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Skimlinks Privacy Policy

In this policy, the following expressions have the following meanings:

  • Merchant means any party supplying goods and/or services to Users.
  • Our Products means the SkimLinks Product and/or the SkimWords Product.
  • Publisher means any party which has agreed to utilise the SkimLinks Product and/or the SkimWords Product.
  • Publisher Site means a Publisher’s website running the SkimLinks Product and/or SkimWords Product.
  • Publisher Toolbar means a Publisher’s web browser toolbar add-on running the SkimWords Product.
  • Service means the provision of Our Products.
  • Skimlinks or we means Skimbit Limited.
  • SkimLinks Product means our product which turns existing links on a Publisher Site or on any website visited via a Publisher’s Toolbar into affiliate links.
  • SkimWords Product means our product which automatically converts keywords on a Publisher Site, or website so accessed via a Publisher Toolbar, into affiliate links.
  • Skimlinks Publisher Interface means the login-protected section on our website that provides the Publisher with reporting on activity and commissions, account and service management, and a Merchant directory.
  • User means an end-user experiencing Skimlinks’ technology on a Publisher Site or via a Publisher Toolbar.
  • Visitor or you means anyone who visits our website, including Publishers and Users.

Skimlinks recognise that your privacy is very important to you and that it is your right to control your personal information, whether you are a Publisher, a Visitor or a User. We know that providing personal information is an act of trust and we take that trust seriously.

What does this privacy policy cover?

Within this privacy policy, we will explain our practices in relation to the data we collect from Visitors. We will also explain our practices in relation to the collection of data from Users when they interact with our affiliate links on Publisher Sites or those accessed via Publisher Toolbars.

This privacy policy is therefore separated into discrete sections for:

A) VISITORS »

This section describes the information collected from Visitors and how it is used by Skimlinks.

How we use cookies on our website

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user's computer for tracking and record-keeping purposes. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies, further details of which can be obtained here. We use session cookies to make it easier for you to navigate our site. A session ID cookie expires when you close your browser. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive for an extended period of time. You can remove persistent cookies via your browser’s ‘clear cookie’ function. Please see allaboutcookies.org for more information about blocking cookies on your particular web browser.

Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, we will drop cookies as soon as you visit our site.

Persistent cookies enable us to track and target your interests to enhance your experience on our website and, if applicable, the Skimlinks Publisher Interface. For example, we use this data to understand how you interact with our website so we can make improvements to the information and design of our website. By agreeing to the terms of this privacy policy, you consent to the cookies referenced above being dropped onto your machine.

What we share with third parties

We use an analytics company, which drops cookies via our website and collects non-personally identifiable information about you, so we can understand how you use our website. We do not have access to or control over these cookies, but please see here for more information on these cookies. By agreeing to the terms of this privacy policy, you consent to the cookies referenced above being dropped onto your machine.

B) PUBLISHERS »

What information we collect from Publishers

When Publishers sign up to use Our Products, we collect at least the following pieces of information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Website information
  • Payment & Tax Information
  • Address
  • Where you heard about us

We also store information about when and how Publishers use our reports and other tools and interfaces provided by us.

How we use Publisher information

We use this information to perform the following tasks:

  • To assess the suitability of Publisher Sites for the Service
  • To contact Publishers to help them with registration, use and optimisation of the Service
  • To pay Publishers the commissions they earn through the Service
  • To communicate with Publishers on Skimlinks-related matters
  • To provide Publishers with order and billing history information
  • To improve the service we provide to Publishers based on how Publishers use our service and the tools which we provide to them.

Updating Publisher personal information

Publishers can edit any of their personal information by logging into their Skimlinks Publisher Interface and updating their account details. It is a Publisher’s responsibility to:

  • protect against unauthorised access to their details and the Skimlinks Publisher Interface;
  • log-off or exit from the Skimlinks Publisher Interface when not using it; and
  • keep its password secret.

What does Skimlinks do on Publisher Sites?

Once a Publisher is accepted to use Our Products on a Publisher Site or Publisher Toolbar, and has added the Skimlinks Code (‘as defined in the Skimlinks Terms of Service’) to its Publisher Site template or Publisher Toolbar, a JavaScript file will be downloaded to Users’ computers when they view Publisher Sites (or any other webpage viewed using Publisher Toolbars). Depending on which of Our Products has been enabled via the Skimlinks Publisher Interface, this JavaScript file will do the following:

  • Collect and store information about links that Users click on, so we can monetise the ones from participating Merchants, and report on other outbound clicks for Publisher reports
  • Collect and store information about publicly accessible content (i.e. body text) on Publisher Sites (or any publicly accessible webpage viewed using Publisher Toolbars), so we can find and convert product/Merchant references into shopping links
  • Drop a Skimlinks cookie when a User clicks an outbound link, so we can record anonymous information about the pages, links and Merchants visited by Users across our Publisher network. This will be used to optimise the service we provide, to deliver reporting and analytics to Publishers, and so that the links we create/monetise are to products and Merchants that Users prefer. Publishers should notify Users that they can find out more about opting out of this behavioural optimisation here.

Do Publishers need to update their privacy policies if they use Skimlinks?

It is important that Publisher privacy policies specify to Users that Publishers are engaged in affiliate marketing through a third-party service, but that Skimlinks does not intentionally obtain or store personally identifiable information about Users at any time.

Toolbar Publishers utilising the SkimWords Product should state in their privacy policies that personally identifiable information about Users may be inadvertently processed and temporarily stored by Skimlinks but that it is not passed on to any other party, nor is it used for the purposes of affiliate marketing.

Publishers must provide Users with full details about the Skimlinks cookies which are dropped onto Users’ machines via Publisher Sites and Publisher Toolbars when Users click on the affiliate links we create on websites. Publishers based in the European Union, or whose customer-base is predominantly based in the European Union, must provide this information about Skimlinks cookies prior to their download on to Users’ machines. Publishers should at least link to the information that can be found in our ‘Users’ section below under the heading of ‘What information does Skimlinks collect about Users through its technology and how does it use this information?’. Publishers should also provide a link for Users with information regarding how they can disable the use of Skimlinks optimisation cookies, as set out in our ‘Users’ section below under the heading of ‘How can I disable the display of Skimlinks personalised links?’.

Publishers based in the European Union, or whose customer-base is predominantly based in the European Union, must also seek the consent of Users prior to Skimlinks cookies being dropped via their Publisher Site or Publisher Toolbar. Publishers can decide how to obtain consent but Skimlinks suggest that Users are requested to consent to the terms of Publishers’ privacy policies, either the first time they arrive on a Publisher Site or when they accept the installation procedure of the Publisher Toolbar. After initial provision of consent by a User, it need not be provided again, unless the purpose of cookies dropped via Publisher Sites or Publisher Toolbars is changed. If Skimlinks makes relevant changes to its cookies, we will notify you accordingly.

What we share with third parties

We may share with certain key partners and advertisers some anonymous Publisher information in order to optimise our advertiser relationships and increase revenue yields for Publishers. We will never drop a third-party’s cookies within our own JavaScript.

Skimlinks will never sell, rent or otherwise disclose any of your personal information, including your email address, to any third party without your prior and explicit consent. However, we may disclose your personal data to third parties:

  • In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.
  • If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply Skimlinks Terms of Service; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of Skimlinks, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purpose of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Indemnity

A Publisher shall indemnify and keep fully indemnified Skimlinks at all times from all liabilities, costs, (including legal costs on an indemnity basis), expenses, damages and losses including any direct, indirect and consequential loss, loss of profit, loss of reputation and all interest, penalties and reasonable costs and expenses suffered or incurred by Skimlinks arising from any breach of this privacy policy by that Publisher.

C) USERS »

This section explains how Skimlinks operates through Publisher Sites and Publisher Toolbars and how information about Users is obtained and utilised by us.

Our Products are used by Publishers to help them earn an income. They are intended to be unobtrusive and seamless to a User’s online experience, and work by creating/tagging links to where products can be purchased online within the content Users are reading. If Users buy something as a result of clicking on these links, the Publisher is paid a referral fee by the Merchant through Skimlinks. This referral fee does not come out of Users’ pockets, nor does it affect the price Users pay or the experience Users have on the Merchant site.

What information does Skimlinks collect about Users through its technology and how does it use this information?

We do not intentionally capture any personally identifiable data like a User’s name, email address, contact details, age, gender, or anything else about a User personally. However, if a User utilises a Publisher Toolbar, we may inadvertently capture the personally identifiable information described above if it is displayed on a website a User is visiting with insufficient security safeguards. However, although this information is processed, we do not use it for any purpose, nor do we pass it on to third parties, and it is automatically discarded immediately after page load.

We do store Users’ IP addresses, from which we can determine a User’s vicinity. We need this information to ensure the links we create are to Merchants in a User’s country. We do not use this information to identify any individuals.

We also store information about the device Users use to access the internet, such as the browser type, browser version, and device used to access sites within our Publisher network. This helps us ensure we can diagnose and fix browser compatibility issues more swiftly, and optimise our service to suit the preferred browsing environments.

We aim to provide Users with relevant and useful links to products in which they are likely to be interested, and to Merchants from whom they are likely to want to buy. To achieve this, we collect anonymous information, using cookies, about the websites within our Publisher network that Users visit, which of our links Users click on, and whether Users make a purchase (although we do not always know this). Further information regarding the cookies we utilise to collect this information is contained here.

As part of the information available in standard web serving logs, we also store information about the referrer, i.e. the website page from which the User linked to the Publisher Site. However, at no time do we know who a User is, nor do we make any attempt to try and identify a User. We don’t combine any information we store with outside sources to find out anything personal or identifiable about a User. All we know is that these actions were done by an anonymous individual, and we use this to try and serve this anonymous individual relevant useful product links as he or she browses that site and other sites within our Publisher network.

If Users browse on any secure, private or password-protected sites, we do not know about, collect or store content from them. We only know about the content (i.e. words and links) on websites that Users visit that are publicly accessible. We determine whether any product or Merchant references are made in this content, so we can serve an appropriate shopping link for that product within or alongside the content.

There is no other information that we collect on Publisher Sites or the sites Users access using Publisher Toolbars, for example, we do not store or record any content Users enter into forms on a website, or any data about advertisements and other services that the Publisher runs on its site.

We use cookies to collect the information we need to optimise the product/Merchant links we monetise/create, and improve the service we provide to Publishers and to Users. However, we do not ever drop any third-party cookie within our own JavaScript, so Users can be certain that their data and privacy is being protected in the manner we describe within this policy.

If a User no longer wants Skimlinks to store data about the websites it visits, the links it clicks and the Merchants it buys from, it can simply opt-out here. This will mean Skimlinks will not drop cookies when an opted-out User browses websites in our Publisher network.

Please note: This opt-out facility relies on a cookie being set on your browser. By pressing the link above, you consent to us setting and maintaining the cookie on your browser in order to recognise you as an opted-out visitor. You must opt-out again if you clear that cookie from your browser (see www.allaboutcookies.org for more information), use a different internet browser, or use a different computer to access the internet.

However, Skimlinks will still operate on pages that Users visit, and still create links in content if the Publisher has chosen to install Skimlinks on its website. We just won’t optimise these links based on User preferences and behaviours, nor will we associate the websites Users visit and shop from to a specific cookie.

In order for referral fees and commissions to be paid by Merchants to Publishers, Skimlinks works with affiliate networks and other ad networks that manage the direct Merchant relationships. As set out above, Users who receive Skimlinks cookies are also assigned an anonymous/unique identifier number. When a User clicks on a link created by Our Products, Skimlinks attaches the User’s anonymous identifier number so it passes to the appropriate affiliate network for the purpose of tracking whether that User makes a purchase on the Merchant website they visit. Note that at no time do we pass any personally identifiable information, nor make any attempt to determine the identity of an individual User; all information is completely anonymous and used only for the purposes of optimizing the service provided to the User. The affiliate and ad networks that work with Skimlinks also use their own cookies in order to track if a sale has occurred, as most of these parties will only pay Publishers when a referral has been successful, i.e. a sale was completed. We do not have control over or access to these cookies and they are dropped by the affiliate and ad networks via our Publisher Sites and Publisher Toolbars.

What is my opt-out status in respect of Skimlinks technology?

You can find out your current opt-out status, and can also opt-out or opt-in again, on our opt-out page.

D) GENERAL »

How we keep your data secure

All information you provide to us is stored in the EU and USA on secure servers that are protected in secure facilities including firewall protection. By submitting any information to us, you agree to its transfer to the USA or the EU for storage.

Skimlinks has implemented such technology and security features, as well as strict internal guidelines, to safeguard the privacy of your personal information from unauthorised access or improper use. We will continue to enhance security as new technology becomes available.

While we make every effort to ensure that your information is secure on our system, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk.

Access authorisation is granted to key Skimlinks staff only. Backups are run to prevent loss of information, and our Internet servers are housed in secure facilities.

We have security measures in place to protect our customer database and access to this database is restricted internally.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here, by email or, in the case of Publishers, by means of a notice on the Skimlinks Publisher Interface.

Contacting Skimlinks

If you have any questions about this privacy policy, our practices, or your dealings with Skimlinks, you can contact us here or on privacy@skimlinks.com.

You have certain rights under the Data Protection Act 1998, including the right to be told what personal information we hold about you on our database. Should you wish to exercise that right, or if you have any questions concerning the Skimlinks privacy policy, please contact us via the following channels:

Skimbit Ltd
3rd Floor, Transworld House
100 City Road
London
EC1Y 2BP
skimlinks.com/contact

(Please note that by English law we are entitled to charge you a small sum for providing this information).

Data Protection Information

You can obtain further information about data protection and privacy laws by visiting the Information Commissioner’s web site at: http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_the_public.aspx