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Third party cookies: What you need to know

Third party cookies are essentially cookies set by a website other than the one you’re now on.

An example is Facebook “Like” button. You may add a “Like” button on your website, and that button stores a cookie on the visitor’s computer, that sends information back to Facebook.

Third party cookies: What you need to know

Now let’s break it down.

There are three categories of cookies, and its good to be able to identify them:

First-party cookies are kept on the same domain as the one you’re on right now. These cookies are typically used to keep track of a user’s choices, recall user preferences, and save your shopping cart. Nowadays, finding a website that doesn’t use first-party cookies isn’t easy to come by.

Second-party cookies are a slightly more touchy subject. Some may argue that they do not exist at all. Second-party data is first-party data that is shared between partners. Second-party cookies are, in this sense, merely another type of cookie data.

Third-party cookies are stored on a domain other than the one you are now visiting. They’re usually used to track users’ actions as they move across websites and provide more relevant adverts. Another notable example is a 3rd-party service’s help chat option.

More on cookies

This article is a part of our series on cookies and cookie consent. Read also:

👉 What’s the meaning of “accept cookies”?

First party vs third party cookies: 3 main differences

There are 3 main differences between first-party and third-party cookies:

  1. Setting the cookie: The publisher’s webserver or any JavaScript loaded on the page sets a first-party cookie. While a third-party cookie can be set by a third-party server, for instance an AdTech provider.
  2. Cookie availability: The domain that originated has access to first-party cookies. A third-party cookie can be accessed from any website that loads the code from the third-party server.
  3. Browser support/blocking: All browsers support first-party cookies, and users can disable or delete them. Although third-party cookies are supported by all browsers, many of them are blocked by default.

Except for some categories, the cookie law does not allow the installation of cookies before gaining the user’s consent, in accordance with the general principles of privacy law, which do not allow the processing of data without consent.

It is likely that most authorities will require website and app owners that use cookies and trackers to display cookie lifetime details in their cookie policy.

Need help on how to display the cookie lifetime in your Cookie Policy? We’ve got you covered! our guide on displaying cookie lifetime.

Are you lawfully managing cookies on your website? 

iubenda allows you to manage third-party cookies on your website.

Still, confused about third-party requirements?

It’s a full-time job keeping up with the latest cookie rules and ensuring that your website conforms. iubenda ensures that you comply with the GDPR, the Cookie Law, and third party requirements. It’s also simple to use.

The iubenda Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution includes all the necessary tools to facilitate compliance with the cookie law.

See also