Cookies policy

03 May 2019

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small data file that is downloaded from a website on to your device.

It helps that website remember how you use the site, but it doesn’t contain any personal information and cannot be used to identify who you are.

The purpose of cookies is to make it easier and quicker for you to use the site.

For example, if you sign in to use a service, a cookie will remember that you have already signed in so that you don't have to enter your username and password on every single page you visit.

Cookies can also measure how many people visit a website, and how they use it. This information can be used to improve the overall experience for users.

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, this guide contains comprehensive information on how to restrict or block cookies 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 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.

First party cookies

Functional cookies

Like many websites, Ofcom uses 'session-based' cookies to ensure your visit to this site runs as smoothly as possible. These cookies remember the selections or preferences that you’ve already made when looking at information or using a service, and are also used to help our servers cope with changes in traffic to the site. Some are necessary for website functions, like social sharing buttons, to work.

They are used on the Ofcom website and subsites, including:

ofclbWhen user exits browser
JSESSIONIDWhen user exits browser
PHPSESSIDWhen user exits browser
ASP.NET_SessionIdWhen user exits browser

Performance cookies

We use Google Analytics to see how people use the Ofcom site. It helps us to see how many people visit, which pages they view and how they navigate through the site. We use this information to make improvements to the site.

These cookies are used on the Ofcom website and subsites.

_utma2 years
_utmb30 minutes
_utmcWhen user exits browser
_utmz6 months
_ga2 years
_gid24 hours
_gat1 minute
_ga_user_id2 years
_utmt10 minutes

Other first party cookies

optimizelyEndUserIdUsed to deliver consistent experiences across page loads.

__cfduid, _hp_id.3538148622

CloudFlare service cookies used to identify trusted web traffic.


Google advertising cookies used for user tracking and ad targeting purposes.
_dc_gtm_UA-4336874-29, _dc_gtm_UA-4336874-14, _gat_UA-4336874-14, _dc_gtm_UA-4336874-1Google Tag Manager cookies used to distinguish users and events on the website and analyse how users interact with the website.
_hjIncludedInSampleHotjar session cookie used to see how visitors behave our websites.
icims_current_customer, icimsCookiesEnabledCheck, icims_GAClientID, cookie_icims_iframe_content_heightICIMS cookies to support job search and application functionality on our jobs portal.
BrowserIdUsed on the Ofcom online licensing services portal to remember login details so that user does not need to keep logging in.
nmstatSiteimprove cookie used to collect statistics about site usage which helps us improve the user experience on the website. It contains no personal information and is used only for web analytics.

Third party cookies

Update emails

Our third-party email service stores subscribers' personal data outside the EU/UK and uses cookies to measure engagement with our Update emails. The cookies help us to improve our service. Subscribers can check whether they have accepted these tracking cookies and opt out by managing their preferences. To access your preference centre, click on the 'Update my preferences' link available in any Update email.

Other third party cookies



Allow YouTube to collect usage information for YouTube hosted videos.
APISID, HSID, SAPISID, SID, SSIDUsed in conjunction with the Google+1 button to enable you to share information publicly as part of your Google Profile.

act, c_user, datr, dpr, fr, sb, wd, xs

Used by Facebook to support social sharing and the integration of Facebook services.
_fbpUsed by Facebook to deliver advertising, for example to people who have already visited our website when they are on Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising.
__atuvc, __atuvs, loc, mus, ouid, uvcAddThis is a social sharing tool that allows you to share the site content on social media or by email.
They track interactions with the embedded sharing buttons and monitor its usage.
BrowserIdBrowserID aims to offer you one single log-in to websites and services, connected through your e-mail address.
NMS_collapseiconnectiv cookie that remembers whether graphical user interface screen elements are collapsed or expanded.