Cookies are short text files (letters and/or numbers) that allow the web server to store information on the client (through the user’s Internet browser) to be reused while visiting the website (session cookies) or afterwards, even after days (persistent cookies). Cookies are stored, according to the user’s preferences, by the individual browser on the specific device used (computer, tablet, smartphone).
Cookies, usually present in users’ browsers in very large numbers and sometimes with characteristics of wide temporal persistence, are used for different purposes: execution of IT authentication, session monitoring, storage of information on specific configurations concerning users accessing the server, etc..
2. Types of cookies
In implementation of the provisions contained in Directive 2009/136/EC, the legislator has brought the obligation to acquire the prior and informed consent of users to the installation of cookies used for purposes other than purely technical ones (see art. 1, paragraph 5, letter a) of Legislative Decree no. 69 of 28 May 2012, which amended art. 122 of the Privacy Code).
In this regard, and for the purposes of this provision, two macro-categories are therefore identified: technical cookies and profiling cookies.
a. Technical cookies.
Technical cookies are those used for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communication network, or to the extent strictly necessary for the provider of an information society service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user to provide such service (see art. 122, paragraph 1, of the Code).
They are not used for any other purpose and they are normally installed directly by the owner or operator of the website. They can be divided into browsing or session cookies, which guarantee the normal navigation and use of the website (allowing, for example, to make a purchase or authenticate to access reserved areas); analytics cookies, similar to technical cookies when used directly by the site operator to collect information, in aggregate form, on the number of users and how they visit the site itself; functionality cookies, which allow the user to navigate according to a series of selected criteria (for example, language, products selected for purchase) in order to improve the service provided to user himself.
The prior consent of users is not required for the installation of such cookies, while it remains the obligation to provide the information pursuant to art. 13 of the Code, which the site operator, if it uses only such devices, may provide in the manner it deems most suitable.
b. Profiling cookies.
Profiling cookies are aimed at creating user profiles and they are used in order to send advertising messages in line with the preferences expressed by the user himself when browsing the web. Due to the particular invasiveness that such devices may have within the privacy of users, European and Italian legislation provides that the user must be adequately informed about their use and thus express their valid consent.
Article 122 of the Code refers to them where it provides that the storage of information in the terminal equipment of a contracting party or user or access to information already stored are permitted only on condition that the contracting party or user has given his consent after having been informed in the simplified procedure referred to in Article 13(3) (Article 122(1) of the Code).
3. Parties involved: publishers and third parties.
A further element to be considered, for the purposes of the correct definition of the subject under examination, is the subjective one. That is, it is necessary to take into account the different subject that installs cookies on the user’s terminal, depending on whether it is the same operator of the site that the user is visiting (which may be briefly referred to as publisher) or a different site that installs cookies through the first (so-called third parties).
When you visit a website, you may receive cookies both from the website you are visiting (first part) and from so-called third-party websites such as social plugins such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, which allow you to share online content. The use of third-party plugins results in the transmission of cookies to and from all externally managed websites. The handling of such information is governed by the information hosted by the website of each third party to which you are invited to refer.
This website uses other third party technical cookies (in addition to those mentioned above), both temporary and persistent, including:
Google Analytics (Google Inc.)
Widget Google Maps (Google Inc.)
Widget Video Youtube (Google Inc.)
Flash cookies can be saved on your computer by sites using Adobe Flash. The technological design is similar to that of cookies. Almost all browsers use a Flash player that is used to display presentations of this type (settings, volume, etc.). An example is the video player on the YouTube site. There is no time limit for Flash cookies. They therefore remain stored until you delete them.
4. Cookies management.
The user is free to decide whether or not to accept cookies through the settings of his Internet browser. In fact, cookies can be restricted or blocked through the settings of the browser. Disabling (partially or totally) of technical cookies may compromise the use of the site features with a reserved area. The usability of public content is also possible by completely disabling cookies. Disabling third party cookies does not generally affect the navigability of the site.
The setting can be managed autonomously by the user in a specific and detailed way through access to the settings of his browser, privacy section.
4.1 How to install or remove cookies from your terminal
You can decide which cookies to accept through the settings of the browser you use to browse. The default settings of most browsers provide for the acceptance of cookies, but you can change these settings by configuring your browser. There are also various types of software that can act on cookies, such as web services or browser add-ons.
The help of the browser used to navigate contains all the information to enable or block cookies.
The procedure for handling cookies may vary from browser to browser.
For more information: https://www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/
To disable cookies on a mobile phone (smartphone), please refer to its manual for more information.
4.2 Effects of deactivating cookies
If you decide to deactivate cookies, it is advisable to take their characteristics into account, in order to avoid incurring unwelcome changes when browsing the site. In particular, deactivating technical cookies may prevent the use of certain features of the site.