Cookies are small pieces of data which your web browser stores at the request of certain web sites. These files allow our website to recognize the user's device and store details about their preferences.

Cookies themselves are not harmful, do not contain viruses or malware.

They are used for various purposes:

  • to feature advanced content on the website
  • to keep a statistic of site visitors
  • to support social media plugins (plugins are add-ons that can be integrated into websites). A common example is the Facebook Like box, that shows the user pictures of their friends, as well as giving them the option to like content.

Legal frameworks limiting cookie use are above all a consequence of misuse of user tracking technology and privacy breaches online.

Types of cookies

Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving the user experience. Cookies may tell us, for example, whether you have visited the Website before or whether you are a new visitor. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.Cookies can remain on your computer or mobile device for different periods of time. Some cookies are ‘session cookies’, meaning that they exist only while your browser is open. These are deleted automatically once you close your browser. Other cookies are ‘permanent cookies’, meaning that they survive after your browser is closed. They can be used by the Website to recognise your computer when you open your browser and browse the Internet again.

Every type of cookie is treated differently according to legal guidelines, while the Electronic Communications Act – ZEKom-1 - states that web users must be informed of cookie use. In the event of invasive cookies, users must explicitly comply with their use.

Security and privacy on our website

Our website is compliant with the 157th clause of ZEKom-1 and personal data privacy legislation. You can read more on the legislation here. The purpose of this legislation is privacy protection, as web browsing can lead to privacy breaches.

What types of cookies does our website use?

We use the following cookies:

1. Strictly necessary cookies
These cookies are necessary for web pages and their features to function properly. The website’s functions and display adapts to your use on the basis of this information. Consequently, we use the following cookies:

  • AllowCookies: downloaded on your computer so as to remember that you’ve permitted the use of cookies on your device. The cookie is valid for 365 days.
  • Login (login window): the cookie is downloaded so as to remember your login for future visits.

2. Visitor statistics

The administrators of the webpage want to know, which parts of the website are most frequently visited, which content is most popular and where they access our website from. This is mostly the only contact we come with with our users. Consequently, we monitor our visitor statistics. Based on the cookies we download to your computer, we may know you’ve visited us for the first time or if you’re our frequent guest. To help us determine these statistics, we use Google Analytics, which uses the following cookies:

  • __utma stores the amount of your visits, the time of the first visit, the previous visit, and the current visit. The cookie validity is set to two years.
  • __utmb is used to check approximately how fast people leave: when a visit starts, and approximately ends. The cookie validity is set to 30 minutes.
  • __utmc is used to check approximately how fast people leave: when a visit starts, and approximately ends. The cookie validity ends when you close your browser.
  • __utmv is used for saving user settings.
  • __utmz records whether the visitor came from a search engine (and if so, the search keyword used), a link, or from no previous page (e.g. a bookmark). The cookie validity is set to 6 months.

Google cannot personally identify anyone on the basis of these cookies. For each website using Google Analytics each individual user has various identifiers that are randomly generated.

3. Other cookies

We want to feature interesting content on our website and therefore use plugins for embedded media, such as Youtube videos and Google Maps. When visiting sites with this media, their cookies load on your computer. These are so-called “third party” cookies.

Google Maps uses up to five cookies:

NID: cookie validity is set to 6 months
PREF: cookie validity is set to 2 years
testcookie: cookie validity ends when you close your browser
khcookie: cookie validity ends when you close your browser
SNID: cookie validity is set to 6 months

Can I avoid using cookies entirely?

Users can choose to disable cookies and can change settings in your web browser. You can find information on cookie settings on the following links:

If you choose to disable cookies, some functions of the website might become unusable.