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What do phrases like "IP Addresses" and "Web Beacons" mean? Understand the terms and explore the issues of Internet privacy. Click on a topic for more information.

Yahoo! displays ads both on our network of owned and operated websites, such as the sites on the Yahoo.com domain and sites like Flickr.com, Rivals.com and others (see our Acquired Companies page for more) and on non-Yahoo! web sites. Yahoo! serves display ads, also known as graphical ads, that appear as images, animation or video as well as text ads that appear as text links.

Yahoo! web analytics tools collect data about the activity of visitors on Yahoo’s and our customer’s websites, such as pages visited, links clicked or advertisements viewed, and assembles that information into aggregated reports that can be used for understanding general site activity and improving products and services.

Yahoo! may combine information that we have about you with information we obtain from business partners or other companies. The data provided by these partners and other third parties is used in combination with our existing data to offer users more relevant products and services.

A "cookie" is a small data file sent from a web server and stored on your computer. Cookies are most commonly used for storing things like login information or shopping cart items, or for customizing things like your homepage. For example, when you sign in to Yahoo! a cookie tells us what content you have on your My Yahoo! page.

In order to better serve our customers and to provide the foundation for product and service improvements, Yahoo! maintains data about registered users, user generated content, product specific data, and general user activity of our products and services. Data is stored both on production systems to support our products and services and on back-up storage systems for recovery purposes.

An IP address is a series of numbers that identifies your computer on the Internet so it can "talk" to other computers. (IP stands for Internet Protocol.) The address is assigned to your computer by your Internet service provider when you establish a connection, such as through dial up or a high-speed modem.

Yahoo! offers a variety of location-aware products and services to provide you with more relevant content for where you are in the world. We obtain information about your location through various methods like pinpointed GPS data or when you submit a partial address to look at a map of an area.

Yahoo! delivers cutting edge mobile experiences to your handheld device. To customize our services for your device, we use IP address information, the type of device you are using, and, possibly, information about your mobile provider. If you opt in to sharing your location information with us, we offer location-based services that help you find things of interest in your area or let you use products like Fire Eagle. You can opt out of location sharing anytime.

Yahoo! may occasionally invite you to participate in usability studies, surveys, and other research to help us better design our site, plan new features for our products and services, or better understand your wants and needs.

Yahoo! Inc. is a participant in the Safe Harbor program developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Union. We adhere to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of Notice, Choice, Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity, Access and Enforcement with respect to personal data transferred to the United States from certain Yahoo! EU/EEA properties.

Yahoo! takes your security seriously and follows steps to protect the personal information you give us. No Internet data transmission or information storage technology is guaranteed to be 100 percent secure, but submitting personal or sensitive information online can be done safely when standards are in place to ensure that data is properly handled. These standards are a priority every day for Yahoo!.

Yahoo! brings together different social experiences from across the Web to a single place. You are able to interact with the people that matter to you whether it is through our own offerings (Yahoo! Updates, Yahoo! Pulse, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger), through our social network partners, and through developer network applications. See your Yahoo! Updates settings to manage who and what information is shared.

Most advertisements you see on the Yahoo! network of web sites are served to your web browser by Yahoo!. However, we also allow other companies, called ad networks, to serve advertisements within our web pages. Yahoo! may allow certain Yahoo! partners to include web beacons within pages served by Yahoo!, and may also share portions of our log file data with these partners. These partners aggregate information about our advertising and provide auditing, research and reporting for us and for advertisers.

A web beacon is typically an invisible image that may be imbedded in a web page. Its primary purpose is to count the page's visitors. It also collects other information, such as IP address, the time the page was viewed, and the type of browser used by that computer. In general, any element of a web page, including an ad banner, can host a web beacon.