Privacy & the AppNexus Platform

Platform Privacy Policy

For information regarding our corporate website privacy practices, please click here.

This information and the privacy statement below apply to our online advertising technology platform (the Platform), and will be of general interest to Internet users. If you have any questions about this information, please contact us here.

Opt Out: To go directly to our opt out, click here

Glossary

Ad Server: An ad server, in its simplest form, is responsible for delivering an ad to be shown in a web page or a mobile app. Today, communications may be sent to several servers in the process of selecting and delivering an ad. This occurs in a matter of milliseconds.
Beacons, Pixels, and Tags: Beacons (also sometimes referred to as web beacons or pixels) and tags enable online advertising companies to collect data, serve advertising, and provide related services, such as measurement or fraud prevention, on web sites by allowing communication between a web browser and a server. A beacon is a small transparent image that is placed on a web page. A tag is a small piece of computer code that is run by the web browser.
Mobile SDK: A mobile SDK is the mobile app version of a beacon or tag (see Beacons and Tags above). The SDK is a piece of computer code that publishers include in their apps to enable ads to be shown and to enable related services, such as measurement or fraud prevention.
Cookie: A cookie is a small text file that is stored in a web browser by a website or ad server. By saving information in a cookie, websites and servers can remember preferences or recognize browsers from one visit to another or from one website to another. (See the Privacy Statement below for information on how AppNexus uses cookies.)
Non-Cookie Technology: Today’s online world is becoming increasingly complex, with a proliferation of new devices, software platforms, online services, and other technology. In this world, cookies are not always available. Therefore, companies are using alternative methods to distinguish devices. For example, some platforms, such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Play Services for Android, provide unique IDs to be used for advertising. Most mobile devices are assigned unique identifiers that also may be used to distinguish devices. Additionally, it is possible to use mathematical techniques to make intelligent guesses about recognizing devices.
ID Synching: ID synching (sometimes also referred to as cookie syncing), though not often discussed, is a common and long-standing process in the industry. It enables advertisers to use data on multiple advertising platforms. Here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say you sell a product on your website, and a customer visits your site. You store a cookie to identify that customer’s browser with an ID of 12345 and associate that ID with information about what the customer shopped for on your site. If you want to use that information to advertise on other sites, you might buy the advertising through an online advertising marketplace. In order to buy the right ads, you’ll need to match ID 12345 to the ID the marketplace has assigned to the same customer (which let’s say for this example is ABCDE), you’ll have a record that says ID 12345 = Marketplace ID ABCDE. That way, when the marketplace offers to sell you an ad to be shown to ABCDE, your system will know that ABCDE is the same as 12345, and you can pick the right ad to show the customer.
Interest-Based Advertising: Interest-based advertising uses information collected across multiple web sites or mobile apps to predict users' preferences and to show ads that are most likely to be of interest to them. For example, if a user visits a travel site or uses a travel app, she might see travel-related ads on another site or app. Users have choices with respect to this type of advertising, as discussed below.
PII: Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is information that by itself can be used to identify a specific individual. PII includes such things as name, address, phone number, and email address. AppNexus contractually prohibits companies using the AppNexus Platform from bringing PII onto the Platform. (See the Privacy Statement below for more information.)
Non-PII: Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify an individual person. Non-PII includes information received from the web browser, operating system, or device, including such things as information about the browser and browser settings, information about the operating system or device, the unique identifier assigned to a device, the web address of a web page visited, the name or type of mobile app, the time and date a web page or app was visited, the address of the referring web page, and other information about a web page or app. It could also include the number of times a particular browser or device has been shown a particular ad, or it may include generic categories about users and their interests(for example, “male car buyer”). Non-PII also includes information about the precise geographic location of the device, which may be collected when the user of the device permits such collection. 
Precise Geographic Location: Your device, typically a mobile device, may be capable of sharing your precise geographic location with apps or web pages that you visit using that device. Devices use one or more methods to determine this location, including GPS coordinates and information about wifi networks in your vicinity. (Geographic location determined from IP address is typically not considered to be “precise.”) Devices such as iPhone or Android phones should require users’ consent before installing or using an app that accesses the device’s precise geographic location. The app, in turn, may make this information available to third party advertising companies in order to make the ads you see more relevant.
Real-Time Bidding: Advertising buyers are able to bid in “real time" for the opportunity to show an online advertisement when a web page is loaded or an app is used. The winning bidder gets to show its ad. Of course, the explanations above are simplified. There are many resources available on the web to learn more about these concepts and online advertising in general. Although we have no responsibility for the content of these sites, we offer the following as good places to start learning:

The AppNexus Platform

AppNexus has created a technology platform (Platform or AppNexus Platform) that our clients use to buy, sell, and deliver online advertising, including interest-based advertising, mostly through real-time bidding. The Platform is designed to enable these advertising purposes through the use of non-PII that may be collected by clients using the Platform, or that clients may acquire from other sources. As described in the Privacy Statement below, AppNexus makes certain uses of the non-PII collected by clients on the Platform.

The AppNexus Platform Cookie Statement

Although the specific cookies may change from time to time, this describes the purposes for which the AppNexus Platform uses cookies. For a detailed description of cookies set by the Platform, see AppNexus Cookies.

  • The Platform uses unique cookies to identify web browsers and to store data for advertising purposes, including interest-based advertising.
  • The Platform uses unique cookies to store ad delivery and reporting data, such as, for example, which ad was shown, the number of times a particular ad has been shown, and how recently an ad has been shown to a particular web browser.
  • The Platform uses unique cookies to track users' responses (clicks and conversions) to ads purchased on the platform.
  • The Platform uses non-unique cookies for server load-balancing and similar technical purposes.
  • The Platform uses non-unique cookies to store users' opt-out choices.
  • The AppNexus Platform is designed to use only non-PII, and AppNexus has contractual provisions that prohibit clients of the Platform from associating Platform cookies with PII.

Note that the Platform may also use some Non-Cookie Technologies (as defined above and as detailed below).

The AppNexus Platform Privacy Statement

Effective February 21, 2014

This privacy statement describes AppNexus's use practices and policies with regard to the information that is collected on the Platform. It applies only to AppNexus. It does not state the use practices or policies of our clients, of the websites or apps on which ads are shown, or of other parties.

What information do we collect and use? The Platform is designed to collect and use only non-PII. Details.
How do we collect information? The Platform uses cookies, beacons, tags, mobile SDKs, and some non-cookie technologies to collect and store non-PII about web browsers and devices across web sites and apps and over time. Details.
For what purposes do we use the collected information? AppNexus uses the information to provide, operate, manage, maintain, and enhance the Platform. Details
What information do we share with third parties? Except for data collected on the Platform and provided to clients, partners, and service providers to operate or enhance AppNexus' services, or as required by law, AppNexus does not share the information collected on the Platform with others. Details.
How is the information stored and how long is it kept? The information is stored using generally accepted security standards. It is retained for up to 18 months from the date of collection, and is then aggregated. Details.
What are your choices? Web browser users may opt out of use of the Platform for interest-based advertising in their web browser. Mobile app users have access to choices provided by certain apps or in their device system software. Details.
What happens if this privacy statement is changed? Check this policy for changes. Material changes will not be applied to previously collected information. Details.
Questions? Send a message here.

What information do we collect and use?

  • PII: AppNexus does not collect or use PII on the Platform, and contractually prohibits its clients from collecting or using PII on the Platform.
  • Non-PII: AppNexus makes some uses of non-PII collected on the Platform.
  • Non-PII from third parties: The Platform enables clients to use information provided by third-party sources. Clients and third parties use ID synching to enable the use of this information through the Platform.

How do we collect information?

  • The Platform uses cookies, beacons, tags, mobile SDKs, and in some cases non-cookie technologies, to collect non-PII associated with particular web browsers or devices.

For what purposes do we use the information?

  • AppNexus uses the information collected on the Platform to provide, operate, manage, maintain, and enhance the Platform.
  • AppNexus may act as a client of the Platform to advertise its business online. See our corporate website privacy practices here.
  • The Platform enables AppNexus's clients to use non-PII they collect to buy and sell online advertising, including interest-based advertising, using real-time bidding.
  • Particular advertising-related purposes for which AppNexus clients may use the non-PII they collect on the platform include:
    • Interest-based advertising (To opt out of interest-based advertising on the Platform, go to the “What are your choices?" section below.)
    • Limiting the number of times a user sees a particular ad
    • Showing ads in a particular sequence
    • Customizing ads to a particular geographic region
    • Showing ads related to the content of the web page on which they are shown
    • Determining when users respond to ads
    • Reporting aggregated statistics regarding, for example, the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns

Typically, companies using a platform, such as the AppNexus Platform, own the data that they provide to and collect through the Platform. While the AppNexus Platform is designed to use only non-PII, and Platform clients are prohibited from bringing PII onto the Platform, when clients remove their data from the platform, their use of data is governed by their own privacy policies and applicable laws, rules, or regulations.

What information does AppNexus share with third parties?

AppNexus may, to operate or enhance AppNexus's services, provide data collected on the Platform to clients, partners, and service providers. AppNexus may provide, or enable others to collect, information for purposes of detecting and preventing malicious activity or invalid traffic. In addition, AppNexus may disclose such information in the event we reasonably suspect malicious activity or invalid traffic, or believe that we are legally required to do so. AppNexus may also share aggregated data derived from the Platform, including, for example, statistics about Platform activity. Finally, we may transfer Platform data to a successor entity in connection with a corporate merger, consolidation, sale of assets, bankruptcy, or other corporate change.

How is the information stored and how long is it kept?

  • AppNexus uses generally accepted industry security standards on the Platform.
  • Non-PII stored in the platform is retained in the Platform in non-aggregated form for up to 18 months from the date of collection. Aggregated data is used for reporting and analysis, and may be stored in the Platform for up to 2 additional years.

What are your choices?

OPT OUT

You can opt out of interest-based advertising.

AppNexus Web Browser Opt Out: You can click below to opt out of having the Platform used to select ads for your browser based on your online web browsing behavior. When you opt out, an opt out cookie (from adnxs.com) will be stored in your web browser. The Platform will know the choice you have made when it sees your opt out cookie, and will apply your choice to all companies’ use of the Platform. If you block or delete the opt out cookie, the Platform will not see your choice.

  • The opt out cookie cannot be set if your browser is configured to block third-party cookies.
  • If you delete your cookies, you will need to opt out again. There are browser plugins to help you preserve your opt out cookies. For more information, please visit http://www.aboutads.info/PMC.
  • The opt out only applies to the browser in which you set it. For example, if you set the opt out while using Firefox, but then use Chrome, the opt out will not be active in Chrome. To opt out in Chrome, you will need to repeat the opt out process.
  • The opt out does not block or delete cookies, or prevent the use of cookies or other technologies for purposes other than selecting ads based on your interests as inferred by your online behavior. If you opt out, data may still be collected about your web browsing activities and you will still see advertising. Ads may be selected, for example, based on the content of the web page in which they are shown. If you wish to block or delete cookies altogether, you can use web browser settings to do so. See the resources above for more information.
  • To learn more about interest-based advertising, and to access the opt outs of other online advertising companies, visit the Network Advertising Initiative opt out page.

AppNexus Mobile App Opt Out: Mobile device system software such as Apple iOS or Google Play Services provide an opt out choice that will be communicated to companies providing in-app advertisements. For more information, or to opt out using these mechanisms, consult your device settings.

Industry self-regulation

AppNexus supports industry self-regulation, and endorses best practices and self-regulatory requirements that apply to the Platform. AppNexus is a member in good standing of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), and adheres to the NAI Code of Conduct for Web. Additionally, the following industry sites provide useful information about industry self-regulation of interest-based advertising:

U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor Framework and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework

For personal information we transfer from the European Union to the United States, we adhere to the principles of the U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor Framework and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework, as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce (http://export.gov/safeharbor/). For questions or complaints related to the collection, retention, or use of data under either of the Safe Harbor Frameworks, please contact us here. Unresolved privacy complaints under either of the Safe Harbors will be referred to the American Arbitration Association as an independent dispute resolution mechanism.

What happens if this privacy statement is changed?

Check this policy for changes. We may change this privacy statement at any time. However, if we were to make material changes, those changes would not be applied to information collected prior to such changes

More questions?

If you have questions about privacy on the AppNexus Platform, you may send us a message here.