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Cookie statement

This page explains what cookies are, how they work, how to manage them and how we use cookies.

What cookies are

Cookies are small text files that the Scottish Parliament website puts on your computer. They help this website work.

Cookies collect information about how you use this site so we can make sure it meets your needs. They do not collect information that could be used to identify you personally.

How cookies work

Cookies store information on the device you’re using. Sometimes this information is essential if you want to use a website's functions. For example, if you need to log in, a cookie will allow the website to recognise your log-in details.

Cookies can also be used to build a profile of your activity on a website. This includes which pages you visit and how long you spend on each page.

A website may use this information to tailor the pages you see on future visits.

We've listed below how the Scottish Parliament uses cookies.

Managing or deleting cookies

All recent versions of popular browsers, like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, allow you to control cookies.  You can set your browser to:

  • accept all cookies
  • reject all cookies
  • accept or reject only certain cookies

For example, you might be happy to accept a cookie that allows you to log in to a website, but want to reject ones which are used to build a profile of how you use the internet.

You should also be able to set your browser to prompt you each time a cookie is offered.

Visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website to find out how to control or delete cookies.

How we use cookies

We use cookies for two reasons:

  • to improve your experience on the website. This might include making it quicker and easier for you to find what you need, or remembering your settings.
  • to collect information about how you use our website through Google Analytics (GA). GA is a tool that produces detailed statistics about website activity. It allows us to see where the website can better meet our users' needs. 

The cookies we use

Name What it does When it expires    
SC_ANALYTICS_GLOBAL_COOKIE It tracks repeat visits to the website. 10 years
ASP.Net_SessionId  It helps with the process of 'caching' (putting data in a temporary storage area) certain things to make the website work better for you. For example, if you change the page to high contrast, it’ll keep that setting until you close your browser. It stores your session temporarily until you close your browser down.
 ApplicationGatewayAffinity  It registers which server is being used. It is not required for the website to function, but will improve performance.  For example, by allowing pages to load more quickly. It stores your session temporarily until you close your browser down.
 ApplicationGatewayAffinityCORS  It optimises the response rate between the user and the website.  It is not required for the site to function, but will improve performance.  For example, by allowing pages to load more quickly. It stores your session temporarily until you close your browser down.
 website#lang  It saves your preferred language to use on the website.  If turned off the website will default to its own language (either English or Gaelic depending which site you are visiting). It stores your session temporarily until you close your browser down.
 _ga (Google Analytics) It registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how you use the website.
2 years 
 _gat (Google Analytics) It is used by Google Analytics to 'throttle the request rate'
1 day
 _gid (Google Analytics) It registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how you use the website. 1 day
 collect (Google Analytics) It is used send data to Google Analytics about your device and browsing behaviour. It stores your session temporarily until you close your browser down.

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