Cookies

In May 2011, the UK Government passed new legislation is regards to the use of Cookies. The following section explains what cookies are, which ones we collect and how they are used on the website.

How We Collect Information

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by the websites that you visit. They are commonly used in order to make websites work by tracking goods that you have placed in a basket, or work more efficiently by remembering your login details, as well as to provide information about the sites usage to the owners of the site.

Types of Cookies

There are three types of cookies dropped and collected by websites. With some exceptions (i.e.  websites that fundamentally require cookies in order for website functionality – see below) from 26th May 2012, all cookies must be consented to by a site’s users.

Cookie Type Description

Moderately intrusive

  • Embedded third-party content and social media-plugins
  • Advertising campaign optimisation

Minimally intrusive

  • Web analytics / metrics
  • Personalised content / interface

Necessary for Website Functionality (Exempt from changes to privacy regulations)

  • Stop multiple form submissions
  • Load balancing
  • Transaction specific

Google Analytics

We collect the following anonymous cookies for tracking purposes.

  • __utma This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to your site from that web browser. If the cookie has been deleted by the browser operator, and the browser subsequently visits your site, a new __utma cookie is written with a different unique ID. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to your site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure. 2 years from set/update.
  • __utmb This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. When a user views a page on your site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on your site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. 
  • __utmc This cookie is no longer used by the ga.js tracking code to determine session status.Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user. For backwards compatibility purposes with sites still using the urchin.js tracking code, this cookie will continue to be written and will expire when the user exits the browser. However, if you are debugging your site tracking and you use the ga.js tracking code, you should not interpret the existence of this cookie in relation to a new or expired session. Not set.
  • __utmz This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach your site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within your own site. The cookie is updated with each page view to your site. 6 months from set/update.

Call Beacon (AdInsight) Cookies

AdInsight is a phone call analytics tool, used by companies to understand the customer interaction between the website and calling the company. Three cookies are used by AdInsight to help demonstrate this journey so the business can improve their customer experience.

  • adiV The adiV cookie contains an identifier which is used by AdInsight to track a visitor over time. This allows AdInsight to show multiple visits made by a customer over time from the same browser.This cookie is set to expire 1 year after the visitor leaves the website.
  • adiVi The adiVi cookie contains an identifier which is used by AdInsight to help track a visitor’s path while they are on the website.This cookie is set to expire 30 minutes after the visitor leaves the website.
  • adiLP The adiLP cookie is used to help track visitors who have multiple tabs open in the same browser to prevent errors in tracking.

Third Party Cookies

Users of the site who wish to share the content socially using Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ (the platforms which are currently enabled on the website to allow this function) may have cookies stored on their computers from these third party websites.

Cookies are collected from third party sites so that you can be logged in to your account on their site and share our content simply and easily.

For more information on the cookie policies of these third party sites, please visit their websites. You will be able to control the way cookies are used when you are signed into your accounts on these sites through the privacy settings they have made available to you.

Facebook Privacy Policy (https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/other)

Twitter Privacy Policy (https://twitter.com/privacy)

Google+ Privacy Policy (http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/policies/privacy/)

Prohibiting the Collection of Cookies

If you would like to prevent us from collecting cookies when you visit our site, please update your privacy settings in your browser. You can control the kinds of cookies you accept there.

http://www.google.co.uk/goodtoknow/manage-data/

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/

http://privacy.microsoft.com/en-gb/default.mspx

Interest-Based Advertising Policy

Under the Google Interest Based Advertising Programme (the “Programme”), Google allows us to serve advertisements to Users (i) who previously have visited the Conversationware website and (ii) based on Google-defined interest-categories. The following policies only apply to these programme participants.

Definitions

User” means a unique instance of a Web browser.

User Cookie” means a DoubleClick DART cookie or a Teracent cookie associated with a User.

User Lists” means a list of User Cookies created or otherwise obtained by Company and used in connection with the Google Display Network, which is referred to in the user interface as “remarketing lists”.

Web Properties” means properties or content on the Google Display Network and all other Google properties or content that use the User Cookie.

We will not attempt to identify users to whom ads are shown individually, and all user lists shall remain anonymous. Google’s network of advertising can be found across the web and may show our advertisements to you from time to time

Visitors can opt out of Google Analytics for Display Advertisers and opt out of customized Google Display Network ads by visiting the Ads Preferences Manager. You may also find the  Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on useful.

Visual Website Optimiser

As European a site we fall under the EU Cookie law (EU Directive 2009/136/EC, PDF opens in new window). This site sometimes uses Visual Website Optimizer and below is a guide to how Visual Website Optimizer uses cookies and how should you interpret / understand this direction (note: we recommend you to consult your lawyers, this post is merely our understanding of the situation)

What are cookies anyway?

On this topic, Whatarecookies.com gives a very succinct answer:

“Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related sites) to the next.”

What does EU cookie law mean for you?

The common consensus seems to be this: a website must inform its visitors that: a) cookies are being set on their computers/devices; b) explain what cookies are; c) communicate why cookies are being set and what sort of cookies are being set; d) give them an option or inform them how to opt-out of cookies/tracking.

To see how different websites are implementing this policy, we recommend you to read this excellent article by eConsultancy: 20 examples of EU cookie law compliance.

The difference between first party and third party cookies

Cookies are usually associated with one particular domain (the domain they are set on) and only that domain can access the data contained in the cookie. A first party cookie is where the domain you visit and the cookie owner are the same. For example, you visit www.some-web-app.com and the cookie information also says www.some-web-app.com.

A third party cookie is when you visit a certain domain, but the cookie dropped by that domain on your computer identifies itself as belonging to someone else. For example, you visit www.some-web-app.com but the cookie dropped has the information www.web-app-analytics.com

Visual Website Optimizer by default only uses first party cookies. However, if you have cross domain tracking enabled in the test, we use third party cookies to track conversions across multiple different domains. Please see details on Cross Domain Tracking feature to get more information. Note that only if your tests run across multiple domains simultaneously should you be bothered about third party cookies.

The cookies used by Visual Website Optimizer

VWO uses cookies to keep track of the variation a user has seen, the goals a user has completed and even whether a visitor has become a part of the test or not. To know which all cookies are being set by VWO and their usage, please see this article in knowledgebase.

How to opt out of Visual Website Optimizer tracking?

For visitors: in case you want to opt out of tracking by Visual Website Optimizer, simply go to our Opt-Out page input the website URL on which you don’t want to be tracked. This will generate a link, clicking on which will exclude you from any kind of tracking by Visual Website Optimizer.

Or, click this link to opt out of Visual Website Optimizer for this website.

Useful links

Please see the following links for a better understanding of what’s happening with EU cookie law and how it might affect your business and your visitors: