Effective Date: Nov-2023
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are used to store small pieces of information. They are stored on your device when the website is loaded on your browser. These cookies help us make the website function properly, make it more secure, provide better user experience, and understand how the website performs and to analyze what works and where it needs improvement.
As most of the online services, our website uses first-party and third-party cookies for several purposes. First-party cookies are mostly necessary for the website to function the right way, and they do not collect any of your personally identifiable data.
The third-party cookies used on our website are mainly for understanding how the website performs, how you interact with our website, keeping our services secure, providing advertisements that are relevant to you, and all in all providing you with a better and improved user experience and help speed up your future interactions with our website.
What are the benefits of cookies?
Cookies are used to make the user’s web experience faster, convenient and personalised. For example, you can select a language to view a website the first time you visit it. When you visit the website again it will save your preference.
Types of cookies
Session cookies, also known as ‘temporary cookies’, help websites recognise users and the information provided when they navigate through a website. Session cookies only retain information about a user’s activities for as long as they are on the website. Once the web browser is closed, the cookies are deleted. These are commonly used on shopping websites or e-commerce websites.
Permanent cookies, also known as ‘persistent cookies’, remain in operation even after the web browser has closed. For example, they can remember login details and passwords so web users don’t need to re-enter them every time they use a site. The law states that permanent cookies must be deleted after 12 months.
First-party cookies are installed directly by the website (ie domain) the user is visiting (ie the URL shown in the browser’s address bar). These cookies enable website owners to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and perform other useful functions that provide a good user experience.
Third-party cookies are installed by third parties with the aim of collecting certain information from web users to carry out research into, for example, behaviour, demographics or spending habits. They are commonly used by advertisers who want to ensure that products and services are marketed towards the right target audience.
Flash cookies, also known as ‘super cookies’, are independent of the web browser. They are designed to be permanently stored on a user’s computer. These types of cookies remain on a user’s device even after all cookies have been deleted from their web browser.
Zombie cookies are a type of flash cookie that is automatically re-created after a user has deleted them. This means they are difficult to detect or manage. They are often used in online games to prevent users from cheating but have also been used to install malicious software onto a user’s device.
Manage cookie preferences
The basic rule around cookies is that websites must:
tell people the cookies are there and what cookies are being used
explain what the cookies are doing and why, and
get the user’s consent to store a cookie on their device
What counts as consent?
Consent must be freely given, specific and informed. It must involve some form of unambiguous positive action, for example by ticking a box or clicking a link. The user must fully understand that they are giving consent.
Consent does not necessarily have to be explicit consent. However, consent must be given by a clear positive action. Users must fully understand that their actions will result in specific cookies being set, and have taken a clear and deliberate action to give consent. This must be more than simply continuing to use the website. To ensure that consent is freely given, users should be able to disable cookies.
For further information, read the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance on Cookies and Consent.