Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Related to our Privacy Policy

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.

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?

AOL uses information 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 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 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 those services.

How do the AOL brands respond to "Do Not Track" browser signals?

Some web browsers may transmit "Do Not Track" signals to the websites and other online services with which the browser communicates. Currently, there is no standard that governs what, if anything, websites should do when they receive these signals and AOL currently does not take action in response to these signals. If and when a standard for responding to browser "Do Not Track" signals is established, we may revisit our policy on responding to these signals.

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.

With your consent, AOL will automatically scan data at rest in select products and services, such as Alto Mail, in order to optimize features and functionality. This may include, for example, organization of messages, reminders, suggestions or special offers.

Who can I contact with questions about my privacy?

If you have any questions, please 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.

Questions Related to our Terms of Service

What is the AOL Terms of Service?

The AOL Terms of Service (TOS) is a contract between you and AOL. It covers your use of AOL's free and fee-based websites and services. Some of our websites and services also include supplemental terms. By using our services or registering with us, you are agreeing to comply with the TOS and any supplemental terms.

Does the AOL Terms of Service include an arbitration clause?

AOL's Terms of Service includes a binding arbitration clause and class action waiver. AOL's arbitration clause can be found in our Terms of Service in the section entitled "How to resolve disputes with us."

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a more informal way of resolving legal disputes than going to court. Cases are decided by an impartial, independent arbitrator, who can award individual damages just as a court could. Arbitration is typically faster and more efficient than court. Arbitrations with AOL will be administered by the American Arbitration Association.

What is the American Arbitration Association?

The American Arbitration Association ("AAA") is a not-for-profit organization specializing in alternate dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration and mediation. Once arbitration has been initiated, AAA selects arbitrators and manages the case from beginning to end.

What do I do if I have a legal dispute with AOL?

Most customer service issues can be handled by AOL's customer support team, which you can reach at 1-800-827-6364. If our customer support team is unable to resolve your complaint, you may file a Notice of Dispute with us.

What is a Notice of Dispute?

A "Notice of Dispute" is a form on which you provide your contact information, your AOL user ID, the facts regarding your Dispute, and the relief you are requesting from us. You can get a Notice of Dispute form by clicking here. We will respond to a Notice of Dispute in writing within 60 days after we receive it. If, after 60 days, the dispute has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may initiate arbitration.

How do I start the arbitration process?

To start the arbitration process, you must first file a Notice of Dispute with us. If, after 60 days, the dispute has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may initiate arbitration by completing a Demand for Arbitration form, available by clicking here. The completed form should be returned directly to the AAA. The AAA will assign someone to manage the case and will contact you with instructions for continuing the arbitration process.

How much does arbitration cost?

In most cases, there will be no cost to you. If your claim in arbitration is $75,000 or less, we will pay your filing fees, as well as other AAA and arbitrator's fees and expenses. If you initiate an arbitration involving more than $75,000, the AAA rules will govern payment of filing fees and the AAA's and arbitrator's fees and expenses. If AOL initiates arbitration, we will pay all filing, AAA, and arbitrator's fees and expenses.

Where does arbitration take place?

You may initiate arbitration only in your county of residence or in Loudoun County, Virginia. The AAA rules will determine whether the arbitration will take place through written submissions by you and us, by telephone, or in person.

Do I need a lawyer for arbitration?

A lawyer is not required for arbitration; however, you may hire a lawyer (at your own expense) to represent you if you wish to. AOL may be represented by an attorney in arbitration.

Who will the arbitrator be?

The arbitrator will be an impartial, independent person selected by the AAA to decide the case. Both you and AOL will have an opportunity to submit any factual objections to the arbitrator's selection.

Can I still take my dispute to court?

Instead of arbitration, you may litigate in small claims court in your county of residence or Loudoun County, Virginia, as long as the amount of your dispute meets the limits set for small claims court.

  Can I still take my dispute to court?
  • Instead of arbitration, you may litigate in small claims court in your county of residence or Loudoun County, Virginia, as long as the amount of your dispute meets the limits set for small claims court.