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Skimlinks Privacy Policy

Introduction

This Privacy Policy explains what personal and other information is collected by Skimbit Ltd (a company registered in England and Wales with number 06347796 and its registered office at 52 Bevenden Street, London N1 6BL, United Kingdom) (“Skimlinks” or “we”) as part of its activities, and how Skimlinks uses that information.

Skimlinks recognises 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 Merchant or a User.  To make it easier for you to review those parts of the Privacy Policy which apply to you, we have divided up the document into the following sections – please take the time to read Section 1 (General) and, if you are a Publisher, Merchant or User, the Section which applies to you.

Section 1 – General (applicable to everyone)
Section 2 – Publishers
Section 3 – Merchants
Section 4 – Users

In this Privacy Policy, the following expressions have the following meanings:

“Advertiser” an entity purchasing advertising or marketing services from Skimlinks directly or through an agent.
“Agreement” an agreement between (i) a Publisher or a Merchant and (ii) Skimlinks.
“Computer” a device used for accessing digital information including but not limited to desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other connected devices.
“Merchant” a supplier of goods and/or services to Users, which may also be authorised by Skimlinks to access and use the Service under the terms of an Agreement.
“Merchant Core Tools” means Skimlinks Code as used by a Merchant to enable tracking, analytics and marketing functionality
“Merchant Hub” the login-protected web portal that may be accessed by Merchants to provide them with, among other things, access to the Merchant Core Tools.
“Optional Tools” means (i) SkimWords (ii) Network Overwrite (iii) URL Shortener (iv) Link Generator (v) Skim RSS BETA (vi) Skimlinks APIs (URL Shortener API, Merchant API and Reporting API BETA), and (vii) such additional or alternative proprietary or third party software tools that Skimlinks may launch from time to time.
“Personally Identifiable Information” (or “PII”) information from which the identity of a living individual may be determined. Examples of PII include (but are not limited to) first and last name, home or other physical address, unencrypted email address, phone number or other contact information, and credit card or other payment information.
“Publisher” a person or other entity who is entitled to access and use the Service under the terms of an Agreement.
“Publisher Core Tools” means (i) Skimlinks Code and (ii) Link API, either of which Publishers can use to affiliate Merchant links with the purpose of earning Publisher Commissions and obtaining insights via the Publisher Hub.
“Publisher Hub” Skimlinks’ proprietary, login-protected web portal that may be accessed by Publishers at www.skimlinks.com to access and configure Tools, view performance and billing reports, and search for participating Merchants.
“Publisher Toolbar” a Publisher’s web browser toolbar add-on running one or more Skimlinks Tools.
“Service” access to and use of (i) the Publisher Hub or the Merchant Hub (as applicable) and (ii) the Tools.
“Skimlinks Code” is computer code which, when added to a web page or a global footer, enables the Service on a Skimlinks Enabled Site.
“Skimlinks Enabled Site” a Publisher’s or a Merchant’s website running one or more Tools.
“Tools” means Publisher Core Tools, Optional Tools and Merchant Core Tools or, as the context requires, some of them.
“Usage Data” non-Personally Identifiable Information collected or created by the use of the Service.
“User” an end-user experiencing one or more of the Tools on a Skimlinks Enabled Site or via a Publisher Toolbar.
“You” anyone who interacts with our website, including Publishers and Users.

Section 1: General

This section applies to everyone who visits, or other interacts, with our website.

How we keep your data secure
Information you provide to us may be transferred using Skimlinks’ content distribution network (resulting in the temporary storage of your information on servers in different countries throughout the world) before being transferred to, and stored in, servers located in the EU and/or USA. By submitting any information to us, you agree to such transfer and storage, including (without limitation) storage in the USA and/or the EU.
Skimlinks stores your information on secure, firewall-protected servers that are located in secure facilities. These technology and security features, as well as strict internal guidelines, are designed 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.
Access to your personal information is only granted to Skimlinks staff who require such access. Backups are run to reduce the risk of 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.
While we take the steps described above 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.

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 onto your Computer 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 Publisher Hub or Merchant Hub. 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 computer or other device.

What we share with third parties
We use third parties’ analytics technologies which involve cookies being dropped via our website and the collection of 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 computer or other device.

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 Publishers and Merchants by means of a notice on the Publisher Hub and the Merchant Hub.

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, please contact us via the following channels:
Skimbit Ltd t/a Skimlinks
2nd Floor
52 Bevenden Street
London N1 6BL
skimlinks.com/contact
(Please note that by English law we are entitled to charge you a small sum for providing this information).

Data Protection Service
You can obtain further information about data protection and privacy laws by visiting the Information Commissioner’s web site at: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/.

Section 2: Publishers

This section describes what information is collected by Skimlinks from Publishers, and how that information is used by Skimlinks.

What information we collect from Publishers
When a Publisher signs up to use the Service, we collect and store various pieces of Personally Identifiable Information, including:

  • Full name of the Publisher and, if different, the name of the Publisher contact
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Website information
  • Bank/PayPal details
  • Payment & VAT Information
  • Address
  • Where you heard about us

We also collect and store information about when and how a Publisher uses the Publisher Hub, including reports and other tools and interfaces provided by us.

How we use Publisher information
We use this Publisher information to perform our obligations under the Agreement, including:

  • To assess the suitability of Skimlinks Enabled Sites for the Service
  • To contact Publishers to help them with registration, use and optimisation of the Service
  • To pay Publishers their share of the commissions earned through the Service
  • To communicate with Publishers on Skimlinks-related matters
  • To provide Publishers with performance and billing information
  • To improve the service we provide to Publishers based on how Publishers use our service and the tools which we provide to them.
  • To introduce Merchants and Advertisers who may wish to purchase services from or partner with the Publisher.

Updating Publisher information
Publishers can edit any of their personal information within the Publisher Hub. It is the Publisher’s responsibility:

  • To protect against unauthorised access to their details and the Publisher Hub
  • To log-off from the Publisher Hub when not using it
  • To keep its password secret.

What does Skimlinks do on Skimlinks Enabled Sites?
Once a Publisher’s application to use the Service is accepted, and the Publisher has added the Skimlinks Code to its Skimlinks Enabled Site template or Publisher Toolbar, a JavaScript file will be downloaded to Users’ Computers when they view Skimlinks Enabled Sites (or any other web page viewed using Publisher Toolbars). Depending on which of the Skimlinks Tools has been enabled via the Publisher Hub, 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 and Merchant reports.
  • Collect and store information about Skimlinks Enabled Sites (or any web page viewed using Publisher Toolbars), so we can find and convert product/Merchant references into shopping links.
  • Drop a Skimlinks cookie when a User visits a web page or 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 optimize the service we provide, to deliver reporting and analytics to Publishers and Merchants, and so that the links we create/monetize are to products and Merchants that Users prefer.
  • Synchronize anonymous cookie identifiers with third parties to enable us to share and license anonymised audience segments with third parties to support services including, but not limited to, customisation of websites, targeting of content, and advertising optimization. Publishers may disable synchronization by contacting Skimlinks customer service, and must notify Users that they can opt-out of synchronization – see below.

What information relating to Users does Skimlinks collect?
Skimlinks will not knowingly collect or store any Personally Identifiable Information pertaining to Users visiting a Skimlinks Enabled Site.
Skimlinks does use cookies and web beacons to collect non-Personally Identifiable Information relating to Users. This non-Personally Identifiable Information is used by Skimlinks to optimize the performance and yield of the Service, to provide comprehensive reporting to Publishers, and to provide reporting and targeting services to Merchants, Advertisers and other third parties. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is anonymous and cannot generally be used to identify a specific person. For more information regarding cookies, please see Section 1 of this Privacy Policy.

Skimlinks provides an opt-out service for Users who do not wish for their non-Personally Identifiable Information to be used for advertising targeting purposes. This opt-out is accessible here, and it is the Publisher’s responsibility to provide their Users with this option.

Do Publishers need to update their own privacy policies if they use Skimlinks?
It is the responsibility of the Publisher to ensure that its privacy policy, ‘About Us’ or other relevant website section includes the following information, and that the Publisher obtains each User’s consent to the privacy policy containing these provisions:

  • A statement regarding use of the Service on the Skimlinks Enabled Site(s). For example: “Our website contains some affiliate marketing links, which means we get paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.”
  • Full details about cookies which are dropped by Skimlinks onto Users’ Computers when Users view a web page or click on an affiliate link on Skimlinks Enabled Sites and Publisher Toolbars. Publishers must at a minimum include the information that can be found in Section 4 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 Section 4 below under the heading of ‘How can I disable Skimlinks cookies?’.

If the Publisher is based in the European Union, or has customers predominantly based in the European Union, the Publisher must also seek the consent of Users before Skimlinks cookies are dropped via their Skimlinks Enabled Site or Publisher Toolbar. Publishers can decide how to obtain consent but Skimlinks suggests that Users are requested to consent to the terms of the Publisher’s Privacy Policy, either the first time they arrive on a Skimlinks Enabled 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 Skimlinks Enabled Sites or Publisher Toolbars is changed. If Skimlinks makes relevant changes to its cookies, we will notify you accordingly.

For U.S. properties, the Publisher must insert a link to the DAA opt-out program (currently available at http://www.aboutads.info/choices) and the NAI opt-out program (currently available at http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/).

For EU/EEA properties, the Publisher must insert a link to the EDAA opt-out program (currently available at http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/).

For properties in other regions, if the above rules are not sufficient for compliance with local legislation or regulation, please provide a link to the Skimlinks Privacy Policy.

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 and Merchant relationships and increase revenue yields for Publishers.
Skimlinks will store your Personally Identifiable Information. We may disclose your personal data to third parties:

  • In the event that Skimlinks identifies a Merchant with which a Publisher could have a commercial relationship, to make introductions.
  • 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 the requirements of any court, tribunal or governmental authority with competent jurisdiction or other 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.

Section 3: Merchants

This section describes what information is collected by Skimlinks from Merchants, and how that information is used by Skimlinks.

What information we collect from Merchants
When a Merchant signs up to use the Service, we collect and store various pieces of Personally Identifiable Information, including:

  • Full name of the Merchant and, if different, the name of the Merchant contact
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Website information
  • VAT Information
  • Address
  • Where you heard about us

We also collect and store information about when and how a Merchant uses the Merchant Hub, including reports and other tools and interfaces provided by us.

How we use Merchant information
We use this Merchant information to perform our obligations under the Agreement, including:

  • To assess the suitability of the Merchant for the Service
  • To contact Merchant to help them with registration, use and optimisation of the Service
  • To communicate with Merchants on Skimlinks-related matters
  • To provide Merchants with order and billing history information
  • To improve the service we provide to Merchants based on how Merchants use our service and the tools which we provide to them.
  • To introduce Publishers who may wish to enter into agreements with the Merchant.

Updating Merchant information
Merchants can edit any of their personal information within the Merchant Hub. It is the Merchant’s responsibility:

  • To protect against unauthorised access to their details and the Merchant Hub
  • To log-off from the Merchant Hub when not using it
  • To keep its password secret.

What does Skimlinks do on Skimlinks Enabled Sites?
Once a Merchant’s application to use the Merchant Core Tools is accepted, and the Merchant has added the Skimlinks Code to its site, a JavaScript file will be downloaded to Users’ Computers when they view the Merchant’s Skimlinks Enabled Site. Depending on which of the Tools has been enabled via the Merchant Hub, this JavaScript file will do the following:

  • Collect and store information about content available in the browser on the Merchant’s Skimlinks Enabled Site; including but not limited to URLs, product names, SKUs, prices, order value, order identifier and customer identifier tokens.
  • Drop a Skimlinks cookie when a User visits a Merchant’s Skimlinks Enabled Site, so we can record anonymous information about the pages and products viewed by Users.

What Information relating to Users does Skimlinks collect?
Skimlinks will not knowingly collect or store any Personally Identifiable Information pertaining to Users visiting a Merchant’s Skimlinks Enabled Site.

Skimlinks does use cookies and web beacons to collect non-Personally Identifiable Information relating to Users. This non-Personally Identifiable Information is used by Skimlinks to optimize the performance and yield of the Service, to provide comprehensive reporting to Merchants, and to provide aggregate reporting to Publishers for the purpose of helping them optimize their content and marketing for Merchants. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is anonymous and cannot generally be used to identify a specific person. For more information regarding cookies, please see Section 1 of this Privacy Policy.

Skimlinks provides an opt-out service for Users who do not wish for their non-Personally Identifiable Information to be used for reporting and targeting purposes. This opt-out is accessible here, and it is the Merchant’s responsibility to provide their Users with this option.

Do Merchants need to update their own privacy policies if they use Skimlinks?
It is the responsibility of the Merchant to ensure that its privacy policy, ‘About Us’ or other relevant website section includes information about the use of cookies, and that the Merchant obtains each User’s consent to the privacy policy. The Merchant should share full details about cookies which are dropped by Skimlinks onto Users’ Computers. Merchants should at a minimum include the information that can be found in Section 4 below under the heading of ‘What information does Skimlinks collect about Users through its technology and how does it use this information?’. Merchants should also provide a link for Users with information regarding how they can disable the use of Skimlinks cookies, as set out in Section 4 below under the heading of ‘How can I disable Skimlinks cookies?’

If the Merchant is based in the European Union, or has customers predominantly based in the European Union, the Merchant must also seek the consent of Users before Skimlinks cookies are dropped via their site. Merchants can decide how to obtain consent but Skimlinks suggests that Users are requested to consent to the terms of the Merchant’s privacy policy the first time they arrive on the Merchant’s site. After initial provision of consent by a User, it need not be provided again, unless the purpose of cookies dropped via the Merchant’s sites is changed. If Skimlinks makes relevant changes to its cookies, we will notify you accordingly.

For U.S. properties, the Publisher must insert a link to the DAA opt-out program (currently available at http://www.aboutads.info/choices) and the NAI opt-out program (currently available at http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/).

For EU/EEA properties, the Publisher must insert a link to the EDAA opt-out program (currently available at http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/).

For properties in other regions, if the above rules are not sufficient for compliance with local legislation or regulation, please provide a link to the Skimlinks Privacy Policy.

What we share with third parties
Skimlinks will keep your Personally Identifiable Information private, and never sell, rent or otherwise disclose any of your PII, 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 Skimlinks identifies a Publisher with which a Merchant could have a commercial relationship, to make introductions.
  • 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 the requirements of any court, tribunal or governmental authority with competent jurisdiction or other 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.

Section 4: Users

This section explains how Skimlinks operates through Skimlinks Enabled Sites and Publisher Toolbars, and how information about Users is obtained and used by Skimlinks.

What is Skimlinks?
Skimlinks offers a service to Publishers to help them earn an income and gain insights from their commerce-related content. The service works by creating/tagging links within content that a User is reading which, if clicked, takes the User to a Merchant website where the products and/or services can be purchased. If the User then buys 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’s site.

Skimlinks also offers Merchants and Advertisers a service that helps them to better understand and target Users’ behaviours, and to identify and work more effectively with Publishers and third parties on marketing campaigns.

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 Information. With regard to information which is not Personally Identifiable Information:

  • we store Users’ IP addresses, from which we can determine a User’s approximate geographical location (e.g. country or region). We need this information to optimize the links that are created/monetized to suit the geography of the User, and to provide aggregate reporting to Publishers, Merchants and Advertisers on the location of users visiting Skimlinks Enabled Sites. We also use IP addresses as part of our efforts to reduce fraud and identify non-human browsing patterns.
  • we store information about the device that a User uses to access sites within our Publisher network, such as the browser type, browser version, and type of device. This helps us ensure we can diagnose and fix browser compatibility issues more swiftly, optimize our service to suit the preferred browsing environments, and provide aggregate reporting to Publishers, Merchants and Advertisers.
  • we store anonymous information, using cookies and device identifiers, about the websites within our Publisher network that Users visit, which of our links Users click on, and whether Users make a purchase. This enables us to provide Users with relevant and useful links and advertising to products and/or services in which they are likely to be interested, and to Merchants and Advertisers from whom they are likely to want to buy. Further information regarding the cookies we utilise to collect this information can be found 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 Skimlinks Enabled Site.
  • to provide Publishers and Merchants with the Service, we collect information on visits and sales on Skimlinks Enabled Sites, including but not limited to order value, products bought, and order identifiers. These are used to help Publishers, Merchants and Advertisers make better marketing and content creation decisions.
  • at no time do we know who a User is, nor do we make any attempt to try and identify a User.

We use cookies to collect the information we need to optimise the product/Merchant links we monetize/create, and improve the service we provide to Publishers, Merchants, Advertisers and Users. Cookies also enable us to carry out audience segmentation, ie we divide Users into groups based upon defined criteria such as product usage, demographics, communication behaviour and media use. We synchronise anonymous cookie identifiers with third parties in order to enrich the Service and offer personalized experiences across the web. As you browse Skimlinks Enabled Sites, cookies will be placed on your Computer so that we can understand what you are interested in. These anonymous profiles allow for the customization of websites and targeting of content, including but not limited to advertising. The techniques used do not collect any Personally Identifiable Information.

How can I disable Skimlinks cookies?
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 Skimlinks cookies when an opted-out User browses websites in our Publisher or Merchant network.
Please note: This opt-out facility relies on a cookie being set on your browser. By visiting 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.

U.S. visitors can understand more about cookies and their choices at these websites:

EU/EEA visitors can understand more about cookies and their choices at http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/

If you opt-out of Skimlinks cookies, Skimlinks will still operate on pages that Users visit, and still create monetizable 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 relationships between Skimlinks and the Merchants. 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 a Skimlinks Tool, 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 Skimlinks Enabled 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, by clicking here.

If you have a question or any concerns about our Privacy Policy, please let us know.

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