theljstaff (theljstaff) wrote in lj_biz,
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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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Actually, I'd prefer we paying customers have the fully vetted list of uris that are part of this new policy; that is:

ads.doubleclick.com or ads.dcnetwks01.net et cetera.


Uniform resourse.. indicator?

soph

8 years ago

primavera

8 years ago

winterknight

8 years ago

speck

8 years ago

realslimshadie

8 years ago

anantj

8 years ago

(insert FIRST!!!! here)
On EACH machine on which you wish to opt-out on because you are OPTED IN BY DEFAULT and their site does not function fully without it.
Thanks for the detailed and clearly articulated explanation of the policy changes.

claireylouisa

8 years ago

Wow, complete honesty. This is nice :)
Kudos to you folks for actually discussing and detailing the changes made to the privacy policy, as opposed to taking the more standard but highly annoying approach of simply informing users that a new version has been posted! :) I hate it when companies do that (take the standard approach, that is - how am I supposed to review a privacy policy if there is no list of changes and, in most cases, not even a copy of the old one to be found?), so I'm really glad you're not doing the same.
Second!

tsukinofaerii

8 years ago

Thank you - this is very useful and informative.
The problem with trying to opt out is that for some of those sites I couldn't find the opt out page. Others I found but don't work. The hitbox one you linked to, for example, times out when I click on the opt-out link.
Mine is timing out, too, but it could be because we're all trying to access it right now and the page is overloading. I'm going to try again later.

z3bulin

8 years ago

Deleted comment

That's what I'm hoping.

jjm

8 years ago

raeyn

November 26 2008, 00:02:33 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  November 26 2008, 00:03:42 UTC

Erm... so does anyone else find it mildly ironic and annoying when you go to opt out of some of these, cookie-wise, it puts ANOTHER cookie on your machine to tell it to not put cookies on your machine? That's some utter fail, yo.

http://www.advertising.com/opt_out_thanks.php

</3 Also, I can't find the opt-out on some of these; the links should probably be provided if at all possible.
the best practice would be installing NoScript and AdBlock Fx extensions (and/or any good filtering HTTP proxy) on every machine you usually access LJ.

everything else fails. don't even bother yourself trying to opt-out.

dust_eden

8 years ago

mustuffa

8 years ago

ladysorka

8 years ago

claudine

8 years ago

raeyn

8 years ago

izuko

8 years ago

mustuffa

8 years ago

raeyn

8 years ago

isogon

8 years ago

Deleted comment

I've been meaning to raise this issue for a while, so since this post is about advertising now seems to be as good a time as any.

I paid for a permanent account in one of the previous sales in the belief that I wouldn't be bothered by ads on LJ (while logged in), and yet I still see them on many of the RSS feeds for some reason. It's especially noticeable on my public "news" filter, but the ads are intermittant and may come or go on individual entries when I refresh the page.

FAQ #262: "Paid and Permanent Accounts: You will never see ads on LiveJournal, even when viewing a Plus account's journal, as long as you're logged in." - does this not include RSS feeds and content from ad-partners?

Can you give me an example of one of the RSS feeds you're looking at? If the ad is within the contents of what's being syndicated off of an outside site, that's part of that site's content and we won't have control over it. But if you're seeing ours, I'd like to bring it to someone's attention.

flying_blind

8 years ago

marta

8 years ago

wildcard_sej

8 years ago

galbinus_caeli

8 years ago

flying_blind

8 years ago

txvoodoo

8 years ago

Deleted comment

folk

8 years ago

Thank you very much for the detailed info on the update. I appreciate it. <3 Of course you guys can't be held responsible for the gigantic fail on the part of the advertisers opt-out options (which don't affect me, but anyways!), but you also didn't have to tell us upfront who we go to in order to opt out. Double win LJ. <3 ILU.
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.

Has anyone else noticed how broken that is? The Plus account holder opted in, but the Basic/Early Adopter account holder did not. The latter has no way of knowing in advance the status of any other LJ account! You could change the policy so only Plus account holders automatically share information, or provide an interstitial such as:

$$

Plus Content Notice

The content that you are about to view discloses your personal information to Third Party Advertisers. To continue, you must confirm your willingness to share demographics and advertising preferences.

where the reader then has to click a button to proceed.

Otherwise, people are going to start suppressing or falsifying profile information ... are you sure that's in everyone's best interest?

We don't ever disclose personal (private) information at all. The only information used is what's already allowed to be shown publicly by the user (if any), and that's used in a non-identifying manner, which means it can't be stored or used in other ways, and can't be connected back to the username or other information.

stormcloude

8 years ago

mackiedockie

8 years ago

flexor

8 years ago

thnidu

8 years ago

kali921

November 26 2008, 04:24:55 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  November 26 2008, 04:26:06 UTC

Why don't you make this post more useful and actually link to the opt out pages of the advertisers you list here?

EDIT: Omniture's opt out page is broken - it keeps returning error messages. We've tried it from two different IP addresses now.
How is your Ip not personal information?

Can't you look it up though the ISP to get the bill-payer's name, address and phone number? Or is this a different kind of ISP than the ones you can look up like that?

Or do we have more than one ISP, and the one advertisers get is just this computer wherever it goes?
No, it's not possible to trace an IP to a particular person or address. An IP address can be traced only to the service (ISP) and the regional area it originates from (although that can sometimes be not too accurate too).

The ISPs typically do not ever give out a subscriber's information unless they're served with a court order or something like that. So the bill-payer or address and that kind of thing aren't revealed with an IP address. Additionally, most people don't have a static IP address - some have a dynamic one which changes pretty regularly, and most others have one that will change whenever the router is reset or under other circumstances.

galbinus_caeli

8 years ago

poshlil

8 years ago

technobubblegum

8 years ago

logicisfailing

8 years ago

shifuimam

8 years ago

>.< Another fail from LJ-- I've tried to “opt out” from hitbox three times now and every single time I get a timeout error from their website.
That would be Hitbox fail and not LJ fail, imo!

stormcloude

8 years ago

"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.

Please can someone explain what "cobranded Independent/LiveJournal layouts" are? I have no idea. Thank-you.
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.

Um, guys. This stuff we've been trying to talk to you about, regarding how to communicate successfully with the users ...

"Okay, it might have been spyware at one point, but we're pretty sure it isn't now! So that's fine, right?" is not a good example.
Seriously. Especially with the (understandable due to the move, but abysmally communicated) site outages this week.

"Hey, we know the site isn't working properly (which we'll first talk about in item 8 of 9 on a news post), but here, we're going to sell your data to Hitbox, who used to be spyware, and there's no working opt-out link for them, and we won't give you direct opt-out links for the others" hardly fills one with confidence.

Okay, I've read the post and the comments and I can't really claim to understand much of this. It's a wee bit to technical and stuff for me, but the long and the short of it is that everything on the profile marked as public is public and can be shared.

As a paid user, who don't get ads at all, how relevant is this to me while using LJ?
(I understand that it may still be relevant to me if using other sites with ads)

Deleted comment

Opt out?

A) Get a new HOSTS file to block a huge list of advertisers.

http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/
(One example that I use)

B) Use FF with Noscript/AdBlock+

No more advertisers (or at least 99% fewer) and no reason to "opt out" of anything.

moonshaz

8 years ago

z3bulin

8 years ago

moonshaz

8 years ago

dementedsiren

November 26 2008, 13:37:46 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  November 26 2008, 13:45:27 UTC

After some internet leg work, here's as direct a list as I could make of the actual opt-out links:

Advertising.com (an AOL Company)
http://www.advertising.com/opt_out.php

AdBrite
The site is the antithesis of helpful when it comes to opting out (also, some of their policies seem a bit suspect). I emailed AdBrite about an hour ago, and according to the “contact us” landing page, should receive response in 24 hours.

Blue Lithium (a Yahoo! Company)
http://www.bluelithium.com/optout.html

Casale Media
From Privacy Policy: Opt-Out Internet users have the option to block the use of cookies by changing an Internet browser setting. In addition, users have the option to block the use of JavaScript, which is used by the Casale Media® Online Advertising Network to display advertisements. For more information, please see the documentation regarding your Internet browser.

DoubleClick (a Google Company)
http://www.doubleclick.com/privacy/index.aspx

Google Ad Sense
http://www.google.com/privacy_cookies.html
This isn’t a direct opt-out link because it looks like there are multiple pieces you have to work to get out of (Double-Click, DART, etc). However, the different ways to do so seem to be listed here.**

Omniture (general)
http://www.omniture.com/en/privacy/policy#optout
Using this opt-out link generates a pop-up, so if you have pop-ups blocked it may not function correctly.

Omniture (Hitbox specific):
http://www.omniture.com/en/company/acquisitions/visualsciences/privacy/policy

Right Media (a Yahoo! Company)
This one was tricky. The Right Media website didn’t have anything on opting out. After a bit of Googling, though, I found one via a Yahoo press release (which makes for some interesting reading).
http://content.yieldmanager.edgesuite.net/opt_out.html

Finally, the NAI website has a list of ad networks you can opt out of. It’s also handy because it will tell you your “cookie status” for those networks.

Personally, I think general blocking software is the way to go, as managing this on an individual level would be next to impossible over time, but it's still good to be informed...
What "general blocking software" do you recommend? Also, thanks for these links, they're super handy.

dementedsiren

8 years ago

z3bulin

8 years ago

dementedsiren

8 years ago

technobubblegum

8 years ago

Does any of this apply to those of us with Paid Accounts, who should be seeing no ads to begin with?
Opt out?

A) Get a new HOSTS file to block a huge list of advertisers.

http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/
(One example that I use)

B) Use FF with Noscript/AdBlock+

No more advertisers (or at least 99% fewer) and no reason to "opt out" of anything.
Thanks for that.
will I be able to place my own adds (in near future) as paid user? for example to connect Google Ad Sense?
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.

To check that I'm reading this correctly, an example:

1. I set my age to be hidden.
2. I view a page containing a targetted ad.
3. Because I am 35, LJ serves me an ad which is targetted at 30-39 year olds.
4. At this point, the advertiser can set a cookie on my machine letting them know that I am 30-39 years old.
5. The next time I view an advert from that advertiser, possibly even on another site, they can read their '30-39' cookie and target their advert to my age range again.

Is that correct? If so, while that's entirely reasonable (and, I think, unavoidable with a targetted advertising system), I think the last sentence is phrased quite oddly. It might be less confusing to say that while private information is not directly transmitted to advertisers, it is entirely possible that they will be able to deduce it by looking at which adverts are served to particular users. The user's consent is irrelevant.
I believe what LJ means is that it won't use your private age to determine which ads it shows you (I hope so, because some of the ones I see are dreadful from a "targeted" standpoint). But, if you click on an ad, then you run the risk that the ad will assume that you're in the age range that would have been used to target the ad if it had been allowed to target your age.

If this still works the way it did when I was in college, LJ tells the ad company that they can put an ad of such-and-such size in such-and-such spot on the page, and the ad company chooses which ad. So at that point, it's not LJ doing the targeting; it's the ad company, which doesn't have your age to begin with.

The basic idea is not to click on ads; better to google whatever the ad was about and reach the site that way. :)

dennyd

8 years ago

jem0000000

8 years ago

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.
I'm so glad I'm a perm account, even if (I'm assuming) the info isn't tied to your name. But how do you know someone's a plus account before you go there?
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