Cookies Policy

Spark adheres to The University of Sunderland (the ‘University’) cookies policy.

Spark and the University wishes to be open in the way we use cookies and help you make informed choices about the information you provide to us and third parties when you visit our website.

Spark and the University  may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

This policy explains what cookies are and how we use them, a list of all the cookies used on the Spark website and how to opt out of or block non-essential cookies.

What are cookies

When you visit some pages on this website, your computer may be issued with a small file – a ‘cookie’. A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not.

There are 2 types of cookie Session Cookies and Persistent CookiesSession Cookies expire at the end of a browser session, when a user exits the browser. They allow website operators to link the actions of the users during a single browser session to allow them to use the website most effectively. As these cookies are not usually stored beyond the browser session they are usually considered less privacy intrusive. Persistent Cookies are stored on the users equipment between browsing sessions. They enable the website to recognise the user on his return, to remember preferences and to tailor services to them. They allow  the users browsing activity to be tracked across different websites and to build up a detailed profile of his browsing behaviour for target advertising.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

By using our website(s) you are agreeing that we can place cookies on your hard drive. If you do not wish us to store any cookies during your visit please see the ‘rejecting and disabling cookies via your browser settings’ section of this page and the links to specific cookies that can be rejected. Please note however that this may have a significant impact on your experience.

Rejecting and disabling cookies via your browser settings

You can choose not to accept cookies and still use the Spark and/or University website, but some essential functionality may be lost. For example, user preferences will not be retained if cookies are disabled, and some parts of the site may not function as intended.

The documentation for your web browser will provide you with instructions on how to disable cookies.

ICC Categories

For those familiar with the ICC categories of cookies, The University of Sunderland and Spark uses:

  • Category 1, ‘Strictly Necessary Cookies’ to maintain service levels across servers (‘load balancing’), to maintain security of access where the user has logged in, and where a programming language issues cookies as a fundamental requirement of delivery.
  • Category 2, ‘Performance Cookies’ for anonymous analysis of our web pages, to help us understand how people use them and how we can improve them. This analysis is always anonymous.
  • Category 3 ‘Functionality Cookies’ to deliver specific requested functionality, such as display options to support accessibility.

Spark and the University of Sunderland does not use Category 4, “Targeting Cookies” unless you are advised on the page.

Links to other websites

The Spark website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this cookie policy. You should exercise caution and look at the cookie policy applicable to the website in question.

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