New Cookie Law - use of cookies on this site

last updated: 17 May 2012

Under new EU law and proposed US legislation (Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights) sites using cookies are required to provide detailed information on their use. The EU law will be enforced in the UK from 26 May 2012. The UK Goverment has stated its own sites will fail to meet this deadline, and a recent sample of major companies identified 95% had yet to comply (source KPMG).

See the ICO's guidance (PDF) for more information.


What we have done to comply:



  • reviewed our site using attacat's cookie auditing tool.
  • produced this page.
  • provided a prominent link to this page from the footer of all pages on the site.

We do our best to avoid personal data (we do not even require an email address on our contact us form); however, like virtually all other sites this site does set cookies.


What is a cookie?



Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. (as described by the UK regulator -Information Commissioner's Office)

Cookies are also set by other sites whose content is embedded in the page you are visiting e.g. if a site includes Youtube Videos, then Youtube may also set or update a cookie on your computer (the price of free). These are referred to as 3rd party cookies.


Cookie Opt-Out



Unfortunately it is not practical for us to provide a cookie free version of this site; but you can set your browser to block new cookies and delete existing ones. Your browser Help should explain how to do this. Alternatively AboutCookies.org provides instructions for many of the major browsers. However, this may affect the results and content displayed in your browser. Use this site without cookies at your own risk:

Impact:
Third Party Cookies: our hotel and flight searches should continue to function (at your own risk). Some of our travel tools may cease to function or display correctly.
Blocking ALL cookies: severe impact e.g. the wrong currency and language could be displayed; and, on our quick tests, the Hotel Search did not return any results.

The following sections provide information on this site's use of cookies and their purpose.


Cookies used on our site



Hotels & Flights:

The aim of this site is to provide you with access to the best price comparison and services in the travel industry. To achieve this our domain (via.us.com) currently embeds search technology from Hotels Combined for Hotels, and DoHop for flights (both companies have an excellent reputaion). If a search results in a purchase we earn a share of the commission (if any) from our search partners; this does not affect the price you pay.

Cookies are essential to the operation of these price search engines. They are used for things like, authenticating, or identifying a user session (such as a previous hotel search), user preferences, language, currency, and identifying this site as the originator of the search.

This information does not contain personally identifiable information such as your name, address, email address or telephone number. More privacy info: Hotels Combined | Dohop


Google Analytics

These cookies are created by our own site and may be named "_utma", "_utmb", "_utmc", or "_utmz".
Purpose (as described by the UK regulator, which also uses Google Analytics) : These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. Click here for more from Google on Analytics cookies.

Half the top million websites use Google Analytics (Wikipedia).



Youtube.Com: provide the option of presenting their videos in enhanced-privacy mode, this means that they will only set a cookie if the video is played, and it will not contain personally identifiable information. We have always specified enhanced-privacy mode. See "Enabling privacy-enhanced mode for embedded videos" on this Youtube page.

Twitter.com: our site includes Twitter's tweet button which uses a Twitter Cookie. For more information please see Twitter's privacy policy.


Google Adverts:

We serve adverts from Google: Google uses the DART cookie (FAQ). This enables it to serve ads based on your visits to this and other sites on the Internet. As it uses things like what you've searched for on Google, to decide what to display; we believe it is the most"personal" cookie served as a result of visiting our site. However, it is likely to reduce the number adverts not relevant to you, and we consider it to be useful. More info/FAQ; Opt Out (ads will still be displayed but no longer based on information of your interests).


Cookies from affiliate partners:




About affiliate partnerships:

Internet partnerships are common for example we found that Comparethemarket.com, GoCompare and TescoCompare all use the SAME company to serve their Travel Insurance Price Comparison (our article on travel insurance).

Companies such as Amazon pay commission for purchases made as a result links from sites that have signed up to its affiliate scheme. Some companies manage their own scheme, others use Affiliate Marketing companies to manage these partnerships on their behalf.

Cookies are used to identify that visits or purchases are due to a referal from an affiliate site. No cookie means no commission.

Some affiliate sites add zero value and just link to companies paying the most commission. Others such as some as genuine price comparison or information sites provide a real service to their visitors. Without cookies many would cease to exist.



This site and affiliate partnerships


To fund this site we enter into affiliate partnerships (directly or via affiliate marketing companies) with travel industry companies we believe in.

Our editorial content is not influenced by availability of, or amount of, commission e.g. at the time of writing this page, we do not earn commission on our current top recommendation for UK travel insurance.

Our pages include content (booking forms, banners, and links) served from these sites. Our review using attacat's auditing tool indicate NONE of these sites set cookies when you visit our site. However, on click through these sites may set cookies whose purpose is to identify e.g. for commision purposes, from which publisher, website and advertisement a click or transaction originated. Obviously, these sites may also set additional cookies for other purposes.

Privacy policy information for partners serving content on our site:

Amazon.com: more info
Amazon.co.uk: privacy and cookies.
Hostelbookers.com: more info
World Nomads: more info
TradeDoubler: more info
OMG more info
Commission Junction: more info
Skimlinks: more info

The search engines for hotels and flights require content from third party companies (e.g. booking sites) who in turn, can present dynamic content to our users. Some of these third party business partners use cookies to track when a click becomes a sale.


Changes



Our use of cookies may change over time. You should revisit this page for the latest details.