Cookies are small text files that are sent to the user’s terminal equipment (usually to the user’s browser) by visited websites; they are stored in the user’s terminal equipment to be then re-transmitted to the websites on the user’s subsequent visits to those websites.
A cookie cannot retrieve any data from your hard drive and neither pass on computer viruses or acquire email addresses. Each cookie is unique to the user’s web browser.
According to the most recent e-privacy directive, cookies are distinguished into two major groups: “technical” cookies and “profiling” cookies.
a) technical cookies
Technical cookies are those used exclusively with a view to “carrying out the transmission of a communication on an electronic communications network, or insofar as this is strictly necessary to the provider of an information society service that has been explicitly requested by the contracting party or user to provide the said service” (see Section 122(1) of the Code).
They are not used for further purposes and are usually installed directly by the data controller or the website manager.
They can be grouped into:
- Browsing or session cookies, which allow users to navigate and use a website (e.g. to purchase items online or authenticate themselves to access certain sections)
- analytics cookies, which can be equated to technical cookies insofar as they are used directly by the website manager to collect aggregate information on the number of visitors and the pattern of visits to the website
- functional cookies, which allow users to navigate as a function of certain pre-determined criteria such as language or products to be purchased so as to improve the quality of service.
Users’ prior consent is not necessary to install these cookies, whilst information under Section 13 of the code has to be provided in the manner considered to be most appropriate by the website manager – if only such cookies are relied upon.
b) profiling cookies
Profiling cookies are aimed at creating user profiles. They are used to send ads messages in line with the preferences shown by the user during navigation.
Considering the highly invasive nature of these cookies vis-à-vis users’ private sphere, Italian and European legislation requires users to be informed appropriately on their use so as to give their valid consent.
The aim of the processing and the technical purposes of cookies
Direct a uses technical cookies only, which enable technical functions such as authentication, validation, browsing session management and prevention of fraud, and to allow, for example, the identification of whether the user has had regular access to the areas of the site that require prior authentication.
Technical Cookies also enable validation of user sessions and the management of various services, in addition to the retention of data for safe access mode, and all control functions and fraud prevention.
The cookies used on FinFuture.co website – while serving no profiling or marketing purpose – also have some statistical usage, as they collect information in an aggregated form with no possibility of follow up for possible identification of the individual user.