What are Cookies?
Cookies and other online tracking technologies are small bits of data or code that are used to identify your devices when you use and interact with our websites and other services. They are often used for remembering your preferences, to identify popular news stories, and remember you’re logged in, allowing you to comment on stories.
What Cookies do we use and how do we use them?
Essential cookies and similar technologies
Analytics cookies and similar technologies
These collect information about your use of our websites and apps, and enable us to improve the way it works. For example, analytics cookies show us which are the most frequently visited pages on The Sun or The Times websites allowing us to provide the most popular news articles further up the page. They help us record how you interact with our websites, such as how you navigate around pages and from page to page; identifying improvements we can make to the customer journey. They also help identify any difficulties you have accessing our services, so we can fix any problems. Additionally these cookies allow us to see overall patterns of usage at an aggregated level.
Functional/preference cookies and similar technologies
These cookies collect information about your choices and preferences, and allow us to remember things like language, your username (so you can log in faster), text size, and location, so we can show you relevant content to where you are. They allow us to customize the services you have accessed. We also use these cookies to provide you with services such as video clips.
Tracking, advertising cookies and similar technologies
We use these types of technologies to provide advertisements that are more relevant to your interests. This can be done by delivering online adverts based your previous web browsing activity, known as “online behavioural advertising” (OBA). Cookies are placed on your browser which will remember the websites you have visited. Advertising based on what you have been looking at is then displayed to you when you visit websites who use the same advertising networks.
For example: You may be doing online research in order to buy a bicycle, and read a number of articles about bikes on various websites. As you browse those sites a cookie from an advertising network would be placed in your browser. It would remember that you had visited several websites related to cycling. Then, when you visited another website in the same advertising network, the website could show you an advert related to cycling.
To help us deliver relevant advertising using cookies, we use Google Double Click. You can find out more about Google Double Click here.
These are bits of data that count the number of users who access a website or webpage and can also allow us to see if a cookie has been activated. Web beacons used on web pages or in emails allow us to see how successful an article has been or that an email message was successfully delivered and read in a marketing campaign. Web beacons are also used to verify any clicks through to links or advertisements contained in emails. We may use this information to help us identify which emails are more interesting to you and to inform advertisers how many customers have clicked on their adverts (this information is aggregated and does not identify you individually).
We may, in certain situations, use Adobe Flash Player to deliver special content, such as video clips or animation. To improve your user experience, Local Shared Objects (commonly known as Flash cookies) are used to provide functions such as remembering your settings and preferences. Flash cookies are stored on your device, but they are managed through an interface different from the one provided by your web browser.
Tracking URLs are a special web link that allows us to measure when a link is clicked on. They are used to help us measure the effectiveness of campaigns and advertising and the popularity of articles that are read.
When you access and interact with our services cookies may collect certain information about those visits. For example, in order to permit your connection to our websites, our servers receive and record information about your computer, device, and browser, including potentially your IP address, browser type, other software or hardware information, and your geographic location.
If you access our services from a mobile device
We may collect a unique device identifier assigned to that device, geo-location data, and other transactional information for that device. We may also use the unique identifier to validate free trials, for example.
Usage of services
To collect, use and store information about your usage of our services, websites and apps, such as pages you have visited, content you have viewed, search queries you have run, and advertisements you have seen or interacted with.
To provide relevant content
The content on our websites and in our communications with you may be adjusted depending on what we know about the content, products and services that you like. This means we can highlight content and articles that we believe will be of interest to you. We provide personalisation by using cookies, IP addresses, web beacons, URL tracking and mobile app settings.
Most modern browsers are set to accept cookies by default, but you can change your settings to notify you when a cookie is being set or updated, or to block cookies altogether. Please consult the “Help” section of your browser.
Controlling OBA cookies
The „Your Online Choices“ website http://www.youronlinechoices.com provides more information about controlling cookies. It also provides an easy way to opt out of behavioural advertising from each (or all) of the networks represented by the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance http://www.youronlinechoices.com/uk/your-ad-choices.
Controlling Flash cookies
You can manage the use of Flash technologies with the Flash management tools available at Adobe’s website, at http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/privacy.html.
Controlling web beacons
You can prevent web beacons from tracking your activity, although you won’t be able to decline receiving them in emails. For information about managing your cookie options, please click here. http://www.allaboutcookies.org/.