theljstaff (theljstaff) wrote in lj_biz,
theljstaff
theljstaff
lj_biz

Changes to the LiveJournal Privacy Policy

We're amending our Privacy Policy to catch up to our current practices regarding third-party advertising, cookies, and web beacons (including HitBox, see below). We wanted to let you know why we're making these changes and what they mean for you as a LiveJournal user.

Privacy Policy Changes:


Our Policy used to include the following paragraph about Third Party Advertising:

Third Party Advertising

Advertisements appearing on LiveJournal may be delivered to users by LiveJournal or one of our advertising partners. Our advertising partners may set cookies. These cookies allow the ad server to recognize your computer each time they send you an online advertisement. In this way, advertising partners (or "ad networks") may compile information about where you, or others who are using your computer, saw their advertisements and determine which ads are clicked on. This information allows an ad network to deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you. This privacy policy covers the use of cookies by LiveJournal and does not cover the use of cookies by any advertisers.



We have amended that section (and that section only), and replaced it with this:

Third-Party Advertising and Cookies

Advertisements appearing on LiveJournal may be delivered to users by LiveJournal or one of our advertising partners (or "ad networks"). Ad networks include third party ad servers, ad technology vendors and/or research firms.

Ad networks may set cookies and/or include a file, called a web beacon, within pages served by LiveJournal so the networks may provide auditing, research and reporting for advertisers.

* Cookies allow the ad server to recognize your computer each time it sends you an online advertisement.
* Web beacons are typically an invisible image that may be embedded in a web page or in an advertisement. A web beacon's primary purpose is to count the page's visitors.

Ad networks may compile information about where you, or others who are using your computer, saw their advertisements and determine which ads are clicked on. This information allows an ad network to deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you. This privacy policy covers the use of cookies by LiveJournal and does not cover the use of cookies by any advertisers.

Please note that no personal identifying information you have provided to LiveJournal is shared with our advertisers as a result of their use of cookies or web beacons.

Opting Out of Ad Network Cookies

LiveJournal respects our users' wish for privacy, and understands some users may wish to opt-out and/or manage the cookies set on their computers by these ad networks. To understand how these networks allow you to manage cookies set by them, you will need to visit their respective websites. Ad networks generally provide an opt-out on their websites.

Currently, LiveJournal has relationships with the following ad networks and other third parties:

Advertising.com (an AOL Company) - http://www.advertising.com/
AdBrite - http://www.adbrite.com/
Blue Lithium (a Yahoo! Company) - http://www.bluelithium.com/
Casale Media - http://www.casalemedia.com/
DoubleClick (a Google Company) - http://www.doubleclick.com/
Google Ad Sense - https://www.google.com/adsense/
Omniture (includes HitBox) - http://www.omniture.com/en/
(HitBox specific privacy policy here: http://www.omniture.com/en/company/acquisitions/visualsciences/privacy/policy/)
Right Media (a Yahoo! Company) - http://www.rightmedia.com/

We will be updating this list as the list of ad networks with which we do business changes.

LiveJournal does not share any personally identifiable information with advertisers. LiveJournal may share general demographic information (such as information about members' aggregate interests and occupations) and non-personally identifiable information (such as browser type and IP addresses) with advertisers and partners. If you have a Plus account or are a Basic or Early Adopter account viewing a Plus account's journal or other content, LiveJournal shares your voluntarily-provided public profile information (such as sex, age, location and interests) and your voluntarily-provided advertising preferences information with advertisers. LiveJournal does not give advertisers access to your private personal account information (such as email address, or, if you have elected to make these private or friends-only in your profile, sex and location). However, by selecting, interacting with or viewing an ad you are consenting to the possibility that the advertiser will make the assumption that you meet the targeting criteria used to display the ad.


*************************************************

In the past, we have acknowledged the use of web beacons in various communications to you, specifically here (regarding HitBox) and here (regarding Omniture). In general, however, the proper and accepted place to disclose changes to policies around cookies and web beacons is in a Privacy Policy. This is especially true as new users who are new to LJ might not be aware of all the various official LiveJournal communities. This update to the Privacy Policy is not a change in our practices; it is simply disclosing our current practices on the site, aggregating that information in one place, and having it available to all our users.

Our purpose in amending our Privacy Policy now is to acknowledge and codify changes on our site related to data collection by ad networks, and to provide a location for all users to go to if they want to see the ad networks LiveJournal has relationships with. If you want to manage the cookies set by these ad networks, you can do so by visiting the sites listed in our Privacy Policy.


HitBox



In 2005, LiveJournal had a relationship with HitBox, as mentioned above. Although we have not been using HitBox web beacon tags for quite some time, we're going to start using them again because of our new relationship with The Independent newspaper in the UK. We're doing this so we can accurately count the number of page views on The Independent newspaper's blogging and community sites that are "powered by LiveJournal". For more information on this partnership, check out the news post.

First, a bit of history: HitBox was created by the web analytics company WebSideStory, which was acquired by Omniture in October 2007. HitBox is now part of a larger web analytics service called SiteCatalyst HBX. Through its various incarnations, some anti-spyware companies have identified HitBox as malware or adware. Strictly speaking, at one point in time there may have been some cause for concern about HitBox web beacons and cookies. We feel there should no longer be any cause for alarm by users finding HitBox beacons on their pages. This is in part due to HitBox now being part of Omniture, a larger organization that we have had a successful relationship with for quite some time now.

Although we think there is no cause for alarm, we recognize that some LJ users might feel differently. That is why we have included a link to their privacy statement in our Privacy Policy. At the bottom of their privacy statement is a HitBox opt-out link:

http://www.omniture.com/en/company/acquisitions/visualsciences/privacy/policy

EDIT: We're providing this direct link to our users due to previous concerns with HitBox. LiveJournal uses HitBox web beacon tags only on pages with the cobranded Independent/LiveJournal layouts (including journals, such as those ending with "exampleusersname.independentminds.livejournal.com" URLs), and nowhere else on the site. HitBox tags are used on those pages to ensure an accurate third-party count of the pages being served by LiveJournal that have layouts that are cobranded with The Independent. The reporting is anonymous and no personally identifiable information is transferred; they're only there to provide a count to understand unique visitors to these pages.
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