What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files sent from a website and stored in the user’s web browser while the user is browsing a website. These cookies may be saved by the user’s browser on their computer. Cookies may be persistent, they may expire after some predefined period of time, or they may expire at a given date in the future. When a user visits the same website again, the browser may send cookies back to that website allowing the website to recognise the user and remember things like their personalised details or preferences.
Can cookies threaten users’ privacy?
Cookies are stored on the computer’s hard drive. They cannot access the hard drive – so a cookie can’t read other information saved on the hard drive, or get a user’s e-mail address etc. They only contain and transfer to the server as much information as the users themselves have disclosed to a certain website.
The HC takes privacy concerns seriously, so if you do not want any information collected via a site cookie you can use your in-built browser settings to deny or accept individual or all cookies. The procedure varies from browser to browser. More information about cookies and details of how to manage or disable them can be found on www.aboutcookies.org.
We use information gathered from cookies to help improve your experience of our website. Some cookies are essential so you can move around the website and use its features.
- They help us to identify, customise and improve the experience for you.
- They keep you logged in during your visit; without cookies you might have to log in on every page you go to.
- Some are session cookies that make it possible to navigate through the website smoothly. However these are automatically deleted after you close your web browser
Collection and use of technical information
The HMC uses Google Analytics and other technologies to collect anonymous traffic data to the website to help us analyse how users use the site. Cookies are used to collect anonymous data on user behaviour and standard Internet activity. The information stored in the cookie is transmitted to Google and then used to evaluate visitors’ use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity for HC.
HC will never (nor will we enable Third Parties to) use this analytics tool to track or collect any Personally Identifiable Data of visitors to the HMC site. This data is completely anonymous. Users may also disable cookies from their web browser with no loss of functionality. For further information on the privacy of Google Analytics data please visit http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/privacy.html
Other third party cookies
Some cookies that have been set on our websites are not related to HC. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Facebook, these service providers may set their own cookies on your web browser. We do not control the use of these cookies and cannot access them due to the way that cookies work, as cookies can only be accessed by the party who originally set them. You should check the third party websites for more information about these cookies.