Cookie policy

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.

How we use cookies on

Understanding how our website is used

Google Analytics (Universal Analytics)

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how you use this website ( 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
  • the time you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site

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.

Google Analytics use the following cookies:

_gaThis helps us count how many people visit our website by tracking if you’ve visited before.2 years
_gidThis helps us count how many people visit our website by tracking if you’ve visited before.

24 hours

_gatUsed to manage the rate at which page view requests are made1 minute
_gat_rollupUsed to manage the rate at which page view requests are made.1 minute

Google Analytics (ga.js) library

__utmaLike _ga, this lets us know if you’ve visited before, so we can count how many of our visitors are new to our website or to a certain page2 years
__utmbThis works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on our website30 minutes
__utmcThis works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browserWhen you close your browser
__utmzThis tells us how you reached the website (for example from another website or a search engine)6 months

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies.


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. Find out how Hotjar manages data for more information.

You can stop Hotjar from collecting your data by opting out on their website.

_hjClosedSurveyInvitesUsed to ensure that the same invite to a Feedback Poll does not re-appear if it has already been shown.365 days
_hjDonePollsUsed to ensure that the same feedback poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.365 days
_hjMinimizedPollsUsed to ensure that the Feedback Poll widget stays minimized when the visitor navigates through our site.365 days
_hjDoneTestersWidgetsThis cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.365 days
_hjMinimizedTestersWidgetsThis cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimized when the visitor navigates through our site.365 days
_hjDoneSurveysThis cookie is set once a visitor completes a survey. It is used to only load the survey content if the visitor hasn't completed the survey yet.365 days
_hjIncludedInSampleThis session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate Heatmaps, Funnels, Recordings, etc.365 days
_hjShownFeedbackMessageThis cookie is set when a visitor minimizes or completes Incoming Feedback. This is done so that the Incoming Feedback will load as minimized immediately if user navigate to another page where it is set to show.365 days


We use YouTube to embed videos on some pages of the site. YouTube sets cookies when you visit one of these pages to give us information on the number of times a video is viewed and the type of browser used to view it.

For more information visit the YouTube Privacy and Safety Centre.


We use Vimeo’s embeddable video player to show video content on some pages of the site. Vimeo sets cookies that they consider essential to the video player experience.

For more information read the Vimeo cookie policy.


We use GovMetric to capture users’ feedback. Further information about how GovMetrics works and what information they use can be found on the GovMetric privacy page.

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

Enabling website functionality

Our cookie banner

You may see a notification when you visit our website to let you know that we are using cookies.

complianceCookieUsed to prevent the cookie banner from showing repeatedly.365 days

Alert messages

We might display a message on our website to tell you about an important event or situation. We use local storage to help us update alert messages periodically.

globalAlertContent (local storage)Used to store contents of the current global alert and display it if it is switched on.Does not expire
globalAlertLastChecked (local storage)Used to determine the time of the last check for an updated global alert.Does not expire
globalAlertToggle (local storage)Used to determine whether or not to display the global alert.Does not expire
globalAlertContent (local storage)Used to store contents of the current global alert and display it if it is toggled on.Does not expire

Squiz Matrix

We use the following cookie to authenticate users:

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSIONUsed primarily to enable login functionality to enable our content editors to make changes to our website.Expires when the browser session ends


We use CloudFlare to help improve the delivery of website assets such as style sheets and JavaScript files.

_cfduidUsed to identify individual users of the CloudFlare asset hosting service, behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.365 days

Open Objects on

The directory on uses the following cookies:

complianceCookieUsed to remember dismissal of the cookie banner to prevent it from popping up again.365 days
__KBLoggedIn__Used to check if a user has signed into the website. Toggles various site features only accessible by account holders.Expires when the browser session ends
__KBCookie__/kent/directory/Used to store directory information such as saved shortlist records.Expires when the browser session ends
kbroker_presence_controller (local storage)Used to store website accessibility settings.Does not expire
JSESSIONIDUsed for session management.Expires when the browser session ends

Open Objects on also uses the Google Analytics (ga.js) library cookies.


This software is used for our Consultation Directory.

We use Inovem Consult to provide a full list of KCC's past, current and planned consultations. This is to help you find the opportunities available so you can let us know what you think about the local services and policies that matter to you. For more information about the cookies it uses please visit the Kahootz website. You can also see our consultations privacy notices for more information.


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.

See our Customer Feedback Privacy Notice for more information.


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.

Find out more information about Mailchimp cookies by visiting the Mailchimp website.

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.