Cookies

Cookies are small text files that may be placed on your computer when you visit a website. They are widely used to make websites work and to make them more efficient. Cookies also help website owners understand how you use the site so that they can make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Find out how to manage cookies on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Our privacy statement applies to our use of cookies.

How we use cookies on www.kent.gov.uk

Analytics cookies

We use Google Analytics, Hotjar and GovMetric CX to understand how you use our website and to gather feedback, so we can improve it.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how you use this website (kent.gov.uk). We do this to help make sure the site is meeting your needs and to make improvements based on our findings.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit on Kent.gov.uk
  • the time you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site.

Google may retain user and event data for up to 14 months. We don’t collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so we can’t identify who you are. We don’t allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

Read Google's overview of privacy and safeguarding data and find out how you can opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites.

Google Analytics uses the following cookies on our website:

NamePurposeExpires
_gaUsed to distinguish users.90 days
_gidUsed to distinguish users.

24 hours

_gatUsed to throttle request rate.1 minute
AMP_TOKENContains a token that can be used to retrieve a Client ID from AMP Client ID service. Other possible values indicate opt-out, inflight request or an error retrieving a Client ID from AMP Client ID service.30 seconds to 1 year
_gac_<property-id>Contains campaign related information for the user.90 days
_ga_<container-id>Used to persist session state.90 days
_gac_gb_<container-id>Contains campaign related information.90 days

Hotjar

We sometimes run studies using Hotjar, which is a tool that helps us understand how users interact with the website.

The technology gives us information such as how much time users spend on a page, and what they choose to click on so that we can see what’s working well and what isn’t. We use this information to make improvements to the site to help users find what they’re looking for as easily as possible. We also use Hotjar to get feedback from users.

Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect information on the user such as their:

  • behaviour
  • device type
  • IP addresses (stored anonymously)
  • screen size
  • browser
  • geographic location (country only)
  • preferred language

Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymized user profile. Neither Hotjar nor we will ever use this information to identify individual users or to match it with further data on an individual user.

Hotjar uses the following cookies on our website:

NamePurposeExpires
_hjSessionUser{site_id}Hotjar cookie that is set when a user first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the Hotjar User ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behavior in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID.365 days
_hjSession{site_id}A cookie that holds the current session data. This ensues that subsequent requests within the session window will be attributed to the same Hotjar session.30 minutes
_hjClosedSurveyInvitesHotjar cookie that is set once a user interacts with an External Link Survey invitation modal. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not reappear if it has already been shown.365 days
_hjDonePollsHotjar cookie that is set once a user completes a survey using the On-site Survey widget. It is used to ensure that the same survey does not reappear if it has already been filled in.365 days
_hjMinimizedPollsHotjar cookie that is set once a user minimizes an On-site Survey widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimized when the user navigates through your site.365 days
_hjShownFeedbackMessageHotjar cookie that is set when a user minimizes or completes Incoming Feedback. This is done so that the Incoming Feedback will load as minimized immediately if the user navigates to another page where it is set to show.365 days
_hjSessionTooLargeCauses Hotjar to stop collecting data if a session becomes too large. This is determined automatically by a signal from the WebSocket server if the session size exceeds the limit.Session
_hjSessionRejectedIf present, this cookie will be set to '1' for the duration of a user's session, if Hotjar rejected the session from connecting to our WebSocket due to server overload. This cookie is only applied in extremely rare situations to prevent severe performance issues.Session
_hjSessionResumedA cookie that is set when a session or recording is reconnected to Hotjar servers after a break in connection.Session
_hjidHotjar cookie that is set when the customer first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the Hotjar User ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behavior in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID.365 days
_hjRecordingLastActivityThis should be found in Session storage (as opposed to cookies). This gets updated when a user recording starts and when data is sent through the WebSocket (the user performs an action that Hotjar records).Session
_hjTLDTestWhen the Hotjar script executes we try to determine the most generic cookie path we should use, instead of the page hostname. This is done so that cookies can be shared across subdomains (where applicable). To determine this, we try to store the _hjTLDTest cookie for different URL substring alternatives until it fails. After this check, the cookie is removed.Session
_hjUserAttributesHashThis cookie stores User Attributes which are sent through the Hotjar Identify API, whenever the user is not in the sample. Collected attributes will only be saved to Hotjar servers if the user interacts with a Hotjar Feedback tool, but the cookie will be used regardless of whether a Feedback tool is present.Session
_hjLocalStorageTestThis cookie is used to check if the Hotjar Tracking Script can use local storage. If it can, a value of 1 is set in this cookie. The data stored in_hjLocalStorageTest has no expiration time, but it is deleted almost immediately after it is created.Under 100ms
_hjIncludedInPageviewSampleThis cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that user is included in the data sampling defined by your site's pageview limit.30 minutes
_hjIncludedInSessionSampleThis cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that user is included in the data sampling defined by your site's daily session limit.30 minutes
_hjAbsoluteSessionInProgressThis cookie is used to detect the first pageview session of a user. This is a true or false flag set by the cookie.30 Minutes
_hjFirstSeenThis is set to identify a new user’s first session. It stores a true or false value, indicating whether this was the first time Hotjar saw this user. It is used by Recording filters to identify new user sessions.Session
_hjViewportIdThis stores information about the user viewport such as size and dimensions.Session
_hjRecordingEnabledThis is added when a recording starts and is read when the recording module is initialized to see if the user is already in a recording in a particular session.Session

Find out how Hotjar manages data for more information. You can stop Hotjar from collecting your data by opting out on their website.

GovMetric CX

We use GovMetric CX to capture users’ feedback about visits to our website. When you move around our website GovMetric CX captures information about which pages you visit. The information it captures includes your ‘IP address’, this is the unique identification of the device you are using to access the internet. In order to protect your privacy GovMetric CX encrypts your IP address as soon as it captures it so that it can no longer be used to identify you. Further information about how GovMetrics CX works and what information they use can be found on the GovMetric privacy page.

GovMetric CX uses the following cookies on our website:

NamePurposeExpires
AWSELBUsed for load balancing.5 minutes
AWSELBCORSUsed for load balancing.5 minutes

Functional cookies

We use functional cookies so you can watch embedded videos on our website.

YouTube

We embed YouTube videos so that you can watch them on our website. We use YouTube’s Privacy Enhanced Mode which means that YouTube will not store personally-identifiable cookie information when you watch their videos on our web pages.

YouTube uses the following cookies on our website:

NamePurposeExpires
PREF*Stores information such as a user’s preferred page configuration and playback preferences like autoplay, shuffle content, and player size.After 8 months
YSCUsed by YouTube to remember user input and associate a user’s actions.Session
VISITOR INFO1 LIVEUsed to remember your preferences and is also used to detect and resolve problems with the service.After 8 months

For more information visit the YouTube Privacy and Safety Centre.

Vimeo

We use Vimeo’s embeddable video player to show video content on some pages of our website. This player uses cookies that Vimeo consider to be essential to the video player experience.

We have enabled the DNT (do not track) parameter on all embedded Vimeo videos on our website, which stops the player from tracking any session data, including all cookies and analytics. This has the same effect as enabling a Do Not Track setting in your browser.

For more information read the Vimeo cookie policy.

Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies are needed to make our website work. They allow us to remember your cookie preferences and update the content on our website.

Our cookie management solution

You may see a modal window when you visit our website, to let you know that we would like to use cookies and to ask for your consent. We call this our 'cookie management solution'.

We use the following cookies on our website:

NamePurposeExpires
cookie-management-preferences-setLets us know that you have saved your cookie preferences.90 days
cookie-management-statusSaves your cookie preferences.90 days

Squiz Matrix

We use Squiz Matrix to manage the content on our website.

We use the following cookie to authenticate users:

NamePurposeExpires
SQ_SYSTEM_SESSIONUsed primarily to enable login functionality to enable our content editors to make changes to our website.Session

Other Kent County Council online services

This cookie policy and our cookie management solution applies to www.kent.gov.uk.

Most of the online services we provide use different software and systems, for example: the iCasework Customer Feedback Service, the Let’s Talk Kent resident engagement platform and the Spydus library members system. These services, and any other websites we link to, may set additional cookies and, if so, will have their own cookie policy and, where applicable, a consent mechanism.

iCasework

We use the iCasework software to manage customer feedback (including complaints) about KCC and its services. It uses session cookies when you submit your feedback using our online form. These help to maintain your place in the online form as you complete it. They are essential to the service and must always be turned on for the system to work properly.

See our Customer Feedback Privacy Notice for more information.

Modern.Gov

We use the Modern.Gov software to provide information about our County Council, Committee and Sub-Committee meetings (https://democracy.kent.gov.uk).

NamePurposeExpires
ASP.NET_SessionIdIt stores a unique identifier for each visit to retain session state across multiple pages. This cookie is essential for Modern.Gov to work.Session
_mglogon_It stores a unique identifier for each visit to retain session state across multiple pages. This cookie is essential for Modern.Gov to work.Session

These cookies are “strictly necessary” as they are needed for this part of the website to work. These cookies are only used when visiting this part of our site.

Read the Modern Gov Privacy Notice for more information.

Mailchimp

We use Mailchimp to manage our email updates for residents. Mailchimp automatically places single pixel images, also known as web beacons, in every email sent by us through their system. These are tiny graphic files that contain unique identifiers that enable Mailchimp to recognize when people have opened an email or clicked certain links. These technologies record email address, IP address, date, and time associated with each open and click for a campaign. Mailchimp uses this data to create reports about how an email campaign performed.

We also use Mailchimp’s “Landing Pages” service for our sign up page, with the “Track with Mailchimp” option activated. This feature uses additional cookies or tracking technologies that allow us to track unique visits to the landing page and calculates the conversion rate by comparing the number of unique visits to the number of end users who subscribe.

You can set preferences about what cookies are served on Mailchimp Sites by visiting the Mailchimp website and clicking on the “Privacy Settings” link.

Ask a Kent Librarian

We use software provided by Springshare to provide the Ask a Kent Librarian service. The link on our page takes you to their system. They use cookies to store your GDPR consent and manage your session.

Read the Springshare privacy policy and Springshare GDPR compliance statement for more information.

Our social media accounts

We use social media sites to communicate and engage with residents, businesses, and communities in Kent and beyond. These sites may use cookies themselves, but you cannot control them using the cookie management solution on our website. You will need to use the consent mechanisms on each of those websites or apps to set your cookie preferences.

Changing your cookie settings

If you no longer want this website to use non-essential cookies when you visit, you can manage your cookie preferences using the button below. However, this may not necessarily remove any unexpired cookies we have set. You'll need to reload any open pages for the changes to fully take effect.

There are several ways you can manage or delete cookies depending on which browser you used when you visited our website. Find out how to manage cookies on popular browsers:

To find information relating to other browsers, visit the browser developer's website.

Session cookies are only stored temporarily and expire once you close your browser.

To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit the About cookies website or visit the All about cookies website.

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