What are cookies?
For almost any website to work properly, it needs to collect certain basic information on its users. To do this, a site will create files known as cookies – which are small text files – on its users’ browsers and/or computers. These cookies are designed to allow the website to recognize its users on subsequent visits.
Cookies do a lot of different jobs which make your experience of the Service much smoother and more interactive. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on the site, to remember text you have entered or the contents of your booking order, and to help you navigate between pages more efficiently. They also help ensure that the information that you see online is more relevant to you and your interests. Much, though not all, of the data that they collect is anonymous, though some of it is designed to detect browsing patterns and approximate geographical location to improve user experience.
The Service may also contain images called ‘web beacons’ (also known as ‘clear gifs’). Web beacons only collect limited information, including a cookie number, a timestamp, and a record of the page on which they are placed. These beacons do not carry any personally identifiable information and are only used to track the effectiveness of a particular campaign (for example by counting the number of visitors).
Information collected by cookies and web beacons is not personally identifiable.
We collect a number of cookies from our users for various reasons, to track our own performance, but also to let us serve you content tailored to your own specifications, hopefully improving your overall experience of the site. Amongst other things, the cookies we use allow users to register to make comments, allow us to calculate how many visitors we have - anonymously, of course - and how long they stay on our site.
- Remember your preferences, searches and selections
- Analyze how you use our site, what features are preferred and used
- Tailor our site to your interests for a more personalized experience
- Provide you with location-relevant information
- To enable certain functions of the Service
We believe that your experience of the site would be adversely affected if you opted out of the cookies we use.
What types of cookies are there and which ones do we use?
There are two types of cookies:
- Session cookies are temporary. These are stored while you’re browsing. They allow website operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
- Persistent cookies remain on a user’s device (computer or mobile device) for a set period of time specified in the cookie. They activate each time that the user visits the website that created that particular cookie. So, they don’t get deleted when you close your browser. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
Cookies also have, four different functions: ‘strictly necessary’ cookies, ‘performance’ cookies, ‘functionality’ cookies, and ‘targeting’ or ‘advertising’ cookies.
Strictly necessary cookies are essential to navigate around a website and use its features. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to use basic services like placing an order and submitting payments.
We may use essential cookies to authenticate users and prevent fraudulent use of user accounts.
Examples of how we use ‘strictly necessary’ cookies include:
- Setting unique identifiers for each unique visitor, so site numbers can be analyzed.
- Allowing you to sign in to The Independent website as a registered user.
Performance cookies collect anonymous data for statistical purposes on how visitors use a website, they don’t contain personal information, and are used to improve your user experience of a website.
Here are some examples of how we use performance cookies:
- Gathering data about visits to the Website, including numbers of visitors and visits, length of time spent on the site, pages clicked on, or where visitors have come from.
- For comparison with other websites using data collected by industry-accepted measurement and research companies.
- Information supplied by performance cookies helps us to understand how you use the Website; for example, whether or not you have visited before, what you looked at or clicked on and how you found us. We can then use this data to help improve our services. We generally use independent analytics companies to perform these services for us and when this is the case, these cookies may be set by a third-party company (third-party cookies).
Functionality cookies allow users to customize how a website looks for them: they can remember usernames, language preferences, and regions, and can be used to provide more personal services like local weather reports and traffic news.
Here are some examples of how we use functionality cookies:
- Storing your user preferences on Your Account page
- Restricting the number of times, you’re shown a particular advertisement (which is sometimes called ‘frequency capping’).
- Remembering if you’ve been to the site before so that messages intended for first-time users are not displayed to you.
Advertising and targeting cookies are used to deliver advertisements more relevant to you, but can also limit the number of times you see an advertisement and be used to chart the effectiveness of an ad campaign by tracking users’ clicks. They can also provide security in transactions. They are usually placed by third-party advertising networks with a website operator’s permission but can be placed by the operator themselves. They can remember that you have visited a website, and this information can be shared with other organizations, including other advertisers. They cannot determine who you are though, as the data collected is never linked to your profile.
The two main ways we use advertising and targeting cookies are set out below:
- Interest-based advertising (or online behavioral advertising) is where cookies are placed on your device by our third-party service providers which remember your web browsing activity and group together your interests in order to provide you with targeted advertisements that are more relevant to you when you visit independent.co.uk. Your previous web browsing activity can also be used to infer things about you, such as your demographics (age, gender, etc.). This information may also be used to make the advertising on independent.co.uk more relevant to you.
- ‘Retargeting’ is a form of interest-based advertising that enables our advertising partners to show you advertisements selected based on your online browsing activity away from the Website. This allows companies to advertise to people who previously visited their website. These cookies will usually be placed on your device by third-party advertising networks and we have listed the main third party networks we work with below.
Without these cookies, online advertisements you encounter will be less relevant to you and your interests. If you would like more information about interest-based advertising, including how to opt-out of these cookies, please visit www.youronlinechoices.com.
How do I control my cookies?
You should be aware that any preferences will be lost if you delete cookies and many websites will not work properly or you will lose some functionality. We do not recommend turning cookies off when using our Website for these reasons.
Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can alter the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer. Generally, you have the option to see what cookies you’ve got and delete them individually, block third-party cookies or cookies from particular sites, accept all cookies, be notified when a cookie is issued or reject all cookies. Visit the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu on your browser to change settings, and check the following links for more browser-specific information.
It is possible to opt-out of having your anonymized browsing activity within websites recorded by performance cookies.
Don’t forget that not allowing performance cookies stops us from being able to learn what people like or don’t like about our Website so that we can make it better.
We use both session and persistent cookies on the Service and we use different types of cookies to run the Service:
In addition to our own cookies, we may also use various third-parties’ cookies to report usage statistics of the Service, deliver advertisements on and through the Service, and so on.
What are your choices regarding cookies?
Please note, however, that if you delete cookies or refuse to accept them, you might not be able to use all of the features we offer, you may not be able to store your preferences, and some of our pages might not display properly.
Where can you find more information about cookies
You can learn more about cookies and the following third-party websites:
By continuing to use our site, you agree to the placement of cookies on your device. If you choose not to receive our cookies, we cannot guarantee that your experience will be as fulfilling as it would otherwise be.