What are Cookies?
Cookies are small text fragments, usually consisting of letters and/or numbers, that are sent by the website visited and stored by the software (such as a web browser) installed on the device used by the user for browsing. Cookies are then transmitted back to the aforementioned website on the user’s next visit.
Cookies make it possible to store information regarding a user’s visits to a website and are a very useful technology, because for example they enable websites to function, making them more efficient, and provide useful information to website operators. Without cookies, or other assimilated technologies, websites would have no way of “remembering” information about visitors, such as how many items the user has placed in their shopping cart or whether or not they have logged in.
Cookies can be classified according to:
– duration: session or persistent cookies;
– origin: first-party or third-party cookies;
– purpose: technical, analytical or profiling cookies.
Cookies that expire at the end of a browser session (normally when a user closes their browser) are called session cookies and are useful, for example, for storing a user’s purchase order or for security purposes, such as when accessing their internet banking or webmail account. Cookies that, on the other hand, are stored for a longer period of time (between sessions) are called persistent cookies and are useful, for example, to remember user preferences or to serve targeted advertising.
The definition of first-party or third-party refers to the website or domain that installs the cookie. First-party cookies are installed directly by the website that the user is visiting, while third-party cookies are installed by a domain different from the one the user is visiting, for example in the case where the website incorporates elements from other sites, such as images, social media plugins, or advertisements.
It should be specified that the purposes usually fulfilled by a cookie can also be accomplished through other assimilated technologies, including the use of certain device-identifying features so that visits to a website can be analyzed. In fact, this policy applies to any technology that stores or accesses information on a user’s device. Examples could include HTML5 local storage, Local Shared Objects (also called flash cookies), and fingerprinting techniques. Specifically, device fingerprinting is a technique of combining a variety of information in order to uniquely identify a particular device.
Examples of the information that device fingerprinting can detect, associate with, or infer include:
– data derived from the configuration of a device;
– data inferred from the use of particular network protocols;
– HTTP header information; clock information;
– fonts installed;
– plugins installed in the browser.
It is also possible to combine these elements with additional information, such as IP addresses or unique identifiers, etc.
Henceforth when we talk about cookies, other assimilated technologies will also be considered to be included in this definition.
What are the purposes of the cookies used by this site?
Depending on the purpose, the cookies installed on this website are distinguished into technical cookies, analytical cookies and profiling cookies.
Technical cookies are necessary for the operation of the website because they enable functions to facilitate the user’s navigation, who, for example, will be able to access their profile without having to log in each time or will be able to select the language with which they wish to navigate the site without having to set it each time.
Technical cookies are considered strictly necessary, because storing the information is essential to provide a service requested by the user. Therefore, technical cookies cannot be disabled and users’ prior consent is not required for their installation (pursuant to Article 122 of the Privacy Code).
Analytical cookies, which can be first- or third-party, are installed to collect information about the use of the website. In particular, they are useful to statistically analyze access or visits to the site itself and to allow the owner to improve its structure, navigation logic and content. The information collected (including IP address, masked) is used to perform statistical analysis in order to improve the use of the site and possibly to make the content more interesting and relevant to the user’s wishes.
Analytical cookies are not necessary for the operation of the website, however, since the IP address is not in plain text the installation of such cookies does not require the user’s consent.
Profiling cookies, which can be first- or third-party, are used to track the user’s browsing, analyze their behavior for marketing purposes and create profiles regarding their tastes, habits, choices, etc. In this way, it is possible, for example, to transmit targeted advertising messages in relation to the user’s interests and in line with the preferences expressed by the user when browsing online. These cookies also include social cookies.
Such cookies can only be installed on the user’s terminal if the user has given consent.
How do you manage cookie preferences?
However, users can also express their preferences about cookies through the settings of the browser they use. By default, almost all web browsers are set to automatically accept cookies, but users can change the default configuration through the settings of the browser used, which allow them to delete/remove all or some cookies or block cookies from being sent or limit them to certain sites.
Disabling/blocking cookies or deleting them may affect optimal enjoyment of certain areas of the site or prevent certain functionality, as well as affect the operation of third-party services.
The configuration of the cookie management depends on the browsers. The following are the instructions and links to the guides for the management of cookies of the main desktop browsers:
– Microsoft Edge: click on the icon with the three dots at the top right and then on “Settings”. From the menu on the left select “Cookies and site permissions” and adjust the cookie settings. Below is the link to get more information: https: //support.microsoft.com/it-it/help/4027947/microsoft-edge-delete-cookies
– Google Chrome: click on the icon with the three dots at the top right and then on “Settings”. Select “Advanced “and in the” Privacy and security” section click on “Site Settings”. Then adjust the cookie settings by selecting “Cookies and site data”. Below is the link to get more information: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=it&p=cpn_cookies%20https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/61416?hl=it
– Mozilla Firefox In the window select” Privacy and security ” to adjust the cookie settings. Below is the link to get more information: https://support.mozilla.org/it/kb/Attivare%20e%20disattivare%20i%20cookie
– Apple Safari: select “Preferences” and then “Privacy Below is the link to get more information: https://support.apple.com/it-it/guide/safari/sfri11471/mac.
– Opera: select the icon with the three horizontal bars at the top right and then on “Advanced”. Select “Confidentiality & Security” and then “Site Settings”. From the section “Cookies and site data” adjust the cookie settings. Below is the link to get more information: https://help.opera.com/en/latest/web-preferences/#cookies.
For browers other than those listed above, it is necessary to consult the relative guide to identify the cookie management modalities.