Data Protection at LiveRamp
We use data ethically by transforming and masking personally identifiable information to allow for privacy conscious and consumer-centric data usage across all of our partners and clients. Defined below are the methods and technical terms involved in that process.
Pseudonymization is when personal information is masked or transformed in such a way that it can no longer be tied back to a specific consumer without the use of additional information, e.g., using a formula to change a human-readable email like firstname.lastname@example.org (personal information) into 26A2061D2EE725ADE13FC3C818946D7AD84870DAC752B4C147684784706EEBDB (pseudonymized personal information).
LiveRamp uses hashing, a technique to protect data as a means of pseudonymization. Hashing works by taking plain text, e.g., email@example.com and using a formula called a hash function, transforming it into a string of numbers and letters, e.g., 32CC0D3321EFC071DF911795972DB3C772ABC9D658E945D769034380CF6A6675. Once information is hashed, it is extremely difficult to reverse without knowing the original text as well as the specific formula used to hash it.
Salting is a technical process that provides an added layer of protection when hashing information. Salting means adding additional characters onto the end of whatever you’re about to hash, e.g., firstname.lastname@example.orgSALT. This changes and further secures the resulting hash.
Data & the World of Digital Advertising
Data is typically collected online from browser cookies and mobile apps.
Cookies are small pieces of code placed in your browser by the sites you visit. Cookies serve many purposes, such as enabling analytics to allow site owners to improve their offerings, saving your site preferences, remembering that you logged in, or enabling targeted advertising.
LiveRamp uses data to enable personalized ads and cross-device linking. This is why when you visit a website on your computer you may, for example, see an ad for something you had searched for on your phone. Other companies may use this information for purposes such as:
- User analytics to develop and improve products
- Personalizing content for advertising, which may enable readers to access content on the Internet for free
- Measuring performance of that content, e.g. how many views it got