Privacy and Cookies

Action for Blind People embrace all that the internet offers to blind and partially sighted people, and protecting privacy plays a key role in our digital communications.

Action for Blind People embrace all that the Internet offers to people who are blind and partially sighted, and protecting privacy plays a key role in our digital communications.

Our Privacy and cookies policy is provided for your information and should be read in conjunction with our Website terms of use and Website terms and conditions, collectively the “Terms and Conditions”, under which your access to and use of this Website is governed.

Please ensure that you have read and understood our Website terms and conditions before reading this Privacy and cookies policy. If you do not wish to accept any part of our Terms and Conditions you must not access or use our Website.


This privacy policy endeavours to ensure that the Website;

  • is secure and protects users’ privacy;
  • provides users with accurate, transparent and current information about how use of our Website impacts on privacy;
  • affords users choice about the information we store and how it is used.

Keeping your personal information safe

Whenever you provide us with your personal information via our Website, we treat it in accordance with this privacy policy, our Website terms of use and current UK Data Protection legislation. As is the nature of the Internet, no data transmission can be guaranteed to be 100% secure; we do, however, have systems in place to ensure that visiting our Website will be as secure as is reasonably practicable.

Data protection

Your privacy and that of your personal information are protected in the UK by the Data Protection Act 1998. This provides that the information which we hold about you;

  • should be processed fairly and lawfully; should be accurate, relevant and not excessive;
  • should not be retained for longer than is necessary, and;
  • should be kept up to date, if applicable.

Collection of personal information

We only collect personal information from you, such as your name, address, telephone number and email address, when you expressly submit this information to us by;

  • registering with Action Connect
  • completing a contact form;
  • submitting comments to the Website, participating in user generated content facilities provided from time to time;
  • signing up to our newsletter, or;
  • sending us emails.

Please do not submit your personal information to us if you do not wish us to collect it.

Use of your personal information

Any personal information you give us will be used only for the express purpose for which it was intended, including:

  • carrying out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into by you and us;
  • verifying your identity;
  • seeking your views or comments on the services we provide;
  • notifying you of changes to our services;
  • improving our services;
  • marketing purposes, and;
  • sending you communications that you have requested and that may be of interest to you.

We will not sell, share, or rent this information to 3rd parties, unless we have your express permission to do so, or we are required to do so by law, for example, by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime, except in the specific circumstances identified herein.

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, Action for Blind People are a data controller.

Email communications opt-out

If you have signed up for email communications and no longer want to receive them you can opt-out at any time by clicking on the link provided in every email we send to you or by contacting us directly using the different methods of contact provided on this Website.

Storage of your personal information

All personal information that you provide to us will be stored securely on our database, in accord with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Any sensitive information, such as the information you provide when you register with Action Connect, is encrypted and protected using SSL.

Use of 3rd party services

When we use a data services company to analyse data on our behalf, in order for us to tailor future marketing campaigns effectively, such companies will be registered under the Data Protection Act and will handle your data appropriately. We only provide any such companies with the personal details that they may require in order to deliver the service back to us. They are prohibited from using the information we provide them for any other purpose. We will ensure that anyone to whom we pass your details for this reason are legally bound to treat it with the same level of protection we are obliged to provide.

Transfer of your personal information

We may transfer your personal information to a 3rd party as part of a merger or association of some or all of our business and assets to any 3rd party or as part of any business restructuring or reorganisation, or if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or to enforce or apply our terms of use or to protect the rights, property or safety of our customers. However, we will take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected.

Accessing your personal information

You are entitled to ask us in writing, by letter or e-mail, what details of yours are being held or processed, for what purpose and to whom they may be or have been disclosed. We may charge a fee to respond to such a request, as there will be associated administrative expenses incurred in doing so.

We will respond to your written request within 40 days of receiving it, if we determine that no fee is chargeable, or within 40 days of receiving the fee insofar as we have also received your written request. In certain limited circumstances we are entitled to refuse your request. If you believe that any of your personal details, which we are processing, are inaccurate or incorrect please contact us immediately.

Removal of Registered Users’ personal data

Registered users explicitly consent to these Terms & Conditions when they sign up to Action Connect. Any Registered user has the right to cancel their membership and for their details to be deleted. We undertake to destroy any sensitive information associated with that Registered user, but will retain such information as is necessary to undertake statistical analysis relevant to the management of our business such as drop out rates.

We reserve the right to remove any or all content posted by a Registered User once they have closed their account.


A bit about cookies

HTTP Cookies, or ‘cookies’ as they are generally known, are small text files that are placed on your computer's hard drive or memory by your web browser when you visit websites that use cookies.

Most modern websites use cookies to ensure that their website’s visitors have the best online experiences possible, and Action uses cookies for these very purposes.


Session cookies

A ‘session cookie’ or ‘temporary cookie’ is stored within your computer‘s memory, and will only remain there for a single session - ie the duration of a single visit to a website.

Session cookies use unique session identifiers to establish your session and enable the website owner to provide certain features and functionality that will make your experience of the website better as you navigate through different web pages.

Persistent cookies

Persistent cookies are stored on your computer's hard drive. Persistent cookies store useful information, such as user preferences, language or geographical location and serve as pointers. After visiting a website for the first time, on each subsequent visit, the data stored is sent via your web browser to the website’s server, enabling it to “remember” this information each time you visit the website.

Secure cookies

Secure cookies are used for encrypted communications that share sensitive data, such as financial transactions or submitting personal information. A secure cookie can be either temporary or persistent; it simply provides additional security.

First-party cookies

First-party cookies are cookies set by websites when you visit them directly and are generally used to improve the visitor’s experience. These can be temporary cookies, persistent cookies or both, depending on the functionality of the website.

Third-party cookies

Third-party cookies are cookies set by websites other than the website being visited. These cookies are generally used for advertising purposes; they provide advertisers with information, such as how many times a web page displaying a specific advertisement was loaded. These can be temporary cookies, persistent cookies or both, depending on the functionality of the website.

Debunking a few cookie myths

  • Cookies do not contain software.
  • Cookies do not contain viruses.
  • Cookies do not spontaneously launch applications on your computer.
  • Cookies should not contain any personally identifiable information.
  • Cookies rarely contain useful information on their own, as they work in combination with your browser and the website’s database.
  • The cookie monster is not real.

The cookies we use

The cookies Action use are an integral part of how our Website works and enable us to provide a better online experience for our Website visitors. Importantly, cookies enable our users to set accessibility preferences on our Website without having to register or log in. They also provide key functionality for our Action Extra registered users and ensure that the registration process and use of the Action Extra service are secure.

We also use Google Analytics cookies, which collect anonymous information, such as how many people visit our Website, which web pages they visit and how long they visit for. Google kindly offer the Google Analytics service free of charge and the information we collect is invaluable for making our Website the best it can be.

Cookie intrusiveness

In order to ensure that your privacy is being protected, we have assessed ‘cookie intrusiveness’, which determines the risk of intrusion a certain type or use of cookie that places on your privacy.


Intrusiveness Legend
Level of IntrusivenessID
None 0
Negligible 1
Minimal 2
Moderate 3
Considerable 4
High 5
Intrusiveness by function
CategoryIDLevel of Intrusiveness
Strictly necessary 0 None
Website functionality 1 Negligible
Website preferences 1 Negligible
CMS member access 1 Negligible
CMS administration 1 Negligible
Analytics 2 Minimal
Social media 3 Moderate
Third-party functionality 4 Considerable (we do not use these)
Targeted advertising 5 High (we do not use these)

Action cookies: details

A list of the cookies used on the website and detailed information about what they are used for are contained in the tables below. We use a Content Management System (CMS) to maintain the Action website.

Non-CMS Cookies: Google Analytics
Cookie NameDuration TypeOwner TypeExpiryData StoredLevel
__utma Persistent First-party 730 days Initially a Unique Client ID is stored; subsequently, the number of visits, and the time of the first, previous and current visit. 2
__utmb Temporary First-party 30 mins Duration of visit 2
__utmc Temporary First-party 1 session Duration of visit 2
__utmz Persistent First-party 180 days Referral data: where the user came from. 2
CMS Cookies: All Users
Cookie NameDuration TypeOwner TypeExpiryData StoredLevel
PHPSESSID Temporary First-party 1 session Unique Session ID 1
PageCommentInterface_Name Persistent First-party 90 days Name, as per user input. Users are not required to disclose their real name and can comment anonymously. 1
CMS Cookies: Registered Users
Cookie NameDuration TypeOwner TypeExpiryData StoredLevel
PastMember Persistent First-party 90 days Value = 1 1
alc_enc Persistent First-party 90 days Unique Member ID 1
$login_marker_cookie n/a n/a 1 session n/a 0
CMS Cookies: Administrative Users
Cookie NameDuration TypeOwner TypeExpiryData StoredLevel
bypassStaticCache Temporary First-party 1 session Value = 1 1
siteTreeFutureState Temporary First-party 1 session Value = 1 0

Action Cookies: Purposes

Non-CMS Cookies: Google Analytics
Cookie NamePurpose
__utma When users visit the Action website for the first time, the __utma cookie is used to identify each unique visitor, as determined by the user's client. The __utma cookie is subsequently used to track user visits and activity on to the Action website over time.
__utmb The __utmb cookie is used to establish and maintain a single user session, and to measure the duration of each session. The __utmb cookie will remain operative whilst the user is active on the Action website. If the user is inactive for 30 minutes, the cookie will expire and the session will be determined as completed for analytics purposes.
__utmc The __utmc cookie works in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to establish and maintain a single session.
__utmz The __utmz cookie is used to determine the "referral type" - the route the user took to get to the Action website. For example, whether the user entered the Action url directly into their browser, they did a Google Search, they clicked on a link on another website and suchlike.
CMS Cookies: All Users
Cookie NamePurpose
PHPSESSID The PHPSESSID cookie is native to PHP and enables websites to store serialised state data. On the Action website it is used to establish a user session and to pass state data via a temporary cookie, which is commonly referred to as a session cookie. As the PHPSESSID cookie has no timed expiry, it disappears when the client is closed. The use of the PHPSESSID cookie is highly embedded in the SilverStripe CMS and is a central part of the working of the system; initiating a session is one of the first things SilverStripe does when a web page is requested. The PHP Session::start() command that sets the cookie is invoked from the programme main.php, which is part of SilverStripe’s core code. In addition, SilverStripe utilises the PHP session for many of its features. On the Action website, the accessibility style switcher uses the PHP session to maintain state and would not function as intended without the PHPSESSID cookie being set. The security for the registration form relies on the PHP session and, as there are no specific cookies used to pass login state data, user logins are preserved through the session. The page view history for logged in users is initially recorded as an array in the PHP session and requires the PHPSESSID cookie to be set in order to function.
PageCommentInterface_Name The PageCommentInterface_Name cookie is set when a user leaves a comment using the "Comments" feature in certain sections of the Action website, such as blogs or news. The standard SilverStripe comments feature sets cookies for all of the data sent from the comment form, but Action have modified the comments feature to improve UX and accessibility, and only the commenter name is stored. This cookie allows the commenter name to be pre-populated on all pages of the website when the user makes subsequent visits. This feature provides convenience to the user, but is not essential.
CMS Cookies: Registered Users
Cookie NamePurpose
PastMember This cookie is set at registration and/or login. It is set to denote that a user who is, or was, logged in through a unique client is a registered user of the Action website. The function that sets this cookie also updates the LastVisited timestamp in the registered user‘s record. As the cookie has a 90 day duration, if 90 days have elapsed between registration and login or between logins, the cookie will disappear and be reset the next time the user logs in.
alc_enc This cookie is used for auto-login; this occurs if the client is closed and then re-opened, so if the user was logged in at the time that the client closed, they get logged in again automatically. This cookie is set if the "remember me" checkbox is checked at login.
$login_marker_cookie Although this is not an actual cookie, but a placeholder that works in conjunction with the session cookie The CMS uses this code to set a session cookie to "1" whenever a user logs in. This allows Apache's mod_rewrite to detect whether a user is logged in or not and alters behaviour accordingly.
CMS Cookies: Administrative Users
Cookie NamePurpose
bypassStaticCache Static caching stores static data locally on a user’s machine in order to increase the speed of delivering web pages. Static data that does not change is only delivered to the user once and not every time they visit the web page. The bypassStaticCache cookie on the Action website is used within the CMS administration system only. CMS administration utilises Stages for content creation and approval before the content is published to the live website; when a CMS administrative user is reviewing new content in the Draft version of the website, the bypassStaticCache cookie is set to ensure that the user is reviewing the latest content.
siteTreeFutureState This cookie modifies SiteTree data requests to return future state content.
Action Fundraising: Committed Giving Cookies
Cookie NameDuration TypeOwner TypeExpiryData StoredLevelPurpose
ASP.NET_SesssionId Temporary First Party 1 session Unique Value 1 This cookie opens an ASP Session when users select any of the links to the Committed Giving sub-domain within the Donate section; as this is a standalone micro-site and is not actually part of the Action website, it does not fall under the auspices of this report.
thefocus Temporary First Party 1 session Value associated with form field, i.e. 0, 1, etc 1 This is an ASP cookie within the Committed Giving sub-domain and tracks where focus is given within the form fields as per the ASP Session cookie, this does not fall under the auspices of this report.

It’s your choice

Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but they also provide means to delete cookies and prevent them from being set.

Some browsers also provide a Do Not Track (DNT) facility, intended to stop you from being tracked and subsequently served targeted advertising. As all browsers do things differently, please refer to the website of the browser you use for more information.

Internet Explorer

Disable cookies

Do Not Track (DNT)


Disable cookies

Do Not Track (DNT)


Disable cookies

Do Not Track (DNT)


Disable cookies

Do Not Track (DNT)


Disable cookies

Do Not Track (DNT)

Cookies consent


Action’s policy on cookies is one of implied consent; it is understood that, having provided you with transparent and accurate information about our use of cookies, how to control and delete cookies and the impact this will have on your use of our Website, you have the tools to make an informed decision about whether or how you choose to interact with our Website. As such, your continued use of our Website is accepted as your consent to our use of cookies.


If you do not accept our use of cookies, you can;

  • continue to use our Website without cookies, on the understanding of the limitations this may place on functionality, or;
  • not use our Website and delete any cookies we may have set once you have left our Website.

Privacy and other technologies

Although Action only use first-party cookies, there are other technologies used to store data on your computer or mobile device to track behaviour. Some of the existing and emerging technologies include:

  • Flash cookies (FlashLocallyStoredObjects)
  • Web beacons
  • HTML5 storage
  • Web/DOM storage
  • Indexed Database API
  • Local data storage in mobile applications

One more thing

At present, there are no mechanisms that ensure total anonymity on the Internet. Disabling cookies and using DNT will not prevent you from being trackable, as the following data remains available:

  • Your IP Address
  • The timezone your device is set to
  • Your preferences, such as screen resolution and colour depth
  • The fonts installed on your device
  • Which browser you are using and on what device
  • What browser extensions and plugins are installed on your device
  • Whether your browser has JavaScript turned on or off
  • Whether your browser accepts cookies or not

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