What are cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).
Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.
Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered WordPress.com user (so you don’t have to log in every time, for example), while others are set whenever you visit one of our websites, irrespective of whether you have an account.
For more information on the choices you have about the cookies we use, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.
Where we place cookies
We set cookies in a number of different locations across our services. These include:
- On our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, woocommerce.com, crowdsignal.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, akismet.com, simplenote.com, simperium.com, leandomainsearch.com, cloudup.com, longreads.com, and happy.tools).
- In the administrative dashboards of our websites.
- On sites we host for our users.
- On sites that use our plugins (e.g. Jetpack, Google Analytics).
- In the emails we send.
Our Internal Analytics Tool
In order to better understand how our services are used, we monitor certain user activities that take place within our products, including page views and clicks on any links used when managing a site via our dashboards.
We call each one of these actions an “event.” Analytics events are attached to your WordPress.com account and are handled via a first party system that Automattic owns and maintains. In general, we record the following data for each event: IP address, WordPress.com user ID and username, WordPress.com-connected site ID (for sites not hosted on WordPress.com), user agent, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, and country code.