Websites normally offer some level of interaction - whether it's sending and receiving messages, buying goods or choosing how you wish to view the site. To manage this, small text files called cookies, or other similar pieces of information are stored on your browser, computer or other devices.

For more information on cookies and how you can manage your privacy settings, read through our FAQs below. For detailed information about the use of personal information by Sky UK and its group companies, please see our Privacy Notice and Cookies Notice.

What do you use cookies, pixels and similar pieces of information for?

Cookies, pixels and similar pieces of information are an important part of the internet. They make using devices and online information much smoother and affect lots of the useful features of webpages. There are many different uses for these pieces of information, but our use of them falls into four main groups:

  • Essential
  • Improving your browsing experience
  • Analytics
  • Advertising

Are cookies and similar pieces of information essential?

Some cookies and similar pieces of information are essential to help your devices download or stream information, or so you can move around webpages and use their features. Without these, services you've asked for can't be provided. Here are some examples of the purposes of these essential cookies and similar pieces of information:

  • Positioning information on a smartphone screen, tablet device or other screen so that you can see the webpage and use its functionality.
  • Telling us when you are logged into our service.
  • Keeping you logged in during your visit or enabling you to stream content; without these pieces of information you might have to log in on every page you go to or repeatedly adjust your volume and viewing settings.
  • When you add something to the online shopping basket, these pieces of information make sure it's still there when you get to the checkout.
  • Some are session cookies which make it possible to navigate through the webpages smoothly.

How do cookies and similar pieces of information improve my browsing experience?

Some cookies and similar pieces of information allow the application or webpage to remember choices you make, such as your language or region and they provide improved features.

Here are a few examples of just some of the ways these are used to improve your experience on our applications and webpages:

  • Remembering your preferences and settings, including marketing preferences, such as choosing whether to receive marketing information.
  • Remembering if you've filled in a survey, so you're not asked to do it again.
  • Remembering if you've been to the application or webpage before.
  • Restricting the number of times you're shown a particular advertisement. This is sometimes called 'frequency capping'.
  • Showing you information that's relevant to products or services that you receive.
  • Giving you access to content provided by social-media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
  • Showing 'related article' links that are relevant to the information you're looking at.
  • Remembering an application or web location you've entered, such as weather forecasts.

What are analytic cookies and similar pieces of information and what information is collected?

We like to keep track of what pages, information, and links are popular and which ones don't get used so much to help us keep our information relevant and up to date. It's also very useful to be able to identify trends of how people navigate (find their way through) our information and when and where 'error messages' may originate. We may also use analytics to identify when and how you access other websites and we may share information about this analysis with our partners.

This group of cookies, often called 'analytics cookies', or ‘performance cookies’ and similar pieces of information are used to gather this information. The information collected is grouped with the information from everyone else. We can then see the overall patterns of usage, rather than any one person’s activity. Analytics cookies are used to improve how an application, a website and its pages work.

Our applications, webpages and websites and communications you get from us contain small images known as 'web beacons' or 'pixels'. These are used to count the number of times a page or communication has been viewed and allows us to measure the effectiveness of our marketing and communications.

We also use 'affiliate' cookies. Some of our web based information will contain promotional links to other companies’ sites. If you follow one of these links and then register with or buy something from that other site, a cookie is used to tell that other site that you came from one of our sites. That other site may then pay us a small amount for the successful referral. This works using a cookie. For more information, see the Internet Advertising Bureau's guide about how affiliate marketing works.

What are advertising cookies and similar pieces of information and how do they work?

We sell space on some of our information sites to advertising partners. The resulting adverts or space purchased often contain The Cloud and/or affiliate cookies or similar pieces of information. The advertiser uses the browsing information collected from these cookies to:

1. restrict the number of times you see the same ad (frequency capping); and

2. help show other ads that are relevant to you while you're accessing our, or other parties’, information. This information about your browsing activity may be grouped with information about what is being accessed by other users, into interest groups, and then used to show you advertisements based on those interests.

So how does Online Behavioural Advertising work?

Let's look at an example. Imagine you visit a webpage about travel. That webpage shows an advert and with that advert you receive a cookie. Imagine you then visit one of our webpages which has an advert from the same advertiser you saw on the travel webpage. The advertiser will give you a new version of the cookie you received on the travel webpage. The advertiser can then use that cookie to recognise that you've previously been to a travel webpage and show you a relevant travel ad.

We work with our partners to show you adverts that may be of interest to you based on your demographic information (age, gender and where you use our service). We do this by using The Cloud and/or affiliate cookies, pixels or similar pieces of information to identify adverts that may be of interest to you. Please note we do not have control over the cookies of third parties. These cookies are likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies or similar pieces of information.

It’s easy to opt out of behavioural advertising and manage your cookies if you want to. Please note that you will not be able to use the full range of our services if you choose not to enable behavioural advertising.

Controlling my cookies

How can I see and manage my cookies in my browser?

Virtually all browsers allow you to see what cookies you've got, and to delete them individually or delete all of them. To find out how to do this, visit aboutcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers.

How can I opt out of Online Behavioural Advertising and other tracking cookies?

In addition to the controls available on your computer there are also other ways of opting out of Online Behavioural Advertising and other tracking cookies.

Please note that most of these choices work by setting a cookie that over-rides the behavioural advertising cookie. If you delete all your cookies you will also delete the cookies which record your preference not to receive Online Behavioural Advertising. In this instance you would need to opt out again.

Information about opting out of Online Behavioural Advertising

  • Evidon is a provider of privacy solutions.
  • Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) "Your Online Choices” page. This allows you to opt out of behavioural advertising from each of the ad networks represented by the IAB.
  • Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) opt out page. This allows you to opt out of behavioural advertising from each of the advertising networks represented by the NAI.
  • Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) self-regulatory program for Online Behavioural Advertising opt out page. This allows you to opt out of behavioural advertising from each of the companies participating in the DAA opt out page.

How can I opt out of analytics?

It’s possible to opt out of having your browsing activity within sites recorded by analytics cookies. Sky uses two different analytics tools, from which you can opt out.

What about Flash and Silverlight cookies?

There are several different types of cookies. The most common kind are HTTP cookies. These are the ones that you can control with the mechanisms we described above. In addition to the HTTP cookies, there are other pieces of information that work in similar ways to cookies such as Flash Local Shared Objects (LSOs) and Silverlight cookies. Some of Sky’s sites use these pieces of information. You can control them manually via the websites below:

Generally, tools like the above affect only the particular browser or device they are downloaded on, so you can make different choices for each browser or device if you are using multiple browsers or devices.