About our cookies

We use cookies on this website. Here's how.

By James Cridland
Posted 18 May 2018, 1.33am bst

Just like most websites, we use cookies to make our website work better. Cookies are delicious delicacies, too, but this page is all about the computer files and not the edible ones.

A cookie is a small piece of information which is sent to your computer when you request something from a website, and that your browser will send back in future requests to that site. Some cookies are "persistent", meaning they will continue to be sent for weeks, months or even years unless deleted, while others are deleted automatically when you close your browser window.

Cookies can be used for many things, but one use of persistent cookies is to track you between visits. If a server sends a persistent cookie containing of a unique code number for you, that unique code will be sent back to that server in every future request until it’s deleted, allowing all of those requests to be associated with one another — in effect, allowing the server to distinguish you from another browsers. Sometimes, these kinds of cookies can be sent and received by services embedded on a site, rather than the site itself. These cookies are called third-party tracking cookies, and can be used to associate your visits to multiple distinct sites with one another.

We show a message in our main header to every new user that we use cookies, and point them to this page. This page tells you what our cookies are, and allows you to opt out of further cookies. You should read this page along with our privacy policy.

We have two types of cookie - personal and non-personal. (All our cookies are "persistent").

Personal: our login cookie

If you want to, we need to know that you've successfully logged in, and which user you are. So, when you log in, we have a clear note that you consent to us placing a cookie on your system. This cookie (called "muku") contains a long set of randomly-generated characters that we also store in a database next to your personal information. When you load a page on our website, your computer sends us this cookie, and we then look in our database and see if it's connected to any of our users. If it is, we know that you are you.

If you delete this cookie, we'll not know you're logged in. We can set it so that if you log in on another computer, we can change the long set of randomly-generated characters, so your cookie on the first machine ends up being useless (and we'll delete it if so). (You can allow, or disallow, multiple logins in your user settings). Our muku cookie contains no personal information itself.

You can delete this cookie by logging out of the website, or by using your browser's controls.

Not personal: Our country cookie

We personalise this website for the country you are currently in. You can override this by setting your 'edition'. If you set your 'edition' (by clicking on the list of countries at the top of the page, or on mobile by selecting 'more') then we'll set a cookie (called "mukw") which contains a two-character country code. It contains nothing more than an ISO two-character code for a country: there's nothing personal in here.

You can delete this cookie by using your browser's controls.

Not personal: Google Analytics

Along with logfiles, we use Google Analytics to work out what our visitors look at on our website. Google Analytics isn't personal information - it doesn't know who you are, and it's unrelated to your Google account. We do not tie any information from Google Analytics with our login cookie. We've also ensured that Google Analytics only stores anonymised IP addresses (with the last number replaced with a zero). Since it's not personal information, we don't believe we're required to specifically ask you for prior consent.

You can learn about Google Analytics' privacy policy and opt out of Google Analytics completely by using this tool. You can also use your browser in "private" or "incognito" mode, to look like a brand new user every time you browse the web.

Not personal (for this website): Twitter, Facebook and other similar services

Like almost all other websites, we sometimes use the standard Twitter or Facebook buttons, and similar.

When you log into these services, they'll know when you visit our website and other websites who use their services. You're consenting to this when you log in to them: and that's who has your personal details: we don't see it. You can learn about their privacy policy by visiting their websites; or you can use your browser in "private" or "incognito" mode to look like a brand new user every time you browse the web.

You can turn off tracking by Twitter here.

Not personal: advertising partners

We use a variety of advertising parties, as detailed in our privacy policy. Once more, none of the cookies that they use contain any personal information about you and your browsing habits: they contain information about any user's browsing habits on your computer, not just you, and they've no idea who you are. Again, we can't see any of this information either. Since it's not personal information, we aren't specifically asking you for prior consent.

We believe that relevant, tailored advertising based on other things you've looked at is a good thing, incidentally: it's much less irritating than scattergun ads containing completely irrelevant stuff. Every time we speak about this to other people, it seems people think the same, too. However, we have opted not to show personalised advertising for users within the EEA.

We link to the ad networks we use in our privacy policy, including some methods of opting-out. You can use your browser in "private" or "incognito" mode to look like a brand new user every time you browse the web.

How we inform you about our cookie use

We have a clear 'cookies' link on every page. For non-personal cookies, we don't ask for prior consent and nor do we hassle you with a big banner, since we don't get any personal information, and have taken steps to ensure that personal information is not used by third parties.

For personal cookies that identify you to us, we have a notice on every log-in screen, clearly communicating that if you log in, we'll use a personally-identifiable cookie.

We take this stuff quite seriously

Privacy is hugely important to us. We also want to make sure that we know what you like - so we can do it more often. We want to make advertising messages be relevant and useful for you, rather than an irritation. Cookies help us do both these things. We believe our use of cookies is responsible and what you'd want us to do. We think you're jolly nice too.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.