Who We Are
AdTheorent, Inc. is a privately held digital ad network and MDSP which uses machine learning, data science and related technology to assist advertisers and advertising agencies in their efforts to deliver targeted and useful digital advertisements to consumers. We purchase media (in real time) from our inventory sources (consisting of app or web publishers or the advertising exchanges which make their digital ad inventory available for purchase (Inventory Partners)), and we serve mobile advertisements through such media on behalf of our advertiser clients in an intelligent manner. AdTheorent predictive models help AdTheorent determine which advertising “impressions” (meaning, User web page or app visits) are most likely to yield engagement and interest on the part of the User. AdTheorent models utilize the data made available to AdTheorent from its Inventory Partners, as described below.
We Do Not Collect Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information or Sensitive Consumer Information
The Cookie IDs and advertising IDs maintained and stored by the Company are used for re-targeting and frequency-capping purposes. In some cases such IDs are tied to web browsing history.
To the extent any of our Partners (as defined below) gather and form of PII, their privacy policies will govern its use.
How We Use Non-Sensitive PII Data and Other Data To Make Advertisements More Relevant to Users
When we serve mobile advertisements on behalf of our advertiser clients we endeavor to make the ads relevant to Users. We accomplish this by matching ads with relevant non-sensitive PII and other characteristics about the device and the mobile publication that the User has visited, such as the time of day and date, content on the site or app, latitude/longitude of User, other devices associated with the User, carrier network, type of mobile device/mobile browser, IP address, as well as other non-sensitive PII data provided through our Partners. In other words, although we may serve an ad to a User based on certain demographic information about the Users (e.g., female in New York between the ages of 35 and 50), our MDSP does not know – nor do we seek to know – who that User is, or any information that would allow us to identify who the User is.
Currently we receive certain device IDs (Android Advertising ID, Apple IDFA) in some cases to verify a User election, such as a User-requested app install request. In those cases we obtain the device ID not to track the User, but rather to substantiate for our advertiser clients whether the User installed the app.
In order to ensure the geographic relevance of ads that we serve and to identify correlations between disparate devices and Users, we derive User device location data from information made available to us from Inventory Partners and data partners, as follows:
We will not use a User’s current GPS geographic location to target an ad unless we or one of our data or inventory Partners have previously obtained permission to do so. Because we do not have a nexus with a User before the User generates a specific bid request, we rely on our inventory partners to adhere to contractual requirements and applicable regulatory and self-regulatory guidelines, including any requirements related to obtaining User consent to access the User’s geographic location.
We may share aggregated data, or non-personal data with third parties and we may share Non-Sensitive PII Data with our advertiser and agency clients who hire us to run their campaigns.
How We Collect Non-Sensitive PII and Other Data
We collect non-sensitive PII and other data both from our Partners and by looking at the non-sensitive PII and other information that comes to our servers from a User’s device, such as a mobile phone. This information enables our MDSP to deliver the most relevant and useful advertisement given the non-PII data available about the media “impression.” We currently do not store any cookies on User devices to identify any User. We do store cookies on User devices in order to anonymously identify one device from another. The ID stored in the cookie is an anonymous unique ID (AUID).
AdTheorent and its Partners may use non-cookie technologies to recognize a User’s computer or device and/or to collect and record information about the User. A User’s web browser may not permit the User to block the use of these non-cookie technologies, and those browser settings that block cookies may have no effect on such techniques.
To learn more about Interest-Based Advertising or to opt-out of this type of advertising by those third parties that are members of self-regulatory programs such as the Network Advertising Initiative, please visit the NAI’s website (www.networkadvertising.org) which will allow you to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising by one, or all, NAI members.
How We Comply with Self Regulatory Requirements Related to Precise Location Data
AdTheorent adheres to the requirements of the NAI Code of Conduct related to the collection and use of Precise Location Data, consistent with NAI guidance submitted on the NAI blog on April 1, 2016. As a third-party ad network, AdTheorent complies through its adherence to the requirements of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Mobile Guidance, Section IV.B.2, which provides a number of methods for third party ad networks to obtain reasonable assurances that a first party publisher, such as a mobile application, has obtained such consent on their behalf. Such methods include: (i) entering into a contract with the first party publisher under which the first party agrees to obtain consent to the third party’s data collection and use, (ii) obtaining other written assurances from the first party publisher to the same effect; (iii) verifying that the first party publisher publicly represents that it adheres to industry Self-Regulatory Principles; (iv) verifying that the first party obtains consent to the collection of Precise Location Data and provides clear, meaningful, and prominent notice that such data may be transferred to third parties; and/or (v) verifying that the first party participates in a mechanism offered by a platform or operating system that provides the ability to obtain consent that satisfies this Principle.
How We Safeguard the Security of Aggregate User Data
All the data we hold is protected by multiple layers of physical, electronic and administrative safeguards, to secure it against accidental, unauthorized or unlawful access, use, modification, disclosure, loss or destruction.
From time-to-time we may share the aggregated, non-individual specific, data we hold with Publishers and Networks for reporting and accounting purposes, as well as other unaffiliated third parties for various purposes such as statistical or educational analysis. In these cases we work with organizations we believe to have appropriate safeguards in place to protect data at the levels we require. In situations where we are obligated by law, we may also disclose information in order to investigate, prevent or take action regarding suspected or actual prohibited activities, included but not limited to, fraud and situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person.
How We Meet Our Obligations Under Laws, Regulations and Standards Intended to Safeguard Children
AdTheorent takes various steps to ensure compliance with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) as well as voluntary industry frameworks such as the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), administered by the Council of Better Business Bureau’s, Inc., including the following:
Data Retention Period
AdTheorent maintains data related to media served for a period of 12 months past date of collection.
AdTheorent Data Protection Officer & Compliance Team
AdTheorent has appointed a Data Protection Officer who oversees AdTheorent’s technical infrastructure and process as such relate to privacy and data security matters. AdTheorent’s Data Protection Officer also participates as a member of the AdTheorent Privacy Task Force, which group is comprised of AdTheorent leadership individuals responsible for implementing and executing on the requirements described in this Policy. AdTheorent’s Data Protection Officer is reachable as described below under “Contact Us for More Information.”
How We Meet Our Obligations Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy Directive
AdTheorent’s business focus is the United States market and most of our business activities to date relate to purchasing media impressions correlated to Users within the United States, but from time to time we also provide services to our clients related to international advertising campaigns, including campaigns in the European Union (the “EU”), in which case we may purchase digital media impressions and deliver digital ads to Users located in the EU. In such cases AdTheorent adheres to protocols, standards and rules described in the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and ePrivacy Directive, as summarized below. AdTheorent has implemented a “compliance by design” approach to GDPR compliance which exceeds the requirements of the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive, using de-identification and anonymization processes to prevent AdTheorent from using or storing Personal Data.
AdTheorent’s ‘Legal Basis’ to Process and Use Personal Data
The GDPR itself does not require consent to be able to process a User’s Personal Data for online advertising. Rather, it requires that any company that “processes” data must have a “legal basis” to do so. Under the GDPR, “processing” is defined broadly to include virtually any automated process that touches data -- including, for example, us receiving data in bid requests from our inventory Partners. GDPR allows companies to process Personal Data to further its own “legitimate interests” or those of a third party, as long as doing so won’t adversely infringe on the rights and freedoms of the User. This is a supportable legal basis for our processing activities, as well as User consent when available.
The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (an independent advisory body made up of representatives of the national data protection authorities, the European Commission and the European Data Protection Supervisor), Opinion 06/2014, notes that retailers/advertisers have a legitimate interest in getting to know their customers’ preferences and marketing to them. While recognizing this legitimate interest, AdTheorent is also sensitive to the potential negative consequences for Users resulting from intrusions to their privacy. As a result, AdTheorent takes various affirmative steps to limit the types of Personal Data that is receives, to de-identify data and to use data in aggregated methods when possible.
AdTheorent Inventory Partners’ Legal Basis Under GDPR
AdTheorent has no direct relationship with Users in order to obtain affirmative consent. However, AdTheorent’s contractual arrangements with EU suppliers and Partners ensure that such Partners will not provide Personal Data about EU data subjects unless the Partner either: (i) obtains and manages opt-in consents from such EU data subjects; or (ii) identifies an alternative ‘legal basis” permitted under GDPR.
AdTheorent Approach: Consent & De-Identification
Currently, AdTheorent adheres to an internal best practice of de-identifying Personal Data originating from EU countries, even when AdTheorent’s inventory Partner(s) rely on Consent as the legal basis for sharing Personal Data. As a result, AdTheorent will not store any User Personal Data, as defined by GDPR. Simply stated, for all bid requests originating from countries that fall under GDPR, even if User consent is communicated as having been provided, AdTheorent will adhere to the following process:
As a result of these methods AdTheorent does not maintain any Personal Data related to any identified or identifiable natural person (data subject) in the EU, as defined in GDPR, even if that person has provided consent to AdTheorent’s Partner and such consent is communicated to AdTheorent.
IAB EU Consent Framework
AdTheorent has registered as a global vendor with the IAB EU Consent framework. This framework facilitates the communication and management of User consents within the context of the digital advertising ecosystem in which publishers work with numerous vendors to deliver targeted advertisements.
More information about the IAB EU Consent framework is here.
As a result of AdTheorent’s registering and implementing the IAB EU Consent Framework, publisher Partners are able to include AdTheorent in their respective consent forms and processes. Simply stated, AdTheorent will be included in the publishers’ list of advertising partners for whom User consent is requested. This implementation allows users to opt-in to all or individual vendors.
“Profiling” Under GDPR
GDPR contains certain rules related to “profiling,” which is the automated processing of Personal Data for the purpose of evaluating, analyzing or predicting a data subject’s interests, location, or preferences. This includes the collection or use of personal data over time to deliver users with targeted ads. AdTheorent generates automated predictive models for the purpose of identifying Users who would be most interested in engaging with a given type of digital advertisement. As such, we do engage in “profiling.” That being said, GDPR only requires opt-in consent for profiling that produces a "legal effect" or which "significantly affects" an end user (for example, an automated decision to deny someone credit on the basis of a profile). Targeting through our platform only controls the type of advertisement that an end user might see, and does not produce a legal or significant effect. As such, any profiling associated with our platform and services does not require opt-in consent. In fact, the GDPR expressly acknowledges that 'ordinary' profiling can be conducted on the basis of legitimate interests.
If you would like to Opt Out of automated profiling on our network, please click here.
The Data We Collect – AdTheorent’s Digital Supply Chain – and the Purpose for Collection
As noted above, AdTheorent minimizes the extent to which it obtains and uses data about Users to the minimum data attributes needed to provide relevant and useful digital advertisements to Users on behalf of AdTheorent’s advertiser clients. In campaigns outside the EU, we use such data to generate predictive models and to determine which Users are most likely to engage with given advertisements, and then we target those Users on digital properties which have integrated with our Partner digital advertising exchanges and other inventory partners. Currently the only non-sensitive PII elements that we store and use related to Users (excluding EU Users) as part of our services on advertising campaigns is limited to: (i) User IP address; (ii) User Advertising ID (Android Advertising Id or Apples ID for Advertising); (iii) User cookie IDs; and (iv) User latitude/longitude data corresponding to User’s geographic location at time advertising impression is provided to AdTheorent. As noted above, regarding Users located in the EU we do not store any Personal Data and we follow defined processes for de-identification and anonymization of data made available to us.
Under no circumstances will AdTheorent use or store the special categories of data referenced in Article 9 of GDPR. Such special categories include personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation.
AdTheorent also will not engage in the household device correlation measures described above, which process is not used for any campaign governed by GDPR.
AdTheorent Privacy Rights Infrastructure
As noted above, AdTheorent does not store Personal Data elements related to EU Users.
If any data subject or User desires to obtain access to the Personal Data or request that AdTheorent erase or correct such Personal Data, or otherwise object to such collection, AdTheorent will accommodate such request(s) by advising the User about AdTheorent’s policy against storing any EU User Personal Data. AdTheorent is also working to create an automated on-line form to assist in the processing of these requests, which will be provided as an update to this Policy.
Summary of Your Rights
Applicability of ePrivacy Directive
Independent of GDPR, the EU ePrivacy Directive (and the new ePrivacy Regulation that is currently being negotiated) independently requires consent for AdTheorent’s Partners (and publishers generally) to be able to place cookies or otherwise access a User’s device. This type of consent, which is currently generally obtained through “cookie banners”, is still required despite GDPR. AdTheorent, like other ad tech companies, are not able to obtain this consent independently, so our contracts with Inventory Partners ensure that they obtain this consent (directly or through their participating publishers) on our behalf.
How We Meet Our Obligations Under Canada’s Privacy Law - The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
To the extent that AdTheorent delivers digital advertisements related to advertising campaigns to Users located in Canada, AdTheorent complies with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA"), which sets forth Canada’s federal private sector privacy law that governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the course of commercial activity as defined by the Act.
As required under PIPEDA, AdTheorent considers the sensitivity of the Personal Data and Users’ reasonable expectations in determining the level of consent that must be obtained in connection with delivering advertisements to Users. In accessing and using third-party applications and web properties published by our Inventory Partners, Users consent to receiving advertisements as part of that experience, which is a reasonable expectation of such use. AdTheorent relies on such implied consent and advises Users to review the service terms and privacy policies associated with the web and app publications that such Users access and use in order to understand how Personal Data is collected, used, and disclosed by such third-party applications.
In addition, as described in this Policy, AdTheorent limits and clearly defines the extent to which it will obtain and use Personal Data, which Personal Data will not be used or disclosed for purposes other than the stated purposes for which it was collected. In sum and as described more fully in this Policy generally, AdTheorent will not use or store SPII or SCI (each defined above) or data not relevant for the intended purpose of making advertisements more relevant and useful to Users. Furthermore, AdTheorent maintains a clearly defined opt-out infrastructure for all Users as set forth here.
Special Considerations Applicable to Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Campaigns
In addition to the above safeguards and processes, AdTheorent adheres to additional rules and best practices related to digital advertising in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. As noted above, AdTheorent does not obtain and therefore will not use (for any purpose, including but not limited to ad targeting or the development or refinement of predictive models) any Private Health Information (PHI) about any individual as that term is used under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the HIPAA Privacy Rule thereunder. AdTheorent healthcare and pharmaceutical campaigns may utilize contextual targeting techniques which may include geographic targeting and site-based targeting, and AdTheorent predictive models may be employed without using any PHI or Sensitive PII. To the extent AdTheorent leverages third party data to inform its predictive models and targeting strategies, such third parties do not provide or use PHI or Sensitive PII and AdTheorent will never receive or use PHI or Sensitive PII from such third parties. Rather, such third parties use aggregated metrics and de-identified data only.
Special Considerations Applicable to Financial Services Campaigns
In addition to the above safeguards and processes, AdTheorent adheres to additional rules and best practices related to digital advertising in the financial services industry. As noted above, AdTheorent does not obtain and therefore will not use (for any purpose, including but not limited to ad targeting or the development or refinement of predictive models) any Sensitive PII about any individual. AdTheorent financial services campaigns may utilize contextual targeting techniques which may include geographic targeting and site-based targeting, and AdTheorent predictive models may be employed without using any Sensitive PII. With respect to the predictive models and targeting strategies deployed and used for financial services campaigns, such models and targeting strategies will not use Sensitive PII and AdTheorent will not develop or use models or targeting strategies based on any “prohibited criteria” for purposes of the Equal Credit Reporting Act or Fair Credit Reporting Act.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
AdTheorent is implementing process changes as necessary to comply with the CCPA on or before the effective date of January 1, 2020. In addition, AdTheorent is awaiting further guidance from the CA Attorney General (who has advised forthcoming regulations) and potential federal legislation (which could impact CCPA) and other state statutes covering this subject.
Generally speaking, CCPA provides consumers with the following enumerated rights:
As of January 1, 2020, AdTheorent data management and security processes and practices will enable compliance with the foregoing.
Our compliance and privacy teams are monitoring developments with respect to CCPA and we will comply with applicable requirements on or before the effective date.
Additional Info on IAB
Contact Us for Further Information
If you have any questions about this Policy or our privacy practices, please email us at either or both of these addresses:
AdTheorent Data Protection Officer: