What are cookies?
A "cookie" is a small
text file containing a string of
alphanumeric characters. There are two types
of cookies: a persistent cookie and a
session cookie. A persistent cookie gets
entered by your Web browser into the cookie
folder on your computers hard drive. A
persistent cookie remains in that cookie
folder, which is maintained and governed by
your Web browser, after you close your
browser program. A session cookie is
temporary and disappears after you close
your browser. DoubleClicks ad-serving and
paid search listing ("DART Search") products
utilize the same cookie: the DART cookie.
The DART cookie is a persistent cookie and
consists of the name of the domain that set
the cookie ("ad.doubleclick.net"), the
lifetime of the cookie, and a "value."
DoubleClicks DART technology generates a
unique series of characters for the "value"
portion of the cookie.
What is the DoubleClick cookie doing on
If you have a
DoubleClick cookie in your Cookies folder,
it is most likely a DART cookie. The
DoubleClick DART cookie helps marketers
learn how well their Internet advertising
campaigns or paid search listings perform.
Many marketers and Internet websites use
DoubleClicks DART technology to deliver and
serve their advertisements or manage their
paid search listings. DoubleClicks DART
products set or recognize a unique,
persistent cookie when an ad is displayed or
a paid listing is selected. The information
that the DART cookie helps to give marketers
includes the number of unique users their
advertisements were displayed to, how many
users clicked on their Internet ads or paid
listings, and which ads or paid listings
they clicked on.
Why does your cookie keep coming back
after I delete it?
When you visit any
website or search engine on which
DoubleClicks DART technology is used, our
servers will check to see if you already
have a DART cookie. If the servers do not
receive a DART cookie, the servers will try
to set a cookie in response to your browsers
"request" to view that Web page. If you do
not want a DART cookie with a unique value,
you can obtain a DoubleClick DART "opt out"
cookie. Alternatively, you can adjust your
Internet browsers settings for handling
cookies. This is explained in the next
How can I adjust my cookie settings to
accept or decline cookies?
To eliminate cookies you
may have currently accepted, and to deny or
limit cookies in the future, please follow
one of these procedures:
IMPORTANT: IF YOU DELETE
YOUR OPT-OUT COOKIE, YOU WILL NEED TO
OPT-OUT AGAIN. IF YOUR BROWSER BLOCKS ALL OR
THIRD-PARTY COOKIES, YOU WILL BLOCK THE
SETTING OF OPT-OUT COOKIES.
* If you are using
Internet Explorer 6.0, go to the Tools menu,
then to Internet Options, then to the
Privacy tab. This version of Internet
Explorer is the first to use P3P to
distinguish between types of cookies. P3P
uses standardized privacy statements made by
the cookie issuer to manage your acceptance
of cookies. Under the "Privacy" tab, click
on the "Advanced" button. Select "Override
automatic cookie handling" and choose
whether you want to accept, block or be
prompted for "First-party" and "Third-party
Cookies." If you want to block all cookies
coming from DoubleClicks doubleclick.net
domain, go to the "Web Sites" section under
the "Privacy" tab and click the "Edit"
button. In the "Address of Web site" field,
enter "doubleclick.net," select "Block,"
click OK (menu will disappear); click OK
again and you will be back to the browser.
* If you are using
Netscape 6.0+, go to "Edit" in the menu bar,
click on "Preferences," click on "Advanced,"
and select the "Cookies" field. Now check
either the box that says, "Warn me before
accepting a cookie" or "Disable cookies."
Click on "OK." Now go to your "Start"
button, click on "Find," click on "Files and
Folders," type "cookies.txt" into the search
box that appears, and click "Find Now." When
the search results appear, drag all files
listed, into the "Recycle Bin." Now shut
down and restart your Netscape. Depending on
your earlier choice you will either be
prompted by new cookie sets or no cookies
will be set or received.
* If you are using
Mozilla or Safari, please go to their
websites to find out how to disable cookies
in those programs.
What are Web beacons?
Web beacons are small
strings of HTML code that are placed in a
Web page. They are sometimes called "clear
GIFs" (Graphics Interchange Format) or
"pixel tags." Web beacons are most often
used in conjunction with cookies.
DoubleClick uses Web beacons in connection
with its products and services, including ad
serving and paid search listings ("DART
Search"). Because a Web beacon is only 1
pixel high by 1 pixel wide, it appears
invisible on your computer screen. If Web
beacons were made larger (e.g., 100 pixels
high by 100 pixels wide), it would take much
longer for your Web page to load and would
clutter up the page that you have requested.
In 2002, working with a
broad spectrum of companies, including other
technology companies, seal providers and
websites, DoubleClick helped draft "Best
Practice" guidelines for disclosing the use
of Web beacons. Please click here to see
these guidelines and a list of the companies
that participated in developing them.
What is "personally identifiable
information" is any information that can
identify or locate a particular person,
including but not limited to name, address,
telephone number, email address, social
security number, bank account number or
credit card number.
What is "non personally identifiable
identifiable information" is information
that cannot identify a particular person.
This type of information includes a users
Internet Service Provider, a computers
operating system and browser type, and a
unique DoubleClick DART cookie ID.
and search products utilize non-PII. Some of
our clients may associate PII that you have
given them (for example, a customer number,
if you have registered at or purchased from
their websites), with their advertising
campaigns. Although this customer number may
be passed from the client to DoubleClicks ad
servers during the ad delivery process,
DoubleClick cannot recognize this
information as PII and cannot link it to any
What is "sensitive information"?
"sensitive information" categorically
includes but is not limited to data related
to an individual's health or medical
condition, sexual behavior or orientation,
or detailed personal finances, information
that appears to relate to children under the
age of 13 at the time of data collection;
and PII otherwise protected under federal or
state law (for example, cable subscriber
information or video rental records).
DoubleClick does not use any "sensitive
information" to target Internet
What is ad serving?
In order to support
their content without charging visitors,
websites sell advertising space on their Web
pages. Companies like DoubleClick provide
technology for the websites and advertisers
to use to display ads on the websites.
DoubleClicks ad servers work at the
direction (and on behalf) of our clients.
When you visit a
website, your computers Internet browser
transmits a "request" to that websites
server, "asking" that server to send you the
Web page that you are seeking. Most Web
pages contain components that are pulled
from different sources. For example, a Web
page at a news site may get its weather
section from one provider, its sports
results from a different source, and
advertisements from other servers.
If the website is using
DoubleClicks technology to display ads on
its site, the Web page will contain coding
that directs your browser to fill the ad
space on the Web page with content from one
of DoubleClicks ad servers. DoubleClicks
clients select the format, content, and
location of the ads, as well as the criteria
for controlling which ads to show and when
to show them. DoubleClicks ad-serving
technology uses a cookie to help clients
determine what ads to display. When a "call"
is received by DoubleClicks ad servers, the
server checks to see if the "calling"
browser has sent a cookie with the request
for advertising. If the server doesnt "see"
either a unique DoubleClick cookie or an
opt-out cookie, after "testing" to see
whether the browser will accept cookies, the
server sets a unique DoubleClick ad cookie.
If the browser already has a unique
DoubleClick ad cookie, the server
"recognizes" the cookie and uses the unique
ID for targeting and reporting purposes as
specified by the DoubleClick client. If the
browser has an opt-out DoubleClick cookie,
the server uses only the non-cookie related
information that is automatically
transmitted in the Internet environment
(e.g., browser type, Internet service
provider, and information about the general
content of the site or page displayed on
your browser) to determine which ad to show.
Sometimes Web beacons are used in
conjunction with the DART cookie when
clients want more versatile targeting or
How does an ad-serving
client use DoubleClicks technology to target
or select which ad to deliver?
Our clients store their
ads on DoubleClicks ad servers. When you
visit a Web page on which a client is using
DoubleClick technology to deliver ads,
coding that the website publisher placed in
the Web page tells your computers browser to
send a request for an ad to the DoubleClick
ad server. When the DoubleClick ad server
receives a request, it will select an ad
based on the criteria that the client has
chosen together with any information logged
against the unique cookie id.
For example, a clients
website may attract an audience of mainly
men, aged between 18 and 45, who are
interested in sports, fashion and electronic
gadgets. The client will therefore approach
sports, fashion and electronic gadget
retailers to see if they would like to
advertise on the site. Those retailers will
provide the client with ads, which the
client will store on the DoubleClick ad
servers. The client will assign those ads
specific codes, such as sports = 1, fashion
= 2, and electronic gadgets = 3. On the
pages where the website publisher wants to
show all three categories of ads, the
website will install an ad tag that contains
all three codes. On pages of the website
that the client thinks attracts only men
interested in sports, an ad tag that
contains only the code for sports, code 1,
may be installed.
DoubleClick does not
tell clients which criteria to select or
which advertisements to target against those
criteria. Clients choose the categories they
wish to attach to the advertising that they
have contracted to show, what code(s) they
wish to attach to those categories, and
which code(s) they wish to include in each
of their ad request tags. In their contracts
with DoubleClick, DoubleClicks ad-serving
clients promise not to use information that
DoubleClick could recognize as either
"sensitive" or "personally identifiable" to
What information is collected by a client
using DoubleClicks ad serving technology?
Each time one of
DoubleClick's ad servers receives a request
for an ad or for a Web beacon, information
about the request received and the ad or Web
beacon served ( for example, the date, the
time, the website to which the ad or image
was delivered, the cookie ID to which the ad
was shown, the operating system which the
browser was using ) will be recorded.
Does DoubleClick itself
do anything with this ad-serving
No. The information that
is recorded on the DoubleClick servers by
our clients? use of our technology belongs
to our clients. Although that information
may be logged on a DoubleClick server,
DoubleClick's relationship with the client
is that of an agent or processor.
Consequently, DoubleClick does not own that
information and cannot, therefore, use that
information for its own business purposes or
in any way not authorized by the relevant
client. DoubleClick clients do, however,
give us permission to use statistical or
aggregate information derived from their use
of the technology (e.g., statistics about
the number of ads served through the
technology per month or analyses about, for
example, what time of day is the best time
to target certain types of ads.
Does DoubleClick sell
the ad serving information to other
No. The data that
DoubleClicks servers record during ad
serving belong to DoubleClicks clients, and
DoubleClick cannot and does not sell that
information to other companies. DoubleClick
can, however, use its aggregate analyses
about the effectiveness of ad campaigns to
help clients develop more efficient and
What are pop-ups and why
do I see pop up advertising?
A pop-up is basically
the opening of a new window in your browser.
DoubleClick provides its
ad-serving clients with a means of choosing
and reporting on ads. It is the website
owners or the advertisers with whom they
contract that make the decisions about the
format of the ads. The advertisers choose
whether they want to have banner ads or pop
ups delivered, and they use our technology
to make it happen. The website owners and
advertisers choose the size and frequency of
pop-up ads. DoubleClick has no control over
which ad format website publishers or their
Generally, there are a
couple of different ways that you might
receive pop up advertising:
1. The site you are
currently visiting has sold an advertising
opportunity to a marketer and that marketer
has chosen to create an advertisement that
opens a new browser window. This is a form
of "traditional" Internet advertising.
2. You have some kind of
ad-delivery software installed
(intentionally or unintentionally, knowingly
or unknowingly) on your computer. This type
of software often comes bundled with
freeware such as P2P (Peer-to-Peer) music
sharing applications. It may track the sites
you visit and scan their contents looking
for triggers that match criteria identified
by advertisers that purchased space from the
software manufacturer. The software program
will then display advertisements on your
What is spyware?
This term has been
applied to a very broad range of
technologies and activities -- from the mere
setting of a cookie to the surreptitious
installation of key-logging software on
consumers computers. There are many
anti-spyware programs on the market and they
each have their own definition of "spyware".
For example, some programs identify cookies
as "spyware", while others do not. Some
software programs that monitor the websites
that consumers visit in order to deliver
context-based advertisements have been
categorized as "adware." Many of these
adware programs are responsible for the
pop-up advertisements that you see.
DoubleClick does not
consider its products either "spyware" or
"adware." We believe that consumers should
be provided meaningful notice and choice
with respect to information collected and
used about them.