What is a cookie? A cookie is a small file text which is memorized by the computer once a website is visited by the user. The text memorizes the information that can be read by the website when the user goes through it in a second time. Some of these cookies are essential for the correct functioning of the website, while some of them are useful for the user as they can safely memorize the username or the language settings. The advantage of having cookies installed on your pc consists on the fact that you do not need to fill out the same information every time you want to visit a website that you previously went through.
The technical cookies are used with the aim to “transfer a communication on an electronic communication net or in the measure which is strictly necessary to the supplier of a service of the information society specifically required by the subscriber or by the user to distribute this service” (cf. art. 122, paragraph 1 of the Code). They are not used for other aims and they are normally installed directly by the owner or the website manager. They can be divided into navigation and session cookies, which guarantee the normal navigation and use of a website (allowing, for example, to purchase or to validate in order to access to restricted areas); analytics cookies, that are assimilated to the technical cookies when they are directly used by the owner of the website to gather information, in supplementary form, on the number of users and on how the users go through the website; functionality cookies, which authorize the user to the navigation that is functional to a set of selected criteria (for example, the language, the products selected for the purchase) with the aim to increase the quality of the service. For the installation of these cookies, the prior agreement of the users is not required, while the instructive under the art.12 of the Code is compulsory, and this can be supplied by the website manager with the most adequate procedure, in case they use only these devices.
The outline cookies have the aim to create profiles which are related to the user and they are used to send advertising messages in line with the preferences displayed by the user in the area of the web surfing. Due to the fact that these devices can be particularly invasive in the private sphere of the users, the Italian and European law provide that the users have to be adequately informed on the use of the cookies, to express in this way their valid agreement. The article 122 of the Code is referred to them, in the part which claims that “the dismissal of the information on the device of the contracting party or of a user, or the access to information which are already archived, are permitted only if the contractor or the user have expressed their agreement after they have been informed with the specified modalities described on the art. 12 paragraph 2 (art. 122, paragraph 1, Code).
Another element to be considered for the correct definition of the overview topic, is the subjective one. The different subject who installs the cookies on the terminal of the user has to be taken into consideration. The difference is based on the fact that they can be either the owner of the website visited by the user (that can be synthetically indicated ad “publisher”) or a different website that installs the cookies throughout the first one (c.d “third parties”)
It is possible to modify the browser in order to deactivate the cookies throughout a simple procedure.