On 8 May 2014, the Italian Personal Data Protection Authority issued provision no. 229 entitled “Individuazione delle modalità semplificate per l’informativa e l’acquisizione del consenso per l’uso dei cookie” [Identification of simplified methods for providing information and obtaining consent to the use of cookies], published in the Official Gazette on 3 June 2014. By way of the aforementioned provision, the Authority implemented European directives stating that, the first time a visitor accesses a website, the site must display an information banner informing them of the cookie policy for the site they are visiting, and making continued browsing subject to acceptance of that policy. The full text of the provision is available at the following URL http://www.garanteprivacy.it/web/guest/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/3118884.


Cookies are small text strings sent by sites visited to the user’s device (usually to the browser), where they are stored and then sent back to the sites upon subsequent visits by the same user. When browsing a site, users’ devices may also receive cookies sent by other sites or web servers (so-called “third parties”), which may also contain certain elements (such as, for example, images, maps, sounds, specific links to pages on other domains) present on the site visited by the user. The cookies – a very high number of which are usually contained in users’ browsers, and which may also persist for an extended period of time – are used for different purposes: to perform IT authentication, monitor sessions, save information on specific configurations regarding users who access the server, etc. For the purposes of properly overseeing implementation of the directive, the Authority identified two main categories of cookie: technical cookies and profiling cookies; and at the same time provided for further differentiation based on the party installing the cookies, who may be the website operator (“publisher”) or a third party who installs the cookies by way of the latter (these are defined as third party cookies). In the latter case, the Authority expressly limits the responsibility of the publisher to referring to the information notice provided by the party installing the cookies.



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