Privacy Policy

Effective May 24, 2018
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Last Updated May 24, 2018
Outbrain is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) governs Outbrain’s use of data collected by us, including any and all personal data. Personal data is information that relates to you and may identify you as an individual. We use your personal data in line with all applicable laws. To ensure compliance and to align with Outbrain’s values around Trust & Transparency, we have a team of privacy champions responsible for continuously implementing our global privacy program.
1. Who we are, What we do, How you can contact Outbrain, our DPO or the relevant authorities
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Who we are:
Outbrain means Outbrain Inc., a Delaware, USA corporation with headquarters in New York; and its affiliated subsidiaries (collectively, “Outbrain,” or “we“, “us“, “our“). We operate out of 12 global offices and we partner with publishers and marketers across the globe.
What we do:
Outbrain’s mission is to serve interesting recommendations to its Users based on their interests. To achieve our mission we enter into agreements with:
  • online publishers and partners who want to recommend relevant content to their readers (this is Outbrain Engage); and
  • advertisers who want readers to view their content (this is Outbrain Amplify).
How to contact us:
We regularly review our compliance with this Privacy Policy. Questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Policy are welcomed and should be addressed to PrivacyQuestions@outbrain.com or by mail to Outbrain Inc., 39 West 13th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10011, Attn: Privacy Questions.
If Outbrain does not satisfactorily answers your questions or concerns, you may also contact the following for advice, support or complaints:
  • Outbrain’s external Data Protection Officer (“DPO”): ePrivacy GmbH, represented by Prof. Dr. Christoph Bauer. ePrivacy GmbH can be reached directly at privacy@eprivacy.eu; and/or
  • the Information Commissioner’s Officer, which is Outbrain’s lead supervisory service within the European Territories.
Self-Regulatory Bodies
Outbrain adheres to the Self-Regulatory Principles set forth by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). We are members in good standing of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), an association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising. We adhere to the NAI Code of Conduct for Web and Mobile. Outbrain also adheres to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, and the IAB Europe OBA Framework.
2. Outbrain User Types (including Opt Out Options)
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Much of this Privacy Policy is divided into sections based on the way you may interact with Outbrain. Please determine what user type you are. For each user type we’ve explained what information we collect and why, what cookies and other similar technologies we use, how we share such information, and your rights.
Site Visitors: You are a Site Visitor when you visit and interact with our web sites, web pages, interactive features, blogs and their respective contents at Outbrain.com (or any derivation, such as Outbrain.co.uk; Outbrain.fr; outbrain.de etc.) and MyOutbrain.com (“Our Sites“). See more here.
(a) What information we collect and why
We want to understand what services on Our Sites interest you and we want to remind you about the services we offer when you are not on Our Sites. To do this, we collect the following information from you: (i) IP address; (ii) User Agent data: device type (e.g., iPhone), browser type (e.g., Chrome), operating system (e.g., iOS); (iii) the pages visited on Our Site (e.g., the Outbrain “About” page); (iv) the time of visit (and corresponding timezone); and (v) referring URLs and other information normally transmitted in HTTP requests (e.g., this information tells us how you arrived on Our Sites).
(b) What cookies and other similar technologies we use
Please see this Cookie Table under “Site Visitors” for a detailed list of the cookies (and their corresponding retention periods) we use when you visit Our Sites.
(c) How we may share information
  • Sharing Information we learn about you on Our Sites.
In general, we do not share personal data about you with third parties for third party marketing or advertising purposes. However, we use various third parties (each listed on this Cookie Table) to help us market or advertise to you. For example, some of the cookies we use on Our Sites belong to third parties that will help Outbrain market or advertise to you. We require that these third parties and companies agree to keep all information shared with them confidential and to use the information only to perform their obligations to us. We do this by entering into agreements with all third parties who process personal data on our behalf to ensure that they process your personal data in accordance with our strict instructions and all applicable data protection laws. If you post on our blog, your comment and information will be publicly available. Please contact support@outbrain.com to remove your comment.
  • Using Third Party Services on Our Sites.
Our Sites contain links to other websites that we do not own or operate. We do not control, recommend or endorse the content, products, services, privacy policies or practices of these third party websites. For example, on Our Sites you will notice clickable icons which take you to the Outbrain Facebook page or the Outbrain LinkedIn page. If you choose to click on these links, you should know that Facebook and Linkedin may send their own cookies to your device and they may independently collect personal data. It is therefore important that you read the Facebook and/or LinkedIn privacy policies.
  • Also see the Sharing section of this Privacy Policy.
(d) Your rights
The Terms of Use on Our Site govern the use of Our Site and also apply to you. You can stop using Our Site at any time. If you do, you may also want to remove any cookies that we have placed on any device used to access Our Site. If during your use of Our Sites you provided your email address, any email you receive from Outbrain includes an “unsubscribe” option.
For European Territory Visitors, Outbrain has implemented a consent management platform (powered by One Trust) on Our Sites that provide visitors the opportunity to consent, or not consent, to cookies and similar tracking technologies on Our Sites. Upon accessing Our Sites, you will see a banner on the bottom of the page with information about the cookies we use. You may click the banner to reject any cookies that are not strictly necessary. Pressing “accept” on the banner or scrolling/clicking on Our Sites is an indication of your acceptance. Accordingly, Outbrain’s lawful basis for processing personal data on Our Sites is consent. You may withdraw your consent at any time here.

Users: You are an User when you visit a page of a website or application of one of Outbrain’s partners where the Outbrain widget is installed (“Partner Sites”). For example, if you visit https://news.sky.com/uk, www.bild.de or www.cnn.com, the Outbrain widget is implemented on those websites. You know you are engaging with an Outbrain widget when you see text referencing Outbrain (e.g., “Recommended by Outbrain”, “by Outbrain” near recommendations). If you click on the hyperlinked reference to Outbrain you will see a detailed notice that enables you to navigate to Outbrain’s Interest Portal, which provides a general visualization of the types of Outbrain data categories that may be used to make its recommendations. It also gives you the ablity to opt out of personalized recommendations. See more here.
Example of an Outbrain Widget.
Outbrain Example Recommendations
(a) What information we collect and why
We use UUIDs, IP Address and other Usage Information so that we can serve interesting recommendations. Outbrain’s recommendations may be paid for by an advertiser linking you to a new website or they may be organic such that the link is to another page on the same publisher’s website.
  • UUID.
When as a User you first visit a Partner Site (e.g., CNN.com), Outbrain drops a cookie on your device in order to generate a UUID (a Unique User Identifier). We catalog and analyze the content you consume across Partner Sites. Our recommendations are based on: (i) browsing history; (ii) similar browsing patterns of other Users; (ii) recommendations that are generally popular with Outbrain’s audience at this time; (iv) some randomness, and (v) targeting requirements that may be provided or requested by our Amplify clients. As an example, Outbrain may know that UUID 123 (which could be you on your iPhone X on the Guardian using Chrome as your browser) likes to read about far away holiday destinations and that people who like to read about far away holiday destinations also like to read about exotic food.
The UUID is a sequence of numbers and/or letters. This UUID attaches itself to your device and varies depending on which browser you use. In other words, Outbrain records a different UUID depending on which device and/or which browser you use when accessing the Partner Sites. For example, this means that you will have one UUID when you visit a Partner Site from your mobile phone using the browser Safari, and a different UUID when you visit a Partner Site from your iPad using the browser Safari. Outbrain will combine and consolidate a UUID from a mobile device (handheld or tablet) from a browser that then accesses an application (or vice versa) from the that same device.
Assigning a UUID allows Outbrain to associate the page views visited and clicks on Outbrain’s recommendations from such UUID – all with the goal of providing interesting recommendations.
  • IP Address and Other Usage Information.
We collect a UUID as explained above, we also collect the following information from you: (i) IP address; (ii) User Agent data: device type (e.g., iphone) , browser type (e.g., chrome), operating system e.g iOS); (iii) the pages visited; (iv) the time of visit; and (v) referring URLs and other information normally transmitted in HTTP requests.
The above statistical information provides us with information about how many Users visited a specific page on our Partner Sites on which the Outbrain widget is installed, how long each User stayed on that page, the type of content on that page they clicked on and how they generally engaged with that page. This information is only personal data when it is associated to a UUID.
(b) What cookies and other similar technologies we use
Please see this Cookie Table under “Users” for a detailed list of the first party cookies we use when you interact with Partner Sites where the Outbrain technology is implemented.
If you click on a link to one of our recommendations, the Amplify advertiser sponsoring the recommendation may place cookies on your device through redirects prior to arriving on the destination page of the recommendations or upon reaching the destination page. In such cases you will be subject to that advertiser’s privacy policy.
In addition to Outbrain’s visible widget on Partner Sites, certain Outbrain advertisers may implement the Outbrain pixel on their websites. The Outbrain pixel determines whether the user reaching the page where the pixel is installed has an Outbrain UUID. If there is a UUID associated with such end user, Outbrain allows advertisers to retarget those UUIDs and/or provides advertisers with the total number of UUIDs that reached such page. If there was no Outbrain UUID on the page, the Outbrain pixel does not collect any information about the user.
We encourage advertisers to disclose use of the Outbrain pixel on their own websites. Outbrain does not combine pixel information with a UUID’s profile.
Data points such as page views and clicks are connected to a particular UUID are retained for 13 months. For example, if UUID 123 read an article on December 31, 2017, on February 1, 2018 that article will no longer be part of UUID 123’s profile.
(c) How we may share information
Outbrain does not share User profiles with any third parties. However, we may share the UUID with certain partners for the purpose of cookie syncing, or based on technical requirements. Also see the Sharing section of this Privacy Policy.
(d) Your rights
  • Outbrain Opt Out.
You may opt out of Outbrain’s personalized recommendations at any time. Please see Outbrain’s Interest Profile for a general visualization the data Outbrain knows about you and may use to make its recommendations. The Interest Profile also gives you the ability to opt out of personalized recommendations. Note that opting out of browsers is through the Outbrain Interest Profile, but opting out of personalized recommendations in applications is through the settings on your device (examples of steps are in the Interest Profile).
IMPORTANT – even though you have opted out of Outbrain:
  • You will still see Outbrain recommendations. Opting out of Outbrain personalization tracking does not mean you will no longer receive recommendations from Outbrain. Instead, it means that Outbrain’s recommendations will not be personalized. The recommendations will still use information about the document you are viewing (i.e., contextual information) to provide you recommendations on that page.
  • The opt out is cookie based and device/browser specific. If you browse the web from several devices and/or browsers, you will need to opt out from each device and/or browser to ensure that we prevent personalization tracking on all of them. For the same reason, if you buy a new device, change browsers or delete (or clear) the opt out cookie, you will need to opt-out again. Opting out of personalization tracking is not the same as blocking cookies.
  • To ensure deletion of the profile tied to your UUID, do not opt in to Outbrain for at least 21 days. Your opt out from Outbrain’s personalized recommendations is effective immediately. However, if your browser permits local storage and you opt into Outbrain’s personalized recommendations within 21 days of your opt out, it is possible your prior profile will be reconnected to your UUID. If you do not opt in within 21 days, your profile will be deleted and cannot be recovered.
  • As with most opt out cookies, the Outbrain browser opt out relies upon a cookie. The opt-out cookie is intended to be persistent to honor the user’s preferences. However, the "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" feature in iOS11 may impact the persistence of cookies across websites post a 24 hour window. We suggest using another browser or considering blocking all 3rd party cookies from the browser so that you are "opted out" without needing to rely on any company's actual opt out methodology.
  • Additional Opt-Out Options.
You may also opt out of receiving personalized ads served by us or other advertising companies through industry powered tools such as the NAI or the various DAA-based pages (DAA, http://www.aboutads.info/choices; DAAC, www.youradchoices.ca/choices, and/or EDAA www.youronlinechoices.eu). Visiting the NAI, DAA, DAAC, or EDAA consumer choice pages allows you to opt out of all some or all of the participating members’ services. Like Outbrain’s opt out, these opt outs do not mean you will no longer receive any advertising – the advertisements will just not be tailored to you. You may continue to receive advertisements, for example, based on the particular website that you are viewing (i.e., contextually based ads). Also, if your browsers are configured to reject cookies when you visit the DAA, DAAC or EDAA consumer choice pages, your opt out may not be effective.
• Lawful Basis. Outbrain’s lawful basis for processing a User’s personal data is based on the lawful basis determined by each of our Partner Sites. Each Partner Site will rely on consent or legitimate interest. Please consult the applicable Partner Sites’ privacy policy for more information about their lawful basis. If a Partner is relying on consent, Outbrain will not drop a cookie on you if you have not provided consent on such Partner Site.

Business Partners: You are a Business Partner when you register (or email with Outbrain) on behalf of the company you work for to use the Outbrain Amplify or Outbrain Engage Services. See more here.
(a) What information we collect and why
You may provide certain personal data (such as email address) when you sign up for the Amplify or Engage services or otherwise communicate or interact with us. If you apply to become a Business Partner, we may request additional information from you via advertiser application forms, insertion orders and other forms. We automatically collect information about your username’s actions in the Outbrain dashboard. As an example, as an Amplify Business Partner if you change the cost-per-click for one your campaigns, Outbrain’s audit trail will have a record of all those actions.
We collect and process the personal data above in order to perform our obligations under our agreement as a Business Partner (or prospective Business Partner) with you including to:
  • respond to your questions and requests;
  • to provide you with access to certain functions and features of our Amplify or Engage services (e.g., to provide and maintain your dashboard account);
  • verify your identity;
  • communicate with you about your account, our products, and available promotions relevant to your use of the Amplify or Engage service.
(b) What cookies and other similar technologies we use
Please see this Cookie Table under “Business Partners” for a detailed list of the cookies (and their corresponding retention periods) we use with Business Partners.
(c) How we may share information with anyone
We may disclose certain Business Partner information to vendors, contractors, or others who assist Outbrain in delivering the services (e.g., credit card processing). Also see the Sharing section of this Privacy Policy.
(d) Your rights
If as a Business Partner you wish to verify, correct, update or request the deactivation of your information, you may go the to the Outbrain dashboard edit your profile preferences or contact us at support@outbrain.com. If you are receiving Outbrain emails, you may “unsubscribe” using a link in the email. Note unsubscribing shall not opt you out notifications critical to providing the Amplify or Engage services (e.g., email invoices).
Outbrain’s lawful basis for processing personal data of Business Partners is legitimate interest.
3. How We Keep Information Safe, Transfers Outside the EEA, Sharing and Retention
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Security
Outbrain has a dedicated security team. We maintain tight controls over the personal data we collect, retaining it in firewalled and secured databases with strictly limited and controlled access rights, to ensure it is secure. Please see our security standards for more information.
Business Partners have access to certain password-protected features of the Amplify or Engage service. They are responsible for keeping this password confidential. Please remember that unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. A common Internet scam is known as "spoofing" or "phishing." This occurs when you receive an email from what appears to be a legitimate source requesting personal data from you. Please be aware that we will not send you any emails requesting you to verify credit card, bank information, or any other personal data. If you ever receive an email that appears to be from us requesting such information from you, do not respond to it, and do not click on any links appearing in the email. Instead, please forward the email to us at legal@outbrain.com, as we will investigate instances of possible Internet fraud.
Data Transfers Outside the EU/EEA
When we transfer personal data from the European Economic Area to other countries in which applicable laws do not offer the same level of data privacy protection as in the European Territories, we take measures to provide an appropriate level of data privacy protection. In other words, your rights and protections remain with your data. For example, we use approved contractual clauses and other measures designed to ensure that the recipients of your personal data protect it.
Sharing
In addition to the description of how we may disclose your personal data for each user type, we may also disclose personal data as follows:
  • Within the family of companies controlled by Outbrain for internal reasons, primarily for business and operational purposes;
  • If we go through a business transition, such as a merger, acquisition by another company, or sale of all or a portion of our assets, your personal data will likely be among the assets transferred;
  • When legally required to do so (e.g., to cooperate with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings); and/or
  • To respond to a genuine emergency.
In addition, we combine your personal data with those of other users in order to share trend information and aggregate user statistics with third parties, always in aggregated and anonymized form.
Data Retention
The retention period for each of the cookies Outbrain uses (whether its own or on our behalf by third parties) is stated on the Cookie Table.
Outbrain also maintains a Data Retention Policy that details the retention period for personal data based on our analysis of how long the specific data is reasonably required for legal or business purposes. When we no longer need personal data, we securely delete or destroy it. Aggregated data, which cannot identify a device/browser (or individual) and is used for purposes of reporting and analysis, is maintained for as long as commercially necessary.
4. Children
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None of our services are directed to children under 16. We do not knowingly collect personal data from anyone under 16 years of age. If we determine upon collection that a Site Visitor, a User or a Business Partner is under 16, we will not use or maintain his/her personal data. If we become aware that we have unknowingly collected personal data from a child under the age of 16, we will make reasonable efforts to delete such information from our records. If you’re a kid, please go play in the yard, don’t use or interact with Outbrain!
5. European Territory Citizens
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In compliance with European privacy laws, in particular the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Outbrain provides specific additional rights for citizens of the European Territories such as the right to access, rectification, right to object, to complaint, erasure and blockage. More specifically:
  • the right to request information about whether and which personal data is processed by us, and the right to demand that personal data is rectified or amended.
  • under certain circumstances, the right to request that personal data should be deleted.
  • under certain circumstances, the right to demand that the processing of personal data should be restricted.
  • withdraw your consent to the processing and use of your data completely or partially at any time with future application.
  • have the right to obtain your personal data in a common, structured and mechanically readable format.
  • contact our data protection officer if there are any questions, comments, complaints or requests in connection with our statement on data protection and the processing of your personal data.
  • the right to complain to the responsible supervisory authority if believed that the processing of your personal data is in violation of the legislation.
In addition to the above, we reference certain rights for European Territory citizens throughout this Privacy Policy. Pursuant to the GDPR, citizens from "European Territories" mean the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. For the purpose of this Privacy Policy, the term "European Territories" shall continue to include the United Kingdom, even after the United Kingdom leaves the European Economic Area following Brexit.
Please email PrivacyQuestions@outbrain.com with any questions about exercising any of the above rights.
6. California Privacy Rights
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Under California Civil Code sections 1798.83-1798.84, California residents are entitled to ask us for a notice describing what categories of personal information we share with third parties or corporate affiliates for those third parties or corporate affiliates' direct marketing purposes. That notice will identify the categories of information shared and will include a list of the third parties and affiliates with which it was shared, along with their names and addresses. If you are a California resident and would like a copy of this notice, please submit a written request to PrivacyQuestions@outbrain.com or send to the following address: Outbrain Inc., 39 West 13th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10011. Please allow 30 days for a response.
7. “Do Not Track” Disclosure
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Some browsers transmit Do Not Track (DNT) signals to websites. Because there is no common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, Outbrain does not currently alter, change, or respond to DNT requests or signals from these browsers. We will continue to monitor industry activity in this area and reassess our DNT practices as necessary. In the meantime, you can use the range of other tools we provide to control data collection and use, including the ability to opt out of receiving personalized recommendations in the Users section.
8. How This Privacy Policy May Change
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We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. We will place a prominent notice that will be visible to you as a Site Visitor or Business Partner, but we do not have a means of advising Users of an update. You should check back here periodically to see if the Privacy Policy has been updated. We will always show the date of the latest modification of the Privacy Policy at the top of the page so you can tell when it was last revised.