1. WHAT ARE COOKIES?
Cookies are pieces of text generated by the web services that a user has visited; these text files can be set on the users’ devices by the website they are currently visiting (“first party persistent cookies”) or by a different website to the one they are currently visiting (“third party cookies”).
To facilitate the functioning of our web portal, we may – subject to visitors’ consent – place small data files called cookies on your device. They enable the website to remember your actions and preferences (such as login, language, and font size and other display preferences) over a period of time, so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to the site or browse from one page to another.
4 different types of cookies will be in use:
- First party persistent cookies
- Technical session cookies
- Third party cookies (including the Google Analytics cookies)
- Third party cookies from the Share widget
The following types of cookies are used on our web portal: ‘first-party persistent cookies’, and ‘session cookies’.
‘First party persistent cookies‘ enable the tracking of the following information about the visitors to our web portal:
- IP address (anonymised)
- Location: country, region, city, approximate latitude and longitude (Geolocation)
- Date and time of the request (visit to the site)
- Title of the page being viewed (Page Title)
- URL of the page being viewed (Page URL)
- URL of the page that was viewed prior to the current page (Referrer URL)
- Screen resolution of user’s device
- Time in local visitor’s time-zone
- Files that were clicked and downloaded (Download)
- Links to an outside domain that were clicked (Outlink)
- Pages generation time (the time it takes for webpages to be generated by the webserver and then downloaded by the visitor: Page speed)
- Main language of the browser being used (Accept-Language header)
- Browser version, browser plugins (PDF, Flash, Java, …) operating system version, device identifier (User-Agent header)
- Language of the visited page
- Site Search
The collected data will not be shared with any other organisations for marketing, market research or commercial purposes. Moreover, the above mentioned data cannot be used to identify a particular visitor.
‘First party persistent cookies‘ are created by this web portal and enable:
- proper functioning of the web portal;
- the collection of statistics to improve website functionalities – for this purpose, the web portal uses Google Analytics (more information is provided below);
- social media sharing functions.
‘First party persistent‘ cookies expire after thirteen months (13), after which they are automatically removed from the users’ device.
‘Technical Session’ cookies do not contain any data – they are placed for the duration of a user session (time spent browsing the web portal). These cookies are necessary to keep the visitor’s choice selection when the web portal is accessed. Once the visitor leaves the web portal, the session cookie is deleted.
‘Third party cookies‘ (including the Google Analytics cookies) are detailed below in section 6.
‘Third party cookies‘ from the Share widget are placed on the computer – if the user opted-in – in order to allow users to share content on social media.
The web portal does not set cookies with the display of links to our social media when you are browsing our website.
When the web portal is accessed first, the web portal visitor is provided with a choice to accept (“OK, I agree”) or refuse (“Decline cookies”) the placement of cookies.
Accept cookies: By clicking this option, the visitor gives consent to the placement of all the cookies for the:
- Optimal functioning of the web portal
- Social media sharing function
- Collection of statistics
Decline cookies: By clicking this option, the visitor does not give consent to the placement of any of the above mentioned cookies. In this case, only a session cookie is placed; this is a technical cookie, the main purpose of which is to remember the visitors’ selection choice. This cookie is placed for the duration of a user session (time spent browsing the web portal) and will automatically be deleted when said session expires. Choosing not to accept cookies does not hinder your navigation experience on the web portal.
In case a visitor has opted-in to the placement of cookies, it is always possible to change this decision and opt-out. In order to opt-out, visitors need to delete all the cookies from their browser. If you do this, however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionalities may not work.
To learn about how to clear cookies in different browsers, visit: https://www.aboutcookies.org/
5. DO NOT TRACK OPTION
Do Not Track is a technology that enables visitors to opt out from being tracked by websites for whatever purpose, including the use of analytics services, advertising networks and social platforms. You can enable the ‘Do not track’ option directly in your web browser. Google Analytics will not track users who have enabled this option in their web browsers.
6. GOOGLE ANALYTICS
The website uses Google Analytics in order to track the information of visitors described above. For this purpose, the above mentioned collected data are transmitted to Google Inc. The IP addresses of visitors are anonymised by the website prior to their transmission to Google Inc; this protects the anonymity of the visitors that have opted for the full website functionalities.
Google complies with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and more information on its certification can be found here.
Furthermore, Google, including Google Inc. and its wholly-owned US subsidiaries, has certified that it adheres to the relevant Privacy Shield Principles, including for Google Analytics.
More information on the EU-US Privacy Shield can be found on this page.
Google Analytics has implemented a data retention control feature. This feature provides website owners with the flexibility to define a retention period for the data stored within the Google Analytics account. The defined retention period is 26 months; any data beyond this period is deleted from Google servers.