Home > Using Cookies with this web site

These web pages require cookies to be enabled on your browser. The box below tells you whether this is the case. The text below tells you what to do if cookies are not enabled. Also see: JavaScript.

The cookie data available to this web page on this web server is...

(Other cookies may be available to other pages and/or other web servers).

What are Cookies?

Cookies are small amounts of data that your web browser stores on your computer so that the data is accessible to other web pages. A typical example of this is a shopping cart, where the contents of the cart have to be remembered by your browser whilst you look at different pages.

In the UK, section 6 of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, SI 2426, and its 2011 amendment require that cookies are only used by a web server if the user "is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information". Additionally, the 2011 amendment requires that the user "has given his or her consent" to the storage of such information. A useful discussion can be found here. However, it is this site's policy to only use cookies "where such storage or access is strictly necessary for the provision of an information society service requested by the subscriber or user" [section 6(4)(b) of SI 2426 (2003)]. As such, it is our understanding that it is not necessary to obtain the user's explicit consent.

For the user's information, the cookies generated by this site's web pages will be used to store some or all of the following data.

  • the login credentials for any secure pages that you visit
  • the URL of the shopping page that you visited
  • the contents of your shopping basket (in a compressed format)
  • the order reference number that is allocated to you during the payment process
  • the method of payment that you specify during the payment process
  • a test string that is used to check whether cookies are enabled

No other personal information is stored or accessed. The purpose of storing this information is so that it can easily be exchanged between the web pages that comprise the shopping basket. At any time, you can see what information has been stored by visiting the page you are reading now and viewing the box, above. The cookie data set by this web server is only visible to this web server and (apart from any login credentials that you have asked to be 'remembered') is configured to expire when you close your browser session.

Why does this web page tell me that cookies are not enabled?

You probably have your security settings set too high. (Alternatively, your browser could be a very old version or a non-Windows version that does not support cookies). Cookies can give rise to issues of privacy because, although they cannot 'steal' information from your computer, they can be used to track your browsing history. If you want to know more, read the Wikipedia entry on cookies (in particular tracking cookies and cookie theft).

Should I enable cookies?

This is obviously your decision, but without them you will not be able to properly use the pages on this site. If you do enable cookies and you run into problems it would be unrealistic to expect the responsibility for your woes to rest with anyone other than yourself. It is clearly your responsibility to ensure that you maintain a safe software environment on your computer.

How do I enable cookies?

To enable Cookies you will need to search your browser's Options or Preferences menu. In Firefox this is straightforward but in Internet Explorer the Cookies 'switch' can be difficult to find. For Internet Explorer: From the Tools menu, select Internet Options and click the Privacy tab, then read the information and choose your setting. Any setting apart from Block All Cookies (or similar) should work. You may be able to restrict cookies to specific web sites, if you want to maintain a high degree of privacy.

Why have I never seen this warning before?

Many web pages make extensive use of cookies but, commonly, programmers do not bother to check whether your browser can cope with their code. If you visit a web page and it behaves strangely, or it seems to be badly presented, then this could be because it requires the use of cookies. We are trying to ensure that our programs fail gracefully, which is why you are reading this warning. Additionally, of course, there is now legislation in the UK that restricts the use of cookies, which we are trying to comply with.

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British Caving Association, The Old Methodist Chapel, Great Hucklow, BUXTON, SK17 8RG
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This page, http://caves.org.uk/payments/bca/nocookies.html was last modified on Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:28:14 +0000