What are cookies?

Cookies are information entered on your browser when you visit a website or use a social network with your PC, smartphone or tablet.
Each cookie contains various data like, for example, the name of the server from which it comes, a numeric identifier, etc ..

Cookies can remain in your system for the time of a session ( until you close the browser used for web browsing) or for longer periods and may contain a unique identifier.

Types of cookies
Some cookies are used to perform authentication information, monitoring of sessions and storing specific information about users who log on to a web page.
These cookies, so-called technical, are often useful, because they can speed up the navigation and use of the web, by helping you in certain procedures when you buy online, when you login to areas with restricted access, or when a website automatically recognizes the language that you normally use.

A particular type of cookies, called analytics, are then used by the operators of websites to collect information, in aggregate form, the number of users and how they visit the site, and then draw general statistics about the service and its use.

Other cookies may instead be used to track and profile users while browsing, study their movements and habits of consultation of the web or consumption (what they buy, what they read, etc.), also in order to send advertising to targeted services and custom. In thes cases we call them profiling cookies

For example: Did you ever visit a web-site to use your webmail or access your page on a social network and find ads banners related to your latest research on the web or at the last purchase made on the Internet ?

This happens because those web spaces are designed to recognize your computer or another terminal that you use to connect to the web (smartphones, tablets), and possibly direct you some promotional messages "profiles" based on your research and your Internet utilization.

It can also happen that a web page contains cookies from other sites and content in various elements hosted on the same page, such as: ads banner, images, videos, etc .. In these cases, they are called third-party cookies and they are generally used for profiling purposes.

So cookies that you download on PC, smartphones and tablets can also be read by other parties, different than those who manage the web pages you visit.

Cookies profiling and privacy

Considering the particular invasiveness that profiling cookies (especially third partiey ones) could have regarding the private sphere of the users, Italian and European law requires that users have to be properly informed on the use of them and express their valid consent to the insertion of cookies on their terminal.

In particular, with the measure "Locating mode simplified information and your consent to the use of cookies" 8 May 2014 [Doc No web. 3118884] the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data ruled that when accessing the home page or to another page of a web site that uses cookies for profiling and marketing, a clearly visible banner should immediately appear, where it is indicated clearly:

1) that the site uses cookies profiling to send targeted advertising messages;
2) that the site also allows sending "third party" cookies. In the case of using this type of cookie, those cookies installed by a different site through the site you are visiting;
3) a link to a more extensive disclosure, with the indications on the use of cookies sent from the site, where you can refuse to give consent to their installation directly or by connecting to various sites in the case of "third party" cookies;
4) a statement that continuing the navigation (eg., By going to another area of the site or by selecting an image or a link) it consents to the use of cookies.