Directive 2009/136/EC: processing of personal data and protection of privacy in the electronic communication sector;
Legislative Decree 69/2012: changes to L. Decree 196/03 – Privacy Code, implementing Directive 2009/136/EC;
Directive 95/46/EC – L. Decree 196/03 – Privacy Code, among others, articles: Art 7 (right of access), Art 13 (informative report), Art 14 (profiling), Art 23 (consent), Art 37 (notification), Art 122 (cookies and similar systems), Art 130 (unsolicited communications), Art 162 and following (administrative and criminal penalties).
Types of Cookies
Cookies are small text strings which the websites visited by the user send to his terminal (usually to the browser), where they are stored before being transmitted back to the same websites during the next visit by the same user. Whilst browsing a website, the user’s terminal may also receive cookies sent from other websites or web servers (so-called „third parties“), on which some elements (such as images, maps, sounds, links to specific pages on other domains) on the website that he is visiting may be present.
Information is collected through their use during the user’s browsing experience. Moreover, they are completely passive and do not contain software, viruses or spyware, carrying out a potentially useful activity both for the user and for the owner of the website.
Cookies, which are usually found in users’ browsers in a very large number and sometimes with long lasting features, are used for different purposes: running authentication information, monitoring sessions, storing information regarding specific configurations concerning the users who access the server, etc.
In order to reach a proper regulation regarding these devices, it is necessary to distinguish them on the basis of the objectives pursued by those who use them, assuming that there are no technical features which differentiate them one from the other.
In this regard, and for the purposes of this provision, it is therefore possible to identify two main categories:
– “Technical” cookies
– „Profiling“ cookies
Without the former it would be very difficult or impossible to perform some tasks (e.g. computer authentication). The latter are very often used by websites in order to collect important and sensitive information concerning users’ tastes, habits and choices without their knowledge.
This website only uses Technical cookies
Technical cookies are those used for the sole purpose of „transmitting information through an electronic communications network, or which are strictly necessary for the provision of an information service as explicitly requested by the subscriber or user „(see Art 122, paragraph 1, of the Code).
They are not used for additional purposes and are usually installed directly by the owner or operator of the website. They can be divided into:
– Navigation or session cookies: they are used in order to transmit a communication through an electronic communications network, and are strictly necessary to allow specific required functions guaranteeing normal navigation and use of the website (allowing, for example, to make a purchase or login in order to access restricted areas). These cookies can then be divided on the basis of their persistence on the user’s terminal: those that are deleted automatically at the end of each browsing are called „session cookies“ (such as the aforementioned online shopping baskets). If, however, they have a longer life, they are called permanent cookies;
– Analytics cookies, similar to technical cookies when used directly by the site operator in order to collect information in aggregated form of the number of users and how the site itself is visited. These anonymous cookies gather information concerning website use and allow the website owner to gain improved user knowledge and to improve site operation (for example: pages browsed, errors found, calculating the number of users navigating the services in order to ensure the necessary capacity for fast surfing);
– Functional cookies, which allow the user to browse according to a set of selected criteria (for example, language, products selected for purchase) in order to improve the service given. Finally, these cookies show when we are logged in to the site, providing safe navigation after access;
Installation of these cookies:
– Does not require users’ prior consent;
– Leaves untouched the obligation to provide the information pursuant to art 13 of the Code, which the operator of the website, should he only use such devices, may provide in the manner he deems most appropriate.