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Article 10 min read

Updates to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

By John Geschke

Last updated November 1, 2016

At Zendesk, we’re committed to assisting our customers with building better relationships with their customers. We have recently announced our new identity and our multi-service platform to make it as easy as possible to discover and deploy Zendesk’s family of products. In an effort to continually improve our experience with you, our customer, we have implemented some updates to our terms and policies. These include the adoption of a new Master Subscription Agreement (or MSA) to serve as a consolidated set of terms and conditions for our products and replacement for the various Terms of Service which previously applied to them. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy and adopted a new Terms of Use that governs the use of and access to our websites (as distinct from our services).

Effective November 1, 2016, for new customers and December 1, 2016, for existing customers we’ll be implementing updates to many of the terms and policies that affect you. For our channel customers, such as those customers that purchased a subscription to our products through a reseller, we have made similar changes to our Reseller Customer Terms of Service that will also be effective December 1, 2016.

You may also notice some exciting changes to our legal webpage which can be found here. We invite you to tour our new webpage and review its more intuitive set up to find terms and policies applicable to customers, website visitors and vendors.

We take our responsibilities to our customers seriously and value transparency in our interactions, so we’ve put together this summary of the more significant changes to our terms and policies. We understand it can be tempting to not pay attention to these, but it really is important. Please note that this is also just a summary of the changes. I urge you to review our updated terms and policies carefully to fully understand them.

Finally, you may have already noticed that we have updated our product names and logos. These changes will appear in many places such as in our service orders and on your invoices. Even though certain product names may have changed, you can expect the same great product features and functionalities that you have always enjoyed as a valued Zendesk customer. We invite you to also visit our website found here explaining what’s new.

Here are some key highlights of the changes we have made:

Terms That Apply to Our Services
Once known as our Terms of Service, we now have our MSA which governs the use of all services, as defined in the MSA, which make up the Zendesk family of products. Previously, our Terms of Service contained the concept of “contracting entity” which differentiated the contracting party based on the service(s)/product(s) that were being purchased. However, under the MSA, Zendesk, Inc. is the consolidated selling entity for all our services sold under the MSA.

We have further clarified how we protect your service data (the data you process using our services) by updating Section 3 and including a new set of supplemental terms called, “How We Protect Your Service Data” on this topic. To that end, we are also excited to announce that Zendesk expects to be added to the Department of Commerce’s list of self-certified Privacy Shield participants, confirming that we comply with the Privacy Shield principles for the transfer of European personal data to the United States.

Some of the other major updates in our MSA include:

  • In Section 7 we now have consolidated our credit policies. Our credit policy states that credits have no monetary or cash value and can only be used by you to offset your subsequent payments of subscription charges. To the extent that you have been awarded credits, unless the instrument (including any coupon) states an earlier expiration date, credits shall expire and no longer be redeemable twelve (12) months from the date the credit was issued.
  • Section 9 now includes representations and warranties from us that during your subscription term: (a) the MSA and the documentation will accurately describe the applicable administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for protection of the security, confidentiality and integrity of service data; and (b) our services will perform materially in accordance with the applicable documentation.
  • Section 17 confirms California as a unified jurisdiction for governing law and venue for disputes arising in connection with all of our products and services purchased under the MSA.
  • A new Section 19 has been added where we ask that you represent that you have not received or been offered any illegal or improper bribe, kickback, payment, gift, or thing of value from any of our employees or agents in connection with the MSA. If you learn of any violation of this policy, we ask that you notify our Legal Department at

You will now notice that we have created Supplemental Terms and Conditions that is included as part of the MSA. These additional terms and conditions address:

  • Service-specific terms that apply if you purchase certain services;
  • Service data-specific protections that we employ; and
  • Consulting services which we may provide and which are no longer require the execution of a separate Consulting Services Agreement.

We also have added new section in 2.8 that prohibits accessing our services if you are a direct competitor of the Zendesk Group, except with Zendesk’s prior written consent. In addition, you may not access our services for the purposes of monitoring performance, availability, functionality, or for any benchmarking or competitive purposes.

Our new MSA details how we provide and deliver free trials and beta versions of our services. We encourage you to review Section 2.9 if you use our services on a free trial basis, and Section 2.10 if you use a beta version of our services.

Terms That Apply to Our Websites
We have created a new Terms of Use that applies to visitors to our websites as opposed to users of our services and products. We encourage you to review it prior to using, accessing or registering on our websites with particular attention to:

User Content Guidelines
Section 4 details the restrictions, rules and guidelines that apply to content that users submit to certain areas of our websites such as the publicly accessible blogs, community forums, comments sections, discussion forums, or other features that we collectively refer to as, “Interactive Areas”.

User Conduct Guidelines
Section 5 describes the conduct and use of our websites that is not permitted and for which we reserve the right to suspend your access to our Interactive Areas.

Privacy Policy
Scope of Our Privacy Policy
We have updated our Privacy Policy to describe how we use, protect and maintain the information that we collect from visitors to our websites and the information that is provided to us by you. With the exception of (a) Account Information which is defined as personal information about you such as your name, address, phone number, email address, instant messaging ID, and credit card information, as well as certain related information like your company name and website name, supplied to us when you register for an account to access or utilize one or more of our services; and (b) other information we collect in connection with your registration or authentication into our services, our Privacy Policy does not apply to our security and privacy practices in connection with your access to and use of the products and services which we market for subscription on our websites. Instead these security and privacy practices, including how we protect, collect, and use electronic service sata which is data, text, messages, communications or other materials submitted to and stored within the services by you are detailed in and governed by our MSA, or such other applicable agreement between you and any member of the Zendesk Group relating to your access to and use of such services.

We also detail how and why we use cookies and other tracking technologies on our websites and services, including the information that we collect and the purposes of the collection.

Personal Information That You Provide to Us or That We Collect
Our updated Privacy Policy provides additional detail on the types of information we collect and the purposes for which we collect such information. We’ve also added more specific information about how we and our third-party service providers use certain information to improve your experience on our website and in our services. We provide an opt-out procedure for you and provide you with information on the effect that opting-out will have on your use of our websites.

Sharing Personal Information
We’ve added more detail to our Privacy Policy on how we share your information, including personal information, with our third-party service providers and the protections that we enforce when sharing this information.

Community Forums
Our Privacy Policy has a new section that details how our websites may offer Interactive Areas and detail how any information that is posted in an Interactive Area might be read, collected, and used by others who access them. You can request removal of your personal information from an Interactive Area, by contacting us at privacy@ In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why.

Law Enforcement Requests
Our Privacy Policy has been updated to explain our policy for disclosure of personal information in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements. Zendesk reserves the right to disclose personal information to respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims. We may also share such information if we believe it is necessary in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, violations of our MSA, or as otherwise required by law.

Method to Correct, Update and Remove Personal Information
Our Privacy Policy includes how upon request we will provide you with information about whether we hold, or process on behalf of a third party, any of your personal information along with how you make such a request. Individuals who seek access to, or who seek to correct, amend, or delete inaccuracies in, personal information stored or processed by us on behalf of one of our subscribers should direct his/her query to the subscriber (the data controller). Upon receipt of a request from one of our subscribers for us to remove the data, we will respond to their request within thirty (30) days. We will retain personal information that we store and process on behalf of our subscribers for as long as needed to provide our services to our subscribers. We will retain and use this personal information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield Frameworks
Our Privacy Policy has been updated to detail that Zendesk abides by and has certified adherence to the principles of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Country-Specific Information
Our updated Privacy Policy now includes specific information for users in Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada. We encourage you to read this section if you visit our websites or use our services in any of these jurisdictions.

Cookie Policy
Integration of Services
We’ve updated our Cookie Policy to provide even more detail on the specific cookies we utilize on all of our websites. We’ve now consolidated this into a single Cookie Policy that addresses all of our websites.

Cookies Use on our Websites
Our updated Cookie Policy provides a chart that explains where we set cookies, how our marketing partners and we use cookies on our websites, the purpose and category of each cookie, and the duration for each cookie.

Disabling Cookies
Our updated Cookie Policy provides greater detail on how you can disable certain cookies used on our websites.

Thank you for taking the time to read through the summary of these changes to our terms and policies. We are excited to now offer our customers a beautifully simple way of contracting with us for all of our products and services. If you have questions or concerns or ways in which you think we can improve, please let me know at

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