Cookies in general perform many functions, such as making it easier to browse from one website to another, store your preferences, and generally improve the web browsing experience.
Performance cookies are cookies used specifically for gathering data on how visitors use a website, which pages of a website are visited most often, or if they get error messages on web pages. These cookies monitor only the performance of the site as the user interacts with it. These cookies don’t collect identifiable information on visitors, which means all the data collected is anonymous and only used to improve the functionality of a website. Website owners can use these cookies to gather statistical data on how their website is performing to make improvements. Some examples of performance cookies are cookies that count page visits, idle time by a user on a page, bounce rates, and load speeds. While performance cookies can be third party cookies, they’re usually first party cookies that are either session or persistent cookies. Generally, these cookies are only used by the website and the data isn’t shared broadly. However, in some cases, third parties can place their cookies on your device through a website you visit to determine the best place for advertisements to be placed on the website based on user behavior.
Functionality cookies allow websites to remember the user’s site preferences and choices they make on the site including username, region, and language. This allows the website to provide personalized features like local news stories and weather if you share your location. They are anonymous and don’t track browsing activity across other websites. Functionality cookies can include first party, third party, persistent or session cookies. Similar to strictly necessary cookies, functionality cookies are used to provide services you request. These cookies can remember your preferences to boost the user experience on a website. Examples of functionality cookies include web chat services, user preferences, and the ability to comment on a blog you visit. As for consent models to comply with cookie laws, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said that implied consent can be used when functionality cookies are on your site. Implied consent is gathering consent from a user through the user taking a specific action. The website host must tell users what specific action will be considered consent. The website also must provide information in a clear and concise manner depending on how technically proficient their users are. Want to know what cookies are operating on your website?
Strictly necessary cookies
Strictly necessary cookies are classified as cookies that must be present for the website to provide the basic functions of the website. They are essential to be able to access features of the website and could include signing in, adding items to a cart, or e-billing. They are typically essential first-party session cookies, but not all first-party cookies are strictly necessary cookies. They allow for a user to navigate back and forth between pages without losing their previous actions from the same session.
Third party cookies
Third-party cookies are created by domains that are not the website (or domain) that you are visiting. These are usually used for online-advertising purposes and placed on a website through adding scripts or tags. A third-party cookie is accessible on any website that loads the third-party server’s code. Online advertising is the most common use of third-party cookies. By adding their tags to a page, which may or may not display adverts, advertisers can track a user (or their device) across many of the websites they visit.
Targeting and advertising cookies are specifically designed to gather information from you on your device to display advertisements to you based on relevant topics that interest you. Advertisers will place these cookies on a website with the website operator’s permission. The information the cookies gather on you can be shared with other advertisers to measure the performance of their advertisements. Additionally, another purpose of targeting and advertising cookies is to build user profiles from visitors to the website to gather statistics on the performance of the advertisements that can carry across many websites. These cookies are almost always third party, persistent cookies. This means that the cookies can follow the user as they visit other websites. Sometimes, the site with the advertising cookies do not display the advertisements but it can target users with advertisements elsewhere even after they’ve left the site. Examples of targeting and advertising cookies include social media cookies that are placed on sites to track users around the web to provide ads to them on social media platforms.