AdvertServe Privacy Shield

AdvertServe Privacy Shield

AdvertServe Privacy Shield

AdvertServe is a digital advertising platform used by thousands of advertisers and publishers since 1998. As part of our commitment to privacy we have created the AdvertServe Privacy Shield program to give users total control over their privacy as well as the ability to customize their digital advertising experience. Our ultimate goal is to be transparent with users and by doing so we hope to earn their trust so they can be confident that their privacy is protected while enjoying great content supported by relevant advertising.


The biggest motivating factor behind creating the AdvertServe Privacy Shield program is to make our platform compliant with the European Union's revised General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules that go into effect on May 25, 2018. Given that the new regulations allow for the EU to issue non-compliance fines of €20 Million or more we think this is serious business - and you should too. Odds are that you have many EU citizens accessing your web site every day and even if your organization is not based in the EU it is thought to be possible that you could still be subjected to fines.

How It Works

At the core of this new program is the AdvertServe Privacy Shield web site. This web site provides users with information about the program along with an easy to understand privacy policy and a way to contact us with questions. It also provides a way for those users to manage their privacy preferences, which enables them to:

  • Opt-in or opt-out of data collection
  • View any data has been collected about them
  • Modify their data
  • Download their data in a machine readable format
  • Erase their data if they wish to be forgotten

In addition to that we have also made critical changes to safeguard personal information in our backend systems, such as hashing or masking sensitive data fields in system logs. AdvertServe was actually already doing a pretty good job of protecting privacy because it immediately aggregates most data. By only keeping statistical data in aggregate form it protects the privacy of individuals as aggregate statistical data cannot be traced back to any particular individual. As system logs are only visible to our systems administrators these changes have not resulted in any changes to end user functionality.

Unrealized Benefits

If you go through the process of setting your advertising preferences on the AdvertServe Privacy Shield web site you will notice that we actually collect a good amount of information. This includes users gender, age, income range and interests. The idea is that if we can be successful at convincing enough users to securely provide us with information it will be practical for us to build additional targeting and reporting features around it. That would be a great benefit to users of our platform as we intend to provide those features at no additional cost, but we need your help to get there. Users need to be informed that they have the option to manage their advertising preferences in the first place. The best way to achieve that is to place a privacy badge on your web site that links to the privacy site and to be honest you need to do that anyway to be GDPR compliant.

Installing the Privacy Badge

We have made it very easy to generate a privacy badge that you can place on your web site. In fact, you might have noticed a privacy badge at the bottom of this web site or your AdvertServe log in screen already? That is what the privacy badge looks like by default, but we do have various options you can choose to customize its placement, colors and text so it fits into the overall look of your site.

Generate the Code

  1. Log in to your AdvertServe control panel.
  2. Click on the Code Wizard icon in the main tool bar.
  3. Then click on the Privacy Code > Shield link in the left navigation menu.
  4. You will then be presented with a wizard that allows you to customize the appearance of the privacy badge, but don't get too hung up here because you can easily edit the generated HTML code to get it perfect once you try it out and see how it looks on your site.
  5. Press the Generate Code button
  6. Paste the generated code into the footer of your site.

You might notice that we have taken care to ensure the privacy badge loads asynchronously so it won't slow down your site and it is also HTTPS secure by default. Users may also dismiss it by pressing the OK or close button. Upon doing so they will not see the privacy badge again on your site for 30 days.


While we believe most sites will be able to implement our privacy badge and achieve GDPR compliance without additional effort there are no doubt some sites that collect additional data that is beyond the scope of the AdvertServe Privacy Shield program. Those sites will likely need to implement their own custom solutions. Our suggestion is to incorporate an advertising preferences clause into your solution or privacy policy that simply links directly to the privacy site at


Speaking of HTTPS, the GDPR mandates that all information should be secured with encryption in transit. The good news here is that many sites have been moving to use HTTPS encryption in recent years for various reasons. Over 70% of our customers have already made the switch. If you have not yet made the switch we strongly encourage you to do so in order to achieve full compliance. Contact our support team if you have any questions about that and review this guide for help with developing a HTTPS migration plan.


We'd love to hear from you. Seriously, don't hesitate to contact support if you have questions. Feel free to leave a comment below as well.

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