A cookie lets a website recognise your device and store some information about your preferences or interactions.
We use mygov.scot cookie tracking data to make informed decisions on whether the site is meeting your needs, which leads to us making improvements. For example, we monitor how much traffic each part of the site gets and work to improve areas which are not being found when they should be.
Cookies that we set
We use several tools — Google Analytics, Google Optimize and Mouseflow — to collect information about how you use mygov.scot.
We store information about:
- the pages you visit and how long you spend on each page
- how you got to mygov.scot
- what you click on while you're visiting mygov.scot
- which variation of a page you've visited when we are testing out small design changes using Google Optimize
We do not:
- collect information that can be used to identify you; for example, we never receive your name or address
- make any attempt to find out the identities of people visiting mygov.scot
- allow the tools that we use to find out the identities of people visiting mygov.scot
- sell, trade or give your details to third parties, unless we are required to do it by law
All information we get through cookies and analytics will be treated in confidence.
We anonymise the last 3 digits of all mygov.scot user IP addresses for Google Analytics, so that we can ensure that you are protected (you can read more about how this works here). We can only see a general overview of which regions and cities you may come from, not where individuals access from.
You can opt out of Google analytics cookies.
|_ga||This is used to understand and differentiate between different users.||38 Months|
|_gid||_gid has a different ID for each page set on, and a timestamp. This assists with plotting user journeys.||24 Hours|
|_gat||We use Google Tag Manager to tailor our tracking in case we have different elements that are being tested. For example, setting a tag to track how far a user is having to scroll down a long page. The _gat tag pushes the request rate through quicker.||1 Minute|
We anonymise the last 3 digits of all mygov.scot user IP addresses for Mouseflow, so that we can ensure you are protected.
You can opt out of Mouseflow cookies.
|mf_[session]||This is a first-party cookie, and we have set an expiration date of a lifetime. This cookie identifies the browser session while it happens. The cookie is deleted as soon as the session ends, meaning when the user leaves the website.||Session Lifetime|
|mf_user||This cookie establishes whether the user is a returning or first time visitor. No further information about the user is stored.||90 Days|
We use Google Optimize to run A/B testing on mygov.scot. An example would be to test the same page but with two slightly different formats — from this we're able to understand what types of page work better for you.
|_gaexp||Used to determine a user's inclusion in an experiment and the expiry of experiments a user has been included in.||Depends on the length of the experiment but typically 90 days|
Pages on mygov.scot which contain YouTube videos will not set third-party cookies (we use YouTube-nocookie.com — you can read more here).
You can email the performance team for further information.
This is a live document and will continue to be updated on a bi-monthly basis ensuring it complies with industry standards.