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How do we track your online activity?
There are various technologies that allow tracking of online activity.
The most commonly used technology is cookies. Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information, which your computer or mobile device creates when you visit a website. When you return to the website, the site can read these text files, and recognise your device, helping to enable site features and functionality.
Other related technologies collect data from your browsing session by requesting an image from a server, known as a ‘pixel' or ‘beacon'. As part of the request, information about your browsing session is passed through – allowing the technology to collect and store the information.
Cookies and related technologies are useful in many ways. They:
- provide us with information on how our site is being used,
- help us to tailor marketing message to your interests, both on and off our sites,
- let you navigate between pages more quickly and securely,
- help detect and defend against fraud,
- recognise you when you return to websites and remember your preferences,
- assist us with product and service research, development and business strategy, and
- generally improve your browsing experience.
When do we place cookies?
We place cookies (and other similar technologies) on your device when you visit our sites or other third party sites we advertise on. This helps us provide the best possible browsing experience for you. Other sites will also place cookies on your device, and may allow us to access their cookie data, for example when we partner with them for advertising purposes.
What types of cookies do we use?
There are different types of cookies:
Session-based cookies: These cookies store temporary information and are usually deleted when you close your browser.
Persistent cookies: These cookies are stored in your browser for a set amount of time and stay on your computer after you close your browser. They usually contain information you may want to keep from session to session (e.g. your location or username).
First party cookies: These are ‘our' cookies – the ones that we set up on your device.
Third party cookies: Other websites or servers set these cookies up on our behalf, or allow us to access their cookies for activities such as tailored advertising, or tracking our ads' performance on other websites.
…with different functions:
Authentication, Security, Basic Functionality
Sometimes called "necessary cookies”, these cookies are needed for our sites to work properly. Without these cookies, core site services, such as accessing secure areas, can't be provided. Some of these cookies even help us to detect fraud and keep the sites secure. These cookies don't gather information about you and are not used for marketing or remember where you've been online.
These cookies collect information about how our sites are performing. For example, they tell us which content is popular, which pages create errors, or how people are moving around our sites. The information they collect is anonymous, and is used to help us improve how the sites works.
These functional cookies are all about the choices you make both on our sites and our advertising partners' sites. They store information about your choices (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor your internet experience to provide relevant features and content for you, such as localised information or news. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you've made to text size, font and other customisable content.
Without these cookies, our website won't remember any choices you've previously made, or personalise your browsing experience.
Advertising, Marketing and Analytics
These cookies help us tailor our marketing information online. They do things like limit the number of times you see an ad, as well as help us to measure the performance of our advertising – if you don't like what you see, we want to know it. On the other hand, if you are interested in a particular topic, we want to help you get the best information we have.
These cookies help us deliver ads that are more relevant both on our sites and our advertising partners' sites. They remember that you have visited a particular website, and this information may be shared between us and other organisations, such as advertising partners. They also help us get a better understanding of you, your needs, your behaviours and how you interact with us so we can engage in product and service research, development and business strategy.
How are tracking technologies used for advertising/marketing purposes?
Cookies and other ad technology help us personalise your online experience more effectively. By recognising where you've been and what you've been looking at online, they allow us to better tailor advertising and offers both on our websites and our advertising partners' sites to be more relevant to you.
Often, this tailoring is just done based on a device's anonymous browsing history – we don't actually know who you are. But sometimes, if you identify yourself on a device (eg. by logging on to a customer hub or following a link in an email we've sent you) we may connect this tracked data to information we have about you to make your internet experience more relevant and deepen our understanding of you. If you don't want this to happen, you can exercise your choice in a few ways:
- to stop all tailoring of advertising based on tracked information (anonymous and personal), you can delete or block cookies as explained below. This will allow you to remain anonymous online; or
- if you don't want us to use information we know about you as an identified individual for marketing, you can opt out of marketing (follow the prompts in personalised ads, or refer to the relevant brand's privacy page online for contact options). Please note though, opting out of marketing means you won't get served online ads because of what we know about you, but you may still get similar ads based on your anonymous browsing history and untargeted ads.
What if I don't want to be tracked online?
By changing your browser settings, you can control how cookies are used on your computer or device. Usually, you can do this by opening the menu in the browser, and choose settings, options or privacy (it depends on which browser you're using). From there, you can tailor how your device stores cookies. Options may include deleting all or some cookies, not accepting any cookies or being notified when cookies are being used. For example, if you are using Google Chrome browser, you can choose to browse "incognito” which will only allow session-based cookies.
- some cookies are essential for protecting financial and personal information;
- your experience on our site may be limited if you decide to delete or block certain cookies;
- if you delete all your cookies, you will have to update your preferences with us again;
- if you use a different device, computer or browser you will have to tell us your preferences again; and
- unless you block cookies entirely, new cookies will continue to be placed on your browser as you interact online, so you will need to check and delete cookies each time you go online.
We don't mind what you do with your cookies – we'll do our best to give you the best experience we can, whatever you choose.