The EU Privacy Directive
As of 26th May 2012 it is required that any website hosted in the UK must inform their visitors of any Cookie usage they are using.
This is primarily to help inform users of how they may be tracked online.
Cookies have been used on websites for well over a decade.
Please read on for information about Cookies.
What are Cookies
When a computer visits a webpage, it requests the page from the website. From a user perspective they are browsing multiple pages on a website, but to the website it is just random page requests. The website does not know who is browsing.
In some cases, a website needs to understand your experience better, it needs to know that a page it is delivering is going to a user it has seen before. If for example you log in to a website, in order to remember you are logged in, it needs to know who you are.
In order for a website to know that the user that requested a page 2 minutes ago, is the same user as the one currently requesting a page, a cookie is used.
A cookie is a very very small file, (you could fit around 100,000,000 on a DVD) and is usually just a reference number. The website asks your browser to look after this cookie on your computer, and to send it back with any subsequent page requests. The website can then understand that the person visiting has been before, and who they were.
Cookies are the only realistic method of doing this, and for this reason are used on almost every website, the bigger the website, the more likely it is to use them.
Are Cookies Legal?
Cookies are supported by all of the major browsers, and are used by almost all websites.
If Cookies are legal, why are they being targetted?
Unfortunately, since Cookies track your actions on a website, the website knows information about what sort of things you like. That information can be sold to advertisers, who can then advertise things to you to get your attention.
How are the details of my use of this website being used?
At the top of the website it will tell you what cookies are being used on the specific page you are visiting.
First Party Cookies: These are used to enable the core functionality of the page to work.
Third Part Cookies: These are used to get third party content (possibly something like a video) working correctly.
Analytical Cookies: These are used to track anonymous flow through the website, to analyse which pages are viewed most often. These details are anonymous and are not traced back to an individual.
I want to use this website and not have Cookies
You can disable cookies in your browser, but please be aware that doing so will most likely prevent you from accessing many other websites. Unfortunately whilst cookies can be abused, they are a fundamental part of most websites.
By using the website you are accepting the cookies.