Interested in this issue but short of time? Here’s what we think you need to know:
We DO NOT store personal information in cookies
The original EU legislation that became known as the “E-Privacy Directive“ was published in 2003 and implemented as European Directive – 2002/58/EC. It was concerned quite widely with the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector. In 2009 the Directive was amended by Directive 2009/136/EC that included a requirement to seek consent for cookies and similar technologies. The EU Directive entered UK law on 26th May 2011 as “The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011”. It is regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) www.ico.gov.uk who decided that enforcement would commence from 26th May 2012.
A cookie is used by a website to send ‘state information’ to a User’s browser and for the browser to return the state information to the website. The state information can be used for authentication, identification of a User session, User preferences, shopping cart contents, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data on the User’s computer.
Cookies cannot be programmed, cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer. However, they can be used to track user’s browsing activities which was a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action.
Cookies are used by most websites for a variety of reasons – often very practical reasons to do with the operation of the website. However, they are also used to monitor how people are using the website (which pages are visited and how long is spent on each page). Each “visitor session” is tracked even though no effort is made to try to identify them in person.
Strictly necessary cookies.These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that distinguish you from other users.
Analytical/performance cookies.In some special cases we also use analytical and performance cookies provided by trusted third parties. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily. Our website uses Google Analytics which is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solutions on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. For more information on Google Analytics cookies, see the official Google Analytics page: https://www.google.com/analytics/analytics/#?modal_active=none
Functionality cookies.These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
If you decide to disable cookies we record this so you don’t get asked the question again. You will find that most of the website works as expected although functions that rely on cookies are obviously disabled. These functions include using online forms (e.g. our enquiry form) or any feature that requires login. We use a cookie to remember your cookie preferences, this has a couple of consequences:
If you delete all your cookies you will have to tell us your preference again
If you use a different device, computer profile or browser you will have to tell us your preference again
If you ignore the question the website will continue to set cookies as necessary. This approach of “implied opt-in” is specifically discussed and approved in the guidance notes issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (the organisation charged with enforcement of this legislation)
This Cookies policy was last updated on 18 July 2020.