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Privacy and Cookies

Privacy and Cookies

The UK government has updated the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations in response to the EU Privacy Directive. In light of this the Information Commissioner's Office has provided guidance on the EU Cookie Law which came into effect in May 2012.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that the web sites you visit place on your computer to store information about your visit. Cookies are 'passive' in that they contain information your browser can retrieve, but do not contain programmes, viruses or malicious software. Cookies normally expire after a certain length of time, although that time can be anywhere from a few minutes to more than a year.

Cookies can be divided into two categories: 'session' and 'persistent'. Session cookies are temporary and are deleted when you close your browser or after a period of inactivity. Persistent cookies remain on your computer until the expiration date/time set by the cookie creator.

What do cookies do?

Cookies can contain many types of information about your visit to a particular web site, but most commonly are used to store the preferences you've selected, such as language, shopping cart contents, privacy settings and login state. Cookies do not contain personal or private data about you, but can compile information about your browsing habits. For the most part, cookies enhance your browsing experience by keeping you from having to select the same options each time you visit a site.

However, cookies can also be used by web sites to serve you advertising targeted to your particular interests based on the preferences you've selected or the content of the pages you have visited. For this reason, some web users choose to delete or reject cookies of certain types or from certain sites.

Can I delete cookies?

Yes, you can both view the cookies stored on your computer and delete some or all of them. However, each browser has a slightly different procedure for doing so. Here are instructions for deleting cookies in some popular browsers:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/242939/how_to_delete_cookies.html

Note that in some cases, deleting cookies will impact your experience in revisiting a site. For example, you may be forced to log in again, or items added to your shopping cart will have disappeared.

Can I set my browser to block cookies?

Yes, most browsers allow you to specify which types of cookies you will accept or to reject all cookies. As each browser is different, here are some of the most common ones:

As above, you may see an alert message when visiting some sites that recommends you accept cookies for an optimal browsing experience.

What Cookies do we set?

Anonymous users on our site will have the has_js cookie set. This cookie records whether your browser has JavaScript enabled.

Authorised, or logged in users of our site have the SESS* cookie set. This is set to ensure that logged in users stay logged in when moving around our site.

The Data Protection Act



Under the Data Protection Act, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you.  We do not pass on your details to any third party or other government department.

Following a link to another website



When you go to another website, read the privacy policy on that website if you want to know what it does with your information. The NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre does not pass on any of your personal information to other websites.

Following a link to the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre from another website



When you come to The NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre website from another website, the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre may get personal information about you from the other website. You should read the privacy policy of websites you visit that link you to the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre if you want to know about this.

These policies will explain how they collect and use your personal information, and whether they pass this on to websites they link you to.