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Personal data collected by this application, independently or through third parties, include: cookies and usage data.
Personal data may be provided on a voluntary basis by the User or may be collected automatically while using this application.
Failure by the User to provide certain personal data may make it impossible for this application to supply its services.
The User takes full responsibility for any third-party personal data published or shared by him/her through this application and declares that he/she has the right to disclose them, hereby relieving the Data Controller from any and all liability towards any such third parties.
Cookies are small text files that are sent by a web server (typically, a website) to a web client (typically, a web browser used for mobile or desktop online navigation).
On trustworthy websites, cookies may contribute to improving navigation, enabling the website to collect useful information on user preferences.
An example of how cookies can improve our browsing experience is when we fill out a form on news preferences and a server transforms this information into a cookie, ready to be sent to our browser; the first time we contact the website, a cookie is sent to our browser, enabling the server to load the news that best match our requirements.
Types of Cookies
Technical cookies are cookies that are used for the sole purpose of “carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network or as strictly necessary in order for the provider of an information society service explicitly requested by the subscriber or by the user to provide said service” (see article 122, paragraph 1, of the Italian Privacy Code.
They are not used for other purposes and are normally installed directly by the owner or operator of the website. They can be divided into transient or session cookies, ensuring regular navigation and use of the website (making it possible, for example, to complete a purchase or log into a reserved area); analytical cookies, which can be classed as technical cookies to the extent that they are used directly by the website operator to collect information, in an aggregated form, on the number of users or on their activity on the website; functional cookies, enabling Users to tailor website navigation based on their selected choices (i.e.: language, products selected for purchase, etc.) for the purpose of improving the service offered.
Prior user consent is not required for the installation of technical cookies, the only obligation remaining that of providing the information under article 13 of the Italian Privacy Code, which can be supplied by website operators that only use this type of cookies in the manner that they deem fit.
Targeting cookies are used to create user profiles and deliver adverts that are more in line with the preferences shown by individual Users during online navigation. Given the invasive nature of these cookies on a User’s privacy, EU and Italian legislation require that Users be properly informed regarding their use and their prior consent be obtained.
With reference to targeting cookies, article 122 of the Italian Privacy Code specifically provides that “the storing of information or the gaining of access to information already stored in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user is only allowed on condition that the subscriber or user concerned has given his/her consent, having been duly informed in accordance with the simplified arrangements under article 13, paragraph 3″ (article 122, paragraph 1, of the Italian Privacy Code).
An additional element to be taken into consideration, for the purpose of correctly addressing the matter at hand, concerns the entities involved in the installation of the cookies, meaning that account should be taken of who is installing the cookies on the User’s terminal, whether it is the operator of the website being visited by the User (the “publisher” for short) or a different website that installs the cookies via the first one (so-called “third parties”).
In line with the outcome of the public consultation, it is deemed necessary for the above distinction to be taken into due consideration, including for the purpose of correctly identifying the respective roles and responsibilities with regard to the provision of the necessary information and the gaining of consent from online Users.
There are several reasons why it makes no sense to require a publisher to provide the necessary information and obtain consent on its website in respect of the cookies installed by third parties.
In the first place, the publisher would always need to have the tools and the financial and legal capabilities required to take upon itself the obligations of any such third parties and be able to check that the declarations made by them correspond with the actual purposes they pursue through the cookies. This is an extremely arduous task, considering that the publisher often does not know directly the third parties that are installing the cookies via its website, nor is it aware of the logic behind their processing. Moreover, it should also be taken into account that contacts between the publisher and any such third parties often take place through other entities acting as dealers, thus making it very difficult for the publisher to exercise any type of control over the activities of the entities involved.
Secondly, third-party cookies could in time undergo third-party changes, making it rather unpractical to require that publishers keep track of any such subsequent changes.
It must also be considered that publishers – who include natural persons and small enterprises – are often the weaker party in these relationships, while the third-parties are usually large companies with a significant economic weight, who normally serve a variety of publishers, plus one publisher may often have to do with numerous third parties.
It is therefore deemed, including for the above reasons, that publishers may not be required to include on the homepage of their websites the notices relating to cookies installed by third parties via the publishers’ websites. This would also make the notices provided by publishers generally unclear, making it very hard for Users to understand the information therein, ultimately defeating the object of simplification set out under article 122 of the Italian Privacy Code.
Similarly, as regards consent for targeting cookies, it is deemed that publishers, with whom Users enter into a direct relationship by accessing their websites, take on a two-fold role, a need existing, for all the above reasons, to keep the positions of publishers and third parties separate.
Indeed, publishers are, on the one hand, the Data Controllers for the cookies installed directly by their websites; on the other hand, as they may not be considered as joint controllers with said third parties for the cookies the latter install via their websites, they can also be regarded as a sort of technical intermediaries between the third parties and the Users. It is in this capacity, as we will see below, that they are called to act in this decision, regarding the provision of the information and the obtaining of consent from online Users for third-party cookies.