads are posted but the site does not contain any pop-up ads or other intrusive forms of advertising that make you wait to use system features.

GroupLooper® allows you to dial up or dial down privacy features by managing your profile settings, putting you in control of who can communicate with you via the site.

Why does Apparation provide this FREE service without monetizing the use of the data collected on the site?

We believe golf is the greatest game ever invented and we want to help more people enjoy the game. We created GroupLooper® with a goal of making golf more fun, more convenient and more affordable… so people play more often. We do have a selfish motivation. If people play more golf, our customers (primarily golf course operators and operators of golf membership programs who pay for extensions of GroupLooper® or other custom golf-related apps) will be more successful and will be more likely to purchase Apparation products and services.

We hope you enjoy using GroupLooper® and that it helps you play MORE GOLF.

If you enjoy your GroupLooper® experience and want to contribute to the cause, you can do so in three ways:

Invite your friends that golf to register and use GroupLooper®. The tool becomes more valuable as more people use it.

Send us feedback and ideas for enhancements. We are always looking for ways to make the site more useful. Contact us at [email protected].

Make a contribution to the GroupLooper® Enhancement Fund.  We’ll be starting this up in 2020 and any funds donated will be spent to pay for the resources required to make enhancements requested by GroupLooper® users.  We’ll continue to enhance the service even if no one contributes, but we’ll be able to go farther faster with some help.  Stay tuned for more information on how to contribute.

And now, if you want to read the boring part of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, use the links below… we recommend that you read them but the most important part of your GroupLooper® experience is to PLAY MORE GOLF.


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