Who we are
Cookies – what are they?
A ‘cookie’ is a small text file that’s stored on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other device when you visit a website or use an app.
Some of the cookies are necessary for the functionality of the website and they are deleted from your device once you close your browser. These are known as session cookies. Others remain on your device until they expire or you delete them from your cache. These are known as persistent cookies and enable us to remember things about you as a returning visitor.
We use session and persistent cookies to distinguish you from other users. This information helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and it also allows us to improve our website accordingly.
We also use analytical cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around the website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
How to control and delete cookies
If you want to restrict or block the cookies we set, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘help’ function within your browser should tell you how.
Cookies – how we use them
If you delete cookies relating to this website we will not remember things about you, including your cookie preferences, and you will be treated as a first-time visitor the next time you visit the site.
- Provide services that you request and to provide a secure online environment
- Manage our relationship with you
- Give you a better online experience and track website performance
- Help us make our website more relevant to you
Essential site cookies
These are cookies that are essential for us to provide our service to you and to provide a secure online environment. Without cookies we are unable to provide some products or services that you might request. Other ‘essential’ cookies keep our website secure. Even if you say “No” to cookies on this website we’ll continue to use these ‘essential’ cookies.
Functionality cookies: giving you a better online experience
These cookies remember your preferences and tailor the website to provide enhanced features. Without these cookies, we cannot remember your choices or personalise your online experience.
We use this type of cookie to:
- Make your online experience faster by remembering you between visits on your personal devices
- Remembering relevant information as you browse from page to page to save you re-entering the same information repeatedly
- Provide enhanced features, such as playing videos or allowing you to post a comment.
Third party cookies
Please note that during your visits to The West Midlands Combined Authority’s websites you may notice some cookies that are not related to The West Midlands Combined Authority or The West Midlands Combined Authority contractors. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. The West Midlands Combined Authority does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.
What personal data we collect and why we collect it
When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
“A cookie is a small text file that is downloaded onto a device (e.g. a computer or smartphone) when the user accesses a website. It allows the website to recognise that user’s device and store some information about the user’s preferences or past actions.”
We use several types of cookies for a number of reasons across the college’s websites. Some are essential, while others you can opt out of or block. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may, however, prevent you from taking full advantage of the website’s functionality.
There are broad categories why a cookie will be stored on your device when visiting the college’s websites.
- Cookies that make the website work properly for you and enable you to make use of any secure online services that we provide.
- Cookies that collect data about your use of the website which is used to help us improve our online services.
- Cookies that remember your preferences and make the site easier for you to use.
- Cookies that are placed by third party services we make use of to enhance the information we present online. We have no control over these third party cookies, but specifically list their use and indicate the privacy statements of the organisations involved.
Some cookies are retained in your browser for only as long as you visit the website, while others persist for a longer specified or unspecified period.
This is facilitated by WordPress which itself sets a cookie (cookieconsent_status) to store a visitor’s acknowledgement.
We also log website traffic using Google Analytics. This is a web analytics service to help us see how our website is used. In doing so, information about your use of our website, including your partial IP address, may be transmitted to Google. The data collected by Google Analytics is used to analyse how frequently people visit the website, how the website is found (from advertising or referring websites), and which pages are most frequently viewed. This information is combined with data from thousands of other users to create an overall picture of usage, and is never identified individually or personally and is not linked to any other information we store about you.
The cookies used are:
_ga, _gid – Used to distinguish visitors, expires after 2 years, 24 hours respectively.
_gat_gtag… – Used to throttle request rate, expires after 1 minute.
Earlier implementations of Google Analytics on this site used:
__utma – Tracks the number of times a visitor has been to the site, when their first visit was, and when their last visit occurred. Expires after 2 years.
__utmb and __utmc – Tracks how long a particular visit to the site lasts. Expires after 30 minutes, session end respectively.
__utmz – This cookie tracks which site or search engine the visitor came from, the link clicked or keyword used, and the visitor’s geographic location. Expires after 6 months.
Cookies set by third parties
The following third party functionality is embedded into certain pages of the website and the third party will set their own cookie(s). We have no control over these cookies.
YouTube and Vimeo
Video content is hosted on YouTube and provided via an embedded media player. YouTube privacy statement can be found at: policies.google.com/privacy
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.).
Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
How long we retain your data
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
What rights you have over your data
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.