Digital Measurement Privacy Statement

Nielsen uses its proprietary digital measurement products to measure and analyze how consumers engage with media across online, mobile and emerging technologies, and Nielsen offers insights into consumer behavior.

In 2015, Nielsen acquired eXelate, a digital advertising technology company that is now part of the Nielsen Marketing Cloud suite of services.

Nielsen Total Audience and Nielsen Marketing Cloud use different solutions from one another. Nielsen does share a limited amount of non-identifiable or aggregated data between these two separate Nielsen product lines to help them each function better and more efficiently, but audience measurement data is not directly used to help place online ads. For more information about how the Nielsen Marketing Cloud collects and uses data, please read the Nielsen Marketing Cloud Privacy Statement.

How We Collect Data for Audience Measurement

Nielsen works with various companies, including data providers, advertisers and publishers, to measure the effectiveness and reach of content viewed or listened to on the internet and radio, no matter what kind of device people use to consume it. For example, we help advertisers better understand campaign performances across TV, radio, computer and mobile audiences.

Here’s how it works: Participating companies include proprietary Nielsen measurement software in their content on their chosen sites, ads, apps and video players. Here, the word “content” refers to audio, video, advertisements and any other media users might encounter or engage with. Nielsen’s proprietary measurement software embedded in the content uses tags (including cookies, pixel tags, and our software contained in mobile applications) or watermarks to gather information that help us understand what content users are exposed to and interact with, which advertising campaigns are effective, and the aggregated demographic composition of a website’s or application’s visitors or viewers of digital content. For example, a sample audience measurement report might say “this ad campaign was viewed by 70,000 females between the ages 24-30 in the U.S., Pacific Northwest region.”

We also work with third-party service providers to obtain pseudonymous and/or aggregated data, which we to our measurements. “Pseudonymous data” means individual-level data from which the underlying individuals cannot reasonably be identified. Types of pseudonymous data include information associated with, for example, a cookie, advertising or device identifier, or other persistent unique identifier. “Aggregated data” means a set of data about a group or segment of individuals that prevents specific individuals from within the group from being identified.

Sometimes our mobile measurement software is embedded in Adobe’s Primetime, a “TV Everywhere” platform that enables consumers to watch live, linear and on-demand programming on different devices. Learn more about Adobe Primetime and read the privacy statement for Adobe’s analytics products.

What Data Do We Collect?

We do not identify, or attempt to identify, the individuals we collect content measurement data from.

Nielsen’s proprietary digital measurement software may collect data about the content that was viewed (e.g., which ad campaign, or which program episode), where the content was viewed (e.g., on which website or in which app), and general information about the device on which the content was viewed (e.g., tablet or smartphone, advertising identifier, IP address, operating system). Data from one of our lines of services is then matched with data from other companies that recognize their own users or that collect data about consumers generally. These other companies provide Nielsen with aggregated or pseudonymous audience statistics. We do not tell these third parties what content their users have viewed, and Nielsen never learns the identities of the other companies’ users.

Our Nielsen Digital Brand Effect services randomly present short surveys to users who may or may not have been exposed to our clients’ content. Responses are voluntary. If a viewer responds to a survey question, the response is stored in a database. The surveys do not ask for or collect any directly identifiable data.

How Do We Use This Data?

We use this data to create a variety of insights, reports and analyses, including the composition of the audience that viewed certain content, or about the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.

Nielsen may also enhance or calibrate the data collected with other online and offline data sources and research tools, including Nielsen panelist viewing data (excluding individually identifying details). Other data sources may include social media or ecommerce sites. These additional sources allow us to perform more robust research and analyses concerning Internet audience demographics, preferences, and use.

We include only non-identifiable or aggregated data in our insights, reports and analyses.

With Whom Do We Share Data?

We employ or work with other companies or individuals to perform certain functions on our behalf. These service providers are granted access to the data needed to perform their functions, but are prohibited from using our data for any other purpose. In addition, we may release data to third parties when disclosure is required by law or as needed to exercise or preserve our legal rights, or to take action regarding potentially illegal activities, as well as in the event of a sale, assignment, bankruptcy, or other disposal of all or part of our business or assets (in which case we will take reasonable steps to ensure that the data is protected as described in this Statement). We may also share pseudonymous data to facilitate the financing, securitization, insuring, or other necessary business activities.

Data Retention and Security

Nielsen uses reasonable organizational, technical and administrative measures to protect the security and confidentiality of data within our control. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or data storage system can be guaranteed to be 100 percent secure.

We store data for as long as needed for our research and analyses purposes as described in this Statement and in accordance with law. We may store data in the U.S. or we may transfer them to another country. Wherever we hold data, we will apply the terms of this Statement and any applicable law.


Nielsen believes that you should have a choice about whether to contribute to our research and insights. If you are not currently a Nielsen panelist and do not wish to participate in Nielsen’s digital measurement research, you may opt out on browsers by clicking here.

With browsers, Nielsen uses both regular HTTP cookies and HTML5 local storage. We keep in HTML5 local storage only a copy of the unique cookie ID assigned to our HTTP cookie that is placed on your computer. When you opt out, our opt-out mechanism replaces the unique HTTP cookie with an “OPT_OUT” cookie and clears out the information Nielsen has placed in HTML5 local storage. If you delete all of your regular cookies (which would include your Nielsen HTTP “OPT_OUT” cookie), you will have to opt out again. Please note that because this is a browser-level opt out, if you use more than one browser, you will need to opt out in each. Safari users should be aware that recent changes to Safari will cause the browser to automatically discard the Nielsen opt-out cookie that prevents us from measuring you, effectively opting you back in.  Using a different browser will enable you to opt out and keep that opt out in effect. If you change your mind and want to participate in Nielsen’s digital measurement research, you may opt back in.

(Attention Safari users—recent changes to Safari will cause the browser to automatically discard the Nielsen opt-out cookie that prevents us from measuring you, effectively opting you back in.)

In the mobile app environment, we require each application that contains active Nielsen measurement software to disclose that Nielsen measurement is included in that app, and provide access to a Nielsen opt out. Please note that some of the older apps that contain Nielsen’s software are able to provide only an app-level and device-specific opt out. So, if you have more than one older mobile app that contains our software, or if you have the same older app on more than one mobile device, you will need to opt out in each app on each device. In newer apps, Nielsen offers a device-level opt-out. You need only to activate the “Limit Ad Tracking” (for iOS devices) or “Opt out of Ads Personalization” (for Android devices) option in your device’s settings. If you have the same newer app on more than one mobile device, you will need to change the settings on each device. The app’s privacy notice should make clear which type of opt-out is available for Nielsen’s measurement software.

Changes to This Privacy Statement

Nielsen reserves the right to update and make changes to this privacy Statement. We will provide a description of changes since the last update in the “Recent Changes to this Privacy Statement” section.

Contact Us

If you have any comments or questions regarding this privacy Statement, please contact us.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Nielsen Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content, including video, audio and text, is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

This Privacy Statement was last updated November 2016.