A cookie is a a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things, eg remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website.
The rules on cookies are covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR). PECR also covers the use of similar technologies for storing or accessing information, such as ‘Flash cookies’ and device fingerprinting.
The ICO is responsible for enforcing these rules.
How do the cookie regulations affect me?
You may come across information about cookies and similar technologies on websites and be given choices about how some cookies are used. This might include, for example, being asked to agree to a cookie being used for a particular service, such as remembering your preferences on a site.
How can I control my cookies?
You can use your web browser to:
- delete all cookies;
- block all cookies;
- allow all cookies;
- block ‘third-party’ cookies (ie, cookies set by online services other than the one you are visiting);
- clear all cookies when you close the browser;
- open a ‘private browsing’ / ‘incognito’ session, which allows you to browse the web without recording your browsing history or storing local data such as cookies (you should however be aware of the limitations of this feature in a privacy context); and
- install add-ons and plugins that extend browser functionality.
Where to find information about controlling cookies
- Microsoft Edge cookies information
- Internet Explorer cookies information
- Chrome cookies information
- Firefox cookies information
- Safari cookies information – mobile devices and desktops
- Opera cookies information
- A number of websites provide detailed information on cookies, including AboutCookies.org and AllAboutCookies.org.
- The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance website Your Online Choices allows you to install opt-out cookies across different advertising networks.
- Google has developed a browser add-on to allow users to opt-out of Google Analytics across all websites which use it. This is also available in the Chrome web store.
- Some browsers include a feature known as ‘Do Not Track’ or DNT. This allows you to indicate a preference that websites should not track you. However, whilst DNT is available in many browsers, websites are not required to recognise its request, so it may not always work. You can get help on how to use DNT in Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.
- Internet Explorer has a feature called Tracking Protection Lists which allows you to import a list of websites you want to block.
- For more information on how private browsing works as well as its limitations, visit the support pages for your browser: Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari (mobile and desktop) and Opera.
Report your cookie concerns
We’re asking people to report your cookie concerns. This will help us find out how organisations are complying with the cookie law. Rather than reply to each person individually, we will publish information about numbers and types of concerns reported, and let you know what we’re doing about them.
THE COOKIES THAT WE USE
- Strictly Necessary Cookies. These are Cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They are necessary for the safety, security and integrity of the site. They perform a task or operation without which a site’s performance would be compromised. For example, they help support the structure of the pages that are displayed to you, help to improve navigation and allow you to return to pages you have previously visited. This type of Cookie only lasts for the duration of the time you are visiting the website. When you leave the website, they are deleted automatically.
- Performance Cookies or Analytical Cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. These cookies are used to determine usage of a site, they may track an individual user, but only to the extent to allow a user’s journey through the site. They are not used for targeting adverts. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily. The data is aggregated and anonymised, which means we cannot identify you as an individual.
- Functionality Cookies. These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. Functional Cookies help a site work well, they enable additional features which can make the user experience better. These Cookies will remain on your device until you choose to clear it.
- Targeting Cookies. These Cookies will collect information about your browsing habits and allow us to show you adverts while you are browsing our site and other sites on the internet. They help us to understand the performance of our marketing activities and improve the relevance of the adverts that you see.
A list of the actual Cookies that we currently use, can be provided on request.
RESTRICTING AND BLOCKING COOKIES
You can stop Cookies being used on your device by changing the settings on your web browser that allows you to block the deployment of all or some Cookies. Please visit www.allaboutcookies.org to find out how. Please note, if you use your browser settings to block or delete Cookies, you may not be able to access all or parts of our site and you may lose any information that enables you to access the website more quickly and efficiently including but not limited to, personalisation settings.
It is recommended that you ensure that your internet browser is up-to-date and that you consult help and guidance provided by the developer of your internet browser if you are unsure about adjusting your privacy settings.
If you have any questions regarding this policy please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.