Whenever you browse the internet, you use a browser. Popular browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. Most websites store small text files in your browser. These files are called cookies.
Cookies store certain user data about you, such as language or personal page settings. When you return to our site, your browser transmits the “user-related” information back to our site. Thanks to the cookies, our website knows who you are and offers you the setting you are used to. In some browsers each cookie has its own file, in others, such as Firefox, all cookies are stored in a single file.
The following graphic shows a possible interaction between a web browser such as Chrome and the web server. Here, the web browser requests a website and receives a cookie back from the server, which the browser uses again as soon as another page is requested.
There are both first-party cookies and third-party cookies. First-party cookies are created directly by our site, third-party cookies are created by partner websites (e.g. Google Analytics). Each cookie is to be evaluated individually, as each cookie stores different data. The expiry time of a cookie also varies from a few minutes to a few years. Cookies are not software programmes and do not contain viruses, Trojans or other “pests”. Cookies also cannot access information on your PC.
What types of cookies are there?
We can distinguish between 4 types of cookies:
These cookies are necessary to ensure basic functions of the website. For example, these cookies are needed when a user places a product in the shopping basket, then continues surfing on other pages and only later goes to the checkout. These cookies do not delete the shopping cart even if the user closes his browser window.
These cookies collect information about user behaviour and whether the user receives any error messages. In addition, these cookies are also used to measure the loading time and the behaviour of the website with different browsers.
These cookies provide a better user experience. For example, entered locations, font sizes or form data are stored.
These cookies are also called targeting cookies. They are used to provide the user with individually adapted advertising. This can be very practical, but also very annoying.
Usually, when you visit a website for the first time, you are asked which of these types of cookies you would like to allow. And of course, this decision is also stored in a cookie.
If you want to know more about cookies and are not afraid of technical documentation, we recommend https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6265, the Request for Comments of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) called “HTTP State Management Mechanism”.
Purpose of processing via cookies
The purpose ultimately depends on the cookie in question. More details can be found below or from the manufacturer of the software that sets the cookie.
What data is processed?
Storage duration of cookies
The storage period depends on the respective cookie and is specified further below. Some cookies are deleted after less than an hour, others can remain stored on a computer for several years.
You can also influence the storage period yourself. You can delete all cookies manually at any time via your browser (see also “Right to object” below). Furthermore, cookies that are based on consent will be deleted at the latest after revocation of your consent, whereby the legality of the storage remains unaffected until then.
Right of objection – how can I delete cookies?
If you generally do not want cookies, you can set up your browser so that it always informs you when a cookie is to be set. In this way, you can decide for each individual cookie whether you allow the cookie or not. The procedure varies depending on the browser. It is best to search for the instructions in Google with the search term “Delete Cookies Chrome” or “Deactivate Cookies Chrome” in the case of a Chrome browser.