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What is a DoubleClick Dart Cookie?

James Chiodo, Certified Information Privacy Professional CIPP/US

The DoubleClick Dart Cookie is a cookie that is used in the ads served on the websites and blogs owned by others that have AdSense showing on their site. When users or visitors land on a website showing Google ads, a cookie is dropped on the users or visitor’s browser. Google’s privacy policy governs the tracking performed by their DART cookie.

Most cookies are small text files deposited on a website user’s browser when they visit a website or blog. And most of them contain a distinctive identifier ID: which basically consist of a sequence of characters that websites and blogs associate with the visitor or user’s browser. The use of cookies helps sites to distinguish the user’s browser from the browsers of others.

Cookies also allow a website or blog to remember the preferences of a user, visitor, or customer the next time they visit a site or when they come back to login regularly. Depending on the type of information stored on a cookie, it can collect many types of data about a user or visitor’s activity.

How does the DoubleClick Dart Cookie Work?

The special DoubleClick Dart Cookie gathers data that is used to enable AdSense publishers to serve ads on their blogs and websites and to improve advertising. This is done by directing advertising to the user based on what is pertinent to them based on what they have previously searched for or viewed.

The information collected from these DART cookies is used to help publishers who display AdSense on their sites to better assist and manage the ads on their website or blog. Although they gather information, these cookies do not collect personally identifiable information from visitors or users. Google’s privacy policy governs the tracking performed by their DART cookie. Users and visitors to websites can opt out of these special DART cookies if they choose.

Publishers must notify users

All advertising publishers are required to notify users if their website or blog is using DART cookies and must clearly display that notification within their DART privacy policy or provision. Also, advertising publishers are required to obey and comply with state and federal laws concerning the collection of information from users, visitors and customers to their site.

The following is a sample of the DART privacy policy provision:

Google Ad and Content Network Privacy Policy

Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on our site. Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy at the following link:
http://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads

With most state and federal laws governing websites and blogs, it is about disclosures. Specifically, disclosing what types of mechanisms you use to gather information from your visitors and users, the types of information you gather, how you will use it, and who you will share it with.

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