Privacy Policy

Privacy Notice for Visitors to Our Users’ Sites

As on https://automattic.com/privacy-notice/

‘Hi there! This Privacy Notice explains how we, at Automattic, process information about the visitors of our users’ websites in connection with the services we provide through WordPress.com, Jetpack (including WooCommerce Services), IntenseDebate, Crowdsignal.com, and Akismet. Read on!

Who’s Who and What This Privacy Notice Covers

Let’s talk first about who we are at Automattic, what we do, and what this Privacy Notice covers.

We are the folks behind a variety of products and services designed to allow anyone–from bloggers, to small business owners, and enterprises–to create, publish, and manage their own websites:

  • WordPress.com offers the design, features, and support to bring a website to life.
  • With Jetpack, website owners that host their websites elsewhere can connect those websites to features and tools available through WordPress.com and WooCommerce Services.
  • Crowdsignal helps site owners create quizzes, surveys, and polls that fit their brand and vision.
  • Intense Debate gives site owners tools to manage comments on their websites.
  • Akismet helps keep spam under control by filtering out spam comments–hundreds of millions, every day!

To keep things simple, in this Privacy Notice we’ll refer to the users of the services we provide through these products and services–such as a website’s administrator, contributor, author, or editor–as our “Users,” and we’ll refer to our Users’ websites as “Sites.” Visitors to those Sites can read published content and interact with the Sites through features such as comments, “likes,” poll/survey responses, and follows.

We put together this Privacy Notice to help our Users understand the information we collect about their Site visitors (a/k/a our Users’ users), and how that happens on their Sites. Our Users are responsible for publishing a privacy policy on their Sites that explains to their visitors how data is collected via the Sites and how that information is used and disclosed.

This Privacy Notice does not apply to the information we collect about Users and those who visit Automattic’s websites (like automattic.com, wordpress.com, jetpack.com, or akismet.com)–that’s covered in our Privacy Policy.

Alright, with those introductions out of the way, let’s turn to how we collect, use, and share information about visitors to our Users’ Sites.

Information We Collect About Visitors to Our Users’ Sites

We collect information about visitors to our Users’ Sites in a few different ways–we collect certain information that the visitors provide to the Site, we collect some information automatically, and we collect any information that our Users provide to us about their visitors.

Information a Visitor Provides to a Site

We’ll start with information that visitors provide directly to a Site, which primarily happens when visitors type into a text field on a Site, like a comment field or a sign-up form. Our Users may also implement other ways to allow Site visitors to provide information directly through their Sites.

Here are the most common ways in which a visitor directly provides information to a Site:

  • Follower and Subscriber Information: When a visitor signs up to follow or subscribe to a Site using Jetpack or WordPress.com, we collect the sign-up information requested by the Site, which typically includes an email address.
  • Site Comments: When a visitor leaves a comment on a Site, we collect that comment, and other information that the visitor provides along with the comment, such as the visitor’s name and email address.
  • Crowdsignal Survey Responses: When a visitor completes a poll, quiz, or other type of survey prepared by a User via Crowdsignal.com, we collect the visitor’s responses to those surveys, and other information that the survey owner requires for a poll/quiz/survey response, like an e-mail address.
  • Order and Shipment Information: If a visitor orders something (hooray!) from a Site using our store and ecommerce features available through WordPress.com or Jetpack (including WooCommerce Services), we may collect information to process that order, such as credit card and billing information, and an address for shipping the package along to the recipient and calculating applicable taxes. We may also use this information for other purposes on behalf of our Users–for example, to send marketing and other communications from our Users to their customers, and to provide our User with analytics information about their ecommerce site (e.g., the number of orders from particular geographic areas).
  • Other Information Entered on the Site: We may also collect other information that a visitor enters on the Site–such as a contact form submission, a search query, or Site registration.

Information We Automatically Collect from the Site

We also automatically collect some information about visitors to a Site. The information we automatically collect depends on which of our services the Site uses. We’ve listed examples below:

  • Technical Data from a Visitor’s Computer and Etcetera: We collect the information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available about visitors to a Site, such as the IP address, browser type, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information.
  • Visitor Interactions: We collect information about a visitor’s interactions with a Site, including the “likes” and “ratings” left by visitors to a Site using WordPress.com or Jetpack.
  • Location Information: We may determine the approximate location of a visitor’s device from the IP address. We collect and use this information to, for example, tally for our Users how many people visit their Sites from certain geographic regions. If you’d like, you can read more about our Site Stats feature for WordPress.com sites and Jetpack sites.
  • Akismet Commenter Information: We collect information about visitors who comment on Sites that use our Akismet anti-spam service. The information we collect depends on how the User sets up Akismet for the Site, but typically includes the commenter’s IP address, user agent, referrer, and Site URL (along with other information directly provided by the commenter such as their name, username, email address…oh, and the comment itself, of course).
  • Crowdsignal Response Information: We collect information about visitors who respond to a Crowdsignal survey. The information that we collect typically includes IP address, browser type, operating system, user agent, and the web page last visited.
  • Intense Debate Commenter Information: We collect information about visitors who comment on Sites that use our Intense Debate service. The information that we collect depends on how the User sets up Intense Debate for the Site, but typically includes the IP address and account information on the Site, along with the comment.
  • Jetpack Site Activity: We collect visitor activities related to the management of the Site, such as login attempts/actions and comment submission and management actions. For more information, please see the Jetpack Privacy Center.
  • Information from Cookies and Other Technologies: A cookie is a string of information that a Site stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the Site each time the visitor returns. Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are small blocks of code placed on Sites. Automattic uses cookies and other technologies like pixel tags to help identify and track visitors and Site usage, and to deliver targeted ads when ads are enabled for free WordPress.com sites or when ads are enabled on a Site through WordAds or Jetpack Ads (see the “Other Tools” section below for more details). For more information about our use of cookies and other technologies for tracking, including how visitors can control the use of cookies, please see our Cookie Policy.

Other Information Provided by Our Users

We also collect any other information that our Users provide to us about visitors to their Sites. For example, a User may upload a directory or other information about Site visitors and customers to the “backend” administrative platform for managing the Site.

How We Use Visitor Information

We use information about Site visitors in order to provide our Services to our Users and their Sites. Our users may use our Services to, for example, create and manage their Site, sell products and services on their Site, flag and fight comments from spammers, and collect information through polls, quizzes and other surveys.

In addition to the above, we use some information about Site visitors who are also our Users as described in our Privacy Policy.

We may also use and share information that has been aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be used to identify any individual. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our services.

How We Share Visitor Information

We may share information collected about Site visitors in the limited circumstances spelled out below:

  • Subsidiaries, Employees, and Independent Contractors: We may disclose Site visitor information to our subsidiaries, our employees, and individuals who are our independent contractors that need to know the information in order to help us provide our services to our Users and their Sites, or to process the information on our behalf. We require our subsidiaries, employees, and independent contractors to follow this Privacy Notice for information about visitors that we share with them.
  • Third Party Vendors: We may share Site visitor information with third party vendors who need to know this information in order to provide their services to us. This group includes vendors that help us provide our services to our Users and their Sites. We require vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them.
  • Legal Requests: We may disclose Site visitor information in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how we respond to requests for information, please see our Legal Guidelines.
  • To Protect Rights, Property, and Others: We may disclose Site visitor information when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Automattic, our Users, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we have a good faith belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
  • Business Transfers: In connection with any merger, sale of company assets, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by another company, or in the unlikely event that Automattic goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, Site visitor information would likely be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. If any of these events were to happen, this Privacy Notice would continue to apply to Site visitor information and the party receiving this information may continue to use this information, but only consistent with this Privacy Notice.
  • Information Shared Publicly: Information that visitors choose to make public is–you guessed it–disclosed publicly. That means, of course, that information like visitor comments and “likes” are all available to others, including information about the visitor that is displayed in connection with a comment or “like” (such as a visitor’s WordPress.com username and Gravatar). We provide a “firehose” stream of public data (including comments) from Sites to provide that data to firehose subscribers, who may view and analyze the content, but do not have rights to re-publish it publicly. Public information may also be indexed by search engines or used by third parties.

Other Tools

Our Users’ Sites may contain ads from third party ad networks and advertisers, and our Users may integrate other tools and services on their Sites (such as Google Analytics and third party plugins). Please note that this Privacy Notice only covers the collection of information by Automattic, and does not cover the collection by any third party.

Ad networks and analytics providers may set tracking technologies (like cookies) to collect information about visitors’ use of a Site and across other websites and online services, such as a visitor’s IP address, web browser, mobile network information, pages viewed, time spent on pages, links clicked, and conversion information. This information may be used by those companies to, among other things, analyze and track usage, determine the popularity of certain content, and deliver advertisements that may be more targeted to visitor interests. For more information about how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org, and for more information on interest-based ads, including information about how visitors may be able to opt out of having their web browsing information used for behavioral advertising purposes, please visit aboutads.info/choices (US based) and youronlinechoices.eu (EU based).

Other Resources

You can read more about how our products and services operate on the links at the top of this notice.

And we’d love it if you follow us on privacy.blog for more information about privacy and transparency at Automattic.’

 

Cookie Policy

As on https://automattic.com/cookies/

‘Our Privacy Policy explains our principles when it comes to the collection, processing, and storage of your information. This policy specifically explains how we, our partners, and users of our services deploy cookies, as well as the options you have to control them.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).

Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.

How we use cookies

We use cookies for a number of different purposes. Some cookies are necessary for technical reasons; some enable a personalized experience for both visitors and registered users; and some allow the display of advertising from selected third party networks. Some of these cookies may be set when a page is loaded, or when a visitor takes a particular action (clicking the “like” or “follow” button on a post, for example).

Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered WordPress.com user (so you don’t have to log in every time, for example), while others are set whenever you visit one of our websites, irrespective of whether you have an account.

For more information on the choices you have about the cookies we use, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.

Where we place cookies

We set cookies in a number of different locations across our services. These include:

  • On our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, and akismet.com).
  • In the administrative dashboards of our websites, such as Calypso and wp-admin.
  • On sites we host for our users.
  • On sites that use our plugins (e.g. Jetpack).
  • In the emails we send.

User Sites

In addition to the cookies set on our own sites, we utilize cookies for our Site Statsfeature. This tallies the unique numbers of visitors to a site, as well as the number from specific geographic locations. A visitor is counted when we see a user or browser for the first time in a given period.

Examples

Below are examples of the cookies set by Automattic, with explanations of their purpose. Some of these cookies are set across our whole network, whereas some are specific to individual services (e.g. WordPress.com, Longreads, etc). Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather aims to be representative. Information about cookies that may be set by third parties, such as our ads partners, is below. Additionally, we occasionally set referrer cookies on Jetpack connected sites, using WooCommerce.

In addition, people and companies that use our services to publish or host their own sites may place additional cookies. We provide more information on these cookies below.

Advertising

Cookie Purpose
ads Tracks if a visitor has clicked an ad before.
lr_nw Counts and tracks pageviews on Longreads.com. Used to determine whether or not to show our Membership popup message.
wordpress_eli Reduces the display of ads for repeat visitors.

Please also see the section below on third party advertisements that you may see on our sites or sites that use our services.

Analytics and Performance

Cookie Purpose
__pdvt Used in log of Crowdsignal survey data to aid in debugging customer problems
ab Used for “AB testing” of new features.
nux_flow_name Identifies which user signup flow was shown to the user.
tk_ni / tk_ai / tk_qs Gathers information for our own, first party analytics tool about how our services are used. A collection of internal metrics for user activity, used to improve user experience.
tk_*r Referral cookies used to analyse referrer behavior for Jetpack connected sites using WooCommerce.
wp-affiliate-tracker Remembers the ID of the affiliate that referred the current user to WordPress.com
utma / utmb / utmc / utmt / utmz / ga / gat / gid Google Analytics. Gathers information that helps us understand how visitors interact with our websites, which allow us to create a better experience for our visitors. Our users may also implement Google Analytics on their own websites.

Functionality

Cookie Purpose
_longreads_prod_new Authentication for Longreads.com Member accounts. Only active when logged in, on *.longreads.com domains.
akm_mobile Stores whether a user has chosen to view the mobile version of a website.
botdlang Used to track the language a user has selected to view popular blogs in.
landingpage_currency Defines the currency displayed in WordPress.com landing pages.
pd_dashboard Records last used folder in Crowdsignal dashboard so it can be reopened upon user’s next visit.
PD_USER_AUTH Login cookie used to identify Crowdsignal user.
wordpress_logged_in* Checks whether or not the current visitor is a logged in WordPress.com user.
wp-settings-{user_id} Persists a user’s wp-admin configuration.
wp_sharing_{id} Tracks whether or not a user has already performed an action.

Security

Cookie Purpose
csrftoken Python/Ajax security cookie used on accounts.longreads.com.

Strictly Necessary

Cookie Purpose
country_code Used in order to determine whether or not the cookie banner should be shown. Set immediately on page load and retained for 6 hours to remember the visitor’s country.
sensitive_pixel_option Remembers the state of visitor acceptance to the cookie banner. Only set when the visitor clicks Accept.
twostep_auth Set when the user is logged in using two factor authentication.
wordpress_test_cookie Checks if cookies are enabled to provide appropriate user experience.

Advertisements from Third Parties Through Automattic’s Ads Program

Our mission is to democratize publishing. So that we can offer free access to create a website using WordPress.com, we show ads on some of our users’ sites. Our users may also choose to place ads on their site through our ads program. Additionally, we also show ads from our ads program on some of our own websites (e.g. longreads.com), and in emails.

We operate our ads program in partnership with third party vendors. As part of the operation of our ads program, we use cookies to collect certain information. Advertising cookies enable us and our partners to serve ads and to personalize those ads based on information like visits to our sites and other sites on the Internet.

Below is a representative list of our advertising program partners, along with information on the cookies that that each partner sets. The partners we work with change from time to time, and this is not an exhaustive list. Your choices to control cookies related to our ads program are described below.

Partner Cookie Info
Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=footer_iba?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201909150
AppNexus https://www.appnexus.com/en/company/cookie-policy
BidSwitch http://www.bidswitch.com/cookie-statement/
FreeWheel http://freewheel.tv/privacy-policy/
Google (AdSense, DoubleClick Ad Exchange “AdX”) https://policies.google.com/technologies/ads
OATH https://policies.oath.com/us/en/oath/privacy/topics/cookies/index.html
Polymorph https://getpolymorph.com/privacy-policy/
PowerInBox https://powerinbox.com/privacy-policy/
Pubmatic https://pubmatic.com/legal/website-cookie-policy/
Rubicon https://rubiconproject.com/privacy/consumer-online-profile-and-opt-out/
Skimlinks https://skimlinks.com/user-cookies and https://skimlinks.com/privacy-policy

Below is a representative list of the cookies that may be set by our ads partners in connection with ads that appear in emails.

Cookie Purpose
pi-userid Used to personalize email-based ads.
eid_ Used in email-based ads to track if a visitor has clicked an ad and report to advertisers how their ads performed.

Visitors to Sites with Jetpack installed

Below are examples of the cookies set for visitors to sites with the Jetpack plugin installed. For more details on the cookies set for administrators, please see https://jetpack.com/support/cookies/.

Jetpack Comments

Cookie Name Purpose
comment_author_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s name field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_email_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s email field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_url_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s URL field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes

Mobile Theme

Cookie Name Purpose
akm_mobile Remembers whether or not a user wishes to view the mobile version of a site.

Subscriptions

Cookie Name Purpose
jetpack_comments_subscribe_{HASH} Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.
jetpack_blog_subscribe_{HASH} Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.

Controlling Cookies

Visitors may wish to restrict the use of cookies or completely prevent them from being set. Most browsers provide for ways to control cookie behavior such as the length of time they are stored – either through built-in functionality or by utilizing third party plugins. If you disable cookies, please be aware that some of the features of our service may not function correctly.

To find out more on how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org. For more details on your choices regarding use of your web browsing activity for interest-based advertising you may visit the following sites:

On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit ad tracking.

You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s opt-out browser add-on.

Our Internal Analytics Tool

In order to better understand how our services are used, we monitor certain user activities that take place within our products, including page views and clicks on any links used when managing a site via our dashboards.

We call each one of these actions an “event.” Analytics events are attached to your WordPress.com account and are handled via a first party system that Automattic owns and maintains. In general, we record the following data for each event: IP address, WordPress.com user ID and username, WordPress.com-connected site ID (for sites not hosted on WordPress.com), user agent, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, and country code.

We use this information to improve our products, make our marketing to you more relevant, personalize your experience, and for the other purposes described in our Privacy Policy.

You may opt out of our analytics program through your user settings. By doing so, you won’t share information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out, while logged in to your WordPress.com account. Note that opting out does not disable the functionality of the actions we track – for example, if you publish a post, we will still have record of that (don’t worry!), but for an event or action after you opt out, we will not have other data associated with that action or event in the analytics tool.

For our Simplenote Users: We use our first party analytics tool in Simplenote to help us better understand how Simplenote is used and improve the app for our users. You may opt-out through your privacy settings in the app. By doing so, you won’t share information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out. One more thing–For Simplenote users who log onto Simplenote using their WordPress.com login, if you’d like to opt-out of our analytics tool on Simplenote, you’ll also need to opt out on the Simplenote app–not on your WP.COM Account Privacy Settings.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our use of cookies, you can find the most relevant contact details in our Privacy Policy.’