Cookie Policy

Our Privacy Policy explains our principles when it comes to the collection, processing, and storage of your information. This policy specifically explains how we, our partners, and users of our services deploy cookies, as well as the options you have to control them.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).

Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.

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How we use cookies

We use cookies for a number of different purposes. Some cookies are necessary for technical reasons; some enable a personalized experience for both visitors and registered users; and some allow the display of advertising from selected third party networks. Some of these cookies may be set when a page is loaded, or when a visitor takes a particular action (clicking the “like” or “follow” button on a post, for example).

Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered WordPress.com user (so you don’t have to log in every time, for example), while others are set whenever you visit one of our websites, irrespective of whether you have an account.

For more information on the choices you have about the cookies we use, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.

Where we place cookies

We set cookies in a number of different locations across our services. These include:

  • On our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, and akismet.com).
  • In the administrative dashboards of our websites, such as Calypso and wp-admin.
  • On sites we host for our users.
  • On sites that use our plugins (e.g. Jetpack).

User Sites

In addition to the cookies set on our own sites, we utilize cookies for our Site Stats feature. This tallies the unique numbers of visitors to a site, as well as the number from specific geographic locations. A visitor is counted when we see a user or browser for the first time in a given period.

Examples

Below are examples of the cookies set by Automattic, with explanations of their purpose. Some of these cookies are set across our whole network, whereas some are specific to individual services (e.g. WordPress.com, Longreads, etc). Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather aims to be representative. Information about cookies that may be set by third parties, such as our ads partners, is below.

In addition, people and companies that use our services to publish or host their own sites may place additional cookies. We provide more information on these cookies below.

Advertising

Cookie Purpose
ads Tracks if a visitor has clicked an ad before.
lr_nw Counts and tracks pageviews on Longreads.com. Used to determine whether or not to show our Membership popup message.
wordpress_eli Reduces the display of ads for repeat visitors.

Please also see the section below on third party advertisements that you may see on our sites or sites that use our services.

Analytics and Performance

Cookie Purpose
__pdvt Used in log of Polldaddy survey data to aid in debugging customer problems
ab Used for “AB testing” of new features.
nux_flow_name Identifies which user signup flow was shown to the user.
tk_ni / tk_ai / tk_qs Gathers information for our own, first party analytics tool about how our services are used. A collection of internal metrics for user activity, used to improve user experience.
wp-affiliate-tracker Remembers the ID of the affiliate that referred the current user to WordPress.com
utma / utmb / utmc / utmt / utmz / ga / gat / gid Google Analytics. Gathers information that helps us understand how visitors interact with our websites, which allow us to create a better experience for our visitors. Our users may also implement Google Analytics on their own websites.

Functionality

Cookie Purpose
_longreads_prod_new Authentication for Longreads.com Member accounts. Only active when logged in, on *.longreads.com domains.
akm_mobile Stores whether a user has chosen to view the mobile version of a website.
botdlang Used to track the language a user has selected to view popular blogs in.
landingpage_currency Defines the currency displayed in WordPress.com landing pages.
pd_dashboard Records last used folder in Polldaddy dashboard so it can be reopened upon user’s next visit.
PD_USER_AUTH Login cookie used to identify Polldaddy user.
wordpress_logged_in* Checks whether or not the current visitor is a logged in WordPress.com user.
wp-settings-{user_id} Persists a user’s wp-admin configuration.
wp_sharing_{id} Tracks whether or not a user has already performed an action.

Security

Cookie Purpose
csrftoken Python/Ajax security cookie used on accounts.longreads.com.

Strictly Necessary

Cookie Purpose
country_code Used in order to determine whether or not the cookie banner should be shown. Set immediately on page load and retained for 6 hours to remember the visitor’s country.
sensitive_pixel_option Remembers the state of visitor acceptance to the cookie banner. Only set when the visitor clicks Accept.
twostep_auth Set when the user is logged in using two factor authentication.
wordpress_test_cookie Checks if cookies are enabled to provide appropriate user experience.

Advertisements from Third Parties Through Automattic’s Ads Program

Our mission is to democratize publishing. So that we can offer free access to create a website using WordPress.com, we show ads on some of our users’ sites. Our users may also choose to place ads on their site through our ads program. Additionally, we also show ads from our ads program on some of our own websites (e.g. longreads.com).

We operate our ads program in partnership with third party vendors. As part of the operation of our ads program, we use cookies to collect certain information. Advertising cookies enable us and our partners to serve ads and to personalize those ads based on information like visits to our sites and other sites on the Internet.

Below is a representative list of our advertising program partners, along with information on the cookies that that each partner sets. The partners we work with change from time to time, and this is not an exhaustive list. Your choices to control cookies related to our ads program are described below.

Partner Cookie Info
Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=footer_iba?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201909150
AppNexus https://www.appnexus.com/en/company/cookie-policy
BidSwitch http://www.bidswitch.com/cookie-statement/
Google (AdSense, DoubleClick Ad Exchange “AdX”) https://policies.google.com/technologies/ads
OATH https://policies.oath.com/us/en/oath/privacy/topics/cookies/index.html
Pubmatic https://pubmatic.com/legal/website-cookie-policy/
Skimlinks https://skimlinks.com/user-cookies

Visitors to Sites with Jetpack installed

Below are examples of the cookies set for visitors to sites with the Jetpack plugin installed. For more details on the cookies set for administrators, please see https://jetpack.com/support/cookies/.

Jetpack Comments

Cookie Name Purpose
comment_author_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s name field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_email_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s email field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_url_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s URL field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes

Mobile Theme

Cookie Name Purpose
akm_mobile Remembers whether or not a user wishes to view the mobile version of a site.

Subscriptions

Cookie Name Purpose
jetpack_comments_subscribe_{HASH} Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.
jetpack_blog_subscribe_{HASH} Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.

Controlling Cookies

Visitors may wish to restrict the use of cookies or completely prevent them from being set. Most browsers provide for ways to control cookie behavior such as the length of time they are stored – either through built-in functionality or by utilizing third party plugins. If you disable cookies, please be aware that some of the features of our service may not function correctly.

To find out more on how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org. For more details on your choices regarding use of your web browsing activity for interest-based advertising visit youronlinechoices.eu (EU based) or optout.aboutads.info (US based). On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit ad tracking.

You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s opt-out browser add-on.

Our Internal Analytics Tool

In order to better understand how our services are used, we monitor certain user activities that take place within our products, including page views and clicks on any links used when managing a site via our dashboards.

We call each one of these actions an “event.” Analytics events are attached to your WordPress.com account and are handled via a first party system that Automattic owns and maintains. In general, we record the following data for each event: IP address, WordPress.com user ID and username, WordPress.com-connected site ID (for sites not hosted on WordPress.com), user agent, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, and country code.

We use this information to improve our products, make our marketing to you more relevant, personalize your experience, and for the other purposes described in our Privacy Policy.

You may opt out of our analytics program through your user settings. By doing so, you won’t share information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out, while logged in to your WordPress.com account. Note that opting out does not disable the functionality of the actions we track – for example, if you publish a post, we will still have record of that (don’t worry!), but for an event or action after you opt out, we will not have other data associated with that action or event in the analytics tool.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our use of cookies, you can find the most relevant contact details in our Privacy Policy.

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