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HOW THIS SITE USES AND STORES INFORMATION ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BROWSING SESSION

Cookie policy

Until recently, this site didn’t use cookies.  However, since upgrading the site to HTML5, and since adding certain features and functions, cookies are now necessary to make the site work correctly, and to improve your experience of visiting it.

EU cookie law:

In the European Union (EU), web site owners are required to inform visitors to their web site if their site uses cookies, and if so, what types of cookies are used and why.  This page aims to satisfy this requirement.

Further, consent is also required from the visitor to have cookies set on their device.  You will notice that this site has a pop-up in the top-right corner with a link to this page.  Visitors can explicitly give consent for us to set cookies on their device by clicking “yes”.  Conversely, if a visitor clicks “no” and does not give consent, then they are directed to a non-cookie page of the site.  Alternatively, a countdown timer is used, and that gives the user the option of impliedly consenting to us using cookies: by continuing to use the site or by clicking on a link in the main page.  We believe that this meets the requirement for consent specified in the EU cookie directive.

This site is hosted in the UK, so the EU cookie directive is enforced, in the UK, by the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.gov.uk).  Hutchinson IP Ltd is an ICO-registered data controller.

About cookies:

Virtually every site on the internet uses cookies, which are, in and of themselves, harmless.  A cookie is basically a small string of text that is sent from a web site and saved on the visitor’s device (computer, smart phone, tablet etc.).  The purpose of the cookie is to enable the web site to be able to identify visitors by reference to the cookie text.  This is done for several reasons, and several different types of cookie exist.

The types of cookies we use and why we use them:

Session cookies are ones that are temporarily stored on the visitor’s device, and which are removed when the visitor leaves the web site, or after a certain amount of time.  The purpose of a session cookie is to enable the web site to apply changes during a particular visit.  We use session cookies on this site to track user’s language setting preferences.  Specifically, at the top right corner of every page is a translation tool.  This enables a visitor to get the page translated from English into a preferred foreign language using Google’s translation tool.  We provide this tool because many of our customers and site visitors are based overseas, or do not have English as their first language.  If we did not use a session cookie for this function, every time you navigate from one page to the next, you’d need to re-set the language, which would be very annoying.  Therefore, the web site set a cookie on your device, so that every time your specific device loads a new page, the translation tool knows to translate the newly-loaded page into the previously-specified foreign language.  This is a “session cookie” because if you close your browser and re-open it, you’ll need to re-set your language preference.  In other words, the cookie doesn’t persist from one session to the next.

Persistent cookies are also used on this site to track visitors to our web site.  We use a script on our server to monitor web traffic to and from our site.  Our program is able to distinguish between “first time visitors” and “repeat visitors”, and this is done by setting a cookie on your device.  Therefore, the first time a particular device connects to our web site, a cookie is set, and our program records this as a unique visit.  The next time you visit our site, our program recognises the cookie it set last time, and knows that your device is a repeat visitor.  Our program also uses the information to determine which pages of our site have been visited and how long visitors stayed on each page.  We use this information to find out what people are interested in, and whether the content of our site is being read.

Third party cookies are also used on this site because we use Google analytics and the Google translate tool.  The code of our web site contains a code linking the site to our Google analytics account.  As such, Google analytics is able to monitor traffic to and from our web site.  We don’t use the Google analytics data ourselves, but we use Google analytics because it enables us to use the Search Engine Optimisation tools provided by Google to increase traffic to our web site.

Are cookies harmful?

We would like to stress that cookies are not viruses, worms or Trojans, and that cookies do not adversely affect the device on which they are set.  However, they do create a potential privacy issue because it is possible, under certain circumstances, to monitor visitor’s activity.  Moreover, if one site has access to another site’s cookie data, then it may be possible to link the two to correlate a shopping basket with a search history, for example.  Clearly, we don’t do this, but this is why the EU Cookie Legislation was introduced: to make people aware of what is possible nowadays using internet tools.  Remember, cookies are just text strings a bit like a vehicle number plate (which you park on the street for everyone to see) - without further information linking to or from them (e.g. driver license or insurance data) they do not pose a privacy threat in and of themselves.

Further information:

As far as we are aware, none of the cookies used on our web site capture or share any personal or individually-identifiable information.  However, if you suspect otherwise, then please let us know immediately so that we can investigate further from our end.

If you are concerned about internet privacy, then you can change your cookie settings in your browser settings.  You may also want to read our privacy policy (here) to find out about how we collect metrics about visits to our site in general.  

If you do have any questions or concerns, then by all means feel free to contact “The Data Controller” via e-mail.