Cookies are small data files saved and stored on a computer, tablet or smartphone which are used to browse websites. Cookies usually contain the name of the website where they originate, the time they are saved on the device and a unique session identifier.

Cookies are used as follows:

· to adapt websites to user preferences and to optimize the browsing experience;

· to personalize user-specific content;

· to generate statistics detailing on website usage, enabling design and content to be improved;

· to maintain a user’s session (after logging out), allowing the user to move from page to page without having to log-in repeatedly;

· to optimize advertising and marketing for a given user.

Types of cookies

Three basic types of cookies are used: session, persistent and third-party.

Session cookies are temporary files stored on a computer, tablet or smartphone until the user logs out, leaves the website or closes the browser. These support services requiring authentication within a given website.

Persistent cookies are stored on a computer, tablet or smartphone until the expiry date specified in the cookie parameters or until they are deleted by the user. They retain user preferences for a particular website, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions.

Third-party cookies enable information to be gathered about website use and to supply advertising content specific to individual users’ interests.

Cookies and privacy

The personal data collected using cookies are encrypted to prevent third-party and unauthorized access. They are collected exclusively to perform specific functions for users.

Deleting cookies

By default, internet browsers allow cookies to be stored on computers, tablets and smartphones.
Browser settings can be changed to block automatic support for cookies or to notify the user each time a cookie is sent to the device. Detailed information about support for cookies is available in the software (browser) settings. Blocking or limiting the use of cookies may affect how a website functions.