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Privacy policy and cookies information – University of Reading

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Privacy policy and cookies information

The University of Reading, and its wholly owned subsidiaries, collect personal information about users of its website. This privacy policy explains:

What information will we collect about you?

We will collect information about you if you place an order with us for a product, such as a prospectus, or for a service, such as a conference.

We will also collect personal information about website usage through cookies (see the section on Cookies, Google Analytics and third party cookies below) and server logs, which track the IP addresses of users visiting our site and the pages they visit.

How we will use the information

Where personal information is collected on the University of Reading's website, for instance through a web form or an online payment system, users will be informed as to what information is being captured, why and who (if anyone) it will be shared with.

The University will not sell, license or trade your personal information without your consent. We will not share your personal information with others unless they are acting under our instructions or we are required to do so by law.

Information collected via the University's server logs includes users' IP addresses and the web pages visited; this will be used to manage the web system and troubleshoot problems.

The University also uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google") to understand how visitors engage with our website and so we can improve it. See the section on Google Analytics below.

Cookies, Google Analytics and third party cookies

Cookies are text files placed on your computer to help us analyse how users use our site. A cookie is a small data file able to track the online movements of an individual. This information could potentially be used to build an online profile of individuals and uniquely locate them in the world.

To help you to understand more about them more detailed information about the cookies we use is given in the separate sections below:

For further information on cookies visit www.allaboutcookies.org or www.aboutcookies.org.

If you prefer not to receive cookies while browsing our website, you can set your browser to refuse all cookies that are stored on your computer; the above websites tell you how to do this. You do not need to have cookies turned on to use or navigate through most parts of our website, although some functionality may be lost.

Cookies

Our website uses session cookies to ensure that you have a good experience. These cookies contain a unique number, your 'session ID', which allows our server to recognise your computer and 'remember' what you've done on the site. The benefits of this are:

  • You only need to log in once if you're navigating secure areas of the site
  • You are able to use interactive elements of the site, such as forms
  • Our server can distinguish between your computer and other users, so you can see the information that you have requested.

When you close your browser the cookie will be deleted and the site will 'forget'.

The following table gives details of the different types of cookies that might be used during a session.

Type of cookie

Cookie name

How long does it stay on my computer? 

What is it for?

What information does it contain?

ASP cookies

Name begins with ASPSESSIONID

Until you close your browser

Automatically set when visiting any pages running on the ASP platform - essential for the running of web sites using ASP.

This cookie contains a randomly generated number - your session ID

ASP.NET cookies

ASP.NET_SessionID

Until you close your browser

Essential for some interactive features of the University website such as online forms. It is only put on your computer when you use one of these features.

This cookie contains a randomly generated number - your session ID

ASP.NET framework cookie

ASP.NET_SessionID

Until you close your browser

Automatically set when visiting any pages running on the ASP.NET platform - essential for the running of web sites using ASP.NET.

This cookie contains a randomly generated number - your session ID

Java Server Pages (JSP)

JSESSIONID

Until you close your browser

Automatically set when visiting any pages running on the JSP platform - essential for the running of web sites using JSP.

This cookie contains a randomly generated number - your session ID

PHP cookies

PHPSESSID

Until you close your browser

Automatically set when visiting any pages running on the PHP platform -essential for the running of web sites using PHP such as our blogs at blogs.reading.ac.uk.

This cookie contains a randomly generated number - your session ID

X-CMS-Server cookie

ROUTEID

Until you close your browser

This is given to a user on the first request to a CMS server via the load balancer; it is required to ensure that subsequent request are always forwarded to the same frontend CMS server to maintain sessions.

The cookie will have the value of either .cms1 or .cms2.

 

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to help us to understand how you make use of our content and work out how we can make things better. These cookies follow your progress through our website, collecting anonymous data on where you have come from, which pages you visit, and how long you spend on the site. This data is then stored by Google in order to create reports. These cookies do not store your personal data.

The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website, including your IP address, may be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google may use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for us and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

The Google website contains further information about Analytics and a copy of Google's privacy policy pages..

Other parts of the University's website also store cookies on your computer to track user traffic patterns. We do this to see how the website is used, to determine page popularity, to help security and for general statistical purposes. Some of this information may be held on servers in the United States, however only companies participating in the Safeharbor Agreement, the mechanism for ensuring personal information has adequate protection when transferred outside the UK, are used for this purpose.

The following table gives details of the different types of Google Analytics cookies that are used on this website.

Type of cookie

Cookie name

How long does it stay on my computer?

What is it for?

What information does it contain?

Google Analytics

_utma

For two years from when it is set

Automatically set when visiting any of our pages. Enables the use of the Google Analytics web statistics service.

These cookies store anonymous data on your visit to the Reading website.

Google Analytics

_utmb

For 30 minutes after your last activity on the site

Automatically set when visiting any of our pages. Enables the use of the Google Analytics web statistics service.

These cookies store anonymous data on your visit to the Reading website.

Google Analytics

_utmc

When you close your browser

Automatically set when visiting any of our pages. Enables the use of the Google Analytics web statistics service.

These cookies store anonymous data on your visit to the Reading website.

Google Analytics

_utmz

For six months from when it is set

Automatically set when visiting any of our pages. Enables the use of the Google Analytics web statistics service.

These cookies store anonymous data on your visit to the Reading website.


Third party cookies

We know that a lot of visitors to our website use social networking tools, so we have tried to make it easy for you to share our content using these services. We use a button provided by ShareThis to enable this functionality and this button places its own cookies on your machine. We also pull through content from social networks into our own pages, such as embedded Twitter feeds. The social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, may themselves also put cookies on your machine. We have little control over these 'third party' cookies, so we suggest that you check the respective privacy policies for these external services to help you understand what data these organisations hold about you and what they do with it. For instance, the Facebook Data Use Policy and the Twitter privacy policy give further information about those services.

The following table gives details of some of the third party cookies that can be used and gives links to the appropriate privacy policies for them.

Cookie type

Cookie name

How long does it stay on my computer?

What is it for?

What information does it contain?

Facebook

datr, lu, s, locale, c_user, xs

For two years from when it is set

Allows our pages to be shared and liked on Facebook. Facebook may use these cookies to track how you use the internet across different websites. You can find out more about how Facebook uses your personal data on their Facebook Data Use Policy pages

Data on how you use the internet, which might be linked to your Facebook username

Google+

PREF

For two years from when it is set

Allows you to "+1" our content via the Google+ social network. Google may use this cookie to collect other data about your use of the web. You can find out more about how Google uses your personal data on the Google's privacy policy pages.

Data on how you use the internet, which might be linked to your Google username

Share This

_stid

For one year from when it is set

Enables of use of Share This toolbars for sharing web pages on various social networking services.

Data on how you use the internet, which may be linked to your Share This username

_uset For eight hours from when it is set

For more information on how Share This uses your personal data, please see the Share This Privacy Policy.

Twitter

pid

For two years from when it is set

Enables use of "Tweet This" buttons allowing you to share a web page via Twitter. Twitter may use these cookies to collect other data about your use of the web. To find out more about how Twitter uses your personal data please see the Twitter privacy policy pages.

Data on how you use the internet

original_referer

When you close your browser

k

For one week from when it is set

js

For 30 days from when it is set

external_referer

For one day from when it is set

WordPress

'comment' followed by one of the following suffixes

_author

_author_email

_author_url

For one year from when they are set

We use the WordPress platform for our blogs. When you comment on a blog post, WordPress will put some cookies on your machine that record the information you type in when you leave your comment. This means that you don't have to retype your details if you want to leave another comment.

Remembers your details when you comment on blogs hosted at blogs.reading.ac.uk. For more information please see the WordPress Cookies page.

Form data, including email address

How we will protect information about you

We do our utmost to protect your privacy. The Data Protection Act 1998 obliges us to follow security procedures regarding the storage and disclosure of information which you have given us in order to avoid unauthorised loss or access. As such we have implemented industry-standard security systems and procedures to protect information from unauthorised disclosure, misuse or destruction.

How you can access your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. If you would like a copy of particular personal information we hold about you then please follow these instructions. We may make a small charge for this service.

Other websites and the scope of this privacy policy

This website contains links to other sites. This privacy policy applies to this website only so if you link to others you may want to read their own privacy policies.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review by IMPS and we will place any updates on this webpage. This policy was last updated in August 2012.

How to contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy or information we hold about you:

IMPS, University of Reading, Room 221A, Whiteknights House, Reading, RG6 6AH

 

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