Cookies and other technologies
We use, and allow certain other companies to use, cookies, web beacons and other similar technologies on our sites, applications and communications. This is to understand your use of our services, improve your user experience, enable personalised features and content, optimise advertising and marketing and enable us and third party advertising companies to serve you advertisements specific to your interests across the internet. The technologies we use do not collect any information which directly identifies you in the real world, such as your name, email address, address or phone number.
What are ‘cookies’?
A cookie is a small text file that we, and in certain circumstances third parties, place on your browser (for example, Internet Explorer or Safari) when you visit our sites or open some of our emails. Cookies are useful because, amongst other things, they allow us to recognise you each time you re-visit one of our sites. The entity that places cookies on your browser can then read the information on the cookie that it set.
Cookies are typically classified as either “session cookies” which do not stay on your device after you close your browser or “persistent cookies” which will usually remain on your device until you delete them or they expire.
Different cookies are used to perform different functions which we explain below. A visit to any of our sites could generate the following types of cookie:
Site performance cookies
The information collected from these types of cookies can be used in conjunction with other information we or our third party partners hold in order to record specific browsing information (for example, regarding the way visitors arrive at our sites, pages viewed, options selected, information entered and the path taken through our sites). The data collected will generally be aggregated to provide trends and usage patterns for business analysis, site/platform improvement and performance metrics and to inform our advertising and marketing strategies. Our cookies, or the resulting analysis, can also be shared with our business partners. We also receive similar information about visitors to the sites of our group companies and other partners.
Cookies can also be linked with other information we hold or infer about you for these purposes. For example, if you are a registered user or provide us with your name, email address, social media log-in details or other contact information (e.g. by entering a competition or signing up to our newsletter) or interact with our email communications (e.g. by clicking on links within the emails), this information can be linked with your browsing activity across all your devices to tailor content, services, advertising and offers for you.
We also obtain information from third party service providers such as demographics and interest categories created from a combination of sources that permit us to provide you with more relevant and useful content, communications and advertising. This information does not identify you personally.
Third party advertising cookies
We partner with advertisers, ad network providers and ad serving companies to place cookies on our sites to allow them to show you advertisements both on and off our sites that are more relevant and useful to you, limit the number of times you see a particular ad and to customise ads. We do not share any information with these third parties that will directly identify you in the real world, such as your name, email address, address or phone number. However, these third parties can assume that users who interact with or click on a personalised advertisement or content are part of the group that the advertisement or content is directed towards. The third parties that generate these cookies have their own privacy policies and we have no access to read or write these cookies.