What are cookies?
Cookies areinformation that are stored on your browser when you visit a website or use a social network with your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Each cookie contains various data, such as the name of the server it comes from, a numerical identifier, and so on.
Cookies can remain in the system for the duration of a session (until you close the browser used for web browsing) or for long periods and can contain a unique identification code. The Italian Data Protection Authority has regulated this matter with the Provision of 08/05/2014.
What are cookies used for?
Some cookies are used for computer authentication, session monitoring, and storing specific information about users accessing a web page.
These so-called “technical” cookies are often useful because they can make web browsing and usage faster and more efficient. For example, they can facilitate certain procedures when making online purchases, when logging into restricted access areas, or when a website automatically recognizes the language you usually use.
Another type of cookie, called “analytics,” is used by website managers to collect aggregated information about the number of users and how they visit the site. This data is used to generate general statistics about the service and its usage.
Other cookies can be used to monitor and profile users during their browsing, studying their movements and browsing habits (what they buy, what they read, etc.), including sending targeted and personalized advertising (known as Behavioral Advertising). We are referring to “profiling” cookies in this case.
For example, have you ever visited a service website, used your webmail, or accessed your page on a social network and found advertising banners related to your recent web searches or the last purchase you made online?
This happens because those web spaces are designed to recognize your computer or other device you use to connect to the web (smartphone, tablet) and possibly send you “profiled” promotional messages based on your searches and your Internet usage. It can also happen that a web page contains cookies from other sites and content in various elements hosted on the page itself, such as advertising banners, images, videos, etc. These are called “third-party” cookies, which are usually used for profiling purposes.
Thus, the cookies you download on your computer, smartphone, and tablet can also be read by other entities other than those managing the web pages you visit.
Cookies and privacy
Considering the potential invasiveness that “profiling” cookies (especially third-party cookies) can have on users’ privacy, European and Italian regulations require that users be adequately informed about their use and give their valid consent to the insertion of cookies on their devices.
• That the site uses profiling cookies to send targeted advertising messages
• That the site also allows the sending of “third-party” cookies, in the case of this type of cookies, i.e., cookies installed by a different site through the site being visited
In any case, in addition to the provided safeguards, you also have other options to browse without cookies:
Block third-party cookies:
Third-party cookies are generally not essential for browsing, so you can refuse them by default using specific functions of your browser.
Enable the “Do Not Track” option: The “Do Not Track” option is present in most up-to-date browsers. Websites designed to respect this option should automatically stop collecting certain browsing data when it is activated. However, not all websites are set up to respect this option (discretionary).
Activate “anonymous browsing” mode:
With this function, you can browse without leaving traces of browsing data in the browser. Websites will not remember you, the pages you visit will not be stored in the history, and new cookies will be deleted.
However, anonymous browsing does not guarantee anonymity on the Internet because it only prevents the retention of browsing data in the browser, while your browsing data will still be available to website managers and internet service providers.
Delete cookies directly:
All browsers have specific functions to do this. However, remember that new cookies are downloaded with each internet connection, so the deletion process should be performed periodically. Some browsers offer automated systems for periodic cookie deletion if desired.