Cookies are small text files which are saved on a user’s device when visiting a website. Each time a user returns, the cookies are sent to the website that created them (first-party cookies) or to another website that recognizes them (third-party cookies). They have different purposes: for example, to ensure users can browse efficiently between pages and in general improve the browsing experience. They also help to ensure that online advertising is tailored to the user and his or her interests.
According to their function and purpose, cookies can be divided into two categories: technical cookies and behavioral (profiling) cookies.
a. Technical Cookies
These cookies can be divided into: persistent or session cookies which guarantee normal browsing and use of the website (for example, allowing users to carry out a purchase or authentication for access to restricted areas); analytic cookies which are used directly by the website publisher to gather information on the number of users and on how the users visit the website; functional cookies which allow the user to browse, based on a series of selected criteria (for example, language, products selected for purchase, or those included in favorite lists) in order to improve the service provided to the user.
No prior consent is required by the user for the installation of such cookies, whereas there is an obligation to inform the user regarding which cookies are saved and used.
b. Behavioral (profiling) Cookies
Behavioral cookies are aimed at creating user profiles in order to send advertising messages in line with the preferences shown by the user while browsing the internet. Given that these cookies can be considered invasive for a user’s privacy, European and Italian regulations require that the user must be adequately informed on the existence and use of these cookies and he/she must express consent to their use.