Cookies are small texts composed by letters or numbers. They allow the web server to store on the client (the Web browser) information to reuse during that visit on the website (session cookies) or during the successive ones, also after many days (persistent cookies). According to the user’s will, cookies are memorized by the browser on the device he uses (computer, tablet or smartphone).
Similar devices, such as web beacon, clear GIFs and all the local storage solutions introduced in HTML5, can be used to collect information about the user’s behaviour and use of the services.
In the following lines we will refer to cookies and all the similar devices just by using the word “cookies”.
Kinds of cookies
According to their features and the ways they can be used, we can divide cookies into three different kinds:
- Strictly necessary cookies. These cookies are essential for the correct functioning of the website and are used to manage the login and the access to its private functionalities. The duration of this kind of cookies is limited just to the current session (they are deleted when the browser is closed). Their deactivation compromises the use of the reserved services, while the public part of the A.C.S.I.M. website keeps being usable.
- Analysis and performance cookies. They are used to collect and analyse the traffic and the use of the website anonymously. For example, these cookies allow to detect whether a user comes back to the website, even without identifying him. They also allow to monitor the system and improve its performance and usability. The deactivation of these cookies does not cause any loss of functionality.
- Profiling cookies. These are permanent cookies used to identify (anonymously or not) the user’s preferences and improve his Internet experience. This kind of cookies is absent in the A.C.S.I.M. website.
Third party cookies
While you visit a website, you can receive both cookies from the website you are visiting (“first-party” cookies) and cookies from sites owned by other organisations (“third-party” cookies). A remarkable example is represented by the “social plug-ins” existing in Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn. They are parts of the web page created by the above-mentioned organisations and integrated into the website which hosts them. The most common use of these “social plug-ins” is the one finalised to share content on the social networks.
These plug-ins result in the transmission of cookies from and to all the websites owned by third parties. The managing of the information collected by third parties is regulated by special policies you should refer to. In order to guarantee more clarity and comfort, here is a list of the websites where different cookie policies and management modes can be found.
- Facebook (policy): https://www.facebook.com/help/cookies/
Facebook (setting): log in your account and check the “Privacy” page
- Youtube (policy): http://www.google.it(intl/it/policies/technologies/cookies/
- Youtube (setting): http://www.google.it(intl/it/policies/technologies/managing/
In the A.C.S.I.M. website cookies transmitted by Google Analytics (a Web traffic analysis service supplied by Google, Inc.) are absent. They represent one more example of third-party cookies, which are collected and managed anonymously to monitor and improve the performance of the host website (performance cookies).
Duration of cookies
Session cookies are deactivated when the website is closed or the user logs out. Other kinds of cookies “survive” after the closing of the Web browser and are still active when the user goes back to the website.
They are called “persistent cookies” and their duration is set by the Web server at the moment of their creation (in certain cases it’s unlimited, in others it is not).
In the A.C.S.I.M. website there are not persistent cookies.
However, while visiting the A.C.S.I.M. website, it is possible to interact with sites managed by third parties which can create or modify permanent or profiling cookies.
Management of cookies
The user can decide whether to accept cookies or not by modifying the settings of the browser he is using.
Attention: the total or partial deactivation of technical cookies can compromise some functionalities of the website. But the public content keeps being operative also after the total deactivation of cookies.
Disabling third-party cookies does not compromise the Internet experience.
The setting can be configured specifically in every website and Web application. Moreover, the best Web browsers allow to configure different settings for first party cookies and third party ones.
For example, in Firefox you can decide whether to accept or deactivate the different kinds of cookies by going to the Tools->Settings->Privacy menu.