If you listen through a podcast app to podcasts hosted on Captivate, for example through Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts, here is what happens:
Most apps or devices download our audio directly from our servers. We use this data for our own analysis, and to help our Publishers understand the consumption of their podcasts. Just like almost any other podcast host, when you listen to a podcast hosted with us through a podcast app, we get to know five things about you:
- Your device’s user-agent (the name of the app you’re using, and often the type of device you’re connecting with).
- Sometimes we learn a referral address, showing us the website or path you took to listen to the podcast.
- Your IP address. This is a 12-digit number, from which it is possible to work out your approximate location, often down to your suburb, and the name of your ISP or mobile provider. Sometimes it’s possible to work out your employer or school from an IP address.
- The date and time of the download.
- What file you downloaded, and whether you downloaded all of it or just a little bit.
We do not get any personally-identifiable information from your download: we don’t know who you are. Your household, school or employer will use the same IP address for everyone, and these often change, so you can’t work out someone’s name or address just from an IP address. We do not combine any information from our download servers with any access data from our website or any other source – with two exceptions: like every other podcast host, a) we use a geo-database to turn your IP address into a rough location (down to a city level); and b) we compare your IP address with a blocklist to work out if you are an automated download from a server that we should ignore.
Even though this data is not personally-identifiable, we don’t share it with our Publishers. Instead, we give them analytics showing total numbers of downloads, geo-location like state or country, and device categories. They can’t see your IP address or any personal detail about you.
Even though it isn’t personally identifiable information by itself, we do not share our raw download data with anyone. While we need the raw data for analysis, fraud detection and other things, we automatically delete the raw data as soon as we can, and always within 26 months of download.
Our Publishers are free to say what they want in their podcasts; they’re free to link to whatever website they want to in their episode notes; and in the same way, they may insert a so-called “prefix” or “prepend” service into their RSS feed, which may allow them access to further functionality. It’s up to our Publishers if they use them: we don’t control these services. We actively work with the industry to ensure best practice. We encourage all our Publishers to use “Full Transparency Mode”, where we automatically add each service they use into podcast episode notes, and directly link to their privacy policies.
If you have any questions on this, we’d love to help. We’re at firstname.lastname@example.org.