SNOOBI ANALYTICS AND THE USE OF “COOKIES”

This article explains the terms First-party and Third-party cookies and explains how they are used by Snoobi to collect metrics from a website.

(Updated 07.03.2021 to clarify cookie usage with Cookies=off switch)

(Updated 17.05.2021 to indicate change in 3d party cookies)

What are cookies?

A definition of Wikipedia is:

  • Cookies are small bits of information that a server sends to the browser with the intention that this information is sent back to the server on a subsequent visit.
  • This makes it easy to keep track of information about the internet user, such as authentication, identification of a user session, preferences of a user or content of a web shopping cart.
  • A cookie is a small piece of script that is placed on the visitor’s computer by websites that are visited. Cookies are intended to make the use of the internet easier.
  • A cookie is installed to ensure that a combination of browser and computer is recognized when the visitor returns to a website, and for “session management” to identify a visitor during a single visit.

.

Differences between “first-party” and “third-party cookies”

All cookies contain information that provides insight into which website the owner is.
The owner is the website that is specified in the cookie.

The word “party” in the name refers to the domain that is mentioned in the cookie, in other words the website that places the cookie.
For example, if you visit the website www.facebook.nl and the cookie that is placed on your website is www.facebook.nl, then there is a “first-party cookie”.

When you visit the website www.facebook.nl and the cookie that is placed on your computer is called www.google.com, then there is a “third party cookie”.

“Second-party cookies” do not exist. The “second-party” is the visitor of a website, and it does not place cookies itself.

Which cookies does Snoobi use?

Snoobi uses “first-party cookies” only to recognize returning visitors.
The goal is to see if and which visitors return to the website; this is used, among other things, for analysing conversions. The identity of the person who visits the website always remains anonymous.

Until May 21 2021, Snoobi used “third-party cookies” to make analyses of visit routes (click paths) and sessions within different domains that a customer uses, within one Snoobi account. Third party cookies are no longer available from Snoobi starting with the code release of May 2021

When no cookie setting is present in the Snoobi tracking code, the default is only to set 1st party and session cookies.

With the Snoobi tracking code you can choose:

  • Do not set cookies. (Cookies = off or session): only the existing session is measured and only session-specific cookies are set and destroyed. 
  • Set only first party cookies. (Cookies = 1st): all the visits to a site are measured but not in one session and across multiple sites.

    Depending on the wishes of the user, this can be set per website. It is not possible to create a separate setting per page or part of the site. 
    If the visitor has set the DNT (Do-Not-Track) option in the browser then the behaviour is the same as if cookies are set to 'Session' meaning no cookies are stored on the visitor's browser other then the session cookies and they cannot be tracked as individual visitors.
    See full table below.


Examples of cookies used by Snoobi when cookies are set to 'session' or 'off'

Note when you are also a client using the Snoobi application, several other cookies will be set that make the use of the application possible

NameDurationIs used for
SnoobiIDBrowser sessionGeneral ID for Snoobi Analytics
Snoobisession_accountBrowser sessionTo maintain the session, gets deleted at the end of the session
Snoobi30minute_accountMax. 30 minutesUp to 30 minutes, to keep track of the session if the user navigates to another website or browser tab

Examples of cookies used by Snoobi when cookies are set to 'on' or '1st'

Note when you are also a client using the Snoobi application, several other cookies will be set that make the use of the application possiblee

NameDurationIs used for
SnoobiId2  yearGeneral ID for Snoobi Analytics, for future user sessions
SnoobiIDBrowser sessionGeneral ID for Snoobi Analytics
Snoobisession_accountBrowser sessionTo maintain the session, gets deleted at the end of the session
Snoobi30minute_accountMax. 30 minutesUp to 30 minutes, to keep track of the session if the user navigates to another website or browser tab
Snoop_testi (or Snoobi-testi)Browser sessionUsed to test to check if cookies are enabled in the browser; if this cookie can be set then cookies are allowed by the browser.
Snoobi_RandBrowser SessionRandom number to let the analytics server know that the Snoobi code is loaded, no user-identifyable elements.
Snoobi2 yearRandom unique number to recognize this browser for future visits

Data processing and storage

  • All cookies are used in Snoobi Analytics for no other purpose than for the Snoobi Analytics data collection and cannot used by other tools or the website administrator.
  • This also applies to any IP address. In most cases (and in all cases for Finnish clients unless otherwise agreed in the Data Processing Agreement), the last octet of an IP address is removed to anonymize the visitor.
  • The use of persistent cookies (cookies that remain stored in the browser) is controlled programmatically by the website administrator by means of a parameter in the Snoobi code. When no cookie setting is available, the default is cookies = on
  • Cookies can also be disabled by not allowing the use of cookies in the browser, or only allowing 1st party cookies. If no cookies are allowed in the browser, Snoobi Analytics may not function.
  • The information obtained by Snoobi Analytics is stored and processed by Snoobi on behalf of the owner of the website in the European Union or specifically in Finland or Germany. Snoobi acts as a ‘data processor’ and the Hetzer Online services are located in Germany and Finland.
  • For the analytics managed by snoobi.com, data is collected and maintained exclusively in Finland on Finnish servers at Hetzner Online in Helsinki, data collected by snoobi.eu is maintained in the Hetzner Online data centers in Nuremberg and Falkenstein.