(Last update: August 4th 2023)
What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small text file that is sent to your web browser and stored in the memory of your device when you visit a website. Cookies are necessary to facilitate navigation and also useful because they enable, among others, the collection of user data and analysis of how the website is being used by visitors, to optimize and create the best possible experience.
Which type of cookies are there?
This section provides an overview of the types of cookies that can be used in an online environment.
Depending on the owner of the cookie, they can be classified as:
- First-party cookies: cookies sent to users’ computers from a device or domain managed by the editor themselves and from which the service requested by users is provided.
- Third-party Cookies: cookies sent to the users’ computer from a device or domain not managed by the editor, but by another entity that processes any data obtained through cookies.
Depending on the purpose of the cookie, they can be classified as:
- Strictly Necessary cookies: cookies that enable a user to browse a website, platform or application, and using the different options or services available on these, such as controlling traffic, identifying data or the session, accessing sections or content with restricted access, remembering the elements that make up an order, carrying out the purchase process for an order, using security elements during navigation, storing content for the dissemination of videos or sound, or sharing content through social networks.
- Functional cookies: cookies that allow to remember information, so that users may access the service under certain conditions that distinguish their experience from that of other users, such as the language, the number of search results to be displayed, the aspect or contents of the service depending on the browser though which or the region from which it is accessed, etc.
- Performance cookies: cookies that allow us to perform follow-up and analyses of user behavior at the websites to which such cookies are linked (e. to measure activity and statistically analyze the use of any website, application or platform). These cookies are usually used to quantify the number of visitors, understand sections visited on the website and how they interact with them.
- Targeting cookies: cookies that allow the management, in the most efficient way, of the advertising spots that, if applicable, the publisher has included in a website. In particular, these cookies store information on the behavior of users, obtained through the continuous observation of their browsing habits, which allows the development of a specific profile to display advertising based on it. It is also possible that when you visit a website or open an email or message where an ad or promotion is published, a cookie is installed in the user’s browser in order to subsequently display advertising related to searches performed and manage the ads in relation to the number of their views, the location in which they appear, the times at which they are displayed, etc.
Depending on the expiration time of the cookie:
- Session cookies: cookies designed to collect and store data while users access a website. They are regularly used to store information that is only relevant during the provision of the service requested by the user in a single situation (for example, a list of products purchased) and disappear once the session is closed; and
- Persistent cookies: cookies on which data stay stored and may be accessed and processed for a period of time defined by the entity responsible for the cookie, and that can range from a few minutes to several years.