Privacy Policy

Cookies on This Website

The much–ridiculed and minimally observed EU Cookie Directive requires that visitors to a UK–based website be informed of the cookies used by that website. The only cookies used by this website (http://www.lab99.com/) are those required for Google Analytics, which provides statistics about the website’s visitors.

At the time of writing, Google Analytics attempts to send five cookies to a visitor’s computer:

  • _utmb and _utmc: these cookies expire when you close your browser, or after 30 minutes, whichever comes first.
  • _utmz: this cookie expires after six months.
  • _utma and _utmv: these cookies stay on your computer until you delete them.

What Are Cookies?

Cookies (not the edible type) are short text files which form part of some web pages. Along with the rest of the web page, they are copied onto a computer’s memory when the web page is visited. Unlike normal web pages, however, cookies can be programmed to remain on the computer’s memory for days, weeks, or even years.

A cookie is usually a simple text file containing just a series of digits, generated automatically and unique to each visitor, which can be recognised by the website each time the visitor returns to that website, and which serves to identify the visitor. You may have noticed online shops keeping track of your changing shopping basket as you move from page to page. This is done by cookies.

Benefits and Dangers of Cookies

Cookies are not harmful in themselves. They cannot transmit viruses, for example. At their worst, they are used on websites heavy with advertisements, to track which advertisements a visitor has already seen, so that the poor visitor can be bombarded with new advertisements each time he or she returns to the website.

Most search engine websites use cookies to record the internet activity of their visitors. See our Search Engines and Online Privacy page for details and for advice about protecting your privacy when using search engines.

It is possible to disable the cookies that are stored on your computer’s memory, and to block new cookies, although you may not want or need to, since they are generally helpful and are normally programmed to expire after a short period of time. If you are not sure how to do this, see our Internet Privacy Advice page.

The Use of Cookies in Your Website

Lab 99 Web Design will normally include only three types of cookie in a website:

  • One will be for the purpose of recognising regular customers of an online shop. These cookies will be the standard ones included within the shopping cart software.
  • Another type of cookie will allow alternative style sheets to function by maintaining a visitor’s preference for, say, larger than normal text across all the pages of a website, rather than requiring the visitor to activate a link on each new page. These cookies will be programmed to expire as soon as the visitor’s internet session has finished.
  • A third type of cookie may be used if a website’s owner requires access to Google Analytics or a similar web statistics package. These cookies record a good deal of information about the location, equipment and browsing pattern of a website’s visitors, but cannot not identify each visitor personally. Google Analytics cookies rely on JavaScript, and so do not record anything about visitors who disable JavaScript on their computers, which is a sensible security measure. For more information about disabling JavaScript, see our How to Remove Advertisements from Websites page.

Local Shared Objects

There is another type of cookie, called a Local Shared Object. These are quite different from the normal type of cookie. They are installed by stealth, are difficult to get rid of, and serve no useful purpose except to track unwitting web users. We do not place these in any of our websites. See our internet privacy page for details about how to remove LSOs.

More Information

For more information about cookies, see the appropriately named website, www.aboutcookies.org.

Data Protection

Any personal data collected by Lab 99 will be used solely for the purpose of creating and maintaining websites for clients, in accordance with the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Lab 99 Web Design will not pass on names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers or any other personal data about a client to any third party, except at the client’s specific request.

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