Can Tumblr Track Individual Viewers?

By Kevin Lee

Tumblr can track you regardless of where you are.
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If you haven't read Tumblr's Privacy Policy, you may not know that the company can track individual viewers as they interact with Tumblr pages. This tracking activity goes on all the time as people from around the world view content that Tumblr bloggers post. This is nothing unusual because many sites track people using different types of technology.

Tumblr Knows Your Browser Information

Any website can use code to determine the browser you're using. Tumblr records your browser type, version, operating system and the type of device you're using to access Tumblr pages. This means that it knows if you're using a mobile device or a computer to view a page. Tumblr may also detect certain types of extensions your browser uses.

Tumblr Knows Where You Came From

When you click a link on one Web page to visitor a new site, the new site can determine the URL of the site that referred you. Tumblr records this referrer information along with the date and time of all Web requests you make while you're on the site. Although some people may see this type of tracking as a privacy invasion, it's common practice and all Web browsers make it possible for sites to do this legally.

Tumblr Uses Cookies

It's hard to find a website that doesn't use cookies to track visitors. A cookie is a small bit of text that sites such as Tumblr place on your computer. The company adds cookies to help personalize your experiences. Although you can disable cookies in your browser, Tumblr suggests that you do not do this, as you will not be able to use many of its services as a result.

Other Items Tumblr Tracks

Tumblr also has the ability to determine your IP address. This is a unique number that identifies your computer on the Internet. That number alone, however, cannot identify you by name. IP addresses help Tumblr combat malware, spam and identify theft. In some instances, Tumblr records your geographical location by using your IP Address to check a database that stores geolocation information.

Tumblr Can Identify You

These tracking techniques apply to Tumblr members and people who simply visit a Tumblr page. Although most tracking methods cannot identify you as an individual, Tumblr can determine who you are if you have an account. This is possible because, when you sign up for a new account, you provide basic information, such as username, email address and possibly a birth date. Tumblr notes that this information may personally identify you.