Cookies are short fragments of text (letters and/or numbers) that enable the web server to record information about the client (the browser) to be reused during the same visit to the website (session cookies) or later, even days later (persistent cookies).
Cookies are recorded, according to user preferences, from single browsers on the specific devices used (computer, tablet, smartphone). In the remainder of this document we will refer to cookies and similar technologies by simply using the term "cookies".
Types of cookies
According to the characteristics and use of the cookies, we can highlight several categories:
· Technical cookies
These are used for the sole purpose of "effecting the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network, or as strictly necessary for an information company service provider to provide such a service that has been explicitly requested by the subscriber or user" (art.122.1, Privacy Code). They can be divided into navigation or session cookies, that guarantee normal browsing and use of the website (allowing, for example, authentication to access restricted areas).
· Analytical cookies
These are assimilated with the technical cookies and used directly by the site operator to collect information, in aggregate form, on the access and number of users, and how they use the site. For exclusively statistical purposes.
· Third party cookies
In the course of browsing the site, the user may receive cookies from different websites or web servers on his or her computer, which are set directly by the website or web server managers concerned and are separate from this site. These cookies can be sent to the user's browser by the third party companies that can be accessed through this site, and are sent directly from their respective websites. In such cases, the operator of this website is not connected to the operation of such cookies which are the responsibility of said third parties.
Third party cookies
When visiting a website one may receive cookies from the site itself ("owners"), and from websites operated by other organizations ("third parties"). A notable example of these are the "social plugins" for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. These are parts of the visited page that are generated directly from these said sites and are integrated into the host site page. The most common use of social plugins is to share content on social networks.
The presence of these plugins involves the transmission of cookies to and from all sites operated by third parties. The management of information collected by "third parties" is governed by their respective policies, which you are encouraged to consult.
Some cookies (session cookies) remain active only until you close your browser or logout. Other cookies "survive" when you close your browser and are also available on subsequent visits. These cookies are called ‘persistent’ and their duration is set by the server at the time of their creation. In some cases there is a deadline, in others the duration is unlimited.
The user can decide whether to accept or decline cookies through his or her browser settings.
Attention: he total or partial disablement of cookies can compromise the functionality of websites reserved for registered users. Public content, on the other hand, is fully usable even when you disable cookies altogether.
Disabling "third party" cookies does not in any way affect navigability. The setting can be specifically defined for each website and web application. In addition, the best browsers also allow you to define different settings for "owner" cookies and "third party" cookies.
In Firefox, for example, the menu Tools>Options>Privacy allows access to a control panel where you can define whether or not to accept the different types of cookies and remove them.