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What are cookies? How does your website use them? How can I opt out or manage cookies?

A cookie is a small text file which is sent to your computer or mobile device (referred to in this policy as a "device”) by the web server so that the website can remember some information about your browsing activity on the website.

The cookie will collect information relating to your use of our site, the URL of the linking page and if you arrived at our site via a link from a third party site. It also collects information about your device such as the device’s Internet Protocol (IP) address and browser type and demographic data. If you are a registered user or subscriber it may also collect your name and e-mail address, which may be transferred to data processors for registered user or subscriber verification purposes.

Cookies record information about your online preferences and help us to tailor the COST Website to your interests. Information provided by cookies can help us to analyse your use of our site and help us to provide you with a better user experience.

Cookies are either ‘session’ or ‘persistent’ cookies, depending on how long they are stored for:

  • Session cookies are only stored for the duration of your visit to a website and are deleted from your device when you close your browser;      
  • Persistent cookies are saved on your device for a fixed period of time after the browser has closed and are activated each time you visit the website where the cookie was generated.

How the COST website uses cookies

We use two different kinds of cookies on the COST Website to ensure that we give you the best user experience possible.

  1. First party cookies: these are our own cookies, controlled by the COST Website and used to provide information about usage of the site.
  2. Third party cookies: these are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site which are controlled by them. We use Google Analytics as a means to measure users’ behaviour to better develop the COST Website. By using web analytics services provided by Google Analytics we can analyse which pages are viewed and how long for and which links are followed, and we can use this information to provide more content which is of interest.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
  • enabling a service to allow you to 'pin' articles you find of interest onto your own virtual pin board on the COST site
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and that there is enough capacity to ensure that they are fast

How to opt out

If you would prefer to opt out of cookies, it is possible to control cookies by following the steps below. You may lose some of the features and functionality of the website mentioned above if you do so.
Cookies, including those which have already been set, can be deleted from your hard drive. You can also change the preferences/settings in your web browser to control cookies.
Deleting or blocking cookies may reduce functionality of the site.

To learn more about how to reject cookies, go to the help menu within your internet browser. If you experience any problems having deleted cookies, you should contact the supplier of your web browser.
To opt out of analytical performance cookies please visit this site:

To find about more about cookies, this website is quite useful as well.


Last updated: 16 October 2012 top of page

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