Community Guidelines

Your Privacy

HomeStar’s mission is to help everyone find a home and neighbourhood they’ll love. We strive to be the most trusted and transparent place for UK home movers to find and share anonymous postcode reviews of what it’s really like to live anywhere in the UK.

We, HomeStar, a trading name of Doorstep Technologies Limited with offices at 445 Hackney Road, London, E2 9DY, as the data controller (“HomeStar”, “we”, or “us”), explain in this Privacy Policy (the “Policy”) how we collect, process and/or use information that we receive via our websites, emails we send, and mobile applications (collectively, the “Platform”) that link to this Policy, as amended from time to time. This Policy describes how HomeStar collects, processes, uses, shares and secures the personal information you provide. It also describes your choices regarding use, access, and correction of your personal information. For purposes of this Policy, personal information shall mean any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.

Information Collected

We collect information about you to provide our services. In order for us to best provide our services to you (and to help make it feasible for us to do so), it is essential that we are able to collect and use the information as described in this Policy. This means that the data collection is largely necessary for fulfilling the relationship we have with you, and where that is not the case, we have a legitimate interest in collecting the information described below.

User Submitted Information

When you fill out registration forms, submit your reviews, or provide us with other personal information actively, we collect that information for processing and use in accordance with this Policy. Because we change our offerings and features from time to time, the options you have to provide us with personal information also may change, but here are some examples of situations in which you will have the opportunity to provide personal information to us:

  • Creating an account;
  • Signing up for email alerts;
  • Completing a form; Uploading a photo;
  • Sending messages to HomeStar
  • Submitting a review
  • Contacting us for technical support or customer service.

Depending on how you interact with our Platform, the personal information we collect from you may vary. For example, to create an account we may ask only for an email address and password. In other circumstances, such as when you complete a form related to a particular service offering, we may ask you to provide other information, which may include your name, phone number, and/or postal address. We also collect and store certain information associated with actions you take. For example, when you search for postcodes, we store the locations you search for and the reviews or content you click on. We also store information about the reviews and content postings that you engage with, the time and duration of your activity on our Platform, and other information about your behavior on our Platform.

If you connect to the Platform using Facebook, Google+, or another social networking site (each a “Social Media”), we will receive information that you authorise the social media site to share with us, which may include public profile information, birthday, current city work, school, and email address. When we receive this information, it may become HomeStar account information for purposes of your use of the Platform. This information also constitutes personal information and is therefore subject to this Policy. Any information that we collect from your social media site account may depend on the privacy settings you have set with the social media site itself so please consult their privacy and data practices. You have the ability to disconnect your Social media account from your HomeStar account by adapting the privacy settings in your social media site account. If you come to the Platform through a Social media account, from other websites or with devices that enable third parties to collect information from or about you, such third parties receive information about you subject to their privacy policies.

On certain HomeStar domains, when you set up an individual user account on the Platform, you may create a profile (a “Profile”) that will include personal information you provide. At your request, we will create your Profile with information we extract from other sources such as social media accounts that you provide us access with. Because your anonymity on our Platform is important, your Profile does not include or link to information you submit to the Platform anonymously (for example, the reviews, ratings, comments or other information you submit anonymously). For the avoidance of doubt, we will never post sensitive information about our members that allows them to be identified. Our platform aims to be a place where people can anonymously rate and review what it’s like to live in any postcode in the UK so that millions of home movers can find their perfect home and neighbourhood. We will never collect or share personal information that does not help us in this cause and we will never make that information public without your prior permission.

We process, monitor, review, store and analyse such content and other materials, including automatically, for data analysis, quality control, enforcement of our Terms, and improvement of our services. Examples of such improvements would be optimizing our search results, improving review postings, matching you with a neighbourhood review posting or location you might be interested in, ensuring you are provided with personally relevant product features and communications, and preventing fraud and spam. As a result of this activity, or due to technical malfunction, in certain circumstances such content may be delayed or may not be delivered to the intended recipient. HomeStar may (but is not obligated to) notify you in such an event.

Information Collected Automatically

When you use the Platform, your device is automatically providing information to us so we can respond and customize our response to you. The type of information we collect by automated means generally includes technical information about your computer, such as your IP address or other device identifier, the type of device you use, and operating system version. The information we collect also may include usage information and statistics about your interaction with the Platform. That information may include the URLs of our web pages that you visited, URLs of referring and exiting pages, page views, time spent on a page, number of clicks, platform type, location data (if you have enabled access to your location on your mobile device), and other information about how you used the Platform.

Automated means of data collection include the following:

  • Cookies And Tracking Technologies. Technologies such as: cookies, web beacons, locally shared objects (sometimes called “flash cookies”), mobile identifiers and similar technologies (“Cookies”) are used by HomeStar and our partners (such as advertising, marketing and analytics providers) (“Ad Partners”). We use Cookies to remember users’ settings as well as for authentication and analytics. These technologies may be used in analyzing trends, administering the Platform, tracking users’ movements around the Platform and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. Our Ad Partners may also use such technologies to deliver advertisements to you. You can control the use of Cookies at the individual browser level, but if you choose to disable Cookies, it may limit your use of certain features or functions on our website or service. For more information on Cookies, how we use them, the third parties we work with who use them, and how you can control them, please see the section of this policy entitled Cookie Policy and Ad Choices.
  • Log File Information. Log file information is automatically reported by your browser or mobile application each time you access a website on our Platform. For example, when you access HomeStar, our servers automatically record certain information that your web browser sends when you visit any website. These server logs include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, referring / exit pages and URLs, number of clicks, domain names, landing pages, and pages viewed.
  • Device Information. We collect information about the device you use to access the Platform, including type of device, operating system, settings, and unique device identifiers, and IP address. Whether we collect some or all of this information often depends on what type of device you’re using and its settings. For example, different types of information are available depending on whether you’re using a Mac or a PC, or an iPhone or Android phone. We collect the device type and any other information you choose to provide, such as username, geolocation, or email address. We also use mobile analytics software to allow us to better understand the functionality of our mobile software on your phone. This software records information such as how often you use the application, the events that occur within the application, aggregated usage, performance data, and where the application was downloaded from. We do not link the information we store within the analytics software to any personally identifiable information you submit within the mobile application.

How We Use Information

We use the information we collect to provide our services. In order for us to best provide our services (and to help make it feasible for us to do so), it is essential that we are able to collect and use the information as described in this Policy.

HomeStar’s mission is to help people everywhere find a home and neighbourhood they’ll love. HomeStar uses your information largely to fulfill the relationship we have with you, and, where that is not the case, we have a legitimate interest in using the information we collect, including personal information, for these purposes:

  • to provide you with personalized content, services and offers of services offered by HomeStar, as well as other promotional content and services (for example, HomeStar and its affiliates may use your previous search and browsing history, or your reviews, or profile to determine relevant search results and provide you with recommended areas on HomeStar or on sites of HomeStar affiliates, or HomeStar may reach out to you about neighbourhoods or postcodes you may be interested in; we also use your IP address and mobile device for these purposes); For the purposes of this Policy, “affiliates” means any entity that directly or indirectly, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control of or with HomeStar, now or in the future. “Control” for these purposes means having a majority of shares or the right and ability to direct management.
  • to moderate and display reviews, comments, ratings, and other content you have submitted for the benefit of our other users;
  • to customize and improve the features, performance, and support of the HomeStar platform;
  • to communicate with you or initiate communication with you (for marketing or service-related purposes) on behalf of third parties through your HomeStar account or through other means such as email, telephone (including mobile phone), or postal mail, including through the use of contact information that you provide to us or (where it is lawful for us to do so) that we otherwise obtain from third-party resources;
  • to permit HomeStar to contact HomeStar users with respect to such recommendations, subject to visibility settings you control;
  • to provide relevant advertising, including interest-based advertising from us and third parties, which may mean that we share non-personally identifiable information, such as your living situation, to third-party advertisers;
  • to transmit your content submissions and save your content submissions materials;
  • to allow HomeStar and HomeStar affiliates to process your personal data for the purpose of improving for internal operations, including detecting and preventing fraud and spam, troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, and service improvement (this includes use of your IP address and mobile device information to help diagnose problems with our service and to administer the Platform);
  • to create aggregated statistical data that does not identify you individually and that we can commercialize (for example, we use mobile device data and IP addresses to create anonymized, aggregate demographic information);
  • for other purposes that you separately authorise as you interact with HomeStar.
  • When we collect any information that does not identify you as a specific natural person (“Non-Personal Information”), we are permitted to use and disclose this information for any purpose, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Policy, except where we are required to do otherwise by applicable law. Examples of Non-Personal Information include: physical location information; demographic information, including gender, dates of birth, postcodes, etc.;
  • or any personal information that has been anonymized, aggregated or de-identified. If we combine any Non-Personal Information with your personal information (such as combining your ZIP code with your name), we will use and disclose such combined information as personal information in accordance with this policy. Similarly, if applicable law requires that we treat certain Non-Personal Information as personal information, we will use and disclose this information as personal information in accordance with this policy.

How we Share Information

We only disclose your personal information to third parties as follows:

  • We use affiliated and unaffiliated service providers all over the world (including web servers, cloud storage systems, CRM providers, email services, content support teams, marketing partners, advertising partners, and others) to help us deliver our service and run our business subject to strict confidentiality agreements. These companies are authorized to use your personal information only as necessary to provide these services to us;
  • We may also share your information with HomeStar affiliates, namely any entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with HomeStar. Such affiliates shall process your personal data where we believe it is necessary for the purposes of a legitimate interest, and where such purposes are aligned with those for which you provided your personal data to us.
  • In reorganization or sale of our company or assets, your data may be transferred, subject to the acquirer and its affiliates accepting the commitments made in this Policy and compliance with applicable law;
  • We will disclose data If we believe in good faith such disclosure is necessary:

  • To comply with relevant laws or to respond to subpoenas or warrants or legal process served on us (though we reserve the right to take action on behalf of our users to defend their right to anonymity when we believe there is a legitimate basis to do so, because candid, lawful, anonymous free speech is fundamental to HomeStar’s mission of furthering neighbourhood and area review transparency);

  • To enforce our HomeStar Terms of Use and Privacy Policy; 

  • When we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity; 

  • As we otherwise deem necessary and is permitted by applicable laws to protect and defend the rights or property of us, users of our services, or third parties; or
  • As permitted under applicable laws to meet national security and similar requirements;

We will otherwise share personal information with your consent.

Cookie and Ad Policy

This Cookie and Ad Policy describes how HomeStar (“we”, “our”, “us”) uses Cookies and similar technologies.

Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer, mobile phone, or other device when you first visit a page. We use cookies, web beacons, locally shared objects (sometimes called “flash cookies”), mobile identifiers and similar technologies (“Cookies”) to help us recognize you on the Platform, enhance your user experience, understand usage of the Platform, and show you relevant advertising. Cookies may also be set by other websites or services that run content on the page you’re visiting. After you register on the Platform, we may connect information we collect from the Cookies set by us and our partners with other information received from you. The provision of your data via Cookies is voluntary except for those Cookies that we place on your device because we need them for the performance of our Platform and our services.

Cookies transmit information about you and your use of the Platform, such as your browser type, search preferences, data relating to advertisements that have been displayed to you or that you have clicked on, and the date and time of your use. With the exception of an identifier Cookie that we associate with registered accounts to prevent fraud by members of the Platform, Cookies link to certain unique information such as reviews that you entered at time of registration or on your profile, but this is not linked to your name.

  • We use Cookies to help us determine whether or not you’ve signed in to the Platform and to keep you signed in during visits as you access different pages.
  • We use Cookies to enable and support security features, prevent fraud, and protect your data from unauthorised access.
  • We use Cookies to enable features and help us provide you with personalised content, such as showing you your recent search activity.
  • We use Cookies to deliver, evaluate and improve advertising, such as by using information about you to provide relevant advertising both on and off the Platform. Our Ad Partners may use a cookie to determine whether you’ve already been shown an advert or how it performed, or provide us with information about how you interacted with an ad.
  • We use Cookies to analyze how our visitors use the Platform and to monitor site performance. These Cookies help us to identify and fix errors, understand and improve services, research and test out different features, and monitor how our visitors reach our sites.

Managing Ads and Cookies

HomeStar works with several third parties to provide you with personalized, interest-based advertising. We may target ads to you, and measure their performance, on and off the Platform using:

  • Member-provided profile information (e.g., reviews, age, location, authorized information shared from your Social Networking Site)
  • Your use of the Platform (e.g., search history, review clicks, postcodes you follow);
  • Information inferred from data described above;
  • IP address or mobile device location information (to the extent you have enabled location tracking on your device);
  • Cookies (both on and off the Platform) which may include information from the Ad Partners we use to help deliver relevant ads to you.

Working with Third Parties

When we work with our Ad Partners to serve you personalized, interest-based advertising, we do not share information with them that they can use to identify you or associate with you as a specific individual unless you have instructed us to do so. Similarly, if one of these Ad Partners has information about you saved in one of their own Cookies on your browser, they use that information to help us send you a relevant ad, but they do not share with us information that we can associate with you as an individual.

We work with third parties, such as Google Analytics, to provide analytics services that use the Cookies set on your device to measure the performance of advertising and track traffic to HomeStar generally. We have also implemented Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting, which categorizes Cookie information so that we and third-party service providers can better deliver advertisements that are relevant and useful to you on the Platform and various websites across the internet. In addition, a Cookie on some of our employer clients sites provides us with aggregate data about the number of applications submitted to those sites by users of Platform.

Opting Out of Cookies

We use Cookies that are necessary for us to provide the services you use and you cannot opt out of these Cookies on the Platform. You are able to disable placement of some (but not all) Cookies by setting your browser to decline cookies, though this may worsen your user experience. Additionally, you can also control, manage and/or delete cookies via your browser settings.

If you enable location data for the mobile version of the Platform (including any version installed as a native application), we may use your location data to serve you geo-targeted ads that are local to you. In such instances, we do not share your location with the advertiser or advertising network; rather, we provide the advertiser or advertising network with a means to push ads through to users located in certain areas. You may disable location services at any time in your device privacy settings.

Other Information

If you wish to submit a data rights request to access, correct, delete, export, rectify, update, or ask questions about your personal data, you may do so via our contact us page.

In addition, you can object to the processing of your personal information or ask us to restrict processing of your personal information via our contact us page.

You have the right to opt-out of marketing communications we send you at any time. You can exercise this right by clicking on the “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” link in the marketing emails we send you. Registered users can manage their account settings and email marketing preferences on the user profile section of HomeStar.

Similarly, if we have collected and processed your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect the processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent. You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority.

We respond to all requests we receive from individuals wishing to exercise their data protection rights in accordance with applicable data protection laws. We will respond to all requests within a reasonable timeframe. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we reserve the right to keep any information in our archives that we deem necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements.

We will send you notifications and if, and to the extent, you have opted-in to promotional communications, or other messages using the contact information (e.g., your email address, your mobile device identifier) you provided to us when you registered or when you requested information from us. You may opt-out of continuing to receive optional messages by following the instructions included in each message. Also, you can control most of the emails you receive from us by editing your email preferences within “My Account” settings on the site; provided you will need to separately opt-out of receiving our various blog post update emails by unsubscribing to each blog that you have originally subscribed to.

We will send you service-related announcements when we believe it is necessary to do so. Generally, you cannot opt-out of these announcements, which are not primarily promotional in nature. If you do not wish to receive these announcements, you have the option to deactivate your account.

If you wish to close your account, you can do so by submitting a request on the contact us page.

We keep your personal information only so long as we need it to provide the Platform to you and fulfill the purposes described in this Policy. This is also the case for anyone that we share your personal information with and who carries out services on our behalf. Retention periods can vary significantly based on the type of information and how it is used. Our retention periods are based on criteria that include legally mandated retention periods, pending or potential litigation, our intellectual property or ownership rights, contract requirements, operational directives or needs, and historical archiving. When we no longer need to use your personal information and there is no need for us to keep it to comply with our legal or regulatory obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, we’ll either remove it from our systems or depersonalize it so that we can’t identify you.

We employ physical, electronic, and managerial measures to safeguard the information we collect online. However, no company can fully eliminate security risks, so we cannot make guarantees about any part of our services. You are responsible for keeping your username and password secret. Once you have registered with us, we will never ask you for your password. Please create a unique password for your HomeStar account and do not use it for any other web services or applications. Do not share your password with anyone else.

We actively monitor the Platform for content that violate our Terms of Use. If we detect fraudulent activity, we remove the content from our platform. Due to the high number of submissions we receive we also actively encourage our community members to flag or make us aware of any content which they deem to breach our Community Guidelines or Terms of Use.

The information about you that we collect, process and/or use through the Platform is controlled by Doorstep Technology Limited, trading as HomeStar. You may reach our data protection officer, Julie Bousquet, CFA by emailing julie @ homestar.co.uk (please remove the spaces before emailing).

Policy Updates

We may revise this Policy from time to time by posting an updated version on the Platform. The revised Policy will be effective immediately for unregistered users and users registering accounts or otherwise acknowledging the Policy on or after the revision date. For other users who registered accounts before the revision date, it will also become effective immediately. However, they can object to the new Policy within one month after the revision date. If we make a change that we believe materially reduces your rights or increases your responsibilities, we will notify you by email (sent to the email address specified in your account) or by means of a notice on this website prior to the change becoming effective. We may provide notice of changes in other circumstances as well. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices. Your continued use of the Platform is subject to the most current effective version of this Policy. If you object to the Policy after it becomes effective for you, you may no longer use the Platform.