What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file that is placed on to your computer when you visit a website.
Cookies are used by almost all websites and perform a number of functions like remembering your preferences, playing videos, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of visitors to a website.
The rules on cookies are covered in the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). The Regulations were last revised in 2018, and the Information Commissioner's Office is responsible for enforcing these rules.
How do these regulations impact me?
You may come across information about cookies on websites and be given choices about how some cookies are used. This might include, for example, being asked to consent to a cookie being used for a particular service, such as remembering your preferences on a site.
You can use your Internet browser to:
- delete all cookies;
- block all cookies;
- allow all cookies;
- block third party cookies;
- clear all cookies when you close the browser; or
- open a ‘private browsing’ / ‘incognito’ session, which allows you to browse the internet without storing local data.
You can find more information on how to control cookies using your browser here:
Internet Explorer cookies information
Chrome cookies information
Firefox cookies information
Safari cookies information
Opera cookies information
There are many different types of cookies used on websites that can broadly be split into the following groups:
- Strictly required cookies - they are required for the website to run and cannot be switched off. You can set your browser to block these cookies but this might affect the way the website works.
- Analytics and statistics - they measure visitors traffic and identify traffic sources. They can also track which pages and actions are more popular than others in order to improve and enhance our user's experience.
- Marketing and re-targeting - these are used to by companies to help their digital marketing efforts and make sales. They can be used to build a profile of your interests to later show you relevant ads or content.
Smarter Data Protection Ltd
Unit 15, Riverside Industrial Estate
Essex, SS4 1BS
Tel: 01702 866826
If this does not resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you may lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the United Kingdom’s Supervisory Authority.
Information Commissioner’s Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113