What are IP addresses and why does Chartbeat obtain them?

Every computer and device connected to the Internet is assigned an Internet Protocol (“IP”) address. IP addresses, which need to be used by websites for the Internet to function, enable information to pass between computers and servers, while also giving website owners a sense of the location their visitors are coming from. This helps companies provide services, protect data and abide by regulations.

Chartbeat uses IP addresses in order to provide our service. When visitors browse on websites using Chartbeat, Chartbeat code transmits information about what was read to our servers. This communication between browser and server necessarily involves IP addresses, as all Internet communication does. We use IP addresses to handle that data transmission. After receipt of this data, we strip identifying information from the IP addresses by masking the last octet, and use this masked IP address to identify the city and country in which a visitor is based. We then delete masked IP addresses from our systems within two hours of receipt.  We do not use IP addresses in any other part of our system.

In technical terms, this means that each IP’s final octet is converted to 000 before being processed by Chartbeat's systems and is never written to disk. Conversion to 000 prevents the address from being used to track back to an individual host.

For more details on Chartbeat's approach GDPR and how we protect personal data please visit our GDPR readiness page.

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