Cookies 101

Everything you need to know about LiveRamp cookies

LiveRamp uses browser cookies to help companies and content providers present online content that is more likely to match your interests. Although LiveRamp cookies do not identify you personally, we understand that many people have privacy concerns related to such cookies. If we don’t answer your question below, please contact us.

What is a cookie

A cookie is a small text file stored on your computer that contains a string of letters and numbers. Cookies are placed on a user’s browser by websites upon visit and store information to customise web browsing experiences.

For example, a LiveRamp cookie might look something like this:

“j+ySwcJ/Al1xTGb+Z0iBLh633hmoLu3wqFcLu”

That code maps to an ID in LiveRamp’s database, which—in English—might mean the user is male, age 25-30 and likes soccer.

A cookie can be accessed whenever you are on a website that calls the cookie’s host domain. That means that companies that use cookies—such as Google—can only read or write to your cookie if the website you are visiting makes a call to Google.

How are cookies used?

Cookies are used in many ways, including customising website content, measuring website analytics and personalising advertising.

First-party cookies are used by sites with which you have an ongoing relationship, often to remember your preferences. For example, if you log into a website and select a ‘Remember me’ option, the site will add to your browser a cookie that stores information to speed future logins. First-party cookies are also used for online shopping carts and website analytics (including to help sites understand how many users visit and use their site).

The sites you visit may also add third-party cookies, from their online content partners, in order to deliver more relevant ads and website content. These third-party cookies generally include general categories, such as gender, age ranges and interests like entertainment or sports. Using this information, for example, a deodorant company may prefer to advertise male deodorant to males and female deodorant to females. Or a news site may choose to feature articles about technology for people who are interested in technology, and articles about business for people who are interested in business.

What does a LiveRamp cookie say about me?

LiveRamp cookies contain an anonymous ID that corresponds with segmented data about a user’s demographics (like age, gender and location), interests and lifestyle. The data strings in the cookie do not contain personally identifiable information, but rather general audience segment codes. A typical LiveRamp cookie may indicate that a user is female, age 30-35, who likes technology and is interested in cars.

Where does LiveRamp “cookie” data come from?

The data we use in cookie data segments generally comes from our customers, who may collect the data from your past relationships with them (for example, which products you have purchased in the past). Some of our customers aggregate data, which may come from a wide range of sources, including public records, surveys, census data and other offline and online sources. LiveRamp does not generally add to the data, but only makes the data accessible in a digital format.

Why are cookies being used for advertising and are they safe?

The web is an enormous source of information and many websites provide online content for free. To help cover operating costs, websites may rely on revenues earned from online ads (and may work with multiple advertising partners in the process).

Third-party cookies following industry best practices only store general information that helps personalise content shown to you. No specific information should be stored that can identify you personally.

LiveRamp takes multiple measures to protect your privacy and does not employ “Flash” cookies, which have to date been considered controversial because of the difficulty in deleting them.

How do I manage my cookie preferences or opt out altogether?

You can edit your computer’s internet options to delete all stored cookies. If you do this, you will also delete first-party cookies that store log-in information and other personal preferences.

You can change the cookie management settings on your web browser to accept all cookies, only first-party cookies, or no cookies at all.

You can visit the Digital Advertising Alliance opt-out page to see the advertising cookies currently being used by your web browser and to opt out of them if desired. Also visit PrivacyChoice for more information about managing ad targeting and online personas.

You can opt out of the LiveRamp database and our cookies at any time.