Updated: January 25, 2023
Please see the Your Rights and Choices section below for a description of the choices we provide and the rights you have regarding your personal information, as well the Additional Privacy Information for Certain Jurisdictions section, which includes information about privacy rights for residents of certain states. If you are a California resident, please be sure to review the Additional Information for California Residents section below for important information about the categories of personal information we collect and disclose and your California privacy rights.
This Policy applies to our collection, use and disclosure of personal information related to:
- Users of our website www.sterlingaudio.net, as well as any mobile applications, other websites, applications and online services that display or link to this Policy (collectively, the “Site”);
- Customers and prospective customers, including individuals who purchase our products through affiliate and other third party retailers;
- Individuals who otherwise interact or communicate with us related to our Services.
Personal Information. In general, personal information includes any information that identifies, relates to, describes, or is reasonably capable of being associated, linked or linkable with a particular individual.
Collection of Personal Information
The personal information we collect varies depending upon the nature of the Services provided or used and our interactions with individuals.
Sources of Personal Information. We may collect personal information about individuals:
- Directly from you: such as when you make a purchase, participate in contests and promotions we offer, attend our events, or register to receive marketing and other communications from us, or contact us for customer support purposes.
- From third parties: such as affiliate and other third-party retailers that sell our products, public records, third party providers of services to us (e.g., fraud detection, identity verification and security), consumer data resellers, social networks, joint marketing partners and affiliate companies.
- Related to your use of our Services: including information we collect automatically when you use our Sites, or interact with us, or information we derive about you and your preferences or interests based on the personal information we collect and our interactions with you.
Information We Collect From You. We may collect personal information from you related to:
- Purchases, orders and payments: if you make a purchase, submit and order, return items, or sign up for certain Services, we collect information in order to process your payment, order or refund, fulfill your or order, including name, billing and shipping address and details, payment type, as well as credit card number or other payment account details (e.g., PayPal).
- Marketing, surveys and events: if you sign up to receive news, updates, offers and other marketing communications from us, we may collect name, contact information about your preferences. We may also collect name, age, email address, and other information when you participate in contests, sweepstakes, events or activities offered by us (collectively, “events”) or submit surveys or feedback to us.
- Your communications and requests: when you email us, call us, or otherwise send us communications, we collect and maintain a record of your contact details, communications and our responses.
- User content: if you post content or submit reviews and comments to us (“User Content”), we may maintain a record of your User Content, including the location, date and time of submission.
- Mobile applications: if you use our mobile applications, we collect information on and/or through these mobile applications, which may include (with your permission) access to your location, camera, photos and contacts, as well as permission to send you push notifications.
Information We Collect from Third Parties. We may collect personal information about you from third party sources (which may be combined other personal information we have collected about you), such as:
- Third party retailers: if you purchase our products from a third-party retailer, we receive information from that third party for order processing and fulfillment, returns and refunds processing, warranty and related purposes, which may include name, contact information, shipping and other order details.
- Social media: if you choose to link, create, or log in to your Services account with a social media service (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), we collect your permission to access certain information from your profile with that social media service. If you post or if you engage with a separate social media service or interact with us on our page with any social media service, we may collect personal information about you related to those interactions.
- Other: we may obtain personal information, such as demographic information or updated contact details, from third parties; we may also collect information from public records.
Information We Collect or Derive About You. We may collect or derive personal information about you, your use of our Sites and Apps, or other interactions with us.
- Support: If you contact us by phone, we may record our calls with you for quality, training and protection purposes and to increase our understanding of our customers and for other research and analytical purposes.
- Profile and Interests: we may create profiles relating to you in order to show you the content that we think you might be interested in and reach you with more relevant ads and marketing.
Use of Personal Information
Sterling may use personal information collected from you and other information collected automatically for a variety of purposes, including, without limitation, to:
- Providing support and services: including to provide our Services, and operate our Sites, Apps and online services; to communicate with you about your access to and use of our Services; to respond to your inquiries; to provide troubleshooting and provide technical support; and for other customer service and support purposes.
- Analyzing and improving our business: including to better understand how users access and use our Services and Sites, to evaluate and improve our Sites, Services and business operations, and to develop new features, offerings and services; to conduct surveys and other evaluations (such as customer satisfaction surveys); to monitor consumer interest in our products and Services; to troubleshoot problems that may arise on the Sites; to improve the accuracy of our customer database; to increase our understanding of our customer database; to increase our understanding of our customers; and for other research and analytical purposes.
- Advertising, marketing and promotional purposes: including to reach you with more relevant ads and to evaluate, measure and improve the effectiveness of our ad campaigns; to send you newsletters, offers or other information we think may interest you; to contact you about our Services, products, or other information we think may interest you; to identify potential new customers; and to administer promotions, sweepstakes, contests or other special promotions.
- Securing and protecting our business: including to protect and secure our business operations, assets, Services, network and information and technology resources; to investigate, prevent, detect and take action regarding fraud, unauthorized access, situations involving potential threats to the rights or safety of any person or third party, or other unauthorized activities or misconduct.
- Defending our legal rights: including to manage and respond to actual and potential legal disputes and claims, and to otherwise establish, defend or protect our rights or interests, including in the context of anticipated or actual litigation with third parties.
- Auditing, reporting, corporate governance, and internal operations: including relating to financial, tax and accounting audits; audits and assessments of our operations, privacy, security and financial controls, risk, and compliance with legal obligations; our general business, accounting, record keeping and legal functions; and related to any actual or contemplated merger, acquisition, asset sale or transfer, financing, bankruptcy or restructuring of all or part of our business.
- Complying with legal obligations: including to comply with the law, our legal obligations and legal process, such warrants, subpoenas, court orders, and regulatory or law enforcement requests.
Aggregate and De-identified Data. We may de-identify information and create anonymous and aggregated data sets and reports to assess, improve and develop our business, products and services, prepare benchmarking reports on our industry and for other research, marketing and analytics purposes.
Disclosure of Personal Information
We may share or disclose the personal information we collect as follows:
- Service providers: We may disclose personal information with third-party service providers who use this information to perform services for us, such as hosting providers, auditors, advisors, consultants, customer service and/or support providers.
- Third parties: We may share personal information with third parties that provide advertising, campaign measurement, online and/or mobile analytics, and related services. These third parties may receive or access browsing and/or other data about your use of the Services, in order to help us better reach individuals with relevant ads and/or measure our ad campaigns, and/or to better understand how individuals interact with our Sites and Services overtime and across devices. We may also transfer and/or sell personal information we collect and/or join together with other businesses to bring selected opportunities to customers or potential customers.
- Subsidiaries and affiliates: We may share your personal information with our affiliated companies (i.e., our parent company and other companies under common ownership, control or management with us); they may use such personal information for the purposes set out in this Policy.
- Legal compliance: We may be required to share personal information in response to a valid court order, subpoena, government investigation, or as otherwise required by law. We also reserve the right to report to law enforcement agencies any activities that we, in good faith, believe to be unlawful. In addition, we may share certain personal information when we believe that doing so is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property and safety of our company and/or others.
- Business transfers: We may disclose and/or transfer personal information as part of any actual or contemplated merger, sale, transfer of assets, acquisition, financing and/or restructuring of all or part of our business, bankruptcy or similar event, including related to due diligence conducted prior to such event where permitted by law.
- Protect our rights: We may disclose personal information where we believe it necessary to respond to claims asserted against us, to enforce or administer our agreements and terms, for fraud prevention, risk assessment, investigation and/or to protect the rights, property or safety of Guitar Center or our affiliates, clients, customers and/or others.
Aggregated and De-identified Data. We may share aggregate or de-identified information with third parties for research, marketing, advertising, analytics and/or other purposes.
Cookies and Analytics
Cookies. Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that are transferred to your computer through your web browser for record-keeping purposes. Some cookies enable you to log-in to our Sites or save certain settings and preferences, while others, allow us to track usage and activities on our Sites, personalize content on our Sites, or deliver more relevant ads on our Sites and third-party sites. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can edit your browser options to block them in the future. The “Help” tab on the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your computer from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, or how to disable cookies altogether. If you block cookies, however, certain features on our Sites may not be available or function properly.
Log files. Most browsers collect certain information, such as your IP address, device type, screen resolution, operating system version and internet browser type and version. This information is gathered automatically and stored in log files.
Pixel tags and embedded script (aka clear GIFs and web beacons). Pixel tags are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on your computer’s hard drive, pixel tags are embedded invisibly on web pages. We may use these, in connection with our Sites to, among other things, track the activities users of our Services, improve ads, personalize and manage content, and gather usage information about our Sites. We may also use these in HTML emails to, to help us track email response rates, identify when our emails are viewed, and track whether our emails are forwarded.
Do-Not-Track Signals. Please note that our Sites do not recognize or respond to any signal which your browser might transmit through the so-called ‘Do Not Track’ feature your browser might have. If you wish to disable cookies on our Services, you should not rely on any ‘Do Not Track’ feature your browser might have.
Custom Lists and Matching. We may create and disclose hashed customer list information (such as name and email address) with third parties—such as Facebook and Twitter—so that we can better target ads and content to you and others with similar interests, within these third-party services. These third parties use the personal information we provide to help us target ads and to enforce their terms, but we do not permit them to use or share the data we submit with other third-party advertisers.
Opt out of targeted ads. You may control how participating third-party ad companies use the information that they collect about your visits to our Sites, and those of third parties, in order to display more relevant targeted advertising to you; for more information and to opt-out go to:
- www.networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp (Network Advertising Initiative)
- www.aboutads.info/choices (Digital Advertising Alliance)
Opting out of participating ad networks does not opt you out of being served advertising. You may continue to receive generic or “contextual” ads on our Services. You may also continue to receive targeted ads on other websites, from companies that do not participate in the above programs.
Collection of Children’s Personal Information
Our Sites are not directed to children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect or maintain personal information online from children we actually know at the time of collection are under the age of 13. Should we discover that we have collected personal information online from a child who is under 13, we will promptly delete that personal information. If you have concerns over the collection of children’s personal information on the Sites, please contact us at the information provided in the Contact Us section below.
The security of your personal information is important to us. We have put in place safeguards to protect the personal information we protect from unauthorized access, use and disclosure. However, we cannot guarantee that unauthorized access, hacking, data loss, or other breaches will never occur. We urge you to take steps to keep your personal information safe, such as choosing a strong password and closing your web browser when finished using the Services.
Links to Third Party Sites
Your Rights and Choices
If you need to update your contact details or other personal information provided to us, please contact us as set forth in the Contact Us section below. Residents of certain jurisdictions have additional rights as set forth below, in the Section titled, “Additional Privacy Information for Certain Jurisdiction.”
Marketing Choices. You can control your marketing preferences as set forth below:
- Email opt out: From time to time, Sterling may notify you by email of special promotions, changes to the Sites, new product lines or products or service offerings that we think may be of special interest to you. If you decide you no longer want to receive emails notifying you of this information, click to unsubscribe, or follow the instructions in the promotional message. Email Opt Out requests will be processed within ten (10) days.
Sites Preferences. You may control how we collect and manage certain information through our Sites:
- Targeted advertising: To opt-out of certain targeted advertising by participating advertisers, go to:
You can also adjust your browser cookies settings to block or delete third party cookies, as explained in the Cookies Notice page. If you block cookies, certain features on our Sites may not be available or function properly.
- Mobile applications: You can manage your preferences for push notifications, and access to your device location, camera, photos, and contacts by our App, through the device settings of your mobile device. In some cases, you may not be able to use certain features of the App if you decline certain permissions. For example, you must permit the App to access your device’s camera or saved photos in order to use certain features such as the scan barcode feature.
- Browser signals: If our website detects that your browser is transmitting a “global privacy control”—or GPC— signal, we will apply that to opt that browser on your device out of targeting cookies on our website. If you come to our website from a different device or from a different browser on the same device, you will need to apply GPC for that browser and/or device as well. See the Section A below, Additional Information for California Residents, for more information about GPC.
P.O. Box 5111
Thousand Oaks, CA 91359-5111
Additional Privacy Information for Certain Jurisdictions
Residents of certain states have additional rights under applicable privacy laws, as described in this section.
If you are a resident of California, please review Subsection A. below for additional information about the categories of personal information we collect about you and your privacy rights under applicable California privacy laws.
Please review Subsection B. below for additional information about rights residents of Virginia may have under applicable state privacy laws.
A. Additional Information for California Residents
This subsection provides California residents with additional information regarding our collection, use and disclosure of their personal information, as well as their privacy rights, under California privacy laws.
In this subsection, we provide additional information to California residents about how we handle their personal information, as required by the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). This section does not address or apply to our handling of publicly available information or other personal information that is exempt under the CCPA.
Categories of Personal Information We Collect and Disclose
Our collection, use and disclosure of personal information about a California resident will vary depending upon the circumstances and nature of our interactions or relationship with such resident. The table below sets out generally the categories of personal information we have collected about California residents, as well as the categories of third parties to whom we may disclose this information for a business or commercial purpose.
|Categories of Personal Information||Categories of Third-Party Disclosures|
|Identifiers: Name, contact information and other identifiers: identifiers such as a name, username, account name, address, phone number, email address, online identifier, IP address, government-issued identification numbers or other similar identifiers.||
|Customer records: paper and electronic customer records containing personal information.||
|Protected classifications: characteristics of protected classifications under California or federal law such as race, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability and citizenship.||
|Commercial Information: including records of real property, products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or use histories or tendencies.||
|Usage data: internet or other electronic network activity Information including, but not limited to, browsing history, search history, and information regarding a consumer’s interaction with an Internet website, application, or advertisement.||
|Location data: location information about a particular individual or device.||
|Audio, video and other electronic data: audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information such as, CCTV footage, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and call recordings.||
|Employment history: professional or employment-related information.||
|Education information: education information and records.||
|Profiles and inferences: Inferences drawn from any of the information identified above to create a profile reflecting a resident’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, or aptitudes.||
|Sensitive Personal Information: Information such as Social Security, Driver’s License, Account log-in, debit card or credit card number in combination with any required security or access code, password.||
Sales and Sharing of Personal Information. The CCPA defines a “sale” as disclosing or making available to a third-party personal information in exchange for monetary or other valuable consideration, and “sharing” broadly includes disclosing or making available personal information to a third party for purposes of cross-context behavioral advertising. While we do not disclose personal information to third parties in exchange for monetary compensation from such third parties, we do disclose or make available personal information to our affiliated companies, advertising networks, data analytic providers in order to receive certain services or benefits from them, such as when we allow third party tags to collect information, such as browsing history on our Sites in order to improve and measure our ad campaigns. Pursuant to the CCPA, the categories of personal information that we may “sell” or “share” include:
- Name, contact information and other identifiers
- Usage data
- Profiles and inferences
- Customer Records
- Commercial Information
- Profiles and inferences
We do not sell or share sensitive personal information, nor do we sell or share any personal information about individuals who we know are under sixteen (16) years old.
Sources of Personal Information. In general, we may collect the categories of personal information identified in the table above from the following categories of sources:
- Directly from the individual
- Advertising networks
- Data analytics providers
- Social networks
- Internet service providers
- Operating systems and platforms
- Government entities
- Public records
- Affiliate companies
- Business partners
Purposes of Collection, Use, and Disclosure. As described in more detail above in the Sections titled, “Use of Personal Information” and “Disclosure of Personal Information,” we collect, use, disclose, and otherwise process the above personal information for the following business or commercial purposes and as otherwise directed or consented to by you:
- Services and support
- Analytics and improvement
- Customization and personalization
- Marketing and advertising
- Security and protection of rights
- General business and operational support
- Legal proceedings and obligations
Sensitive Personal Information. We only use and disclose sensitive personal information as reasonably necessary (i) to perform our services requested by you, (ii) to help ensure security and integrity, including to prevent, detect, and investigate security incidents, (iii) to detect, prevent and respond to malicious, fraudulent, deceptive, or illegal conduct, (iv) to verify or maintain the quality and safety of our services, (v) for compliance with our legal obligations, (vi) to our service providers who perform services on our behalf, and (vii) for purposes other than inferring characteristics about you. We do not use or disclose your sensitive personal information other than as authorized pursuant to section 7027 of the CCPA regulations (Cal. Code. Regs. tit. 11, § 7027 (2022)).
Retention. We retain the personal information we collect only as reasonably necessary for the purposes described above or otherwise disclosed to you at the time of collection. For example, we will retain your account data for as long as you have an active account with us and your transactional data for as long as necessary to comply with our tax, accounting and recordkeeping obligations, to administer applicable returns, and for research, development and safety purposes. We may retain personal information for an additional period of time as necessary to protect, defend or establish our rights, defend against potential claims, and comply with legal obligations.
California Residents’ Rights. Under the CCPA, California residents have the following rights (subject to certain limitations):
- Opt out of sales and sharing. The right to opt-out of our sale and sharing of their personal information.
- To limit certain uses and disclosures of sensitive personal information. The right to limit our use and disclosure of sensitive personal information to those authorized by the CCPA. As noted above, we only use sensitive personal information as authorized under the CCPA; thus, this right is not available to California residents.
- Deletion. The right to, at no charge, request deletion of their personal information that we have collected about them and to have such personal information deleted, except where an exemption applies.
- To know/access. The right to know what personal information we have collected about them, including the categories of personal information, the categories of sources from which the personal information is collected, the business or commercial purpose for collecting, selling, or sharing personal information, the categories of third parties to whom we disclose personal information, and the specific pieces of personal information we have collected about them.
- Correction. The right to correct inaccurate personal information that we maintain about them.
- Non-discrimination. The right not to be subject to discriminatory treatment for exercising their rights under the CCPA.
Requests to Know/Access, Correct, Limit, and Delete may be submitted:
- Online at https://www.guitarcenter.com/data-request
- By phone at (866) 979-0577 (toll free)
We will take steps to verify your request by (i) sending you an email confirmation link which you must click to confirm your request; and (ii) matching the information provided by you with the information we have in our records. You must complete all required fields on our webform (or otherwise provide us with this information via the above toll-free number) to verify your request. We will process your request based upon the personal information in our records that is linked or reasonably linkable to the information provided in your request. In some cases, we may request additional information in order to verify your request or where necessary to process your request. If we are unable to adequately verify a request, we will notify the requestor.
Authorized agents may initiate a request on behalf of another individual online using our webform; authorized agents will be required to provide proof of their authorization and we may also require that the relevant consumer directly verify their identity and the authority of the authorized agent.
Requests to Opt Out. California residents may exercise their right to opt out online by submitting an opt out online at https://www.guitarcenter.com/data-request or by calling us at (866) 979-0577 (toll free). We will apply your opt out based upon the personal information in our records that is linked or reasonably linkable to the information provided in your request.
Your Rights Under California’s Shine-the-Light Law. Under California’s “Shine the Light” law (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.83), California residents who provide us certain personal information are entitled to request and obtain from us, free of charge, information about the personal information (if any) we have shared with third parties for their own direct marketing use. Such requests may be made once per calendar year for information about any relevant third party sharing in the prior calendar year. California residents who would like to make such a request may submit a request online at https://www.guitarcenter.com/data-request. The request should attest to the fact that the requester is a California resident and provide a current California address.
B. Other State Privacy Rights
Residents of certain states, including Virginia, have additional rights under applicable privacy laws, subject to certain limitations, which may include:
- Correction. The right to correct inaccuracies in their personal information, taking into account the nature and purposes of the processing of the personal information.
- Deletion. To delete their personal information provided to or obtained by us.
- Access: to confirm whether we are processing their personal information and to obtain a copy of their personal information in a portable and, to the extent technically feasible, readily usable format.
- Opt-Out: to opt out of certain types of processing, including:
• to opt out of the “sale” of their personal information.
• to opt out of targeted advertising by us.
• to opt out of any processing of personal information for purposes of making decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects.
You may submit a request to exercise your privacy rights under Virginia’s privacy law by sending us a message here. Please provide information regarding the right you wish to exercise in the “Message” box.
To opt out of targeted advertising by us, see the Section above titled, “Your Rights and Choices” for additional information. We will respond to your request as required under the applicable privacy law. If we deny your request, we will provide you with information regarding how you may appeal our decision.
For more information about our privacy practices, you may contact us as set forth in the Contact Us section above.