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.
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.
The table below explains the types of cookies we use on our websites and why we use them.
Required. These cookies are essential for our websites and services to perform basic functions and are necessary for us to operate certain features. These include those required to allow registered users to authenticate and perform account-related functions, store preferences set by users such as account name, language, and location, and ensure our services are operating properly.
Analytics and Performance. These cookies allow us to optimize performance by collecting information on how users interact with our websites, including which pages are visited most, as well as other analytical data. We use these details to improve how our websites function and to understand how users interact with them.
Advertising. These cookies are set by us and our advertising partners to provide you with relevant content and to understand that content’s effectiveness. They may be used to collect information about your online activities over time and across different websites to predict your preferences and to display more relevant advertisements to you. These cookies also allow a profile to be built about you and your interests and enable personalized ads to be shown to you based on your profile.
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.
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 you may visit the following sites:
On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit tracking.
Some analytics services we use, which place their own cookies or web tags on your browser, offer their own opt out choices. For example, you can opt out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s opt-out browser add-on, from Hotjar by using the Do Not Track header, and from Nielsen by clicking the opt out link found within Nielsen’s Privacy Statement.
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.
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.
For our Simplenote Users: We use our first party analytics tool in Simplenote to help us better understand how Simplenote is used and improve the app for our users. You may opt-out through your privacy settings in the app. By doing so, you won’t share information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out. One more thing–For Simplenote users who log onto Simplenote using their WordPress.com login, if you’d like to opt-out of our analytics tool on Simplenote, you’ll also need to opt out on the Simplenote app–not on your WP.COM Account Privacy Settings.
You may see a “cookie banner” on our websites and dashboards. If you are visiting one of our sites from the EU, then we do not set, or allow our ad partners to set, cookies that are used to show you targeted ads before you click to accept. When you consent in this manner, we and our advertising partners may set advertising cookies on the site you are visiting and on our other websites, dashboards, and services, which we use to show you advertisements about our various Automattic products. We’ll display the banner to you periodically, just in case you change your mind.
You can manage your privacy choices for third party advertising cookies for sites in the WordPress.com network by clicking “Learn More” on the banner, which will bring up our consent management platform (CMP). You can also adjust your settings for sites in the WordPress.com network at any time by clicking on the “Privacy” link displayed beneath every ad.
In March 2021 we began rolling out a new CMP to some of our users as part of our transition to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework, which we will participate in as both a CMP provider and as a vendor (framework identification number 496). Our new CMP complies with the the framework’s Specifications and Policies, and honors the choices you make using the IAB’s tools. Within the CMP we list as partners all the vendors that participate in the IAB’s Framework. We don’t work with all of these vendors, but our ad partners listed above might, so we want you to give you the choice to deactivate them. (This is also why the list in our CMP is longer than you’d expect!).