Last reviewed, August 2015
This policy provides the following information for users:
- Information about cookies
- Types of cookies
- Analytics on our websites
- Advertising on our websites
- Auditing cookies on our websites
- Contacting Us
Information about cookies
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes a unique identifier that is sent to your computer or mobile device (referred to here as a “device”) browser from a website’s server and is stored on your device’s hard drive. Each website or third party service provider used by the website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website or third party service provider to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites or other third party service providers. A cookie will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences or what’s in your shopping basket.
What is a browser?
A browser is an application that allows you to surf the internet. The most common browsers are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Most browsers are secure and offer quick and easy ways to delete information like cookies. Please see the section below Change your Browser Settings
What do cookies do?
Cookies record information about your online preferences and allow us to tailor the websites to your interests. Information supplied by cookies can help us to analyse your use of our sites and help us to provide you with a better user experience. For example, you may choose to personalise the content of a website in order to see the latest news and weather for your region. In order to do this, a cookie is placed on your device to remember where you live so that we deliver the information that has been requested by you. This is a prime example of how cookies are used to improve your experience of a website.
Change your Browser Settings’
You can choose how cookies are handled by your device via your browser settings. The most popular browsers allow users to a) accept all cookies, b) to notify you when a cookie is issued, or c) to not receive cookies at any time. If you choose not to receive cookies at any time, the website may not function properly and certain services will not be provided, spoiling your experience of the website. Each browser is different, so check the “Help” menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.
Types of Cookie
First Party Cookies
First party cookies are set by the website you are visiting and they can only be read by that site.
Third Party Cookies
Third party cookies are set by other organisations that we use for different services. For example, Immediate Media Co uses external analytics services and these suppliers may set cookies on our behalf in order to report what’s popular and what’s not. The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Flickr and these sites may set their own cookies.
Session Cookies are stored only for the duration of your visit to a website and these are deleted from your device when your browsing session ends.
This type of cookie is saved on your device for a fixed period. Persistent cookies are used where we need to know who you are for more than one usage session. For example, if you have asked us to remember preferences like your location or your username.
Many websites use Adobe Flash Player to deliver video and game content to their users. Adobe utilise their own cookies, which are not manageable through your browser settings but are used by the Flash Player for similar purposes, such as storing preferences or tracking users.
Flash Cookies work in a different way to web browser cookies; rather than having individual cookies for particular jobs, a website is restricted to storing all data in one cookie. You can control how much data, if any, may be stored in that cookie but you cannot choose what type of information is allowed to be stored. You can manage which websites can store information in Flash cookies on your device via the website storage settings panel on the Adobe website.
Web beacons, clear GIFs, page tags and web bugs
These are all terms used to describe a particular form of technology implemented by many websites in order to help them to analyse how their site is being used and, in turn, to improve your experience of their site. They may also be used to target any advertising being served on the web page you are viewing.
A web beacon (or similar) usually takes the form of a small, transparent image, which is embedded in a web page or an email. They are used in conjunction with cookies and send information such as your IP address, when you viewed the page or email, from what device and your (broad) location.
To enable us to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information repeatedly;
To recognise that you may have requested that we remember your username and password so you don’t need to enter your details each time you visit the site;
To ensure that if you are purchasing a product or service via our websites, your experience is smooth and secure;
To record what people like and don’t like on the website and the popularity of various elements of the website so that we can ensure that it works properly at points of high usage. Immediate Media Co also uses a number of independent measurement, advertising and research companies. They gather information regarding the visitors to our sites on our behalf using cookies, log file data and code which is embedded on our website. Immediate Media Co uses this type of information to help improve the services it provides to its users.
Our websites contain advertising and cookies may sometimes be used to deliver this advertising and other marketing messages relevant to you – a practice across the internet and known as behavioural marketing. Please see the section below called:
What is Behavioural Marketing?
Analytics on our Websites
Omniture (Visual Sciences) / Google Analytics provide anonymised statistical information for us. They process IP addresses and information from cookies used on our sites so we know how many page views we have, how many users we have, what browsers they are using (so we can target our resources in the right way to maximise compatibility for the majority of our users) and, in some cases, in which country, city or region they are located.
Importantly, this statistical information also allows us to determine how much we should charge for advertising, and if we are hitting our target audience. If we didn’t have these measurement tools to enable us to get our sums right on the advertising we would have less money to spend on improving our sites’ content. Some of the IP address and information from cookies gathered by these providers is processed by them outside the European Economic Area (e.g. Omniture (Visual Sciences) processes data in the United States and we confirm that it satisfies the EU’s data protection requirements).
Advertising on our Websites
The advertisements on our sites are served by a number of third party ad serving providers, including DoubleClick and The Rubicon Project, amongst others. The cookies accompanying the adverts allow them and their advertisers to monitor the effectiveness of the ads (e.g. by using statistical analysis cookies) and make the ads more relevant to you (e.g. if you use our sites from outside of the UK, you may get ads from your local country). If you would like more information about the cookies used by the providers listed above, please see their privacy policies at:
What is Behavioural Marketing?
Behavioural Marketing technology gives users and advertisers a more valuable and unique experience by delivering advertising and content that is more relevant to the user.
We may then display advertisements on the site which we believe people in your market segment will find relevant. We consider that this makes the advertising more interesting and useful to you, and also helps us increase the value we get out of the site and from our advertisers, and therefore ultimately gives us a greater ability to invest in great content for the benefit of all our users.
It is important to note that at no time will we or our service providers attempt to identify you individually, and at no time do we know who you are or what pages you individually have been looking at – we simply aggregate the relevant information to create the market segments of groups of people. We will at all times seek to comply with the regulatory framework applicable to onsite behavioural targeting technology in our implementation of it.
You can find out more about online behavioural advertising cookies and opt out of behavioural marketing by going to http://www.youronlinechoices.com/uk/
Auditing our Websites
On a quarterly basis, we conduct an audit of all cookies being used across the website portfolio.
Please contact the Data Protection team at Immediate Media Co if you would like more information on the cookies that we use and their purposes.