We also employ Google Analytics on the City of Sanctuary website. Google Analytics use its own cookies to provide us with statistics about how our website is used, to help us improve it for you.
That said, you have control if you wish to. For more information on online privacy do access our policy.
WHAT ARE “COOKIES”?
A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in your web browser. Cookies were designed to help websites to store information about each individual visitor – for example, whether that visitor is logged in or not, or what items they have put in their shopping cart.
More recently, cookies have become useful for website analytics and marketing, as they can store information about which web pages you’ve visited. This widespread use has resulted in some concern, and prompted European Lawmakers to take action in 2011. European Law now requires websites to gain informed consent from visitors before storing non-essential cookies on their devices. That’s why we’re teaching you about cookies – to help you understand the issue, and to help you exercise some choice, if you want to.
WHAT CHOICE DO I HAVE?
The “Do Not Track” (DNT) setting
Some browsers have a Do Not Track setting. This asks services like Google Analytics not to track which web pages you visit. If you look in your browser’s settings, often under “Privacy settings”, many people have an option to turn on “Do Not Track”.
This isn’t very effective though. There is no law that demands tracking companies respect the Do Not Track setting, and not many companies do. It’s difficult for us to advise on whether Google Analytics will respect your Do Not Track setting, because theirs (and many other companies’) policies on it are so opaque and changeable. So, feel free to turn on Do Not Track if you have that setting, but it comes with a certain amount of caveat emptor.
Turn off cookies
Most browsers can be set to refuse all cookies, or to refuse them from certain sites. You might need to explore your browser’s settings or search for some “how-to” information to help you do this. If you disabled cookies from our website, you would certainly stop Google Analytics tracking which of our pages you visit, and you would experience little or no impediment to using our site.
Adblocking and anti-tracking plugins
There are a range of browser add-ons or extensions that can block adverts and tracking when you’re using the internet. AdBlock Plus, and Disconnect are two popular, safe services. These services can be controversial with some website owners, whose main income stream for the service they’re providing is from adverts. You’re not doing anything legally wrong by using an ad-blocker, but you’ll need to decide on the ethics for yourself. There are some wonderful people out there providing free content and being rewarded only through their advertising revenue, while some websites can arguably go a little over the top with advertising that might slow your computer down. You’ll find that both the services mentioned here give you fine-grained control over what adverts and tracking you allow, with extra buttons added to your browser to enable you to turn blocking off for the website you’re currently visiting. So hopefully that gives you enough information to help you decide if one of these services would be useful.
On phones and tablets, your choices here are more limited, as few mobile browsers support add-ons or extensions. But do inspect your mobile browser, and check the Play Store or App Store, as this situation is changing, awareness growing, and new apps appearing all the time.
WHAT CAN CITY OF SANCTUARY DO TO HELP?
We’re tried to go the extra mile and give you useful information about cookies, how they affect you, and what choice you have. We hope that helps, and we hope you’ll let us know if we could be any clearer, or provide any extra information for you.
We are also committed to constantly reviewing our approach to this issue, and looking for the best ways to be transparent with our visitors, and keep them safe.
If you have any feedback or ideas to share, please do get in touch through our Contact Us page.