Cookies and Tracking Technologies Policy

Updated on 16 March 2017

What’s new in this update?

We have updated this policy to explain that we now use social media tracking cookies to enable us to show personalised ads to you via social media and on other services. And, to provide a bit more information on the cookies we use for our online marketing.

BBC Worldwide (“BBCW”), our service providers and advertising partners use cookies and tracking technologies (collectively referred to as “cookies”) on our websites and mobile apps to enable us to analyse use of our online services so we can improve and personalise your experience of our services. We also use cookies to deliver advertising on our ad funded services and to market our services to you through other online services. These adverts may be tailored to you based on your browsing behaviour on our services and other data held about you by our ad partners.

BBCW respects your right to privacy and we aim to be transparent at all times about when, how and why data about you and your browsing behaviours may be used in connection with our services. We are committed to using cookies and tracking technologies fairly and in accordance with your privacy rights. This policy describes:

To find out more about the company and our approach to privacy please read our Privacy Policy.


Web Browser Cookies

A cookie is a small text file that is sent by a website to your computer or mobile device where it is stored by your web browser. A cookie contains limited non-personal data, usually a unique identifier and the name of the site. This enables a website to recognise you as you move around the site and/or each time you revisit. Cookies are used for a wide variety of purposes such as to keep you logged in or to remember what’s in your basket if you’re shopping online, to remember your preferences and settings, to analyse how the site is used by you, and to serve advertising to you.

Cookies may be served to you by the website you are visiting (a “first party cookie”) or by another organisation providing services to that website, such as an analytics company or advertising network (a “third party cookie”). They will either be stored for the duration of your visit (a “session cookie”) or they will remain on your device for a fixed period, which could be months or even years, to remember you across multiple browsing sessions (a “persistent cookie”).

Other types of local storage, such as Flash Cookies and HTML5 Storage

Many websites use Adobe Flash Player to deliver video and game content to their users. Adobe utilise their own cookies which are used by the Flash Player to store data such as your preferences, and your viewing and browsing history.

HTML5 Storage is similar in concept to browser cookies in that the data is stored in your browser’s files, and it is used for similar purposes, however as this storage enables website publishers to store greater amounts of data, they will often use it to store usage data and preferences (alongside the unique ID usually stored in a cookie) instead of on their own systems.

Tracking technologies: web beacons/GIFs, page tags, script

Web pages, emails and mobile apps may contain a small transparent image file or line of code to record how you interact with them. They are often used in conjunction with web browser cookies (or the unique identifier of your mobile device) and they are used to help website and app publishers to better analyse and improve their services and to target advertising based on your browsing behaviour and interests. For example by knowing which web pages you visit or which elements of a page you viewed, when and for how long, whether you viewed and/or clicked on an advert on the site or whether you opened or clicked on marketing emails sent to you.

Tracking via mobile apps

When you use our Mobile Apps we may record unique identifiers associated with your device (such as the device’s Ad Id and IP address), your activity within the App and your network location. This information may be used to analyse and improve our services and, for Apps supported by advertising, to serve advertising to you.

For more information about information we collect from your use of our Apps, please see our Mobile Apps Privacy Policy.


Our online services use cookies for the purposes described below. The “first party” cookies which we control and set on your device enable us to deliver our services to you and to provide certain functionality. These cookies are not used to track your behaviour across other multiple services. We may also allow specialist companies and advertisers to use “third party” cookies, which they control and set on your device. These are described in more detail in sections 3 and 4.

  • Strictly Necessary Purposes: to keep you logged in, to facilitate a purchase, to improve the security of our services and for system administration, such as preventing fraudulent or disruptive activity. If we are not able to use these cookies this service will not work as it should and you may not be able to use certain features;and
  • Providing additional (optional) functionality: to remember your preferences and settings and other functionality you have requested such as remembering your username and password so that you do not need to login each time you visit. These improve your enjoyment of our services.
  • Analytics Measurement & Optimisation: we use analytics companies to gather information about users of our services – such as IP address, cookie ID, browser and operating system versions, time of visit, referring website. We generally use the data in aggregate to help us to know how many users we have, which parts of our sites are most popular, what browsers are used (so we can maximise compatibility), the country or region where our users are located, and the demographics and interests of our users. This enables us to better understand who is using our site and to ensure we are reaching our target demographic, and to improve and tailor our services accordingly. We may also use specialist analytics companies that track individual user journeys on our websites, creating heatmaps and visual representations of how the site is used so that we can better optimise our services and trouble shoot specific issues you may encounter when using the services.
  • Advertising social media & other targeting: we may use specialist marketing and advertising companies to collect data about how you use our services so that we can market our products and services to you online or to enable other companies to serve adverts to you on our services, if you are using an ad-funded service (adverts are clearly marked with the word “Advertisement”). We may also use social media services to improve your experience (such as share buttons or embedded content) or to enable us to market to you when you use their services. These companies may track you for their own purposes in accordance with their privacy policies.


We use both BBC managed analytics services and specialist analytics companies to collect statistical information about how our websites are used. The key services, along with opt-out information are set out below.

We may also use Google Analytics Advertising Features to enable us to use demographic and interest data gathered by Google via the Google’s Advertising services cookie. We only use this data in aggregate form and we do not merge it with any personal data we hold about you. However it is important to note that these reports are derived from Google’s (third party) DoubleClick cookie and device identifiers, which are also used for advertising.

Service Opt-out Privacy Policy
Google Analytics
Google Advertising
BBC Analytics (comScore)


This website does not serve advertising but we do use advertising cookies so that we can show marketing and offers to you when you use other websites, including on social media. These adverts may be personalised to you based on your browsing and use of this service. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of our marketing.

Examples of the companies we work with are:

Service Opt-out Privacy Policy
Google Advertising
Rakuten MediaForge
Facebook Advertising If you have a Facebook account: - if you don’t: p]


You can limit some of the tracking technologies that collect information when you use our services by using the opt-out tools provided by our key service providers and ad industry bodies or by changing your device settings as described below.

Opt-out settings and tools

BBC Cookies: You can change your settings for functional and analytical cookies set and controlled by the BBC by using the tool provided on the BBC website:

Advertising cookies: You may see BBC Store advertising campaigns which are tailored to you based on your use of BBC Store. You can opt-out of receiving interest-based ads by clicking on the IAB Adchoices link in the top right hand corner of the ads campaign on other websites. By clicking on this icon you can opt out of receiving ads from us and anyone else who is tracking them.

You can also opt-out from the cookies used by our key partners using the specific opt-out links provided in section 4, or by using the tools offered by the main ad industry associations which represent the advertising networks we may use. You can visit their websites to opt out of all cookies served by their members and they will explain what happens as a result of opting out. Typically, they will scan your device for a few seconds to see what cookies are currently set and then provide you with the facility to opt out on an individual basis or completely from all cookies.

Please be aware that all these opt-out tools work by setting a cookie on your device to let advertisers know not to use your data for targeted advertising purposes; you will still see adverts they just won’t be tailored to your interests. If you clear your cookies via your browser you will need to go through the opt-out process again.

Device and browser settings

Web browser cookies: You can choose how web browser cookies are handled by your device via your browser settings including to refuse or delete all cookies. If you choose not to receive cookies at any time, the website may not function properly and certain services will not be provided. Each browser is different, so check the “Help” menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences or follow the instructions provided at:, which provides information for the most common browsers.

Local Storage (Flash and HTML5): The most common browsers clear your locally stored data when you choose to delete/clear your cookies and web browsing data; consult the Help function of your browser for more details. Alternatively, you can manage which websites can store information (and how much) in Flash cookies by visiting the settings panel on the Adobe website.

Mobile device settings: Similarly, you can learn how to opt out of mobile app tracking by certain advertising networks through the privacy and/or advertising settings on your device. To find out how to change these settings for Apple, Android or Windows devices, see:




Email settings: We measure the effectiveness of our email marketing campaigns through the use of a pixel, or image file. You can opt out by turning off images in your email client – your provider may set them to ‘off’ by default.

The ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) function on your web browser:

DNT is a feature offered by some browsers which, when enabled, sends a signal to websites to request that your browsing is not tracked, such as by third party ad networks, social networks and analytics companies. Not all companies respond to DNT requests as a uniform standard has not yet been adopted. However, you may opt-out of tracking for analytics and advertisng purposes using the links provided above.


If you have any questions or concerns about BBCW’s use of cookies and other tracking technologies, or if you believe there has been a breach of this policy, please email us at: