Cookies and Other Automated Online Information Collection

Cookies and other automated online information collection (such as web beacons and embedded scripts) may be used by websites, ads and e-mails to identify users, collect information and provide users a more efficient, personalized and enjoyable user experience by:

  • improving websites and online services
  • permitting market research, campaigns and web analytics
  • tailoring ads, websites and online services to users' likely interests

Cookies

In general, a cookie is a file that a website places on a user's computer to identify it and to maintain its unique information from page to page (whether the user is logged in or has placed items in their shopping cart, for example). Cookies include browser cookies and Flash cookies stored on a user's hard drive.

Browser Cookies

Browser cookies typically enable a website to identify a user the next time he/she visits. This lets a website remember a user's preference or lets a user remain signed in to a website or view products that were placed in a shopping cart. Typically, most web browsers allow users to view, disable or delete browser cookies, accept or reject cookies, and notify a user each time a cookie is offered.

Flash Cookies

Flash cookies are cookies that are stored and accessed using Adobe Flash. Flash cookies are ordinarily larger than browser cookies, and take up more space on a user's computer allowing more information to be stored. Users can manage and control settings concerning Flash cookies on their computer by visiting the Adobe® Flash® Player website at: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html.

Adobe's website permits users to delete Flash cookies as well as limit and disable the amount of information a Flash cookie may store on the user's computer.

To learn more about Flash cookies, visit the Adobe® Flash® Player website at: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/disable-local-shared-objects-flash.html.

Web Beacons

Web beacons are bits of code embedded in web pages, ads, images and e-mails that record activities such as when a user has visited a certain page, when an e-mail was opened, or whether certain ads on a website and other sites were effective. By turning off browser cookies, a web beacon ordinarily should not be able to record the user's unique information, even though it will still identify the website visit or other activity.

Embedded Scripts

Embedded scripts are also bits of code that measure how a user interacts with a web page (which links are clicked on, for example). Scripting functionality, such as JavaScript, may be turned off via your web browser.

Please note: If a user exercises their choice to reject or disable cookies or other automated means, users may not be able to take advantage of the full features and functionality of a website.

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