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Cookies on the Royal Opera House website

The way we handle cookies is changing.

By Rob Greig (Former Chief Technology Officer)

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.

As such, we have decided to change our approach to cookies and follow a precedent set by many other websites. From Thursday 9 August we will enable cookies for everyone who visits our website. We will continue to clearly state what we use cookies for and we will not capture your personal details in a cookie. We will also be making changes to the message on the website to inform customers that using the website will mean accepting the use of cookies. You can, of course, turn off cookies in your web browser for all the websites you visit, and we do offer tickets sales on the telephones and at the Royal Opera House Box Office.

We hope everyone will understand why we have made this change and support our aim to continually improve our website.

By Rob Greig (Former Chief Technology Officer)

8 August 2012 at 6.09pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged cookies, data, digital, privacy, technology, website

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