Use of Cookies on Highland Council sites

On 26 May 2011, the amended Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations came into force, covering electronic marketing such as emails, faxes and text messages. Read a summary of the new rules and what they mean for individuals

"Cookies" are small files left behind on your computer when you visit a website.  When you return to a website, the browser sends this file to the website's server. This allows the site to recognise who you are and perform certain tasks like: keeping you logged-in to a secure area of the site or personalising webpages to you. They also allow websites to more accurately track your browsing behaviour for statistical analysis.

Because of the privacy concerns that cookies may raise, many users choose to limit how they are stored on their machine. Below is an explanation of how The Highland Council use cookies and advice for taking control of how they are stored on your machine.

Controlling how cookies are stored on your computer

To find out more about cookies, including how to control and delete them, please visit

Due to their core role of enhancing/enabling usability or site processes, disabling cookies may prevent users from using certain websites. Should you wish to disable cookies, however, you can find out how at:

How do Highland Council websites use cookies?

Collecting statistical information about visitor behaviour patterns

Whenever anyone visits our website we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out the number of visitors to the various parts of the council's websites. We collect this information in a way that does not identify anyone. We make no attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

We use Google Analytics to help analyse use of our website. This analytical tool uses cookies to collect standard web log information and visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) is transmitted to Google. This information is then used to evaluate visitors' use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity for The Highland Council.

The Highland Council will not (and will not allow any third party to) use the statistical analytics tool to track or to collect any information that personally identifies visitors to our site. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source as part of our use of the Google statistical analytics tool. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. Neither The Highland Council nor Google will link, or seek to link, an IP address with the identity of a computer user.

To find out more about Google Analytics, visit:

If you wish to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, visit:

Other uses within The Highland Council websites

In addition to cookies set by Google Analytics for the purpose detailed above, cookies are only used on the website as follows:

  • Template: Login.aspx
    Reason: to store citizens’ login name in a cookie called MyUsername

The most frequently used type of a cookie is known as a 'session cookie'. To find out more about Session cookie and what they used for, please visit:

The Highland Council websites and the cookies that are set

  • The Highland Council corporate website - Google Analytics cookies; Session cookie
  • The Highland Council online payments portal - Google Analytics cookies; Session cookie. 
  • ePlanning (The Highland Council planning applications) - Google Analytics cookies; Session cookie.
  • The Highland Council online libraries catalogue - Prism 3 only uses cookies for the login process to support a capability for persistent logins; Google Analytics cookies
  • Highland Life - Google Analytics cookies; Session cookie
  • The Highland Historic Environment Record - Google Analytics cookies;
  • The Highland Council online website feedback survey
  • Bookmark and Share
  • my alerts