How Your Information is Collected
1. “When you give it to us or give us permission to obtain it”
When you signup, you enter certain information like your name and email. If you connect your account to other social networks, you’re also sharing certain information from them, like your friends and followers from Facebook and Twitter. Have you ever noticed your Facebook friends faces popping up under “Find Friends” from your home feed? That’s thanks to the information Pinterest collected when you synced your Facebook account.
2. “We also get technical information when you use our products”
Pinterest gains technical information through three ways:
- Log data = shows how you got to Pinterest (for example, if you’re using a “Pin It” button), pages you’ve visited, your browser information.
- Cookie data = simple way to save your Pinterest preferences, like what language you speak or when you last login was.
- Device data = what kind of device you’re using to access Pinterest.
These are just techy ways of understanding your behaviors on Pinterest. It’s thanks to this collected information that you can remain logged in, even after you exit the page.
3. “Our partners and advertisers may share information with us”
Come October 19, this will be an entirely new way for Pinterest to collect information. They will now be able to gather information from apps and partner sites. Allows for Pinterest and partners to optimize promoted pins for better targeting and improved analytic stats.
How Pinterest Uses Your Information
Pinterest has always used the information they collect to help improve their product. This includes testing different layouts and figuring out the best ways to get the right pins and boards to suggest. They also use collected information to notify users of activity on their profile. For example, you might receive an email from Pinterest when someone repins your pin or you’ll receive a push notification on your phone. That’s how Pinterest is using your information everyday.
Now, if you would still like to increase your privacy, Pinterest offers a variety of ways. You can, of course, change your information on your profile and unlink your social accounts. You can create secret boards (especially since you can now create as many as you’d like). You can turn off website personalization in your account settings, so Pinterest won’t try and use your web browsing to suggest pins to you. You can implement Do Not Track and you can even close your account all together. But why would you want to do that?!
How Pinterest Shares Your Information
Because Pinterest is a social site interested in inspiring it’s users, Pinterest actually does share a lot of your information in the form of boards and pins. This allows others interested in the same kinds of things you are to find your pins and add them to their collection. But, that’s just one way Pinterest uses the information you give them. They also use it to share your pins on Facebook and Twitter, share spam information with third parties to help remove the offenders, will disclose necessary information when legally needed and, in the event Pinterest is ever acquires or goes through bankruptcy, information will be shared with the necessary parties.
However, come October 19, they will also share your information with advertisers using promoted pins. This means advertisers will be able to audit the performance of their promoted pins, making them more effective. Pinterest sharing your information with advertisers might sound daunting, but in reality they will be using the information to audit the effectiveness of the pins. This means users will be receiving the most targeted, relevant promoted pins making the advertising an increasingly seamless part of the Pinterest experience.
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Melissa Megginson is resident Marketing Manager and Cat Lady at Tailwind, the leading Pinterest tool for brands. Melissa specializes in content creation, social media, blogging, PR outreach and pretty much all things marketing. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelMegg.