A cookie is a small file downloaded on to your device when you interact with online content (such as websites, social media sites, and mobile apps). The content may be our own, or may be the content of others in which we have an interest, such as our banner advertisements.
Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s computer, and are commonly used to tailor advertising by identifying users that share a particular interest or attribute so that they can be served more relevant advertising.
Cookies may be arranged (“set”) by us or by others under an arrangement with us, such as companies whose business it is to analyse information. We may also access information from cookies set by others (“3rd party cookies”).
Why should you know about cookies?
You should know about cookies because they involve the collection of information about you (which may or may not be personal information) in a way which may not be obvious to you.
The information that we collect through cookies may not identify, or relate, to a particular individual. Generally, the information collected through cookies relates to a device used to access online content, such as an IP address or location data about the device. Cookies may also collect information about the behaviours of the user of the device, such as the websites visited by the user and their activity on the website.
Why do we allow cookies to be used?
We allow cookies to be used for three reasons.
First, we allow session cookies to be used when you visit our online content, including our websites. Session cookies enable your device to move from page to page without having to log in repeatedly. The placement of this type of cookie generally improves your browsing experience.
Secondly, we allow persistent (permanent) cookies to be used to better inform how the content your device visits may be presented to you. Persistent cookies can store your preferences for a particular site, so they will be remembered when the site is visited again.
Thirdly, we allow persistent and other kinds of permanent cookies (such as “flash” cookies) to be set and we and others access information from 3rd party cookies in order to assist in compiling and analysing the types of online content you visit and your interaction with that content.
The collection of this information assists us to assess what promotions to make to you, when and how. This information enables us, and third parties, to send you tailored advertising about products and services that may interest you. You may receive tailored advertising on the websites you visit in the form of banner advertising, or on the social media platforms you use.
The collection of this information also assists in measuring the effectiveness of promotions run by us or by third parties.
What are your choices about cookies?
You can control the extent to which your device allows cookies to be set on it. You can do this by changing the settings on the software your device uses to access the internet (your browser software). For example, depending on which browser your device uses, you may be able to disable third party cookies. If you configure your settings to disable session and certain persistent cookies, you may find that the websites you visit have only limited functionality.
You can also control the extent to which you receive tailored advertising facilitated by cookies by changing your settings on the websites on which you receive tailored advertising. For example, you can disable tailored advertising on social media sites like Facebook by changing the settings on your account.
Please note that it may be necessary for you to opt out separately from each device you use to access online content.
Opting out of cookies may not necessarily remove all advertising from pages you visit. Rather, it may mean that the ads you see will not reflect your interests.
There is a lot of information available about how cookies work and how to change your browser’s cookie preferences. This includes information at the following links: Stay smart online – all about cookies and your privacy; Your online choices and Privacy Commissioner Fact Sheet on online behavioural advertising.