Royal Academy of Arts

Cookies

Cookies explained

Cookies are small text files that are sent by websites that you visit to recognise who you are when you return there. Their files are stored on a user’s equipment such as your computer’s hard drive or mobile device, and are read by your web browser.

Cookies perform several functions, such as remembering who you are on a particular site (your welcome message), to keeping you logged in to your account screen on an ecommerce site (however, you should always log out if you are using a public computer). Advertising agencies also use cookies to find out if they have served you an advert from a particular brand on a site, or if you have seen a particular advert before. Website owners will use cookies to follow which pages that you’ve read so that they can see what parts of the site are popular or not. In short, cookies are a way of providing statistics on site visits as well as some limited functionality that makes your site visit easier. When used properly cookies are an asset to a site visitor and a site owner. They are not viruses, but some unscrupulous outfits will use them maliciously – we follow best practice for cookie use.

A list of all the cookies used on this website by us, and our technology partners can be found in our cookies list.

Flash cookies?

Adobe uses a particular type of cookie called a ‘Local Shared Object’, which is typically collected if you watch a video for example that uses the Adobe Flash media player, i.e. an embedded YouTube video on a page that is being played via Flash. Please note that these types of cookie will not be found on iPads, which do not support Flash.

Have a look at Adobe’s website if you want to control Flash cookies on your computer. If you’ve got a Firefox browser you can also get an add-on to detect and delete Flash cookies.

Opting out of cookies?

There are a number of options available so that you do not have to store any cookies at all. You can either set your browser so that it will not accept and store any cookie, or if you have a little more time and knowledge you are able to allow only certain ‘trusted’ sites to store cookies on your computer. These sites may include us (of course!), or the site where you carry out your online banking, or possibly your favourite news service.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you decide to delete all of your cookies, then you will likely have to re-enter all of your usernames and passwords on all of the sites that you visit, which you previously didn’t even have to think about. As we mentioned before, cookies can be a real asset to your web surfing experience.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (http://www.ico.gov.uk/) provides some advice about cookies and their use, but it also provides a link to ‘About cookies’ (www.aboutcookies.org). This website provides even more information about cookies if you feel that this page and the ICO is not enough information for you, but it also details how you might delete any cookies that you find, and it also shows you how to allow those trusted sites to store their cookies on your computer.

What is a web beacon?

Web beacons are also sometimes referred to as ‘web bugs’ and are small single pixel transparent image files. They allow website owners to know when a visitor has reached their website, and are used in conjunction with cookies to allow further website tracking to be monitored. Again, these files are not viruses, but are useful in helping us to make your web surfing experience better.

Third-party cookies

When you visit a page on the RA website with content embedded from, for example, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo or Flickr, you may be presented with cookies from those websites. The Royal Academy does not control these cookies. Please check the third-party websites for more information about their cookies.

Our main technology partners

We work with the following companies in maintaining and improving our website, and they must all satisfy the data protection requirements. If you have any more questions, please do contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Redbox Digital

Redbox Digital provide build and support services to Royal Academy and help us to maintain the software that runs our website. They provide us with reporting statistics where required, and will serve cookies on our behalf to enable any site personalisation and log in functionality.

Nexcess

Nexcess will provide hosting services to the Royal Academy.

System Simulation Ltd

System Simulation provides the software used for managing the Royal Academy’s collections of works of art, archives, and historic books. In addition to collections management, they designed and built the RA Collections web site which runs on the same Index+ software platform. The RA Collections web site uses cookies to remember choices made by its visitors in order to display or interpret them on different pages during the same visit.