Last updated: Feb 19th, 2023
What are cookies?
A cookie is a small file containing a string of characters that is sent to your computer when you visit a website. When you visit the site again, the cookie allows that site to recognise your browser. Cookies may store user preferences and other information.
Cookies provide a convenience feature to save you time or tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalise pages on our Websites, or register for the Platform, a cookie helps us to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. When you return to the same Website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the customised features.
Cookies set by the website owner (in this case, SurveyEngine) are called “first party cookies”. Cookies set by parties other than the website owner are called “third party cookies”. Third-party cookies enable third party features or functionality to be provided on or through the website (e.g. like advertising, interactive content and analytics). The parties that set these third party cookies can recognise your computer both when it visits the website in question and also when it visits certain other websites.
We use first-party and third-party cookies for several reasons. Some cookies are required for technical reasons in order for our Website and Platform to operate, and we refer to these as “essential” or “strictly necessary” cookies.
Other cookies also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our Website and Platform. For example, SurveyEngine keeps track of the Websites and pages you visit within the website and the Platform, in order to determine how site users are accessing information so we can improve the content.
Third-party’s server cookies are used through our Websites for advertising, analytics and other purposes.
What types of cookies do we use and how do we use them?
Essential website cookies: These cookies are strictly necessary to ensure registered users of the Platform have access to restricted website content such as tutorials and webinars.
Essential Platform cookies: These cookies are used to detect and prevent potential fraud by single respondents responding to the same survey multiple times. Other Platform cookies are used to enhance user session experience such that logged in users do not need to repeatedly sign-in once they have closed their browser.
- Analytics and customisation cookies: These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our Websites, Subscription Service and the Platform are being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customise our Websites for you.
- Social networking cookies: These cookies are used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on our Websites of Platform through third-party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes too.
How can I control cookies?
You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject cookies.
In addition, most advertising networks offer you a way to opt-out of targeted advertising.
Essential website cookies: Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the Websites to you, you cannot refuse them. You can block or delete them by changing your browser settings however, as described above.
What about other tracking technologies, like web beacons?
Cookies are not the only way to recognise or track visitors to a website. We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage the Website and Subscription Service by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs or pixels in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information.
We also use a browser fingerprinting technology that combines several forms of metadata such as screen size, operating system, browsers, and installed plugins into a pseudo unique identifier. This technology, while imperfect, can uniquely identify approximately 80% of web users from this data in a similar way to a cookie. Fingerprinting is employed to detect, track and deter fraudulent respondent activity.
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