Advertising, Analytics, and Privacy
AOL’s websites, products, and services are supported in large part by advertising. This is how we are able to provide content and services. AOL owns an advertising network, AOL Advertising, that spans AOL owned and operated pages as well as many other websites across the Internet.
AOL may display various types of advertisements (such as banner ads, rich media ads, and sponsored links) on the sites you visit for a variety of reasons. In the same way that we use information about you (see “AOL Information”) to customize or personalize the content or services we provide, we may also use information to make the ads you see more relevant for you, and more effective for advertisers. We may also use information from other companies or sites to assist in determining the effectiveness of advertising. This helps advertisers spend their money wisely and helps the providers of content (publishers) increase revenues and stay online.
AOL may share certain information about you as a user (such as age, zip code, or other household information AOL has collected or received) with certain ad networks and service providers, including AOL Advertising, to help deliver more relevant content and advertisements throughout their networks. AOL takes steps to ensure that the information provided to ad networks is not personally identifiable, but instead provides attributes which are linked to a non-personally identifiable cookie or user ID.
Ad networks, including AOL Advertising, also provide ads to you on AOL Services and across their advertising networks. In some cases, these ads are based on your activity on those sites or information appended from offline sources. This is often called behavioral advertising, behavioral targeting, interest-based advertising, or customized ads. When you visit sites on the AOL Advertising network, you may receive a “cookie” or other technology that helps us note, in an anonymized way, that you visited that site. This information goes into ad logs that are kept for a limited duration. From the ad logs, AOL Advertising may use information about your activity to help us display ads that are more relevant. Note that the information shared with advertising networks is always with a unique identifier, and does not include personally identifiable information such as your name, email address, etc.
- AOL Advertising
- Google Analytics
- NLG News Registry
- Scorecard Research
- Session M
AOL and our advertisers may use additional service providers not listed above. Please visit the Network Advertising Initiative and the Digital Advertising Alliance for additional information about online advertising where many additional third party providers may be listed.
We also cooperate with the Network Advertising Initiative, the Digital Advertising Alliance, and other industry groups to provide easy-to-find and use opt-outs from behavioral advertising.
In addition, you can use your browser to control your experience. When you clear the cookies in your browser, you may clear the information used to build a behavioral profile. Depending on the browser you are using, you can also choose to block third party cookies (such as cookies from ad networks) or browse in a private browsing mode. As new technologies emerge, your ability to control your experience may no longer rely solely on cookies. In such instances, we will provide additional information or instructions to manage your preferences.
Many opt outs are based on a cookie set by your browser that prevents the collection of data connected to a unique anonymous ID. If you opt-out using this method, the opt-out will generally last for 1-5 years. Please note that clearing the cookies in your browser may cancel the opt-out. In conjunction with the Digital Advertising Alliance, we offer the Cookie Protector, which will ensure that your opt-out settings persist regardless of clearing your cookies.