The discipline relating to the use of c.d. "Cookies" and other similar tools (web beacons / web bugs, clear GIFs, etc.) in the terminals (personal computers, notebooks, tablet PCs, smartphones, etc.) used by users, has recently been changed as a result of the implementation of Directive 2009/136 which amended the "e-Privacy" Directive (2002/58 / EC).
What do we mean when we talk about cookies?
Cookies are small text files that the sites visited by the user send to his terminal (usually the browser), where they are stored before being re-transmitted to the same sites at the next visit of the same user. During navigation on a site, the user can also receive cookies from different sites or web servers on his terminal (so-called "third-party" cookies); this happens because on the visited website there may be elements such as, for example, images, maps, sounds, specific links to web pages of other domains that reside on servers other than the one on which the requested page is located. In other words, they are those cookies that are set by a website other than the one you are currently visiting.
Cookies are used to perform computer authentication, session monitoring and storage of specific information regarding users accessing the server and are usually present in the browser of each user in very large numbers.
Cookies can remain in the system even for long periods and can also contain a unique identification code. This allows the sites that use them to keep track of the user's browsing within the site itself, for statistical or advertising purposes, to create a personalized user profile starting from the pages that he visited and then show him advertising targeted (so-called Behavioral Advertising).
• the settings in the common browsers, which allow or not the storage of cookies in the terminals used for browsing the Internet and that normally also allow to set the cookie rules so that those of "third parties" are not accepted. Some also allow to block cookies of some third parties and not others, through a function that allows you to indicate from which domains allow the sending of cookies;
• the specific programs that can be added to the browser (so-called plug-ins), which specialize the functions commonly made available by the navigation software and which can be configured by the user to make a selection of cookies based on the domains of origin;
• the CD. "Do not track", which allows the user to report to each site visited his will to be or not tracked during navigation. This technical modality is still today under discussion within the international standardization bodies; it is starting to be made available on some latest-generation browsers, but, since it is not standardized, there is no certainty that the signals sent by the user to the servers are actually "heard" by them.