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Most of the internet is paid for by advertising
Most of the websites, news, games and other forms of information and entertainment we all consume on the internet are available free of charge for everyone. But it costs a lot of money to create and publish this content.
A large part of those costs are paid for by advertising.
What we do
The Edge Initiative is a technology provider. We create software and operate systems, for use by our clients, to run the online advertising businesses. Our clients include publishers of online properties such as websites and mobile applications, and advertisers and advertising agencies.
We enable advertisers to perform online marketing campaigns, and we enable online publishers to generate revenue from their online properties. In short: We enable the flow of advertising money from advertisers to publishers. This in turn enables the average consumer to enjoy this content free of charge, much like other forms of advertising supported media such as free newspapers, free commercial radio and television.
What about your privacy?
Many people are concerned about their privacy, because of a lack of understanding about the technology behind the software and systems used to display and operate online advertising. In addition, there have been reports and stories about such technology in the media that are either much too vague or factually incorrect. It doesn’t help that law makers use these misconceptions and misunderstandings about online privacy to their own advantage, by proposing rules and regulations that are impracticable and unenforceable.
Please read below about the data we collect, how we store this data and what we do with this data. It should enable you to make up your own mind about this subject, and to make an informed choice about your willingness to participate in the data collection.
What data do we collect?
Our software is capable of collecting and storing a variety of data on entities that interact with our services. These entities include browsers on personal computers, and apps on mobile devices. We do not collect or store any personally identifiable information (PII) about the persons using these services.
The non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) we are able to collect and store is limited to:
- The IP address (internet protocol address) of the device that is used to connect to our services.
- The name and version of the browser or mobile application that interacts with our services – such as “Mozilla Firefox” or “Google Chrome”.
- The operating system that is installed on the device that connects to our services – such as “Microsoft Windows”, “Apple OS” or “Android”.
- The date and time of the most recent occurrence of an interaction with our services.
- In some cases, the URL (web page address) of the page or pages that are visited while interacting with our services.
- Counts of the number of times a specific advertisement was displayed or clicked, in order to be able to limit the number of exposures of such advertisements by request of advertisers or publishers.
- A randomly generated code consisting of characters and numbers that is used to recognize devices between sessions when a device interacts with our services multiple times over a longer period of time.
- Counts and indicators about specific pages on the internet or interactions with advertiser websites, which are used as signals about interest for and intent to purchase certain items as offered by advertisers (retargeting).
- Counts and indicators about specific pages on the internet or interactions with publisher websites, which are used as signals about interest for certain topics as published by publishers (audience targeting).
- An estimation of the geographic location, like the country or city the device that interacts with our services reside in (geotargeting). Please note that this is by nature an estimation, and not an exact address. For example, from the IP address of the device being used we might infer in which country that device is located, and we might even be able to say with a certain degree of accuracy in which region or city.
How we store the data
The data described above can be stored in two distinct ways:
- in a database that’s on our servers
- in a ‘cookie’
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer and are used only by your internet browser. They are not programs or applications – they are merely a marker of a previous contact between your computer and our services. They take up a tiny amount of space on your computer (less than a regular webpage without images does).
A cookie created by one website (website A) contains only information about the interactions with website A. It can not be used, read or altered by another website (website B) and vice versa.
By themselves, a cookie doesn’t do anything. A cookie does not harm your computer in any way, nor does it provide us with any information about your identity.
A cookie is not spyware or adware. The general definition of spyware/adware is that of a software package installed on your computer for purposes of monitoring all your internet or general computer activity. We do not install software of any kind on your computer and have no ability to monitor or track your general computer or overall internet usage.
Much more information about cookies can be found on the website All About Cookies.
How we use the data we collect
We use the data we collect and store for a number of purposes. We use the data collected to target advertising campaigns more effectively. The aim is for you to see ads which you are more likely to be interested in, rather than ads that are irrelevant for you. We do this by comparing the anonymous data we collect, against our selection of ad campaigns and choosing the most suitable adverts. For example, we might attempt to show ads that are intended for viewing by specific audiences by the advertiser. An advertisement intended for families with very young children (perhaps disposable diapers) is not very relevant to a single young male with no children. An advertisement for marriage counseling is probably not relevant to a person who is not married. We do not know any of these very personal characteristics, but we can infer them from the fact that a device is used to visit an online forum about parenting or a website with information about setting up a profile on a dating site.
Identifying anonymous data allows us to offer consumers an improved online experience , increased performance to our advertiser clients and enhanced revenues for our publisher clients.