This page will tell you about what cookies I have on the site and what I do with the data that comes from them.
A cookie is a small text file that is associated with your browser. It can only be read by the website that sets it and also can only be written to by the website that sets it. Typically it is a random string of letters and numbers that are unique to your browser.This site allows some other third parties to set cookies. We do this to enhance your experience on this blog. Here they are:
- AddThis - This is a tool that allows you to add my various different posts to social networking sites at the click of a button. It's a real convenience for users. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't appear to have a standard tool that you can use in this place, so it is going to have to stay. Sorry! Needless to say there is no way it can collect any personal information off you on this site because you can't enter anything onto a page.
- Facebook Social Plugins - For you to like my blog, I have to put a little button on the left hand menu. It's a fairly standard plugin. You wouldn't get very far on the web without encountering one of these. It's here to stay, I'm afraid. Facebook can in theory link data from the pages you visit outside of Facebook to your profile without you clicking like and without you being logged in. They say they won't though.
- Google +1 - Google plus is now a ranking factor. I'd have to be a fool to take this off my site as it it could potentially mean that fewer people are going to see the blog.
- Google Adsense - It won't come as any surprise to you that I am not doing any Google Adsense on my blog. It's free for you to use. There shouldn't be any need for adsense to be on the blog, so why is there? It's because Blogger insist that this blog that is written through their CMS has a Blogger toolbar at the top and it loads the Adsense cookie. Nothing I can do about it, sorry!
- Google Analytics - I can't be a web analytics professional and not have Google Analytics on my blog. Google tell me that all data is my own and won't be shared elsewhere without my consent. I have not given it, so the only data that exists about you belongs to me and can only be viewed by me. It is of course just anonymous data about where you came from and what you looked at in an aggregate fashion. You can of course opt out of Google Analytics any time you like.
- Google Friend Connect - Oddly this part of the code comes from my twitter profile links in the left hand menu. This is a standard Blogger Twitter plugin.
- ScoreCard Research Beacon - Rather annoyingly this is the name that ComScore give to their analytics tool. I put it on my blog because I thought that it would give more accurate numbers to ComScore when they report, in the unlikely event that I ever wanted to sell advertising space on the site. I think I'll keep it because it provides some useful data somewhere (all anonymous, of course).
- Twitter Badge - Here are our Twitter cookies finally arriving. They are probably related to the plugin on the left hand menu. Twitter could monitor you across any site you view, but I don't quite know what they'd do with all that data.
- Twitter Button - As above, probably related to the Twitter stream.
You can change your settings for cookies by changing the settings on your browser. Go to www.aboutcookies.org/ to find out how to do that (it is simple).