Privacy Policy

Nielsen Panel Privacy Notice

Effective Date: May 1, 2018

Thank you for agreeing to join our select group of panellists! For decades, Nielsen has set the global standard for market and consumer insight research. Our insights are based on representative samples of the population and help our clients (e.g., manufacturers, retailers, media companies, non-profits and governments) learn about what consumers watch, listen to, and buy. By participating in our panel you are helping to create industry standard statistics for the UK and influencing programming and advertising content on the media platforms where you agree to be measured.

We take your privacy very seriously. This Privacy Notice explains what data we collect from or about you, how we use and protect that data, and your legal rights.

HOW TO CONTACT US. The Nielsen company collecting your data is A.C. Nielsen Company Ltd., Nielsen House, Oxford Business Park, John Smiths Drive, Oxford OX4 2WB.

More information about Nielsen’s full group of companies, one or more of which may also process your personal data, can be found at:  You can contact Nielsen, including our Data Protection Officer, with privacy questions by:
1.    Our Privacy Commitment

2.    Your Agreement With Nielsen

3.    The Data We Collect

4.    How We Use Data

5.    Cookies and Other Digital Technologies

6.    When We Share Your Data

7.    Your Choices and Your Legal Rights

8.    About Children

9.    Data Security, and Transfers of Data Outside the European Economic Area

10.   Data Retention

11.   Updates to this Notice


Nielsen complies with all applicable privacy laws, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Indeed, it is crucial for us to keep Nielsen panellist data confidential in order to prevent any interference with panelists that could affect their behavior and the accuracy of our data.We will NOT use data that identifies you to advertise, promote, or market or sell third party goods or services directly to you or members of your household; we do not allow our clients to do so either.


Nielsen processes your data and, where applicable, data about other members of or visitors to your household, on the basis of the contract you enter into with Nielsen, referred to as the Membership or Panel Agreement. The express purpose of our agreement with you is to obtain data from and about you and, where applicable, other members of your household, to be used for the purposes described in this Notice. By participating in a Nielsen panel, you are contributing your data to a pool of data from which broad audience statistics are derived. These statistics are relied upon by a wide variety of other companies to set pricing, advertising, merchandising, and other key business decisions. These statistics could be distorted if your data is subsequently altered or removed, so by participating in our panel, you expressly agree to allow us to maintain your data for the length of your participation in the panel, after which it will be used in a de-identified form for historical and statistical research purposes. You have legal rights with respect to your personal data, as described in “Your Choices and Your Legal Rights,” below.


Nielsen conducts research on usage of many different media platforms, and Nielsen panelists can participate in different types of metering.

Panelists may agree to be measured on:

Online--by software installed on a single computer that measures usage events (like video streaming or downloading);

Mobile--by software that measures online activity or app usage on a smartphone or tablet;

We perform different types of measurement in different countries, and we do not perform all types in all countries. Where an opportunity exists to join one or more of these panels, panelists may agree to be measured on additional devices. If you do not participate in a specific type of measurement (e.g. Online), the provisions below that relate to those types of measurement do not apply to you.

Whichever type of panel(s) you participate in, data may be collected automatically, and automatic data collection may not always be obvious to you as it is happening. The goal of this Notice is to explain how these types of measurement work, what data they collect, and what we do with it.Nielsen will only install measurement software or collect data from devices that you have authorised--we will not begin measuring an additional type of device without your prior knowledge and agreement.

Whichever Nielsen panel(s) you participate in, you may be invited to participate in additional research studies or surveys, and some of these may ask you to download software, and/or interact with other companies, websites or applications. If you choose to participate, there may be additional types of data collection that would be disclosed to you at that time, as well as other terms and conditions. We will always tell you about new or substantially different types of data collection before they begin, and you can always withdraw your participation.

The following describes in detail the types of data Nielsen collects about panelists, and its sources. We categorise the data we collect into three general types:

  • “Demographic data” is general data about you or other members of your household, such as gender, age, occupation, region or city, and other broad categories.

  • “Behaviour data” is when, or how you do things. For example, on the Online or Mobile panel, it would include when, where, and how frequently you use your computer or smartphone/tablet.

  • “Preference data” means which content you choose to watch or listen to. For example, for the Online, and Mobile panels will include websites visited. Mobile metering will also include what applications you use.

A.   Data you provide to us.

During the recruitment process, the panel registration process, or as part of a research study or survey, you provide us with data. This may include directly identifying data, like your first and last name, home postal address or personal email address that by itself, or in combination with other readily available data, could identify you, or another member of your household, as well as demographic data.

B.   Data collected by questionnaires, surveys and/or studies.

We may ask you from time to time to participate in additional surveys, studies, or questionnaires. These surveys may request additional behavior and preference data, which we use to better understand general consumer behavior, use, and trends.

C.   Data generated by Nielsen software installed on your device(s).

Our software works in different ways, depending on the type of meter in use.

    For Online and Mobile:
If you participate in a panel that involves our metering of your internet-enabled devices, we will collect data through metering software on an eligible app on your mobile device, or that you install or authorise us to install on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Data collected from any Internet-enabled device may include:

  • URLs (addresses) of websites you visit,

  • information about ads and content viewed at those sites,

  • data about your device, applications, system, network, and hardware, including your Internet Protocol (IP) address, the Internet Service Provider being used, the type of browser you are using, device identifier, device model, operating system, and language set,

  • when you use online services and for how long, how much bandwidth is being consumed (which helps us identify when video is being streamed),

  • the name and time spent on applications and games,

  • the file types of materials that you may transmit, receive, upload or download,

  • what hardware or software is installed on or connected to your device, and

  • other details about your use of online or mobile services.

Our metering software cannot view the content of your emails or other communications, documents, files, emails, IM’s, social media posts, etc.You should be aware, however, that our software logs all the urls (web addresses) of the sites and pages you visit, and these often describe or provide information about the content of the pages you visit. Before data is sent back to Nielsen, we use techniques to ensure that it will be secure in transmission.

For information about cookies and other digital technologies that may be used in connection with your participation, please see Section 5: Cookies and Other Digital Technologies. If your panel participation involves a mobile device, the data collected from your mobile device includes a mobile device ad identifier (e.g. Apple IDFA or Android AAID); information about the ads and content viewed through a mobile application, and location information (gathered from Wifi and GPS) where enabled.

D.   Data we get from other sources:

We may obtain additional data about you from other sources, generally relating to demographic characteristics, what you watch or buy, and your exposure to content or advertising. We obtain this data from different sources, including, for example:

  • where your activity indicates that you may be streaming video, we may visit the source website independently to identify the content you viewed;

  • publicly available data, (e.g. from public databases, or data that you make public online);

  • using your IP address, via a lookup service, to identify your region or town;

  • other online or mobile Nielsen measurement products (see the “Digital Measurement” section of our online privacy statement here);

  • "loyalty" programs (e.g., that offer rewards and points) that we may enter into data matching agreements with; and

  • companies that provide data and data-matching services commercially.

We may combine the data Nielsen collects from you, and from our metering hardware and software, with data from these additional sources. If we combine de-identified or anonymized data with identifying data, the combined data will be treated by us as personal data as long as it is combined.

E. Data we do NOT collect:

We do not collect data like your driver’s license, financial or bank account numbers, or credit cards. We do not decrypt encrypted content. We cannot access the content of any emails, texts, instant messages, or social media posts, and we cannot read the content of documents or other files open on your computer.


We use the data we collect to create a variety of market research insights for our clients. Our research insights help our clients make choices about where and how they advertise, including online and mobile. Among other things, our data helps clients understand (for example):
  • which online content appeals to viewers of a particular gender in a particular age range, or

  • the audience that would be more likely to respond to a particular advertisement online, versus on a smartphone, or tablet.

We use tools and methods to make sure that there is no reasonable possibility of identifying you from the reports that we create for our clients. For example, we combine the responses we collect from you with the responses of many others to produce aggregated reports from which you cannot be uniquely identified.

We also create reports based upon modeled data. “Modeled data” are projections based on demographic and behavioral characteristics (like gender, age, and online browsing habits) that look at a sample group of people, and then predict what people with similar characteristics or preferences would want to watch or buy. For instance, this allows advertisers to identify the likely audience for a marketing campaign.

We may use your data to contact you.  When we contact you – by phone (including mobile phone), email, SMS, or postal mail depending on what data you provide to us – we usually do so to:
  • respond to your inquiries;

  • validate or clarify answers you gave to a survey;

  • update our records to ensure your information is correct;

  • ensure that our software is working properly;

  • send you information regarding your participation such as how to redeem rewards;

  • provide notice regarding changes to our terms, conditions, and policies;

  • ensure compliance with terms of active panel membership; or

  • invite you to participate in additional panels and surveys.

By participating in our research you agree that we may contact you by the means you provide to us for these purposes while you are participating in the panel.

We may use data about you for quality assurance and research and development purposes such as data analysis, audits, developing new products, producing predictive data models, improving our services, identifying usage trends and determining the effectiveness of our communications.

We may de-identify data about you and use it or allow others to use it for historical, academic or longitudinal research. We ensure in such cases that there is no reasonable possibility of re-identifying you from the data used.

Because we are continually adapting our services to evolving consumer and media consumption patterns, we may also use your data in other ways that we haven’t developed yet, in which case we will provide you additional information.


This section applies to:
  • Participants in Online and Mobile panels;

  • Users of a Nielsen panelist portal website, where applicable; and

  • Panelists of any type who are measured by Nielsen’s online and mobile products that measure the general public.

  • We use cookies and other digital technologies (collectively “Digital Technologies”) for the purposes described in this section. The technologies we use may include (not all will be applicable in every case):
  • session and persistent cookies, pixel tags, web beacons, and clear GIFs, hereinafter collectively referred to as “cookies,”

  • local shared objects (such as HTML5 storage),

  • application software development kits (SDKs), and

  • server-to-server connections.

The following table provides an overview of our different categories and purposes of use of Digital Technologies:    

Categories of Use Purposes of use
Panelist Portal site (where applicable) To help us personalize your site experience, authenticate you, and interact with you via the site. We also use tools like Google Analytics to help us understand how these sites are used and to continually improve them
Software-related Security To enable and support security features of our software, such as to help us detect malicious activity, combat fraudulent participation and violations of our Panel Membership Agreement.
Enhancing Panel Data with data from mass measurement products Nielsen uses cookies to match data obtained from its online and mobile general audience measurement products with panelist data in order to improve accuracy of its products and broaden our understanding of our panelists’ consumption of media content.
Interest-Based AdvertisingThe Nielsen Marketing Cloud uses cookies across many popular sites on the Internet to help infer interests and preferences based on visits to those sites. This data is then used to enable advertisers to select specific audiences for online and mobile ads based on the audiences’ inferred interests and preferences. We may use this cookie data to enhance other data we have collected from or about you.


We may share data about you with:

  • Other Nielsen affiliates or subsidiaries for the purposes described in this Notice.

  • Our service providers, such as companies that provide website or application hosting; data analysis or processing; IT services; email; auditing services; data matching services; and recruitment, reward, incentive, sweepstakes, or market research product development purposes. These companies are contractually required to keep this information confidential and secure and are prohibited from using this data for any purpose other than carrying out the services that they are performing for us.

  • Other market research companies and our clients, in accordance with market research industry ethical guidelines. This may include audits by our clients or other third parties.

  • A third party in the event of any reorganisation, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of our business, assets or stock (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings).

  • As we believe to be necessary or appropriate: (a) under applicable law; (b) as required by law, including legal process from public and government authorities (including those outside your country of residence); (c) to enforce our terms and conditions; (d) to protect our operations or those of any of our affiliates; (e) to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of any person; or (f) to allow us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.

Nielsen performs security reviews before engaging service providers who may have access to individual-level data. We obtain contractual assurances relating to the lawfulness of data we obtain from third parties. We also limit how clients may use our data in order to prevent re-identification of aggregated data and to prevent data from being reused in a way that is inconsistent with this Notice.


Participation in our panel is always voluntary. You may withdraw from our ongoing data collection at any time by contacting your Nielsen support team, or uninstalling our software. If you cease participation, we will continue to process the data we collected during the time you were a panellist. If you wish to exercise any of your legal rights described below, you may contact your Nielsen Support team. You can also contact us by the means found at the beginning of this Notice. Your privacy rights include:
  • The right to obtain confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning you are being processed, and, where that is the case, access a copy of the data we hold about you, and to correct it where it is inaccurate (note that in order to preserve the accuracy of our consumer data and avoid potential bias, in some cases exercising your right of access may require ending your participation as a panelist before, if it is likely to affect your behavior);

  • The right to request that certain data about you be erased (note that this right is not absolute, but applies in certain cases);

  • The right to propose other restrictions on the processing of data about you; and

  • The right of data portability for data you have provided.

If you believe Nielsen has not complied with privacy laws or the terms of this Notice, you may lodge a complaint with Nielsen’s Data Protection Officer using the contact information found at the top of this Notice, or with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office:


For our research, we generally seek to collect data about every member of your household, including children. A parent or guardian must contract via the Panel or Membership Agreement on behalf of each child in the household in order for us to conduct such measurement.

All of the provisions of this notice apply to data about children of any age (up to 18), if data collection about them has been authorised by a parent or guardian.


Nielsen maintains a global data security organisation that uses reasonable organisational, technical and administrative measures to protect your data while under our control.

We may store and process your data in your home country and/or we may transfer and export these data outside of the European Economic Area to any country where we have facilities or in which we engage service providers and processors, including the United States and India. The data protection laws of other countries may differ from those in your home country. When we transfer data outside the European Union, we ensure that we do so in compliance with the EU’s rules for data.


We will retain your data for as long as needed for the purposes described in this Notice and in accordance with applicable law. When you are no longer an active panelist, we will continue to use data about your demographic characteristics, as well as behavior and preference data for historical and statistical research, but we keep this data separate from data that could be used to identify you, and strictly limit access to your identifying data, even within Nielsen. All data will be permanently de-identified when we no longer need to identify you for panel management, audit, legal, fraud prevention or related purposes.


Changes in technology, market standards or our products and services can require us to change this Notice. Please take a look at the “Effective Date” at the beginning of this Notice to see when this Notice was last revised. If we were to make a material change (a change to the way we use your data that might make you reconsider participating in this panel) we will notify you at the most recent email address we have on file at least 30 calendar days before implementing the change, giving you time to withdraw your participation if you want. Your continued participation after the effective date of any changes will constitute your acceptance of all effective changes.

This Notice replaces any other statement, whether written or oral, made to you about our practices with respect to Nielsen’s collection and use of personal data about you.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsens Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content - video, audio and text - is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industrys 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 percent of the worlds population. For more information, please visit