As a result of changes in European Legislation, UK Law now requires any website to ask the web site user’s permission when placing certain kinds of cookies onto their devices, for the first time. Where consent is required, the law states it should be ‘informed consent’.
There are different types of cookie and each type the degree of consent can be different:
1. Strictly necessary (First and / or Third Party) cookies – no consent needed
2. Performance cookies – implied consent
3. Functionality cookies – consent can be implied or can be offered as an ‘option’
4. Targeting or advertising cookies – consent need to be offered as an option
The WGSF web site only uses two types of cookie:
1. Strictly necessary (sessional) cookie
2. Performance cookies – in particular Google Analytics to allow us to analyse the number of people accessing the various pages on the web site.
1. What is in a cookie?
A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences or what’s in your shopping basket.
2. What to do if you don’t want cookies to be set
Some people find the idea of a website storing information on their computer or mobile device a bit intrusive, particularly when this information is stored and used by a third party without them knowing. Although this is generally quite harmless you may not, for example, want to see advertising that has been targeted to your interests. If you prefer, it is possible to block some or all cookies, or even to delete cookies that have already been set; but you need to be aware that you might lose some functions of that website.
If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies which are set on your device then you can do this through your browser settings; the Help function within your browser should tell you how. Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org , which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers.
Some websites do work without cookies, but you will lose some features and functionality if you choose to disable cookies.
3. There are different types of cookies
Cookies perform different functions depending on the nature of the web site you visit. Even within the web site there may be more than one function of the cookie. It is up to the web site operators to appropriately place cookies in the correct category based on what function those cookies have and their use. However, there may be cookies that fit into all or several categories as a result. Listed below are examples of the different types of cookie and their function:
Web browser cookies (First Party cookies or strictly necessary cookies)
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas. Without these cookies services you have asked for e.g. shopping baskets or e-billing, cannot be provided.
Third Party Cookies
Third party cookies are set by a different organisation to the owner of the website you are visiting. For example, the website might use a third party analytics company who will set their own cookie to perform this service. The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from, for example YouTube or Flickr, and these sites may set their own cookies.
More significantly, a website might use a third party advertising network to deliver targeted advertising on their website. These may also have the capability to track your browsing across different sites.
Session Cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.
Persistent Cookies (Functionality Cookies)
This type of cookie is saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or longer) and is not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are used where you might need to be known in the likelihood that you will return for further browsing sessions. For example, a web site such a s the BBC use this type of cookie to store your preferences, so that they are remembered for the next visit – if you set your location on the BBC homepage in order to receive your local news and weather forecast, cookies are used to save your location preference.
Functionality cookies may also take the form of Flash cookies, which are stored in your Adobe Flash Player rather than your browser. These are used to provide features such as auto-resume on iPlayer, by remembering the point to which you played a programme, and for saving preferences such as your volume setting.
Adobe Flash Player Cookies
The Adobe Flash Player, used to provide services such as iPlayer or web-based games, is also capable of storing information on your device. However, these cookies cannot be controlled through your web browser. Some web browser manufacturers are developing solutions to allow you to control these through your browser, but at the present time, if you wish to restrict or block Flash Cookies, then you must do this on the Adobe website
4. Cookies used on our web site
The Foundation’s website – www.wgsf.org.uk – only uses two types of cookie:
Third Party (Performance) Cookie – in the form of web analytics
This will only be used by WGSF to analyse usage rates and error management of the site and as such will help us to improve the performance of the website. The cookie will NOT be used
a. To gather information that could be used for marketing to the user
b. To remember user preferences or ID’s outside a single session
This cookie is only present on your device for the length of time that your browser is open – during and after you have visited our web site. Once you have closed down your browser the cookie is automatically deleted.
If you wish to find out more about cookies then two very useful and easy to follow websites are suggested under ‘Related Information’.