Cookies are files that can be installed on the users’ computer or device when they are browsing a website. They are key tools that facilitate several services offered by the Information Society. For instance, thanks to cookies, websites can store and retrieve information about the browsing habits of users or their devices and, depending on the information obtained, cookies can be used to remember users and improve the service provided.
What are cookies?
Types of Cookies
According to the entity managing the domain from where cookies are sent and treating the data obtained, there are two types of cookies:
- First-party Cookies: First-party Cookies: They are sent to the user’s terminal equipment from a device or domain managed by the publisher itself and from which the service requested by the user is provided.
- Third-party Cookies: They are sent to the user’s terminal equipment from a device or domain that is not managed by the publisher but, rather, by another entity that processes the data obtained through the cookies.
If cookies are installed from a device or domain managed by the publisher of the website but the information collected via cookies is managed by a third party, then they cannot be catalogued as first-party cookies.
There is also a second classification that depends on the length of time cookies remain stored in the user’s browser, namely:
- Session Cookies: They are designed to collect and store data while the user navigates a webpage. In general, these cookies store information that is only useful to provide the service requested by the user on that occasion only (e.g., a list of products acquired).
- Persistent Cookies: In this case, data remain stored in the terminal equipment and may be accessed and treated during a specific time period defined by the party responsible for the cookie; this period may range from just a few minutes to several years.
Finally, there is a third classification based on the purpose for which data are gathered:
- Technical Cookies: They allow the user to navigate through a website, platform or application and to use the different options or services that exist within it, such as traffic control and data communication, identifying the session, accessing restricted access areas, remembering the elements that make up an order, carrying out the purchase process of an order, applying for registration or participation in an event, using security features during browsing, storing content for broadcasting of videos or sound, or sharing content through social networks.
- Personalization Cookies: They allow the user to access web services with certain predefined general characteristics established through a series of criteria on the user’s terminal device such as language preference, type of browser used to access the service, regional configuration from which the service is accessed, etc.
- Analytics Cookies: They allow the party responsible for them to monitor and analyze users’ behavior in relation with the websites to which the cookies are linked. The information gathered with this type of cookies is used to measure the activity of websites, applications or platforms and to prepare the browsing profiles of the users of such websites, applications and platforms so as to introduce improvements based on the analysis of the usage data generated by the users of the service.
- Advertising cookies: These are cookies that enable the management, in the most effective way possible, of the advertising spaces on the website.
- Behavioral Advertising Cookies: They store information on the users’ behavior obtained through continuous observation of their browsing habits, which allows a specific profile to be developed in order to display advertising based on these data.
Deactivation and Elimination of Cookies
Users may, at any time, exercise their right to allow, block or delete the cookies installed on their device by following the configuration options of the browser installed. When cookies are deactivated, some services available might cease to be operational. The steps taken to disable cookies may vary from browser to browser but, in general, this procedure can be applied from the menu > Tools or Options. Users can also consult the menu > Help of the browser for instructions. At any time, users may choose the cookies that will be operational in this website.
Users can exercise their right to allow, block or delete the cookies installed on their devices by following the configuration options of the browser installed in their computer:
Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Microsoft Edge
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari
Acceptance of Cookies Policy