Cookies are usually small text files, given ID tags that are stored on your computer’s browser directory or program data subfolders. Cookies are created when you use your browser to visit a website that uses cookies to keep track of your movements within the site, help you resume where you left off, remember your registered login, theme selection, preferences, and other customization functions. The website stores a corresponding file(with same ID tag)to the one they set in your browser and in this file they can track and keep information on your movements within the site and any information you may have voluntarily given while visiting the website, such as email address.

Cookies are often indispensable for websites that have huge databases, need logins, have customizable themes, other advanced features.

The Italian Authority for Data Protection (Garante) has prohibited the installation of profiling cookies, without the user’s prior consent. Furthermore, the user may decide whether the websites are allowed to use the information gathered through profiling cookies for customized advertisement.

This is what the Garante provision n. 3118884 of June 4, 2014 has established. The provision also identified simplified procedures in order to make the users aware of the use of cookies.

Therefore the Authority established that, on accessing a website using profiling cookies, users must be immediately shown an initial brief information notice in an overlay banner. The notice must inform the user:

  • that the website uses profiling cookies;
  • that it allows the sending of third-party cookies (if this is the case);
  • that an extended version of the information notice, where additional information must be available, exists, and provide a hyperlink to the same; on the same extended information notice the user may refuse to consent to specific cookies;
  • that if the user continues browsing by accessing any other section or selecting any item on the website, he or she signifies his or her consent to the use of cookies.