While you are browsing our website, information relating to your browsing may be recorded in “cookie” files on your device (Smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.). The following paragraphs will help you understand the purpose and usefulness of cookies.
What is a cookie?
France’s data-protection commission (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, CNIL) defines a cookie as a file placed on an Internet user’s hard drive by the server of the website being visited. Cookie files contain several pieces of information, including the name of the server that sent the cookie, a value, usually in the form of a unique number, and, in certain cases, an expiry date. This information is sometimes stored on the computer in a simple text file which the server can access in order to read and record information.
What do cookies do?
Different types of cookie can do different things. A cookie’s impact on your privacy also depends on its type. There are two main types of cookie:
- Cookies whose exclusive purpose is to facilitate communication between a website and a user’s browser so the website can provide services explicitly requested by the user. These cookies can be lawfully placed without the website user’s explicit agreement because they do not constitute any risk to privacy. Their main function is to allow users to access all the website’s functions.
- Other cookies are used for a wide range of purposes, including the collection of advertising statistics and the sharing of website content via social networks. These cookies cannot be set on a device without the website user’s consent.
What sort of cookies are used on our website?
Our website uses several families of cookies, as explained below. In order to help you understand their roles, we have categorised the cookies we use according to their function.
1) Essential technical cookies
These cookies have two main functions:
- Allow or facilitate electronic communication;
- Enable us to provide an online communication service at the express request of the user.
These cookies are essential to the functioning of our website.
2) Functional cookies
These cookies are not indispensable to the functioning of our website’s main services, but they improve the service we provide our website’s users by, for example, personalising the site’s content.
Our website uses this type of cookie in order to remember your browsing preferences for our mobile or classic website, the site language you selected, and your visual display preferences.
3) Statistical cookies
Our statistical cookies fulfil a number of roles. Most importantly, they tell us how often you visit our website, the pages that are visited most frequently, and the geographical location of visitors to our website. The main purpose of these cookies is to help us improve the content of the site so we better meet our visitors’ needs and expectations.
The data collected for these statistics includes each visitor’s IP address in order to determine the town or city from which visitors browse our website.
We currently use Google Analytics and its associated cookies to collect these statistics.
1) Setting the parameters of your Internet browser
You can set your preferences for accepting or blocking cookies directly through your Internet browser. All the websites you visit will be subject to these preferences.
For Internet Explorer:
- Open the Desktop, then tap or click on the Internet Explorer icon in the taskbar;
- Tap or click on the Tools button, then tap or click on Internet Options;
- Tap or click on the Privacy tab. Go to Settings and move the slider to the top to block all cookies and then tap or click on OK.
- Click on “Chrome” in the browser toolbar;
- Select “Settings”;
- Click on “Show advanced settings”;
- In the “Privacy” section, click on the “Content settings” button;
- The "Cookies" section allows you to accept, block, store or delete cookies.
- Click on the “Menu” button and choose “Preferences”;
- Select the “Privacy” panel;
- Set Firefox to “Use custom settings for history”;
- Check “Accept cookies from sites” to enable cookies. Uncheck this box to disable them.
- Go to “Preferences” > “Advanced” > “Cookies”;
- Cookie preferences allow you to control the way in which Opera manages cookies. The default setting is to enable all cookies. You can change the settings as follows:
- “Allow local data to be set”: default setting
- “Block third-party cookies and site data”: blocks cookies from third-party sites, that is, sites other than those visited directly
- “Block sites from setting any data”: all cookies are blocked
2) The Youronlinechoices website
The European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), a representative body for the digital advertising industry, has launched a website that enables Internet users to control targeted advertising by accepting or refusing advertising cookies. Hundreds of companies have joined this initiative. In addition, the website provides a detailed explanation of how and why cookies are used.
Further information about cookies can be found at the French data protection commission (CNIL) website, which provides practical datasheets for Internet users.