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What are cookies?

To facilitate the functioning of our website we may – subject to visitors’ consent – place small data files called cookies on your device.
Cookies are pieces of text generated by the web services that a user has visited; these text files can be set on the users’ devices by the website they are currently visiting (“first party cookies”) or by a different website to the one they are currently visiting (“third party cookies”).

Below you can find information on the choice to accept (“opt-in”) or refuse the placement of cookies, the types of cookies used by our website and their purpose.

You will also find information on the possibility of opting-out from the use of cookies (if you have already chosen to opt-in).

 

How do we use cookies?

On the website the following types of cookies are used: ‘first-party persistent cookies', ‘session cookies’ and ‘social media cookies’.

'First-party persistent cookies' enable the tracking of the following information about the visitors to our website:

  • IP address (anonymised)
  • Location: country, region, city, approximate latitude and longitude (Geolocation)
  • Date and time of the request (visit to the site)
  • Title of the page being viewed (Page Title)
  • URL of the page being viewed (Page URL)
  • URL of the page that was viewed prior to the current page (Referrer URL)
  • Screen resolution of user's device
  • Time in local visitor's time-zone
  • Files that were clicked and downloaded (Download)
  • Links to an outside domain that were clicked (Outlink)
  • Pages generation time (the time it takes for webpages to be generated by the webserver and then downloaded by the visitor: Page speed)
  • Main language of the browser being used (Accept-Language header)
  • Browser version, browser plugins (PDF, Flash, Java, …) operating system version, device identifier (User-Agent header)
  • Language of the visited page
  • Campaigns
  • Site Search
  • Events

The collected data will not be shared with any other organisations for marketing, market research or commercial purposes. Moreover, the abovementioned data cannot be used to identify a particular visitor.

'First party' cookies are created by the website and enable:

  • proper functioning of the website;
  • the GSA to collect statistics to improve website functionalities – for this purpose, GSA uses Google Analytics (more information is provided below);
  • social media sharing functions.

'Persistent' means that these cookies expire after thirteen months (13), after which they are automatically removed from the users’ device.

Session’ Cookies do not contain any data - they are placed for the duration of a user session (time spent browsing the website). These cookies are necessary to keep the visitor’s choice selection when the website is accessed.

Social media cookies’: The GSA is active on four social media platforms. Our presence in the Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn communities strengthens our online presence and visibility.

  • The  website does not set cookies with the display of links to our social media channels when you are browsing our website;
  • You can watch GSA videos, which we upload (embed) from our YouTube page. You can also follow links from our website to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn;
  • GSA videos on our website are embeds from our YouTube channel, with privacy-enhanced mode enabled. This makes it possible to embed videos from our YouTube channel on our website without cookies.
  • Videos viewed on our YouTube channel follow YouTube’s own cookie and privacy policies over which we have no control. There is no installation of cookies from YouTube until you consent to YouTube cookies;
  • Similarly, by clicking on the Facebook or LinkedIn button on our website, you will be re-directed to the LinkedIn and Facebook sites, which have their own cookie and privacy policies over which we have no control;
  • The display of our Twitter feed on this website uses a cookie-free component. Clicking on the Twitter icon on this website will re-direct you to the Twitter site, which has its own cookie and privacy policies over which we have no control.

Opting-in

When the website is accessed first, the website visitor is provided with a choice to accept (“OK, I agree”) or refuse (“Decline cookies”) the placement of cookies.

Accept cookies: By clicking this option, the visitor gives consent to the placement of all the cookies for the:

  • Optimal functioning of the website
  • Social media sharing function
  • Collection of statistics

Decline cookies: By clicking this option, the visitor does not give consent to the placement of any of the abovementioned cookies. In this case, only a session cookie is placed; this is a technical cookie, the main purpose of which is to remember the visitors’ selection choice. This cookie is placed for the duration of a user session (time spent browsing the website) and will automatically be deleted when said session expires. Choosing not to accept cookies does not hinder your navigation experience on the website.

No selection made: If a visitor neither accepts nor refuses cookies, the website treats this as a refusal to the placement of cookies and all related functions are on hold until a selection is made. No cookies shall be placed on visitors’ devices, unless consent has been given by clicking on the “OK, I agree” option.

Opting-out

In case a visitor has opted-in to the placement of cookies, it is always possible to change this decision and opt-out. In order to opt-out, visitors need to delete all the cookies from their browser. If you do this, however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionalities may not work. Each browser has a slightly different system – please see below some examples:

  • For  Chrome go to: Settings ›Privacy and Security › Clear browsing data › Select “Cookies and other site data”
  • For Internet Explorer go to:  Safety› Delete Browsing History › Select “Cookies and website media” › Click “Delete”
  • Microsoft Edge go to: Settings › Clear Browsing Data › Select “Cookies and saved website data” › Click “Clear”.
  • For Firefox go to:  Options ›Privacy and Security ›Cookies and Site Data › Click “Clear data”
  • For Safari go to: Preferences ›Privacy › Cookies and website data ›  Click “Manage Website Data” (Mac) or “Remove All Website Data”. (Windows), › Select “Remove All” to delete all the cookies.

To learn more on how to clear you cookies in different browsers you may visit https://www.aboutcookies.org/

Do not track option

Do Not Track is a technology that enables visitors to opt out from being tracked by websites for whatever purpose, including the use of analytics services, advertising networks and social platforms. You can enable the 'Do not track' option directly in your web browser. Google Analytics will not track users who have enabled this option in their web browsers.

Google Analytics

The website uses Google Analytics in order to track the information of visitors described above. For this purpose, the abovementioned collected data are transmitted to Google Inc. The IP addresses of visitors are anonymised by the website prior to their transmission to Google Inc; this protects the anonymity of the visitors that have opted for the full website functionalities. Consequently, such data is stored on Google’s servers located in the United States of America.

Google complies with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and more information on its certification can be found here.

Furthermore, Google, including Google Inc. and its wholly-owned US subsidiaries, has certified that it adheres to the relevant Privacy Shield Principles, including for Google Analytics.

More information on Google’s privacy policy can be found here

More information on the EU-US Privacy Shield can be found on this page.

Google Analytics has implemented a data retention control feature. This feature provides website owners with the flexibility to define a retention period for the data stored within the Google Analytics account. The GSA has opted for a retention period of 26 months; any data beyond this period is deleted from Google servers.