What Information Does Bitly Collect?
The information we gather enables us to personalize, improve and continue to operate the Services. In connection with certain aspects of the Services, we may request, collect and/or display some of your Personal Information. We collect the following types of information from our users.
When you create an Account, you will provide information that could be Personal Information, such as your username, password and email address. You acknowledge that this information may be personal to you, and by creating an account on Bitly and providing Personal Information to us, you allow others, including Bitly, to identify you and therefore may not be anonymous. We may use your contact information to send you information about our Services, but only rarely when we feel such information is important. You may unsubscribe from these messages through your Account settings, although Bitly regardless reserves the right to contact you when we believe it is necessary, such as for account recovery purposes.
One feature of the Services is the ability to create shortened uniform resource locators (“URLs”). Bitly collects and stores both the original URL and the shortened URL and, if you have an Account and are logged in, associates that information with your Account. Bitly also collects and stores (i) the time and date on which you shortened the original URL and (ii) if you chose to share the URL, information on the channels through which the URL was shared.
Metrics and Analytics:
Bitly collects information about accesses (such as clicks) of every shortened URL created through the Services. This information includes, but is not limited to: (i) the IP address and physical location of the devices accessing the shortened URL; (ii) the referring websites or services; (iii) the time and date of each access; and (iv) information about sharing of the shortened URL on Third Party Services such as Twitter and Facebook. These metrics and analytics are used by Bitly and its partners to improve their websites and services by, for example, providing value-added features.
Information Collected From Third Party Services:
Some features of the Services allow you to share your Bitly information through your accounts with Third Party Services such as Facebook and Twitter. If you choose to connect Bitly to such Third Party Services, we may collect information related to your use of those Third Party Services, such as authentication tokens that allow us to connect to your Third Party Service accounts. We may otherwise collect information about how you are using the Services to interact with those connected Third Party Services. Note that Third Party Services may have the ability to restrict the information that is provided to us.
IP Address Information and Other Information Collected Automatically:
- Bitly automatically receives and records information from your web browser when you interact with the Services, including your IP address and cookie information. This information may be used for to help us understand how users transit a website, to fight spam/malware, to facilitate collection of data concerning your interaction with the Services (e.g., what Bitly links you have clicked on) and for other similar purposes.
- Generally, the Services automatically collect usage information, such as the number and frequency of visitors to the Site. Bitly may use this data in aggregate form, that is, as a statistical measure, but not in a manner that would identify you personally. This type of aggregate data enables us and third parties authorized by us to figure out how often individuals use parts of the Services so that we can analyze and improve them.
We may receive a confirmation when you open an email from us. We use this confirmation to improve our customer service.
Information Collected Using Cookies:
- Bitly cookies also allow Bitly to track when you have clicked on a Bitly shortened URL. Each click of a shortened URL is tracked using a unique identifier assigned to you in one or more cookies stored by your web browser and associated with Bitly.
- Most browsers have an option for turning off the cookie feature, which will prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, as well as (depending on the sophistication of your browser software) allowing you to decide on acceptance of each new cookie in a variety of ways. We strongly recommend that you leave cookies active, because they enable you to take advantage the most attractive features of the Services.
- You may also ask bitly not to place cookies on your web browser when you are logged in. When cookies are disabled in this manner, clicks on bitly links are not tied back to or associated with your web browser.
We collect statistical information about how both unregistered and registered users, collectively, use the Services (“Aggregate Information”). Some of this information is derived from Personal Information, such as your location (which, in turn, is derived from your IP address). This statistical information is not Personal Information and cannot be tied back to you, your Account or your web browser.
How and To Whom Is My Information Shared
The Services are designed to help you share information with others. As a result, much of the information generated through the Services is shared publicly or with third parties.
Public Bitly Activity Information:
Much of your activity on and through the Services is public by default. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Unshortened URLs you have shortened, their corresponding shortened URLs, the time and date those URLs were shortened, and metrics and analytics information for your shortened URLs, as described above;
- Aggregate non-personal information about what Bitly links you have clicked on and associated metrics and analytics information, as described above; and
- Any Bundles you have created, along with content added to those Bundles, if you have elected to make those Bundles public.
For registered users, some of this information is publicly accessible through a unique URL, which that user can make non-public through his/her Account settings when he or she is logged in. Removing access to the unique URL does not, however, make this information non-public, and it may still be accessible through other means, such as Bitly’s API services.
Please also remember that if you choose to provide Personal Information using certain features of the Service, then that information is governed by the privacy settings of those particular features and may be publicly available. Individuals reading this information may use or disclose it to other individuals or entities without our control and without your knowledge. Therefore, we urge you to think carefully about including any specific information you may deem private in content that you create or submit through the Service.
IP Address Information:
While we collect and store IP address information, that information is not made public. We do at times, however, share this information with our partners, service providers and other persons with whom we conduct business. We may share hashes of your IP address with other third parties, but these hashes cannot feasibly be reversed into the IP addresses themselves or linked to you individually.
Information You Elect to Share:
We share Aggregate Information with our partners, service providers and other persons with whom we conduct business, in order to do product development, marketing optimization and research, and other kinds of services. We share this kind of anonymous statistical data so that our partners can understand how and how often people use our Services and their services or websites, which facilitates improving their services and online marketing, and how Bitly interfaces with them.
Email Communications with Bitly:
As part of the Services, you may occasionally receive from Bitly email and other communication relating to your Account. These emails will only be sent for purposes important to the Services, such as password recovery.
User Profile Information:
User profile information including your username, Twitter account name and Facebook account name (to the extent you have linked your Account with those services), and other information you enter may be displayed to other users to facilitate user interaction within the Services. Users’ email addresses will not be directly revealed to other users by Bitly.
Information Shared with Agents of Bitly:
We employ and contract with people and other entities that perform certain tasks on our behalf and who are under our control (our “Agents”). We may need to share Personal Information with our Agents in order to provide products or services to you. Unless we tell you differently, our Agents do not have any right to use Personal Information or other information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us. You hereby consent to our sharing of Personal Information with our Agents.
Information Disclosed Pursuant to Business Transfers:
In some cases, we may choose to buy or sell assets. In these types of transactions, user information is typically one of the transferred business assets. Moreover, if Bitly, or substantially all of its assets, were acquired, or in the unlikely event that Bitly goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of Bitly may continue to use your Personal Information as set forth in this policy.
Information Disclosed for the Protection of Bitly and Others:
Bitly also reserves the right to access, read, preserve, and disclose any information as it reasonably believes is necessary to (i) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, (ii) enforce these Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations hereof, (iii) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, (iv) respond to user support requests, or (v) protect the rights, property or safety of Bitly, its users and the public. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection and spam/malware prevention.
Information We Share With Your Consent:
Except as set forth above, you will be notified when your Personal Information may be shared with third parties, and will be able to prevent the sharing of this information.
Is Information About Me Secure?
Your Account information is protected by a password for your privacy and security. You need to prevent unauthorized access to your account and Personal Information by selecting and protecting your password appropriately and limiting access to your computer and browser by signing off after you have finished accessing your account.
Bitly endeavors to protect Account information to ensure that it is kept private; however, Bitly cannot guarantee the security of any Account information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of user information at any time.
Bitly otherwise stores all of its information, including your IP address information, using industry-standard security techniques. Bitly does not guarantee or warrant that such techniques will prevent unauthorized access to information about you stored by Bitly, Personal Information or otherwise.
What Information of Mine Can I Access?
If you are a registered user, you can access information associated with your Account by logging into the Site. This information includes a history of the URLs you have shortened, and access to the metrics pages for those URLs.
If you are not a registered user, you can access the metrics pages for your shortened URLs by adding the “+” symbol to the end of the URL.
Registered and unregistered users can access all of the above information.
How Can I Delete My Account?
In the interest of ensuring that existing bitly links continue to function for all of our users, bitly links currently cannot be deleted or disabled. As such, shortening and sharing activity that has already occurred on your account currently cannot be deleted. However, your user history can easily be set to private from within your bitly account settings, and individual links can be archived from within your bitly user history. If you have concerns about unauthorized usage of your bitly account moving forward, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will disable future shortening activity on your account.
What Choices Do I Have Regarding My Information?
- You can use many of the features of the service without registering, thereby limiting the type of information that we collect.
- As stated previously, you can always opt not to disclose certain information to Bitly, even though it may be needed to take advantage of some Bitly features.
- You can delete your Account. Please note that Bitly will need to verify that you have the authority to delete the Account, and activity generated prior to deletion will remain stored by Bitly and may be publicly accessible.
What If I Have Questions or Concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding privacy using the Services, please send us a detailed message to: email@example.com. We will make every effort to resolve your concerns.Effective Date: June 14, 2011.