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Last Updated: October 21, 2020

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small data file stored on your computer, mobile phone, tablet or similar device (a "device") to identify you as a previous visitor to the Services which may help us to personalize your experience when you arrive or to do other important things (such as keep our network secure). These cookies are invisible to you, and any portion of our Services may contain them.

What is a web beacon?

A web beacon is a small piece of data embedded with images on pages of the Services or in emails, which allow us to collect information such as the number of users that have visited a web page or opened an email. We use web beacons to measure the effectiveness of our content and campaigns and how visitors use our Services. This allows us to learn what pages are most attractive to our visitors, which parts of our Services are the most interesting and what kind of offers our visitors like to see.

Cookies and similar other technologies

Depending on if your browser is configured to accept cookies, we and third-parties who provide services to us may collect certain information automatically when you visit the Services, including through the use of cookies and web beacons. Depending on the type of cookie concerned, this information may relate to the browser you are using (e.g., Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.), the internet address from which you linked to the Services, the operating system of your device (e.g., Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, etc.), the unique IP address of the device you used to access our Services and usage and browsing habits.

How do I control cookies?

If you want to change your cookie settings, including providing or withdrawing consent to any unnecessary cookies, you can do so at any time by by clicking on the "Cookie settings" link at the bottom of the Common Sense site you are visiting. As described more below, we have two websites and cookies are managed on each separately.

You can also exercise cookie options in a browser, including removing previously placed cookies or changing your browser settings to notify you when you receive a cookie or not accept cookies generally. However, if you disable this function, you will not be able to use some of the features on our Services. To learn more about how to control privacy settings and cookie management, click the link for your browser below.

What are the different types of cookies?

Persistent vs. session cookies

Session cookies. These are only stored for the duration of your visit to our website and are deleted from your device when you close your browser.

Persistent cookies. These are saved on your device for a fixed period of time after the browser has closed. They may continue to be used where we or a third party need to identify you for a subsequent browsing session. The longest fixed time period for any 'persistent' cookies may be up to two (2) years.

First and third party cookies

First party cookies. These are set on your device by our website.

Third party cookies.These are cookies that are used within our Services, which are set by organizations other than us. These include cookies from external analytics services which help us to understand the use of our Services.

What categories of cookie and similar technologies do we use?

Depending on the type of account you have (e.g., Adult, Teen, or Child), and whether you are logged-in to that account or not, or are a subscriber, we may use all or some of the following first and third-party cookies. Our Cookie preference center (available at Cookie List and Cookie List) has the most up-to-date information. Please note that for European users, only necessary cookies are enabled by default:

Necessary Cookies. Necessary cookies enable the core operation of our site and services and cannot be switched off in our systems. They include cookies that we use to help control secure areas of our site and to make sure it is accessible to you. We may also use cookies and similar tracking technology to enforce any limitations we have set on access to our content, such as if we only permit certain subscribers to have unlimited access (for example, to reviews). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as a result, such as creating an account.

Analytics Cookies. These cookies allow us to collect information about patterns of behavior among people using the site. Analytics cookies allow us to count site visits and understand traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. We do not use these cookies when Teens or Children are logged in to their accounts on the site.

Personalization Cookies. These cookies help us offer relevant content and a more seamless browsing experience. They recognize you when you return to our Site and help you use it. For example, we use cookies to remember choices you make and provide personalization and features based on your choices. We do not use these cookies when Teens or Children are logged in to their accounts on the site.

Not all of the above will necessarily collect your personal information, but where this might be relevant, we have flagged this in our Privacy Policy.

Our Education and Media Sites

We currently operate two different websites with very similar branding:

  • – where we provide age-appropriate ratings for various types of media (e.g, books, movies, TV shows, video games, apps etc) and promote and make available our advocacy, research, and other work.
  • – for educators, where we promote and make available our non-profit educational activities as well as our privacy program and its ed tech evaluations.

Despite looking similar, these websites actually run off different systems – this means that decisions you make regarding your management of cookies on one of these websites, will not affect what happens on the other website. If you want to keep your preferences the same, you will have to actively align your decisions having accessed our Cookie Preference Center via each website separately at the links on the bottom of that site’s pages.