What are cookies?
When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable.
Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone.
These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you by:
- recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested;
- measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast; and
- analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better.
You can manage these small files yourself. To learn more about cookies and how to manage them please see the Gov.uk website.
There are 2 types of cookie you may encounter when using the UK Border Agency websites:
- First party cookies - these are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.
- Third party cookies - these are cookies found in other companies' internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.
First party cookies
No first party cookies are set when using the UK Border Agency website.
Third party cookies
When we use a supplier they may also set cookies.
We use Google Analytics and Comscore Digital Analytix to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to our websites, and volumes of usage. For more detailed information on these cookies, please see the Google Code website and the Comscore Digital Analytix website.
Table showing cookies used by Google Analytics:
|_utma||Randomly generated number||2 years from set/update|
|_utmb||Randomly generated number||30 minutes from set/update|
|_utmc||Randomly generated number||When user closes browser|
|_utmz||Randomly generated number and information on how the site was reached (for example, directly or via a link, organic search or paid search)||6 months from set/update|
Table showing cookies used by ComScore Sitestat Analytics Cookies:
|s1||Randomly generated text||After 5 years|
Table showing cookies used by Cisco ArrowPoint:
|ARPT||Randomly generated alpha-numeric value||When user closes browser|