What are cookies?
A 'cookie' is a text file containing small amounts of information which a server downloads to your personal computer (PC) or mobile when you visit a website. The server then sends a cookie back to the originating website each time you subsequently visit it, or if you visit another website which recognises that cookie. There are different types of cookies which are used to do different things, such as letting you navigate between different pages on a website efficiently, remembering preferences you have given a website, and improving your overall experience.
Others are used to provide you with advertising which is more tailored to your interests, or to measure the number of site visits and the most popular pages users visit. Some cookies are allocated to your PC only for the duration of your visit to a website, and these are called session based cookies. These automatically expire when you close down your browser. Another type of cookie known as a 'persistent'. These cookies would remain on your PC for a period of time.
What are the new rules?
Website operators already have to give users information about the cookies they use and why they use them. Now they also have to have your consent to use them. In order to comply with these new rules, we have developed a system of classifying the different types of cookies which we use on iot.bt.com, or which may be dropped by third parties through our websites.
This system of classification is based on the purpose the cookies are used for, and also determines the way we will ask for your consent to use them. The classification explains more about which cookies we use, why we use them, and the functionality you will lose if you decide you don’t want to have them on your PC.
When clicking the 'login' button you are also agreeing to the use of certain types of cookies. None of the information stored in these cookies is used for advertising on other websites. The cookie types are:
- Functional - Remembers choices you make to improve your experience.
- Performance - Collects anonymous information on the pages you visit.
- Strictly Necessary- Enables services you have asked for
Using the cookie settings page
You can access the cookie classification wherever the 'cookie preferences' tool bar appears. To make your choices, just select the option which represents a type of cookie based on its function. You'll see a detailed description of the type of cookie represented, why we want to use them, and what would happen if you don’t chose to accept them.
In addition to using the icons, cookies can also be removed from your PC using browser settings but there will still be some deterioration in the service you receive (for example, you may receive many pop up boxes containing the same advertisements or you may not be able to access a page you earlier personalised).
Your browser lets you choose whether to accept, not to accept or to be warned before accepting cookies. These settings can be found in the advanced preferences.
The categorisation and icons are also used in a 'cookie code' developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for use by website operators to comply with the new rules. More information can be found at allaboutcookies.org.