How we use cookies

Update 13th June 2012

The BGS is adapting its website in order to comply with cookie law changes.

  1. We have reformatted our cookie policy (this page) in line with the suggested layout for a cookie policy page issued by the Government Digital Service.
  2. We have provided users with an opt out from accepting non-essential cookies.
  3. We are taken action to reduce our use of cookies by:
    • switching to use a "no cookie" mode for our embedded YouTube content
    • rewriting linkages to social media content and services to remove the use of cookies
  4. We are reviewing our use of Google Analytics to improve and develop our site, considering whether a no cookie solution such as analysing web server logs will meet our needs.

Introduction

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the Internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with govt services so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article (issued by Directgov) "Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them".

If you'd like to learn how to remove cookies set on your device, visit: www.aboutcookies.org.

Our use of cookies

First-party cookies

Cookies for session management


Main BGS website - http://www.bgs.ac.uk/

The following applications use the cookies listed below.

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
JSESSIONID To remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service 783011f2 5ee5ed6b 7df556467352741 482a1 When you close your browser or navigate away from the BGS websites or after 20 minutes of inactivity

Online shops - http://shop.bgs.ac.uk and GSNI GeoRecords

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
JSESSIONID To remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service 783011f2 5ee5ed6b 7df556467352741 482a1 When you close your browser or navigate away from the BGS websites or after 20 minutes of inactivity when browsing for products from our online shop

AssetBank - http://geoscenic.bgs.ac.uk

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
JSESSIONID To remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service 783011 f25ee5ed6b 7df5564673527 41482a1 When you close your browser or navigate away from the BGS websites or after 20 minutes of inactivity

Djatoka IIPViewer - http://scans.bgs.ac.uk

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
JSESSIONID To remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service 783011 f25ee5ed6b 7df5564673527 41482a1 When you close your browser or navigate away from the BGS websites or after 20 minutes of inactivity

Afghanistan Geological Survey hosted site - http://www.bgs.ac.uk/afghanminerals/

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
JSESSIONID To remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service 783011f2 5ee5ed6b 7df556467352741 482a1 When you close your browser or navigate away from the BGS websites or after 20 minutes of inactivity

Cookies to stop multiple submissions


Earthquake website - http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
QUES0 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires 1 week after submission of questionnaire
QUES1 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires 1 week after submission of questionnaire
QUES2 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires 1 week after submission of questionnaire
QUES3 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires 1 week after submission of questionnaire
QUES4 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires 1 week after submission of questionnaire
QUESHID In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires 1 week after submission of questionnaire

Third party cookies

We use a number of suppliers who may also set cookies on their websites' on its behalf e.g. Audioboo, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

In addition, some BGS web pages embed content from third parties that use cookies. Further details are given below.

Cookies for embedded third-party content and social media plug-ins


YouTube

The following YouTube cookies are only set if you press play to start the video clip.

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services.(YouTube is a subsidiary of Google) BX5Kz-iIYf8 Within a year.
GEO When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. (YouTube is a subsidiary of Google) 8dda 4a5 07bc1b71 bf1aa9 b098ee458 e7cwsAAAAz R0L Aq5eQTd 9vDg== End of session.
PREF When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. ID=e7 315a9 d1ee9cf 81:TM=13064 88327:LM= 1306488327:S=A ibaL2tj AjG 1wQFX One week.

BBC

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
BBC-UID A unique identifier given to each computer to allow log analysis to determine the number of unique users for various parts of bbc.co.uk. Data is only used in aggregate. 64fd9d5f972ab96e4a2b5 1fa0196cf c44f71b79df 0c0c1b4846fd9b 71cc2 0a010Mozilla%2f4%2e0%20%28 compatibl e%3b%20MSIE%208%2e0 %3b%20Windows %20NT%205%2e1% 3b%20Trident %2f4%2e0%3b%20%2 eNET%20CLR%201%2e1%2e43 22%3b%20%2eNET%20 CLR%202%2e0%2e507 27%3b%20%2eNET%20 CLR%203%2e0%2 e04506%2e30%3b%20%2e NET%20CLR%203%2e0%2e 04506%2e648%3b% 20InfoPath%2e2%3b%20 %2eNET%20CLR %203%2e0%2e4 506%2e215 2%3b%20%2eNET%20CLR%20 3%2e5%2e30 729%3b%20%2e NET4%2e0C%29 Four years.
s1 Like the BBC-UID cookie, this is a unique identifier given to each computer to allow log analysis to determine the number of unique users for various parts of bbc.co.uk. Data is only used in aggregate. policyref="http://www.nedstat.com/w3c/p3p.xml", CP="NOI DSP COR NID PSA ADM OUR IND NAV COM" Five years.

Google

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
PREF When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. ID=e7 315a9 d1ee9cf 81:TM=13064 88327:LM= 1306488327:S=A ibaL2tj AjG 1wQFX One week.
NID When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. 47=Zf7SGeD sXsy-7DaK O99X2hFSQi -xeRwzC 7UeN JXtvn9mlQuHJEZ 1e z0OyBCYqaWA- JG4E wNH5T90gtt J7M24CityUQ7Nv kSZU2 hQjJvr4E-d7t YimoUz4 5 YxHKTWq-Uk Six months.
SNID When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. 47=t mFrXN28KoivEQkgi- LAxa7AP slcVcOl9ynI1aCSm w=EZ9M1kTo qPJPoQje Six months.

Cookies for web analytics/metrics


Google

Cookie Name Purpose Typical Content Expires
__utma This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to your site from that web browser. If the cookie has been deleted by the browser operator, and the browser subsequently visits your site, a new __utma cookie is written with a different unique ID. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to your site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure. 93652494.1109686414.1331048746.
1331048746.1331050549.2
2 years from set/update.
__utmb This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. When a user views a page on your site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on your site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on your site for longer than 30 minutes. You can modify the default length of a user session with the _setSessionCookieTimeout() method. 93652494.1.10.1331050549 30 minutes from set/update.
__utmc This cookie is no longer used by the ga.js tracking code to determine session status.

Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user. For backwards compatibility purposes with sites still using the urchin.js tracking code, this cookie will continue to be written and will expire when the user exits the browser. However, if you are debugging your site tracking and you use the ga.js tracking code, you should not interpret the existence of this cookie in relation to a new or expired session.

93652494 Not set.
__utmz This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach your site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within your own site. The cookie is updated with each page view to your site. 93652494.1331050549.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=
(organic) |utmcmd=organic|utmctr=
british%20geological%20survey
6 months from set/update.

How to control and delete cookies

We will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.

However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The 'Help' function within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.

If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.

For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.

To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.