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Does StartMail use browser cookies? What information does StartMail collect?
Last modified on 09 January 2018 03:08 PM

A cookie is a small file that is sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser when visiting that website. When the user returns to the website, the cookie sends data about previous activity to the website’s server. 

Cookies are used in websites for the purposes of session management, personalization or tracking. 

StartMail does not use any tracking cookies. Advertising networks often use cookies to track users across multiple websites and to build personalized profiles. They also have other tracking techniques at their disposal such as web beacons, web bugs, pixel tags and browser fingerprinting. 

The browser cookies that StartMail uses for the purposes of session management or personalization (in the event the user chooses to change a default setting for his/her convenience) include the following:

The cookie SMSESSID helps to keep a user logged in during his/her session. This cookie is deleted when the browser is closed.

The cookie SMSESSIDQA functions like the SMSESSID cookie.  When a StartMail user sends an encrypted email using the Question & Answer encryption method, the recipient receives a notification message with a link to decrypt and view the email message.  When the link is clicked, this cookie is used during his/her session to view the encrypted email. This cookie is deleted when the browser is closed. 

The cookie SMRU is used when the user checks the box "remember my email on this computer” on the Log In page, to remember the email address.  This cookie is deleted seven days after the last login.

The cookie pgp_kc_* (the asterisk * can be any string of letters and digits) is used when the user changes the “remember your PGP passphrase” setting from the default of “never.”  This cookie stores the PGP passphrase, in accordance with the setting, in a secure manner.

The cookie cookietest is used to test if the browser accepts cookies in order to render the message, "Cookies have been disabled by your browser."  This cookie is deleted when the browser is closed.

These are session-only cookies (or they will expire as chosen) whose sole purpose is to allow you to use StartMail smoothly and keep you from having to repeatedly supply your login details again for every action that you take in StartMail.

StartMail only collects strictly anonymous statistics. We do this to gather information on what pages are effective in informing our users about the StartMail Service, and to improve our user interface. We obtain information on how many times a particular page is visited, and which pages or features are usually accessed consecutively. However, we never know who has visited which pages or when. To obtain these anonymous statistics, we use an open source statistical measurement tool called Matomo. We have configured it for minimal data collection, and no personal data is recorded at any time.

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