What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files sent to your computer or mobile device from a website. They are stored on your device’s hard drive. Each website may send its own cookies to your device’s browser if the preferences setting of your device’s browser allows such sending. Your device’s browser is the computer programme you use to access to the internet. This enables us or our website to identify and track your device. Cookies generally identify the device used rather than the individual user, although some cookies may contain personal information. Hence, cookies can enable a website to recognize a device each time it visits, remember user preferences and recommend relevant contents.
What cookies do we use?
In general, we use the following 4 types of cookies:
- Strictly necessary cookies – these are session cookies that are necessary to make our website function and are essential for you to browse the website and use its features, such as searching for properties or logging into secure areas of our website. They are essential cookies that are sent to your device’s browser as soon as you site our website and will generally be “first-party cookies” (i.e. cookies which are created by the host domain, the data contained in which are not accessible to other websites) and do not require us to obtain consent. Further, they are temporary and expire once you close your browser or leave our website.
- Analytical/performance cookies – these are cookies that allow us to recognize and count the number of visiting browsers and to see how visitors move around when using our website. The information collected is not used for target advertising but is used to help us improve our website functions, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily by understanding the interest of our users and measuring the effectiveness of our marketing.
- Functionality cookies – these cookies, also known as “preferences cookies”, let us operate our websites in accordance with the choices you make. These cookies are “persistent cookies” for they permit us to identify you and “remember” you on your every visit and return to our website, enabling us to customise our contents for you and remember your preferences. These include your language preference, your user name and password such that you may log in automatically next time you visit our website.
- Marketing cookies – these cookies track your online activities to help us provide you with targeted advertising. These cookies can share information with other organizations and across different websites. These are also “persistent cookies” and are almost always “third-party cookies” (i.e. cookies which another party places on your device through our website, the data contained in which can be accessed to by that party). The third-party service providers that generate these cookies, such as Google, have their own privacy policies and may use their cookies for target advertising on other websites, based on your visit to our website. Our website uses Google Analytics with expansion “anonymizeip()” which means that Google will truncate / anonymise the last octet of the IP address for member states of the European Union.
Among the 4 types of cookies mentioned above, “analytical / performance cookies”, “functionality cookies” and “marketing cookies” are non-essential cookies and are not sent to your device’s browser unless you have accepted or consented. Different types of non-essential cookies will expire at different time, but all cookies will expire after 24 months.
Browsers which support the secure flag will only send cookies with the secure flag when the request is going to a HTTPS page. By setting the secure flag, the browser will prevent the transmission of a cookie over an unencrypted channel.
To administer our sites and for research purposes, Nan Fung may contract with third-party service providers to track and analyze usage and volume information, or to send e-mails to users who have provided us with their contact information. These third-party service providers use persistent cookies to help us improve the user experience, manage our site content and analyze how users navigate and utilize the sites.
Can you refuse or opt out of cookies?
You can choose to accept or choose to reject or block non-essential cookies by checking the corresponding “accept” or “reject” box when a window on our website prompts for your choice. You can change your cookie preferences for our website at any time by changing your browser settings. Please note that most browsers automatically accept cookies. Therefore, if you do not want cookies to be sent to your device, you may need to actively delete or block the cookies. If you reject our website’s cookies, you may still be able to visit our website, but some of the functions may not work properly.
To block Google Analytics cookies specifically, you can install the “Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on” provided by Google. If you share the use of a device, your acceptance or rejection of cookies may affect all users of that device. Please refer to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=zh-TW for details.