Cookie is a small text file stored by the website on your personal computer or any other device when you visit the website. Cookies are of two major types – first party cookies and third-party cookies.
First party cookies are those set by the website itself.Third party cookies are those embedded on the website by entities unaffiliated to the first party (i.e., the website) for different purposes. For example, a website may have embedded its own cookies (first party cookies) on its website to provide a personalized browsing experience to the users or monitor the users’ online behaviour., If the website shows any advertisements or pop-ups which are unrelated to the website, such advertisements or pop-ups are shown because of the third-party cookies embedded on the website (e.g., Google Ads or Amazon Ads). Cookies can be classified further into various types:
Session cookies: These help in remembering the users’ activities on a website so long as the user continues the browsing session, and terminate once the user closes the browser. (e.g., adding items in a shopping cart on a website as a guest).
Persistent cookies: As opposed to session cookies, these cookies continue to remain on users’ device even after the termination of multiple browsing sessions. These cookies help in remembering the users’ specific configuration of browser settings, preferences, login credentials etc.
Essential cookies: As the label suggests, these are necessary for a website to remain in a functional state or otherwise necessary to fulfil the users’ online requests.
Statistical cookies: These analyse the users’ online behaviour on a website and generate statistical information for website operator’s own purposes. (e.g., analysing how many times a user has visited the website)
Flash cookies: These are Adobe Flash Player’s cookies enabled by websites for video playback, animations, and other functionalities (e.g., these cookies help in video playback along with details on how long the video is watched and at which timestamp the user stopped watching the video).
Zombie cookies: These cookies respawn and continue to remain on users’ devices even if they clean-up the cookies on their browser. These cookies are usually used by web-analytics companies to track unique individual browsing histories.
Use of third-party analytics cookies may not be interpreted as sale of personal information under CCPA in case the organisations use analytics cookies of third-parties (i) who qualify as service providers and the cookies are essential for the performance of a website; or (ii) by obtaining opt-in consent of the users. Otherwise, organizations should disclose in their privacy policies that it is selling the information to these third-parties.
About the author: Sandeep G is an Associate at NovoJuris Legal.
The author received inputs from Sharda Balaji, Partner.