Cookies are small text files that are sent to the user’s device (usually to the user’s browser) from the websites visited. They are stored in the user’s device and then re-transmitted to the websites on the subsequent visits of the user to those websites. While browsing a website, a user may receive cookies from other websites or web servers, which are the so-called “third-party” cookies. This is because the visited website can contain elements such as images, maps, audio files, links to individual Web pages on different domains that are on different servers than the one in which the visited page is stored.
Cookies are usually present in substantial numbers in the browser of each user and, sometimes, remain stored for a long time. They are used for different purposes ranging from IT authentication to monitoring browsing sessions to storing specific information about user configurations accessing a particular server and so on. To regulate these devices appropriately, it is necessary to distinguish them taking into account the aims pursued by those who use them, since there are no technical features that allow them to be differentiated. This is actually the approach followed by the Italian Parliament, which imposed the obligation to obtain the informed consent of users for the installation of cookies for purposes other than those of a purely technical nature – according with the EC Directive 2009/136. From this point of view and for the purposes of this decision, cookies can be divided into two main groups: “technical” cookies and “profiling” cookies.
Technical cookies are those used exclusively for the purpose of transmitting a communication over an electronic communication network, or those strictly necessary for a company providing an Information Technology service that has been explicitly requested by the contracting party or by the user to provide the aforementioned service. They are not used for other purposes and are usually installed directly by the data controller or the website operator. They can be grouped into:
browsing or session cookies, which allow users to browse and use a website (for example, to make online purchases or authenticate to get access to certain sections);
analytical cookies, which can be equated to technical cookies to the extent that they are used directly by the website operator to collect aggregate information on the number of visitors and the pattern of the visits to the website;
functional cookies, which allow users to navigate according to certain predetermined criteria, such as language or products to purchase, in order to improve the service quality. Users’ prior consent is not required to install these cookies.
Profiling cookies aim at creating the user profile. They are used to send advertising messages in line with the preferences shown by the user while browsing. In light of the highly invasive nature of these cookies towards the privacy of users, Italian and European legislation require users to be appropriately informed about their use in order to give their valid consent.
LINKS TO THIRD PARTIES
To limit, block or delete cookies, it is enough to change the settings of your web browser. The procedure varies slightly according to the type of browser used. For detailed instructions, click on the link related to the browser used.
Some sections of the Site are accessible only by enabling cookies; turning them off it is possible that the user no longer has access to some content and the user cannot fully appreciate the features of the website.