Cookie policy

For more information about the use of cookies while visiting our sites, please read our privacy policy or email [email protected]

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your device that allows us to recognise and remember you. It is sent to your browser and stored on your computer’s hard drive or tablet or mobile device. When you visit our sites, we may collect information from you automatically through cookies or similar technology, such as a tag, pixel, or other web beacon.

How do we use cookies?

We use cookies in a range of ways to improve your experience on our site, including

  • Keeping you signed in

  • Understanding how you use our site

  • Showing you journalism that is relevant to you

  • Showing you Guardian products and services that are relevant to you

  • Working with partners to deliver to you relevant advertising

Ultimately, this allows us to publish the journalism that you read on our sites and apps.

In the next section, we explain in more detail how we use cookies and similar technology on our sites and apps for a number of purposes.

Other organisations also collect user information on our sites through cookies, tags and pixels. Tags and pixels, also known as web beacons, are similar to cookies but are collected through embedded images.

Using cookies and other technology allows other organisations to help us to analyse how our site is being used, measure the number of visitors to the site, and display advertising. To accomplish these goals, Guardian utilises cookies, tags, pixels, and other web beacons to communicate information about you to others. If you are a California or US resident, you may elect to opt out of all sales of personal information through these cookies, tags, pixels, and web beacons by clicking the “California resident - Do not sell” link located in the footer of every page or by clicking the “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” button inside our privacy banner. If you are not a California or US resident, you can exercise control over this technology by visiting the “Privacy settings” link in the footer of every page. This page discloses all of our information sharing and gives you - the Guardian user - the opportunity to toggle on or off that sharing. In this manner, you may craft a personal data sharing plan consistent with your personal privacy values. For more information, please read “How to Manage Advertising Cookies” below.

Cookies that are used by the Guardian are referred to as “first-party cookies” and those that are used by our partners are “third-party cookies”. Because of how cookies work, our website cannot access third-party cookies; nor can other organisations access the data in the cookies we use on our website. There are more details about both types of cookies in the following sections.

What types of cookies do we use?

We use four types of cookies:

  • Essential – cookies that are essential to provide you with services you have requested. For example, these include the cookies that make it possible for you to stay logged into your Guardian account and make comments. If you set your browser to block these cookies, then these functions and services will not work for you. In particular, we won’t be able to save your preferences about cookies.

  • Performance - cookies which measure how often you visit our sites and how you use them. We use this information to get a better sense of how our users engage with our journalism and to improve our sites and apps, so that users have a better experience. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. We also use third-party cookies to help with performance. For example, the Google Analytics cookie gives us information such as your journey between pages and whether you have downloaded anything (details of how to opt out of it are below).

  • Functionality – cookies that are used to recognise you and remember your preferences or settings when you return to our site, so that we can provide you with a more personalised experience. For example, if you are based in the United Kingdom, we will remember this and make sure that you receive the UK homepage when you visit our site, rather than the US or Australia homepage. A mix of first-party and third-party cookies are used.

  • Advertising – cookies that are used to collect information about your visit to our site, including the content you have viewed, the links you have followed and information about your browser, device and your IP address. We have set out more details on this below.

How do we use cookies for advertising?

Cookies are a key part of how we deliver advertising on our sites. Among other uses, they allow us to show more relevant advertising to people who visit theguardian.com by showing you adverts that are based on your browsing patterns and the way you have interacted with our sites and apps. We can then show you adverts which we believe may interest you.

From the very first edition of the Manchester Guardian, published in 1821, our journalism has been funded in part by advertising. Our editorial content is not influenced by the advertising we display and our journalists are free to, and often do, challenge the activities of companies and organisations that advertise and sponsor content that appears in Guardian sites and publications.

As you browse our site, some of the cookies and similar technology we place on your device are for advertising, so we can understand what sorts of pages you read and are interested in. We can then display advertising on your browser based on these interests. For instance, if you have been reading a lot of food and drink articles, you may be shown more adverts for food and drink from others.

We are a partner in the Ozone Project that may use cookies, pixels and similar technology (see ‘Ozone Project’ and its service provider ‘Lotame’ in the table below) to collect information about what you have viewed and how you have used our sites and our app. They will make assumptions about your interests and preferences and add you to groups based on those assumptions, in order to show you advertising. For example, if you look at a page in our travel section you might be added to a group for people interested in holidaying abroad, and then we might show you adverts for holidays abroad.

The advertising techniques we use do not collect personal data such as your name, email address, postal address or phone number. We sometimes use information such as your IP address and browser type and also sometimes share some limited aspects of this with others for advertising purposes. Under California law, this collected data can be considered “personal information.” Please consult the Guardian Privacy Policy for more information about your California Privacy Rights.

There are times when we want to reach Guardian readers who use social media to market our own products and services such as our live events and Guardian Jobs. We use cookies to help with this. For example, we place a pixel on our web pages that allows Facebook to place cookies on Guardian online readers’ web browsers. When a Guardian reader who uses Facebook returns to Facebook from our sites, Facebook can identify them as part of a group of Guardian readers and, on behalf of the Guardian, deliver them marketing messages from us. Based upon our agreements with these other companies, the data that can be obtained from a visit to the Guardian is limited to the URL of the pages that have been visited and, in some cases, the status of any unfinished or completed commercial transactions undertaken with us, together with the limited information a browser might pass on, such as its IP address. In addition to the cookie controls that we mentioned above, if you are a Facebook user you can opt out by following this link.

We may also share and receive online data collected through cookies and similar technology with our advertising partners. This means that when you are on another website, you may be shown advertising based on your browsing patterns on our sites. We may also show you advertising on our sites based on your browsing patterns on other sites that we have obtained from our advertising partners.

Online retargeting is another form of online advertising that allows us and some of our advertising partners to show you advertising based on your browsing patterns and interactions with other sites. The use of cookies may mean that when you are on another site, you may be shown advertising based on what you have looked at on our sites. For example, if you have visited the website of an online clothes shop, you may start seeing adverts from that same shopping site displaying special offers or showing you the products you were browsing. This allows companies to advertise to you if you leave their website without making a purchase.

Our apps integrate third-party software that provides us with information about how the app is used and what content you have viewed for the purposes of online advertising and analytics, in a similar way to our sites. It uses cookies from some of the providers listed here, among others.

Increasingly, our readers fund us directly – either by buying a newspaper, or taking out a print or digital subscription or through making one-off, regular or monthly contributions. But to grow that number of supporters we are reliant on marketing, and we still rely in part on advertising to fund our journalism. Therefore, cookies provide vital services to the Guardian without sacrificing our independence or values.

How to manage advertising cookies at the Guardian

You can manage the use of cookies on our sites, including advertising cookies, and disable the sharing of data with partners for advertising purposes by using the steps set out here. Under California law, this collected data can be considered “personal information.” Please consult the Guardian Privacy Policy for more information about your California Privacy Rights. In some cases you can turn off advertising cookies on a cookie-by-cookie basis, and we give the most common examples below.

You can find information about how to opt out of the cookies provided by our key partners below:

You can further manage the use of advertising cookies and disable the sharing of data with partners for advertising purposes by clicking the privacy settings link in the footer of this page. However, if you are located in the US, please use the “California resident - Do Not Sell button” instead, you can find it in the footer of every page.

This option will reduce the number of advertising partners with whom we share your data, although you will still see some advertising that has been tailored to you as well as advertising intended for Guardian readers in general.

You can switch some cookies off through the Your Online Choices site. You may need to do this again each time you use a different IP address, device, or virtual private network. You can also adjust the global privacy setting or plug-in which should be communicated to use via your browser.

It is also possible to stop your browser from accepting cookies altogether by changing your browser’s cookie settings. You can usually find these settings in the “options” or “preferences” menu of your browser. The following links may be helpful, or you can use the “Help” option in your browser.

Useful links

If you would like to find out more about privacy, cookies and their use on the internet, you may find the following links useful:

If you would like to contact us about cookies please email [email protected]

Changes to this cookie policy to date

A list of all previous changes are available upon request.