8 August 2012 at 6.09pm | Comment on this article
We want to share with you a change we are making in how we manage cookies. Earlier this year a new piece of European legislation came into force regarding cookies. Cookies are small pieces of data that websites store on your computer or electronic device. They are very useful tools because they allow us to understand what is and is not working on our website, helping us improve the user experience.
Cookies help us to know that someone has been and visited a certain page. We use that data to find out which bits of content are useful to our website users and what aspects of the site need improving. We never collect an individual’s data using a cookie, nor do we know who the user is. These analytics give us accurate information so we can address problems when errors occur. As we are a charity, Google offers us free resources to help improve the presence of our website on search engines. We also use their analytics heavily on our booking days to help us ensure the right resources are in place at the right time. Without this analytical information, our website is very difficult to manage. Just like we know how many people are coming into our building, we need to know how many people are coming to our website.
Although the new legislation is primarily targeted at companies that use aggressive selling techniques and ethically questionable methods online, it has affected all websites hosted within the EU. When the new rules came into force, we introduced an option on the website allowing users to turn off their cookies. We have since lost 80% of the information we used to have. This has made it very difficult for us to operate: we are working blind.
We hope everyone will understand why we have made this change and support our aim to continually improve our website.