Cookies are small text files that sites visited by users send to their terminals, where they are stored to be retransmitted to the same sites at the next visit. The so-called "third party" cookies are instead set up by a website other than the one the user is visiting. This is because each site can have elements (images, maps, sounds, specific links to web pages from other domains, etc.) that reside on servers other than that of the visited site.
Depending on their characteristics and use, there can be different categories of cookies:
Technical cookies are only used to "transmit a communication on an electronic network to the extent strictly necessary for the provider of an information service that has been explicitly required by the subscriber or the user to provide such service" (see article 122, paragraph 1, of the Code). They are not used for other purposes and are normally installed directly by the owner or manager of the website. They can be subdivided into navigation or session cookies, which guarantee the normal browsing and use of the website; analytics cookie, assimilated to technical cookies when used directly by the site manager to gather aggregated information about the number of users and how they visit the site; function cookies, which allow the user to navigate according to a set of criteria selected in order to improve the service. No prior consent of the users is required to install such cookies, while there is still the obligation to provide information pursuant to art. 13 of the Code, which the site manager, if he or she only uses such devices, may provide with the most appropriate methods.
Profiling cookies are designed to create user profiles and are used to send advertisements in line with the preferences displayed by the user in the context of Internet browsing. Due to the particular invasiveness that such devices may have in the private sphere of users, European and Italian legislations provide that the user must be properly informed of their use and express his or her valid consent. They are referred to by art. 122 of the Code, which stipulates that "the storage of information in the terminal of a subscriber or a user, or the access to previously stored information is only permitted provided that the subscriber or user has given his or her consent after being informed with the simplified procedures referred to in Article 13, paragraph 3" (art. 122, paragraph 1 of the Code). This site does not use profiling cookies.
Some cookies (session cookies) remain active until the closing of the browser or when the logout command is executed. Other cookies "survive" after the closing of the browser and are also available on subsequent user visits. These cookies are called “persistent” and their duration is fixed by the server at the time of their creation. In some cases, a deadline is set and in other cases the duration is unlimited.
Management of cookies
The user can decide whether or not to accept cookies using the settings of his/her browser.
Caution: The total or partial disabling of technical cookies, may compromise the optimal use of the site.
Disabling “third party” cookies does not affect navigation in any way.
The setting can be specifically defined for different sites and web applications. In addition, browsers allow the user to define different settings for "proprietary" and "third-party" cookies. By way of example, in Firefox, through the menu Tools->options->Privacy, it is possible to access a control panel where the user can define whether to accept or not the different types of cookies and remove them. It is easy to find online documentation on how to set cookie management rules for the browser. By way of example, we provide some links for the main browsers:
Internet Explorer: http://windows.microsoft.com/it-it/windows7/how-to-manage-cookies-in-internet-explorer-9