Privacy FAQ

What does this privacy policy cover?

This privacy policy covers the collection and use of information from any device used to access or connect to AOL branded websites, services, and software, as well as many websites owned by or affiliated with AOL and operating under different names. This policy does not apply to information about you collected by third party websites and offerings linked to or otherwise accessible from AOL, which is subject to their own privacy policies.

What information do you collect?

We collect a variety of information, including registration information you may provide AOL, certain technical information, information about the AOL services you use and how you use them, your searches with AOL Search, your responses to offerings and advertisements, and other information set out in the "Collection of Your AOL Information" section of the privacy policy.

Does AOL share my personal information?

AOL may share your personal information in limited circumstances, including when we have your consent to do so or when sharing is necessary to protect AOL or comply with the law.  Our agents and contractors may have access to your information, but only to perform services for AOL. We do not sell or rent your personal information to third parties.

How do you use information to target ads and content?

Your AOL Information is used to operate and improve our services, fulfill your requests and communicate with you, conduct research, and personalize content and ads provided to you. Often, an ad you see online is customized based on the content of the site. For example, you may see sports-related ads on a sports site. We may also select an ad based on our knowledge of the audience we think may be looking at that page. This is often done with publicly available and/or aggregated demographic information, or it may be done with analysis of the aggregated traffic on a particular website, or by using the registration data or other household data you have provided or that we have acquired from other companies.

What is behavioral advertising and its impact on my privacy?

In addition to customizing advertisements for you based on the subject matter of the page you are visiting, demographic data, or information you have already provided to AOL, some ads may be targeted based on your activity on sites in the AOL Advertising Network. When you visit these sites, you may receive a “cookie” that helps us note, in an anonymized way, that your browser visited that site. AOL Advertising may use information about your activity on the AOL Advertising Network to display ads that are more relevant. Note that the information shared with the advertising network is always with a unique identifier, not personally identifiable information, such as your name or email address. Our AdVisibility Profile Viewer allows you to see how the information we collect about your visits within the AOL Advertising Network are categorized into the interest segments used to select the ads displayed. You can also opt out of targeted ads. Please note that you will still receive ads; however, they will no longer be tailored based on your activities.

What is the Advertising Option Icon?

AOL Advertising is a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), all of which are implementing the Advertising Option Icon - a clickable “icon” to be placed on or near online ads to provide information about interest-based advertising, identify the advertising companies involved in serving such ads, and describe their data collection practices. The icon should also link to an opt-out mechanism to notify the ad networks of a user's opt out preference regarding interest-based advertising.

If you click on the icon on or near an online ad, you will learn more about the ad and your interest-based advertising choices.

What choices does AOL offer to control my information?

AOL provides you with access to your registration information, any billing or shipping information, the ability to edit your information at My Account, as well as the ability to cancel AOL fee-based services. Visit AOL Marketing Preferences to make choices about how your AOL information may be used to provide marketing offers to you. Please note that these preferences do not apply to communications that are directly related to your registration with AOL or the fulfillment of a specific transaction you have requested (for example, a service advisory from AOL or an acknowledgment of a purchase). Visit AOL Advertising and Privacy to learn more about online advertising and your related choices. Some AOL services (AOL Search, for example) may offer you the ability to control what information is collected or used specific to these services.

Does AOL use Flash cookies?

Cookies are text files that are placed in your computer's browser and can be used to help recognize you as an AOL user. Web beacons are small pieces of code placed on website that can be used, among other things, to count the users who visit that website, or to deliver a cookie to the browser of a user viewing that page. Many websites, including AOL, also may use “Flash cookies” that operate similarly to regular browser cookies. While we may use Flash cookies to remember preferences, we do not use Flash cookies for behavioral advertising.

You can control browser cookies through your browser's settings. You can control Flash cookies via the Macromedia Flash application on your computer, or by going to the Macromedia Flash Player website, which allows you to view, modify, and delete Flash cookies. Please note that if you reject all browser or Flash cookies, you may not be able to take advantage of many AOL offerings.

Does AOL read my private communications?

AOL may use information about your use of certain communication tools (for example, AOL e-mail or AOL Instant Messenger); however, AOL does not read your private online communications when you use these communication tools without your consent.

Who can I contact with questions about my privacy?

AOL Privacy
22000 AOL Way
Dulles, VA 20166

You may also email us.

For immediate assistance with AOL products and services or your AOL account, please visit AOL Help, where you can find answers to many common questions. Here, you can find assistance with error messages, connection problems, billing, or using AOL products and services. Users on qualified plans can chat live with a Member Services consultant by clicking the “Contact AOL” link at the bottom of the page.