Welcome to a guide to online behavioural advertising and online privacy.
On this website you'll find information about how behavioural advertising works, further information about cookies and the steps you can take to protect your privacy on the internet.
What is a ‘cookie’ and how is it used?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers downloaded on to your computer when you access certain websites. Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s preferences as previously chosen by the user when they return to a site. A cookie itself does not contain or collect information. However, when it is read by a server in conjunction with a web browser it can help a website deliver a more user-friendly service – for example, remembering previous purchases or account details.
Cookies are filed in the memory of your browser and each one typically contains:
– The name of the server the cookie was sent from
– The lifetime of the cookie
– A value – usually a randomly generated unique number
The website server which sends the cookie uses this number to recognise you when you return to a site or browse from page to page. Only the server that sent a cookie can read, and therefore use, that cookie. Cookies are central to the customisation of the internet and online behavioural advertising usually works using cookies. Please note: cookies are used for other purposes as well, and not just advertising.
Can I disable a cookie?
Yes. Some browsers will let you block just third party cookies (this is a cookie placed on your browser by a third party – for example, an advertising network – other than that particular website owner) or will allow the use of settings to block only cookies that do not meet your privacy preferences.
You can choose to disable all cookies but this could significantly affect your web browsing experience if you use services that rely on cookies. Visit
five top tips
to find out more about managing your web browser privacy settings.