Cookies and Data Protection Policy
Updated on 24 April 2016
What are Cookies and Online Tracking Technologies?
Web Browser Cookies
Based on the origin of the cookie and their duration of validity cookies may be classified into different categories. A first party cookie always originates from the website you are visiting. In contrast, a third party cookie is usually served by another organisation providing services to the website you are visiting, e.g. an analytics company or advertising network. A cookie that is stored by your web browser only for the duration of your visit to a website is called a session cookie, while a cookie that expires only after a fixed period is called a persistent cookie. The website determines the time of validity of persistent cookies, which could be could be months or even years. Such persistent cookies are necessary for the website to be able to recognize you again when you revisit the site. Nonetheless it lies within the purfew of the user whether he allows the web browser to store cookies for the duration requested by the visited website. Please see below for further information about deleting cookies or how to reject cookies from being stored right away.
Apart from web browser cookies there are other means of storing small amounts of data associated with a website you are visiting. The concept of web storage (also called HTML5 Storage or simply Local Storage) is very similar to web browser cookies, but can be considered an improvement as web storage allows the website to store a bit more information and this data is not automatically sent back to the originating website upon visiting a website – the website has to explicitly request the data instead. Contentwise web storage usually contains similar data for the same purposes as web browser cookies.
Web pages may contain some lines of code (scripts) or a small image file (typically a transparent image containing just a single pixel to not distract from the website’s content) such that the website publishers can understand better how their services are used. Knowing which pages are of particular interest to users or how long users stay on single web pages and the web site in total aids the publishers in the improvement of their services.
- Strictly Necessary Purposes: to improve the security of our services and for system administration, such as preventing fraudulent or disruptive activity;
- Analytics and Performance-Related Purposes: to record what you like and don’t like on the website and the popularity of various elements of the website. We also use analytics companies to gather information regarding users of our services on our behalf using cookies, log file data and code which is embedded on our web pages.
- Advertising Purposes: some of our websites contain advertising and all advertising that is served on our websites will be clearly marked with the word “Advertisement”. Cookies and tracking technologies may sometimes be used to deliver advertising and marketing messages relevant to you – a common practice across the internet and known as online behavioural advertising.
More information about analytics and advertising is detailed below.
Analytics on our Services
On our website we use Google Analytics operated by Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043, USA. Google Analytics collects statistical information about how you interact with our website by using information such as your IP address, browser type and unique identifiers typically stored in cookies within your web browser.
These analytical services help us to know how many users we have, which parts of our website are most popular, what browsers are used (so we can maximise compatibility), and the country or region where our users are located. This enables us to better understand who is using our website, and to improve and tailor our services accordingly.
However, we never attempt to identify you personally. We and Google Analytics as our service provider aggregate the collected data into general usage statistics.
See below to find out more about our analytics partners and to learn how you may opt-out.
Advertising on our Services
Some pages of our website contain advertising. The revenue we obtain from displaying ads on our website helps us to pay for the delivery and upkeeping of our services to you. Some advertising may be targeted or behavioural while the other are non-targeted. On our website we use the advertising services of Google Adsense operated by Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043, USA. Google Adsense uses (third-party) cookies to serve ads based on your prior visits to our website. Google mainly uses the so called DoubleClick cookie to serve ads from its advertising network to our website. Technologically there is no difference between a web browser cookie described above and the DoubleClick cookie which just contains information used by Google AdSense. Whenever you view or click an ad on one of the websites (indluding ours) displaying AdSense ads a cookie may be stored in your web browser. This DoubleClick cookie enables Google AdSense to serve ads to you based on your visit to our website and/or other sites using Google AdSense on the internet. Google AdSenes may also use the DoubleClick cookie possibly alongside other statistical analysis cookies to monitor the effectiveness of their ads.
We may also allow advertisers to use their own marketing data to target advertising campaigns on this website and as a result you may see advertising based upon website content you have been viewing on another website. For example, a retailer might use information about the products you browsed on their website in order to tailor their advert to you on this website. This information is not shared with us and we do not share information with the advertiser about your browsing of our website.
It is important to note that at no time do we or our service providers attempt to identify you individually nor do we create a profile of you for the purposes of delivering advertising. We are committed to following best practice in our use of online behavioural targeting technology and we at all times seek to comply with applicable regulatory frameworks, such as that of the European Digital Advertising Alliance. For more information about OBA please visit www.youronlinechoices.com/.
If you wish to opt out of such targeted advertising, please follow the instructions provided below.
Your Choices: Managing Cookies and “Opting Out”
Opting Out of Analytics Cookies
Please visit Google Analytics support.google.com/analytics/answer/6004245 to find out more about the analytics service provider used on our website and to opt-out. Alternatively, in order to prevent Google Analytics from processing your usage data you may install the browser plugin available from the following web page tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
OPTING OUT OF ADVERTISING COOKIES
- Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA): www.aboutads.info/choices/
- European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDDA): www.youronlinechoices.com
- Network Advertising Initiative (NAI): www.networkadvertising.org/choices/
Opting out of cookies typically involves clearing all previously stored cookies by the respective vendor and setting a new (persistent) cookie to instruct the advertisers in the future to not use your data for targeted advertising purposes anymore. However, this will not prevent advertising from being displayed to you, but the ads wont’t be tailored to your interests anymore and may be less relevant to you. Please note, if you clear the persistent opt-out cookies via your web browser you will need to go through the opt-out process again.
Managing Cookies and Local Storage on Your Device
Web browser cookies: You can choose how web browser cookies are handled by your device via your browser settings including to refuse or delete all cookies. If you choose not to receive cookies at any time, our website may not function properly and certain services will not be provided. Each browser is different, so check the “Help” menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences or follow the instructions provided at: www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/, which provides information for the most common browsers.
Web Storage (Local Storage / HTML5 storage): The most common browsers clear your locally stored data when you choose to delete/clear your cookies and web browsing data; consult the “Help” menu of your browser for more details.
The ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) Function of Your Web Browser
DNT is a feature offered by some web browsers which, when enabled, sends a signal to websites to request that your browsing is not tracked, such as by third party ad networks, social networks and analytic companies. Our websites do not currently respond to DNT requests, however, you may opt-out of tracking for analytics and advertising purposes using the links provided above.